she just wants

source unknown – but I do wish I could have drawn this!

SHE JUST WANTS

She does not want to fit into anyone’s box.
She just wants to love the earth, her fingers deep in spring soil; to remain strong
and engaged; to let her words spill onto the page.
She doesn’t want a product to justify her day, or to defend or explain herself.
She just wants a walk by the lake, creativity in process, evening wine; to snuggle in front of a winter fire with a good book and her dog by her side.

She does not want to go forth into tumultuous throngs.
She just wants to touch the hearts of those few she calls friend, or to whom
she extends the pen of discovery.
She does not want to listen to discord or chaos.
She just wants to live simply, choose silence or animated conversation
or Bach cello suites.

She does not want additives, modifications, directives or exclusions.
She just wants to ensure the health and well-being of living earth and her creatures.
She does not want to see the world collapse around her offspring.
She just wants to speak up for what she believes, for what is morally right and just.

She does not want 50 years of social progress burned in one moment of fevered frenzy.
She just wants people to listen to/treat/learn from one another with respect.
She does not want self-serving skeptics to destroy natural connections.
She wants us to re-member our humanity and shared responsibility toward our world.

She does not want to live in division, hate, falsehood.
She just wants to lift up what is beautiful and true with.

She does not want it to end quite yet.

3.7.17 fastwrite in ‘writing outside’ group, prompted by ‘Employed,’
by Beverly Rollwagen, from She Just Wants. Nodin Press, 2004

divided we fall – I

constitutionbanner-unitedwestandllcI pen this post with compassion and concern for the emotionally triggering rhetoric swirling about us like so many tops. My intention is to seek shared understanding from which to move forward.

The news – fake, real, and alternative –seems designed to and interpreted as creating divisions, assigning blame, obfuscating truth. We are all in this turbulent mix. Whether we identify as Republican or Democrat, pro-life or pro-environment; whether we are more concerned about our basic humanity or our next paycheck, how our food is produced or how it will make it to our tables; we are all Americans with a mix of legitimate concerns which defy the neat categorizations of the past.

And I believe messaging is what is dividing us, far more than substance. Because the messages create an either/or extreme of acquiescence or defiance, admitting neither debate nor inclusion of difference. This is not how democracy works.

I understand why it seems refreshing, after eight years of stalemate in Congress, to witness a flurry of action in such a short time. I was as frustrated as the next person at the hobbling of the last administration. But the answer is not wanton destruction of what we stand for as a people, as a nation.

Can we not advocate with BOTH passion AND civility? Can we not embrace difference for what it teaches us with honest debate? Can we not possess BOTH a moral compass AND respect for facts?

We cannot allow ourselves to be led into unbridgeable polarization. Blind opposition to one another’s humanity can only lead to dehumanization and violence. In that, we all lose. Let us instead seek out opportunities for respectful communication and discourse.united-we-fall

chasing connection

This week my TEDWeekend inbox brought me 20 incredible photos and the moving words of Camille Seaman, storm chaser.  Storm cloud images like abstract paintings. Wise words about our interconnectedness. With gratitude, I share some of her words and images. Be sure also to check out her TEDTalk.

What does it mean to be a good ancestor? What does it mean to be a citizen of Earth?. . .  I have come to know that we are all connected no matter how many lines, borders, languages, divisions we try to create. In the end we are all on this planet together. Our bodies are made of the material of this place.

“If you came to know that you cannot do harm to any other being or thing without doing harm to yourself, you might make different choices.” Continue reading

where there’s intention there must be ‘no’

‘intention & choice’

Last night my friend reminded me: “No is the first word we learn and the first we forget.” So simple. Like the life I am trying to craft for myself in the midst of more, faster,  bigger. Though not necessarily better. Turns out she and I share an intention to open more space in our lives for our personal writing. It also turns out we share a life orientation to service, stepping up and in to leadership. Not necessarily because we choose to but because there is a need that chooses us.

Which is where NO comes in.  Another wise mentor has told me, more than once: “Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you NEED to.” This can be a challenging concept to someone with multiple interests, a deep reserve of goodwill and curiosity, boundless creativity and a desire to jump in when needed. Equally challenging is taking a moment to step back, reflect and ask: “Is this how I really want to spend my time? Is this going to serve my best interests and therefore those of the call to which I am responding?”

For some, this fine line of discernment runs the risk of sounding self-absorbed, reluctant, or possibly lazy. However, there comes a time when a simple “NO!” may be the best service you can perform. In setting the boundary on too much, you get to live with enough. And enough is the abundance required for a truly giving life – one that gives first to the self and secondly, to others. A lesson gratefully learned in a circle of wise wording women.

who said ‘resolve?’

Intention

Intention (Photo credit: turahbird)

R-E-S-O-L-V-E. Makes me think about the rug cleaning product that neutralizes odors and disappears stains, leaving only a strong smell that repels pets and humans alike. Sounds goal-oriented, rigid and efficient. An ultimatum, use-by date, finish line. In short, something to hang over my head, to battle, to fear, to ignore and perhaps, well, DISSOLVE. I feel my fists clench, jaw tighten, and shoulders elevate along with my heart rate at the mere sound of the word.

I need something softer, more organic, more consciously intentional. Not even quite resolution as in music, a harmonic relaxation of tension in preceding chords, although this is at least complete and very much there.

What I’m after is something to help me EVOLVE.  I want something altogether Other: neither disappearing nor ending harmoniously. I want something that has staying power, that moves me forward, has life and integrity, adds meaning to my days. Which brings me to INTENTION.

I like how many relevant words rhyme with it: attention, retention, invention. I like that it sounds somewhat esoteric. And mostly, I like that it gives me permission to be human in my endeavors to change things about myself that grieve me and my loved ones. In other words, when I forget my intention, nothing is lost. I have not failed. I have full permission to start over again. And again. And again. Which is a good thing, because I’m a notoriously slow learner and this kind of repetition helps create the habit for what I am intending.

English: Everything starts from needs or desir...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My intention is always with me, something like that still small voice. Unlike conscience, however, it does not blare at me with outrage and indignation when I blunder. Rather, it continues its gentle, even tone underlying my decisions and actions. This is what I so love about INTENTION: it is a choice in every moment that sets the tone for my words and my actions. It shapes me gently without flagellation or recrimination. I can not fail. I can only pick myself up and keep on dancing.