Oh boy. My state of Maryland has finally gotten around to telling its citizens that we must wear masks whenever we go out. What took us so long? I have to admit I was in denial about the whole thing, but now it’s undeniable, and I don’t have a mask. Yet. Luckily, I sew. I put a post on FB letting people know I can make masks if they need, and a bunch of people responded. It feels good to have something to do that is helpful for other people, and masks are an easy project, so it will be a meditative experience making 30 masks.
Back to the regularly scheduled programming, the prompt over at NaPoWriMo invited us to write about forgotten technology. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Remembering the Cassette Tape
I remember listening to you in my ’88 Honda Accord. I remember having to flip you over when you were done playing one side. I remember playing you so much that one day you stopped making intelligible sound. I remember using a pencil to wind your film back in you when it got pulled out. I remember making mix tapes for my friends and especially my twin sister. I remember my WalkMan knock off, and being thrilled to walk around with you. Do I miss you? Maybe I miss the time when you were in my life. Back then, there were no kids, no ex, no Pandemic. Of course, back then there were no SmartPhones or Netflix either. Maybe technology teaches me how to let go as the old and obselete give rise to the new and relevant. I don’t even know where you went! For what it’s worth, cassette tape, we really did have some good times, didn’t we?
Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo talked about the language of flowers and linked to a Victorian flower meaning archive. Although it was interesting finding out the meaning that the Victorians ascribed to flowers, I feel more moved to write a poem about what flowers mean to me…
Flowers. I have always loved them, since before I knew what love was. I just knew they were beautiful, delightful, alluring, magical, mysterious, silent jewels receiving the life they had opened into. As a child I spent my days outside and one of my clearest memories is of a carpet of clover blossoms and dandelions in my parents’ yard, glimmering in the bright sun. I remember picking wildflowers in college as I hiked the Appalachian trail and drying them to decorate my dorm room. I remember buying myself a gorgeous, lush, big, bright bouquet of roses, lilies and other cheerful beauties the first Valentine’s Day after my children’s father decided his heart was elsewhere. And just this week my children collected many spring blossoms to decorate the house; we had tiny vases and bigger ones of wildflowers, maple blossoms, flowering cherry, and maybe a couple of blooms from the neighbors’ yards. Today I’m on edge because my kids are arguing. I’d like to become like a flower— Still, silent, letting the light open me to my fullest expression of beauty, my only purpose in life…
I fell out of the loop for a moment, caught in a swirl of perfectionism. Suddenly I remembered that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about showing up authentically in the perfection of this moment… and so I came back.
Let’s imagine that everything you’ve lived until now was a dream, and suddenly, you’ve awoken, and realized you were sleeping. You finally can see that everything you’ve ever lived is your own dream creation, and as the Creator of this dream existence you’ve also constructed the ideas of “right” and “wrong.” Let’s further imagine that upon recognizing that you’ve awoken, you find it quite funny how you believed that “right” and “wrong” actually existed. Now that you know there is no such thing, suddenly, you take a deep breath and relax, realizing that peace, too, is your creation.
What would happen if I suddenly recognized that I am exactly where I am supposed to be doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing? What if I stopped struggling, took a deep breath, and relaxed? I might remember who I really am: Pure consciousness aware of itself. Upon this remembering, bliss floods my being; I am home. I have spent so long in the dark, struggling, afraid. It is time to remember. Time to come home.
When you woke up this morning, did you remember who you really are? Have you remembered yet today? If not, let me remind you, but first, S L O W L Y EXHALE ALL THE WAY, and then, S L O W L Y INHALE ALL THE WAY. There now, that’s better, isn’t it? ✨❤️✨ You are pure consciousness in a physical body standing on a tiny blue dot in the middle of infinite space. You are a single cell on that blue dot, a subatomic particle of the atom in which you live, and yet your consciousness is bigger than the universe. Can you open in awareness of this vastness? Can you feel out to the farthest reaches of space, can you sense into the urge to expand forever? Can you take on the awareness of a star, burning in your desire to express your light? Can you spin the way a planet spins, can you feel its mass, and can you sense the momentum it has attained in its embrace of the cosmic dance? And YOU, how about your embrace? You are the center of the universe, did you know that? You are, in this very second, entirely surrounded, held, seen, known, loved and cherished by the force that created you (and you can call it what you want!) You are sovereign in your center, holding the consciousness of the cosmos. Now that you’ve remembered that the entire universe is yours to command, what now will you do?
Frequently it happens that I am struck by a memory of the times we were together, a family of four, and although we had our challenges (like everyone else) all was well with the world. Two beautiful children, jobs we liked and were good at, a home, a life together. And then one day it all changed. You were done. You blamed me. You betrayed me. I have spent nearly two years trying to get back on my feet, and I’m almost there. I’m certainly stronger now than I was at this time last year… But what do I do with the memories of before? Sometimes they are enough to bring me to my knees. I can see our children happy, smiling, I can hear my voice. I can see your face. I can hear you telling me you loved me. And then one day… you didn’t love me anymore. One day you told me that your pain was my fault. You told me what you were doing was brave, that it took courage to leave. I disagree. I think the real courage would’ve been found in your willingness to see your part in all of this, and in your ability to ask yourself why you were hurting so deeply that you would betray the woman you married and wound her the way that you did. Today it is cold, gray and raining outside, perfectly matching the state of my heart. I miss my children. I miss our life together. And I know I would be fine, if it weren’t for all the memories.
In the dark of the year my soul goes into hiding and I want to sleep until the light returns. And yet I must keep going. There are children to feed and students to teach and this body to bathe and clothe and lungs that need to breathe. My mind seeks comfort, the safety of one who understands. There is no one here besides me, and the loneliness engulfs like the encroaching darkness. And then, faith. And then, hope. And then, the memory that I’ve made it through this before.
Today’s prompt asks us to write a poem that engages all five senses. Hmmm. Alrighty then.
I reach out for you in the middle of the night still.
You were there for years, but now you are not.
The sound of your snoring,
even your breath in the morning,
how much more would I have savored those
if I knew what was coming?
I remember your hairy belly.
Isn’t it silly,
these things that stay in my mind?
I remember running my hand
on your tummy, loving the feel of you,
your warmth; I suppose it’s unkind
to do this to myself, to remember like this.
But do I have a choice?
I can feel the sadness now in the back of my throat,
the tears that want to come.
I can taste those uncried tears,
their bitterness, my fragility.
Now you are with her,
and I include you both in my forgiveness practice.
So many have told me to let go,
to focus on me,
to be my own best friend.
But what to do when nothing feelings like home anymore,
when I am a stranger to myself,
when the most familiar things are the memories
growing fainter with each tear that falls?