Monday, October 20, 2008



Press play on the youtube of Sarah McLaughlan and her beautiful song.
Read while listening.
Go hold someone you love and use every one of your senses to fill with awareness.

POst Secret Pictures, Images and Photos

Can anyone do this? Can a person without the natural temperment of ease, forgiveness, grace, soft souled- can a person like this who has been hurt deeply and at the most tender age, can that person just be happy?

Wild Horses Snow Pictures, Images and Photos

I can't ' just be happy '; I have never had the ease of spirit and innocent kind of joy and love that I see and celebrate in some others. My happiness is always a matured, rough hewn sort. I can be happy though. Yes. I can look around me every day and work my mind open, my heart, to see and appreciate the beauty that is everywhere. On a walk with my daughter Lola, a beautiful dragonfly humming and jerking, caught in a spider's web, brings me to tears. I recognize in this the condundrum of life, that what is beautiful can also come packaged in great pain.

When I was a little girl I had an imaginary horse, based off the horse in one of my favorite children's books and series, The Black Stallion. My imaginary horse and I had a spiritual bond, and as I rode in the car with my sad family, I turned my eyes out the window and watched myself, riding my own black stallion, thundering over the hills and sides of freeways, flying over obstacles in great leaps. I was finding my own happiness. I was making something beautiful with what I knew.

amazingdudesnapcrackleWHORE Pictures, Images and Photos

The way that I knew freedom was through books and beauty. So now, as an adult, I watch others who radiate a kind of clean happiness, a kind of lucky happiness where nothing tragic occured into their childhood. I believe that when our childhoods are solid and safe and based on love, we survive our adult losses differently. I watch beautiful people whose spirits are so easily soaring and I envy them. I have never felt light without a fight. Finding happiness, spiritual freedom, freedom from fear, these goals are often made closer by the devotion of Seeing, Hearing, Feeling, Touching, Loving. If I am talking with my son and suddenly pull myself into the moment, the air is brighter. I see his bright blue eyes with an intensity that startles. I hear his voice and I am filled with a deep, eternal love so intense it takes my breath. I watch how his long thin arms move, his mouth turns up at the corners, his sensitive fingers play with the jacket. I am eclipsed.

Maybe some of us, who are thornier than we'd like, more complicated than is necessary for depth, more neurotic than is romantic, we turn away from living in the moment because the insensity of truly seeing how beautiful love is terrifies us.

Cage Pictures, Images and Photos

Perhaps we fear what we think we desire. Perhaps we fear love. Because in opening our arms, bodies, minds and hearts to love, we open ourselves to pain, to loss- and let us not shy from the truth: we open ourselves to a kind of loss that is simply unimaginable, unfathomable. If I lose my children before.... there is a blackness that erupts in the fabric of the Universe, directly parallel to the pain, when a person endures a loss too great to be borne.

What clears the pathway, what enlivens the weak hearted and brittle boned to become eclipsed, to love as we are meant to love? What if we do not believe in God? What if we cannot feel a God behind us, giving meaning and reason to all we do not understand?

Well then, we can ask ourselves the eternal question: Is it better to have loved and lost, than never loved at all? What does this really mean to you? If we walk through our days with those we love and never really connect, what will we feel when the losses do, inevitably occur? Will we hurt Less because we protected our hearts?


We will hurt more because we will be filled with regret.

When my grandmother Elizabeth died I was aware of an emtpy room inside of me where her prescence used to be. And not being of great Faith, I could not fill it with those thoughts or beliefs. The ballast was the knowledge that I had loved her openly and cherishingly to the best of my ability. Not perfectly. But I had touched her, held her hands, clipped her toenails, massaged her feet, pressed my mouth to her velvet hanging skin, whispered I love you in her ear, cried tears of gratitude telling her the stories I remembered most fondly of her and I, let her see, hear and know that I loved her.

Our choice, the choice of the living, is nothing easy. It is nothing simplistic and only the surface skimmers mock this struggle. I choose every day. I choose in my children's skin, in their warm mouths sucking at my breast, their downy baby heads pressed against my husbands naked body as they slept in our bed, their pink fingers running over my arms as I held them, their voices screaming and laughing, breaking the great silence of Order, Plans, Structure, their lithe and beautiful bodies tumbling together in play, the smell of their hair, their ears, their necks, the pulse of their heartbeat and great vunerability there for all to see in their infancy: on the top of their heads, that great soft spot, that place given to remind us of the incredibly preciousness of life.

I forage ahead inside this enveloping, amazing, love although there are times when I cannot sleep and a great and voiceless fear courses through my veins, for all I am humbled to admit I cannot change, for the swirling great world around and inside my children that I cannot protect them from: even though I was not protected, even though I cannot breathe when I think of the unthinkable.

I choose to love.

Mother Love Pictures, Images and Photos
Anonymous said...

I love the look of your blog; it is very nice. I enjoyed reading this post--I can relate on many levels. Take Care. Carolina

Steph(anie) said...

I know my husband has paid the price for my inability to trust, thanks to my father. I'm grateful that he's stuck with me.

steenky bee said...

Um, I just don't know what to day. I was given some heart-breaking news today about a friend whom I consider a loved one. I've been in pieces ever since. I read your beautiful words here tonight and I'm crying inside and out. These were beautiful and so needed for me right now. You have no idea. Thank you. Thank you.

Patois42 said...

This is so very beautiful. The choice you make is undeniably the best one.

Unknown said...

Just wanted to say this is my first time here and really enjoyed reading your comment. Many things I can relate to..take care.....Mary

mames said...

hi maggie may, thanks so much for commenting. i loved coming here and finding such a deeply moving post to read and learn from.

i am truly in love with those little fabric squares i posted, my husband just laughed as i pulled them out and spread them all over my lap, toying with them. imagining. not sure though, maybe a patchwork purse, maybe just drape them all over my wall in my line of vision. decisions, decisions.

Annie said...

It's been a very long time since I've read Kahlil Gibran's THE PROPHET, but I was struck as a teenager, by the words I am so ineloquently paraphrasing: Our joys are as deep as our sorrows. Basically, the deeper our sorrows, the deeper are our joys. I sometimes think this is true; those of us who have suffered in life, particularly in childhood, have a greater sensitivity not only to pain, but to joy. We may experience joy more deeply than those who have never suffered. I think that's why we care so much about life and love and other people, and why we can empathize, more than many people who only seem to feel on the surface. In some ways we've been numbed and desensitized, but I think that's only when we are depressed; and even when we are depressed we can pull ourselves out of it, because we know we are capable of and deserving so much more, and we know the way to get the love we need is to love others, and that love is the only thing that truly enriches people's lives.

I just found the passage online:

Joy and Sorrow

Then a woman said, 'Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.'

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, 'Joy is greater than sorrow,' and others say, 'Nay, sorrow is the greater.'

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I know this was a passage I hung onto when I was a teenager. It helped me accept the bad feelings, and embrace the fact that there was some benefit to having suffered, if it could make me feel and think more deeply.

Would I trade the "bad things" for peace of mind? Yes. But, I can't change the past. I can only process it, and learn from it.

Unknown said...

Beautiful post. I envy your ability to speak so openly; honestly. I always enjoy reading posts that I can deeply relate to on some level.

PalagiGirl said...

I don't know how you did it, but you put into words the very things I struggle with every day. You say the things I don't have the courage to write just yet. You do connect with people and it's obvious you are capable of great love and like me, once you choose who to trust and bestow that love on, no one can love them better.

Jenny Grace said...

This is lovely, but in a rather heart-breaking way. You are a very talented writer.

Tamara (TC) Staples said...

"cried tears of gratitude telling her the stories I remembered most fondly of her and I, let her see, hear and know that I loved her"

This brought back a bittersweet memory of losing my grandmother. She was one of the few good forces in my childhood. When she died I didn't know if I could go on. Her last couple of days on earth my sister and I held her hands, sang songs she had taught us and told stories she had told us. It was heartbreaking but also the most special moment of my life.

It was her loving me that taught me I could love, it was her joy in life that drove me to heal and find joy.

Thank you, Maggie May, for reminding me of her. It sounds like your grandmother might have been the same force for you in your childhood.


Maggie May said...

Carolina thank you, i love coming to visit your blog as well.

Steph my husband did for years as well, but we are on the other side of that now, and it's amazing. Hope you get there soon.

Steenky I emailed you.

Patois thank you.

Mary I'm so glad you related to the words- that is my favorite kind of thing to read, something that moves me.

Mames you know what would be awesome? Making a mermaid doll out of that mermaid fabric.

Annie I love that book as well, and had a copy very young. I think we have a lot in common.

Pepper I love the name Pepper! and i'm glad you visited, please come back.

Palagirl I do think when you have realized the true value of love you love more deeply.

Miss Grace thank you so much. Really. Writing is one third of my pie chart.

Lola said...

This was a truly beautiful post, Maggie. I'm a bit of a thorny person by nature, but I've found ways to fight it and truly live in the moment. Sadly, it's fleeting, but I can get myself there and enjoy.

It sounds like you've found your way to that place at times, too.

michellewoo said...

I think you're able to see things on this earth that so many people can't. Perhaps you're subconsciously making up for the past by seeing that much more beauty in the now. Please keep sharing. We're loving it all.

Happyflower said...

You are a truly beautiful person and I hope someday I can be where you are now. I am trying but it is so hard because of my past. I live through my children the childhood I never had but someday I hope I become the adult they will become for they have lived their childhood being loved.

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