Kindness Hits You Where You Live

Today might have been the most simple act of kindness we’ve done to date.  We were kind to each other.  We slept in, laughed, talked, shopped, did laundry, cooked, did dishes, drank our nightly decaf, held hands, showed each other cool photos online, took the pups for a nice walk, problem solved a couple of things, said I love you and thanks honey a few times, and had a pretty quiet day together.  It’s important to be aware of your spouse, to be kind to them.  We do a pretty good job of that most of the time, but it’s good to talk about it, good to be present with it.  It’s a form of kindness that’s not talked about enough.  It’s great and important to be kind to others, but it’s equally important, if not more so, to be kind to the people you are closest to, people who you share your life with.  

Kindness Is No Joke

dog-knock-knockWe are very corny.  Silly even.  It’s something both K and I share, a genuine dorkiness.  It makes our lives fun, we laugh a lot.  Because we love to laugh, we love to make other people laugh.  Sharing laughter is a kindness.  To yourself, and to the person you shared the laugh with.  So today we recorded ourselves doing really corny knock knock jokes and sent them out to some people.  We totally cracked ourselves up.  I hope we made our people laugh as well.

Helping Hand of Kindness

ducksSometimes the kind thing is a thing you might do anyway.  Something as simple as helping out someone when they’re in need.  Kindness doesn’t have to be done in big grand gestures or deliberate acts for someone you don’t know.  It can be simple, and right at home.  The kid’s water heater went out.  They’ve had a couple of days of no hot water, which they’ve managed to deal with pretty well, but the one thing they couldn’t get done at home were baths for the kids.  So today they came over and the littles had a bath.  Kindness can be about just being there for someone when they need you to be.  And in fact, we should be kind like that as much as we can be.

NPR’s Profile of Karl Blau

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My cousin’s new album came out May 13. NPR did a little profile of him on the World Cafe Next. Pretty cool.  Follow the link to hear what they had to say.

 

http://www.npr.org/player/embed/475592690/475593712

When the Right One Comes Along

Canyon FeetToday is our anniversary. Number 13. I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen for several minutes now trying to form a coherent thought in an attempt to describe my love and my relationship. The only things that keep coming are rushes of words… tender, grateful, peace, safety, rock-solid, trust, truth, faith, honesty, center, love, and love, and love. It’s been going on like that in my head, in my heart.

I have often tried to explain to people what it felt like when we met. I’d had a sketchy path to her. I’d not picked well for myself up to then and somehow I’d always felt like I was scrambling, reaching out for something that wasn’t really there, and couldn’t be, no matter where I tried to look. I spent quite a lot of time soul searching before her. Had vowed not to be in a relationship again until I knew myself better, until I felt like I would and could pick someone better for me. I say often it took a long time for me to come to myself so that I could eventually come to her.

In truth, I don’t know how I got so lucky. It was a fluke, a chance encounter, a brush with fate. You could call it all of those. It was my first day on a dating site, and her last. She had been at it awhile, not finding what she was looking for, coming to the conclusion she needed to take a break. And, even when she saw my profile she contacted me not to date me (she thought I was too young), but to tell me she liked my profile, that it was great, and to wish me luck. I responded by saying something funny about how my “Real Age” score said I was older than my actual age so maybe I wasn’t too young after all. We laughed. We started emailing.

Our emails to each other in those early days were not filled with love or lust or anything other than ourselves. We told each other about our lives, about the music and poetry we loved, about the things that were important to us. I wrote to her about my step-dad’s illness and she wrote to me about her kids. And somehow, over the course of those two months of just writing to each other, we started to fall in love.

She is a person who has a great amount of confidence and she’s very secure with who she is. She’s sure. I have always admired that in her and did from the start. When she started asking to meet me in person, I put her off, and put her off. I kept avoiding it, afraid of I don’t know what, and of everything. She took it all with humor and never gave up on me, she was sure. When we finally talked on the phone, starting only a week before we actually met, it was as if we’d known each other much longer than just the two months we’d been emailing. We talked every day that week, for hours each day. We laughed a lot and even though I had butterflies about the whole thing, I never felt awkward or strange. The whole thing felt right somehow, easy.

The day we finally met I was nervous as hell. I called a friend on the way to the meeting and tried to talk myself out of going, even though I knew I’d go. I had to go. By then I was starting to fall in love, without having ever met her in person. Crazy, but true. I got to the pub first and waited at an outside table. Then there she was, walking around the corner and striding toward me in her jeans and black boots and cool shirt. She walked with the confidence I’d always read in her emails and then heard in her voice. She looked free. I could barely breathe.

We started to talk, ordered salads, and I couldn’t stop shaking. I told her, showed her my shaking hands. I felt I could because she instilled a sense of safety in me. That no matter what I told her, who I was, she would be OK with that, with me. I felt I could be myself, completely, and she would embrace that. We talked for hours that evening. Moving to an inside table when the sun went down and the weather got cool.

There was, for me, a feeling of everything in my life clicking into place that night. An almost audible sound. Everything that came before rushing toward that moment, and there we were. Right, finally whole and complete.

Since the beginning we have said we are each others split-apart. Two halves, at one time separated by space and time, finally reunited. We make sense, and together we are home.

So here we are, 13 years later, and I feel that even more strongly than I did at the beginning. Life has brought us some scary stuff, some sadness, and all kinds of wonder and beauty and joy. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. I can’t imagine facing what’s come and what will, good and bad, without her.

We met, and I knew. So did she. You do, when the right one comes along.

Songs of Hope and Sorrow – You Were Born

Our granddaughter just had her first birthday. She is light and love and magic. She has the biggest grin imaginable, her face scrunching all up, eyes getting narrow, and her mouth, with it’s little fangs, gets huge. Light beams out of her. Her smile matches her personality. Curious, determined to keep up with her older brothers, tenacious when she has to be, smiley, tough, adventurous, affectionate, loves to laugh, loves books, loves life. She is joy.

I have a personal tradition, started with Sebastian, where I find a song that means something to me as it relates to each particular grandchild. I will post the boy’s songs here in the next week some time, but today I thought I’d post Tessa’s.

I have no idea what made this song Tessa’s for me. It has always worked like that, for each of them. I hear a song, and for whatever reason it attaches itself to them, and to my heart. From that moment on I can’t hear it without thinking of them, and I can’t stop myself from crying. Tears of happiness, tears of being so grateful I’m in their little lives and they are in mine. I can’t hear these songs without getting the feeling that my heart could burst from all the love I feel for them.

I give you Tessa’s song, You Were Born, by Cloud Cult

Our Beautiful Souls

 

IMG_3123When something shocking happens in life our world shrinks down.  Everything we know somehow narrows, magnifying the thing in the center that is our pain, our sorrow, our grief, our fear, our shame.  Suddenly we do not see, cannot see, anything outside of what we feel.  We begin a sort of sleep walk.  Moving around, going about the necessities of life, unaware of anything outside of our immediate place in time.  We see ourselves putting on shoes, getting something to eat, talking to friends, paying our bills.  Yet, we are disconnected from all of it.  Suddenly apart from the world, in a cocoon of emotion we can’t even begin to know how to escape.  Everything feels like a dream, as if there is a veil between us and the rest of the world.

Slowly though, the world returns to us.  We start to wake up.  We notice the rain, or a bird, we are aware of the smile of a friend.  We begin to find interest in things we’d forgotten we used to love, and still do.  We look up, and out.  We feel the warmth of the sun and feel the rhythm of the world.  We learn that life moves on, moves forward, one small moment at a time.  Until, finally, we are mostly ourselves again.  A piece of us utterly changed by our experience, but still, ourselves.

The whole of this experience, though usually terribly painful, is beautiful.  The feeling of it, the pulling away, the return, all bring a deeper meaning to our lives.  It can, if we let it, help us to find a peace and a grace we didn’t know before.  It can help us to see more deeply into things.

Life is a gift.  Our friends and family are gifts.  We are lucky, even with the pain and sorrow that inevitably come.  After all, pain and sorrow only come because we were brave enough and our souls beautiful enough to love someone or something.

“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)I want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”
― E.E. Cummings