Saturday, May 30, 2009

Poem: Hello After Goodbye

Beloved, adored one, forever my love
Where to has the darkness taken you?
In a grieving eternity I’ve waited,
I searched for you through time and space
Through the desert and my falling tears.

Now you seek me where the loving
Gives each love a chance to prevail
Where only bright shadows fall
Where the morning is golden
And the night is far more forgiving.

I recall the strength in our loving still
all those glorious nights of our youth
In your bearing I can plainly read your will
You grieve and remorse; you want our life back
But I have to forget you to make me whole.

The times of gold and light when we were young
The love we knew when we were one in mind and soul-
The nights we spent just talking and building dreams
Things I will miss but we need to leave them behind
Let’s dry the tears and live our lives apart...

The time the veil will be parted is not long
We knew and we dread but the end is in sight,
As the debris falls, our world is tearing apart
My heart gets weary as I whisper your name
Goodbye my love, I hope to see my friend...

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Celebration Of My Life

How do you feel about your birthday? Do you look forward to it and remind your friends, or do you try to keep it a secret? What are the things that you wish for on your birthday?

Timely questions, as my birthday is coming around again next week. My birthday signifies my personal new year. It is always a reminder of the sand clock of my life, and inevitably a time that I re-evaluate my priorities and resolve to bring my life more in line with them. I feel a greater sense of urgency as the years go by, to experience life more fully. To me, this means being in the moment, expanding my horizons in spite of fears sometimes and controlling that inner voice of self-criticism. Each year also brings me the surprising realization that, while I am technically no longer young, I do not really know how to be as old as I am. I always feel that my age and my sense of self simply do not match.

Each year on my birthday I think about the upcoming year, where I had been, where I am and where I am going. It may sound more like a New Years Resolution thing but I always thought that my birthdays were a better time for me to deeply reflect about my life. I want to spend most of my birthday this year driving which gives me a lot of time to think. I want to do a lot of thinking about how great things have been and how optimistic I am for the next years to come.

There are so many wonderful things that happened to me this year. To say I am happy and excited is a huge understatement. Some of the plans I’ve been working on are done and many of the others are nearing completion. It’s truly an exciting time. I'm really happy with the direction of my life.

My birthday reminds me to bring out the good dishes, both literally and figuratively; not to save and hoard, but to use and give. It reminds me to express and listen, to learn and teach and to create value in this world through my actions.

My birthday makes me grateful that I have lived one more year of good fortune on this planet and hopeful for another.

As I turn 46 this year, I have some birthday wishes. The things I wish for are not things that anyone can buy me. In a way, they go much deeper than that. My first wish is to live long enough to be able to watch many glorious sunsets with the man I want to spend the rest of my life and spend many moments with my grandchildren. I know it will happen one day. Just to be able to hold them and talk to them and tell them I love them as much as I love their mothers. I miss holding and feeling the touch of those little fingers on my face.

My next wish is to be able to see my daughters successful both in life and in their relationships. I wish that they each find a loving, responsible, understanding and God-fearing man.

My birthday wish also goes beyond my understanding of God, life and everything in between. I want to keep experiencing life... and I mean really experience life. I want to not just live... I want to be always alive. I want to feel it on such a deep level. I don't want it to just scratch my skin. I want it to penetrate into my soul. I don't just want to reach out with my fingers. I want to reach out with my spirit. Everything that is me wants to reach out and touch all of God's creations and I want to enjoy His creations and miracles on a level that far surpasses my physical being. I know that I will have to stand in His court one day and I'm sure He'll ask me if I lived... I want to be able to shout out YES! with great joy. I don't want to merely exist! I want my soul to sing...that's living.

On my birthday the most important thing I want to do is thank God. I am really grateful for my Life - For the very gift of each morning, and the privilege and responsibility it is to breathe the breath that God has given me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Past, Future And Changes in Between

It has been said that those who do not remember the past are destined to forget it. And so we all have past that we choose to remember and there are those that we don't want to forget. One needs to be, remembering the past as a means to shaping the future. They're connected. I can imagine the future like I remember the past. I am defined by my entire life. In between the past and the future are changes. Although sometimes, changes that we have to go through may be difficult, they are pivotal moments in what will become the history of our lives. They will lead us in finding the true meaning and purpose of our life.

Going through changes is part of being alive and are inevitable. Trials come when you least expect them. And that was exactly, what had happened to me. I went through life changing moments and painful battle in fighting for my love. The most surprising thing was, I have stayed in that relationship hoping that someday, the effort and the struggles I went through to keep the marriage will be recognized. Ten years passed and things just got bad to worst.

At 34, washed up on the far shore of an intense, profound relationship that awakened negative feelings about myself because of the circumstances I was in, I found myself totally lost from any connection to the deep knowing places within me. Much of that disconnectedness came from years of my contradicting their messages and cutting myself off from their truths as I talked myself out of recognizing the damage I was doing to myself in a stressful relationship. (Damage that, from this distance of time and growing, I still wonder if they were absolutely necessary prelude to the process of changing my life.) Before that unfulfilling relationship, I had never "lost myself" nor known either the depth or the source of the self-doubt in my otherwise self-accepting and self-valuing life.

During those times in the black pit of despair, the "hatchet lady" inside me slashed away and struck down something about myself that I ordinarily treasured or valued. Each time I would, for some time, be left in profound loneliness, I doubted that maybe all my generally good opinion of myself was based on lies, shams and distorted vision. At 34(!!!), I was dwelling completely in the middle of the deep, dark pit. I was immersed as well in more intense grief than I could have imagined possible; grieving the end of what had been, a profound love that had become a siamese-twin symbiosis that I used to believe was so much worth fighting for.

For years I have struggled alone, to extricate myself from that enmeshment; to let go of the relationship that, born in the only deepest loving relationship I had ever known, had become a prison and torment to me. Except for those hours that I worked (as Regional Operations Manager of a big chain of wholesale/retail company), I spent my time in anguish: crying endlessly, feeling totally devastated, finding no hand holds with which to begin the climb up out of the black hole in which I found myself.

The magic that had always been an integral part of my life had disappeared and I had a hard time reconnecting with it. Yet, somewhere along the way of those years, a glimmer of the old magic brought me to find ways to get out of my misery. I wanted freedom! I also started pursuing things that I enjoy doing and had somehow filled the void I felt inside. I started travelling to different places, I went scuba diving, took my daughters to vacations on summer. It was not too long before I realized that I was more capable of giving myself and not rely on somebody else for my happiness, I can do whatever makes me happy on my last, I had my freedom!

It was not an overnight journey though. Always and in cycles, there seemed to be some layers rising up into the open space: more old feelings to be felt and released. But unlike the me of-the-past, I no longer need to make sense of the whys and where-froms of these torrents of emotion that overtake me. Sometimes images and memories came with the feelings; sometimes just the inchoate feelings by themselves. Yet, always, given the soft, safe space to be in the midst of their storms, I came through to the other side. There the sun always shines, I felt refreshed and I have more of me to create from. I felt the chest-full-to-bursting, heart singing joy of being in the middle of so much beauty and wonder.

In the midst of the now very far hard times, sometimes I find myself excited about feeling awful - because, in the middle of it all, I know I'm still coming home to the all of me.

The silent voice of "loving myself" behind my mind and it's words and messages, the gentleness and kindness to self that it continually urges, the acceptance of all feelings and all body knowings that I hold so central to all wisdom - these rememberings and celebrations of my woman-self had slowly and gradually transformed me. They've become, through practice, a part of my daily vocabulary for reminding myself that I am a special person. They've transformed my relationship with myself, with my life and with the whole sacred circle of life. No longer whispers in the heart, these messages have become a bone and cell deep thrumming that keeps me whole, alive, expanding and vitally aware of the never ending rivers of magic and wonder in every "ordinary" moment of my life: in my aging 45 year old, temporarily very able body and in all the richness of my feelings, joyous and painful. No matter what mistakes, blunders, "unevolved" feelings, no matter what painful images or memories or painful feelings emerged, I am always reminding myself that they are things of yesterday, they helped me become a strong woman again.

Looking back at the past now, I am so grateful that one day I woke up to see & realized that there's more to life than what I have known. I chose to step out of the prison I helped made for myself and felt the walls became sand beneath my feet.

The whole "coming-out-in-the-world" process has been delightful, magical, playful and exciting. It all comes with total mental decision. The immense energy guides me sweetly and gently in the time, form and direction of each next step. I found other things that makes my life more exciting. I play golf, I travel, I take photos, smell the flowers, feel the air in my nostril, laugh at myself and at the end of the day, I am always giving back all the credits to God who is the Architect of our lives.

In the midst of my busy schedule; pursuing my passions, my life and as mother to 2 wonderful daughters, always there are great stretches of time for rest and stillness. It seems the most profound feeling, this listening in and following the urgings that flow from this discovery and my own deeps. I hope only and always that all unfolds only as fast as the slowest part of me wants to go. And, I will work hard so that the unfolding always happens in harmony with my commitment to live simply and uncomplicated in the "freedom lane", gracefully embracing and be resilient to whatever changes that I may go through in this life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wrinkles, Gray Hair & Love

I would never trade my loving family, my amazing friends, my wonderful life, for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become very comfortable of and being less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cake or cup of ice cream sometimes, or for buying that extra camera. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to splurge on something.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they they even enjoy the fruit of their labor or understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until the wee hours of the morning or sleep in the middle of the day? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 70 & 80's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful.

But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or when somebody broke their promise? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair starts turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.

I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like getting old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall enjoy life to the fullest and live the bliss of love that only two people truly in love could ever share.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Some Thoughts About Life

I have always thought that I am a free spirited woman. Someone whose definition of a free spirited as one who isn't weighed down by the troubles of everyday life, is always herself regardless of the situation and live life to the fullest. Not restricted by other people's opinions, still smiles when things aren't going too well, taking a positive outlook on life and trying to make the most of it, my spirit isnt damped by little things in life... In short, free-spirited in a positive context.

What does it mean to be free spirited person? A question I've been reflecting for a while now...

As I said I've always thought that I was a free spirited woman. But in the last few days, I've come to realize that being a free spirited person does not come at a price that will cause you to lose in ways where the costs brings forth pain and suffering. Or from a place where I feel that I don't have the courage and strength to go deep within myself and really look at who I am, face the pain(s) and address them.

Could it be that most people define being a "free spirited person" from what the world and what most of society deems as being a free "spirit"?

The Spirit and soul are not to be confined. It is inevitable that we will meet and have relationships with each other. Some will stay for a long time....many will stay for a short while.

I understand that many people have their definitions as to what it means to be a free spirited being. So I'm going to ask those of you who are reading this blog few questions.

After reading and answering my questions, if you can answer them honestly, about where you are as being a free spirited person, and none of the ways that I've asked is how you truly live, then keep living freely. If you can answer these questions honestly, and see that you're living as to the questions I've asked in any way, then keep pushing and striving to break the chains that keep you locked and bound.

Do you manipulate, lie, abuse, judge, contradict, criticize, abnegate responsibilities to and of yourself and others? Do you lack integrity and compassion, lack integrity to admission, unfairly treat and favor one over the other? Do you live in the past and hold grudges, disdain, ambivalence and indignance towards yourself and others? Do you blame others for your actions and choices that can be hurtful to yourself and others? Do you act and/or react with anger, volitility, hostility and/or rage when you feel upset? Do you withdraw and withhold feelings of love and comfort even when you see others in pain? Do you minimize and/or invalidate others' feelings and experiences? Do you not love, respect, honor, and accept yourself for who you are and where you are today?..........

My opinion is, if you do any behaviors, which causes strife and stress in your life and the lives of others, that's not being a free spirited person.

Knowing that we are all human beings, we are all far from being perfect. But by admitting our imperfections, shortcomings and faults, we will attain freedom and it takes a lot of courage to do!

I know we all face triumphs and challenges everyday. We all have our journeys and expreriences in our travels; lessons to learn from and lessons to teach to others.

If we can learn to let go of fear and judgement of others, reflect love, understanding, patience, peace and acceptance of each other and our experiences, we can all become free.

Knowing that life is very short, when we die and leave this world, we all know that it is our souls/spirits that will continue to live and exist.

I respect people have there own ideas, ideals and opinions. I may agree, or I may not.

The bottom line is whether I, we agree, disagree,like or dislike each other and our views and opinions, I do believe that we can still respect and validate each other's experiences and feelings. So if you agree or disagree with everything I've said and asked, I respect that is how you think and feel. I respect that.

Having the ability and the confidence in yourself, your views and/or opinions, and not underestimating or invalidating others and their views and/or opinions, is a wonderful and attractive character attribute to have. That is being a free spirited; being able to acknowledge and recognize people for their individuality, feelings and opinions, allowing them to express without judging them and still respect them even if they don't agree or accept what you say and believe is what it means to live freely.

My last question is...should we be living as free spirited-persons or should we be striving and pursuing to become and live as free SPIRITED BEINGS?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rambling Of A Barren Heart

I wandered through this life losing my faith in love
My trust had been betrayed, I walked with my head down
Until that day I met you and you turned my life around
Rescued me from loneliness and helped me find my dream...

I learned to feel a passion that I thought exist no more
That was the day I cherished because I finally found
The one I’d always love and build my life around
Did you know that I believed you were my destiny?

But quickly as we came we soon had disappeared
Our time would finally end and we had to say goodbye
I was so lost, don’t know how it all went wrong
But how was I to know; perhaps I never will...

I cried a thousand tears and softly spoke your name
The time we spent together was the time I’d never trade
Your love wasn't as deep just not enough for us to last
I have to go away and leave you from my heart...

I closed my eyes and said my last goodbye
I do wish your life would be like dawn
Full of brightness, strength, warmth & hope
I just need to go; stay away from you forever...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Depth Of Field

I am almost halfway finished with my Photography class for Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera. My daughter Michelle & I enrolled in this class because I just bought a Canon 5 SDII camera and I want to know more about depth of field, resolution, composition, macro photography & more. I gave michelle my rebel XT and I am so glad she is also enjoying our class. I am looking forward to more of our mother-daughter bonding through this new found hobby that we both really enjoy. I am going to share here the photographs I took during our class' shooting sessions & some of my local trips around our area. This week our topic is about depth of field. These are photos I took in our yard, around our neighborhood in Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland and other suburb of Washington DC. Enjoy your tour!

The Historic Occoquan

my classmate


The Front Royal Golf Course

St. Michael Island, Maryland

a barn

Blooms in our garden:
a flower of a Dogwood tree

Wisteria flower


Different varieties of Azalea

African Marigold

Now that I understand few of the many things that my camera can do, I am excited to learn more about it and I want to have skills to make it work the way I want the actions or images to be captured. I have learned that there is more to photography than just using the automatic setting of our camera...