All I can say...is you can't make this shit up! this is just so ironic with my confliction! LOL Burn them all I say! Here take mine! The last few weeks have been filled with such ironic issues I have to laugh. This helped.
Today was a co-workers dad's funeral. Many of us from the Department went to support him and his family. The church is downtown only about 6-9 blocks away, and I decided to walk with a group and sadly barely handled the walk. I hurt SO bad by the time I got to the church I was only thinking of my feet! That walk should be a not a care in the world walk and it was agony!
As we sat in the church, I sketched a couple of pages...it was a beautiful ceremony for the family, and I thought if you have faith in the church it must be comforting to have this kind of ritual for the death of a loved one. Death never really does make sense to me. When we walked back to work I took a couple of photos of what I want to
work on later...for my journal, some beautiful shots of Silly Hall.
After work WGB and I went and picked up some Chinese food at our fav little place...behind the glass was a poster that said Eat like the Googlers and the Dead...apparently since the Grateful Dead are in town and love them they added a poster! LOL
I think I don't like the Christmas season because I have an issue with organized religion. I like God, I just don't like his fan club, as they say. Actually, in all truth, I don't think I like God at all. I am pretty disappointed in him. My reasons and they are between God and I, and really not up for debate with anyone. I don't throw my beliefs down your throat DON'T throw yours down mine, truly I just don't want to hear it.
It is just that this time of year brings up all sorts of conflicts for me, including those that I feel about religion. I wish I could just be one of those blind sheep, I think that would be easier. But unfortunately being one of the faithful didn't help my life at all, in fact, it hindered it. Only when I left the shackles of some very ancient conflicting fundamental beliefs in the church did I truly gain my freedom and life back. So I tend to get VERY soulful this time of year.
Hum, my boyfriend told me I was, pretty rabid, about how I felt about the church. I guess that kind of really shocked me. I didn't think I talked about religion. But apparently my disappointments have been pretty apparent to the one closest to me. I just don't know if he see's the struggle I have...or if I verbalize it.
I guess I can accept the fact that I am spiritual...but not religious. It is a struggle and it is my struggle.
I usually don't go into religion...and I don't want scathing commentaries on my post...just let me vent my feelings so I can get them out of my body and my mind. My issues have nothing to do with you...unless of course you ARE one of the people that has their finger in the deep reasons and you would know that!
"You don't need organized religion to connect with the universe. Often
a church is the only place you can go to find peace and quiet... But it
shouldn't be confused with connecting with one's spirit." -- Alice Walker
"The belief that becomes truth for me... is that which allows me the
best use of my strength, the best means of putting my virtues into
action." -- Andre Gide
"I cannot hold up any book and say, 'Here. This is what I believe.' I
do not know of any church where I would feel at home. But I do believe
that what people call God refers to something real... I would even go
so far as to say that this God of mine makes demands. To learn, to
teach, to engage. To be aware of and respect the world around me. To
acknowledge that there are things greater then myself and to be humble
in their presence." -- Dan Jackson
"The divine is not something high above us. It is in heaven, it is in earth, it is inside us..." -- Morihei Ueshiba
"It is not by meticulous care in avoiding all contaminations that we
can keep our [spiritual body] clean and give it grace, but by urging it
to give vigorous expression to its inner life in the very midst of all
the dust and heat and hurts." -- Rabindranath Tagore
I tried to get out of it by dancing in the morning, celebrating that I am awake another day! Between the deaths I am dealing with, the pain of my back and head, I was a bit, ehem, pensive and grumpy! You can see the bags under my eyes really good today in the photos...I am tired!
Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch, it was hard hearing this morning that Randy had died today. This is the photo when he trained with the Pittsburgh Steelers, fulfilling another of his dreams last October.
Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer
in September 2006. His popular last lecture at Carnegie Mellon in
September 2007 garnered international attention and was viewed by
millions on the Internet. In it, Pausch celebrated living the life he had always dreamed of instead of concentrating on impending death. "The lecture was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it,
that is wonderful," Pausch wrote on his Web site. "But rest assured;
I'm hardly unique."
I guess there is a part of me that was so inspired by him, and that it gave me hope with my friend battling this disease. And seeing he had died today, with all the death I have been facing this week and change, it just hit really hard. But I will remain inspired by his teaching ... Live Today! Don't let it go by without having fun every day...even if the fun is short lived, find it! I will hold in my heart thanks for Randy sharing his life...bringing to the forefront my views on life.
I was glad to sit and listen to podcasts at my desk about various emotional things today. I can't blame the retiree's, they kept calling and emailing to find out what happened with Patti, and I talked to people I haven't heard from in years! I was glad to listen to these quotes today! To try to focus on the real meaning of my life, not the work I do, that does not define me, but the inner life I have, the connection to life and the people who mean a lot to me. Focus on the good...not the sad and heavy.
Befriend your breathing, surf on the wave of your own breathing! It centers and gives you the gift of the presence! Ride on the waves of the breathe in the issue of the day! Dancing with the actuality brings happiness. Orient yourself to the present moment!
Embrace the full catastrophe of life.
Regret is the only wound that will not heal - live with out regret. Regrets gnaw at you.
It makes me think of my spirituality...not religion, I don't believe in religion...but who I am spiritually. Am I growing? Am I getting it? Am I living it? Am I believing it? What is spirituality? And leaving the fears behind.
And then I played a little too, did some art...and here is Mona Gypsy
We left Santa Nella at 10 am and got to Santa Clarita for a thrift shop at 2:30! Not a bad run at all! We found MANY treasures on our trip...and the best time was had a Zinnia's in downtown Pacedena! Joe who works there was fantastic and was the most memorable and fun time I had the entire trip! A shout out to him! We talked long about the Day of the Dead and myths and the church. So refreshing to meet some one who gets me about this!
We all had great meals and great finds on the trip! We made our Junk Gypsy Necklaces and wore them to dinner where all of us lost some of our hanging things but we will fix them all when we get home! AND you can even see the photo where I hit my head on the ceiling jumping on the bed! Ha! When we got to Gilroy it was 105 degrees! Yikes Welcome Summer! I am so glad I lost that 11 pounds to be able to wear shorts and my jean skirt!
It was sure nice to get home to see the WGB ... I so missed him!
I saw this on a post on the blog of: http://www.queenofcups.org/ for this date and was facinated with it...had to capture it to ponder!
I did a search for "opossum totem" and came across a sermon called Reflections of a Circling Oppossum. The preacher tells of encountering a possum circling in the middle of the road, having been hit. He, like me, moved it off the road. Two weeks later he encountered it again, all skin and bones.
I knew the starved creature, which could barely stand on its weak and wobbly legs needed to be put out of its misery, that it was dying a slow and agonizing death. But how could I do it? I'm not the type to bash a creature's brains out. Besides, the encounter was already making me late for work. I decided to let nature takes its course and leave the animal to its own fate. However, as I began backing the car out, the opossum walked directly to the middle of my long driveway and stopped, almost as if it were intentionally blocking my path. At this point I felt, for whatever reason, the will of the dying opossum, some divine intention and intervention, or Jung's synchronicity of events, that it was my job to kill the animal. I had prevented its inevitable fate two week earlier, and now I had to set things right. I grabbed a five-gallon bucket from the garage and scooped the willing animal into it. I then placed the lid on tightly so the animal would suffocate. When I returned home that evening I dug a hole and buried the dead animal.
I'm still not sure what all this means, if anything at all. But if I look to the way of the opossum, I think I can find some meaning. Opossums, as you may already know, are notorious for "playing dead" when threatened. We even say of other creatures, even humans, who exhibit similar behavior, that they are "playing possum." Opossums, however, aren't playing at all when they appear to die. When frightened the animal's brain and nervous system actually throws the animal into an involuntary catatonic state, during which its heartbeat and respiration are actually lowered. In this state, which may last up to four hours, the animal drools, defecates and its glands emit the musk of death. In this sense then, the opossum becomes a symbol of death and resurrection. There is even a myth amongst the Oceanic peoples that in the beginning a man of the Opossum totem died and later came back as a child. When the child grew up and died a second time he went up to heaven and became the Moon, since the Moon dies and is reborn.
Could this be the secret of my circling opossum? Is this creature who is such an excellent survivor, and one who clings so well, teaching us about the circle of life and death, and that we must not cling to life, that we must learn to let go. The opossum agrees with Jesus who says, "If you cling to life you will lose it." It's and odd paradox, for most of us, including all creaturehood, who cling to life when we are frightened of losing it. The opossum, on the contrary, surrenders to death, and in so doing, returns from its state to live again.
If, in the future, I see another wounded opossum in the road, I will likely again move it to safety. But I will never again do so without thinking of the huge responsibility we all bear toward both life and death. We hear so much in our culture about how sacred life is, how abortion is murder, euthanasia is immoral, and Jack Kevorkian, who seems to have a perpetual opossum-like grin on his face, is a murderer. But the opossum teaches us that facing death is as important as facing life. We cannot complete the circle otherwise. It's not that I'm planning on actually dying, or not dying, anytime soon. But we die in many ways, each time we experience a loss. Out of that death, however, like the opossum we can rise anew if we are willing to let go.