Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the lighter side....

okay, so the post below is pretty darn heavy...
we needed some lighter stuff.

and i've got just the thing!

my friend, mary, did this youtube vid for her friends
and family....figurin' no one else would be interested.
i had to disagree!
oh my gosh! you gotta hear this story!
it so made me laugh!
i think every woman out there can relate to this one....
i love how she does it too.....

go check out mary and the hair whisperer!

blown away.......

a friend sent me the link that i'm about to share with you.
i've been following this blog, but somehow didn't get notified
of this post.

so when i got the nudge, i went over and checked it out.

truly, truly, it's one of the most significant blog posts
i've ever read.

this woman's inner work is so obvious, and what that's given
her is completely stunning to me.

next time i wonder if all this darn inner work is worth it,
i'm gonna think of her, and where she's brought herself,
and how her own transformation, and transformations like hers
are what changes the world.

bowing down to this woman's heart.
go check her out.

Monday, May 30, 2011

more than a picnic....

i find memorial day a complicated 'holiday.'
i really do.

it's not about picnics or celebrating or a whole lot of the stuff i see

i'm not against any of that stuff. i just wonder where the 'real' stuff is.
and no, i don't see what would feel real to me in the shooting off of guns
at arlington cemetery or stuff like that either.

i do like to see the vets riding around on the motorcycles.
i guess it helps me to know that they have a group that understands
each other, knows what they've been thru and supports each other.
but the american flags i see waving from them, usually pulls at my
heart in a sad way. i so wish they were flags of the world.

just last week i sat on my couch with a mom who lost her son to suicide.
he had come back from afghanistan, wasn't coping, and went to a military
hospital that later got closed down as it had so many of its patients
committing suicide.

sit with that thought for a moment.
she will be sitting with it every single moment of her life now.

a friend of mine just lost her husband. he'd been battling some horrible
cancer for years. and finally passed. he's a vet. was exposed to agent

i think back to the funeral the guys and i went to of the young man in
our area who died in the war. we went to show support to the family.
people lined up and down the highway.

i couldn't help but notice that the crowd wasn't the 'harvard' crowd.
i couldn't help but do a lot of thinking about the distribution of
the different economic classes in the military.

i kept wondering what those parents were telling themselves.
were they telling themselves their son died a hero? does that help?
is that what you do to live with it?

my buddy who's an air traffic controller in afghansitan just posted on
facebook about some bomb going off and killing some doctors over there.
when i asked him about it, he said he was pretty numb to it all now. and
that it was watching the little kids pick thru the garbage heaps that
got to him these days.

pick a story, any story....and you'll find pain and suffering and death.

i'm not a complete pacifist. i'm a person with no answers who knows that.
i don't have any answers, but i believe with all my heart that there's
much much much much more we could be doing to find different ways, to
work the world differently.

i have a bone sigh i wrote when someone in my life died.
in my own way, it's my memorial day bone sigh as i wrote it to
honor someone's passing.

weeping and aching, i longed to honor your passing.
i longed to honor your life.
searching everywhere, i found only one answer.
honor myself.
become all that i am.
and carry you inside that beauty.

for my heart, that feels like what memorial day should be about.

wouldn't it just be awesome if on this day we were bombarded with
news of the progress that groups and conferences and committees and
people had made in efforts to find better ways to resolve conflict,
to understand cultures and hatred? what if this was the day for the
yearly report and all these groups worked all year to bring something
to the table? wouldn't that be such an honoring!

one of the things that sits heavy on my mind is that the military
is a way out of a rough home life for so many kids. it's a way for
them to have a life they couldn't have otherwise. it's a way to belong,
and feel confident.

to me, that's shameful that that is all we have to offer them.
what if we offered those same benefits to young people with the purpose
of having them join groups to find other ways to solve world problems?
i don't think you have to be a harvard graduate for that. i think you
need to be trained in an open mind, creativity, understanding, openness,
thinking outside the box. trained in that stuff. can you imagine an
intense training in that? the 'be all you can be' slogan would make a lot more

what if that was the group some of these people with no way out joined?
what if that was the place they found the things they were looking for?
and in the process, helped the whole?

i know.....i know......i can dream all i want.
but see, for me, that's what memorial day is.
a time to hold all this pain and dream what we could do, what we could have.
and start talking out loud about it.

because, to me, in doing that, i'm honoring all that pain and suffering and death.

i'm not just having a picnic.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


i knew it was gonna be a good bike ride before i even got to the bike trail.

driving over, all alone in the car, i was grinnin' from ear to ear.
i kept checkin' my rear view mirror to make sure my bike was stayin' where
it was sposed to.

it was my first ride out with my new bike rack.
i grinned.
'this is my very own car.' i said in my head...with the intonations of a six year old.
'that's my very own bike.' i continued.
'and i'm goin' for a bike ride all by myself.'
truly, there are times my six year old just takes over.
and it feels sooooo good sometimes.

i thought of how totally awesome it was to be goin' off by myself in my very own car
with my very own bike.

this car is the first and only car i've ever bought with my own money.
okay, so the bike was a gift. along with the bike rack. (and yes, i have an
incredibly generous partner!) but they were mine!

i drove down to the bike trail.
the drive is beautiful.
i pass the road where bob's new land is.
where the goddess tree is. (the white oak)
and i look at the road sign.
'bumpy oak road'

i grin.
that's just too amazing, i think.
it's the perfect name for the road to my tree.
will i really end up living there i wonder
and i keep driving.
i stop quick as i see a kid runnin' towards the road.
his skateboard went right out in the middle of it.
it's a busy road.
i stopped, made sure i wasn't gonna get rear ended and
smiled big at the kid.
he smiled back and grabbed his board.

he was absolutely beautiful.
i guess that he comes from a mixed family as his coloring
was so gorgeous.
i grin and start up again.

getting out at the trail, i was so excited.
this was my first time there all alone.
i've always been with the guys.

i so wanted a solo trip.
just to soak in the place.
it truly is absolutely beautiful there.

i'm so grateful to it as it has reminded me how beautiful maryland
really is. i had just about forgotten. or figured it was just pretty
at a state park here and there.

and then i discovered this whole great big hunk of maryland that felt
like it was mine. and it's gorgeous.

i started riding and just couldn't soak it in fast enough.
the colors.
the colors.
the colors.

what is with me and the colors, i wonder?
colors have been hitting me so deeply lately.
what is with that???

there's little streams and creeks, a pond with hundreds and hundreds of
lilies blooming, there's hills of ferns, wildflowers that just sway
and dance, i saw a big black snake rear up and look at me, dragonflies
flitting all over the place, and trees and trees and trees.

i ride right by bob's land. i can see the border of it. i look over
and smile. and wonder where all that will lead.

some of the ride is pleasant and nice, some of it is so darn pretty,
and some of it actually feels sacred to me.
there are spots where there's this sacred feeling just kinda oozin'
out of the place and wrapped all in the trees.

i wonder about that.
what makes some spots feel that and others not?

and i soak and soak and soak it all up.

by the time i'm done, my body is done. it's soaked up all it could
and ready to get off that darn bike seat.

i load up my bike, hop in my car and drive home.
driving thru the neighborhood i grin.
'this is my neighborhood.'
'this is my street.'
'this is my very own house.'

the six year old hasn't left.

the guys are out.
all is quiet.

the fridge is full.

sitting down with some watermelon and peach soup
i have a feeling that i am the luckiest person in the world
and there is nothing i lack.

grabbing my cup of water, i toast my life.
then get up to grab some more food.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


money is a weird weird thing.

and i think being an entrepreneur on my own, i've gotten to
see it in a whole new way than when i was a stay at home mom
married to a guy bringing home a paycheck from a steady job.

there's so many different angles to it.
and the steady paycheck with the steady job only showed some
of them. the choice to not work, and to live on the one income.
all that stuff. it gave me one angle.

but the never knowing how much money you're gonna have,
the supportin' the guys when they were younger, the meeting
of people of all incomes thru your business, the incredibly
tight times, the times when there's extra to spare.

i feel like it's all given me a whole different perspective.

one i needed.
one where i've learned so much.
and yeah, one where there's still so much to learn.

and i had NO IDEA how much i equate success with money.

i said that.
which is amazing to even me.

but it's not the obvious you have a nice car, nice house,
you're successful. it's more you can feed everyone, get the
extras that slip in during the days, and get something if you
want it.

so the scale's a bit lower than you'd think.

but i've had to wrestle with ego a lot thru this journey.
much more than i ever woulda guessed.

i haven't gotten it down.
i have to admit it.
i still have way too much ego tied up in it all.

it's hard for me to believe.
it's not that i want to keep up with the neighbors (thank goodness
i live in a blue collar community! that helps!) it's that i want
to not have to have the whole topic a subject that comes up with

or at least....that's what i thought.

until this morning.

it's always been awkward. and hard. and embarrassing.

and then this morning, in an email conversation with a friend who's
got some money, i saw what a fascinating topic it really is.

she has her own problems with dealing with having a lot of it.

her story's an entrepreneur's dream.
i live in a house of entrepreneurs.
we love stories of people who've made it big with their businesses.
those things fuel us and encourage us and keep us dreaming.

so her story thrills me.
and yet, she has to be comfortable in knowing how i'll be with that deal.

so this morning as i read her note, i thought about what an important
topic this is.
how this topic really really needs to get talked about more.

i thought of another friend of mine who has money.
it took her awhile to kinda let me in on that as she was worried
how i'd feel.
when she told me i laughed with delight and told her i thought it

i like money.
i wish we all had tons of it.
every single one of us!

and look at this....we don't talk about all the strings involved.
all the good stuff, all the hard stuff.
and i know for a fact it's not the money that needs to be talked of.

it's the feelings AROUND the money.
the feelings of self worth - which interestingly enough show up on
both ends of the spectrum! it's the feelings of being judged -
on both ends! it's the FEELINGS.

never the things.
always the feelings.

and this morning it was like a door opened.
i don't want to be embarrassed about talking about it anymore.
i don't want to squirm about it.
wonder what someone's thinking.

i want to explore with that someone.
ask how they feel about it.
have they ever experienced this or that.
tell them how i've seen stuff in me i didn't even know i had.
and wonder if i'd feel that if i had money.


a door opened today.
and i'm so grinnin' about it.

it's a whole huge topic of life.
it's about time it became one for me.

and that in itself just feels so darn good.

Friday, May 27, 2011

peelin' layers, openin' the can, and throwin' the cover over my head...


i could hear little terri throwin' a fit inside me.

i'll go walk and listen.
i'll go see if i can peel a layer off of it all
and see what's up.

i don't know how i wandered into it, but i opened a whole
darn can of worms.

you know how they say that we keep reliving the same story
over and over and it's our job to change that?

first of all, i never liked that theory.
it's too unnerving.
i mean, seriously....that's a freaky thought.
throw in we don't know about it, we're unaware, we're comfortable
with it, it's our default.....it makes for really unnerving stuff.

second of all, we're too tricky for this kinda stuff.
it can look really beautifully like we broke the string
of stories. like we changed things...but we're pretty slick.
so slick we don't even know how slick we are.

i mean, seriously, you look at my life and you'd nod right along
in agreement with me that i've stepped outta the story line.

but i guess what's so tricky is the layers upon layers upon layers.

you can step out of it in one layer, but not the next one down,
or the next three down.

i thought i 'broke' the good girl story line when i took my life back
at the complete disapproval of my family.

yeah. on one layer.

but i saw the good girl this morning crying and stamping her feet
and really really upset cause she wasn't getting what she wanted.

soooo she's still inside of me.
and she's still tryin' to be good enough to get what it is she really

this so threw me.

and then.....go even deeper than that.....

growin' up i had the brothers that were the problems. they took
the attention and the good girl waited her turn.

hmmmmmm......it didn't work so well.
i never did end up with what i wanted.

thing is....the 'difficult' ones who needed all the attention didn't
get what they wanted either. you can't get what you want in
a negative way.

seems like a law of the universe or something.

and if being 'good' doesn't get you what you want....then what???


is there an underlying belief that you just won't ever get what you want?
that there is no way to be - good or bad - neither work????

i walked and felt this whole big thing opening up inside of me.


i saw an instant replay of my childhood goin' on in one of the parts
of my life.


this is what those darn psychology books are talkin' about.

i hate it when i'm a text book example.
i just hate that.
i like to think i'm different, more advanced than a textbook case.
laughin' here.....
yeah, right.

we're all human.
we've all got this goofy psychology stuff goin' on.
and we all want to be loved.
and we've all been smooshed in the love department somehow.

i see stuff for the first time ever.
i really really see it.

but what the heck do i do with it?????

maybe THAT'S the real part of the story we have to change....
the bottom line.

if i really believe (and i don't know yet) that it doesn't matter
what you do, you won't get what you want.....then THAT's the part
that i need to change. all other stories will follow.

if i believe you have to be a good girl to even get close to getting
what you want.....i have to look at that and change it.....and
all the stories will follow that.

and no, i don't know how to change that stuff.

i don't even know what my bottom line beliefs are.

but i just opened the door to it all.
and well....i think that counts for a lot.
so maybe this is when i throw a little 'trust the process' in to the mix.
trust the process, keep on looking, and thru it all.....
show yourself compassion and love.

cause somehow it's the self love that will lead you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

me and e.e.

i have this little poster that my mom gave me when i was a teenager.
it got stashed in my attic at some point and got all rained on or
something...which gives it this great wrinkly character. i love
the looks of it now. old, wrinkled and charactered hmmmm...
perhaps i relate.....

i had dug it out and hung it on my studio door not too long ago.
it's a quote from e.e. cummings and it says 'be of love a little
more careful than of everything.'

i have had this thing for seriously....about 35 years.

and i've been eyeing it lately and wondering about it.
haven't been comfortable with it. keep squinching my eyes
and thinking something isn't right.

then this morning, while i was on the treadmill, i looked over at
it and thought 'okay, that's got to go.'

cause while i love e.e. and think he's brilliant....i think he missed
the mark on this one. and yes, i get the point and understand he
was trying to say something important.

but still....i think he totally missed the mark.
and that feels real daring for terri st. cloud to say e.e.cummings

but i think he did.

cause it's not love you have to be careful with.
i don't even think it's who you give love to you have to be careful

cause i'm thinking we should be giving it everywhere to everyone
in any place we can.

it's not the 'love' part that we have to be careful with.

and i've been thinking about this a lot lately.

i have said over and over and over again that i'm not real good
at love. that i want to be so much better. and sometimes i
really seriously seriously wonder if i can do a real relationship.
sometimes i'm just not sure i'm up to the task.

i'm not real good at this love stuff.

people rush to correct me.
and i wish they wouldn't.
cause i have a point.

i understand i have a good heart, and i understand that i can be
loving easily.

but LOVE is so different than being loving.

it's a total and true opening of the heart.
it's a total and true allowing and accepting.

i have a lotta fear.
a lot of it.
and it gets in my way a lot.

i think the quote should be 'be of fear a little more careful
than of anything.'

i have another quote hangin' over my door....
it says 'there is no remedy for love but to love more.'

that one makes SO much more sense to me.

when i goof at love, i start to close down.
self doubt.
not love.

and that only makes things worse.

what makes it all better is when i open again,
when i step back into love.

THAT quote hits really right.

i just tossed my 35 year old poster in the trash.

and i'm grinnin'.

it's been quite a 35 years to get terri st. cloud
to say e.e. had it wrong...and i'm not gonna be more
careful about love than anything...

my hope/dream/plan is to swim with abandon in it
and sprinkle it everywhere i go.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

it's about time.....

so a quote from 'the prophet' came up yesterday.
i read it and thought '0kay, it's time i really read this guy.'

i was pretty sure i had that book on my shelf.
someone had given it to me when i was a teenager!
a million years ago.....and i still had it! and i found it on the shelf...
and yeah...it looks like it's from a million years ago.
yellow and aged...just waiting for me to check it out.

so i've been dabblin' in it a bit this morning.
my gosh. i think this one's gonna stay at my elbow for a long time now.

i got this little tid bit in the self knowledge section -

'and seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
for self is a sea boundless and measureless.
say not, "i have found the truth," but rather, "i have found a truth."
say not "i have found the path of the soul."
say rather, "i have met the soul walking upon my path."
for the soul walks upon all paths.
the soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
the soul unfolds itself, like a louts of countless petals.'

flat on the floor.

a little piece of heaven

all my life when something really hit me as wonderful,
i would think 'i know this is gonna be part of heaven.'
i've always loved going barefoot. loved it. and as a teenager
i remember being sure that the glory of bare feet would be in heaven.
i would think of that a lot as i felt the world under my skin.

somehow it was my way of marking the really really good stuff.

my concept of heaven has changed a whole lot.....
but still, i have those thoughts when i experience the really really good stuff.

and so yesterday, as i watched them sitting together on my couch,
the heaven thought popped into my mind.

girlfriends and the love between them.
that's got to be part of heaven.

there is nothing else like it.
and i totally revel in watching it.

she was leaned back, settled in, looking over at her friend,
listening to her talk. her face held such warmth and love.
i noticed the way her head was turned and how even in the way
she held her head, i could feel the attention and caring she had
for her friend.

and then, when it was her turn to talk, i saw the same returned.

one reached over at one point and held the other's hand. she patted
her friend's hand and looked at her friend as she told me about how
much she loved her.

guys can't do this.
just try to picture it for one minute and it makes you laugh.
uh uh. just doesn't work.

and what a shame.
because it's one of the most incredible things ever.

they included me in their hearts with ease and warmth.
and the sharing that happened is also what heaven must be made of.

and what's funny about that thought is that the sharing was about hard stuff.
really hard stuff.

how could that be any relation to heaven in my mind??

the trust, the love, the caring, the support, the encouragement,
the compassion......THAT'S the stuff that was floating all over the
room. being poured all over the hard stuff.

that's the stuff that keeps you going.

at one point, setting a dish down on the kitchen table, i stopped,
and seriously looked at them. 'how on earth do any relationships work?'
i asked them. this male/female stuff has me bewildered.

and i think when they do work, part of what saves them and keeps them going
is the behind the scenes interactions of women friends. the laughing and
joking, the crying and venting.....all of it.

i know, that for my own self, i can return to my relationship stronger,
refreshed, and more open, just because i had this time with women friends.

i can return to my whole life stronger, refreshed and more open.

i speak of girlfriends often here.
i think maybe because i really really do think they're a little piece of heaven.
and i'm so grateful to experience that piece.

yesterday i felt like i got a double dose.
i got to witness something sacred between two friends,
and i got to be included in it and embraced by it.

who knew it was so cool to be one?
i know now.
and am so grateful........

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

all because of a sentence.....

it was just an offhanded sentence.
one that coulda been skipped over easily.
but it landed in my face.

'huh.' i said.

'what's the huh?' he asked.

and i pointed out how profound his sentence was.
and how i had been operating from a sea of discouragement.

not everywhere in my life, mind you.
but in an important area.
heck, they're all important.
operating from a sea of discouragement in ANY area isn't good.

and i thought of 'the secret' stuff.
i'm figurin' everyone knows of that stuff by now....
from that movie 'the secret' -
'your thoughts become things' kinda theory.

this is what they're talkin' about.
operate from a sea of discouragement, get a sea of discouragement back.
this is exactly what they're talkin' about.


oh man.

more work.


but this.......this is the kinda stuff you GOT to do.
this is the kinda work that turns hard stuff into golden stuff.

discouragement is gonna happen.
i look at me with bone sighs.
i look at me with anything that i believe in.

just cause i believe in it doesn't mean i don't get discouraged.

and that's okay.

i can't stop that.
it's gonna happen.

and i think it's important i show myself some compassion for that.
there's reasons that i land there.
and those reasons usually call for compassion.

so, okay.
i did that.
i've landed there.
landed smack in the sea of discouragement.
and i've shown myself some compassion.

thing is......
here's the difference between the men and the boys, girl.

you don't stay there.
you have to sit with yourself and figure out what you really really really
believe and what you really really want.

and then you have to KNOW....just KNOW you're making it happen.

bone sighs is such a good example of this for me.
how many times have i landed in the hard stuff and just got stuck??
and then the only way i get out is to KNOW that what i'm doing is right
and what i need to be doing and i just have to keep on going.

it's that knowing part.

it's the knowing part that gets you to stand up again even when
you think you just can't.

it's the knowing when you can't see.
that's the part that matters so much.

knowing when you can't see.

have you got that?
and just forgotten?
then remember it.
recall it.
remind yourself about it.
if you've got that, then get the heck up, girl.....

and as you're getting up, give thanks to the universe that you've got the
knowing.......cause that means you've got something pretty darn awesome
in your life. even if it is a complete discouragement at the moment!

drop the discouragement, and hold the awesomeness.......

and keep on moving forward.....

Monday, May 23, 2011

a smokeless smoke break

since i seem to have been hangin' out in the world of opposites lately,
i guess it's fitting that both life and death were on my mind this morning.

doin' my thing on the treadmill, i felt how good it felt to just be moving
a bit. how alive it felt. and then i thought of someone who's been fighting
cancer for awhile now and how feelin' alive on the treadmill isn't something
that's goin' on in her life these days.

i got how lucky i was.

she's on my mind a lot. and that right there puts a lot in perspective for me.
and life and death come into my mind once again.

and then walkin' this morning, everything was so still. so quiet.
almost other-worldly like.

it felt as if i was walkin' up the street to heaven.
i grinned as i looked at my neighborhood.......i wasn't IN heaven....
but it was like walkin' up the road to get there.
everything quiet, still, and something in the air asking me over and
over about how i've chosen to live.

i pictured a group of people hangin' in a circle up the road a bit.
it'd have some of the big names in saints and gods and awesome cool beings.
they'd be hangin' in a circle - you know - like a smoke break. only no one
would be smokin'.

i pictured walkin' up to them and facing them.

their eyes looking at you with the question of 'what have you done with
your days?'

gently, non-judging -
wondering if i got what a gift it was.

what would that feel like to face them???
and even try to answer that......

i walked, looked at the sky, at the still still morning and thought about living.
thought about the day ahead.

i don't think it's that i have to DO anything.....you know, like save the world,
or anything like that.

i think it's that i have to hold the day as a gift.
that's it.

which means hold any hurt, any sorrow, any pain right along with holding
the silly and the fun and the happy right along with holding the
mundane and ordinary. and knowing it's like one big stew. you need all
the ingredients. and they all matter.

hold that.
that's what you need to do with your days, ter.

hold that as the gift that it is.

if you did that, ter...that'd be awesome cool.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

spinning winds....

i mentioned 'the quest' yesterday.
how it hasn't gone away.

'of course it hasn't' he answered right away.

he knew.
i didn't.

that happens a lot.
he knows things a lot quicker than i do.

but i've been thinking about it lately.

there's been this intense hunk of time where there's been such
a tremendous mix of loss and gain, of love and struggle,
happiness and frustration, peace and conflict...it's been
oppoosites...and intense opposites.
and i feel like i've gained so much and well.....'lost' isn't
the right word.....'left behind' seems to fit better.
left behind so much.

truly, my head's been spinning.

kinda like there's this crazy cyclone inside of me right now.

and, well, today i'm thinking that's exactly what needs to be there.
that i really do know, but don't understand how, it's related to
that darn quest of mine.

and instead of fighting with the cyclone,
i'm gonna let it spin me where it needs to.

this is a new feeling.

instead of fighting the winds.....just let 'em blow, ter.....

cause i have a feeling i need to be moved somewhere.

i made this deal years ago with the universe....
that i'd pay attention more. that i didn't need the kicks in the face
to move....that i'd move when i felt the tides or the winds changing.

um.....i think i kinda forgot that recently.

and i tell ya, the winds are changing.

and i don't need a kick in the face.
the cyclone is enough to get my attention.

and i'm gonna go with it.

i wonder what that means???
i wonder where it lands???

Saturday, May 21, 2011


okay, i'm gonna have to look up roses.
see what they symbolize.
cause all of a sudden, i'm noticing them.

and today, i found myself with a little extra time.
i decided to walk down to the grocery store and just
enjoy the day and get a goodie.....

wandering home, i passed a house i pass every morning
on my walks. and there, bam, in front of my face
was the most beautiful rose bush.

i have never seen so many roses on one bush before.
i stopped and just looked at them.

apparently i've been missing these in the morning.

just a tad further down their yard (near the street,
so i could still look without being intrusive) was
another rose bush....not as many roses by far, but
close enough i could lean up and smell them.

and i did.

and right there....that one whiff......
it was like the world stopped.

it was like every drop of goodness, every taste of heaven,
everything right was in that one whiff.

for one instant there was nothing but good.

i thought of a friend who was struggling who i had no
way of helping.

if i could just give her one gigantic whiff of this rose
for her to carry around with her right now....

nah, i guess that doesn't work, does it?

forget the problem with packaging....
it's that first moment. that first moment of the whiff.

you can't hang on to the first moment.
of anything......

and that's what's so precious about them.

and that's what's so hard about living sometimes....

maybe the trick is knowing all the moments count as much
as that first glorious one...
even the hard ones......

my own compass

we stood in a circle talking.
we were early for the movie and we just hung out and caught up.
i was glad bob was there.
our friend had so much stress inside of him and bob would understand some of
the causes of his stress. i figured bob would have some answers for him.
they dealt with the same kind of problems at work. and it looked like it
was getting the best of him. he'd rant a little, and i'd glance over at
bob and he'd be calmly nodding. he totally knew the deal.

then i'd look to bob for wisdom, he'd shrug his shoulders, say it's hard,
and he had no answers.

prolly cause there aren't any.

sometimes there just aren't any.

or.....you might have to find your own. no one can give you any.

or......there's only one answer.......and you just don't know how to do it -
'release and let go.'

i watched the stress in my friend and wondered about life. wondered about how
we handle it. wondered about the answers. thought a lot about the 'release
and let go' technique...and how that's so hard sometimes...

and then we curled in to watch capt'n jack do his thing up on the movie screen.
i tell ya, that character delights me to no end. (capt'n jack in the pirates of
the caribbean series).

someone just mentioned to me they wanted to marry johnny depp. i laughed. no interest
there for me......but now.........drinking with capt'n jack does appeal.
and i don't even drink. so that says a lot.......

i laughed and delighted in him and forgot the world.

it was a total escape that i loved.

coming back to my world i see the 'stuff' again.
friends with very real and difficult things they have to deal with,
my heart a bit heavy with some of its own stuff,
the gorgeousness all around me, along with the pain.
the joys and cool things happening.
the whole darn mix.

i'm back now......to 'reality' wishing i had a compass like capt'n jack has....
sometimes i think i need one.
and then i remember.....i've actually got one......built right in.

right inside of me.

right now it's pointing downwards....down inside of me.
telling me to go a little deeper this weekend.
that i need the depth right now.....


gonna dive in those seas of mine and see what i can find......

Friday, May 20, 2011

that estrogen presence...

we gathered.
it'd been too long.
she'd just got back from a family thing.
'how'd it go?' i asked her first thing.

she leaned back and said 'i was compassionate and polite.'

i laughed, leaned back too, and said 'that counts for a whole whole lot.'

and having just lived this myself, i nodded with great understanding.
there was chatter and jokes and stories of her gathering.
there was seriousness and a whole lot of laughing.

turning to our other friend, we asked about some of her stuff.

'compassionate and polite' came up again.

i laughed hard.

man, was it good to be sitting in their energy again.

apparently i was grinning at one of them across the table.
just grinning at her, soaking her up.
she commented on it.

'i've missed you.' i said.

sometimes i honestly forget how much i need to sit with real
live estrogen.

i watched myself.
it was like all this tight stuff inside of me just relaxed.

with the guys, i can only show them so much. they're my sons.
they see enough tears. and i'm okay with that as they've
learned much compassion thru it. and they've learned a lot
about living and life.
but they're my sons. and there needs to be boundaries.
i know that, and keep them.

with my girlfriends.......i could just sink into them.
i didn't need to take care of them. i didn't need to edit
anything i said.
and the funny thing is, i didn't tell them a whole lot.
but i knew i could if i wanted to.

what i wanted today was their stories, their energy, their presence.

i think we forget sometimes just how important 'presence' is.

i soaked theirs up this morning....

i don't think i'd be able to survive without women in my life.......

holding the process

it was one of those afternoons....
the final straw that just kinda hit too hard or something.

there's been 'stuff' mixed in the good for a few weeks.
and each piece of that stuff had felt pretty big.
i was surprised i had been holding it as well as i had.

and then...well..i wasn't holdin' anything well.
i sat out in my back yard and cried.
then got up to do some yard work.

zakk popped his head out to say hello and i couldn't even
speak. i tried to hide how i was feeling, but knew that if
i opened my mouth i'd just fall apart.
so i mumbled and nodded and couldn't look him in the
eyes and totally blew any kinda hiding i had hoped for.
he stepped all the way out the door and looked at me
and showed me he cared.

'i'm just a mess right now,' i told him.
'i'll be okay. just gonna work out here a bit.'

'me too.' he said.

he went and got his shoes on and worked in the yard a little
ways from me. but around.

that 'me too' conveyed all the love in the world right there.
and i so cherished his heart.

also amazing is that my friend who's like my adopted mom
called thru this. i thought i'd spare her and not call her back.
but thought better of it. 'she's just who you need, ter.'

and i called her.

she was right there with the 'it's all okay' soothing voice.
with the reminders that change always happens and that's as
it should be and it's okay. with the 'i completely understand'
comments gently thru the phone lines. and the reminding me that
it's all a process and to trust.

she told me of her own stories and her own tears.
i nodded and offered her some of the same stuff back.

i told her stuff i don't tell anyone else.
and she was right there understanding it all and encouraging me
to keep on growing.

i hung up, went to the store and bought food for the guys.
lots of food.
stuff to fill their bellies and it felt good.

tonite the gang's goin' to see capt'n jack in the new pirates movie.
it's gonna be mindless and fun.
and i'm gonna laugh and carry on.
i want to give that back to zakk.
i really do.
i'm gonna make sure i sit next to him and goof with him
and drive him crazy.
it'll be my way of loving him back for last nite....

it's a process, she told me. and it's all okay.
i'm holdin' that today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

feelin' a pull........

just so you know...this even sounds funky weird to me.

i don't even know where to start.

there will be some threads here that have to tie together.

first one i've said before......years and years ago when i first met
bob and we were just buds, he told me that i was on a 'quest.'
and it really ticked me off.
not sure why.
but i didn't like the idea.
but there was a drive there i couldn't deny, and i finally agreed,
that yeah, okay, maybe i was on a quest.

over the years that's shifted and who knows what. but i think it's
kinda always been there in some form or another.
i don't think quests just go away.

lately, it's been kinda bubblin' up more and more in ways that i felt
but just didn't recognize.

it's now talkin' really loudly to me, and i know that there's got
to be some shifting in my life. and i don't even know what that means.
i just feel it.

and i think what makes it 'quest-like' is that it feels like there's
no choice here. it feels like things must shift.

all of this has been fuzzy inside of me.
last nite in talking with my guy, i saw that there were some real
possibilities for us moving further along together.
of course, it's not just up to me, and that has me wondering how it will all go.

but thru the talk it was getting clearer that 'the quest' was pulling.
(what does that EVEN MEAN?? i don't know...i don't have words....)

this morning, on the treadmill, i put on some song zakk had put on my music player.
i was running and listening and got so into this song....
it was about breaking the line and going where you had to go and not being
able to come back...having to move forward...

it was beginning to get really clear to me that that's what i feel like right now.
stronger and stronger as each day passes.

and then as i walked down the street this morning, i saw a guy walkin' my way.
i noticed his walk in the distance.
'what a great walk he's got.' i thought.
it was full of life and zest.
as we passed each other and said our hellos and little small talk,
i was filled with amazement.....

he was like a black stevie ray vaughan (musician, who turned into a symbol for me of
my commitment into my life of finding my passion, of commitment to my quest.)
i kept walking and my mind was racing.
ohmygosh, that was like walkin' by stevie, i kept thinking.
how weird was that?
he even SOUNDED like what i figure stevie would sound like.
and the funny thing??? when i first heard stevie sing, i was absolutely sure
he was a black guy.

i walked just tryin' to hold what i had been feeling, all the jumbled thoughts
that had been in my head about going deeper into where i wanted to go, seeing
'stevie' walk by....and i got up to the end of the street.

oh my gosh.
okay. here's the weird(er) part.

i stood and looked at the trees across the street.
just a few days ago, on my walk, i came to this spot and looked at the trees
and this tremendously strong feeling came over me.
it was too weird to blog about, so i didn't.
but now, i just have to.

it was as if i was being called into this clump of trees.
yeah, i know.
what can i say?
but it was so strong.
i have never felt anything like it before.
i stood there wondering what it was, and i actually felt like i had
to turn and walk away cause i wanted to be pulled in with them so badly.

i walked away thinking i was getting weirder and weirder and left it at that.

later that day, i had some writing to do.
i sat out in my yard to do so.
i was in the middle of it when a great breeze started up.
i looked up at the trees and the exact same feeling came over me.

what IS this?? i wondered.
it was SUCH a pull.
it was like being pulled INSIDE the color.
i soooo wanted to go and i was soooooo afraid to go.

this is why i didn't blog about it.
how do you even describe this and try to tell someone you really aren't on drugs???

i just didn't understand what was going on.
i wrote a bone sigh about it later.
and then let it go.

so this morning, as i stood at the corner looking at the trees again,
i did NOT feel the same thing...BUT i remembered the feeling
and stood there and thought of everything that was goin' on with me the
last few days.

wow. could it really be some kinda 'time' for me to go further? i wondered.
is there really something so deep inside and maybe around me that's calling
me? is that possible???

i'm starting to think it is.
and i'm starting to know that i'm going.

and what does that mean???
i haven't a clue.
just no clue.

except this......
once during a conversation with bob, i expressed concern that i'd 'settle'
and just let life get stagnant. he looked at me with a grin and yet so
serious and said 'there's no way you'll let that happen, ter. there's just
no way.'

i doubted him at the time.

and this morning i'm seeing whatever it is he saw.....
cause i know this.......i gotta follow this pull.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

no easy thing...

mental illness is one funky thing to try to hold and accept and deal with.

first of all, there's soooo many different kinds.......
and then we're not taught about them.
shoot, why is that???
i really feel like mental illnesses should be a standard class.
it's all around us and yet we don't know anything about it.
and it shows up in so many different ways.
so many many many different ways.

in sharing in someone's frustration yesterday, i tried to say that i
was in no way minimizing the pain involved, but that this was in
a different league than just someone being obnoxious. that there was
more here goin' on and that it was important to remember that.

i walked and thought of how i had such a hard time keeping that in mind.
how things hurt and i wanted things to be different and it seems crazy
that it can't be.

that's the point.
it's crazy.
crazy making.

i walked and held that.
held the pain of the stories involved.
i held some other stuff that was hard too.

i thought of the mix of life.
you can't have people without this mix, i thought.

and you can't change it, you just gotta keep workin' on yourself.

and i thought of that....

last nite i looked at my sons after telling them one of the crazy making
stories. and i told them 'the inner work you do has GOT to be for yourself.
it can't be for your ego, it can't be to get other people to see you. it's
GOT to be for yourself. the other just won't work.'

imagine trying so hard to paint yourself red.
you work and you work and you work on it.
and you think that the red is beautiful and people can see it.
you can see it and you can feel it.
and someone comes along and says 'she's so green. she got that from
her father. she's green, and see that black there? that's so her.'

and they say it with disgust and sadness.

you look down at your arms, your legs.....they're red.
you can see it, touch it. you've been workin' on it for years.
you know it's red.

they see green and black. and they not only see different colors,
they see it as a bad thing, where you see good.

did you do the red in the first place for them?

do you do it for them? do you do it for you?
and when you finally finally figure out that their eyes are
sick and they can't see the red, do you fault them for it?
can you fault someone for sick eyes?
or do you offer compassion? even when they're talkin' about
your ugly colors behind your back?

it's gotta be compassion. it's gotta be.
if you never did it for them in the first place,
then you need to step up and offer the compassion.
or your reds really do turn green and black.

but there's gotta be compassion in there for yourself too.
because it's no easy thing to be a beautiful red dancer and
hear the gossip that you're a green and black drag.

and it's no easy thing to hold that it's more than just jealousy
or whatever you had tried to label it with. that there's
mental illness involved and that will never be addressed and a life
will have lived without ever being able to even see red.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a heartfelt thank you to art...

ms. stephey is becoming the queen of blog hops!
and she's inviting any one of you who want to join in to join in!
if you don't keep an eye on this woman, you're gonna want to.
she's a great inspiration!
you can check her out here...

she asked us if we wanted to write a thank you letter to art.
and i tell ya, mine just poured outta me.....

so here goes.....my thank you to art......

dear art....

you have no idea what you've done for me.

you gave me life.
you gave me sanity.
you gave me belief in myself.
you gave me women.

you gave me women.
that's weird huh?
thru you, i found a connection to women that i've never known before.

that's no small thing.
this women connection is vital.
i don't think you can be my age and surivive without it.

it's like you give me life over again and again and again.
in so many different ways.
in so many different forms.

recently, when i didn't know how to hang on,i felt like i'd lose myself
in the storm inside me,
i grabbed the paint and i lost myself in you.
and i found my center.

one of the things i painted was a fire.
and on it i painted the words 'will it burn you brighter?'
it was the fire of life.
and i wondered if it would consume me or burn me brighter?

because of you, i can balance again.
i can find my way.
i can be burned brighter.

because of you, i can touch things inside of me that i don't even know are there.

the other day i listened to words i had written.
i read them to myself on a recording.
i did that out of desperation.
i needed to hang on.
so i hung on to words i wrote.
and i saw things about myself i couldn't see any other way.

and i think because of that, the earth moved for me that day.
something i had been trying to get for ten years became clear.
and i held the holiness of who i was.

you give me mirrors.
you give me strength.
you give me insights into my very soul.

you give me holy.

taking photos,
channeling words,
sculpting a day with laughter and thoughts....

you are everywhere around me.
and i couldn't live without you.

thank you art, for all that you do and all that you are
and for all that you allow me to find in myself.

the best gift of all.....

there are times when the different angles of life sparkle in just a certain
way that they grab my eyes and open my heart to something deep.

my sons were that sparkle yesterday.

you see, we had celebrated to the max already. they gave me all of friday.
and it touched me so much.
and then saturday, between the funeral and the family time afterwards,
they gave me yet another day.

sunday was a breather. we caught up on some work and just did whatever we
needed to do.

my plan for monday, my actual birthday, was to just take it easy, work a bit,
but slowly, and absolutely give them a break from birthday festivities.
i had a breakfast meet up with my mom planned and then just pleasantly goofin'
my day away

and there they were.....right by my side.

i told them to go away. shoo. do their thing. work. catch up on all that they've
missed. be gone.

zakk did slip away for a little bit.
to mow our elderly neighbor's yard before the rain.
i smiled when i glanced down the back yards and saw him
standing there talking to her.

he checked three times with me before he left to make sure i was okay with that.

his caring touched me so much.
and for that to be the reason to go do something.......well, i couldn't have
been more taken with his heart.

noah had some work he had to get done.....
do it!
he did it, and then returned.
right there asking me what it was i wanted to do next.
i shook my head, told him i was good.....go work!
'it's your fiftieth birthday, mom. no. we're gonna celebrate!'

josh hung out as long as possible before work. then stopped by after work.
right there, back into the flow as soon as possible.

all three of them sat me down at one point for one last present.

they said they wanted to make me something meaningful (as if they hadn't already)
and handed me a clock they made out of drift wood from the river near josh.

it's totally beautiful. something i'll keep forever.

i looked at them and was just totally in awe of their hearts.

noah talked of presents. of what he saw about gifts and the giving of them.
of how much they mattered and what it was they said to the person receiving

i looked at him and listened.

i saw how each of these guys really understood the importance of letting
people know they mattered. in ways they could see it and hold it. of being
there to celebrate someone, and truly being present.

i saw so clearly, in a way i hadn't ever seen before.
i knew they had huge hearts.
i knew they were golden.
but yesterday i saw how they had grown into such loving men who understood
how to honor another.

and i understood very deeply how that was no small thing.

snugglin' down in my covers i realized i had a lot to do with that.
i don't think i was their only teacher by any means.
i think watching what people DON'T do has taught them just as much
as anything else. but i do know i had a real hand in the guiding.
i do know that.

and i held it last nite.

and i thought about all the 'what's it all about?' questioning i do.
i thought about all the wondering about where i'm going in my life.

guiding them into the world is the most significant thing i could ever
do, i thought.

and look.
there they are.
already there.

anything else is gravy, i thought.

and wiped the tear that was rollin' down my face.

'happy birthday, girl' i whispered....
and fell asleep with a heart full of love.

Monday, May 16, 2011

fifty years oh my!

ah,i finally made it to the actual birthday today!
fifty years ago i was born.

wow, that's weird.

i walked and thought about it.
if i could just remember where i was BEFORE these fifty years,
i'd be all set, i thought. i could figure everything out then.
i grinned.
yeah, why not?

and then i remembered really really really seriously tryin' to figure
that out when i was a kid. i remember laying there on my bed in the dark
thinking hard and thinking that if i could just remember...

i laughed out loud as i walked remembering that.
i pictured my room, my bed, the slanted wall that was over my head as
i slept.

i tried SO HARD to figure it out.

i laughed and thought.......okay, you haven't changed much.

i looked up at the clouds.
there was the perfect heaven kinda picture you see in paintings.
i gasped.


and i grinned.

i have no idea about any of it.

but it's my birthday.
and i do know i'm gonna enjoy it today.
all of it.
the huge mix of life that it is.
all of it.

i looked up at heaven there in the clouds and gave a wink.

here's to life, i thought.

and turned back to my day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

what a day

so this one had my head spinnin' just a bit......

the funeral first.
man, that stuff is hard.

i watched myself. if i didn't think about it all, i could keep the tears back.
the second i went into thinking about it, the tears were right there.
at one point, tired of the religious rhetoric, i put my fingers against the
wall i was sitting near. i pressed the high gloss shiny paint, felt it,
and thought about how i was here to feel it, and this man wasn't. i started
to go into thinking about it all. and the tears came readily
i moved my fingers back to my lap and tuned back into the preacher.
i didn't want to be doin' a lotta cryin'.
i wanted to be more of a rock for my friend.
i would stop thinking too much.
for now.

the minister had all the answers, wasn't sad, and was doin' just fine.
i watched him with interest. overweight, pale, and content. i tried
to like him. i tried to tell myself he was doin' a good job.

it wasn't workin'. my thoughts were getting negative.

life is weird, i thought.

someone had made a point before the service to tell me she had heard
of my kindness thru this. she wanted me to know.

sitting there now, quietly, i wondered about it.
as far as i knew, what i had done, anyone would do. and i know that's true.
it wasn't outstanding.

the only thing that might possibly be different is that i know first hand
what it's like to have people bail out on ya, and to find yourself alone.
i know first hand what a treasure it is to have someone come up and say
'i'm here.' and maybe because of that, i do it a little more intensely
sometimes. i sat and thought about the pain of watching the backs of the
people you want to be there for you as they walk away. who knew that view
would teach me so well what not to do? who knew that pain would add to
some sense of intensity inside of me? and who knew that'd become noticeable?

life is weird, i thought again.

i saw how far i had left religion behind. that stuff that used to be such a part
of my life now just wasn't. i tried to participate and be part of it for my friend.
i couldn't recite the words that were there to recite.
i just can't do that anymore.

i did want to participate in one prayer. i can take that one and turn it around
in my head and make it something i like.

i tried.
but my voice choked.
it would truly be praying for me.
and i just couldn't do it out loud without choking up.
i stopped.

i wasn't gonna be able to get it out.
better to just listen.

my friend's a short little lady. i can just about scoop her up.
and afterwards i did.
so tight, i scooped her up and held her.
i stood on my tip toes and reached around her son's neck and
held him.
gently told him that he couldn't fix this for his mom, to try to
remember not to put that pressure on himself,and that he was gonna
need some help and we were there.

i watched all three of my sons hug him.
i wondered if they would. noah and zakk hadn't seen him in years.
would they reach out and hug him? would he be okay with that?

yes, all the way around.

and then we drove home to a party.
talk about weird.
life is weird, i thought, over and over thru the nite. life is weird.

i was surprised when i saw the inflatable buzzard on the inflatable headstone
in the yard that said 'over the hill' or whatever it said....
i think i was too stunned to really take in what it said.
bob had shown up while we were gone and added to all the decorations that were
already up!!!
and he did indeed go for the decorations we all knew were in poor taste.
i smiled, knew where his heart was, and walked in to find him.

he had cooked dinner, made my favorite healthy dessert, had goodies all over
the table and was in his festive party shirt.

i hugged him tight.

and then went off to take a shower.
i wanted to wash the sadness off and let the party feeling come in.

it didn't totally work.
i guess maybe cause i didn't want it to totally work.
i wanted to hold my friend and her son in my heart still.
and i did.
as i laughed and joked and gambled and ate and goofed and secretly
held the sadness here and there in between things.

i looked around and saw the love, and i shot it right back at these guys of mine.
and i knew, that for this moment, i had everything.
all we have are the moments. and this one i was gonna relish with all that was inside
of me.

a birthday to remember for sure.....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

the golden duck award...

i'm thinking i like 50 already....and i'm not even officially there til monday.

it's been such a weird weird lead up to it.
i started out kickin' and screamin' and diggin' my heels in. then i felt like i got
more lessons slammed into my face than i ever wanted. and then i got unhinged and had
one of the hardest weeks i've had in ages. and then any celebrating plans got so
mixed up cause of sad events happening around me. we're actually attending a funeral
today instead of the day of celebrating we had planned. bob looked at me the other
nite and said he had all the 'one foot in a grave' decorations planned and now was
stuck as we'll just be getting back from a funeral for real when we actually do
celebrate. i grinned, told him he could still do it, and he just said it wasn't
the same. i had to agree. all was off kilter.

and then.......life handed me exuberance. and something i've been searching for
and workin' on for ten years came to me. the gift of my life lit up like neon and
i have never felt happier, richer or more tickled in my whole life. i mean that.
and that's no small thing to say as you enter fifty.

so yesterday, the guys and i grabbed the day. the celebrating would begin. we'd
mix it inbetween the sadness and we would still celebrate. it was richer, and deeper,
and more meaningful to me than ever.

there was lunch out, there was stopping and checkin' out josh's new office space
and sitting there and planning and dreaming with him. there was a house project
we came home and worked on...i wanted to do it for the symbolism....the house symbolized
me and we were lighting up the darkest room yesterday. that was the project. the guys
put in recessed lighting - RECESSED LIGHTING - how symbolic is that??? it was so fun.
there was the serious talk we ended up having thru it about the hard years we went
thru together as a family. i cried a bit, and we really talked about what we went thru.
it meant so much to me.

and then there was the laughter and their stories about the gifts they had for me.
josh had come thru earlier while i was out with the other two and decorated with all
the black streamers and balloons....

they're taking me on a day trip to new york for my present.
how do you package that???
like the creative, brilliant geniuses that they are!
i was stunned at the things they made for the trip.....fake tickets, and game
cards and parking tickets and all kindsa amazingly designed things in a
box that they got special as they know i love boxes.
the time they took, the research they did....it was impossible not to feel loved.

there was my very own welder's cap. which meant a ton to me.
they've been so busy, i haven't asked them for a welding lesson. and i've so wanted to.
it was like they were letting me know they haven't forgotten.
i put the cap on and kept it on all evening.

there were home made cards.......oh my gosh.....again. i got more homemade
cards. they have no idea the treasure that is for me.

and there was the golden duck award.
you heard right.
the golden duck award.
josh found a decoy duck in the woods, and they spray painted it gold!
ever since they were small i have told them you can make some of the best gifts
out of zany things. we've spray painted up so many coconuts and given them as
awards.....just goofy things. and here they found a duck!

turns out it was hanging in josh's garage drying last weekend when bob and
i pulled up. they thought for sure we had seen it. i laughed and said we
wouldn't have even noticed as josh has so many goofy things hangin' up in his
house! the stories about how they did all they did......oh such fun....

so there i am holding a golden duck in my hands as josh reads a proclamation
they've written to go with it. it's presented to 'the seekers, outstanding citizens,
and the wise.'

oh my gosh. and you know i'm keeping this golden duck forever!

and then......noah handed me something he made me.
'i'm not sure this will be right, and if it's not, you can just say'
he told me as he handed it to me.

i opened it and the tears just poured down my face.

it's a gorgeous...gosh...what do i call it...........a photo in a frame.
but he created it. it's not a photo. so it's his art. but it looks like
a photo....of a WHITE TREE COMING OUT OF THE ASHES!!!!!!!!!

(if you follow this blog you'll know what that means to me)

i cried and cried and cried.
(and yes, i will put an image up later!!!)

i thanked each one of them with tears in my eyes last nite, when i went to bed.
and yet......HOW do i thank them for what they add to my life???

and we're not even done!'
tonite is celebrating with bob.........

after the boys and i attend a funeral.

how weird is that?!

as if i could forget how precious my life is.....i'll be reminded big time.
i will be there next to my friend as she grieves the loss of her husband.
i'll be coming home to my guy and celebrating life with him.

there is gonna be something so profound hanging in the air around us tonite.
and i think that in itself is amazing.

holding my weekend like a treasure in my hands.
and hopefully, holding my whole life that way.......

Friday, May 13, 2011

missing exuberance!

(ohhh! it's back! so just forget this post! easier to type
this at the top then figure out how to delete this!!! i'm tickled
it came back as that one mattered a lot to me!)

the blog place has been having some problems.
wasn't able to post earlier.....and the blog that meant so much
to me that i wrote yesterday is gone!

i'm thinking it might pop back on here sooner or later......

but for now the blog post 'exuberance' is missing!!!

one of the biggest moments ever for me.

i'm grinnin'......and hopin' you guys saw it.
i'm sure i'll revisit it if it seems gone for good........

but i've got it inside of me, and i guess that's all that matters!

plexiglass walls......

i've been on board the emotions-show-up-in-the-body train for years.
have been aware of that, believed that, and watched with amazement over some of the stuff.
i swear, every single time a certain relative came to stay, i got a pain in the butt.
i swear it's true. and i knew it.
the pains in the neck, the back, the shoulders....even when i'd get mad at a certain someone,
i could guarantee a zit on my face in the same spot. there were certain spots for certain people.
no kidding.
and yes, i believe in this stuff.

but this train of mine, took a new turn last nite and it has totally intrigued and excited me.

i think it's because i was in a good spot and really wondering what exactly my good spot meant
for me. i knew some of what it meant, but i wondered a lot about how my feelings of not
being loveable would be now. would i lose those? would they at least lose their intensity?
would it be way longer between those waves? what was really happening?

and i believe that curiousity had me watching closely.

so last nite, when i hung out with bob and felt some weird stuff goin' on inside of me, i
stopped and looked.

solid in my belief in his love, i wondered what the heck my problem was. if that's really solid,
then what's up with the feelings?

i decided to talk to him about it.

we had a good conversation that should have taken care of it, but didn't.

quietly i tried to figure out what i was feeling.

i realized my face hurt.
even my eyelids.

this is not an unusual feeling for me. i've had this feeling many times before. but this time
i really really wanted to figure it out. was this about deep issues or something else?

what does it feel like, ter???

and i realized it felt like i walked full force splat into a plexiglass wall. and smacked my
face into it.

my eyes got big.

i sat right up.

i started telling bob, who got a little stuck just trying to grasp the idea that my face hurt.
this morning when i picture his face when he heard that, i keep laughing. the guy must get so confused with me sometimes.

i kept going cause i needed to know.......

is it possible.......is it just possible that he had put up a wall or walls and i walked smack
into them???????

is that possible???

being the trusting spot that he is, he talked about this with me.
i so appreciated his openess and honesty.
what a good good friend.

the bottom line that i got was yes.
yes he did.

and what was so cool was that wasn't a problem.

i understand walls, get that we all do it, and know that he and i can work on that stuff.
that wasn't my focus. my focus was that now, when i feel this particular feeling, i can
look for the wall stuff. that that may be exactly what's goin' on. and i can work with that.

and i was thrilled.
just thrilled.

this wasn't about some deep 'i'm not loveable' thing....it was that i walked into a darn wall.

now, yeah, the walls have to be dealt with.
but that's life. i get that.

i'm fired up now.
i'm thinking my body has a whole lot more it can guide me on.
and i'm ready to listen.

i've been trying to listen for years.
but i think i just opened to something new here.

it never stops, does it? the learning we can do....
i love that......

Thursday, May 12, 2011


i was gonna type it out last nite.

no, ter.
what if it leaves you? what if what you're feeling now is gone in the morning?

wait and see.

waking up to exuberance, i smiled.


it's still here.

it's so still here.

and how do i describe this???

is it possible that after ten years, i've finally, finally crossed
over for real into my life????

is that possible???

is it possible that after ten years of wrestling with the whisperings
of 'not good enough' 'not loveable' 'wrong, bad, misguided'...
that i actually know those whisperings can go whisper somewhere else
cause they won't work anymore???

oh, i guess they'll still come up.
they would have to, right? i mean, those things are deep. they prolly
still have some roots. but....perhaps...perhaps.....just perhaps they'll
whisper they're stinky little whisperings less and less.

cause i tell ya what - they couldn't do me a bit of damage today.

HA! go figure.

i thought i'd be wrestling with self doubt. i thought i'd be filled
with 'backlash' and waves of buttons being pushed.



i repeat NO!

i feel great.

it isn't me.
i'm not the problem.

and i think of my bone sigh: 'they were wrong - she was okay just the way she was.'


i listened to bone sighs that i recorded as i drove early in the day.
i took them to heart. i listened and saw how much i wanted to live with love.
i saw stuff about me that i can't see when i look at me. but i could hear
thru my bone sighs.

i don't know if that gave me the push, or if ten years of work gave me the
push, if having a partner in my life who is truly teaching me love did it,
if having all my guys support me on my way out and always did it...
if the time was right, if that was it.
if it was all of that mooshed together.

i have no idea.

just driving home i never felt happier in my life.

that was totally unexpected.

is it possible....is it really possible that all this 'trust the process'
stuff i keep tallkin' about really works?? yeah, i believe in that stuff.

and the stuff about 'when the time is right, you'll know.'

yeah. wow. yeah. wow. yeah. i think maybe so..........

the time was right.
i didn't hold self doubt for one second.
should i repeat that???
i held compassion, i held love, i wrestled with some of that love.
'c'mon ter, you can do it, offer it.'
i wrestled with some of it.

but i never wrestled with who i was.


i LIKED who i was.

and i KNEW without any ounce of a doubt that my moving to my own life
was the holiest thing i could have ever done.


it wasn't wrong.
it wasn't bad.
it isn't the reason for anyone else's pain. they're the reason for
their own pain. not me.

moving into what would make me more, what would grow me, what would help me
become me was/is HOLY.


ten years it took.
ten years.

and now....i feel really really ready to turn fifty.

i just got the best birthday gift i ever could get.
and i'm the one giving it to myself.

fifty. yeah, i'm ready.

i'm so ready. took all of my forties to get here.
but i made it with a few days to spare.

we'll be going to a funeral on the day we had planned to celebrate.
and i don't know why, but that doesn't feel wrong to me.
it doesn't feel like a disappointment to me.

to be there for a friend who just thanked me for 'all that i was'
with tears in her eyes....that isn't something i take lightly.
that's something i try to hear and hold. and today, i'm holding it.
some people can see me. some people can. and i'm holding that.

to remember that life is brief, to remember that i'm still here,
dancing and crying and singing and moaning....that isn't something
i'm taking lightly either. another thing i'm holding right now.

and then to honor nother's passing....it just feels right to me.

we'll squeeze in our own celebrating here and there.
but i don't care at all.
because my entire being is soaring today.

i'm okay.
and i know it.

go figure.

i am bowing to the universe with tears in my eyes and my heart is
swelling with thankfulness....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

oh so good...

i tell ya, it was like magic.....
i kept thinking about having an open heart to life yesterday,
and the whole day was incredible.

i also didn't have an immediate challenges in front of my face.

sooooo maybe it wasn't as magical as it felt.
but it sure felt good.

there were a couple little things that were annoying, but they slipped
right away....

so. great. opening to life works real good when you have a happy day to open to.

think i already knew that one.

it was a warm up exercise tho.

so i'm gonna try it again.
and today won't be any warm up.
today will be putting it to the test.

but i think yesterday's gonna kinda be my cement today.
cause yesterday was filled with all the good things my life is full of.

if i can hang on to that kinda thing.....i think that's gonna make a huge
difference for me.

if i know, just totally know how much my life rocks...
well, then??? what the heck can challenge that?!!

and just for a little back up, i made myself an audio recording of
some bone sighs to remind me. there will be a drive in my day today
where i'll be listening to myself reading bone sighs.

and then......when i get home, i'm gonna light a candle in my brand new
star candle holder that a friend just gave me. you light the candle and
light will shine thru star shaped holes.

this friend who sent it to me is pretty significant and symbolic.
she's made it thru a whole heap of awful. and she keeps moving forward.
even when she thinks she can't anymore.

i'll be lighting that candle thinking of her.
thinking of our connection.
and smiling.

those are some pretty cool back ups.

so i turn towards the day.
bring it on, life.
i know what i've got.

and i'm not gonna tarnish it today with self doubt.

i'm gonna hold it with gratitude.

yeah, there will be sadness.
cause life can be really sad.

but it's oh so good at the same time.
it's oh so good.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

shifting gears...

so i walked and thought....

'aren't you just a goofy duck, terri??'

i was thinking about the things i do in attempt to help myself
cope, when really....i'm not helping myself at all.

but it's a habit, it's what i do, without questioning it, it's what i do.

this morning i was looking at it and questioning it.
i recognized that it felt wrong and i needed to look at it.

i was thinking of the process i do to shut down the gates, close off the
doors, and put the walls up all around my heart and soul.

i can feel it happen.
i can feel it happen, because feelings just stop happening.
or they wait until i'm all alone at nite to come crashing down,
but they don't come out during the day.

i go from a life filled with feelings, to walking around numb.
just nothing there.

i close off people along with those feelings.
the gates are locked.

and there i stay while the storm is around me, and i 'cope.'

i wondered about that this morning.

do i cope?
or am i hurting myself and calling it coping?

the argument came quickly.....'you HAVE to close down to protect yourself in
certain situations. everyone will tell you that. you HAVE to. there are some
places that are obviously not safe, and it's what healthy people do.'


but how i do it isn't so healthy.
doesn't feel like what healthy people do.

i can't seem to discern who i close out and who i don't, so everyone gets locked out.
i can't seem to discern what feelings to feel, so i close them all down.

maybe it'd be healthy and right if i could lock out the 'scary people' and
lock out the...what??.....scary emotions???

hmmmm....not sounding real healthy to me......

'lock out' in itself doesn't sound all that right to me...

i think i go in the wrong direction with this stuff.

when i'm in tough spots in my life......i think i want to go in another direction.

but this is new to me.
i'm not sure what it is. what direction to go in???

an open heart???
i can tell you right now i can see the pain from that one a mile away.
and the mistake of that.

but wait a minute.....
wait a minute......
maybe it's not exactly like it looks....
maybe it's not an open heart to that person there who hurts me a lot,
or that person there who can't see me...
maybe that's not it at all.

and maybe that's the only choice i've ever looked at before.
which would definitely explain the lock down.

how about an open heart to LIFE?


how about an open heart to knowing this is my life and it's filled
with all kindsa things....and i'm open to that.
cause i know i 'm growing and learning and truly living.

what if it's an open heart to TRULY LIVING???


and i know for a fact, i'm not truly living when i do this lock down stuff that i do.

what if it's a whole different angle?

what if everything isn't so personal?
what if everything's broader?
what if everything just means 'this is life, and you're part of it,
be open to it.'????

i can almost guarantee you that if i could do that, i actually would end
up with an open heart to the people who hurt me. because it wouldn't be
personal, and i could see THEIR pain.

i think i want to try this.
but i don't think i'll pull it off right away.
my close the fort deal is a pretty deep habit.
trusting life can be pretty scary for me.

but my gosh, i think this is the way to go.
it's certainly worth a shot...

Monday, May 9, 2011

my kitchen table

i had spent the week wrestling with a lot of past memories
and a lot of present confusion. and a whole lot of 'what's it all about' stuff.

at one point yesterday, i found myself sitting on my couch looking over
into the kitchen.

on the table were a dozen roses with two balloons right next to them.
one that said 'i love you' and one that said 'you're toadly old' with a toad on it.
bob had brought those the day before for me. they make me smile.

there was a tea set that my cousin had sent me for my birthday.
there were the cards and gifts from the guys. which included two fabulously
wild colored spray paints that i've been drooling over for a few weeks!

there was various odds and ends from the day....keys, a wallet, directions
to something, a drink.

i looked at that table.
it was filled with life. it was filled with love. it was filled with the people i love.

i sat there just looking at it, and my kitchen, and my house.

i don't think this week's gonna be that much easier than last week, truthfully.
i'm hoping it's easier...way easier...but it's still got challenges ahead. and
it's the kind that get me wondering about life.

so i held that picture of my table in my heart. and decided i'm carrying that with me all week.
cause that table sorta just reminds me of what it's about, what matters to me,
and how much i truly do have.

my kitchen table.
it's an awesome place in my house.
and in my heart....

a really good day......

it was a day of living in a safe space,
and i tell ya, i needed it.

i spent the whole day with my three sons.
we puttered on my car, went to pick up some supplies for
the car to tune up later in the week, we went for a long
bike ride, they made me dinner, and we just hung out.

at one point they sat me down to give me a gift, and each
one of them had made me a card. i was surprised when zakk
handed me one, as i don't think he's made me a card since
he was little.

each card took my breath away in how much their personalities
came thru.

josh handed me some zany wild energy crazed cartoon kinda card
that had references to things past.

noah's was gently funny and sentimental.

zakk's made me laugh out loud and was full of sarcasm.

i couldn't believe how obvious their personalities stood out.
i think i'll keep them forever!

they gave me a GPS so i won't get lost goin' to movie theaters anymore.
and i'm totally thrilled. we sat around and picked the voice to go with
it. this was really important to me. had to have the right voice.
they knew this, and gave me a gift certificate to pick just the right one.
so we sat and listened to them all and finally picked one that sounds like
captain jack sparrow. i couldn't be more tickled. it's delightful!

we took capt jack out for a spin and laughed and loved the new gadget.

and the thing i noticed the most all day, was how i just collapsed into
the energy of our family. it had been a long, hard week. and i just
collapsed into the comfort of the guys. and i knew just how lucky i was
all day.

there was kindness and caring and laughter and giving......and just plain
ol' love. a place i really needed to hang out in.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mother's day..........

it's mother's day!
and it's the first time in a week i've really felt joyful!
and it feels soooo good to feel joyful!!!
i'm gonna spend the whole day with all three of my guys,
and yes, i really do know what a treat that is.

bob and i were talking yesterday and he was tellin' me a thought he
had about living intentionally. he was trying to give me an example
and he said that when i was raising my boys, i was fully present
in what i was doing and i was there to raise my boys. i didn't
just mother on the side. i was two feet in.

i liked his example. i smiled and nodded and he went
on to explain his thought...

last nite i was brushing my teeth in my bathroom and i looked over
at this picture i have hanging of all three of the guys.
with the picture, i have the bone sigh i wrote for them -

"if i could teach you anything-
it would be to hear your heart,
and know your beauty and to believe in your possibilities."

i read the quote and thought about it.
and i realized that THEY taught ME the things i wanted to teach them.

i finished brushing and stood there and thought about it.
they really have.
exactly what i wanted to teach them was what they were teaching me.

and then i thought of what bob had said...about how i had
intentionally been a mom.

thing is.....i didn't know the benefits that were gonna happen to
me thru doing that. i didn't realize *i* was the one who was gonna
grow up and find what was inside of me.

i thought of all the journey with bone sighs.
i NEVER would have done any of it if i didn't have the boys to support.
i NEVER would have gone door to door with my bone sighs and asked people
if they wanted to sell them. NEVER.

i thought of the hours i put in at first.
when i used my bed as a table as i worked out of my bedroom and
would work late into the nite, and then just lay down next to everything
and fall asleep for a few hours then get up again and start right in
before it was time to school the guys.

all that stuff.
i couldn't/wouldn't have done it without them being the reason for it.

i wouldn't have found all that i found without them here.

yeah, i intentionally mothered them.
and i soooo unintentionally grew and yeah, even MOTHERED myself as
i went along.

how cool is that?
it's like a side benefit that rocks my world!

and that's the SIDE benefit!
the main benefit is i get THEM!!!!!

they have been the driving force behind me for 25 years.

and what moves me the most is this -

they have always been what i've hung on to when i couldn't believe in anything

they have always been the light that never went out for me.

and i get to spend the whole day with them today.
the whole darn day!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

a saturday quote.......

i found this scribbled down on a piece of paper in my studio....

i don't even know if a friend wrote it or someone famous...

i just read it and it kinda washed over me this morning.......

'surrender is the moment in which we decide that it is time
to become someone new.
surrender is not about giving up;
it's about moving on.'

Friday, May 6, 2011


something that matters to me a lot because of my background is
'living real.'

i'm not even sure if it makes sense if you've always lived real.
i don't know how to explain it.

it's living straight, honest and real.
it doesn't include denial, making things up, lying, leaving things out,
or twisting things to make them fit some reality you've chosen.

it means you just offer what you really are and what you really think
and try to look at things honestly.

simple enough, right?
i wonder how many people can relate to my desire for it.
i think you have to know denial pretty darn well to understand the drive
that you get when you wake up from it.

being with someone who doesn't live real is one of the biggest challenges
for me these days.

i walked and tried to think of why.
why i just can't roll with it.
i try.
i mean, who cares?
as long as it's not me doin' it, who cares.
people do a lotta things i don't do. and i'm okay with that.
this one tho....is tough for me.

i guess maybe because i get in a place where i struggle all thru
trying to keep myself real in a sea of craze.
balancing when to just be quiet and smile and nod and when to
say something becomes exhausting.
my words are measured, it's an effort.

i don't want to crash my real on top of anyone else's unreal
and make them see it my way. and yet, i don't want to play a game
in the process and become unreal myself.

and definitely limited interactions.

'is it a value thing?' i wondered.

'is this like different life values??'

'oh my gosh!' i answered........'it's only everything, ter!'

it's a value thing.......you have to value yourself enough not to hide yourself.
you have to value whoever you're with not to hand them make believe garbage.
you have to value life and really live what is goin' on.

it's a foundation thing......you can't build anything solid on a river of denial.
you can't build anything on that.

it's a spiritual thing...you can't touch the god inside of you when you won't
even look for the top layer stuff.

it's everything.

i teared up thinking about it.

about ten years ago i knew i couldn't live that way anymore.
i didn't really understand a whole lot about it.
just that i needed to find the real in my life.

and now....when i see how it affects me to be around someone who doesn't
even know what that is...and when i think about it...and what all i've
learned...and what all i've gained...

this morning there's this renewed sense inside me - this renewed
awareness of the real i have so longed for. of the real i have found.
of the real my life has become.

i drop to my knees in gratitude for finding this thing called 'real.'
and for leaving the other behind.....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

a quiet presence.....

there's this woman........
this amazing woman.

i'm tryin' to think how we even met???
never in person.
just on line.

and i can't remember how we met.

but i've known her for years now.

one day i got a gift in the mail.
no card, no note.
a home-made pottery gift.

i looked at the bottom of the piece and saw her name.

and i dropped her a note to thank her.
i wasn't even positive it was her....but i thought i'd try.
sure enough.

that's what she's like.
she just does things for people.

that isn't the only gift i've gotten from her.
she's not only sent me others.
she's sent my SON a set of fabulous home made bowls for his new home.

every time i go over there, i eat out of one and think of her.
(yeah, i like to eat at his house!)

i think of her, shake my head at her generosity and feel warm.
i drink out of a tea cup she made me and think of her.
i think of her more than she knows.

i've watched over the years.
i see people thank her for gifts she's sent them.

over and over i see it.

yesterday i was reading a blog by someone who i didn't even know
knew her. and there was a photo of a homemade necklace and a mention
of this woman.

my eyes got big.

she's everywhere.
this quiet, beautiful woman.
she's just everywhere.

and i happen to know that her finances are tight.
that's easy to say and shrug off.
but if you've ever lived tight finances, the postage is gonna come
right to mind.
just postage alone.
and then of course, there's the time, the supplies, the giving away
things she could sell......it all comes to mind real fast if you
understand tight.

and yet....her gifts are everywhere.

and it's not just that she sends 'things.'
i guess that's obvious because anyone who does this with this degree
of generosity isn't gonna just send 'things.'
the gifts are infused with love, and kindness and thought.

she's one of the most beautiful women i've ever known.
and she's just quietly there.

i just wanted to mention her here today......
i was looking at a photo of her just a few minutes ago.
it's funny, just the back of her...and i was struck
with her gentle air.....

what a beautiful soul.
and how lucky i am to know her....