Reflection on my life as it is

How do I hold it all, my life 
Gently, tenderly, angrily, pityingly 
Knowing it hangs, like an ill assorted, loose fitted garment 
The weave and pattern 
Complex, changing, or running together 
Like a huge jigsaw puzzle Randomly tossed by life
Dense and dark in some places But always with light filtering through 
Put this way
I don’t even need to hold it
I don’t even have a big enough container 
Just my being present to each fragment of experience 
Allowing it to filter through my being 
Staying open to the fluency of shifts and changing interpretations 
Knowing clearly my time span is limitlessly limited 

—Jean Lopez

A Shared Path

Sometimes, if we share a path together,
we will come to know each other a little better.
Perhaps, if the path is difficult,
treacherous in its weavings,
it is enough to bring us together,
and maybe for a little while we can forget 
that our differences, our fears, separated us, kept us apart.
For a little while, we can be whole, secure, and at peace.

We all share this path called life.
Perhaps we are at different points along the trail,
but it is the same trail,
that, at once, can take us nowhere, 
or anywhere we need to go.

—Paul Causey

Faces of play.

    Caught on film, a tall and lean coyote and a short and chubby badger play hide and seek at the entrance to a tunnel built to safely take them, should they want to go, under a highway to the other side. The coyote jumps up and down, tempting the badger to come along. The badger teases the coyote, comes toward him, then back, tempted to stay. After a lot of back and forth — tempt, tease, tempt, tease — finally they go off into the dark of the tunnel together. I, the badger, am thinking, why bother? It’s so much easier to stay here, be alone.
    Not to have to hear that my friend is about to leave for a week in Cambria with her husband. Then, after a two-day camping trip along the ocean, two weeks in their second home in the Idyllwild mountains before flying to Europe for seven weeks — Italy, Spain, Portugal — from which she will begin her walk along the Camino de Santiago, when her husband will join her to celebrate, no matter how far she has been able to navigate the Camino. 
    How not to compare myself? How not to think that on September 15th, the day she returns (it is now July 27th), I will not have moved, still inside my thinking mind, traveling the same path over and over, wearing it down as I continue to ruminate over “where to live the rest of my life.” 
    Certainly a daunting task I have set for myself! How can I possibly know from here, from today, where Life will want to take me? Where Life will want us to be for our last ten … fifteen …twenty years. (In twenty years, I will be a hundred and three!)
    How can I know where Life will want us to be … tomorrow? 
    Let alone where I will have landed twenty minutes from now on this blank page — where my hand is moving across and back, across and back.
    How grateful I am to have this writing practice to remind me that all I can really know is now. The smile I can feel on my lips, new, not there before. The sound of this pen as it scratches across the page. The green tea at my side, its terra-cotta cup too hot to lift. Sure (am I sure?) that soon the cup will cool and I’ll be able to smell jasmine flowers, reminded that I have a tongue and cheeks with the power to taste, recognize the difference between jasmine tea and sencha. Hear the sounds of the plane overhead as they fade into the sounds of a passing car, the caw of a crow. The slight breeze as it tickles the wind chimes to sing outside my open door and I have ears to hear it. 
    I am traveling, too. 
    Laura is young. May I not envy her, her travels. Haven’t I had mine? Not the Camino, though there were years when I did contemplate walking it. But many times the magical island off the coast of Maine where I stood high above the ocean, nothing but Portugal somewhere out there. The little beach town in Mexico I have come to know and love. I could keep going and make a list of all the places I’ve been. But why? To convince myself that there’s no need to fret? To convince you that I’ve made good use of this life? That this is worth your continuing to read?
    Does this mean that at 83 my traveling life is over? Maybe. Maybe not. Though discovering what it means to be at-home — wherever I am — seems more and more like good preparation for dying.  
    Earlier today, I saw a Monarch butterfly busily traveling from tree to flower and back to tree. Dancing in the air with another Monarch joined by a simple white … is it a butterly? Some people call it a moth. I thought about the arduous journey the butterfly has already been on, just to arrive here. Most recently its work to break out of the hard, yellow- and black-spotted coat it had been growing in; only then to practice patience while its wings were drying so it could finally spread its wings and fly.
    I don’t know how long a butterfly can expect to live. What if the butterfly and I were the same? We’re born. We endure our growing pains, even enjoy some of them, learn the need for patience and, finally, having grown into our full colors, able to enjoy the wonders of freedom, the chance to fly, our work here completed, we die?
    What if why we are here, a question some of us ask ourselves, is no longer a mystery?  Simply a journey to come back home.

—Sara Bragin

life is but a dream

life is but a dream

but whose dream is it anyway
but if not, what then

—Paul Causey

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Why row?

Just go

with the flow.

—Veda Smith