Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Few Small Stones

This morning was one of those mornings where Grouchyme slowly inturded and took hold while Happyme was trying her hardest not to let her. It is my only day off this weekend and I made a list of things to do, as usual, but I kept it shorter than usual. This was victory number one.

First thing I needed to do was get my money in order. I got organized, had a bowl of cereal, and entered Quickenland. This was big mistake number one. Do not - I repeat - do not allow me to approach the Money Computer without eating a hearty breakfast. This is just a big invitation to the Grouch to come on in.

Next, I moved on to doing dishes, laundry, and taking the trash and recycling out all at once. I managed to keep myself from yelling and screaming at the world (e.g. the people I live with, which this morning happened to be Laird alone) for making all the messes. My husband did notice Grouchifiedme and took on the vacuuming. This was a very smart move.

It was then I had my big victory for the day: I decided to take care of myself. I have finally learned how to interpret my Grouch: she is telling me in her strange language to take care of me. I went for a walk to mail my checks. Thank you, patch of blue sky. Thank you, playful Zimmerdog for chasing sticks. Thank you, little stream of water making your easy way down the hill you have been carving out for so many years.

I took a nap. Thank you, wonderful bed. Thank you, blankie. I took a shower. Thank you, Sabine, for the sample of coconut shower gel. Now, Happy is coming in the door.

Cleaning out the fridge, I found some green beans. Thank you for not being fuzzy. And two apples that were still edible, though not crispy. I chopped them up and added cinnamon and sugar and baked them. I steamed the beans and put butter, salt and pepper on them. Oh, simple food. Thank you. Oh, thank you, God, for apples and green beans.

All better. Meanwhile, Laird is out on a bike ride, taking care of himself. He was so patient and playful and wise this morning. Thank you, Laird.

The other night, I went to Ash Wednesday service, and during the prayer, Pastor left spaces so we could join in. I haven't done that kind of praying for a long time. I felt shy. I listed some things, but as the prayer went on, there were just so many people and places to pray for, I felt so inadequate and couldn't say any more words aloud. I felt so small and vulnerable, but it felt really good, too. I think that was the Divine Presence. I think that's what opening up to the possibility of connection does: it opens a door to the place where God sits waiting to take you onto her lap.

Mary Oliver wrote it this way in a poem called Praying:

It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

What this has to do with the struggle between Grouchyme and Happyme this morning is this: I took some time the other night to meet with my community and to sit in God's lap. So, this morning, I had the ability to keep my mouth shut instead of throwing blame around the room. I didn't really know what I was doing at the time, I just knew I didn't want to blame anyone else for my feeling grouchy. When I went outside to move my body, I found something to be thankful for. I found lots to be thankful for. I found the love I needed to listen to the Grouch and take care of her. She is me. She is me, after I give and give and give, at work and at home, and she just gets depleted. She just needs to replenish. I didn't know this until after the fact. I just needed to trust my intuition, and let Love lead me there.


~c. said...

Check out Mary Oliver's poem "The Summer Day". Also, there is a great NPR show called "Speaking of Faith". They have a great podcast on Prayer, which you can download from their webpage

Becky said...

amazing how small we feel when we stop letting ourselves be the center of the world :) I had a similar experience last week in the midst of praying for Matt. love you!