528: Hope

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We get today. Actually, we get less than today. We get right now, this moment, this breath. We only hope for the rest of today, and for tomorrow.

Yesterday can’t be changed. It can be forgiven. It can be atoned for. It can be reconciled, but it can’t be changed. Accept that fact or not, willing or unwilling, you cannot change it. So, right now, this moment, this breath: forgive. Atone for and reconcile if you are given tomorrow.

I deny myself so much when I resent, hold offense, keep anger fanned hot. If I ever hope to move safely into peace, health, life itself, this is something I must achieve. Giving up my right to resent. Giving up my right to be offended. Giving up my right to anger. Even when it hurt. Even then.

When I do not have the strength of mind and will to give it up on my own, I ask for help in giving it up, sincere in my desire to do it, but weak in my power to achieve it. And gently, or sometimes harshly, the help, the power, the strength, the courage, the willpower arrives to get the job done. To surrender. It takes great bravery to surrender, and move to what is better, rather than cling stubbornly to what is not.

But it’s worth it. Every time.  Even when it hurts.

527: I’m Toast

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I am embarking on a new phase of life. At age fifty-mumble, mumble, I have determined that I will marry. A man I met online. Whom I have yet to meet face-to-face. Stop screaming. Yes, I know. I really, really do know. I do hear what my friends and family have had to say and their concerns are valid. They are valid. I am taking my time, and being careful – as is he.

I have learned in a year and a half of living alone for the first time since I ….for the first time ever, that I do just fine living alone. I have hobbies. I go to the gym, I cook decent meals. I read books and see movies. I chat with friends, and socialize with them, too, on occasion. I have discovered I rather like myself, and we have become such good friends that I like being with just me rather a lot. So, why marry at all?

Toast is the metaphor for me to help explain this choice (to you and to my friends and family). I like toasted bread. I prefer toast that is like my single life: dry whole wheat. Nutritious, healthful, low-calorie, calm, plain. Not boring plain, tasty plain. When it is plain, I can add jam, honey, or syrup, peanut butter or Nutella now and then, if I choose – just like my single life and its occasional, special treats. Otherwise, I prefer the plain, dry whole wheat toast. I like it.  Often, while I am reading, I will toast a slice and consume it without even hardly noticing it, except for the satisfying crunch.

Toast with butter, however, is different. It is rich, complex, full of flavor. Buttered toast is unable to be consumed absently while otherwise engaged in reading my latest fiction selection. It demands my whole attention, that toast, because if you don’t pay close attention to it, it will drip melted butter down your fingers all the way to your elbow, sometimes messily dripping off to stain my tidy slacks or my nice, clean dress. Toast with butter is married life. It can be messy and untidy, but the experience of having it makes dry whole wheat pale in comparison. Yes, it demands your attention and effort in ways that single living does not. But the richness of married life, with an honest, loyal, and committed partner, is what I’d rather have, thanks just the same. And I can still add the occasional toppings when I like to buttered toast – it isn’t just butter only forever and ever. Occasionally, just for fun (for a day) or when necessary, I can even have it plain again. 

The process of creating a secure, stable married relationship begins with communication, and that can and does happen online in many of the identical ways that it happens face-to-face. Yes, there are people who misrepresent themselves online (which admittedly facilitates that deception somewhat), but the same thing happens all too often in the face-to-face situation as well. We have had months of conversation, and will have months more, before we meet. In a public place. :-) After all, he does not know 100% if I have represented myself honestly and accurately, either.

I have also given much thought lately to the centuries-old tradition, still extant today, of arranged marriages, where the families decide and often bride and groom meet face-to-face only after the vows are spoken and the papers are signed. Many of those marriages actually do work. There isn’t necessarily a lot of evidence that our modern notions of how things are supposed to be done is the better way. Commitment is commitment.

Either way, I’m toast.

526: Tomorrow

I’d be lying if I said I was totally confident about tomorrow. Yes, I know thinking positively has huge benefits for me and for my positive mental energy in dealing with the petty irritations of today. I do know that I do better if I focus on the good things, and strive to overlook, minimize, and disregard those things that might set me back, or sidetrack me from my primary goals. I do know that.

Still, that does not mean that I am a boundless, endless well of optimism and hope. Some days I struggle with my motivation and my focus. Some days I allow the negativity of others to impact my own attitude. Some days someone’s unkind comment or unfair evaluation of my work or my person bums me out, and brings my whole parade to a screeching halt. We all have those moments, those days. They suck. But, thank God, they do not last. No matter how much right now it seems that this will never, ever get better, it will get better.

In a few years, it might even become your favorite joke. It does get better, and when you can really laugh about it, you will know its power over you is truly broken.

 

525: Talk to Me

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Talk to me.

Speak volumes to me, simply by your presence, in your silences, in

the steady regard of those deep hazel eyes.

Those precious times when conversation stalls into pregnant silence as my hazel eyes breathlessly lock with yours.

I can read where your thoughts have traveled, there in those green-brown pools.

The most excellent part of that journey is that I am already there waiting for you.

Come for me.

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524: Start

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Dead embers are cold ashes.

No desire remains to reignite them with fresh fuel.

Much less blowing a new spark to life.

Dead. Gone.

Empty soul winter.

Cold, grey, lifeless.

Days unending, trailing along endlessly.

Cold, grey, lifeless.

Fresh contact that forces sifting of those cold ashes.

Bitter, acrid. Sour.

Repeated. Over time, less so.

Finally, not at all.

Even face to face, nothing.

Polite good wishes. Calm.

Details finalized, calm.

And in that unending, glassy sea of calm, flat water….

at last, a ruffle.

There IS life under there, out there, away from dead land.

Sleek, gleaming intelligence breaks the surface,

draws the eye, the attention.

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There IS life out there.

Leaving the shore, wading in the sun-warmed water,

deeper, deeper, feeling the foundation fade beneath my feet.

Think of all the dangers lurking;

spines, stings, teeth, tentacles….lurking.

I will seek the swimmer.

I will focus on the swimmer.

I will join the swimmer.

Dead land holds me no longer

captive.

 

 

523: Birthdays and Funerals

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Birthdays mark our entrance to this world, if not our entrance to life itself, and funerals mark our exit from this world, if not from existence.

They are both occasions for others, not necessarily occasions for the star of the show.

Birthdays are opportunities for others to show how much they fondly appreciate the person whose birthday it is. Funerals are identical in purpose, only in the past tense. They are not for the person who is honored, not really. It is for everyone else.

Don’t pass up those opportunities. There are 364 un-birthdays every year. Tell those you love that you love them. Surprise them with treats just because you love them.

If you wait too long, there is only the past tense left.

522: Another Day

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Desire comes in waves, in cycles like the moon whose child I am. Today I am drowning in it, slowly swimming languidly for the surface, in no hurry to depart these hypnotically liquid, silky, warming waters. You are over five thousand miles from me, and I can still feel your tickling fingers trace my skin from ankle to ear, pausing to explore the planes, hills and valleys they encounter on the journey. I hear your voice, warmly breathing hot, satin things just for me to hear, and I melt at the hearing as your gentle fingers trace the shell of my ear, and your lips tease the sensitive lobe. I feel you trail nibbles down my shivering neck to my collarbone, along my arm to the bend of my elbow.  And beyond; tasting me, savoring me, hearing me gasp and moan your name. Taking your sweet, tortuous time.

I am alight. Incandescent. And you….are an ocean, a continent away. And right here beside me. Within me. Laughing with me as you watch me burn for you.

How can I wait for you? Because you are worth waiting for.