Monday, April 29, 2013

Walk With Dogs- Sweating Freedom

Exercise has always been difficult for me. Anorexia was a beautiful escape from the skin I lived in. Anyone could touch me and it never hurt. I was safe. I could simply live in my head and use my body as a vessel to get from point A to point B. We had a perfect balance; I fed it exactly what it needed to survive and it would move my brain. A process that began 25 years ago came to a beautiful conclusion this past Lent.

Through posts by Elizabeth Esther and Mary DeMuth I was able to create a strong narrative for exercising and easily eating well. My body does not belong to me, it belongs to God and I am charged with its stewardship. In caring for myself- loving myself- I learn to more effectively  love others. Since Easter, a new ease and simplicity came to eating well. Exercise was timidly fun, feeling my muscles strain and work still caused a bit of anxiety, but it wasn't overwhelming. I wrestle with Fibromyalgia as well, so exercise is difficult. Finding the sweet spot between too much and just enough is difficult. An article about working out for six minutes a day then slowly increasing as the body adjusts gave me a great how. Yet, I still struggled with a clear, focused reason why. Then on Friday Dwayne Johnson aka: The Rock tweeted this:

Light bulbs exploded in my head. The last few chains of shame dropped away. Meeting myself in the morning to capture the beautiful fluffy body I live in. To take thoughts that imprison me and put them into Holy Spirit's control. Then Divine Love can continue to heal and regenerate me. Today's Walk With The Dogs was pure sweaty, exhausting Joy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Obscured Dignity

I posted this September 18, 2010. The week had been filled with shuttling kids to homeschooling activities. K and I sat at a park while she worked on her school while boys were in classes. My mind a whirling dervish of thoughts happened upon this simplicity.


The air was crisp as sleep melted away.  Within the cathedral ceiling of a momentary bedroom, leaves of towering sycamores began to turn.  Sunlight sprinkled warmth on her face as a sapphire sky peeped through.  The grass was not too wet with dew.  That was nice.  Sleeping was mostly comfortable and warm in the makeshift bed.  She was grateful for the blankets.
Standing, sleep stretched from muscles as the smells of fall air filled her lungs.  She savored the warm morning.  Winter brushed the air with crispness. She bent down to carefully fold her bedding and place it into the shopping cart.  The park was quiet.  Savoring the solitude and beauty, thankful no one was around to disturb her. 
She wrapped an olive green bathrobe wrapped around her small frame. It hung on her like a child playing dress up. Strolling around the shopping cart overflowing with earthly possessions, she assessed its arrangement. As she placed the bundle of blankets in, she lifted out a carry-on rolling suitcase.  Grabbing the shopping cart with her left hand, she dragged the bag in her right towards a building central to the park.  A musical cacophony of bird song accompanied her saunter into the public bathroom.
She paused at the door, with a determined push, the basket leapt into the lavatory.  A dull clang traveled across the park as the basket met with a metal trash can inside.  With head held high, she strolled into the bathroom with the bag trailing behind her.
About 15 minutes later she emerged. Her outfit for the day was comfortable denim shorts, an aqua blue T-shirt and a denim vest- which looked like it had been a jacket in a previous life.  She placed the carry-on bag in the front of the basket.  Walking around the portable home, tender arrangements to her belongings were the final preparation for the day’s travels.
Standing for a moment smoothing her bangs and hair, she sighed.  With a look around she evaluated the temperature.  The air brushed her skin with its chill.  The olive green robe was draped over the top of the basket.  Picking it up and jauntily wrapping it around her shoulders, she slid her arms in, grabbed the lapels of her dapper garment and straightened it.
Fluffing her bangs while she walked around the basket; inspecting it for the last time.  Satisfied she stood at its helm and gave it a shove.  It rolled as she sashayed to the side of it.  Resting a hand on the old friend's side, they began the day’s journey.  They disappeared from the park, the robe’s sash gliding behind her like a royal train.  A private moment of dignity in the simplest form had been hers. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The End

I wrote this in 2009, a few months after my brother-in-law committed suicide.   

The End.

It is so final.

The End of a string,
The End of a song,
The End of a story,
The End of a project.

We sit and wonder: what is next.

Sometimes we are relieved to see The End.
A bad movie.
An illness.
A class with a terrible teacher.

Yet... we ask how it could have been better. We wish for the time back. At The End of a terrible thing, we want to fix it; turn it into a good thing.

Except, there is no going back, there are no do-overs.

The End is sad, yet we are rushed through mourning. Our culture doesn't allow for us to stop to say “Good-bye." We want to blaze on and ignore the pain.

In blazing through goodbyes we miss appreciating what was before The End. Is it not true that sitting with pain for a season gives a place for creativity? Is it not out of pain that we learn?

Death is the ultimate The End. We all try to convince ourselves that it is a natural flow of life, yet it is jarring. In Christianity, we look to the eternal. Somehow in that discipline of hope, we seem to forget a person is gone. We are reluctant to sit and be sad about The End.

Yes, we believe the person’s spirit lives on and we are given assurance. Yet, the reality is, a physical person left a vaccum when The End was met. We long for one more conversation. We wish for one more laugh. We don’t want to accept The End.

It begs a question: what to do?

One thought is; to sit with The End. Not to try and fix it or rewrite what happened. To choose gratitude for their stories. Sit and be sad in the remembrances  Allow it to impact our lives and shape the future. Just because it is The End, does not mean it is to be left behind or forgotten.
In Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, The End is described as the beginning of something else.

What to do with The End of people?

Death by accident teaches us that life is not permanent. Speak the good. Compliment those around us. Speak love and value in each moment with others to leave no room for regret.

Suicide, teaches us that dying is easy. Living is hard. Choosing death may be a momentary relief; but it shifts problems onto the people left behind birthing a whole new category of questions.  Life is earned as we face each grief, dilemma and disappointment.

If we were to talk to those who faced The End, they might say things like:
Don’t hurry. Be sad and miss me. Make the most of every opportunity. Live remembering my life instead of the death.
Build upon the gifts and lessons: If hope was lost, have hope. If they created, then create. If sowed joy into life, then throw seeds of joy towards others. If they were truthful and challenged the status quo, continue what they started…

Remember their lives and learn. The End.