We knew that launching ourselves off a mountainside was something we were going to have the opportunity to do on this trip. I wasn’t at all sure however that I was going to be able to do it. We were on the 4-day jungle trek to Machu Picchu. The trek, as the name suggests, included a great many miles of walking, often on precipitous cliffs above wide and wild landscapes. I had already plunged through the soaring Andes on two wheels by this point, and flying down those winding mountain roads on my bicycle was some of the best fun I have ever had. But as our trekked continued, we were all aware that very soon we were going to be faced with a big decision. The optional activity of zip-wiring across a towering river canyon. Not once, but 6 times.Read More »
I have a box at the top of my house, hidden away at the back of a room. It is a very battered old box. Pretty scruffy and ugly if truth be told. And most of the year it just sits there. Not getting disturbed much, apart from occasionally being dragged out roughly from its confines in order to enable access to some other box that sits behind it or underneath it.
But every so often, some thing will enter my house. Some small item or piece of paper or card and, as I head up to the bathroom or to the bedroom to turn on a lamp, I might drop this small item on a stair and think
“I must put that in the box later”
Perhaps the next morning this item will accompany me and I will, without ceremony, lift a corner of this box’s battered lid, and slide whatever the item might be into its confines – not looking in the box, or paying any attention to where the item lands. But this is where the item now lives. And will live, for as long as I do too.Read More »
A phalanx of phantoms parade
Striding through sleep and through song
Though tongues may stay silent on all that once passed
Hearts echo chambers of all that went wrong
A flash between eyes says …
I know. I remember
One side wells while the other looks elsewhere
But the juvenile heart bears the scars of dismember
Though it long learned to feign “I don’t care”
A dream jolts awake with a pain long forgotten
A taste in the mouth taunts the mind without steer
Blonde bravado, “Hello again. It is so good to see you”
Stomach pitches, but we’ll not gift our fear
Not again. Too many bridges
No my friend. Too many tears
How those sutures rip open with not one moment’s notice
Never healed, never heard, too few years
Pride blossoms at how far I’ve journeyed
Shame spores at the wounds acquiesced
I can stand here and eyeball you finally
Take my past, but you’ll not take my best
Copyright 2017 · Forty and Everything After
A desire for sausages, and a distracted exit from the house last weekend, resulted in an unplanned detour, and the contemplation of a new world-view, both literally and figuratively.
My parents had just left our house in their car – having finished tea and biscuits, and a reading of the Saturday papers. My husband and I now needed to buy some food for the day ahead, and were debating what we might like for our evening meal. I had a hankering for sausages. Our local butcher makes really good sausages. So, with my husband leaving the house ahead of me, I grabbed a shopping bag and headed outside, pulling the door behind me, and striding for the gate.
My husband hesitated, and then he swore. And then he peered back into the house through the living room window …Read More »
I haven’t been able to go to my meditation group for a few weeks, primarily because I am back at work. And, though that fact has been a great reducer of stress in itself, I do miss my weekly appointment with absolutely nothing but me and my breathing and my body. Those saved spaces smooth out the rough edges of any given week and send a more softly surfaced, tranquil human being back out into the world.
The last time I attended (and before the session began) we had a short discussion about what makes it hard to meditate in our every day lives. A friend of mine who was present that day noted she was once told she should never worry about “Not doing it right” or often enough, or for the right length of time, or any of those other little qualms people who meditate might inflict upon themselves. This spiritual guide suggested to her that our every breath, every day, our every movement on this earth is a meditation, our every gesture and every thought a prayer, and we should not get so hung up on all the other shoulds of what we might perceive “proper” meditation is meant to look and feel like.
I am just as guilty of this as anyone. I do sometimes think “I’m not doing it right!” I get frustrated when the calm I managed to achieve the last time is not forthcoming this time. I get cross at the thoughts that bubble up in my mind and tell them …
“Shush! You are not meant to be here! You are ruining everything!”
I feel grave disappointment that I cannot sit on the floor cross legged for any length of time and hold my hands serenely like I’ve seen other people do in pictures and films. (Incidentally, I should point out, our meditation group is nothing whatsoever like this. We sit in chairs, and people do shuffle, and I tell them off in my head for doing so and distracting me. And then have to berate myself some more for my lack of compassion toward those around me).
Anyway, on this particular day, following our discussion, our group leader guided us to get into a comfortable position so we wouldn’t feel the need to fidget (Grrrrr!), to close our eyes, to start to focus on our breath, perhaps count our breaths if that was helpful … And so began our meditation …Read More »
Listen, scroll, read, wonder … wear sun-screen. Xx
Inspirer of poets, painters and plants
“The little space within the heart …
is as great as the vast universe.
The heavens and the earth are there,
and the sun and the moon and the stars.
Fire and lightening and winds are there,
and all that now is and all that is not.”
~ The Upanishads