From My Journal…
The tender and solitary heart follows the glittering light that reflects like diamonds on the water’s surface. That light is a beacon that must shine true. Yet, when it is flutters and fizzles out in the dusk, it leaves the tender and solitary heart feeling blue.
The tender and solitary heart feels deeper than deepest sea. The tender and solitary heart breaks alone and then endeavors to pick up the pieces, scattering those fragile broken shards of love and pain into the winds. Relationships are fragile points of light on the horizon for the tender and solitary heart. One moment reflecting the greatest joy, the next broken in two. It is in the arms of nature that the tender and solitary heart find solace.
Yesterday, I was faced with comments about my life from someone that I found terribly difficult to ignore. The comments were rude and hurtful and I was vulnerable and open to taking it personally.
As the day wore on, I was reminded by a dear friend to heed Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. In that, the episode was a lesson in remembering the 2nd agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally:
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be victim of needless suffering.
While I try to live by The Four Agreements daily, some days I must say, are simply easier than others. Continue reading
Years ago, I played matchmaker to two couples who are longtime friends. The two women in the couples are two of the closest friends that I have. I was instrumental in fixing up each of them with their husbands, earning myself the title of matchmaker. Back in the day, neither of my girlfriends liked to cook so when it came time to invite their new beau’s for dinner, neither of them felt confident enough in the kitchen to cook for their dates. They each called on me to come over and cook for them. My love of cooking spoke for itself in those days as I had three shelves of cookbooks and a library of Bon Appetite, Cuisine and Gourmet magazines on prominent display in my eat-in kitchen.
Some thought should always go into what one might could for a potential suitor for the first time. I usually determine that a dish in the Italian or Mediterranean is typically a good bet for a first home-cooked dinner, after all everyone loves Italian food. As I look back now on this time so many years ago, I cannot recall exactly where my Mediterranean Chicken came from, I just know that it has evolved over at least two and half decades if not more, and it is perhaps one of my favorite meals to cook for family and friends.
There have been so many incarnations of this savory chicken dish in tomato sauce, which could have had its origins in a Provencal French bistro served with a warm baguette and a hearty glass of Cabernet. Cabernet pairs better with this meal in my opinion. Yes, custom would call for a glass Chardonnay with chicken but I prefer red wine and am oft loathe to follow custom. Customs I believe are like rules, they are meant to be broken. Not broken is some blatant way but simply broken in such a way that invokes one’s own style. We are after all, all individuals, and our preferences come to the surface of the pot when we cook. Continue reading
In quiet mourning I wait
I say to myself where can it be
For in my waiting
I search my soul
And ask of it
Why love does not seek me.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
A long time ago I learned that life never quite goes according to plan. If it did, I know my life would such a different life than it is now. Plans change. Expectations fall to the wayside. The seeds from fallen dreams grow into trees with many branches reaching up to the sun longing to find fruition in leaf.
I planned to be a painter when I was young. I planned to be a dancer too. Those plans turned to fallen seeds that planted my talents in my heart and mind and I created new plans in the spring light.
Life is a long series of plans and dreams. Some bud and leaf, blossom and grow. Some fizzle out in the hot sun for many reasons we cannot control. The greatest lesson I have learned about plans that don’t come to fruition is that greater things oft turn out in their wake.
Photo: The Mother Tree at Maudslay State Park ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey
Our path is always changing, as is the scenery. One day we find ourselves heading in a completely different direction then we had planned. What happened, we ask ourselves, how did my life change so suddenly without my approval of the plan? Lessons appear in our lives when we least expect them. These life lessons are our opportunities to rise above the adversities in our lives and become more than we were when the lessons presented themselves. How we handle those lessons determines whether we learn from the lessons or stay stuck, wallowing in despair.
Life can be harsh and life can be filled with wonder and joy. It is up to each of us to make the best of what we are presented with each and every day. Each day, I re-mind myself to find even the smallest sliver gratitude, joy and happiness. Even in the midst of the most profound grief and sorrow, we can all find something to be grateful for each day. Gratitude matters. When we strive to live in the moment we begin to transcend the difficulties placed in the midst of our path.