Dostadning*

Do I move his bike on or not?
Just one more thing to decide
keep, donate, sell…
Will I use it?
Could I use it?

Would someone enjoy it more?
Where’s the right place to donate it?
At what point does stuff become a burden
At what point is stuff just stuff that

I’ve been too lazy to go through
too afraid to be without
too concerned about where it goes?

If I was crushed by a meteor
would those behind curse me for
the mess they had to clean up?

It’s time to let things go
To not try to fill holes with stuff
To not let fear turn me into a hoarder
To trust in just enough
and to know what that is.

“In Swedish, the word is “dostadning” and it refers to the act of slowly and steadily decluttering as the years go by, ideally beginning in your fifties (or at any point in life) and going until the day you kick the bucket. The ultimate purpose of death cleaning is to minimize the amount of stuff, especially meaningless clutter, that you leave behind for others to deal with.”

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Reading Headlines

A somber evolutionary thought.
When life becomes an Instagram opportunity,
or a chance to tweet a one liner,
our ability to hold complexity and interrelationship
diminishes in proportion to our need for publicity.

Diminishes with our seeking answers that fit with what
we believe we know to be true and worth defending.
So Creation appears to stall as we battle it out,
when maybe, it’s really weeding out the weak links.
And just maybe, right now, the human race is one.

But this should have a happy ending, an inspirational
cuddle to make us hopeful and feel safe.
But God allows nature to evolve, species that
can’t adapt to living in relationship and
diversity die out.

Plants, animals, amphibians are humble.
They play their role, dying so another can live.
Accepting what is, they find ways to co-exist,
and even to thrive off each other without destroying
the whole…..
We’ve got a lot to learn….Are you willing ?

Can we stay curious, let go of cherished beliefs?
Stand the ground of not knowing: break open?
Connect with those who see the opposite?
Trust a third way will emerge if we can let go of being right?
It’s then that the Joy of Life can move through us.
The ultimate  “happy ending.”

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The dark night of the soul-again

I ask for your forgiveness and for your prayers
I’m lost, angry, hurt, alone, judging, floating
More tears, more renting of clothes as I wonder
why, what’s the point….

Where does the knowing go?
This is the “life sucks” part –
we are blind to the hurt of others
we separate ourselves convinced

we are different
we deserve what we have, it’s not us
blaming, scapegoating, making fun of
thinking these are all acceptable behaviors

Self righteous we are appalled
at those that tweet their hates.
But then I remember the mirror
that life is, and I see

Edvard Munch, The Scream

I’m resenting that others have,
what I’ve lost. I want to scream at them!
And I know, this is being tormented by the devil,
so I ask for forgiveness and for your prayers.

I pray for the return of LOVE.

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What goes in the “to go” bag?

If you have to flee
what do you take?
credit cards, cash?
clean underwear?

What if you can’t get
the cat in his carrier
could you leave him
and ever be at peace?

My things are scattered
tucked into files and drawers
in the basement and closets
sort of like me these days.

What goes in the “To go” bag?
Is it what you cherish,
what you need to survive?
your fears, hopes, dreams?

When things are gone,
when what’s taken
for granted like gas, electricity
food, goes missing

what are you left with?
People encountered
along the way,
shared experiences

and of course, yourself
without the trimmings
without the props you rely on.
What do you carry with you?

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When treasures become unwanted stuff…

“It’s a sunk cost. Falling in love with what you have and reminding yourself of what it cost you is no help at all.” from Seth Godin’s “The market for used eclipse sunglasses”

I know I paid a lot for this
I love it but it’s time to move it on.
I can’t find a buyer for it!
How can that be?

We assume what we value
will always have a place,
our sense of order intertwined
with things staying the same.

But the the world’s fickle, and
even as we cling to the meaning and
worth we’ve assigned to our precious things
we find the world doesn’t share our assessment

leaving us a little bit disconcerted as we
realize our carefully constructed
world of what matters is just that
…ours   LOL!

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You keep getting surprised

You fear that your mourning will
be less interesting, even annoying
to those around you as time passes.
Even as the explosions in your heart
continue to erupt, the loss hitting harder.

“When someone you love dies, … you don’t lose him all at once; you lose him in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and his scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in his closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of him that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that he’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.” adapted from “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” by John Irving

It feels true that you lose someone in pieces,
You see a river where you might have wandered with him,
just walking, hanging out together. And suddenly, you’re
pulled into a quicksand of sadness, sinking uncontrollably.
You have no idea how to be without him.

The realization surprises you.
How did you get so dependent?
or maybe, How did you get so comfortable?
so comfortable with how things were, until they weren’t, and
you’re roughly tossed into this broiling confusion: who are you now?

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The ring came off

Some wear it around their necks
Others shift it to their right hand
Some sell it for what they can get
Mine rests in a box with his.

I’m changing to my engagement ring,
a Star Sapphire, its star hidden
until placed in the Light.

A gentle reminder that love
never dies, that what’s
important is always there.

You just have to know where to look,
how to look, and of course always
be prepared to be surprised

The gift and challenge of loss
The ring came off.
The journey continues.

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Old haunts and hauntings

I drive down 31E through Ky
into TN remembering the lush
farmlands, the quiet countryside,
and I feel him beside me.

I go to WPAF Base to reassure
myself that my military ID is still good.
I walk the aisles of the Commissary
and I feel him, hear his commentary.

The “Old Haunts” where we were
Just together, doing everyday things.
His presence, I feel it, and then
my mind reminds me that will change.

The memory will fade.
The feeling of him will dissipate
as if he’s merely a ghost haunting me.
Stop! I bring myself back into now.

I let him be here with me.
I give up trying to know, as least
for a nano second, what’s next.
I stop trying to make sense of it all.

Right now it is enough to
feel my love for him
from him
and let it be.

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Not Him

I was getting annoyed with my neighbor.
I’d invite him to visit ,
then get cynical/argumentative.
What was going on?

Another friend sat with me.
She listened as I put the question
out there…waiting.

The answer came,
“He’s not Joseph.”
The tears followed.

It wasn’t the Presence I knew
the Presence I expected
the Presence I so loved.

I keep discovering ways I miss him
Even as I feel him with me
go figure…
‘cause I can’t.

P.S. This isn’t about my neighbor whom I truly like. It’s just what happened.  I continue to allow the feelings to flow through me the best I can, trusting that it is as it should be. Being willing to see, to feel in the moment, even when it’s uncomfortable, embarrassing, is to me being here now. It allows me to release the thoughts/emotions so I can come closer to touching the silence within.  So be it.

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Magical thinking, stalling out

When I get stuck, writing helps me get in touch with those thoughts that lie just under the surface. It moves my energy to simply let the words come.

For the last few days, the push I’ve been feeling for weeks to gather up and get rid of some of Joseph’s things seemed to disappear.
I would sometimes wonder about the forcing function behind getting rid of things; what was going on when I gave away his exercise bike or clothes, or sold Joseph’s car,?  And then, when all of a sudden (so it seemed), the energy to do so stalled, what was this is about?

I do believe there’s something called “magical thinking.”  Something that happens when someone close to you dies and you can’t really process all that it means. It’s a phenomena that Joan Didion wrote so well about.  For me, I think the running out of steam had to do with these magical, under the surface, not necessarily rational, thoughts:

If I get rid of things, it will be over. — “it “being the loss; the wanting to know what or who’ll be left….
 If I don’t get rid of things, I won’t have to face it. — “it” being the vacuum; what feels like the looming need to rebuild my life….

I know both statements are wishful thinking.  I know “it” won’t be over and I know I’ll have to face whatever comes.  This morning I just cried.

But bringing to consciousness what was lurking in the background does shift my energy, at least for now. The feelings, challenges, unanswered questions remain.   But I trust the next steps will all unfold in their own time.  ☺️

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