Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Letting Go...

kmbrco wrote this in the comments today:

Last Friday I stood with my sisters, by my mother's side as she "let go". Her battle with cancer over. Her fate accepted.
Not so easy on this side of the spiritual plane. It hurts so much.
And in the aftermath, the need to let go of so many other things. Little hurts and burdens from years past...childhood, sisterhood, our father's death 7 years ago. All sisters having such different personalities and ways of dealing with life. 
Every little thing seems huge, and then so small at the same time.
All I know is that she is gone. She is no longer in pain. And that I will long to see her face and hear her voice for the rest of my life.
In the meantime, we have to let go and go on living.

"Every little thing seems huge, and then so small at the same time."  Ain't it the truth.  

When does the release come, I wonder.  From grief, from guilt, from resentment.  Not too long ago I drove by the house where one of my high school science teachers used to live.  One time he really treated me like crap in high school; I can barely remember for what now, but when I go by that house, I immediately get angry. 

And that, my friends, is what they call crazy. 

A spiritual director once told me, maybe we're wrong to think about forgiveness as something we do.  Because so often what we discover is how totally unable we are to accomplish it. 

Maybe we should think about forgiveness instead as something God does.  And our job is not to make it happen, but just to try and stay out of the way so his grace can flow, however it will.   

And maybe grief, guilt are the same way.  Maybe the crazy thing is to think that we ourselves will ever "get over" the loss of our loved ones, or let go. Maybe the best we can do is allow that pain we feel to not curl up like armadillo but let our pain run roughshod over us for a while and see what God does with it. 

That's a lot of maybes... life: a rather inexact science. 

Hang in there, kmbrco.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love and Let Go Of...

The great thing about a good film is the passageways it can lead your mind down.

I saw "Eat, Pray, Love" today, the new Julia Roberts film based on the super-multi-amazing bestselling book of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert (who I always want to call Sara Gilbert or Elizabeth Mitchell.  urk.)  It's the story of the year after Ms. Gilbert's divorce, and the journey she took to Italy, India and finally Bali to rediscover life, forgive herself and move on.

The film's gotten an "eh" to "hmm" reception, but I highly recommend it for anyone traveling the spiritual road.  Some amazing moments, particularly in the middle section, about getting through the guilt and self-recrimination after you've hurt someone deeply.   And some of the acting is just outstanding.

Personally, I found the film drew (threw?) me back to the last month of move-in to Los Angeles.  Every time I move, I spend a lot of time trying to simplify, throwing things away, organizing, etc.  Especially throwing away.  In fact, both as I pack and after I arrive I try my very best to FREAKING LET GO.

And this go round was particularly hard, a lot more time spent wrestling than I would have cared for, and with no clear sense on my part as to why.  

So I'm walking out of EPL and the thought comes: maybe you've been stuck in this seemingly endless loop because you're trying to throw away the wrong things. Maybe, this time around it's not so much certain objects you have to let go of but ---

And that's where the thought trailed off.  Hate when that happens.

It's always good to pray for freedom.  And to eat ice cream.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eminem's New Video

I did a post the other day on my other blog, Pop Culture Priest, about a new song about a violent relationship by Eminem. You might find it interesting...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vancouver Ho!

Hello from Vancouver.  I'm here for a few days of R&R, and thought I might post a little as I go.  I've read the comments I've gotten about the blog-- thanks for them! And Michelle, I see I owe you an email.  Soon, I promise.

What I thought I'd do for the time being is offer the occasional short reflection on things going on, pop culture-y, American society, etc., mixed in with some traveloguing, both from here and from a trip I took last summer to China.   It probably won't be every day, but we'll see how it goes.


Vancouver is a city on an peninsula, with mountains to the north, the Pacific to the West, and an inlet and a river on the north and south.  According to my travel guide (Frommer's, great so far), "Thousands of years ago, a giant glacier sliced along the foot of today's North Shore mountains, carving out a deep trench and piling up a gigantic moraine of rock and sand."   When the glacier receded, the Pacific flowed in and the moraine became the land on which Vancouver now sits.

Sitting at the northern tip of the downtown area, looking out on the inlet and the blue mountains fading into the distance across, I found myself appreciating the sense of space there. It's not dramatic as much as it is relaxing, the kind of simple openness that invites you to slow down and take some deep breaths.

Coming out of the crowdedness not only of New York, but of my life, having spent the last few months packing and unpacking, chasing down items on check lists, letting go of things only to add new things in their places, my thoughts sitting there turned to God.  Make room like this inside of me.  Carve away at all the sediment, grind down my attachments, and let me know the spaciousness of life with you.

And the thought came back: just remember, glaciers move very slowly...


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