Tuesday, December 2, 2008

listening to your heart

this is a long one...

so here's today's nelson mandela quote

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

i really like that one.

yesterday, as i was driving around after i realized i was not going to be counseled, i was thinking about the things i was hoping to talk to the-rapist about. mostly, like i said, i was looking for communication help... i have realized how defensive i get when i am communicating with, oh, say, my spouse or someone like that...snort. so while i was driving, i was thinking, as i have been often lately, about what, exactly, i am defending. it seems like sometimes i am defending things that later turn out to be, oh, what's the word? stupid? unnecessary? kind of ridiculous? or at the very least not near worth the battle i was putting up defending them...

i've been playing with this idea for awhile...and it was in eldest a little, too. eragon can't open his mind to perceive the presence, and yes, potential malice, of those around him if he keeps his mind shut against everyone and everything to protect it. anyway...the image of a self inside, a self that was strong, which morphed into a diamond self came into my mind. which, of course, reminded me of the essay called diamond heart by anne lamott. (following me here?...hehe)

so here are the parts i liked a lot from diamond heart. i admit i was not a close cropper in harvesting these quotes...the essay kind of rambles, which is how i am feeling right now...this is an essay about her son, sam, who is a teenager...

I rest in silence and music and long strides, while Sam rests in noise and motion.

When he was two, being awful and destructive on every level of his pitiful, loathsome, poopy existence, I told my friend Pammy, calmly, "He's a bad person. He's already ruined."
Pammy said something that I have clung to like the last heel of bread: "Sam has a deep core of sweetness within him." She was right. He's deeply compassionate, and fair, but he also loves knives, and air-soft guns, and paintball guns, and Ninja blades, and violence.

He exerts tremendous energy, and it builds up and he sends it forth with his tools, his swords. It's art, it's an installation, it's the American way: "We're big and strong and male, and this thing is about to get seriously small, and be in shreds, because I am about to heavily fuck with it." He finds where something has a weak spot, picks up a branch, and jabs it, like a physical yell.

He is an exact person, as we all are, even though I sense that there is only one of us, that we are mosaic chips of that One.

My friend said our hearts are like diamonds because they have the capacity to express divine light, which is love; we not only are portals for this love, but are made of it. She said we are made of light, our hearts faceted and shining, and I believe this, to a point: I disagree with her saying we are beings of light wrapped in bodies that merely seem dense and ponderous, yet actually are made of atoms and molecules, with infinite space and light between them. It must be easy for her to believe this, as she is thin, and does not have children. But I can meet her halfway: I think we are diamond hearts, wrapped in meatballs.

You have to contain children, or you ruin them, and no one will ever want you to come visit. But children go ballistic when their unfettered spirits feel constricted and picked on by horrible you. They like you less, but if you don't do it, they feel wounded.

It's a mixed grill of sweet and nourishing and intolerable, like life. You and your bright, bonny child walk hand in hand to the park, and then, while sitting on a bench, you see his delight in hurting another kid. Kids go right for the vulnerability in other kids, ganging up on the weakest, ditching, or snatching things away. Life is not what one had in mind. It's punishing. It makes you want to punish back.

Maybe this is what grace is, the unseen sounds that make you look up.

Without all the shade and shadows, you'd miss the beauty of the veil. The shadow is always there, and if you don't remember it, when it falls on you and your life again, you're plunged into darkness. Shadows make the light show. Without shadows, we'd see only what a friend of mine refers to as "all that goddamn light."

i like that. it makes my image all the better...because i didn't want to focus on the hardness of diamonds in my mind's eye. the portals for light was a great addition, a much needed facet. i was going to write a post today called the presents of presence and talk about how all of these great people wash through my day in ways i'm sure they have no idea they've left themselves. phrases i use, a phone call made, an email, too many ways to name. but then anne lamott dropped by my mind in a diamond image and, well, the image became clearer.

it doesn't mean i don't still have instincts to defend myself...i do. but i just think, "how silly...what i defend is a lot stronger than what i have to defend it with...so what am i accomplishing exactly?"