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I had a startling experience yesterday at church.
Someone had just purchased one of my art pieces
and was showing it around.
Someone else turned to me and said,
‘I had no idea you made fiber art pieces’…
…even though I make all my husband’s stoles,
co-lead the Visual Arts Team,
have had an art show at the church,
have a website, an Etsy shop, and a Facebook page
(all of which highlight my artwork).
I will confess: There was a moment of “REALLY?”
and my ego gave a little whimper…
At 40, I would have felt invisible
and spent the next week howling at the moon.
(Figuratively, of course.)
At 65 (give or take a couple of weeks)
I realized that I felt relieved? released? unpressured?
Apparently, I could take up belly-dancing or mud-wrestling
and 90% of the people who know me wouldn’t know or care.
This is true for you, too.
Do you realize how liberating this is for all of us?
Sometimes we just need a goal
worth dedicating our life to.
These words from French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
always give me chills:
Someday, after mastering the winds,
the waves, the tides and gravity,
we shall harness for God
the energies of love,
for a second time in the history of the world,
[we] will have discovered fire.
I was busy rearranging files today
to accommodate the 47 pieces of essential information
that I have carefully sifted from
the 7,241 separate flyers, brochures, forms,
and ‘opportunities’ that have overflowed
my mailbox since Medicare loomed on my
I was just about to trudge up to Office Depot
to buy a new file box when
a small voice in the back of my brain
reminded me of something I wrote last year:
Never buy another file drawer; empty the one you have.
I would like to report that it works!
I have the last quilt top my great-grandmother pieced.
It is a Log Cabin design with the traditional red center squares
and it is made out of the predominantly brown and cream and blue
scraps left over when the
shirts, skirts, dresses, aprons, baby rompers, and pinafores
that clothed the family were cut and sewn.
Yesterday I was in a one of my favorite fabric stores
watching people select just the right mix of
colors and patterns to make their
(admittedly, far more beautiful) quilts.
But here’s what I am pondering:
Is there something to be learned from the
discipline of putting together leftovers
and coming up with something
useful and unique?
I wonder if, in the process, we learn something
about getting along and making do
that translates to
getting along and making do with our neighbors –
who might not be the perfect color
or pattern to look right in our guest room, either.
If you have been following my Facebook page,
you will know that my aura strongly
resembles a porcupine these days.
[The inaccurately-named Commander-in-Chief Forum
two nights ago pushed 99.44% of my buttons.] But since temper tantrums are
so not appealing in 65 year olds,
I thought I would practice deep breathing
and channel that energy into a prayer for patience.
Not knowing how your aura is these days,
maybe you could use it, too.
Still me into patience;
pausing me between ebb and flow.
Deepen me into patience;
steadying me slowly toward center.
Silence me into patience;
releasing me from word into breath.
Empty me into patience;
unburdening knowing into curiosity.
May the deep patience of earth support me.
May the wide patience of air invite me.
May the tempering patience of fire hone me.
May the cleansing patience of water refresh me.
Oh, may it be so.
Barring the people of Flint, Michigan,
most of us in the United States and Canada
really don’t pay much attention to water…
and who has the right to use it.
So, you may be interested to know that, in August, rain barrels –
up to two, with a maximum combined capacity of 110 gallons –
became legal in Colorado.
Before then, we were not allowed to conserve rainwater;
it was ‘owned’ by those who held the water rights downstream of us.
(So, instead of gathering rain water that dripped off roofs
to use on our plants or lawns,
we drew potable water out of the water table
and used that, instead. Really, you might ask?)
In my not-at-all humble opinion,
the world is too small and too populated
for this attitude any longer.
We jointly draw from the resources of our planet home
to the seventh generation and beyond;
we need to excise the word ‘my’ from our language immediately if not sooner
(as in ‘my’ land, ‘my’ water, ‘my’ coal/silver/diamonds/iron ore).
I invite you to pay attention to how often you use that word,
how subliminal the message of ownership is,
and how it skews our understanding of the kin-dom of humanity.
Today is the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
that destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC,
severely damaged the west wall of the Pentagon,
and crashed Flight 93 into a field in Shanksville (PA)
when the 45 passengers and flight crew courageously chose
to prevent the hijackers from destroying an unknown fourth target
at the cost of their own lives.
In all, 2,996 people died in the attacks themselves
(including 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers)
and many more have died in the years since
from the toxic air they breathed and toxic materials they handled
while working at Ground Zero.
In this tender, vulnerable time:
May we find peace in our hearts.
May we find compassion in our spirits.
May we find wisdom in our souls.
May we find courage in our being.
May we reach out rather than shut out.
May we understand rather than undermine.
May we befriend rather than belittle.
May the world be better for our words.
May the world be better for our thoughts.
May the world be better for our actions.
May this be so today, tomorrow, until the end of time.
Text © 2016, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos © 2015, 2016 Immram Chara, LLC