Skip to content

Let me explain . . .

I will never know if I would have gone through with ending my life that night, or if it was just a step I was taking in testing this option . . . moving closer to it to see if it still felt like the answer. I will never know because I have never felt that way again. . .

Read more

Drowning

Drowning is truly a quiet affair. My arms stretched out at my sides, my head tilted back seeing only sky as I tried to keep my mouth and nose above the waves. I couldn’t make a sound, nor could I wave my arms. When I tried, I would immediately go under. All around me, even brushing against me, people were splashing and screaming and laughing, oblivious to my struggle. Finally, exhausted, I gave up and lowered my chin.

Read more

Moonstruck

Last night around 11PM I quickly climbed outside my second-story bedroom window onto the  roof that sits above the kitchen addition.   The roof is narrow and flat and covered in rubber. I was in a hurry to shoot the full moon before it moved behind a stand of tall trees on its trajectory across the night sky. I am a 55-year-old woman with dimensions incompatible with squeezing through a small opening in a big hurry. I barked my shin on the way out, bumped my head and cursed that moon. Rushing and grumbling, I impatiently set up my tripod and took a few quick photos only to find that my camera settings were off. As I anxiously readjusted the ISO and F-Stop, that beautiful annoying moon slipped behind the treetops and hid from my view.

It was near midnight as I stood high above the earth, irked at the moon. Then I noticed how quiet the world was. How the air was soft and cool and the black rubber roof, still holding the heat from the day’s sunshine, was warm beneath my bare feet.  I could see the neighborhood houses had closed their eyes, save for a few lighted windows winking at me through branches moving in the breeze.

Behind me, in the home I was leaning up against with one shoulder, my husband and children slept. Our big, sweet, retriever dog Baloo had followed me to the window. Looking confused as I squeezed through the narrow opening, he’d cocked his head from side to side, and was watching me still. With a heavy sigh I heard him plop down below the windowsill inside to wait for me.  I took a deep, contented breath and did the same on the other side of the wall. And there I sat, like a happy gargoyle perched on the roof, inhaling the silence, waiting on the moon.

Cheese!

Cheese!

By the time  she sauntered into a gap between the trees about 30 minutes later, I was calm and ready. I had a heart filled with love. Love of this home, this family, this neighborhood, the sleeping people, this night, this moon. I stood and put my eye to the viewfinder and seeing her full in the frame I said, “Well, there you are. Took your sweet time, I see.” She smiled and said, “Cheese!” as I clicked the shutter.

~Mammamste~
There is so much divinity in the everyday.

The world shines about me,

luminous as the moon

smiling like a rose,

and a sweet benediction flows

through everything existing.

How beautiful life is.

Hamza El Din

Play-Dates. From Benign Neglect to Manic Management–Longing for a Middle Ground

Throwback Friday. I’m reblogging some of my earlier blogs, back when I had about 4 followers! Thanks for indulging me.

mammaste ~ divinity in the everyday

Not long ago I asked Connie, the woman with whom I have been in a serious “play-date” relationship for a couple of years, if she had any regular play-dates yet for her three-year old son. Sighing, she said, “It’s really about seeing if you get along with the other mother, and seriously, I’m just tired of auditioning.”

With Connie I’ve scored that perfect hat-trick in the play-date game. Our daughters like each other, we live only houses apart and Connie and I are now good friends. This is only my second serious play-date relationship in the course of raising five children. My previous steady and I lasted almost 10 years until she and her husband divorced and he got custody of our family.

In my current relationship with Connie I have, as one does in long-term relationships, become complacent. I have not seriously pursued other play-dates for my very extroverted…

View original post 232 more words

My Message in a Digital Bottle . . .

20130601_134119When publishing an essay here on my blog, or posting a photo, a favorite saying or a funny story on Facebook I imagine myself writing them on real paper. I smile as I see myself rolling them up tightly and slipping them into the narrow opening of a virtual bottle. As they push past the neck and into the open space below, I see them unfurl in my mind’s eye and I mentally seal the bottle and toss it out into this undulating, big blue internet ocean with the click of my mouse.

IMG_0001My messages are nearly  always love letters. They are written to myself too, because the simple act of bearing witness publicly to the beauty I see around me is good for me, and that is enough. But early on I used to wonder, when my message in a bottle rolls up on someone else’s distant shore does it arrive at just the right time? Does it touch them? Does it make a positive difference in their day? Does it matter to anyone else?

I don’t wonder any more. Here and there people send me little love notes back. They tell me that my bottle reached them. Something I wrote, or a picture I took spoke to them. They write to me saying I sent just the right message at just the right moment to just the right person. Love notes like this one:

“Dear Lori ~

You need to know how Mammaste touches peoples lives on the most basic level so I write to you now. There are so many days when a beautiful photograph you take or a story you tell, like your daughter making her father turn the car around so she could snap a photo of a heart in nature, warms my heart. Today was exceptional though. Your post about today being a gift & a blessing shook me to the core on a day where putting one foot in front of the other was nearly impossible. Your loving words from the heart of a mother inspired me to START my day. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude.

Leslie McAfee Richter” (Used with permission)

0001fcThere have been many others too. For each and every one, my heart is warmed in reading them, and I am grateful. They are little love notes rolling up on my sandy shore. I want you to know your messages have reached me. I know you, like me, have been moved by the words of others on social media, and on blogs, and watching videos that make us laugh and cry and amazing TED Talks on beauty and bravery and vulnerability, and the list goes on. We may not write a response every time. But we are moved just the same, and we are changed for the better.

A funny thing happened as I was crafting this essay. I noticed a Private message on my Facebook tab. When I opened it, it read:

“I love you. Enjoy the evening sun . . . I just had the feeling rush over me so I took advantage of telling you via this modern age contraption.”

It was from my dear friend Jane just down the street!

We can shape this ‘modern age contraption’ that is the internet into anything we want it to be. Why not a vehicle to transport our love letters to humanity, to the world?

Mammaste
Divinity in the Everyday

Pollyanna

This 'Way' of being in the world, of seeing the world as inherently good, of life as ultimately hopeful, and beautiful and sacred, is an exercise in flexing my ‘intention’ muscle every day. This loving outlook is an awareness I cultivate consciously. It is my spiritual practice of divine perspective. It is an intention of being a non-judgmental observer of myself and others. It involves, much of the time, my being unreasonably optimistic.

Read more

The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times, in life after life, in age after age forever.
Rabindranath Tagore

Read more

The Story of Any of Us is the Story of All of Us.

Two children, bright and beautiful, suddenly, separately and unexpectedly passed away this week in neighboring communities. One a sweet little 8-year-old boy with the face of a freckled angel, the other a shining, vibrant young girl of 14. Both smiling from pictures framed by a journalist’s galley of words attempting to explain this tragic loss to stunned readers. Many, like me, are strangers to their grieving families but that does not matter–children should not die, and we are all connected in our collective grief.

. . . as the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.

~Frederick Buechner

DSCF0418Many in the two communities in which the children lived hung balloons up and down their streets in school colors, one community filled with orange balloons and the other green in a tender display of shared sorrow in support for the grieving families and in celebration of these precious lives.

DSCF0431

At times like these we often want to hold those families close and tell them we grieve with them, but we feel helpless to offer comfort for such an unfathomable loss. So, people hung balloons hoping to send these families the message that they are not alone, that they are held in the hearts and prayers of many who may not know them but who grieve with them.

Where I live, these two communities border each other. Today as I was driving down the road I saw this collective compassion overlapping in a very visual way.
Where the two grieving communities crossed paths, two bunches 0f the colored balloons, four green, four orange were entwined on a shared tether.

It was such a powerful display of who we are when we are so consciously connected to our own hearts and therefore to the hearts of others. A signpost marking a moment when we recognized our oneness–when a stranger’s grief became our grief. An interconnection that felt so real and fragile and tender and sad and beautiful all wrapped up in the image of those balloons for Carly and Quinn, tangled up together in the bright sunshine, swaying gently in the cold winter wind.

With my deepest heartfelt love and compassion to their families.

Mammaste

Divinity in the Everyday

The Things We Do For Love?

So what happens when we realize what we thought we were giving out of love, we were really giving in exchange for love? What can we do when we feel resentment or bitterness welling up over something we’ve given in exchange for less than what we expected?

Well, that’s the amazing thing about gifts of love–we can retroactively transform those past transactions into gifts by simply forgiving any perceived debt! We can just burn the invoice, tear up the bill, erase it from the ledger in our heart. The alchemy of this transformation is pure magic, and you and I, we are all magicians at heart.

Read more

And Isn’t It Ironic, Don’t You Think?

Sigh. I love my husband more than that holy water. I really do. But I'm not gonna' lie, it is a love that was sorely tested that day.

Read more

%d bloggers like this: