Tuesday, December 28, 2010


My last post was entitled "Things That Make Me Happy." I have been thinking about that post ever since I wrote. I realize that the little things are the things that make me happy. Those geese coming up over the hill made me laugh. Watching my dog and cat play makes me happy. The squirrels attaching the bird feeder makes me happy. My granddaughter always makes me happy, even when she is being a brat. This is a picture of my daughter and Isabella when Izzy was a baby. Isabella is almost three and a half now. This picture makes me happy!

Things don't make me happy, in fact objects are what keep me from noticing the very things that make me happy... go figure. Every time I want a new toy and I finally get it, I am struck by how insignificant it is. I just got a new iPad; I wanted one for sometime now. Well, now I have it and I feel that it just keeps me from noticing the things that truly make me happy. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful. I love my iPad and I love my husband for buying it for me, but instead of following my breath, I am playing Fruit Ninja or doing other inane things. The iPad is a tool and if I can just remember that and use it as such then it's great. To use it a diversion or a delaying tactic to keep from going within then it's not good. When Jesus talked about a camel finding it easier to get into heaven than a rich man this is what he meant. Our wealth and our things are a diversion from being here now.

Last month I was in Penn Station waiting for Jon to come out of the mens' room. There were three black guys decorating the station for Christmas. I was struck by how much care they were giving to their task. One of the men was a big burly guy, he was formidable because he was so tough looking. The big guy then went to a huge box holding the Christmas decorations and selected a wreath to hang in the center of the draped holly they had just hung. He took the wreath out of the box with such care, then he considered it for some time and finally he broke into a big smile. He liked the wreath, it pleased him. He then went to his fellow workers and showed it to them and they all approved with equally big smiles.

This little tableau gave me such pleasure. I was smiling too. Jon asked me why when he rejoined and I pointed out the three men working. We watched them for a moment or two longer before hurrying on our way. I think the element that caused me to smile was the paradoxical nature of what I saw. The big man handling the decorations with such care and enjoyment. When watching the geese, it was the surprise element of first the head appearing and then the rest of the ungainly body. The wag of the tail at the end was just icing on a cake.

So what is the nature of happiness. Is it one thing in juxtaposition to another? Or is that the nature of humor? I think perhaps that is the nature of humor- things in opposition, contradictions and paradox. So, what is that makes me happy?

Sometimes I feel that I am flat. I don't have a range of emotions. I hang around the middle. Never totally joyful and never completely sad. In my younger days, I cried quite often. Today, I only mist up. If I do cry, it seems to be from joy rather than sadness. Now, that's not a bad thing, but I want passion. Anger is the emotion that can elicit passion in me and I don't care for that quality. I suppose it is a moot point at thins stage in my life, I am who I am. I am me. Perhaps I am meant to be the grounding energy for those around me; at least that's what it seems like and it's not so bad.

It's the end of the year and quite a year it's been. I worked hard. I am frustrated by my living arrangements. My job as a chaplain is in question because of budget cuts and that truly makes me sad. I long to feel God and mostly I feel no closer than last year. Isabella makes me laugh when ever I am with her. She is just a lot of fun. My boss Chris died on Christmas day after battling cancer for six months. He was a young man. He was good to me and treated me with much kindness; he made me feel like an integral part of the team, and he's the only one at my job that did that. He was a sweet man. I will miss him a lot. So, in some ways it's been a sad year.

I work hard at One Spirit. I am happy when I am there. I want a place there. I want it to be my spiritual home, yet I am ever mindful that fortunes change, new people come into view, old ones leave. So, who knows how long it will last? I don't. What I have come to realize is that my spiritual home is inside of me. If I am happy when I am at One Spirit then I can access that feeling on my own. If I am to find God I will only find him right here, right now, inside of my own being. Spiritual practice eludes me. I am undisciplined. Yet I feel that I need to just stay in the now. I think I am getting better at it and isn't that I spiritual practice all in itself?

So, at the end of the year, I am still plagued with the same questions, longings and self-doubt that I've always had. Only now I am more aware of it and I don't seem to place as much significance on it as I was did. I feel that I am making progress at the pace that I need to make it. All is right with my world. If a attain enlightenment in this lifetime- great. If not, and it takes me another ten or twelve lifetimes, then that's great too. It's all good. And that is truly progress.

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