Can a cat be a “someone”?
A Realization at 58
My life hasn’t ended.
There will be dazzlements,
just now, for example, my too-plump cat
is so sure of her charms
she lolls like a mermaid
across my bedroom’s entry
in near dark,
a shadow I could easily trip over
spilling hot tea
I note the belly she offers
with the confidence
of a great beauty
and kiss it
Beautiful, thoughtful responses. Thank you, all. The message that resonates for me after reading all of them is the interconnection of all being. We all belong to each other. If only we could live that way.
Letting go of anger and resentment is not like dropping a couple of items you were holding in your hands and being forever free of them. To be honest, it seems a disservice to speak of such difficult heart-work in this facile manner, as if to free ourselves of deeply entrenched hurts and memories, all we need to do is decide to “let go.” Yes, it can be accomplished, but it takes time and work and grace – and often therapy. Moreover, it’s not as if once we have decided to forgive, the anger and resentment – bingo! – disappears. It can come back, we may have to learn to forgive all over again.
The opportunity to forgive myself for past thoughts and actions, resolve to do better, and move forward.
I don’t think there’s ever sincere faith without doubt. Two of the most moving moments in the Gospels are when the man cries out to Jesus, “I believe, help thou my unbelief!”…..and when Jesus cries out, “My God, my god, why have you forsaken me?” Doubt teaches me to look for God in places I might not look otherwise. Doubt teaches me compassion. Doubt teaches me that God does not expect me or anyone else to have “perfect faith.”
My love has made a real and important difference in the life of my beloved partner. I moved out in 2012 because of his heavy drinking. More than one friend told me, “You have to cut ties. He needs to hit rock bottom.” I am so glad I listened to my heart instead. (And by the way, he hit rock bottom more than once – and that didn’t stop his drinking. Please don’t repeat platitudes that are meaningless.) I got him into public housing because it was all he could afford at the time. I packed and moved him. I visited him and yes, I took all kinds of verbal abuse. I knew that was not him talking. Eventually, I helped get him into assisted living. He quit smoking and he quit drinking vodka. Now, we get together every weekend. he is the love of my life and he knows me as no one else does. For Valentine’s Day, he bought me a beautiful faux leather jacket (he knows I am vegan). If I had abandoned him, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be dead by now. Thank you , God, that I did this one thing right!
Not a niche like yours (sigh). But like Gina, I love being by water. I still miss Lake Michigan (I used to live in Chicago).
Beautiful, Kevin. Your description of the beaches and marshes made me think of Mary Oliver.
Your sacred niche sounds wonderful, Deb. I am glad you have it.
Yes, water can heal and sooth my soul as well, Gina.
Deb, that sounds like an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking thing to do. Good for you for being strong and wise enough to love and support YOU.
So glad you are healing, Gina! Yes to abundance in all its forms!
Michael, I know what you mean about not feeling worth of abundance. That has always plagued me – the idea that it’s better to be wanting. I think we pick up these notions in childhood and it is really, really difficult to get rid of them.
Thank you, KC, and I will definitely look into the book you mentioned.
Thank you for this beautiful reflection, Gina.
Well expressed, Patjos!
Interesting – I did not know about the alternative translation. – yet I do not know that it really changes my perspective, given the words and mood of Psalm 22, where the quote originated. The entire psalm is a lament about a god that is absent, or so it seems to me. That is one reason why I so love the psalms! I love the changes in mood, the anger at God, the love, the tenderness – and the doubt.
That you are human!
Thank you, Patjos, it was difficult – both the leaving (which at first I did not think I could do) and what came after. But we have each other now! Have a lovely day.
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