2010 Curriculum

Things I have learned in 2010:

  • The love in my life makes me glow when it is harmonious (everyone said so, and I’ve never heard this so consistently.
  • The work that I have accomplished this year has been some of my best, and it was all for my family and I.
  • You can love people who aren’t blood like your family. Sometimes even more so.
  • Faith is inside me, not in the clouds.
  • Relationships are hard, my relationship to myself is harder.
  • Family is everything. Having a family of my own is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever known.
  • Anger and fear have a powerful grip, and will choke out all that is good and true if they are granted enough opportunity.
  • Trust cannot be taken away. There are people in life who will make choices that hurt you, but they can’t take parts away from you unless you give them away.
  • Sticking through difficulty and pain will reveal more truth than running away.
  • Books keep me sane.
  • Writing continues to save me.
  • My heart knows. Nobody else has to approve this.
  • I am poised to have everything I’ve ever wanted, but my soul needs to be ready to embrace this reality.
  • I have really amazing friends.
  • I have filled my world with inspiration, and can find it everywhere.
  • I am a good parent and have the makings of a really, really great parent.
  • I want, and deserve, an abundance of love.
  • When love gets scary, don’t run away. Love bigger and harder.
  • I am strong. Inside and outside.
  • I don’t need a dog in my life, but I’m a calmer, more sane person with one.
  • I could do a lot better at many things than I have done this year. Love is at the top of that list.
  • I ultimately need to be self-employed. Forever.
  • I am not nearly as self-aware as I thought I was.
  • There are ways of communicating that have nothing to do with words.
  • It is impossible to please everyone. I ought to only aim to please the people who love me the best, which includes me.
  • Children are more rewarding than dogs.
  • Hurting the people you love most hurts more than anything I’ve lived through thus far.
  • My brain can conjure truths more terrible than anything I’ll ever have to live through again. I have to remind myself this on a daily basis.
  • My body, though mysterious, isn’t in as bad shape as I’d feared. I think time will tell what it is actually capable of, and a healed up heart will go a long way towards a healthy vessel to do great things with.
  • I am a writer first, a performer second, and an entrepreneur third.
  • Writing fiction is scarier than accepting love.
  • Independence is power, and I need more of that power.

Thank you Universe for a complex, painful, joyful, terrifying, laughter-filled, inspiring, shining year. Every day is a gift, and I’m ready for 2011. Thank you to each of you who have loved me, and particularly to those of you who have loved me even when you weren’t exactly sure why you should.

Happy New Year!

xo

Schnoo

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All the Bells Rang Out, There Were Tears of Joy and Laughter

In the face of so much uncertainty, I know this is true; I never want the holidays to feel like this again. This has always been an important time of the year to me, and I want to honor it without so much confusion and sadness for all of the rest of my days. Perhaps that’s naive, but this is how I feel today.

Initially, I thought I would forgo the extended family Christmas Day feast, a tradition I’ve observed since birth, every single year of my life. I’ve been so emotional lately, and putting on a brave face seemed totally impossible. I was also worried that I would be facing judgment, which is difficult on a good day.

As the days leading up to Christmas unfolded however, my reality shifted once again, and I found myself yearning for something as familiar as the sight of my own face in the mirror.

I felt great calm wash over me as I arrived at my parents’ house, my house for my entire life. Right after walking through their door, I knew I had made the right decision. As the day would unfold, I knew I was where I should be, but I also knew that four important people were missing. I felt their absence as profoundly as I felt the waistband of my jeans constricting around my turkey-filled belly.

It was a beautiful day in my aunt’s beautiful home. My family were generally warm and unobtrusive. I was so happy to play and snuggle and dance with my cousins’ beautiful children. We went through a spell where there were no little ones for several years, but now my generation is pro-creating and there is tinkling laughter and the exuberant energy of little monkeys all over again. I still hope that one day my own little ones will be part of that music.

Yesterday I learned that members of my family are actively reading this blog. I also learned that reading this blog seems to create some confusion for some of them. For those of you who are confused about who I am writing to, or for, or about I would like you to just ask me. Please send me a note. Please don’t speculate and create further confusion and possibly hurt feelings. This made for a really awkward moment on an already difficult day for me yesterday.

I have great love, respect, and admiration for my collective family. They have survived a lot of pain and loss. Despite this, we continue to come together. For me, that impulse comes from honoring the idea that there are some constant, deeply rooted things that tie us to the earth, and add meaning and purpose to our lives. Family is one of them.

Watching everyone spontaneously rock out to Boney M after dinner, with percussion instruments in hand or babies in arms reminded me of where I come from. Life is deeply painful, incredibly confusing, and exquisitely beautiful all at the same time. I come from people who deeply understand this.

The people who make us can’t fully know us, the people who know us can’t really make us. Our hearts belong only to ourselves and are our beautiful worlds to govern.

This heart of mine needs family. Deep, true, real family that I can belong with and belong to. This is at the top of my New Year’s wish list, and will shape the woman I am in 2011.

I hope that your Christmas Day was warm, and that your Boxing Day will suitably be devoted to eating too much, drinking too much beer, and watching the Canada/Russia game. This is what will keep me rooted to the world today.

People shouted ‘Let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace.’

Hearts of Gold and Glass

I want to live,
I want to give
I’ve been a miner
for a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.
Keeps me searching
for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.

I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
for a heart of gold
I’ve been in my mind,
it’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching
for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.
Keeps me searching
for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.

Keep me searching
for a heart of gold
You keep me searching
for a heart of gold
And I’m growing old.
I’ve been a miner
for a heart of gold.

– Neil Young

 

Chrysalis Day Forty-Three

I believe it was Heavy D who said “Now that we’ve found love, what are we going to do with it?”

Nothing feels right and every possible avenue and scenario is fraught with complication, and as I continue to watch the days unfold all I can think in my heart is that we are here, together. We are meant to be here together. But how do we do it?

Like blind pilgrims we went in search of love in the most unlikely places, with only faith in the intensity of our emotion and the strength of our connection to guide us on our path. Despite the warnings. Despite convention.

And there is so much love here. So much.

My fears of being a liar, of not being enough, of not belonging, of not walking my true path have led to a path that is so winding and twisted that all light has vanished from my sight and I feel, quite simply, lost.

If I had a wish for Christmas it would be to banish all the pain, open our hearts to truth, and work together with love and open hearts to find healing.

I saw this today and it made me weep:

Kahlil Gibran on Love

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Chrysalis, Day Twenty-Eight

DISCLAIMER:

Adventures in Schnooville is my personal space on the Internet. If you’re here, it’s either because I’ve invited you in, or you happened by and I decided to leave the door open.

Are you hearing me? This space is mine. For me. Please don’t forget that for a second. All of the thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, and frustrations expressed here are my unique perspective on my very own unique life.

If you see yourself reflected here, if you discover experiences that are similar to your own, if you can relate, then I am of course delighted. That’s rather the point, isn’t it? We are compelled to write to combat feelings of solitude and isolation, and we are compelled to read to discover common themes and threads that tie all of us together. It makes me happy to know that for some of you, reading about my personal journey has made yours a little less lonely. If I do nothing else in my life, I think that’s a very fine thing.

If you know me beyond the realms of the internet, if you know a little bit about my life and the players therein, you are sharing even more of my personal experience, and if you’re reading this, then you ought to honor that. It’s rather like I left my journal open on your coffee table, isn’t it? On purpose. This is where I walk through my emotions, and here you are, sharing that with me. If it upsets you to read this, then walk away. Don’t read. Cancel your subscription, un-friend me on Facebook, delete me from your news feed, or take a break and come back some other time. I’m not writing for you, and I never will be. Commenting on the emotions I am expressing is futile because I can and will continue to express what I am feeling here. Always with as much sensitivity as I can muster, but as long as I’m here, I’ll be writing here.

I think you will find that if you give yourself a week, and then come back and re-read whatever upset you, it will be a very different experience. Or perhaps not. Whatever the case, it’s your responsibility to deal with how my emotions might be making you feel if you chose to read these pages.

Comments of reflection, relation, sensitivity, encouragement, sharing, and inspiration are always welcome here in Schnooville. Harsh criticism, judgment, and hurt are not. Start your own blog.

Finally, I would like to say that nearly a month in this chrysalis has given me a keen look at what it is like to be one of those people who absolutely dread this time of the year. For you, every year beyond this one, I give a little slice of my heart. I’m not sure if it’s the cold and snow, or if it’s the result of carefully planned propaganda, but this time of year wants sad and lonely people to hurt more than ever, and that’s just wrong.

Here is the challenge I throw down – make a list of everything in your life, right now, that offers you a consistent sense of warmth. Notice I didn’t say people? People are not so constant, but I can bet a warm mug of tea (with a nip of scotch perhaps) is always a little bit of comfort. If you have even one constant person who can be counted on for warmth, even if you don’t know them well, add them to your list. Warmth is warmth when it’s especially cold.

A whole month has passed almost since my life began to change shape again.

Last year, at this time, I knew it would be the last Christmas that I found myself in the circumstances I was in. I didn’t predict this change of course, and within the many layers of pain and sadness is a layer of unexpected surprise. A change of course that illuminates, and offers hope in the power of love. Hope that I have always held hidden beneath my layers of fear and cynicism. Now this hope has a face, and a name. It is real, and I will hold it close to my heart and recognize it over and over again each day.

There will be no fresh start because life continues moving forward. If you keep moving with it, your landscape will always change. In these dark winter months, the light at the end of the tunnel is impossible to see, but as spring waits tucked around the corner like a blushing virgin, so too is the light hidden away, waiting for the moment of revelation.

I raise a mug of warm scotch to you, and remind you that you’re not ever really alone.