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Possible New Insight
Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8:23 PM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 176

Since mom's passing in November, after the hell we all know too well, I find myself often on the back deck staring at winter and the woods and the sky. I have so often felt empty, or worse, desolate. I wait for a visit though I may notice signs, like the mourning dove I startle awake each dawn when I let the dog out. I notice, but I don't feel. This morning it occurred to me that her disappearance has become part of the mystery of this life and universe. I still don't "feel" the awe or euphoria or wonder of past years, but thinking this thought about mystery and that she's a part of it may be the start. 


Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 8:24 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2010

Dear AmyJo, Your words that caught me were your search for “awe or euphoria or wonder.” Perhaps our connection to our moms was stronger than we thought. That awe, euphoria and wonder we thought was ours to enjoy individually was actually born of a connection to another, our moms. This is a realization I feel stronger about as I age, is that the value in life seems to be in my connection to others, the love shared, the mutual respect and care, the perhaps one-way care thrown with abandon and recklessness towards a life that could only be so precious as that of a mom. 


I remember waking up (Was I a child? Was I an adolescent?) with a feeling of anticipation of what the day would hold. I was so excited to get started! Something good would happen! The constant circle of thoughts that wind up like a fist in the mind was described to me by someone I love as ants, or ANT (automatic negative thoughts). It was suggested to me that I replace the ants with apes, or APE (automatic positive expectations). The image is of an ape picking ants out of its hair, just picking those negative thoughts away and replacing them with the awe, euphoria and wonder  -- the positive expectations -- of which you speak. 


It’s a meticulous job, and not for everyone. It helped me, the image and finding the feeling for which I was searching, even if it sometimes brought up a story from childhood that was perhaps less than joyful or memorable, but a small, tiny euphoria would do, a glimmer of awe was enough,  just a sliver of wonder would remind me.


Today I get to watch the snow fall. The Gang of Chickadees, Bushy the Squirrel and the Fat Cardinal are all feasting on the birdseed. I don’t have to teach at school because the snow has closed all the schools. I don’t have to go anywhere, but I have two tennis balls ready to play chase with the dog outside in the snow when it’s time for the walk. Today I’m actually looking forward to the day. The snow is gathering like heavy frosty marshmallows on all the branches.


Perhaps it will be a better day for you too. I hope so. 





Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2019 9:44 AM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 176

Dear MPSunshine,

I am so grateful for your kind, beautiful words. Well, the "ants" and "apes" weren't so much beautiful as helpful .  Still I am grateful, for your thoughts and for the images from and of your winter, and for ideas on how I might take control over my own thoughts when they want to go toward darkness. 

Are you in the midwest? I live in New Hampshire currently but am from Wisconsin, which was where my mom passed. She and my father LOVED the birds at the bird-feeder all winter. They were dairy farmers. 

I wish you a good day and good days, too. Whenever I have read your posts, I have felt uplifted.

In gratitude.