Saturday, October 20, 2007


Mist hung low in the cedars this morning like a cloak wrapped about the massive trunks of the ancient ones. Oh, what they might tell me if they could talk; or if I could understand the language I’m sure they have. I lay in bed watching the mist as it moved about the landscape beyond my bedroom, distorting the vision I typically see each morning just before sunrise. Where was the dogwood? I was certain it was there, but in this misty morning vision it eluded me.

It occurred to me at that moment that much of my life right now was like this misty morning landscape… unclear. Try as I might to make out shapes or see the future it was all an illusion that I was to make up in my own mind. What was clear to me was simply this; my house has no roof, my walls no mud, my floors no covering, my windows no glass...

I’ve been struggling so much for the past four weeks, trying to make sense of the insensible and to believe the unbelievable, and I’m sure my recent physical illness is a manifestation of all those stuffed emotions and thoughts I’ve held on to of late. If our words do indeed create our ‘now’ then it is clear to me that mine have been less than beautiful. However I have simply been describing what I ‘see’ before me; yet this morning in my hazy attempt to find clarity among the fog it occurred to me that I couldn’t see the entire picture of life-as-I’d-known-it these past few weeks anymore than I could see the dogwood that I was fairly certain still stood among the cedars across the lawn.

What I am certain about is this; regardless of what a person says with their words, or what their intentions are, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Or as a wise woman once told me, “I can’t hear your words for your actions speak so loud.”

What one DOES and how one shows up is what is real. Everything else is made up or imagined. The proof really is in the doing, not the speaking. Perhaps that is what coined the phrase, “talk is cheap”.

In the middle of another sleepless night I had a vision of my own. First the thought… what would I really love to see happen in the building or rebuilding of my home? What I first saw was the crew of Extreme Home Makeover pulling their giant RV in front of my house. A nice vision if I do say so myself. But what came next was even more beautiful and with that vision I felt my heart soften and could see how my life would be forever changed by the realization of that second vision, which was this:

My friend, Gary, orchestrating his magic and not only creating possibilities, but literally organizing and overseeing a group of people who were all smiling, talking, and working on my house. Behind him was Shaye who would bring car load after car load of people to see my house and what was happening there. All of these people where hiring us to redesign their dream home. She would bring them to me and I would walk them through the house, introducing them to the various folks who were all contributing time and energy, creating their own passion within the walls of my home.

There were many people working here from the community… a tile expert donating his time to create a masterpiece of tile work in the entry of my home. Another, a carpenter, laying wood flooring with artistic inlay designs. And then there was a glass woman, doing some sort of stain glass design in one of the windows. And there were many others as well. People with their hands in the dirt, planting flowers and shrubbery… laying huge flat pieces of stone to create a gradual upslope to the front door. There was another man and his wife who were putting in the ornate wrought iron railings that ran up the front walk and into the house up the stairs. This was something I’d helped him weld and design. In the back there was a Japanese man installing a waterfall, river, and swimming pool that all flowed together to create a water spot that looked as if it had always been present on that hillside.

People were scattered everywhere working, happily because each one of them was contributing the finest of their own creations to help me build my heart’s desire. Each of them had pride in their work and because they had so generously shared their talents with me, their work was being viewed, (and sold by me and by Shaye) to thousands of new clients they would likely never have met. It was a true community effort in the highest of humanity living. A gift of service and of love. I fell asleep, finally, with that vision in my head and in my heart. What a beautiful dream.

Later this morning I met a friend at the farmer’s market in Grass Valley and I met a man who does beautiful wrought iron work and I told him, “I had a vision…”


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Learning To Live My Life

Learning to Live my Life

As I re-read the words of a friend’s message, contemplating the relation to me and my own experience of learning to live my life, again the questions hovers just beyond the reaches of awareness, just outside the grasp of understanding. Almost as if to repeat the mantra of tragic occurrence, 'why' looms in front of the next impending thought, above the ceiling of reason that seems so very low at times such as these, behind the reservoir of familiar and comfortable thinking from which the mind draws its normal sense of solace. Not knowing anything about the mystery of God's will or the sometimes misery that accompanies the playing out of the human drama, I can only share my profound sense of hope.

In sifting through the fragments of my own memory, the recollections of strange turns-of-event and the unexpected twists in the roadway, I regret that I have little wisdom to offer myself, and to others for that matter, that would suffice to mitigate the pain and difficulty that is so much a part of human life, its endings and its many false hopes. And although choice affects a considerable part of one's perceptions of these things, life is still difficult at those points of departure or radical change that are so inescapable. The only illumination that I have found on the horizon seems to come in the form of acknowledging that the entire sequence of living is a path; one that must be endured and shouldered, but one with its own offerings as well.

I have conceded that there is no time limit placed on getting “it”, no schedule on the arrival to any zone of eureka, however temporal it may be. I think that the process lasts the entire duration of our stay here and thus, perhaps, there is no time frame for understanding, in spite of the tricks played on us by our perceptions. Maybe it is that we are asked to endure a full lifetime of learning, repeatedly engaging the lessons, the mysteries, the rhythms and the patterns of the human drama, until the time comes when we are called elsewhere. Realizing that life is a gift in spite of the occasional misery, I simply pray for sustenance, for endurance, enlightenment, and for the opportunity to grow within, with patience and some measure of understanding.

I don't know if I will ever get there, if there indeed is a 'there' in human life, but I continue to welcome faith, for myself and for all others for whom the word has meaning.

Life of the present has taken me on a journey of ups and downs so far and so high I’ve yet to catch my breath before another wave hits. Truly, if anything, I’ve learned I am certainly not in charge and the best I can do from day to day is to seek for His continued direction and the strength to carry out His will for me. I am sure that there is a very meaningful and profound correspondence to it all -- perhaps something that is known in depth, at the present time anyway, only to God above.

I have been searching for words to effectively describe the changes that I have experienced these past few months, the shifts in awareness, emphasis, perception and detailed focus that is coming from somewhere beyond or somewhere deep inside. It feels as though there is a woeful deficit in not only my understanding of this energy, but in my ability to describe it in the spoken or written word. I admit that this missive will probably be only the first of many attempts to unfold the understanding and, in turn, describe it in words that make any sense at all -- simply because I am learning as I write, as I think, and as I take each daily turn that emerges moment by moment.

There are subtle changes that I am aware of, changes inside my soul, I suppose, and changes that confirm the understanding that I rely upon almost superficially at times to explain the fact that life is constant change around me, around all of us. Striving to learn from my past, and equally from my present, I can offer to you only these simple words that reveal the very strong responsibility and accountability that I feel to my own life, to the path the is unfolding, however nebulously. I am not sure how to approach its description, the painting of the picture, for in these recent days I have been at a pronounced deficit of self-assurance -- a phenomenon that always seems to accompany an impending understanding, an impending new phase of life. These things come from somewhere way down in a realm of intuition, a realm that is sometimes without words, without description.

I feel an incredibly strong responsibility to discovering the right way to live my life, (if in fact there is a “right” way,) devoting all the energy that
I possibly can to being accountable, responsible, sensitive to the connection that I feel is ever developing, constantly unfolding, between the life of spirit, i.e. God's pure intention, and the my own assimilation of it in my life, and how my actions ultimately reflect the understanding. It is difficult because sometimes I honestly don't know where to put my feet; sometimes the understanding that I had yesterday has already exhausted its relevance and its usefulness, whatever it may have been. I can admit that things have been difficult, financially, emotionally, intellectually and on the level of basic human confidence. Some of these things I have share with friends and others have remained unspoken, but they all are related to some larger picture, some direction of new responsibility and, forgive the term, mission.

I have a profound and firm belief in this sense of mission in my life, however ill defined it may be at the moment. All the events that have transpired in recent times only further confirm my own desires to understand and delineate my place and my responsibility with respect to larger picture. Trouble is, I cannot succinctly define for myself what the larger picture is. My intuition tells me that life on this planet, our gifts and our abilities and our talents, are profoundly essential to those whom we know personally and others more distant -- a thought that I have had for some time, but only we as individuals know the details and the relevance of how they are applied, or how they will continue to affect those that surround us.

I apologize for the fact that my efforts to discover, to understand and to find my place may come across as strange, or distant or somewhat diffracted, but I can only offer that at the moment I am trying, desperately at times, to figure out what all of this means. There is more to be said, much more to be described, defined and shared, and when I have the words I will surely give them, though I hold no expectations of time or space as they relate to my ’getting it’ and I may fall grossly short with the reality of what is and what may be to come. I try to simply accept things as they are, and acknowledge the fact that the cloud I have walked beneath for protracted periods at a time, still lingers above the path.I will write more words, if and when they come. Until that end.

© CiCi Stewart