4.06.2008

healing.living.loving.growing

Yesterday was my 27th Birthday. I've been walking along for 27 years now (well, I suppose maybe for 26 and 3/4 of it I was actually WALKING). I've been thinking a lot about that journey. I was thinking about it when I woke up yesterday morning...thinking of when I woke up to life and said yes to moving into this realm of existence by fervently trying to come butt first. It was "backwards", it was "wrong", it wasn't the easiest way for me to be born. And so, I was pulled out from my mama's womb from the incision they made in her skin...it must have been hard for both of us. My mom called yesterday, wanting to tell me how happy she is that I was born to her, to this family. And I thanked her for birthing me, for giving me life and I pondered that no matter how we are born...the most important thing is that we took the plunge and gave it a try...and that our journey here is what we needed it to be. I've been thinking about where I have walked and how I find myself in this place. This place with two little ones who have gifted me with a dodge convertible hot wheel that they picked out at the grocery store on their voyage to find me flowers and coffee and breakfast. This place where a card with a tree frog on the front giving it's readers the "high five" delights me just as much as it did my little boy...because we connect like that. I realize what makes him happy is what he deeply believes will make me happy...and he is so right on about that. He gets it. This place where taking a shower is a beautiful gift of time, where sleeping in until 8:30 sends my body into a confusing response of hungover illusion, a place where I make my way with big effort, deep contemplation and a mix of opening up and holding on. I went with my sister Cory to see Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) speak to an audience on Friday night. It was so cozy, so personable, so delightful to be in her company. She was brilliantly funny and held subtle wisdom in her expressions. She was connective and there were several strong moments of her words reaching into my soul, urging me along, convincing me of my power and love and for the NEED to open up to that creative force that keeps beckoning me and whispering in my ear. Sometimes it isn't so much a whisper but something a bit more forceful and loud...something I have been trying to shut out of my life for quite a while now. I am processing a few of her words that really hung around afterwards in my heart...the ones that made me look around and say "here i am...this is me...this really is lovely and real and and and...i just as well better surrender". I love that energy. I love that accepting kind of force less process where I come into understanding and where my life begins to feel like my own again. I don't know how it got to a point where it HASN'T felt like it was my own...but that isn't the important part. The important part is knowing what I know and not knowing what I don't know. That is important. It's all a process. My life, this 27 year old life, has been a process and will continue to be one until the last breath...and I find so much comfort in realizing that there is no real destination...only further growing and loving and living and letting go. There is a whole lot of beautiful space in that. So much.
Yesterday, I spent some time in thought about where I've been and where I am going...but most of my time has just been spent looking around at what is and observing all the life around me. I've been spending time in genuine gratitude for the reminders that I am loved...for the phone calls and e-mails and actions that say "we know you, we hear you, we see you". I've spent time watching...really watching. And can I tell you a story about what I have seen? I have seen my son chasing after another young boy at the park, calling him "brother" and feeling so happy that he has a new friend. And the really amazing part of it all has to do with a few things...one being that the two children simply sat next to one another on the swing set and that this was enough to make them the best of friends for the moment. Another is that these two children each spoke a different language...one was dreaming fantasy in English and the other in Spanish...but neither was intimidated by the thought of not being able to understand one another. The only language really present was the universal language of kindness...of reaching out and sharing smiles and forming connection...of acknowledging that we are all each other's "brothers" and sisters...and that we need not be afraid. I'm living today and yesterday in much happiness, really. I am delighting in sunshine and the shading of trees, in nine grain bread filled with almond tuna and sprouts, in having a camera in my hand, in taking a lone trek to the nearest savers to find some thrifted baskets for our home, in a "date" with my husband to watch this beautiful movie...in how that movie reached in and grabbed a hold of my heart and left me crying well after it ended. I am delighting in naps and home cooked meals and the beginning of my journey reading this book that my mom let me borrow. I am entranced by her story...one eerily familiar to my soul. It is a story that provokes grief, stillness, acceptance, knowing and reaching in my being and I am moving through the first three chapters with tears in my eyes because I too closely understand. Today I feel very tender. I can really feel myself softening and I am painfully aware of the challenge to live with hardness...with practicality being held to the highest standard...I am being shown that it is necessary to create my own standards of living. I seem to be reaching a place where I have more support within myself, a place where I can find the right words and where I don't believe that who I am and what I feel is dismissed. I am discovering the place where I keep my power...and I am slowly, cautiously inhabiting that area...one moment at a time. I am a bit teary and yet I am more comfortable with my story than I have been in quite some time...realizing that all of it, every bit, is necessary. Lists of what I want this year to be about just don't hold the importance to me that they did just yesterday. A certain composition of words has been floating through my head the past few days and it just can't come out and yet I know that it will, because I am coming back to my whole self...and writing it is part of what is helping me say goodbye to this need to hold on...writing it is part of what is helping me to say hello to this new place of living. Lists of who I am and what I am about just don't touch on my journey...the moments that have filled it up with life or the moments that will be lived. I can't capture the sound of my children's voices trying to form "happy birthday mama" in words. The intensity of that just doesn't fit into that small of space. So today, for now, this will be enough... happy birthday jessamyn...welcome back.

14 comments:

Kirsten Michelle said...

i have tears streaming down my face as i read this.
you are a precious gift, jessamyn and i thank you for these beautiful words and images.
i just want to pick up the phone and hear all about your evening with elizabeth gilbert and tell you how deeply "a year by the sea" has changed me...
there is nearly 10 years between us, but we are in this moment at very similar places our journeys. i look forward to our getting to know one another better in the year ahead.
sending you love and belated wishes for an extraordinary year, my beautiful friend.
happy birthday,
k
xo

Simplicity Wins said...

You are a gift, a treasure. It is hard for me to fully express my feelings about how you have impacted my life. From the beginning of our relationship, you were a mere teenager and I knew then that you were special, extremely special. Our relationship has changed so much over the years but I have always been able to learn and grow from you...for that I say Thank you. I congratulate you Jessamyn for always learning, always listening to your heart, and for always being open to change. I say it often and I will say it again...you are a treasure. I am so very fortunate to have you as my friend. Happy Birthday sweet friend.

Debbie said...

What incredible writing. You are a gift to those around you. I am so happy you enjoyed your weekend filled with moments that made your soul soar. I am SO happy that you and Cory made it to hear Elizabeth Gilbert speak. I hope you continue your peaceful, enjoyable journey throughout the year. Love you dear friend. I am so happy you enjoyed your birthday!

bella said...

Happy Birthday.
We are so happy you were born.
Welcome. to your life. To the world. To your own heart and coming back home and the your power, the true power of claiming your journey and letting go, healing, living, loving.
Your words move me, settle deeply inside. Such beauty.

Jme said...

I have tears too, as it sounds so wonderful to "hear" you say "welcome back Jessamyn". I wonder so often how some of our life experiences cause us such insecurities in who we are, how we do things and what we believe in. I wish you could see yourself from my perspective sometimes...but it's even more important that you see yourself for the beautiful person that you are. We can spend our time being unhappy about our circumstances and consumed about how we wish to be perceived by the world....or we can wake up each morning choosing to be happy and go out and seize each day. We are never guaranteed a "tomorrow"...let's choose to LIVE today! :)
I love you so much!Welcome back.:)

Nonnie said...

beautiful thoughts, and stories, jessamyn, read with tears and laughter....and i, like jamie, so often want you to be able to see yourself from where i stand.....however...that really isn't what is needed....you need to "see and feel" who you are from the inside out...yourself. and i also say, welcome ...to this enjoyment...
i am so happy you had a wonderful day....i love the description of your children's gift and card....brings back so many memories of ones i still have! complete love and excitement for their gift. and i am loving that you are connecting with joan anderson's book......she was such a needed treasure to me!
love you

Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful post. Happy birthday and best wishes on the next year of this journey though life.

Vonda said...

Happy Birthday Jessie! I'm glad you got to do some of the things you enjoy. And to realize how much you are loved.

Sara said...

so beautiful...you are a true blessing of encouragement, strength, kindness, love...a most wonderful person and friend. Happy Birthday...hugs

Mandy said...

beautiful thoughts beautiful words~ You touched my soul

daisies said...

happy birthday beautiful girl ... sending you much love and a smile that you share a birthday with my beauty, xo

mb said...

happy birthday; the sky sings loudly and the earth answers back with a dance of colors! You are here. We are thankful.

You are wise beyond your years.

sending you love and more love and blessings for another spin around this grand planet.

mb

amanda said...

Happy Birthday Jessamyn. I loved reading about the card and the gift your little ones chose for you. I'm so glad you have had so many enriching "grown up" moments with your sister and your husband, too, going to the lecture and to see a movie (what's that? LOL).

I am just catching up with your blog after a few weeks mostly away from the computer. You never fail to inspire me with your beautiful words and photos.

moonboots said...

Happy Birthday Girl!
We miss you guys!!