St. Peter's Catholic Church in Lower Town, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Built in 1833
When I got sober everyone around me advised me to "find a God of my own understanding." I never thought of God as an entity I had any creative control over. So the idea of "my own undertanding"...created confusion. I like it simple.
God to me was...and still is... everything...not a person...more a feeling...and sometimes a guiding light that directs me in what I like to call "G"ood "O"rderly "D"irection. (The Artists Way)
When I was a little girl attending Catholic school, we went to mass every day. I can remember looking at the Saints and Angels and a large painting on the ceiling of the church depicting a well built older white man in white robes,with a flock of long curly snow white hair and a beard. I began to imagine... as my knees got sore from what seemed like hours of kneeling..."who is God? What is God? And why do people think we need "him." Is he a "him" or an "it"? Why not a she...why only one...why not a variety? The only thing I have ever known for sure since the beginning of my "understanding" is that when I try to connect with my conscience,I get answers. Meditation is my tool. And when I wait and listen; I can feel this divine surge of energy that "reminds" me ...I am not alone....and I feel peace.
So do I "know God on a daily basis?"
Well...yes and no. I sometimes "listen" better some days than others. I sometimes talk too much and refuse to listen. Sometimes other voices...other people are my muses and I ignore them too. And then I have an accident...like I trip...bump my head or (the ultimate wake up call) get literally hit in the head with bird poop! (works every time..I think Italians call this a "good" sign..ew!)
The universe will "bap" me until I listen and that "bapping" can turn into a shout. Cause baby is a slow learner some days.
Yeah know what I mean?
God is a fun loving character. What is the saying?
"If you want to make God laugh...make plans."
I find that my insight toward God "dims" when I am tired...in resentment...or here is the big one...jealous. Lordy! When the "mean greens" hit I am blind,deaf and dumber than a short curb. I am like the "Incredible Hulk" when jealousy hits. And now that I am 50...well...and I don't really want to be 50...with a sagging face, a big butt and a loud mouth. I am working on self love,but it is not easy.
Yesterday I got back from a week long to trip to Washington DC with fifty-four 8th graders from Santa Barbara Junior High. We left town at 5:30 a.m. last Sunday morning. The preceding week we had a teacher appreciation luncheon on Cinco De Mayo. Where a huge gaggle of Mom's showed up,showed off and rocked out an amazing lunch for the teachers,admin and helpers at SBJHS.
The kids at Antietam learning how to load a cannon from "Ranger Julie". My son is "snake boy."
Now as strange as it may sound...I...am shy.
Are you done laughing? Well I am .
And I have a major inferiority complex around other Moms. After 13 years as a "Cupcake Mom" and helper,I still think I do not fit in. I am odd. I say odd things at odd moments. I don't mean to be such a nerd...I simply am. So this day I show up with my "Gringo's Carnitas" to the teachers lunch room.
I am immediately shocked by how welcomed I am. I am hugged...complimented...cheered...kissed
...and in short I feel loved...just for walking in the door! I had shown up a bit late and very distracted. I had gotten bad news from my lawyer (Child Support). I had a headache and I felt alone. But these ladies suddenly swooped over,on and around me and in the middle of sharing duties,life struggles,proud moments and Horchata...and I found myself believing in my "self."
I found myself being a part of something greater than myself. I felt God. And the energetic surge as
a human being...not a human doing.
Just two days later I helped with the Renn Faire and speed braided hair for three hours. My hands were fatigued and my brain was mangled and I still need to pack for the BIG trip. This was a week that would try anyone's soul and patience.
I thought I was doing ok.
But I did not pace myself at all.
I had finals on top of it all. And Dr's appt's...parents...and life.
Finally on the bus for the airport for DC.The DC trip had so many "built in" challenges...simple things like logistics and the constant energetic movement of what felt like the populous of a small village was nothing compared to the constant "tango" of personalities. The adults were trying to "chaperon" the kids...yet a few of the adults could have used a chaperon themselves.
Some worked too hard and others not hard enough.Frustration,exhaustion,rain,heat,cold...and a constant (almost) strip search every time we got near a Government building... made for long hard days.
The planning for the trip was amazing! A miracle and brilliantly executed by a parent who did not even have a kid in school this year! The teachers and admin from the school rocked. They manage kids and adults alike and we all managed to not to kill any one. Trust me there were days when emotions were hot and bodies were tired. We missed home and regular constant comforts. I had a moment when one of the parent chaperon's insulted me to the point that I split wide open and cried for about six hours. The Vice Principal on the trip is a brilliant negotiator. She listened to me cry and was very compassionate. My back had gone into to spasm...no wonder...and then the insult came. It sucked. Mark Twain couldn't say it better.
The women were very kind and despite their own exhaustion they rallied and gave me some "down time" to recover a little.
I know I did not "charm" everyone. I am a BIG personality and I was in pain. The fact that these folks showed me any compassion at all was a testament to the group. We all learned a lot about each other and in the end we found acceptance,tolerance and kindness to be our best allies. I think God swooped in on an emergency "re-con" from day two onward. I think the divine witnessed us from above and then came to the conclusion that this group needed hands on help.
The Ghost tour at Gettysburg
I had days when I just felt "less than" the entire group. I had brought way too much stuff. Too much luggage...too many clothes. Lots of "too's" and lots of faux pax. I am socially OK when I am with people who appreciate me. I am a social "lummox" when I feel like I am not good enough. Trust me, this is a major flaw in my ego. In these situations I should always look at my son and think.."what would he do?" He is so kind and humble. He is the closest I will ever get to God within a human.
He is my muse and my hero.
My living breathing God-shot!
Today I am suffering from severe jet lag. From a sadness so deep it is like a powder keg in my soul...attached to a fuse that leads to the place where my Sons father lives. He is being a brute toward me and all I can say to his actions is that he would do the exact same thing were he in my position. And I ask God...the divine ...and his spirit guides to help him see and accept his part in his youngest sons life.
All I "know" is that if I let my self "know" a higher power and have faith...then all things will be as they should be. They always are anyhow. But when I fight the nature of things I generally get hurt. No matter what I do,say or think, that takes me away from grace: If I do not let myself "Know God" then there is "No God" and that is too lonely a place for me. As wickedly uncomfortable as I can feel as a human...I still know I am a child of God.
And when I looked out of the window of the plane that was bringing us home I smiled and said in my "inside voice"..."Thank you God-Goddess-Woman-Mother-Earth. Thank you for getting us home and for letting me see your work from your "perspective."
You did a pretty fine job!"