By Leiflife

Light and Shadow

I don't exactly know why I like this self-portrait. There seems to be some truth here. So serious... It is a penetrating gaze. An "I see you" sort of gaze. Yet I am looking at myself... Am I also looking at the world? The crazy terrible, wonderful world? Am I questioning the world's division from itself, my own division from myself? Am I wondering how I can experience so much joyful union in the midst of so much tragedy, grief and chaos?

It has been my birthday week. And I have been blessed with frequent instances of joyful union. On Tuesday the twenty-third of May, I became seventy-three, and family and friends have been especially present, especially generous, especially loving to this old loner. And I have surprised myself with joyful responses, even as occasional glimpses of the world have given me pause, reminded me of horrific violations on the lives of others, reminded me that even as I am receiving gifts from life, others have had life snatched away. How can one celebrate while others enter into an endless period of loss and mourning?

And yet I have been celebrating what I have been given: a kind of wake up call to the simple blessings of my present life. My birthday picnic was rained out, so I bravely invited friends and family into my beautiful cave, my solitary hiding place. And it was wonderful! Food shared: a loaves and fishes sort of happening. Double tulips and a huge fruit salad from my sister, Mary... Moira and Olivia: Mother and daughter glowing with pleasure in each other, eager to help the mother and grandmother on her special day. My dear friend, Lou Ann, not to mention Joanie, Marjorie, Joey and Marcella. The studio was full of life as well as light, as the sun came out to pour itself magnificently into our midst. 

All week I have been visited by life and love, and I have received so gratefully my own rebirth. I have to say yes to the fullness of my joy in this moment. And when I pause, please let my pauses be for prayer that every joy I receive be magnified to spill upon the world. Let joy turn to light and overcome the darkness of division. Let there be light...

Extras from my birthday... I hope to blip more catch up blips of blessings received.

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