Peace

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The hour before sunset is my favorite time of day. This is when I feel a pull to drive to the Cape beach or plant myself on the sidewalk outside our front door. There I sit with five cats lounging beside me, all of us silent. The sky is filled with hues of yellow, pink, orange, and blue. Palm trees wave in the wind. A dove coos. I am grateful. I find that silence heals me from the clutter of life.

Here are the words of Sue Monk Kidd taken from her book, FIRSTLIGHT.

There is an extraordinary need in our lives for silence. The constant noise and chatter, internal and external, causes us to lose touch with the center of our being. When that happens, we become caught in all kinds of unimportant things. We suffer from this noise. Many of us even cling to this pollution of noise because it drowns out painful hungers inside. There is an old contemplative saying: “If you cannot improve the silence, do not speak.”

It’s Just a Car

I sat in the Honda dealership feeling numb. I repeated in my mind over and over, I should be happy; I’m getting a new car. I’m blessed, lots of people would be happy if they were getting a new car. What’s the matter with me? I feel nothing, perhaps a little sad. I couldn’t understand why letting go of my old car was so difficult. Shouldn’t I want something new? It’s a car-be happy.

I chose a pretty green CR-V more fitting to my personality than silver, the color of my Pilot. The two cars sat next to each other in the parking lot. Old me, new me. I felt an urging to run up to my Pilot and give it a big hug goodbye. When the salesman told me it was going to auction, I felt hollow and wanted to cry. My baby, I’d never see it again. I clearly didn’t want to let it go.

I remembered how the Pilot protected me when the little old lady who could barely see over her steering wheel, ran a stop sign and slammed into my door. I walked away without a scratch. Eric and I drove the little old lady home with her front bumper in our backseat. I thought about my trip to North Carolina, getting hopelessly lost and sitting in Panera with Arielle, laughing and trying to figure out how to at least make it to Jacksonville. I looked at my Switzerland bumper sticker; I had proudly placed on my Pilot after our family trip to Europe. Goodbye. I repeated in my mind, it’s just a car you are being ridiculous.

Whenever I have difficulty in understanding what I’m feeling, I pick up Sue Monk Kidd’s, FirstLight. I’ve read it and listened to it on CD many times. Her writing and her continuous search for meaning, inspires me.

As I sat reading, my mind flashed back to my 13th birthday. My grandparents were having a huge garage sale because they were selling their house on New Pear St. I was sad. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the house I’d known since I was little. So many memories filled my mind of my days there spent swimming, playing barbies in the basement with my friend Ann Marie, my grandmother sitting on the edge of my bed reading to me, exploring the attic, getting stuck in the tree in the front yard, coming down stairs on Christmas morning and seeing a shiny blue bike, and trying to calm the butterflies in my stomach and fall a sleep knowing that I was getting up early and going fishing with my grandfather. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the home where so many memories were created. The house like the car had become part of me.

Woodrow Wilson said that if you want to make enemies try to change something. I can understand why. It is much easier to live complacent following daily habits year after year than it is to face the unknown. It is difficult to let go. In the times when I have the greatest fear of change I know that I lack trust. Spiritually, I am depleted. I know that I must slow down and listen to the silence. Trust is the ointment that soothes the sting of change.

I have had my CR-V for two days. I park it and when I return I look for my silver Pilot and remember. I climb in and smell the newness of change. When fear disguised as sadness tries to creep into my thoughts, I take a deep breath, pop in my favorite CD, feel the warm light on my face and remember that I am not what I possess, I simply am.

K.D. Rausin

                      

A painting of my grandparent’s house on New Pear St.

EGO

Did you ever have a question pull up a chair in your mind and sit there and refuse to move until you acknowledged it? As much as I didn’t want to face my question, I knew if I didn’t it would haunt me.

After I wrote my journal entry on the parallels of writing and running, a statement presented itself. It went something like this. Krista-you can see how your two passions are similar, but can you see one HUGE difference between the two? I answered, no-and noticed the pile of laundry that needed my attention.

It spoke again- Krista, what is different about why you write and why you run? Hmm- not really sure, I think I’ll make some brownies.

Our family gathered for a Sunday night movie and we watched The Soloist. How sad, I thought, this man was never allowed to reach his full potential. Then came the scene where Mr. Ayers sits and plays his cello for the homeless in front of LAMP. Would this have happened if he stayed on the path from his youth? Those homeless people are no less important than people sitting in Carnegie Hall. Does playing for them make him less important? No, he was doing what he loved. The question sat in my gut like a boulder. I couldn’t move it from sight.

The next morning, I interrupted my husband at his computer. He’s always so patient. He never knows if I’m going to start a two hour conversation or simply ask what he planned for the day. “I’ve been thinking about something.” He sits back in his chair and smiles. “I wrote about the similarities between writing and running but there is something that’s bothering me.” At this point he realized he wasn’t going to get back to recording his music for some time. I rattled on. “One I do only for myself and the other, I have a need to taste success defined by myself and others. I don’t think it’s right. I shouldn’t feel that way. I should write for the same reason I run-pure enjoyment, love-not with expectations. There I said it. I acknowledged it. Now the question could get up off its chair and leave and I could go on writing. Funny thing though-instead of feeling better, I felt worse. Admitting that there was a part of me that craved readers for my writing was like admitting I was weak. I wanted an answer to why I felt this way.

If a meteor had dropped from the sky with three giant letters painted red on its side, EGO, it wouldn’t have made as big a statement as a pretty blue book with the letters, SUE MONK KIDD at the top. The very next night after I asked my husband “why?” I received my answer. This is what I read.

Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd- Ms. Kidd has realized that her path is taking her down a different road than the one she’s been on for the past ten years.

As I said the words, I felt suddenly on the verge of tears. I couldn’t imagine turning this way of writing loose, even though I knew deep down my thread was spinning in another direction. I was like a scared, belligerent child on the first day of school, holding onto anything I could to prevent being dragged to my destiny.

She gave me a long deliberate look. “If you write to please others or write for success or stardom or money, you’re writing out of your ego.
When are you going to write out of your Self?
(Sue Monk Kidd)

Boom! There it was. My answer came swiftly and took my breath away. My goals, my drive, my need for success were all bundled up with my ego. Surely if I had a published book and millions of readers, I’d be an important person. Eyes open-Ouch!

It’s not about getting published. It’s about telling the story that craves to be told. It’s about creating from the place that speaks to me everyday, the one that will continue to speak as long as I listen and keep that ego far, far away.

Namaste- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste)  K.D.Rausin

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Picture book reviews, reviews of books with pictures, and pictures of books!

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