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3/16/23, Back in Brookline

While I didn’t wander the desert for a full 40 days,it does feel as though there’s some movement towards a promised land. Having the opportunity to stand outside regular life allowed me to ask questions and listen.


While driving north of the Mason Dixonteam coming out of the Hopper-like Industrial Arts building across from my living room spoke to me, clear messages have been coming. Freaky, so exciting, even more Wscary.


Go. Now. A road trip.


While north of the Mason Dixon line


Why?


On Route 40 somewhere.


Ah, what’s next, that is the question. I'm fine but itchy


In the Amarillo canyon, an angry voice because it’s had to repeat this message so often.


Stop, just stop round peg in square hole of work. Work you aren't meant to do depletes you so that you can't do work you are meant to do.


But, but, but… OK, OK. Definitely some questioning, bargaining, and then acceptance.


The passionate resolution on the last day of vacation, inaccessible the next day when faced with the life's responsibilities that had been fled, was something I’d experienced so many times that I recognized a bitter cynicism greeting my recently enlightened heart. The familiar pattern would happen: accept, submit, bury, deny.


Sitting in the outdoor waiting room at Palm Springs Airport eating an empanada that had a stamp on top of it that said Spinach and Cheese, watching an adoring dad play with his toddler, I asked myself how I could break this powerless cycle of submission. The abundance and beauty of our land kept coming back; the way people who were part of it, moved more slowly, or was it thoughtfully, embodying their environment in their being. You could see the sky in their their smiling eyes. It felt like a pervasive spirituality that had nothing to do with the billboards, crosses and shockingly ornate new churches. We're all products of our environments.


Nature’s abundance led me to my first audio book, The Abundance Project, which has kept me honest, a week later; connected to my time away, the insights I was lucky enough to receive, and the commitments I made to myself. While having consumed a fair amount of the concepts in this book, it will take time to digest and even longer to turn to muscle, but I’m on it.


I’ve handed off one search project and two clients.

I had been pitching for a large search project and that will be the challenge. Will I be able to walk away from “easy” money?


My mom. Last Sunday we got the call that she had stopped eating and drinking and morphine had been administered. Though 93, immobile and with dementia in a nursing home, she had still been happy and full of life in her goofy way, so it was a shock to see her lying with troubled breathing, eyes that occasionally opened but registered no connection to me or the world around her. I held her hand, she pulled away, there was an irritation, something I’d not seen in her, she was having her journey interrupted. My siblings and I said goodbye, I cried a lot and thought about the absurdity of being a 62 year old orphan, nonetheless felt like one.


Then yesterday, she’s up, she’s eating and drinking and conscious. She has such a strong life spirit. The trip and my new book prepared me so perfectly for this; for being present, for unashamedly and openly feeling, for knowing that absolutely nothing else in the world mattered, whether she knew I was there or not. When we heard she was “fine” again, I told my siblings I felt like Ricky Bobby’s wife, from Talladega Nights, who thought he was in a coma and was going to suffocate him with a pillow, then found out he was only sleeping. I imagined her listening to the three of us with our teary goodbyes, wondering why we wished her dead. Oh well...


Of course the book I'm listening to talks a lot about gratitude, all these books do. But the context within makes sense to me and I had already been pumping up my gratitude muscle on the road, as a natural reaction to my experiences. As I drove back from Brattleboro, thinking that my mom was leaving the earth that day, I thought about how she was indeed the most grateful person I'd ever known, seeing something positive in everything, even nursing home food. So, back I will go to the gratitude factory in Vermont, soon.


I'm committed to writing every day, having no idea where it will take me but knowing it feels right. I want to learn how to take portrait photographs and how to use a camera when it’s not on automatic, despite being scared of technical stuff and fidgeting. And I am excited about continuing to learn how to meet life differently, to be open to things not options previously.


Thank you for reading.

Downtown Palm Springs

I walked around for an hour looking for a breakfast spot and ended up at this place, next to my hotel, here I met some white haired men who met every Wednesday at 8 for Bible Study.

Not an egg fan, I went for the grilled cheese on "whole wheat" and a fruit bowl. Who knew canned mandarins still existed?

A little church in Palm Springs

Love the orange

The airport waiting room with the mostest

This encapsulated my feelings about being home


My thoughts


It's not a portrait, but at least it's not a landscape. In line at Modern Pastry


My dear mom's 93 year old hands


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