My One Wild and Wonderful Life

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“I have done my best. That is all the philosophy of living one needs.” ~Lin-yutang

Since I’ve moved from the comfort of friends’ home I’ve been thinking a lot about Oliver’s question, “What are you going to do with your one wild and wonderful life?”  As I move into this house the biggest trap for me is “getting it all done at once.” I dislike clutter. I dislike dust and the greasy kitchen stove. I want everything settled into a perfect magazine picture – now!

Last week as the clutter rose to new heights, I laughingly thought, “If I die today my kids will just get a dumpster for all this important stuff.” Is cleaning and organizing all I really what to do with the time I have left?

As I began this post my friend, teacher and spiritual director, Kent Groff’s weekly post was about perfectionism.* Wanting it all done at once is a form of perfectionism. It is also a form of anxiety – I will never accomplish what I set out to do.

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That same day my 10 year-old granddaughter came with her daddy to help install those metal shelves in my temporary kitchen. Phoebe asked if she could stay with me the rest of the afternoon. Matt asked “don’t you want to make that doll that you need tomorrow for your friend ?” Phoebe said, “Gran will help.” Inwardly I sighed; “Such a mess around here.” I responded, “sure!” We pushed the stuff on the dining room table aside, and dug out the sewing machine. Phoebe went through my fabric, I adjusted the machine a couple of times for her and Phoebe made her doll.

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This is one way I choose to spend time in my one wild and wonderful life.

A Blessing in the Dust ~ Jan Richardson

You thought the blessing
would come
in the staying.
In casting your lot
with this place,
these people.
In learning the art
of remaining,
of abiding.

And now you stand
on the threshold
again.
The home you had
hoped for,
had ached for
is behind you—
not yours, after all.

The clarity comes
as small comfort,
perhaps,
but it comes:
illumination enough
for the next step.

As you go,
may you feel
the full weight
of your gifts
gathered up
in your two hands,
the complete measure
of their grace
in your heart that knows
there is a place
for them,
for the treasure
that you bear.

I promise you
there is a blessing
in the leaving,
in the dust shed
from your shoes
as you walk toward home—
not the one you left
but the one that waits ahead,
the one that already
reaches out for you
in welcome, in gladness
for the gifts
that none but you
could bring.

*Jan Richardson, http://paintedprayerbook.com/,  janrichardson.com.

Jan is a clergy person whose ministry is devoted to using art as healing and meditative. The poem, A Blessing in the Dust is on her June 30, 2013 blog, the painted prayerbook.com.

Kent Groff. http://linkyourspirituality.com/

*Perfectionism—the word brings to mind images of order and organization, of effectiveness and efficiency. This is what society expects from a “perfectionist,” and this is what is projected as desirable and attainable. There is an aspirational value to being a “perfectionist.” *http://www.livescience.com/6724-dark-side-perfectionism-revealed.html

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About Marian Methner, B.S., D.Min.

Polydox: accepting that we are many labels, I am mother of 4, mother in law (love) of 4 and grandmother of 5. My life is a collection of bits and starts. I was recently on the road for over a year exploring ideas of living in shared housing. A recent summer course in Permaculture design, solidifed my interest in "social permaculture" or ways we interact not only with our Earthly environment but also with each other. I am back Bellingham, Washington, in a small rental house, owned by my ex husband, talk about shared housing, practicing living in community with family, and friends. My doctoral dissertation A Map to Living Open Heartedly, centers around making art as a way to healing. Paradoxiclly, a recent diagnoses of heart failure (cardiomyopathy) expands this exploration...
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2 Responses to My One Wild and Wonderful Life

  1. Louise says:

    Thank you Marian for your wonderful message about what really matters.

    XOXO

    Louise

  2. I have read this post several times, for I love so much about it, including the pictures! And Jan Richardson’s poem, which I must print and hang on my vanity mirror. This morning what struck me was “This is one way I choose….” Not the only way, but one way. Such an important distinction, even though it may seem so obvious. I often get stuck thinking I have to choose ONLY one way. Thank you again, for your words and your heart.

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