I love the rain, its muffled sounds through the glass pane in the morning before the sun glows above the rooftops and spills into the room one slat space at a time. I love the practice of opening blinds each morning flooding life into empty rooms. Rain gives shape to the air, animates the motionless gray of the streets. It is the tiny cold tips of needles tapping my skin with a temporary chill, then sliding away as if it had never existed. Yet the sensation is still there – lingering – like the ghost of a discarded lover. It is the permission I need to let go as it washes away the to do to do to do, sweeping it away to rest in someone else’s yard, where they can pick it up and carry on.
Today I have a guest post by Mollie Player of www.storiesandtruth.com. In it, she shares with us an excerpt from her book, “What I Learned From Jane.” This portion takes place in the days following the death of her child, Baby Jane, in which she tries to find meaning in the experience.
I should have held her more, I thought. I should have stayed with her at the hospital every night.
“It was too short,” I kept saying to David as I cried. “It was too short.”
The following Sunday, I went to church for the first time in a long time. It was a non-traditional church where people believe things like karma and reincarnation—and Jesus, too.
I liked it a lot.
During the service, I cried a little. Then, after the service, I prayed with someone and cried a lot more. The minister saw me and came over to talk. I told her what happened and said through my tears, “I want to know where she is.”
“Why do you ask that?” she said. “Why is it so important for you to know?”
“I don’t want to believe she’s in heaven,” I said. “I don’t think she is. I think she is still with me.”
The minister said that she believed I could be right; Jane could still be here.
“I don’t believe in heaven,” she said. “I believe that those that pass on are still with us, but they’re on a different level, one that we can’t see right now.”
“Can I talk to her, then?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “You can talk to her, even out loud, and I think she will hear you.”
That helped . . .
. . . And that, my friend, is the story of what I learned from Jane.
Now, I still don’t have a religion. I probably never will again. But I have something else, and it is, as I said before, something big.
Something much bigger than any one thing can be on its own.
I feel more now. I love people more. But more important than all that: I have, once again, learned to expect miracles.
I don’t know what the miracles will be, of course. Right now, I don’t even have a guess. But I am going somewhere that I wasn’t going before, and my life is larger than it used to be: larger than my own happiness and larger, even, than the happiness I can bring to others.
It is as large as my soul.
Of course, I am not always full of faith, even now.
The truth is, I only have this kind of faith part of the time. The rest of the time, there is nothing—only emptiness, and when I see Jane’s picture, I just see what could have been, not what is, still, somewhere, wanting me and waiting for me to be with her again.
The truth is, most of the time I have very little faith or none at all.
But I want more.
Maybe someday I will have it.
Maybe that will be my miracle.
To read true stories every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 a.m. about how the law of attraction and spirituality changes people’s lives, visit Player’s blog at www.storiesandtruth.com.
I fell in love with Everything Beautiful Began After after having just read the Prologue and the rest of the book did not disappoint. Simon Van Booy’s beautiful poetic language is stunning and his descriptions require the reader to pause and take a deep breath to take them in. The characters are so well developed that one cannot help but love and care deeply for them. It is fascinating to watch as they argue over the existence of fate while we quietly witness fate take its toll on each of them. There is a sense of unpredictability, an unknowing that keeps the pages turning. Van Booy’s use of different points of view also adds depth to this novel. It was a genius way to create various space and distance between the reader and the characters. The cover and deckle-edged paper provides the perfect package for such a beautiful and tragic love story.
The ending felt a bit rushed to me and things seemed to be tied up a little too perfectly in the end. This may be that I just didn’t want the book to end. I was invested in these characters and wanted to spend more time with them. However, at over 400 pages, I understand Van Booy had to end the book at some point. Maybe he will write a sequel! If you want to be swept away into a beautiful love story with writing that literally takes you there as a silent witness to the unfolding lives of the characters, this book is definitely for you. I wanted to continue inside the world Van Booy created with this novel so much that I actually got up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and continued reading until it was finished.
Other posts on Simon Van Booy:
Evenly spaced rows of long ago,
pages filled with promises of forever
friendships and confessions of love
too young to see the jagged paths
*Day 13 April 2011 PAD Challenge. Prompt: Old Relationship
They are the words I’ve always wanted to hear and still you spill them
as if they are worth nothing. What place must you go to conjure up
the strength to say such things with nothing solid behind them, only air,
forgotten after your next breath and yet I sit here, their sounds tumbling
through my heart wanting to believe while my brain screams never again,
*Day 10 April 2011 PAD Challenge. Prompt: Write a never again poem.
I mentioned in my last post that I started reading The Power by Rhonda Byrnes, which places love at the center of all transformation and that I decided to start writing a love list twice a day so that I could begin to focus on the things I love rather than the losses I’d been experiencing lately. Byrne states that we only need to focus on love 51% of the time to reach the tipping point of change in our lives. I agree. Writing a daily love list has helped me to recognize and name the things I love and led to an unexpected benefit: the transformation I’ve seen in my son who has Asperger’s Syndrome. After witnessing me writing my love list, he decided he wanted to write one too. As we’ve begun focusing on the things we love throughout the day, our relationship has dramatically improved. He normal has violent outburst on a daily basis, but since we’ve begun writing our love lists, he’s had no violent outbursts for five days! He’s been happier and even more social. He actually acknowledged and played with two girls at the park the other day when his usual behavior is to run from other children and seek solitude. Yesterday, when he was beginning to get agitated and on the brink of an outburst, I told him that I loved it when he smiled and he stopped and began to smile and the outburst was averted. Now, instead of me telling him constantly what I don’t want him to do, we are constantly sharing what we love about each other. This is bringing about more feelings of love for both of us and more loving behavior. Even his therapist noticed a significant change in him at their session on Friday. I have found that searching for things to add to my love list throughout the day has helped me to realize just how much love is already surrounding me. My son has been so affected by our focus on love that today he cut out and colored a variety of hearts and created a Love Wall (see picture) in our living room so we won’t forget to keep love as our biggest priority each and every day.
I have experienced a lot of loss lately and it’s been difficult coming to terms with it all. I equate my current situation with that of an out of control merry-go-round. I am in the center, gripping for dear life, while it spins and spins and spins. All I can see are blurs of different paths I could take, but I’m so fearful of choosing the wrong one I’m paralyzed. This is way too much movement for going nowhere!
As is often the case when I feel like everything in my life is out of control, I picked up a book. Today it was The Power by Rhonda Byrne. I’ve only read to page 21, but I’m already inspired. Byrne talks about love being the key to transforming our lives and the obvious: positive thinking = positive outcome and negative thinking = negative outcome. I have to admit I’m not the most positive thinking person out there. In fact, I am downright pessimistic most of the time. I’ve had a difficult time changing my negative thinking. However, the idea of focusing on what I love rather than what I don’t love seems feasible. Gratitude lists haven’t worked well for me. I find it hard to come up with things I’m grateful for when so much has been lost. So, I came up with the idea of writing a love list instead. I bought a tiny, leather-bound gratitude journal and twice a day I’m going to write the things that I love. For example, my first entry is: I love that the little gratitude journal I bought today was marked down from $7.95 to $1.79 and was just what I needed right when I needed it. I’ve also started practicing saying what I love out loud throughout the day instead of constantly focusing on what is going wrong. My son has even noticed the change. What about you? What do you think about writing a daily love list? I’d love to hear your thoughts.