Sunday, March 06, 2011

Stumbling Towards Esctasy

The one thing that gave me joy today...

Back in the '80s when humor such as Gary Larson was at its best, I purchased a notepad that had a cartoon character on it that was irreverent. I bought it and kept it at my desk at work to get me through those moments when things, well, suck (there is no other way to put that). The notepad had a cartoon drawing of a guy with a hat that was of a live animal. The caption read, "I think I'll drop out of society and wear live animals for hats." The humor was Larson-esque, but not really Larson's. It was my own little private way of 'escaping'.

These past few months has presented us with a series of what seems to be an endless unfolding of quite sucky events. To the point of feeling constantly overwhelmed. But, I know that this is not unique to us. So many in this country are facing far worse than we are. And, I know that it definitely could be worse. It's just that, well, sometimes you reach those points where you can't take it anymore, but it comes anyway.

We have found that what we keep reaching for to keep us moving forward and getting through it all is simply,


Grateful that it isn't worse. Grateful for what we do have. Grateful for all those things in life that aren't things. We grab those moments, those things that aren't things and hold on tight to them.

Take for instance, today. Do you know what gave me joy today? Working on my shrine for the Street Children of Oaxaca. This is my third year doing this grass roots on line auction charity project. The collective hope is to lessen poverty through education. It was sheer bliss to finally get some time to work on it and I can't wait to get it done! It gave me joy in putting this creation together. I like it so much that it will be a wee bit hard to let it go, but it is not meant to be mine. All of us who participate in this project make all of our creations with a lot of love, tenderness and positive energy. I never know what the end product will look like as the shrine and the doll takes a life of its own as I go along. I will say that I am excited. Excited, too, in knowing that this project has a positive and profound impact on the street children of Oaxaca. So, that's what gave me joy today.

And, for that I am grateful.


rebecca said...

dear friend,
your words have found a deep home in my heart. so many of us our struggling. and sometimes the currents seem overwhelming. i too have been finding a deep comfort in creating a shrine for the children of oaxaca who are at a loss too. i love the way caring for others quickly transforms our own challenges as we are filled with hope by caring for another.
than you for your place in this unique opportunity to transform something so straight from our hearts and hands, so filled with love and effort and then offered so selflessly to aid another.

i love you. your heart is a bright comfort in my life.

it seems right now there is so much unrest, loss and fear in the world. i have thought about our sunday coming together for "stumbling towards ecstasy" and realize for many ecstasy is a giant leap in these difficult times. i wanted to keep our coming together and make it more accessible to everyone. so for a while we are "postcards from paradise" . my hope is that in offering beauty we can walk a labyrinth to post, traveling from one to another sharing the art of "seeing" and walking in peace.

so glad you are here. please send me a private email and let me know if there is anyway i can help you in this chain of unexpected events.

Margaret Pangert said...

Thank you, Paula, for gratitude. What an uplifting gift. Sometimes I feel so sad, lost, but then I can count all the things I'm grateful for! Have a lovely Sunday! Margaret
P.S. My sister lives in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island... Ahhh, you both have paraidse on earth!

Gloria said...

Hi Paula. I always try to be grateful for what we have and in fact every morning I stand outside in my front porch looking at the sky saying my morning prayer of thanks. Beautiful post, thank you.

Noelle Renee said...

Dear Paula,
I am glad that even in difficult times and we are all facing them, we can hang together and find space enough in our lives and hearts to continue to do for others. Isn't it amazing how giving, even when one is struggling becomes the key to a more open and tender heart. It allows our perception to remain unblocked so that we can be aware that there are also possibilities for our own lives. If someone who does not live in Oaxaca, can create a work of art to help the children in poverty there, how much more will the Compassionate one help the helper if she continues to put such positive energy into the world. Things will turn around. I believe it is true.

deb did it said...

Paula, this is a wonderful post. You write from deep within your heart. I admire that. and I love reading about your feelings creating this shrine. I too, receive great JOY from creating for others for a better cause. I really giggled out loud at the live animal hat photo...

deb did it said...

and Paula....keep on keeping on, as I know you do. This too shall pass.

Stephanie said...

We are in the middle of our own mess at the moment. We too continuelly talk of gratitude that it could be so much worse, putting it all in perspective.

Thank you for your words here.

I can't wait to see your shrine this year...peeks are good!

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Those sucky periods of time are a real trial. You have to get through them one day at a time. I'm glad you found comfort in your project.

Tumblewords: said...

Large blocks of these sucky times surround many of us and it's only through gratitude that we manage to hang on - this is a beautiful post. I have to tell you that I have lots of Gary Larson's gifty things and do appreciate them. Went to a show of his years ago in San Francisco and remember it often.


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