Thursday, 14 March 2013


Why do I have dreams about sorting tasks that cannot be completed?  Last night, we bought a farmhouse estate and found only afterwards that the previous owners had left behind room after room of dirty old belongings and tattered furnishings.  Dozens of outdated washing machines, old wood, cats, filth.  No matter how many rooms I cleaned out and refinished, there were still more.

Several months ago, helping my parents clean out and organize their attic but no matter how many boxes of nostalgic items and old memorabilia we opened and sorted through, there were more.

A kitchen whose cupboards needed to be de-cluttered but whose contents I could never reach the end of.

A closet whose shelf I had to help clean out but behind each item there was always another, always more.

Last night I half awoke from the farmhouse dream and forced my way back into it so that I could walk through the house after it had been cleaned and refinished, to feel the satisfaction of seeing the job finally done, but the mental power required to push out the clutter and disorganization was too weak. When I turned around, I saw that there were still piles of old things that hadn't been attended to in the corners, still linoleum floors left dirty and chipped.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Sometimes I think about what I will leave behind in this world.  It will be next to nothing, nearly meaningless, words weakly expressing thoughts that wiser, smarter people have already said.  Words that will be almost entirely lost as long as we last, and then eventually completely obliterated along with all that was us.  And yet to complete my journey I feel I need to purge them.  And what feels most pressing to me to reiterate in as many ways as I can, for as long as I can, is the indescribable virtue, importance and meaning of compassion; the journey of compassion, resisting the urge to be at worst cruel or at least unkind, unforgiving.  It is my life's ultimate work to try to embody that virtue though I am certain I will live it imperfectly til the end.  But I need to persevere.  At the end of my life I will not regret that.

I don't want to carry on a legacy of criticism, unforgiveness, or rejection.  I don't want to carry on that legacy, which I have been handed.  I want to be a force that removes at least a minute drop from the sea of suffering, and adds at least a minute drop to the sea of hope and beauty that can also exist.


Can one heal themselves by giving what they never had to another person?  If I give my niece the gift of unconditional compassion and acceptance, will it also ease the ache of inadequacy in myself, the feeling of being ultimately unable to be loved unconditionally?