My Words for the Year

January 9, 2018 Sunrise

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I want all the girls watching here today to know that a new day is on the horizon.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

“… other than a few useful details, the past is mostly a prison. It prevents me from seeing and experiencing life as it is now.” ~ Pam Grout

I came to a shocking awareness this morning. I’ve been afraid most of my life. I don’t think I’m alone in this given many of the posts I read on social media. You probably already know the details of how fear has reared it’s ugly head for me, because that insipid monster in your head tries to undermine you too. Fortunately, three events came together to help me see myself and my life in a new way.

First, as I often do in the winter, I opened the blinds to look at the sunrise. It was particularly beautiful this morning with the clouds over the San Jose Mountains turning shades of pink, peach and orange.

Second, Barry and I watched Oprah’s amazing speech at The Golden Globes, and wept together. The tide is turning and the more people who speak up about what has happened to them, the harder it is for the perpetrators to make excuses for their actions.

Third, after he left for work, I went to do my daily meditation and my A Course In Miracles lesson. The lesson was this: “My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.” During my meditation I saw myself standing on a hilltop with the sun rising on a fresh new day. I felt for the first time, that even though I’ve been afraid for so long, I can let it go forever. That other little voice in my head that’s been telling me I’m loved, worthy, and talented, can now be the guiding force in my life with no competition.

A couple of Sundays ago, Faith Salie had a wonderful segment on CBS Sunday Morning about how art has helped her see her life in a new way. There are two words used in the art world that she said she wants to be her words for this new year. The first is, pentimento, the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over. She used the example of some Henri Matisse drawings she’d seen, which show places he erased so that he could improve the drawing. To her this meant he repented and changed his mind about what he was creating. That’s something we can all do with our lives. We can take a step back, change our minds about where we’re going and construct something new out of the broken pieces. Which brings me to the other word she is embracing, kintsugi, the Japanese practice of repairing broken ceramics with gold.

Each of us is broken in some way. Some of us stay broken and that becomes our story. But others of us accept our flaws and brokenness and in doing so we become stronger; we’re able to help others stitch together their broken places as well. We can take the lessons we’ve learned along the way and let them propel us, with no regrets, into the sunlight of a new day.

So, I’m joining Faith Salie, and adopting pentimento and kintsugi as my words for the year. Today is a fresh, new beginning. And for the first time in a long time, I feel like my life is new and full of all kinds of previously unimagined possibilities.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I hope you have a fabulous new year.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2018

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction:Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Let’s Make Friends With the World!

Earth from the Moon

“If I can’t impact people then this whole thing is a waste.” ~ Chris Rosati

Barry and I are avid fans of Steve Hartman’s segments on CBS Sunday Morning. A couple of weeks ago he had a tribute to Chris Rosati, a man Steve had profiled first in 2013 with subsequent updates. Chris lived in Durham, North Carolina and had ALS. He said that before he left this world, he wanted to make as many people happy as he could. His first plan to accomplish this was to steal a Krispy Kreme donut truck so he could give away donuts to cancer patients, and to children at local schools.

Somehow Steve found out about Chris’s plan and scheduled an interview. As Steve said in the initial interview, “This plan has some holes in it, and I’m not talking donuts,” to which Chris replied, “One of the blessings of ALS is what are they gonna do?” Chris admitted that his plan was wacky but he told Steve what he really wanted to do was change the world by making people happy.

Of course, when Steve’s story broke, Krispy Kreme gave Chris and his wife an entire bus load of donuts to share with as many people as he could. His good deeds didn’t end there. His smile and generous nature inspired people and especially children all over the country to do random acts of kindness. He had them make videos about their good deeds and then held a red carpet premiere of the videos. After that he came up with the idea of “Butterfly Grants” to help children fund their good deed projects.

Chris died earlier this month. When Steve asked Chris’ daughter what she’d remember most about her dad, she said she was proud of him because he tried to do something hard, he tried to make friends with the world.

It is sometimes hard to make friends with the world. Yet it’s people like Chris Rosati, who remind me that every little act of kindness, especially in the face of so many struggles, does make the world a better place and I shouldn’t stop doing it.

The thing is, I often get caught up in my old ways of thinking and start to assign blame, or I panic about things that I won’t even remember happened in a few months time. Yet I’m grateful that when I go into panic mode, something happens to remind me to take a deep breath, turn my thinking around, and trust that I’m taken care of no matter what.

Today as I was writing this post, something happened that brought up a lot of fear and panic. But I was writing about Chris Rosati and my little problem seemed so trivial and temporary compared to the challenges he faced. I’m sure he had bad days when he wondered why he was going to die too young, but he chose to help others rather than wallow.

So, in honor of Chris’s determination to change the world, I’m going to let go of my panic and feel good that, so far, I have had a really great life. I mean what can be better than being able to help and inspire people?

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your likes and comments.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.