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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Making of a Diamond

I took an unexpected detour yesterday.  I was waiting for a friend to join me in the “home theatre” that is available to reserve for residents of my Providence apartment complex.  While I pine for Martha’s Vineyard every day, I am learning to appreciate some of the bonuses of city life.  Food delivery, easy access to Big Box stores, a swimming pool that comes with no responsibility, visits with my best friend from high school, weekly social events and mixers and, yes, the home theatre.  At the pool, I make the acquaintance of a wide and varied assortment of people.  Marnie, the financial services recruiter, who is going to be married to her fiancé, the manager of a local baseball team next month, often has unscripted weekends because her fiancé is on the road.  She let me in on her pastime.  As it turns out, the personnel at the concierge’s desk have taken us both under their wings. They do everything possible to make the two of us comfortable in a theatre that holds twenty people.  Gestures such as offering to adjust the room temperature, entrusting us with the remote to control the volume, even offering us films from their own libraries reflect their kindness toward us.  We both feel so grateful for their investment in our movie nights.
   Physically, finding a way to be comfortable in a new setting can be daunting for me. I have found that if I bring my yoga mat, my own pillow, and “borrow” a decorative pillow from the adjoining formal living room designed for functions and events, that I can make myself a perfectly comfortable nest on the floor.  I am much happier avoiding the uncomfortable theatre chairs and skirting the use of my wheelchair for two hours.  I have watched three movies in three nights: Frozen, Argo, The Descendants.  Diverse.
             Last night, I was lying on my makeshift sofa, waiting for Marnie to join me from her apartment somewhere in the twelve stories that towered above me.  The minutes  ticked by, then, a text. “Be right down! Finishing up phone call with my fiancé :)!
I decided to weed out my Notes on my phone. I started the task, but had to put it aside because Marnie arrived.  I was glad to have done so.  When I returned to it long after the closing credits of The Descendants, I discovered my log of Notes was a kind of time capsule that I had, quite unintentionally, been keeping since early 2012.
              On some pages, I found one word. I had no idea what it meant to me at the time I wrote it. “Navigate.”  Into the trash they went. On numerous pages, I found phone numbers, with no names. I deleted those easily.  On other pages, I found phone numbers with names, but I no longer had a reason to call them. Into the proverbial cyber-circular file.  I found a list of my allergies and medications.  I updated those.  I found  a churning, ever-changing list of usernames and passwords.  I stopped updating those when I read an article about Internet Safety.  Apparently, it is not a good idea to keep such a thing available even if your phone is passcode protected.  Of the nine or ten versions, I deleted the majority.  Call me sentimental. I kept one or two. The list shows where I go and what I do most of the time. Someday, I might like to remember that I was a regular customer of Lands End or that I preferred local banks over the national kind.
                What surprised me most were the notes to myself.  Going back to Jan. 2012, I had jotted down a steady stream of reflections that seemed germane at the time. They are recorded in reverse chronological order. I know I have three full notebooks and countless documents filed in my computer. After all, thinking is what I do best. However,I did not even remember feeling the urgency to either dictate or write these thoughts when the only reliable scribe available was my phone.  As I scanned through the notes,  I thought, “This person is undergoing some enormous force of change.” Suddenly, what came to mind were diamonds. 
                 A rehearsed presentation from a fourth grade project by one of my children bubbled up from my memory.   From it, I remembered a few key facts about diamonds. I know that only with sufficient heat and pressure, found up to 250 miles into the earth’s core, can carbon crystals be crushed and reshaped into diamonds.  It can take 1 to 3.3 billion years for the transformation to take place. There is a process by which molten lava, or magma carries the diamonds closer to the earth’s crust.  Fields of diamonds may be found as deep as 1.5 miles below the surface of the earth or even, in the right conditions, on the earth’s surface.  Diamonds are known for their hardness, conductivity of heat, and their brilliance. They are very difficult to contaminate by any other matter.
               For the first time, I considered that, perhaps the past three years of turbulence in my own life was, in fact, the heat and pressure that is reshaping me into a diamond.  A raw diamond at that – uncut, unpolished, but inarguably harder, stronger, more difficult to crush. Possibly, I will emerge with the ability to reflect light quite brilliantly. 

Notes from my IPhone   May, 2014 back to  January, 2012

Whatever you do over and over, you tend to get very good at.  What is it that you choose to be good at?  What do you choose Not to be good at?  Those are some of life’s most important questions.        May 5, 14

The thing most worth sharing was the love that let us build our lives together. Ap. 24. 14

The length of time is takes to heal depends on the resistance you give to the loss of the relationship and the things you choose to focus on.
Pain, resistance and loss are happening in your mind, they cannot occupy the same space as the present.  First, notice any angry, judgmental thoughts as you have them. That’s all. Think, “Hmmm, that’s interesting.”  Then, move on to laying them down. As you do so, your regain your power. 
So?  You have negative emotions?  Don’t judge them. Notice them, let them go.
The pain you are hanging on to has some hidden rewards.
For me, it’s a sense of righteousness.  I deserve better than this.
In my version, the other person is the bad guy and I am the victim. I am not a victim.
The thing is, I will have to change my own behaviors if that is true. I am not a victim.
What price am I paying to hang on to that version of my story? Happiness,
Peace, Love, My health.
CHANGE the story, change the outcome.
I ask myself again and again, Who would I be if I let go of this story?  Me
Practicing and acceptance and letting go are the start to healing a broken heart.
Bring acceptance to my thoughts and see what happens.
After conversation with Gladys Diaz

“Regrettably, love does not stop conveniently upon command.  If only that were so, I might not have suffered so keen a sense of loss and abandonment.”

My friend Elizabeth Steele offered, “Embrace the future.
                      The truth is a great compass.”  10.10.13

There are many kinds of bravery.  8.3.13

Some stories ask to be told. They take you to the EDGE of your seat
In preparation for you to drop in.  These stories tell about us about our lives rather than relaying a bigger theme.  We tell stories to preserve our histories….
our histories both as a people as well as individuals; all are captured by these tales.
Our stories preserve our past and shape our futures.  Our thoughts
create our experiences, our thoughts create our destinies.   7.12.13

When my mourning comes around, the morning comes, too. 6.29.13

Change is the norm to which we must acclimate.   6.8.13

An unkindness of ravens, a murder of crows, a lamentation of swans. What might
a group of humans be called?  5.7.13     follow up http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/words/what-do-you-call-a-group-of

Hope takes shape in many things.
Grief is deeper than sorrow, Grief can obscure hope. Light, love, life can all be obscured by sorrow.
When, though she can’t see it, those of us who love her most illuminate her path, (until she can do so for herself)  God is present.  Now, then and forever.
Sometimes all hope needs is perspective. 
And then, the light cometh.
Show me where a rainbow starts and I’ll show you how love fills our hearts.
Rock of ages past….let no moss grow on a rolling stone.

Use your gift to speak for those who can’t.
Those words appeared in my head as clearly as a voice in the room as I was getting
out of bed, alone.  And then, again, when driving on Beach Road with water and
sky surrounding three sides of me.       8.12.12.

I may just meet you in hell. 1.19.12

Yesterday, I met up with a frustration of a technological nature. I had written a posting for my blog.  The topic?  How to Best Choose Bed Sheets.  This is a topic that is near and dear to me for a variety of reasons. Then, for not apparent reason, my computer froze.  I know that is rare with MacBooks.  Even more unusual was that I had somehow, overlooked my compulsion to save, save, save my document every 15 minutes.   I don’t trust autosave! Forty-five minutes in, all I could do was stare at my essay, suspended on the screen.  The cursor wouldn’t move; the page was unavailable to respond to my commands.  The MacBook wouldn’t shut down. When I did the last ditch measure (hold down the start button for ten seconds), I was able to reboot the computer.
The file was lost. Perhaps it is buried somewhere in Word in a secret code that I can not decipher. However, it was frustrating to lose my work. I think it has been over a year since that has happened.  It is for that I am grateful.  I will revisit the topic of thread count and cotton, but I didn’t have the heart to grind it our last night.  Autosave should have done so, but I am now manually selecting SAVE.


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