Here is the solution to the moments of groundless, up against the wall, no place to turn kind of time - be kind to yourself and practice goodness with everyone you love, or better still everyone you know. Watch for goodness around you and feel happy that you were there to bear witness. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. It requires vigilance and practice and a willingness to let go of the habitual thoughts that trap us. Love is the antidote to fear.
(from a healthy living newsletter)
Interestingly, I just heard a quote today by actress Diane Keaton about Meryl Streep: "that (Meryl knows) giving love is the true measure of a great artist".
I think on this subject when I am at a John Boutte show, where he gives many types of love to his audience-kingly love, brotherly love, fatherly love with his talk and song choice constantly gauging the mood and connection between him and us.
Yes great art is love given and received.
I also think on this subject when I am low and out of step with the world. This usually happens when I have not made enough real connections recently with people I like. Or, when I have been selfish for too long.
Because love will heal you when you give it.
Or when I am away from the city.
I returned after 2 days away this week and as usual, felt a rush of love and admiration for the city and citizen of New Orleans. I love to leave so I can come home, you know?
Because love is also a vibe from your tribe.
I also stopped at my mother's place on Friday to see her and get my mail before heading to plans in the French Quarter. She was harried and worried about Christmas presents being wrapped and sent in time with all of her work to do with her beloved Brennan's and I heard her, nodded and even tsked my concern, then left. I really have little interest in ridiculous presents, given or received.
Then today I emailed her. Her responses always come in 3 minutes or less from her desk in her living room, piled high with financial records and 2 computers. (she works the computer like Tori Amos plays piano).
I wrote, "Can I help you wrap and send packages next week?"
That's all I offered. But that expression of love made between a youngest daughter and her basically single mom took a load off her mind and allowed her to say-yes. and thanks.
So, love is also an exchange, and mostly an uneven one at best.
I have thought a great deal about this subject lately as I wonder what I love, and how I show love. I wish I was better at it.
But I do know this: I generally love my life, my little family, my friends, my work, music pouring in my ears, riding a bicycle in the dusk, laughing with wry people, reading books, walking with Maddie when she has her ears flopping and her trot going on and the sun is warm but not hot, arguing with smart funny men, making my younger friends explain themselves to me, City Park and Bayou St. John. And coffee. And pho ga. and the French Quarter.
Because love to me has to come from a heart that knows itself. It is born from truth and directness-2 things I also love. And should be given to those that want to use it to grow.
So, those that live in fear of others or ideas or of our city or another one just like it just need to practice love a bit more.
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.