The Bright Field
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receeding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
Hello. It’s been a little while. How are you? Staying safe and well, I hope. These are truly strange and sometimes scary times we are living in. I don’t know about you but I occasionally feel as if I entered a book or a movie and I’m waiting to see how it all turns out. Very often a book or movie can be predictable, and you know that everything will work out in the end. Life? Not so much. This will end when it ends, however it ends. The powers that be decided to let things run their course. There are many theories as to why that is, ranging from greed to incompetence to racism. Perhaps it’s all of the above. It doesn’t matter. We’re well into it now.
I fully intended to post on or about the Solstice, as I have every year, about my word or theme for the year. It was about that time that Bella (one of our two feline members of the family) was noticeably doing poorly. The upshot of that is she has some teeth that need to be taken care of and kidney disease. The teeth will require surgery. It’s scheduled for January 3rd (the soonest they could schedule it, what with the holidays and all). However, they will have to run a full kidney panel before the surgery and that could determine whether or not they go through with the surgery. Kidney disease is fatal. There are things we can do to help prolong her life (diet, in particular), but the question is not so much about length as it is about quality. As of this writing, Bella seems happy enough. We’ve been able to get her to eat and drink enough to keep her comfortable and alive and pretty much acting like her usual self in most regards.
If they do the surgery and she’s able to physically eat normally again, we’re going to have the problem of one spoiled kitty on our hands. Because she won’t eat her normal cat food and she is refusing the kidney diet food, we’ve taken to feeding her salmon and tuna. The stuff they package up for people. It’s actually cheaper than the tuna cat treats that I was able to get Bella to eat when she refused everything else. But it’s also pretty much all that she will eat right now. On the positive side, the kidney diet is high in protein and she’s certainly getting plenty of that.
Bella and Izzy, her litter mate have been members of our family for almost 15 years. We decided we, her people, should be with her if/when she dies, not a petsitter. It is also true that it was better for us to be here with her while she was deciding whether to live or die. We cancelled our holiday plans to head west and be with family. Our lovely petsitter would have been perfectly capable of caring for Bella but at that point we had no idea if Bella was going to die or pull through. There was one day when I thought she was dying because she was refusing all food and drink, and twitching uncontrollably.
It should also be noted that after we made the decision to stay at home, there were some Covid positive teachers and family members turning up around some of our family in Ohio. Staying home with Bella probably kept us from being exposed and/or becoming ill.
While I was not writing blog posts, WordPress informed me that it has been 15 years since I started blogging with WordPress. I started with WordPress just before Izzy and Bella became part of our family.
In addition to being with Bella, I’ve had plenty of time (with her sitting on my lap) to ponder and wonder about a word or theme for the year. I thought it might be Love because it is showing up everywhere lately. Somehow it didn’t quite fit. Then I read one of Richard Rohr’s newsletters (Daily Meditation) for this week and my heart lit up. It was about praying for wisdom and maybe it’s best if I just quote from him and from the newsletter:
On the last day of the year, I generally withdraw to pray. A few years ago, I asked myself: What should I pray for this year? What do we need in these turbulent times? Naturally I was strongly tempted to pray for more love. But it occurred to me that I’ve met so many people in the world who are already full of love and who really care for others. Maybe what we lack isn’t love but wisdom. It became clear to me that I should pray above all else for wisdom.
We all want to love, but as a rule we don’t know how to love rightly. How should we love so that life will really come from it? I believe that what we all need is wisdom. I’m very disappointed that we in the Church have passed on so little wisdom. Often the only thing we’ve taught people is to think that they’re right—or that they’re wrong. We’ve either mandated things or forbidden them. But we haven’t helped people to enter upon the narrow and dangerous path of true wisdom. On wisdom’s path we take the risk of making mistakes. On this path we take the risk of being wrong. That’s how wisdom is gained.
There was more, but you get the general idea.
Wisdom feels right. Scary, and/but right. But wait! There’s more! I was listening to a talk recently and the person (sorry, can’t remember who it was) quoted something from Osho. I’ll paraphrase as best I can from memory: Don’t create a wall of knowledge around yourself. “Ah-ha!” I thought. Because this is what I do. I research. I gather knowledge and quotes and books and talks, and I build a wall around myself with it. Stone by stone, I collect learning and quotes and other ephemera. Love is not something you can just read about or research and then say, “I get it!” Love, as bell hooks reminded us, is an action. A verb. You live love, you experience love, you be love.
So, my point (if I have one) is that I’ll be leaning in to these three attitudes or perspectives, allowing or opening to the wisdom of love rather than trying to gather the knowledge of it in order to build another wall. I’m not sure how other than to approach it all with curiosity and see what happens. I do think the idea and implementing of acts of love is a great start.
Well, then. There is so much more I could ramble on about today. I’m in that kind of mood, wanting to write and write and write. That would be unfair to you. So, let’s end this post with some gratitude. Thank you, so very very much, for visiting with me today, for visiting with me throughout all the past years (some of you have stayed with me throughout all my blog iterations), and for being a friend. Thank you for putting up with all my meanders and ramblings and inconsistencies. I hope your holidays were peaceful, loving, enlivening, and good. I wish and hope the same for you in 2022. May it be so.
I’d invite you out to the Point for sunset but it looks like it will be nothing but clouds. Possibly rain. I do hope it rains. We are in a drought situation here on the Lower Shore and could use it. We’ve put out water for the birds and deer and others who share this land with us. Sunset is scheduled for 4:52 PM. If it’s not raining, I might head out there just for a walk. You’re welcome to join me. It’s fairly warm today (upper 50’s), but cool by the water. A jacket will probably be good enough.
Please be safe, be well, and just be. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,936) We’ve survived another year. Almost. 2021 isn’t quite finished yet. 1,937) Looking back on some of the memories from this past year. There is so much joy and good to be found in spite of living in such interesting times, or maybe because of it we’re made more aware of what is important and what is not. 1,938) Bella, hanging in there and being her sweet self. 1,939) Izzy, who has been cuddling up to her sister lately. 1,940) Friends, family, love.