Sunday, October 23, 2011

Martha's Meditation

Yes, I sleep in a tent in the heart of the city. Yes, my family is changing. And yes, life is still life. People are still getting married. People are still dying. Yesterday I officiated a wedding and attended a funeral. Today I have a memorial service for a friend and mentor.

Since few of my readers will be at her service, I am including the closing meditation here. Martha was a damn funny gal, smart as a whip, and could dish out a tongue lashing to prove it. Meanwhile, she was quite ill for many years and gave assistance to a huge network of women, the full extent of which remains her secret.

Here is what I will say. It is as close to Martha's voice as I could muster...

I can honestly say I have never done a meditation like the one that follows. I have prepared a meditation from a few of the lessons Martha Minock taught me. In the time of silence that follows our meditation I invite you to reflect on her influence in your life.

I invite you to put both your feet on the floor, put down anything you are carrying, relax your hands onto your lap, close your eyes if you are comfortable doing so, and breathe intentionally. Take the kind of breaths that make the tension go away. Take a few of them. Let out your breath and feel soothed. (Pause.)

Try not to worry so much. Much of the planning, fretting, and mental wheel spinning we do is completely unnecessary.

The world will bob and swerve, leap and dive.

There are constant surprises. We can’t plan for them all. We can’t plan for most of them. What we should be doing with our time is keeping our minds sharp, our hearts ready to love more, and our bodies as healthy as they can be.

You are good. You could be better.

Everything you need to be better is already inside of you. You just need to dig around and find it. Strengthen it. Let out the best you.

Do not let your voice be silenced by those who don’t believe in you. Do not let someone else take away your pride in who you are. Spend your energy not in regret, nor in grudge holding. Instead, take care of those you love. Share what you know that is helpful. Give of yourself but do not give yourself away.

And life does not give lemons. Life gives all manner of beauty and wonder. And life can give you great big heaping piles of shit. Those are your choices. No lemons.

No one wants lemonade made with shit. So get it out of the way. Scoop it out, move it aside, work around it, but don’t just sit there in it. Move along and find the beauty and wonder again.

In that spirit, in Martha's spirit, let us pause in a time of silence and reflection.


Anonymous said...

Very nice, Alane. One commenet, shit is often dependant on one's perspective. You never know what is in shit until you look. Experience it and you may find nuggets of treasure - beans, corn, petter pieces, ane loads and loads of well processed food. Awe shit, who am I kidding. Shove it aside and get to the reallo good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Alane. I am so grateful that you were able to speak for my mom. She loved you and liked you. Her absence is still startling to me, I still think of things every day that I want to tell her -- to make her laugh, to hear her opinions -- and it was bittersweet to hear her voice coming through you. I thought I was the only one she told to "get that look off your face," something I heard frequently. I loved the Albright quote that you used; it was so utterly true to my mom. I loved that you gave voice to her humor and her very pragmatic view of life that also embraced wonder. Losing her has been surreal and I don’t think I could have been coherent enough to talk to a room of people about her, so thank you for doing it so very well. Thank you for being such a good friend to her. -- Adrienne