Friday, June 17, 2011

What makes you feel alive?

The above question was posted on one of the email lists I subscribe to and I thought Amy had a wonderful answer that struck a chord with me.  What struck me in reading her response is that it is the simple things in life that help her and me and perhaps you. We sometimes get caught up in the struggles of life, the politics of dispair, rather than the joys of life and the politics of hope. Enjoy!

I feel  very peaceful today, and I think I can give it a more accurate response.

The ocean. Listening to the waves, feeling the sand beneath my feet, the  breeze blowing my hair back, smelling the saltspray... and those waves. Endless depths of beauty and majesty. They can seem chaotic when I'm in a sad or grief-stricken place, but they are also beautiful beyond words.

Reading a good book. Letting myself dive beneath its pages, get swept away in the what-ifs. Getting to know the people so much that I cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh, feel I know them, feel let-down when the book ends, as if I'm brought back to the mundain, the bland, as compared with that level of letting my mind go.

Puppies, kittens, my animals. I love cuddling them, feeling the cats purr, the dogs lick my feet or my hands or under my chin. I love pressing my hands to them and feeling their breaths being taken. I love when Toby (my black lab guide dog) gets up in the night, repositions himself, and presses himself against my legs. I almost can't sleep without that comforting body there beside me...

Young life. Something about that endless, amazed, curious wonder. Taking things in wit an innocence unmarred by pain or heartache, age, cynicism. Something about letting the little ones, whether or animal or human, snuggle into you. Being able to hold them, play with them.

Music. I've said for so long now that it runs in my veins. I'd be lost without it. I thank God every day that my hearing loss isn't such that I'll just go deaf one day. Music expresses what I cannot, allows me to get lost in it, gives me comfort or strength, or joy. It expresses even those dark, angry or agrieved emotions that lack words. It's beautiful. Simple, intricate, amazing, soothing...

Writing. Often, the depths of my soul can be poured out in it, when words, the audible ones that require me to think how I want them to sound, fail me. I feel that so many people don't understand that longing to just write, to let go and say what's on my heart is more natural this way, or through singing. It's as if I can speak more openly, without fear of how I'll be erceived or judged or misunderstood. I can organize my thoughts in ways speaking does not allow. It gives me a freedom and a creativity, whereas speaking requires more focus, more rigidity. I feel alive when I write, because it's speaking the essence of who I am, not who I want others to think I am.

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