Glide

I thought I was done with blogging, but it seems it wasn’t done with me.  Last Sunday, I went to church (!)  I had heard several times, that Glide was a “different” kind of church.  In fact, it describes itself as a “celebration”.

I was encouraged by the fact that I was with the  Claudia (who took the photo above) – and that I didn’t immediately burst into flames as I walked in the door!

The opening prayer is displayed on a large screen, and ends “Halleluja, Shalom, Right On, Namate”!  This set the scene for a fantastic service full of love.  In fact, love (specifically “self love”) is the central theme.  There was much talk of “losing religion, and finding faith”. One of my favourite quotes was “Don’t use Jesus to be a narrow-minded bigot”!

I went to a Catholic school, but haven’t been to church in years.  (Not since I asked a vicar if I could have sex with my boyfriend, and he told me I would go to hell if I did!)  I loved the non-denominational  aspect, the charity, the handing-out of fans, and tissues… but most of all I liked the music.  Wow, that choir can sing.  It made my heart resonate.  I cried throughout most of the service.

People think I am tactile, but I don’t really like to be touched unless I am initiating it.  I was perturbed at the suggestion we should embrace our neighbours, until I saw the joy and happiness in it.  At one point, an old man (wearing a perfectly-tied double windsor) took his shoes and socks off, snuggled up to me and started snoring.  Claudia held on to me and we laughed and laughed.

The central message, at least on this Sunday, was to relax, to try and love yourself, to chill the “f”out, and let the God, Allah  the universe (or whatever you call it) take care of you.  I am going to try and work on that.  Maybe I shouldn’t have been striving so hard.  I have experienced this a few times over the last few months.  If you just take a step back, things sometimes come to you.

(A quick anecdote on this, nothing to do with god/religion/faith, I wanted tickets to an Ed Sheeran concert this this week and was disappointed they were sold out.  I started to try and “produce” them and find ways to just bulldoze it and make it work.  As soon as I took my foot off the pedal, they dropped into my lap.  Of course, not everything is going to be easy, but I am trying to be thankful for every little bit of life.)

I do know, that in my darkest days, there was a support there that I didn’t know was there.

Happy Birthday, Grace

Yesterday was her birthday.  Trevor took me to get her name tattooed on my heart.  I don’t need the physical reminder, but I like it.  I will never again try not to acknowledge her existence, or who she briefly was in our lives.  Trevor loves her, too.  He said his boss would understand if he didn’t go back to work on his daughter’s birthday.  We both cried.  A lot.

Life

I have been reminded recently that life is a journey.  Sometimes the ground is flat but, with most good hikes, there are ups and downs.

Along the way, you meet people: you share experiences, you laugh, you cry… you live.  I have been finding pockets of peace recently.  Weekends in Mendocino with my girlfriends…. Learning to be alone….  Nature.  Nothing has made me happier recently than sitting alone in a hot tub, half-reading my book and watching whales migrate.  A red-headed woodpecker alighted 5 feet from me, happily pick-pecking away and I knew I was at peace.  And that peace cloaked me and made me happy.

And one day, I just stared at the ocean with a dear friend and thought about how lucky I am.

Insomnia (part III)

Maybe it isn’t possible to physically run far enough to just zonk out and go to sleep.  Maybe you need to run your mind ragged so it doesn’t go round and round in circles – about tomorrow’s first day back at work, about relationships, family, bills whatever….  My friend Rob told me, all you need is a good whiskey   I seem to remember he needed a hot dog, too ;) .

I ended up chatting to an old friend tonight over Facebook.  I have such fond memories of our ships passing in the night.  It occurred to me friends enter and sometime re-enter your life when you need them.

He sent me an extract from George Carlin’s ‘Brain Droppings’.  I want to share it with Kim, who posted on Facebook about her insomnia last night:

“People say, ‘I’m going to sleep now,’ as if it were nothing. But it’s really a bizarre activity. ‘For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I’m going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.’

If you didn’t know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you’d seen.

They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the ‘mind adventures’ got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren’t unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.’

So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you’re in a science fiction movie. And whisper, ‘The creature is regenerating itself.”

Pretty cool, huh?  I didn’t know George Carlin wrote like that, although I love his sketches.  (Did something EAT something else?)

My friend sent me a line he had written to himself “There are lots of holes – things that you don’t share, beyond those that you say are there.”  He always had a way with words :) .

He is training to run a marathon in the morning and signed off at half ten.  He told me “good night, Treacle”.  I told him “sleep tight”.  I wonder why he runs.

Final thought on this, why is it the top sheet always ends up tangled at the foot of the bed? ;-)

Old as you feel

Sometimes I feel old.  Sometimes I feel young.  Like the phoenix, maybe I am both.  (Since “time does not exist”, I guess we are all any and every age.)

I honestly believe you are only as old as you feel and today I got a tragas piercing with my 20-year old cousin, Nikki.  I have wanted one for ages, but someone told me I was too old for another piercing.  It appears I am not :) .

I am finally learning some things about myself – and how to deal with grief, and love.  How to be turned on and switched off.  I still desperately need sleep, but I am just going to deal with that when I get home.  I might as well stay partially on SFO time now.

Getting in the bath, getting my hands wet and physically unable to touch my phone and/or computer is a good way for me to unwind.  Museums work too.  Seeing a film at the cinema would probably work, too.   Yoga works.  Running works.  I thought I hated running, but I seem to have taken it up.    Being physically exhausted, crying, walking in the cold night air, eating right before bed, a good whiskey.  All of these things can help me unwind enough to sleep.

This week I discovered that my 6 year old niece gives a FANTASTIC shoulder massage.  I had to strike a bargain with her to keep her going.  She said her fingers get weak.  I told her (evilly) practice makes them stronger and she should keep going.  That got me another 10 seconds of a killer massage.  We counted them: 1001… 1002….

Having someone brush my hair.  I love that.  Amie did it this week.  That reminds me of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.  I accidentally grew my hair long again, but I still never wear it down.  I joke about the pre-Raphaelite paintings of “loose woman”.  Maybe it isn’t funny.  I married a man who asked me to take my hair out of “that stupid granny bun”.  LOL.  That was a long time ago.  The bun is back! :)

Love and Knowledge

You find love and knowledge in the strangest places.

Just recently my friend Dana was having a clear out of her old books and this is one she gave me.   She said it was a good and fast read.

I started reading it on the way to New York.  As we were landing, I looked up and there was a woman being interviewed on the overhead TV.  Her name was there: “Miss Mamie Von Doren”.  She appears on page 7 of the the book.  (This is a bit of a strange coincidence, since the book is 12 years old!)  Life is funny like that.  I actually flicked back to the first chapter to make sure I wasn’t just imagining it!

I was having early drinks with a friend when I got to NY, and then a late dinner with another.  When they showed up, they knew each other.  Of course.  None of us live in NY.  We all decided to eat together.  Thor bet me $1000 on the definition of a word.  I begged him not to, but he did it anyway and then looked it up and proved himself wrong.  Strip Clubs were obviously in my head and I let him off with $100 in singles.  It was a fun night, for all 3 of us :).  A week later I was recounting this crazy night to a work-friend in Dallas, and THAT is how I ended up meeting… we’ll call her Lily.  (Stargazer lilies are my favourite flower.  Lily had one tattooed on her hip.  She sent me that picture.  It is for me alone.)

Lily is not the Lily of the book, but she is beautiful and she has a lot of love to give.  She came up to me at the strip club, and as politely as possible I told her “you’re not my type”.  She said “give me 5 minutes”.   Confidence, panache?  Well, NOW you are :) . Long story short, Lily and I are now good friends.  I am a mentor to her and she to me.  She is beautiful, and she has a heart as big and open as anyone I have ever met.  She is 22 years old.

She believes in god.  She says with a big “G”.  She says that is because it is just human; that we put a capital letter on our names and “on stupid stuff like The White House”.  She believes in a creator.  The big energy.  Whatever “he” is.  She uses the word “he”.  She is a beautiful, shy mid-Western girl.  Maybe I want the small-Buntingford “me” back.

Always as a little kid, Lily says she was always better at solving other people’s problems than her own.  She said she always find the right words to say to someone, to just spread a little love.  To help just a bit.  Another soulmate/friend?

She says she is learning to mourn for the first time.  I know how that feels.

Of all places, here is some wisdom in Lily Burana’s book.

My Lily says there are no such things as coincidences.  She says “everything happens for a reason.” :)

Running

Why am I running so much?  I hate running.  What am I running away from? Or to? Or where, or whom, or what?  Today I ran to the old church.

I ran to my old childhood schools.  I ran roads and bridle paths. I ran until I cried. Is that what I wanted?

Memory.

Am I running away from memory?

My baby’s name was Grace.  Her name was Grace Evangeline Somers.  And She lived.  And I loved her