Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Still Point



Sometime, when you look back, you can point to a time when your world shifts and heads in another direction. In lace reading this is called “the still point.”
~ Brunonia Barry (The Lace Reader)

No matter what all the books and gurus claim, we don’t ever live fully in the present moment. How is this possible when there is such a vast sea of memories within us? We can aim to live each given moment to the full, but we can’t escape the past.

Nor can we ignore what lies ahead. The sum total of our being is comprised of past, present, and future. Our history teaches us what we need to know about ourselves in order to move forward. The present shows us where our feet are standing now. 

Dreams and goals direct us toward the future.
The eternal now is the intersection where all three meet.

Within the still point, past, present, and future exist simultaneously and time, as we know it, disappears completely. ~ The Lace Reader’s Guide

One memory haunted me for the longest time. It wouldn’t let go until I wrote it down and contemplated its meaning. It taught me how empty I was, always on a quest for peace of mind, forever roaming about and knocking on doors, seeking for some outer source to fill my lonely ache. It taught me about the God shaped vacuum.

The Still Point
Beneath a dome of gunmetal sky I push my toddler
son along the bumpy pavement, buckled up
and snug in his umbrella stroller. 

We come upon a ghost campus
at spring break.  The only signs of life today are a
concert of birds in verdant trees, and centerstage,
a fountain cascading into a wishing pool. 
Incandescent fish, like kids at hide and seek,
dart underneath the candock.

The stroller click-clacks onward, over brick pathways
in our pursuit of pleasure.  Here, an octagonal structure
on which a plaque is posted: Peace to all who enter
here.  A locked door.  So much for peace.  Whatever
presence might have dwelt within that place
remains a mystery. 

The meditation center, I’ve been told, has since
been leveled like an old ramshackle privy.
A quarter-century passes. My son grows tall
and travels west, ascends the heights
of Swannanoa where heaven
is more within his reach.

And me?  Even now I stroll toward the still
point in my wandering mind.  And sometimes
I arrive to find the door left open.



Looking back, can you pinpoint a time
when your world shifted and you headed in a different direction? 

The Still Point was first published in Crucible.  

107 comments:

  1. I think I may be shifting now, it feels uncomfortable with uncertainty. But I know He is waiting for me with the door open.

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    1. Any change or shift in direction contains that element of uncertainty, doesn’t it Shelly?
      Artists particularly experience it. *sigh*
      And yes, the door is ALWAYS open on both sides.

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  2. Yes, I know exactly when I shifted and moved in another direction...what I called walking the Vision of my Potential...discovery of Self..and I never looked back..it has not been without it's ups and downs..but each teaching and moving..the wheel of life...oscelating forward and back...each time bringing with it a new "Still Point"...leading to the next one..for there are many...as we continue to climb that Ladder of Life's events unfolding before us. Every Still Point taking us into another layer of the unknown self, yet to be discovered...brilliant as always Debra...very stimulating...Always...

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    1. Raven, “walking the vision.” I like that phrase. And it IS up and down the ladder, round and round the wheel, all the symbols you speak of here. That’s a pretty apt picture of life and the quest for finding our truest self. Walking the vision, to me, means knowing that we haven’t arrived yet, that we are still sojourners along the way.

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  3. I can definitely relate to what you mean about experiencing a still point, in some ways a paradigm shift. Sometimes we realize when it happens other times we recognize it when reflecting back in the past.

    I loved your poem...:)

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    1. Jessica,yes, sometimes it's instantaneous recognition, but often it's reflecting back at our past that we learn from the experience. xox

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  4. very nice...great description putting us in that place, the campus...the lock door, which plays well with the open door in your mind later, and they are plenty of those locked up minds as well....but i like the peace i find in the end for you and your son...

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    1. Brian, that’s what I was looking for: peace. My son moved, not just across the state, but now lives 3,000 miles away – across the country. I guess folks will go wherever to find what they’re searching for, won’t they?

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  5. I can remember numerous major shifts in direction . . . some of my own choosing, some the fallout of another's actions. On a daily basis I imagine our choices in matters great and small, exciting or mundane are kind of like the GPS in the car that chirps "recalculating" when we take an unexpected turn. Really enjoyed this, Debra. I always feel a smile of delight sweep across my face when I see you have a new post.

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    1. Andrea Dawn, “ Exciting or mundane are kind of like the GPS in the car that chirps "recalculating" when we take an unexpected turn.” Love the metaphor! I haven’t been around the blogosphere as much lately because my car took one of those detours. And honey, trust me on this: it wasn’t worth the trip :-( No ma’am.

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  6. "'Peace to all who enter here.' A locked door."
    And, how we desire and long for that peace! Is it right around the corner, Lord? Can I find it behind that locked door? When the only lock in our lives is the one we place upon our own hearts, our own souls.
    We never escape the past, I believe, but we can use it to embrace the future and live in the moment, bringing everything to it in faith and in trust. In faith that God knows best; in trust that He will show us the way.
    As you said in response to Brian, sometimes our search for the unlocked door takes us physically miles away, but aren't we just that distant when we deny His call to live in the moment, just as we are and just where we are?
    Whatever it takes for each and every one of us, may we stand at the locked door and knock. Jesus is sure to answer . . .
    Thank you so much, Debra, for this most inspiring and heart-felt post.
    Blessings always, my dear friend!

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    1. Martha, it appears that the whole world is searching for peace. However, most don’t know where to find it, and are somehow under the illusion that world peace is the answer. But we both know that there will always be wars and rumors of wars. That being the case, the only real peace can be found within our own hearts. Originally I was going to ask the question, “What does the word “peace” mean to you? Blessings to you dear friend! May all your hands find to do prosper. I’m excited about the journey you’re on, and hope you’ll keep me posted!

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  7. Wow, Debra, that poem is beautiful. I loved it. I'm so glad you've found that opened door - we are all hoping to find it at some point.

    I love the concept of the Still Point (and have looked up The Lace Reader online, which looks excellent!!), and yes, I have encountered this a few times in my life. I usually come to some kind of crossroads - a point where I can no longer keep going along the same path. Something must change. Some decision is needed or new coordinates plotted - and everything changes. Thankfully, I'm learning to hear the voice inside me when it tells me "it's time."

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    1. Kristen, check this out.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxIEdeBtiTg

      Brunonia Barry says you have to go back to go forward. A hero' journey for women. You can visit her website and learn to read lace.

      On poetry... I was amazed at your poem last week. Such beautiful stuff!

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    2. So interesting Debra!! I think I need to get the book...

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  8. "Looking back, can you pinpoint a time
    when your world shifted and you headed in a different direction?"

    I can think of many such moments, but the one I've been pondering today is the time, four years ago, when I committed myself to trusting Mr. C. to help me see and become an even more powerful version of myself. I didn't tell him this, I just started living a different way. I forced myself to entertain the possibility that I might actually 'deserve' the love of an exceptional man instead of looking for excuses to push him away.

    I've spent my whole life 'fighting against' the guilt I feel dealing with other people's distorted projections which they pretend are caused by my personal flaws. Even today, there's no shortage of this pollution in my world. But, Mr. C has never failed to bring me back to reality in such situations by pointing out the obvious -- when these people attack me it's their demons which are the cause rather than mine. When I put this into words, it fails to capture the profundity of what I'm experiencing but I think you, Sweet Debra, may know what I mean.

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    1. Linda, if anyone deserves such a soul mate it’s you. It sounds like a relationship made in heaven, an unbreakable bond between you and Mr. C.
      And you know what? He’s right. When these people attack you it's THEIR demons which are the cause rather than yours. That’s the beauty of this bond between you two. True love is all about deep and lasting friendship. And friends lift us up instead of pull us down.
      Thank you, dear Linda, for being my friend because you always inspire and encourage!
      Much love! xox
      BTW, when is this wonderful new community happening? Love your concept <3

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    2. Bloggerbrook will 'open' on Facebook in July -- I'm so EXCITED! Thank you for asking ;-*

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    3. I see in your concept the difference between just networking and community – community being more like a family ;-)

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    4. not like MY family -- haha! more like COMMUNITY than networking or family. my next few posts will explain more details ;-)

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  9. I think I can recall the different points when I thought I wanted things for myself. Truly for myself, and not what I think would sound nice in front of my relatives, or what I think I ought to be doing as my peers were. I suppose those moments were when my perception shifted by small angles each time, till I felt substantial and clear enough to set out. Great intimate poem, Debra.

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    1. Claudine, so the expectations’ of others had no impact on your dreams and goals. How rare but wonderful! Recognizing our individuality early on is almost a miracle nowadays!

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  10. "The eternal now is the intersection where all three meet." I love this!!!
    My definition of time is eternity. It is all together, the past, present and future. Time is not limited.

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    1. Nikky, thought you’d appreciate this Polish proverb:
      Time flies...and eternity waits.

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  11. I do remember Debra. For the longest time I thought becoming a missionary was what God wanted me to be. I had a very poor concept of what it was all about. I was young and filled with idealism.

    Then there came that still point ~ it hit me like an earthquake, I was filled with denial but I knew it was God opening the road to freedom.

    I have just reconciled my past and present and the future is something that is still in the process of discernment.

    It is true only God could every fill that vacuum in each one of us.

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    1. I realized that I could be a missionary everywhere not necessarily leaving my country...it took a whole to dawn on me ~ God dwells in the heart of men.

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    2. Melissa, isn’t that funny, how idealist young hearts can be? As a child I pretended to be an evangelist because in our religion missionaries and evangelists were deemed the quintessential servants. And so this is what my playtime looked like. I even baptized a cat once. And the Baptists did water immersion!

      When I was young
      And not quite tame
      I played a favorite game
      Lined my dollies in a row
      Called each one by his name
      And pointing my index finger
      At each and every one
      I preached to them a sermon
      Until their souls were won

      LOL!

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    3. :P ahahaha! For sometime I was so heartsick over this stillpoint. Look how we laugh at it now LOL!

      Kindly excuse my typo errors :P...

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    4. Laughter IS THE BEST MEDICINE; we need more of it! Typos? I'd have never noticed ;-)

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    5. Oh how I love you Debra :*

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    6. From here to yonder... mu-ah!
      Ditto distance friend!

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  12. Debra,

    Thank you for taking inspiration from The Lace Reader, and thank you even more for your beautiful poem. Today, my world is shifting, and you have inspired me greatly.

    Brunonia Barry

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    1. Oh Brunonia, what an amazing surprise to find you here today! Who wouldn’t be inspired by your lovely writing? You are one remarkable lady. How is your world shifting?

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    2. My brother in law was hit by a car while crossing the street just before Christmas. His wife died a few years back, and he has no children, so he is essentially alone in the world except for my husband and myself. So life is shifting in that we are once again care givers, a very special calling indeed. We took care of my mom and dad in their last years, keeping them home and together. In the midst of this, I am finishing a new book, one that has challenged me more than anything I've written before. It reminds me all the time that the inspiration is not coming from me alone. Of course I knew that, but sometimes one is reminded in very specific ways.

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    3. Oh no! I hope your brother-in-law is recuperating from the accident and is doing okay. How sad to have lost his wife too, but how grateful he must be to have you and your husband.
      Yes, a special calling indeed to be caregivers. Sounds like you’ve had sufficient experience, having cared for your mom and dad in their last years. How blessed they were to have had that opportunity to stay in a loving environment at home with their beloved daughter.
      Your muse must never take a vacation ;-) I’m eagerly awaiting your next tour de force!

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  13. Very brilliant turn a round Debra. I loved your poem.

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    1. Thanks Reno. Likewise.
      I savored your poem today.

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  14. its true we cant live present moment fully.i always feel as if i am virginia woolf who always avoided happiest moment and logic behind was that she knew that some horrible thing is going to happen...

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    1. Zarab, are you referring to a specific book of hers, or just the author’s view of life?
      Did you read Mrs. Dalloway, or see the film, The Hours?

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    2. i've read extract from TO THE LIGHT HOUSE.

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    3. Oh,I'll have to check that one out.

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  15. I love that quote. I've had many moments where I saw a change. All during different seasons and turns in the road. Beautiful post!
    www.toshowthemjesus.com

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    1. Christina, change is the only constant, yes?

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  16. It's like an unwritten law of the universe or something, that the more you chase something the further away it is to you. Like you chasing peace of mind from external sources or my husband's incessant chasing to "have money" never realizing or enjoying what he already has.

    I can think of many times when I changed or went another direction. Major occasions like my sister's death. Medium occasions like a broken friendship. Minor occasions like breaking a dish while washing. I have a hard time reigning in my energy when I am overly angry. When I break something (and it always happens when I'm too mad to see straight) as I am trying to control the bleeding, I slow down and reflect on why it happened and how can I keep it from happening again. This is something I've learned over time to do because before I just didn't care. I've lost a lot of dishes, collectibles, and things I enjoyed because of my out of control anger.

    Just like every moment is a time to learn(You know me and my unschooling beliefs)every moment is a time to change. I want to make sure every single moment I have left is spent wisely. I wasted so many of them but, at least they brought me to this moment so they are truly wasted just not my full potential.

    I enjoyed reading this as I do all of your posts. Hope you are well my dear Deb. xoxo

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    1. Jen, do you ever record your dreams? How telling they can be! Last night I dreamt that I was visiting a student’s house. They lived in a cubby hole of a place with small rooms like cubicles. Because they’d outgrown the place they were moving to a larger house. While I was there I discovered a room in the house that they’d never even known existed. I believe there are rooms in our soul-house that we don’t know exists. And because we don’t know what’s already there, we just up and move. Always wanting something newer and better and bigger. The real challenge is to discover what we already have within, don’t you think?
      I know your sister’s death was devastating to you Jen. How has your life shifted since she left? And do you feel , at times, that her presence is still with you? xox

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  17. No I don't record my dreams, sometimes I remember them and other times I lose them upon waking. I have premonitions in my dreams and that can be terrifying. I actually had one about my sister several months before her passing. But, it was a double premonition and the other part of it happened that day so I missed out on the bigger more important part which was my sister.

    Her death helped me live in the moment more. I thought I was but, I really wasn't. I was anxious and worried all the time about the future and I was caught up in a recurring nightmare of my past. I was unhappy, depressed, angry at the world, stagnating in a place that I was never meant to be in. I blamed a lot of people for the things they did to me in my life or didn't do for me. Now I can focus on moving forward because those things happened so I could be who I am. I have felt her around me, my daughter has seen her and communicated with her. These are things that will be included in the book I am writing about my mother's maternal side of the last 7 generations of mediums. I guess you can say she helped me get to that point in writing as well. xoxo

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    1. Oh Jenn, what a life you have lived. I’d advise you to keep plugging away at that book. You NEED to write your unique story that only you can tell. Do it for yourself, for your children, for your sister, for the others who need to hear what you’ve been though, and share your perspective on life – which is clearly the path less traveled, like mine. It sounds like you are in tune with the inner world too, so that angle added to the outer reality should produce some astonishing material ;-) Your truth is stranger than fiction, yes? Do you have a working title? I’m always working on one manuscript or another. Most recently I’ve been focusing on the spiritual memoir. Keep me posted on your progress and I’ll do the same. Shall we meet at the writer’s forum – what is the name of that group Stuart started?

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  18. I can't think of such a moment of stillness. It seems that my shifts in direction have been gradual changes as opposed to just one still point. But even in these gradual changes there must have been a moment when the indecision turned into a decision.

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    1. Tat, you thought it was just another park… until you entered the magical forest. That moment must count. When you entered the kid’s world, you became that child you once were. Like you said, all the moments in time lead us to that still point.

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  19. many times... the one that comes to mind is most recently; its taken lots of footwork, visiting the past, but not staying there. I'm also learning that when I do my footwork, let go of the rest and trust in the process, I don't have feelings of regret (which for me is living in the past) or worry (which for me is trying to predict the future). This too shall pass... helps bring me to the moment! I agree, memories, worries and fears will keep me from being in the moment... the good news I do not stay there as long and for me that is progress!

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    1. Mommetime – visiting the past but not staying there is key to healing and wholeness. There is soul work to be done, and to neglect the only soul we have is to sink deep down. I want to thank you for sharing what it means to remain and fight instead of flee. You are where you are today because of who you were yesterday. You are, and you are becoming… still and still moving.

      Happy Anniversary to you and the Sailor!

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  20. Beautiful!! You are a poet, indeed. I've never heard of the still point. I love that description- will ponder my own still points today!

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    1. Alicia, you have a good many, don’t let them go to waste ;-) Do share!

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  21. It's funny but I've never really thought about this although I can think of one time in my life where my life most certainly did shift. It was painful at the time but it was necessary and it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me!

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    1. Heidi, redemption stories are the best.
      Your assignment today is to write your story. Go!

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  22. Wow, I wish I could write like you - poetry never really clicked for me... Thanks for stopping by my reading list yesterday - I'm going to have to find something by Shelia Walsh now to listen to!

    Marissa @ forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com

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    1. Marissa, not everyone is called to poetry ;-) But it’s always just been my thing.
      I’m sure you can find Sheila’s angel voice on
      You Tube.

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  23. Stopping by to say thanks for visiting me at my blog and wow, I am so thankful I did. LOVED this post and will definately be back again. The moment that my life shifted and went into a different direction... when I surrendered my life to Christ, FULLY. Not just salvation, but surrender (my thoughts, my plans, my ideas). My life has never been the same. I have no idea where my path leads from here on out, but I follow Him who does. It is exciting and at times, exhausting. But I never what to go back to my old life again.

    Again, thank you for visiting me.

    www.CountHisBlessings.com

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    1. Kari, that was my defining moment too. And isn’t it a great adventure? Full surrender is the only path to perfect peace and joy unspeakable. It’s the path that leads us straight to the kingdom of God. What better place to dwell?

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  24. Hi Debra:
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting at my blog this morning. (Tuesday.) My world shifted when I discovered Law of Attraction, when I was able to put a name to something I'd been unknowingly practicing my entire life. Discovering Law of Attraction (LOA)deepened and strengthened my faith, my spirituality.

    In November, 2008 I took Rhonda Byrne's The Secret DVD home from my library. That's where I discovered Law of Attraction. (LOA) Now when I look back, I see that movie as an introduction. I see The Secret as my Nursery School, a very simplistic approach to all LOA can do for you. We're all different and we all have different ways of approaching faith and spirituality. I see LOA and all it says as an extension of God and his law. If you really study LOA and compare it with what your faith says, you'll see how similar they are. So I thank the process for bringing me closer to my faith.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Chris, it’s always a pleasure, and I stop by your place as often as I can. I’ve heard about the LOA, but what I’ve learned about it has mostly been from you. And I’ve never read The Secret either, but have gleaned these principles from your writings as well. Isn’t it strange to have been practicing something for years and then have someone come along and clarify it for you? You know there’s nothing new under the sun. These ideas have always been around, but once in a while someone will come along and recycle them in a new way and bring them to the forefront. And then others will take off and run with them!

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  25. Moving in different directions is what makes life interesting and fun. I have ( like many) switched tracks many times in my life!! It has kept it interesting. Thanks Debra, a great post well worth reading !!

    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2012/06/few-videos-of-anna-and-brians-wedding.html

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    1. Jim, if anyone is following his bliss it’s you. Enjoyed watching This is Your Day.
      And how you captured that moment!

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  26. Beautiful, Debra -the poem, the thoughts, your journey. My life has shifted many times as I've righted wrongs, started over, repeated mistakes, started again...and finally settled in. The settling in has not only been a physical placement, but also a burgeoning acceptance of myself as a creative being...something I have always known but resisted--feeling that I could not be a responsible mother and also an impulsive artist/creative. But the biggest change has been in not allowing any other person the power to define me.

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    1. Thank you Britton. Your journey sounds similar to mine – very similar. All the twists and turns and righting wrongs in the process, the never-ending cycle of restlessness until we find that true call. Many battle this juggling act between homemaker/mom and writer/ artist. It’s the old identity crises. And coming to terms with this duality of calls is certainly a struggle. No two ways about it. But it sounds like you’ve found your peace about it.

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  27. I love the lingering imagery of the door . . . with its suggestion of moving in and out of something or someplace. I can't say there was one single moment when I felt a discernible shift but I can say that a practice called Focusing is forever bringing me to new awarenesses that bring subtle shifts in perception. I'll say this, too -- many years before I started doing yoga and becoming more curious about being 'in the moment,' I was at a temple in Kyoto, sitting and facing the rock garden. For whatever reason (or lack thereof), I found myself filled with the sensation that nothing mattered but being right there at that moment. No thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow. I had that sense of timelessness once more, when I spent the night at Machu Picchu in the days when the only accommodations were a 12-room inn at the site.

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    1. Thank you Deborah. Is this practice of Focusing similar to centering prayer? I know that, for me, centering has its many benefits, among them flashes of insight, deep peace, advanced intuition - not to mention inner healing. And yes, subtle shifts in perception. When you experienced that state of mind where you were oblivious to all else but that particular moment, the rock garden was your focal point? It must have been paradise, that sense of timelessness.

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  28. Debra, this is a beautiful post . The Still point comes all of a sudden, at least for me, it came all of a sudden, and with a big /brutal force-
    At first, I panicked. It made me unsettled. But slowly and gradually I felt that it was taking me to unknown shores...Believe me, looking back, I can clearly see that point. But when it was all happening I could not see it or understand it { the point or the phenomenon }.
    Now, I am at peace and feel that "the point" guided me towards my growth-{ Although } when the shift happened, I was very uncomfortable/uncertain because it challenged all my past belief systems and old ways of doing things which I had to let go/change.
    love,
    Sanghamitra

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    1. Thanks Sanghamitra. How did it come to you? What happened that caused the shift? How has it caused your growth? What changed in you afterward?

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    2. Debra, it is very difficult to sum up the answer, still, let me try:
      For a long time-for almost 4 years [ and maybe even longer}, I was feeling very uneasy and dissatisfied with my life. Whatever was happening left me uneasy. One day something happened [ some sort of confrontation you can say ]and I realized that all my relationships with other people are not as it seemed from the surface...I felt that we all [including myself] are leading an unconscious life...We all are sleepwalking through life, hurting each other, judging and misjudging each other at the slightest instance...All the people [ including myself ] are leading a "non-existent existence".
      After that incident, I took a sabbatical, left my job/studies to know the true meaning of life...initially , that break/sabbatical was hard for me as I realized that there are so many things in my life that I was doing wrong that too unknowingly ! And It was difficult to shed my anger ,frustration etc. But after almost a year, by meditating and reading books on spiritualism,and by practising certain principles, I have come to a point where my life has become my beloved friend and now I can accept and love myself /others with a lot more ease.
      I am no longer struggling with life.
      I hope that I was able to reply the questions to your satisfaction. If not, you can ask me some more questions .
      have a nice day !

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    3. Sanghamitra, you nailed it. Leading a conscious life makes all the difference. But sleepwalking will only lead to a dead end. Taking a sabbatical was the best thing you could have done, and I’m so glad to hear that you took the initiative to find your path in life. Wisdom girl, you have wisdom! Kudos!

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  29. If you have a bottle of wine and an evening we can talk at length. I suspect we both have a story to tell. Beautiful poem, by the way.

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    1. Dear Brenda, I do have a bottle of wine (Merlot) waiting for my friend! Please swing by and share it with me and let’s sit a spell and talk ;-) xox

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  30. I can totally pinpoint the last time it happened. I was in a seminar in San Francisco. The last exercise we were asked to complete was to take five minutes and describe who we were and what we were doing one year from that date. The first sentence out of my pen was, "I am a writer." My jaw dropped and I almost cried. I hadn't thought of writing seriously since I was in highschool, about twenty-five years previous.

    And the world turned. I came home and within a year had a monthly column and a blog. Now my first book is due out any day and the second one is coming along nicely.

    I don't think we pay enough attention to that little inner voice that's trying so hard to tell us where our true happiness lies. I finally did and am happier than I can remember being in a long, long time.

    Great post, Debra. :)

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    1. Oh Ruth, that still small voice… if only more folks would listen, pay attention, take heed. What exciting news! Several years ago when I was at a retreat, the speaker, Keith Miller, asked us to write down all our dreams and goals. I thought, oh man, I feel like I’m back in school doing some mundane assignment. But I wrote them down anyway – took all afternoon. And guess what, every one of them came true. One dream was to write a novel. As it turned out, I completed a 350 page manuscript – which, at one time, I’d have thought impossible ;-) Back to your forthcoming book… what’s the title? I’ll be on the lookout!

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  31. oh Debra, I can remember so many moments in my life that were my still point. Each one of them invaluable to bring me to this moment in my life. I am glad you brought a new perspective into this whole "living in the present" thing, because like you my life has always encompassed so much more than just this moment I am in right now.

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    1. Ana, that’s because we’re introverts, and introverts transcend time, don’t you think? As you said, “Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind.” This is where we explore our thoughts, past, present, and future.

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  32. Have just come through that season Debra, when my world shifted and is still shifting. And I am learning to not fight it, ride the present moving like a wave that knows where it is going. By grace, caress the season and welcome its waves, it's serenity, whatever it has to offer. God is the Creator of the oceans....and He never makes mistakes. Thanks for this. It was absolutely beautiful!

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    1. Jen, I love your metaphor of riding the waves.
      Welcome the waves and ride along in peace and joy! Yes, peace and joy!

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  33. Debra, wonderful thought provoking article and a very lovely poem.

    "Looking back, can you pinpoint a time when your world shifted and you headed in a different direction?"

    My world shifted a lot in the past 2 years, many of those stories I've shared with you. From having a fairy tale life, to seeing it all collapse in front of me. Opening up to love only to wash it be washed out to sea and more..

    I've always have been a firm believer in when one door closes another opens, and you must fully close a door before trying to walk through another. Even when you think that you've made it clear of one ... there is always a part of you that hangs on and leaves it open a crack...

    I know we all get different things from reading articles, poems etc. Not only is this thought provoking it's spiritually motivated all wrapped in one.


    If I continue writing you'd be stuck here for a week reading. But yes, I have a couple of life changing shifts.

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    1. Deb, I know your life has drastically shifted during the past 2 years. Having lived a fairy tale life, then the collapse of a marriage, opening to love only to see it washed out to sea… Bless your heart. How have you endured these things? What has held you together dear friend? Perhaps your new life with its many creative facets has given you outlets for other passions? And then there’s the precious babygirl!

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  34. I knew what "still" is and can acknowledge every time I came by it but never really knew what to call it. I do now with the help of your most fabulous post! Love the poem!

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    1. Kriti, sending richest blessings to my far away friend! In the midst of every storm, may you find a calm inner sea.

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  35. Absolutely thought-provoking. And your poem is beautiful. :-)

    I am reflecting on shifts in my life... there were a lot. But I think the most vital shift was when I made the U-turn of seeking peace, happiness, and contentment within me instead of searching for them from outside sources. I realized that I needed to work on "me" and not on what is around me. It changed my perspective. And although I am still on that journey of finding those inner treasures, I feel more optimistic now than before. :-)

    Thank you, Debra, for your post made me reflect deeply. God bless <3 :-)

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    1. Irene, same here. It was that U-turn from seeking outward consolations, encouragement, and inspiration that changed everything. As we grow spiritually we discover the treasure in the earthen vessel. But it doesn’t happen overnight does it? We search until we find that the kingdom of God isn’t just among us, but within us. <3

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  36. This post hit me right in the gut. I'm always chiding myself about not being continually in the moment and yet I find it impossible to stay there. I'm a combination of past present and future...a caldron of everything me—forever simmering. I'd have to have a lobotomy to be able to stay in the now consistently;)
    The poem was so sweet and yet haunting as she carried her lonely soul with her, optimistic and brave. Beautiful!
    I am visiting Goldsboro NC. I used to live in this area but have since moved to Florida.

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    1. Leah, the Goldsboro area is where I grew up. It wouldn’t surprise me if our paths haven’t crossed somewhere in time. Speaking of which, no one can live entirely in the present. How can we obliterate the past or ignore the future – apart from a lobotomy ;-) And I don’t know about you, but I need memories to direct me back to the places in childhood where I was most truly myself because we learn from the past.
      Have a wonderful time in NC. I’m now about 30 minutes north of Goldsboro in Wilson. You must have relatives and friends in Wayne County.

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  37. Beautiful words and description of the " the still point."

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  38. Wow. That was just beautiful. Yes, I know the points when things shifted. I wonder if that's the point God intends for me to notice, or if there was another, more subtle that He knows is the point. So interesting!

    happy seeing beautiful!

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    1. Hi Lydia! I’ve like to hear about that moment when your world shifted. When did you have an “aha” moment that changed you?

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  39. Yes, I was in college when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. That was followed by surprising grace that enabled me to change my direction in life. That was 30 some years ago and there has only been gratitude for this wonderful epiphany.

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    1. Monisima, yes! What amazing grace! I’m so glad you stopped by for a visit. I went over to the Philippines just now and meet your father and heard music and was blessed by your words.

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  40. Debra, my world shifted the day my nana died. Immediately, I knew that life as I knew it had come to an end. Gone was the guidance, the wisdom, the leader I had come to follow. My moral compass had vanished and along with her, all my desire to see the good in people. My anger at her passing was unjustified. I know that now. She had lived to the ripe age of 92 and I should have been grateful for that. But I was devastated and for the first time ever, I felt abandoned. Alone and without my role model, I was forced to head in a different direction; a direction I had to carve out on my own. No longer did I have my soul mate to consult and to offer advice. I went from an army of two to an army of one, overnight. Thankfully, my faith allowed me to soldier on. Remembering her words, her life stories, her humor, I was able to carry on. Doubtful and trepadacious at first, I took my first steps. I miss nana every day, lady. Every day. And yet, I know that she is with me. Every step of the way. So while my world may have shifted, I believe it righted itself when I realized that even when our loved ones are physically gone, it doesn't mean they're not still with us. Thanks for taking part in my high seas story, lady! :)

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    1. Bella, from what I’ve read of nana’s wisdom, tidbits you’ve shared with your readers, no doubt you felt this way when she up and abandoned you. I think it would be a good idea sometime for us to host a hop on grandmother stories. I never knew my own grandmother, but from what I’ve learned about her from my mother’s journal, she was a spiritual gypsy. I’ve written a poem about her, and oodles of prose – about a lady I never met.
      That high seas story was fun, but I’m afraid I lack prowess in group effects, especially composing mysteries :-(

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  41. Debra, I think a grandmother hop is a fantastic idea!I would be happy to collaborate! Let me know how I can help! :)

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    1. Let's do it! I welcome your ideas on how to go about it. When? How? I know many (as I'm sure you do) may like to join in and introduce their nana's.

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    2. Debra, I think the best thing would be for you to write a post inviting readers to write about their grandmothers. They could then link up to you blog after posting their story. Linky tools is a good way for readers to link their blogs and it's free. You can invite readers to post photos of their nana's as well, along with anecdotes, stories, imparted wisdom and the like. I thought Grandparent's Day would be a nice day for this type of post but it's not till September! Hence, it's up to you to choose a date! Let me know if I can help! :)

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  42. Still point. I love that image. A Course in Miracles calls this the holy instant. Thank you for sharing this new term and the background and symbolism of it. Lovely post.

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    1. Galen, I’ve read A Course in Miracles, but didn’t recall the term the holy instant. Thanks so much! Hope your weekend was wonderful!

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  43. PS--Now following. Look forward to reading more!

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    1. I’ve been following you for awhile now, and what a pleasure! Check you later.

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  44. There are always still points in a life for those who have the courage to stop and take notice. Stopping takes effort because often a course action must follow and not everyone is will to take the necessary course of action. They prefer to turn the other way and avoid the internal confrontation. I've often longed to have the strength to pretend I wasn't at a still point, howled to the moon, beg the celestial beings to be light of heart and skip on down the gravel path, but no, this is not my destiny. Damn! Sigh. Strong verse, my dear.

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    1. Girl, I thrive on internal confrontations. I do. I like making peace with the past. But I’ve had my howling-at-the-moon moments, believe me. What we need to do is write it all down. When faced with our demons, exorcise them on paper. What do you say? Sometimes we can use our characters as scapegoats too. Yeah. That’ll work.

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