Unconditional

Sunset in Manly, as seen from Shelley Beach, Australia. © tuttysan 2012

Sunset in Manly, as seen from Shelly Beach, Australia. © tuttysan 2012

Love me when there’s nothing to love:

when the hair has thinned,

when the thin has gone.

Love me when it’s inconvenient:

when you can’t see me at all,

when you can’t count on me.

Love me when you get nothing in return:

not the comfort of company,

nor the passion of intimacy.

Love me when there’s nothing to say,

when all has been said and words don’t count.

Love me when I’m least expecting it,

when the story has been told,

when the bridges have been burnt,

when the ashes have flown by.

Love me the way air is present:

with certainty, without noise.

Love me in silence, in the things that need no words.

Love me in action, through time and space.

Love me when you can no longer count, when your eyes cease to see.

Love me with the silence of a thousand spaces,

with the patience of a tiny stream.

Love me if our journeys shall reach the same mountain,

and if there is no mountain, love me just the same.

Just because, simply, calmly.

Love me the way I love you: today and tomorrow, unconditionally.

By tuttysan © 2013

More poetry by tuttysan.

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Fallen Heroes

This very moment, I’m watching Part I of Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah. As calm as I’ve seen him in an interview, he finally comes clean about using performance-enhancing drugs. A quick look on twitter turns up a series of disgusted statements from self-righteous media characters and others lining up to throw their stones:

“What a snivelling, lying, cheating little wretch @lancearmstrong revealed himself to be tonight. I hope he now just disappears. #LiveWrong“, writes Piers Morgan.

“After years of lying to my face, Lance Armstrong apologizes in an email. He can keep it. My column: http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8852974/lance-armstrong-history-lying …” writes Rick Reilly.

The expected jokes from the common twitter folk follow.

On her end, Oprah makes sure she adds just enough outrage to her questions to satisfy an audience hungry for a crucifixion, but not so much that she scares him off. She strikes the right tone. He is calm. He has “tried to make amends,” but nobody wants to hear it, because he lied and sued and stepped over so many people in the process of winning at all costs. He was not alone at cheating, and no one cares if this was the culture of the team, or the sport. We may never really know all that happened. What we do know is that Lance made the most money, won all the medals, got all the jerseys and since he lied about the drugs, he must be ruined.

Lance’s fall from grace is a good opportunity for those who care to stop looking up to so-called heroes, and start looking in. The same mind that drives us to success as human beings, can also compel us to cheat. The same force that inspires greatness can breed unfairness, greed and cruelty. This is why there is suffering in our world, just as much as there is beauty.

Turning our attention within we can look at the speck of sawdust in our own eyes and realize that in the realm of form, we are all flawed at varying degrees, aspects and times. Fortunately, form is not all we are. Form is not even the absolute reality of who we are. In the realm of consciousness, glory and fall, winning and losing, half truths and lies dissolve into the space that is awareness. When we stop looking up to others in the world of form, we also stop judging them and attacking like wolves when they err.

It is only from awareness that we can have compassion for ourselves and others. Only from that space can we respect each other’s journeys and truly experience life with its joys and thorns.

“And the truth will set you free”…

Human Beings

Rose Bay, Sydney. © tuttysan 2012.

Human is form, Being is formless.

Human is relative, Being is absolute.

Human is temporary, Being is eternal.

Human is dying, Being is birthing.

Human is suffering, Being is bliss.

Human is attachment, Being is love.

Human is noise, Being is stillness.

Human is challenge, Being is possibility.

Human struggles, Being observes.

Human experiences, Being allows.

Human is thought, Being is awareness.

Human is fear, Being is power.

Human is appearance, Being is presence.

Human does, Being is.

DoBe. DoBe. DoBe.

“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God” (from a Course in Miracles)

Watch: The Mountain and The Valley by Eckart Tolle

Peaking in for a breather

If you’ve been following this blog you might have noticed I’ve taken a few months off and made it private. I wasn’t trying to exclude anyone from its content, just giving myself some time away from it without keeping tabs.

“Rest if you must but don’t give up.” (unknown)

2012 was one of those years in which I felt life was throwing punches and turning tides all around me, so halfway through it, I decided to stop writing and be present for the lessons. A time to learn, not to share. Now that the year is nearing its final month and one last adventure is yet in store for me, I figured I’d stop by for a breather and make the blog public again for those who want the recipes, the introspection or the love notes that here abound.

Why are winters so cold?

As I write this, my fingers numb, I begin wondering about the same things I wonder about every winter: Are people supposed to live in places that get this cold? I’m one power outage away from freezing to death! Aren’t we supposed to hibernate? and finally, What am I doing here? In the United States… in the world. Questions, many of them. Answers are rare. I take comfort in that most everyone else seems to lack answers to their own questions. It could be that we are directing our questions to the wrong person. We often ask some “thing” outside ourselves about our lives (God/Goddess, friends, religion, stars, etc.) and yet, when it all is said and done, no one has a clue what the best thing for you is. Maybe the simplest answer is the one we’re afraid to accept: that there are no answers, no right or wrong and that the choice we make for the moment is the right answer for that given time. Life is what you make of it, if you will.

I don’t admire thinkers, I admire doers.

Thoughts consume me, day in and day out. I live in my head. My happiest moments? Times of doing. When I engage in an activity that leaves no room for introspection: yoga, hiking, dancing, cooking. Then I come back to my thoughts and that’s when the reading, the writing and the photographing happen. It’s OK I guess. That I am a thinker, that I care if there is an afterlife or ponder the meaning of this one. But I admire people who are 100% devoted to the mundane, as though it really was that important, as though this life was so very real to them. The doers. The “primal” ones who just go about surviving or thriving in this world, without a care for the meaning of it all. Do “doers” need thinkers? Does the silent fear of irrelevance creep up on them at some point too?

Breath in… breath out. Until next time.

Venus’ second dance

Emigrant Wilderness, California. tuttysan © 2005

To a lost love, which found its way to me the first time Venus made its dance:

Silent bliss, of being next to.

I want nothing more.

Times like this, under the sun

gazing at the sky on a fallen log.

Rainbows of chalk grace the pavement

with hues of orange, and shirts;

with shades of blue, and flip-flops.

“I like you”, you said – as though it were a gift.

A gift of lust, spontaneity and free-falling.

Falling in love, with the little things, with tiny cheesecakes.

Meister of funk, sharp scissors target your wings.

You better go.  Polish those tunes, fly where you please.

Though plenty of fun,

it wasn’t worth what you were leaving behind.

Entiendo, amor.

Hope it did find you, what you needed to try.

Remain unbound,

to jump and play, to ride and sing.

Hope you’ve  found joy

in the type of love that makes you feel free.

Give me one more dance

on that crazy stage cycling the sun.

Let me smile again and look in your eyes

as if it were the first time.

To tell you I still know

what I knew back then,

y a lo mejor sabrás.

As uncommon as watching Venus swing by,

our fleeting of love was a rare find.

By tuttysan © 2012

Who’s a better mom than you? Anyone!

© tuttysan 2009

As if being a mother weren’t challenging enough, every year now a book comes out to tell us who is doing a better job than American moms. Last year it was Tiger mom, with her best-seller “Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother.” It is the story of Amy Chua, the Chinese-American mom who suggested letting her strong-willed child go out in the snow without a coat was superior parenting at its best. Not to be outdone, this year Pamela Druckerman, an American mother living in Paris wrote “Bringing Up Bebe.”  According to Druckerman, French moms generally raise well-mannered kids with a laissez-faire approach.

I got the tiger mom book as a gift from my husband last year. He thought I would welcome the opportunity to impart some Chinese tough love to our daughter. After seeing the reviews, I begrudgingly started reading and could not get past the first chapter. It’s not that I don’t want to learn about successful parenting. I just found tiger mom to be self-centered and annoying. Fast-forward a year and the moderator at my support group for parents suggests we read and discuss the WSJ article: “Why French Parents Are Superior,” also written by P. Druckerman. So, on the one hand Chinese moms are superior because they are tough on their offspring. On the other hand, French moms breeze through motherhood and still produce perfectly adaptable kids who are good eaters at that. Excuse me; I’m just not buying it.

As I understand it, the general message to American moms is: “You think you are doing a good job and are probably trying your hardest; but the truth is your parenting skills are so inferior that no matter what you do, you will never measure up. Everyone else is a better mother. Every other country has better parents, so you better catch up.” What bothers me most is that these books have become best sellers, banking on the natural feelings of inadequacy many mothers feel at one point or another, whether they stay home with their kids or work outside the home. American mothers have to be doing something right, since they have risen generations of creative, entrepreneurial and generally decent people, which is something you can say about most Americans. In my opinion, it is the “no way is the right way” approach that fuels innovation and most things good in this multicultural country. Is there a best-seller on that?

My mother is the best person I know. No one comes close in my eyes. She raised 7 kids with love, discipline and spirituality – with the support of a good man. She has shortcomings and did not raise perfect kids; but we are all productive members of society who adore her. I haven’t mentioned her nationality, but if you must know, she happens to be Dominican.

I don’t need anybody to tell me how to be a “better mom than” someone else. I want to be the best mom I can to the child I gave birth to with great personal effort. Books that offer general parenting advice are great, as are friends with good tips on what worked for them in raising their kids. But I refuse to buy into the premise that any one culture, country, race or group of people is generally better at being a mom. China is not the U.S., neither is France. There’s nothing wrong with raising American kids the “American” way, whatever that means to you and your family.

Creative Love

tuttysan © 2012

Mother,
you channel life.
From creative wombs,
countless designs.
A princess, a queen
with power born.
Nature and merit
secure your throne.

Mother,
through you the source
of love is endless,
and pushing forth.
Why through great pain,
producing life.
Nurturing goddess,
you are divine.

Madre,
within your heart
my own heart rests…
in peace survives.
For when my world
just falls apart,
there you are surely
to catch me right.

Mother,
if words could tell
of such a love;
there’d be one poem
retold by all.
That in your arms
it is all right.
You are the gift
from love, to life.

tuttysan © 2012