Tenacity of a bubble

Words rise from another like splattering grease on the griddle.  You hear your own wrongness in the accusation, the ways you’ve failed, the ways you’re not perfect, the way your egg yolk breaks inappropriately when you wanted to be sunny side up.

You feel the energy harsh and judgmental, stuck to the plate of your dirty dishes.  You feel…like no matter how hard you try, how hard you scrub…the pots and pans remain dirty.  Bits of food dry on them.  The scouring never ends.

You try…don’t you?…to turn it all around toward the positive.  You pour hot water and suds on the offending stain, attempting to wash it away.  Sometimes the positive works and the sunlight streams through the kitchen windows and the fawns frolic in the grass outside.

Sometimes you listen to a million thoughts which attempt to defend, argue, insist, break the dishes, throw soap suds in the air, stomp away from the endless food of disagreement.

Tonight I let my heart be broken  again and again, staying with the pain, breathing.  I don’t insist the end of shattering.  The dish cloth circles the encrusted heart of the dish over and over again.  The hot water melts.  The pain we think we can’t bear is born.

Pull open the drain.  Water pours down, down, down into the earth.  Only bubbles remain floating effortlessly in the silver sink.  Soon they, too, will dissolve.

To wash the dishes fully.  Dry them carefully.  Stay with them when they crack, when they break.  When the tears fill the sink.

Stay with the dishes.  Tomorrow they’ll serve themselves up again, filled to the brim with that which nourishes. 

I have faith.


20 thoughts on “Faith

  1. Wonderfully moving, real, and gritty encounter with faith Kath. There are times when everything wants to move against it and it is standing in the storm of “survival” thoughts, “should” thoughts, “desire to be different” hopes, “no not this” emotions showing us our relationship with what we consider reality.

    That changeless ground of being always wins out. Always. It is the alpha and omega. Nothing stands up to it or lasts in it including the body\mind experience.

    About as fun as the thought and subsequent emotions of being being burnt alive at times. That, in my view however, is the difference between the journey into truth and the journey into “I want to be comfortable or at peace.”

    The difference between deepening and coping\spinning reality so I can rationalize a way to feel good about it or numb myself to it.

    The difference between clear seeing and denial.

    The difference from being awake and sleepy time existence.

    Perfect timing Kath! I got a big snoot full of the same yesterday, and this was what I needed to read in response. THIS or God (pick your noun) made sure it wasn’t alone in this… as THIS.

    Now that’s a kindness and a love!
    Thank you!
    Deep Bow!

  2. Thank you, Ben. I suspected there might be some others who might feel better that they are not alone…in THIS. I felt like this was being written for me and thousands of others who were hurting in the moment. I honor you, brother, and your unflinching comment to the Moment.

    Yesterday my heart felt raw and wide open. Its capacity to love increased seven fold…yet its capacity for feeling in pain also increased proportionally. Staying with the swing between pain and delight felt the only path. Deepening to the presence of it in a way that I hadn’t felt possible before. Deepening to the pain, to the burning at the stake.

    Was awake until 2 or 3 a.m. And now off to work… Love to you…

  3. As an aside–this pain was not related to my daughter and her visit–not at all! We had a lovely night. We dangled our bare legs out in the rain by the open sliding glass window and let the droplets cool our hot skin. It was joyous being with her.

    No, this pain arose from something said by a friend/acquaintance that hurt. The person probably didn’t mean it to be hurtful, but it was.

    And then the mind just continued to spin connected painful stories and, instead of attempting to make it all positive, I just sat with the pain and watched the lightening and heard the roar of thunder and sleep did not come for a long time.

  4. Kathy – I sit quietly with you as you examine your thoughts and your feelings. I won’t try to take them from you, or ease their weight. I’ll just be a silent companion on this part of the journey.

    • Oh, Laurie…lovely words. A silent companion! Happily, with the break of day and in the aftermath of the storm…I can’t find a single painful feeling left. It arose in the moment, was witnessed, and dissolved. It may come again on another wild stormy sleepless night, but then again, perhaps it never will. Thank you again.

  5. I’m glad your pain had nothing to do with your daughter’s visit. I wondered.

    I’ve learned that when those sleepless nights arrive, filled with confusion and crazy thoughts that it’s best to let them have their way with me and be done with it by morning.

    It’s all part of being alive, and I wouldn’t want to miss any of it!

    • Someone emailed and asked…I thought I had better clarify that RIGHT AWAY! I love how you put that. Let the confusion have its way. And it’s done by morning! Completely and fully done! In writing this blog–about precious moments in life–I do not want to shirk away from the more challenging moments. To miss truly experiencing ALL the moments!

    • Kim, what an excellent question. Could Mr. Clean work? I am not sure… I am not sure that we can depend on any outside substance to clean away our dirt. Sure, Mr. Clean could possibly help. But it’s us who still has to scrub, to swirl that dishcloth, to be present to the dishes… Glad you listened…

  6. Kathy, it’s seems as if the entire universe is reflected back to us in the bubble. So beautiful it takes one’s breath away. Just like all of us…beautiful beyond anything that can ever be put into words. Somehow, you’ve shown us this place.

    • The bubble is indeed a precious mirror, Colleen. The entire world in it! So beautiful…in all the reflections…so whole, so real, so full. The beauty of that bubble even includes sleepless nights and the way our thoughts spiral into “dark” places. And yet thosd dark places can teach so much if we’re not afraid to linger there and put our hands into the rotting compost and tenderly touch the seed which will later feed us.

      • Kathy, that is such a beautiful photo. I’ve come back to look at it several times. There is something about it…..
        Yes, it’s so true, that the beauty of who we are includes those seemingly dark and uncomfortable places. And our willingness to be there, and to be tender with ourselves. I see those times as compost too, not to be avoided or denied but embraced… the “embracing” part not always so easy for me. Still in kindergarten with this. One moment at a time……
        Thank you!!

      • Courageous words. I truly enjoy your writing! To me it seems that emotional pain is difficult to experience for any length of time. In my younger days, it felt as though emotional pain was easier to bear. As the aging process began to evidence itself-as in the manner in which life beats you down at times, I find it more difficult to bear its’ weight upon my shoulders.

  7. Kathy,

    Beautiful prose, wonderfully captured moment of creativity brought about by “pain”!
    Allowing ourselves to be perfect in the imperfection that we are is a difficult moment.
    There is sometimes a need to cleanse, to wash away, yet there is always that memory of the wondrous meal, the opportunity to be in relationship to learn who we are, or who we are not!

    From reading all the responses it seems you have walked through the fire and have now emerged on the other side tempered, glimmering in your essence!

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Good morning, Jeff. It’s so weird…when you experience pain this completely (at least it seemed so this time) and it’s gone so quickly with the morning light…it didn’t quite feel like walking through fire. I wonder why. In fact, in retrospect, it doesn’t even feel like it was much pain at all. Simply an arising, a witnessing, and falling away.

      But that statement does not do justice to that which felt the pain. To that which felt the pain was so real, so unending.

      Life is a paradox. As you, dear brother, so know… thank you.

  8. Maria, thank you for stopping by and your kind words. I love to do this kind of writing…but don’t pause to write this way as much as perhaps could. I don’t remember feeling the depths of emotional pain when I was younger. But then, again, I can’t even remember the emotional pain I experienced when writing this! (It feels so much more like living so fully in the moment…and the next moment is gone…and the next comes…and the next… The pain now may be experienced deeper, but it’s not as lasting.) I could be saying this all wrong. Just searching for words. Please stop by again!

  9. I still love this picture, Kathy, the bubble that looks so like an eye… And the picture you are painting here with your words is just as profound. Making and keeping things sunny side up is so hard sometimes… I see what you’ve written here reflected in my own struggles this week. Thanks for sharing your faith – you have inspired me…

    • Hi Barbara–I remember that you loved this bubble-eye, too. Putting my arms silently but surely around you and enfolding you with love and peace…

    • Elisa, I was going to say “truly amaaaaaa.Zing!” but then I thought, “What the heck did I write on this blog anyway?” LOL! Had to go back and read. Very short memory.

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