There is a crack in every thing..that’s how the light gets in”
I started writing this blog almost exactly 2 years ago..I don’t know why I started writing except that the work I had done for nearly 30 years was no longer possible and the blog seemed an opportunity to continue on in another way, and to make some sort of contribution.
So today I decided to look back..see where I was..where I am now-what have I learned in these 2 very difficult years. And I decided also to write about something that I purposely have not written about before..namely betrayal.
I thought maybe if I wrote about it, I could move on, move beyond the feelings of anger and bitterness that overwhelm me at times.
I don’t want to go into the details except to say that I learned that ‘Your best friend can be your worst enemy’: Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere and with no warning, my trusted friend and assistant for 30 years, a friend who I had often described as an angel, caused the downfall of almost everything I had worked for. Somehow I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the signs along the way.
I searched for answers, tried to understand- talked to friends and people I had worked with, had my cards read always with the same message: BETRAYAL
I have heard several spiritual teachers say that we should look upon a situation..however unpleasant as if we had chosen it. So if we are here on Earth to learn certain things, pass certain tests, maybe I did choose the betrayal I experienced, maybe it was necessary for more understanding, humility, compassion …it must have been.
And so I entered into a time of overwhelming debt….I went from having $300, 000 in checking and savings to sometimes just $5.00 in checking, from easily paying my bills to having to default on everything, from being able to eat out whenever I wanted and buy whatever food I wanted [I never looked at prices] to sometimes having no food in the house except a few potatoes, a few eggs from the chickens, chard and kale from the greenhouse. It was a slow downhill slide because it took me a while to understand the extent of the damage that had been done.
As my life seemed to spin out of control, I couldn’t sleep, I was so afraid of being sued, terrified of being homeless. Eventually I had no choice but to sign up with a debt relief company. Most of my social security goes to pay off my debts and I’ve had to learn to live on $600 a month.
So what did I learn or gain..what good has come out of this?
~Strength and Clarity that I didn’t have before
~ Incredible people who miraculously appeared and helped me pull through in various ways…my friends changed as some dropped away, some remained as new ones came in, creating I felt, a comforting circle of kindness and goodwill
~I learned to rise above those who judged me-whose words were sometimes cruel.. and also to rise above the advice givers—when you’re really down, the advice givers come out of nowhere like vultures…… those people who love to give advice but who would never be able to follow it themselves
~I learned to hold on to my visions against all odds
~I came to understand that the greatest gift we can give others is the gift of listening, really listening without judging, without interrupting
~I learned how little I really need
~I learned to take old things, rather than buying new things…..and give them new life..FUN!
*Besides listening to the spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, what has helped me the most, these past 2 years, has been working on art projects. They have really helped calm me in the midst of ever present stress.
I never liked the color of the wall behind these shelves and thought I would put a white glaze over the blue but I didn’t have money to do it. I discovered however that my daughter-in-law had left, along with some paints, a small bottle of copper glaze. I decided to try the copper glaze and it produced a miracle! I would never have tried it if I had been able to buy the white glaze.
I really like to drink wine but I hate to throw away the bottles–we don’t have recycling here…
The solution: Combining sea glass spray paint and acrylics, Jody [the Brown Piglet in this blog] turned these old bottles into beautiful art pieces.
~I learned a lot about natural medicine and its many uses. For nearly 30 years, I have not used any prescription drugs but I was using Advil PM to sleep. Because there was so little money, I discovered natural sleep remedies which worked much better than the Advil. And I began to see clearly the agenda of the pharmaceutical companies and the medical community, an agenda which revolves around money, power and fear….not healing.
THERE ARE SO MANY MIRACULOUS HEALING REMEDIES FOR ALMOST EVERYTHING AND THEY COST ALMOST NOTHING.
~I learned to love pinto beans….beans are often all that we have but I never get tired of them…I have ODed on potatoes however
A few months ago when we had no bread of any kind, Jody found some flour, baking powder and oil and for the first time, made sopapillas. Since then he delivers them a couple times a week, to people in the community ..
and the Raven gets the leftovers.
~I learned humility when I couldn’t pay my bills, had to beg for extra time, when I had to ask for help and when I had to shop at the poorest grocery stores. Many times I’ve had to stop in the middle of shopping and count my change to see if I could afford something-butter, bread etc. At first I felt embarrassed but eventually I understood that I was just like everyone else….trying to survive
~I learned to live much more on Faith, live it rather than talk about it. I had to give up a lot of things I took for granted like having a cell phone. My truck is not in great shape and when I have to drive somewhere, I have felt afraid because what would I do if the truck breaks down. I was talking to a friend about this and he said “Remember when no one had a cell phone and we were fine?.” I remembered but still what would I do? “Someone will help you” my friend said …FAITH
SO WHERE AM I NOW?
I’m tired and bruised and changed…but I feel like I somehow survived…. .
The words of this poem I love are relevant. I’m not really flying yet but I’m preparing to [I hope!].
“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.”
― Guillaume Apollinaire
When I wrote my first blog post 2 years ago, I included Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, Anthem. “There is a crack in everything..that’s how the light gets in.”
And it’s so true-there is a crack in Everything. About 2 weeks before Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, I sent out an email to a group of friends: I was trying to raise money for my solar batteries which were old and dying fast…meaning no electricity. I titled the email ‘The Tapestry’ because I had recently listened to Eckhart Tolle talking about how our lives are like a tapestry. Woven together in the tapestry are squares representing our health, our family, our relationships, our finances, our insurance, our investments etc, etc.– everything that seems to make our life work.
But suddenly and inevitably and sometimes violently, a piece of our tapestry is ripped out, leaving an empty and usually painful space: a child dies, you lose your job, you lose your home, you or a family member are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
And that’s how the light gets in…I have heard it so many times.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
~Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Below: a recipe for sopapillas and one for pinto beans. And Leonard Cohen’s Anthem
AND HERE IS MY BIG DREAM FOR TODAY: I haven’t been able to pay to take out the trash for over a year..it’s stored and out of the way but I need to get it out of here. I need about $200. If you want to contribute to my trash removal project, you can do so here
As I’ve said before, these days this blog is my main contribution as the work I did for so many years is no longer possible. I do write for myself but as we’re all connected in some way, maybe some of what I write will be helpful to someone else.
For everyone who has helped me in the past, I thank you forever and ever!!!!!!!
Soon I will have new solar batteries and guaranteed electricity. Now to get rid of the trash, fix my truck and the journey continues.
PS Anyone who contributes will receive a gift in return: t-shirt, DVD, poster etc
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- Add all ingredients to list
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using hands, mix in water to make a smooth dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and shape into round balls. Cover, and set aside.
- Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into thin circles. Cut each circle into triangles. Fry in hot oil, until golden brown, turning when dough puffs. Remove, and drain well on paper towels.
PINTO BEAN RECIPE
- 3 cups dry pinto beans (1-1/2 lb)
- 2 1⁄2 quarts water
- 1 ham bone (Meaty) or 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 lb salt pork or 1⁄4 lb bacon, cu
- Wash and pick over the beans, removing loose skins or shriveled beans.
- Put in a large covered pot and cover with hot water.
- Soak over night if you want to cut down on cooking time.
- When beans start to simmer add ham bone, salt pork or bacon.
- Add more water as needed but only hot or boiling water.
- Never add cold water the beans will turn dark.
- If you cook without a lid the beans will also turn a dark color.
- When the skins are almost as tender as the inside of the beans, they are done.
- They should not be broken.
- Add salt and allow to stand before serving.