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random observations, thoughts on life, humorous stories....from the studio while I paint.
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What I Learned at the Bat Mitzvah

Posted 09/05/2010 at 02:31 AM by superkat
Updated 09/05/2010 at 04:33 AM by superkat

Today, by far, was a most unusual day. When we go about our day to day lives, we are never quite sure what will happen next. The unexpected moments of the day and turns of events can sometimes take you quite by surprise...the key to maintaining composure in the face of rapidly changing circumstances is 100% attitude. I revert to Ralph's voice inside my head that says, "it's all how you handle it baby.", and it provides me with comfort. Sometimes, we go full blast at plowing through a rough time, sometimes we don't. What I have come to learn is that when I step back and take the time to process thought, remain calm and simply walk away...is when I am at my best. I've been told by some that taking that stance is cowardly, weak, pitiful....but alas, it is because they do not know how powerful stepping back is. It is what separates blind reaction from simple intelligence. When I step back, i can see the whole picture...and that's when clarity kicks in. It helps you make decisions...and choices...and gives you time to process thought and action. I spent the first part of my twenties being a reactionary...that bred spontenaity, which gave birth to compulsive, do first, think later actions. In my thirties, my days were driven by pattern. And now? It comes right down to being able to separate the good from the bad and spending the appropriate amount of time analyzing the outcome of my actions. Sometimes, I'm wrong. But for the most part...the "all how you handle it baby" is 99% accurate.

So, after an unpleasant event, you can choose from two roads, the high one or the low one. If there is one completely wonderful thing that my family has taught me, it's to take the high road...no matter how much you want to embellish the immediate pain with bad reactions. I did that today. And by simply confronting my fear, stepping back, allowing the event to swell to scary proportions and finally subside, i was able to remain calm, patient and realize that no matter what, i am still the same person i was before this all transpired. And I will stand my ground.

It was nice, however, to be able to hold my sweet son and fall asleep with him on the couch...the security of holding someone you love, feeling them close to you...it is the best example of "feeling safe" I can give you. When I woke up, there was a bit of an empty spot...but I quickly filled it with positive thoughts about the evening ahead of me....

A Bat Mitzvah.

So from a day that would inspire a Salvador Dali painting to a night of singing yiddish songs and watching my "theater daughter" dance. It was so beautiful, so inspiring...that I cried. It was love in motion. It was happiness and security, intense and surreal...but the most important thing that happened, was realization of a connection to a young girl who just played my daughter in Brighton Beach Memoirs. For a suspended moment in time...she felt like my own. And I contemplated that for a moment...and applied it across the board of my life...and found that there are quite a few people that i know, that would fit into category. For them, I would cry, move mountains, risk change, chance and charity...because that is more than a simple acquaintence, it exists on an entirely different plane. It thrives on helping each other, loving when it isn't always easy, and forgiving always...for without those ingredients, it becomes nothing more than perhaps your favorite checker at Wegmans. Amazingly, there are people in the world that live that way...and like it. But nothing spectacular ever happens in shallow water. That is why I hold my breath and dive deep everyday. Think about that...so many of the beautiful corals in my reef tanks are deep water...and if someone didn't initially go to great depths to retrieve it...I wouldn't have it, would I?

Bunny Trail. Back to my beautiful "daughter". The one dance she did that really hit home was done to one of my favorite songs from "Wicked", the musical. It is called, "For Good." Here are the lyrics:
[I]
You're the only friend I've ever had.
And I've had so many friends. But only one-- that mattered.

I'VE HEARD IT SAID
THAT PEOPLE COME INTO OUR LIVES FOR A REASON
BRINGING SOMETHING WE MUST LEARN
AND WE ARE LED
TO THOSE WHO HELP US MOST TO GROW
IF WE LET THEM
AND WE HELP THEM IN RETURN
WELL, I DON'T KNOW IF I BELIEVE THAT'S TRUE
BUT I KNOW I'M WHO I AM TODAY
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU...

LIKE A COMET PULLED FROM ORBIT
AS IT PASSES A SUN

LIKE A STREAM THAT MEETS A BOULDER
HALFWAY THROUGH THE WOOD
WHO CAN SAY IF I'VE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER?
BUT BECAUSE I KNEW YOU
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD

IT WELL MAY BE
THAT WE WILL NEVER MEET AGAIN
IN THIS LIFETIME
SO LET ME SAY BEFORE WE PART
SO MUCH OF ME
IS MADE OF WHAT I LEARNED FROM YOU
YOU'LL BE WITH ME
LIKE A HANDPRINT ON MY HEART
AND NOW WHATEVER WAY OUR STORIES END
I KNOW YOU HAVE RE-WRITTEN MINE
BY BEING MY FRIEND...

LIKE A SHIP BLOWN FROM ITS MOORING
BY A WIND OFF THE SEA
LIKE A SEED DROPPED BY A SKYBIRD
IN A DISTANT WOOD
WHO CAN SAY IF I'VE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER?
BUT BECAUSE I KNEW YOU...
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD...

AND JUST TO CLEAR THE AIR
I ASK FORGIVENESS
FOR THE THINGS I'VE DONE YOU BLAME ME FOR
BUT THEN, I GUESS WE KNOW
THERE'S BLAME TO SHARE
AND NONE OF IT SEEMS TO MATTER ANYMORE

LIKE A COMET PULLED FROM
ORBIT/AS IT PASSES A SUN/
LIKE A STREAM THAT MEETS A
BOULDER/ HALF-WAY
THROUGH THE WOOD

LIKE A SHIP BLOWN OFF ITS
MOORING/BY A WIND OFF THE
SEA/ LIKE A SEED DROPPED BY A
BIRD IN
THE WOOD

I DO BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER[/I]

And as Laura and her partner danced this...in a room full of Jewish people I did not know...I cried so hard. I could not control the tears...and I wasn't embarrassed, in fact, a number of people around me who witnessed this were moved to deep emotion as well by the love in my heart that showered my face with those tears.

And that, my friends, is what real love feels like. It's not things, or circumstances. It's not what you own, or what you want. It doesn't grow without the basic necessity that most people fail to see. Love is simply not being embarrassed by what shows on your face. It's feeling safe enough around someone to be yourself. It's trusting when you have every reason to believe the ugly voices around you. And yes, it is elusive. That's why it is so very important that you grab it when you find it. Hold it gently, because the tighter you clench you hand, the more falls through your fingers. Love is delicate...but once obtained, it can become the most powerful essence in the universe.

It was interesting day today. And I forsee many more days like this ahead of me. I will continue to be the person I have always been. Because I know the secret now....and that is not to waste one precious moment on anything that does not feed the very breath of life....where there is love in my heart, there will be breath. Where there is breath, there is life. Where there is life, there are dreams. And when wise men dream.......

Peace...and LOVE.
Kat
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  1. Old Comment
    Steve Canyon's Avatar
    More warm fuzzies Kat.
    Thanks for taking the time to express these insights you've paid to obtain.
    Posted 09/05/2010 at 07:11 AM by Steve Canyon Steve Canyon is offline
  2. Old Comment
    superkat's Avatar
    thanks, Steve. as an addendum...after i wrote that...i went outside on the porch and looked up at the stars. And I noticed something i've always known...that the longer you look up there, the more your eyes adjust...and that not only the brightest stars are visible. And I think life is like that. As you adjust, you start seeing the things that were not seen at first glance.
    Posted 09/05/2010 at 11:59 AM by superkat superkat is offline
 

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