Legacy

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I had a conversation with my dear 93 year old Aunt Helen shortly before she died, about how good the old days really were.  Memories of my grandmother’s home-baked bread, of family gatherings, home and hearth and love and laughter, cuddling us both in remembered grace, were like a feather comforter for the spirit.  “Life

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Posted on November 4th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Cutting Away the Past In Case There’s No Medicine Man Handy

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I wish you could all share the experience I’ve just recounted, but I realize it’s not so easy to find a Medicine Man unless you happen to live in Santa Fe or Sedona, but perhaps there’s another way to leave the past behind, if you choose to.  Several people have written about this technique, but

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Posted on October 28th 2011 in Alternative Healing, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Time Shares in My Body

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“How would you like to do a sacred ceremony to free you from whatever you choose not to carry with you, anymore?” my Medicine Woman friend asked me earnestly.  “In tribal custom,” she continued, “when the time comes for you to become a Wise Elder it’s necessary to become whole again for the good of

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Posted on October 28th 2011 in Medicine, Women

What I Learned About Love

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I wanted to love and be loved forever.  I wanted to grow old with the man I loved.  Like Yeats with Maude Gonne, we’d love the sorrows of each others’ changing faces, and it wouldn’t matter one whit if we weren’t young and beautiful anymore, because we’d laugh together at the losses and infirmities, and

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Posted on October 21st 2011 in Love, The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women

Divorce… and the Grace to Go Forward with Courage

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“Language instead of tears.  Anger instead of pent-up misery.  Action and change instead of acceptance and self defeat.  A warrior instead of a victim.” —Nellis Wong, Poet, founder, the Women Writers Union I was married for twenty years to a man I loved far too much for far too long.  It never, not even for

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Posted on October 14th 2011 in Love

… and Having Writ, Moves on

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When your worst nightmare comes to pass a second time, a bizarre numbness sets in to keep you alive.  When my daughter Bronwyn died, six years after her sister’s death, I simply went underground and for two months did nothing but try to live through it.  I couldn’t write or even talk about my loss,

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Posted on September 30th 2011 in Family, Sorrow

What Do You Love?

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“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die.  Or when.  You can decide how you’re going to live now.” —Joan Baez, Folksinger When my daughter died at thirty-five, in the midst of my grief, I had an irrational recurrent guilt that I hadn’t bought her more hot fudge sundaes.  She loved them so,

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Posted on April 15th 2011 in Death, Family, Happiness, Loving Life

On the Death of a Child

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Losing a child is a special kind of grief, irrevocably out of sync with nature.  We’re not supposed to bury our children — the mind and heart rebel and struggle to find a place to contain the unbearable and unthinkable. We give birth to infinite love when we give birth to our children.  Joy, hope,

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Posted on April 10th 2011 in Death, Family, Sorrow, Women

The Heart That Once Truly Loves Never Forgets

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  When my daughter died, I couldn’t find the strength to say the words aloud.  Passed away, I could manage, as if she still hovered somewhere just outside my reach.  Died was final and irrevocable and I simply could not say the word. The first few weeks after her death were a haze of grief. 

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Posted on April 10th 2011 in Death, Faith, Life, Sorrow

Prayer for Me

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Truth is I need to pray to a Mother God sometimes… not a Father God.  One who’ll understand without more explanation than I have the oomph to give.  Which is really odd, in my case, as my Mother never understood and my father always did, but still the mythos of being gently Mothered must live

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Posted on March 25th 2011 in Religion, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Chatting with Heaven

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I grew up talking to God… an Irish thing to do.  Walking down the street saying, Hi God, it’s me Cathy, how are You today?  That’s a great tree You made.  Thanks for the sunrise.  Please help me with my math test.  Please make it easier for my mother to breathe.  That kind of conversation. 

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Posted on March 25th 2011 in The Philosopher’s Teacup

Irish Childhoods are Different

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My mother could foretell death.  She’d inherited the family banshee, the Irish harbinger who shrieks her fatal message to one member of each generation to let them know that someone is about to die.  “What a pity about John,” she might say, “he’ll be gone by June 15th,” and close family members knew enough not

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Posted on March 11th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Swimming in the Ancestral Gene Pool

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Because she didn’t understand that love was meant to be soft and warm, but she intended to be loving, nonetheless, my mother gave from her brain, instead of her heart.  I believe her heart had been battered shut in childhood by a tyrannical father and ineffectual mother, but her mind was limitless and her teaching

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Posted on February 17th 2011 in Family, Women

Traveling Companions

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I had a vision, shortly after my daughter died, in which I saw her standing on a great plain of Light, through which a Golden Road traveled towards Infinity.  She stood solemnly, awaiting a command to move on – with Dakota and me standing like sentinels, one on either side.  She said we mustn’t set

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Posted on January 30th 2011 in Family, Sorrow, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Some Things You Never Forget

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Some things you never forget.  Like the comfort of your father’s hand in yours when you’re small and afraid, or the final ember of light in the eyes of your dying child. Other threads are inextricably woven into the softer fabric of soul. The sensuous, cold satin of summer’s first ice cream on your five

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Posted on December 4th 2010 in Life, Sorrow, Women
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