January 18, 2016
Lots of deaths last week. First Bowie, then Alan Rickman – and, maybe a notch or two lower in fame if not in awesomeness, American poet C. D. Wright. I knew her a little, so to me her death seems about as big as Bowie’s and Rickman’s.
When people die, either people we know privately or public figures who we all know, we seem to be faced with a problem that’s hard to get a grip on because it seems,...
May 07, 2015
I met Dr. Jan Stafl not long after I moved to town 18 years ago. Although he didn’t end up delivering my 4thand last child, he was my medical back up and also the one who skillfully put me back together again after she was born. I was drawn to his authentic curiosity about health and openness to alternative, natural remedies, but what really won me over was his easy, gentle spirit. He was always...
March 18, 2015
I can see it up close right now- how my overwhelming grief over the loss of my dear dog companion, Coco, brings me to despair with regret. Last night, I was awake again in the middle of the night, my hot flashes are always worse when I am exhausted and emotional and I lay in the darkness in the deafening silence of Coco’s absence. She had become a louder sleeper over the last many months of her...
December 31, 2014
“I let go of past circumstances easily and painlessly.”
I could use a few more instructional affirmations for this one. And I don’t think that I am the only one who gets stuck in the past. Our unresolved issues don’t just disappear with the circumstances, rather they take up residence somewhere in our body until we take the time and attention to listen to what aches in us. I have been dedicated...
June 09, 2014
I have spent the weekend putting old photos in frames. Some of the photos are images of people I have never met, pictures that I found while cleaning out my dad’s apartment after his death. There are images of him as a baby being bathed by his mother in 1933, and as a toddler and as a young boy riding a bike. I see a resemblance to my own son as I pick and choose among the moments of his life long...
April 17, 2014
I have been feeling the resurrection myth coming to life lately. Since my father’s passing, my relationship to him has completely transformed. There is a kindness and gentleness that has not been there in decades. I discovered a box of old photos in his home when I was cleaning it out that he had never shared with me from his childhood. It is easy to get lost in the black and white images of him...
March 24, 2014
When All That’s Left Is Love
by Rabbi Allen S. Maller
When I die
If you need to weep
Cry for someone
Walking the street beside you.
You can love me most by letting
Hands touch hands, and Souls touch souls.
You can love me most by
Sharing your Simchas (goodness) and
Multiplying your Mitzvot (acts of kindness).
You can love me most by
Letting me live in your eyes
And not on your mind.
And when you...
February 28, 2014
It has been a long time since I recalled being a little girl, in love with her dad; but since my father has passed away, the block that prevented me from recalling what it felt like to be loved by him, to trust him completely, has fallen away. Mostly it makes me feel really sad about all the things that kept me from feeling that way about him again. Even with all of the efforts I made in the last...
October 28, 2011
“I do not ask to know, I do not ask to see, I ask only to be used.” -Sufi Prayer
Today is my last day of my last year of the forties. Tomorrow is the first day of a new decade for me and so it seems only right that I start with the beginner’s mind. These last weeks of my 49thyear have been a jumble of success and pain. I have been recognized outwardly as a success by large groups of...
September 15, 2011
by Elizabeth Spannuth
I took advantage of Borders’ going-out-of-business sale and picked up the book, Us: Americans Talk About Love.It is a compilation of interviews with Americans from all walks of life covering the topics of relationships and love. There were no limits on the ages of the participants or how long that they had been in a relationship. The broad perspectives are a mix of...
September 09, 2011
“People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek…”
-Black Eyed Peas “Where is the Love?” (2003)
My most vivid memories of 9/11 were of the phone calls in the tragic last moments of people’s lives. Their final acts were all directed in desperation to communicate the love they felt for their partners, their...
May 24, 2011
by Elizabeth Spannuth
I need a new bed. One might think that the choice to get a new bed would be a no-brainer, but I am discovering that my attachment to my luxurious double pillow top friend is deeper than I ever knew. This was the first brand new bed that I can remember having. For 13 years it has given me hours of excellent rest and rejuvenation, as well as serving as a platform for various...