keeper of celebrations
When Dewitt asked me to contribute to this site he said my blogging challenge was to notice, photograph and write about a moment of celebration – not necessarily the helium balloon kind of celebration – though those are fun – but also the celebrations that show up as a stirring of the heart, a reckoning of the soul, a tremble of possibility. Actually I thought I knew that landscape quite well but, as I pay more attention to it, it continues to open up.
Here’s what I’ve noticed.
Some moments of celebration are soft like the wind, they just ruffle my thoughts like the breeze does my hair. If I am quiet I notice them, and sometimes I just plain miss them and only notice the after effect, like noticing that my hair is a bit messed but not remembering the breeze. Like that woman who caught my eye as she walked by Starbucks, humming and smiling to herself – I didn’t think of her until a few blocks later I caught myself humming and smiling under the gaze of some other stranger. The transference of energy, the contagion of positivity, the power of resonance. All of it happened in a simple little smile. I stopped and took note and celebrated the simplicity of connection.
Some celebratory moments arrive like the ping telling me that I have email. It gleefully announces itself and I look with anticipation at what is about to take place. Those are the moments that are as exuberant as my dance classes or a full glass of champagne. They come boldly in and immediately shift my awareness. Heralded by sound I experience an immediate connection to Joy. Like my 3-year-old best friend shouting “Aunt Tania!” as he careens into my arms.
Other times still are felt so deep in my heart that it kind of squeezes out of me, like toothpaste glooping out from the tube. The indescribable moment when I look into my friend Sue’s eyes and see her courage and her spirit and I quietly celebrate knowing that every moment, even the really shitty cancer-fighting ones, are worth living. I honor her spirit, her willingness to hang onto optimism and her humility as she lets go of certainty, even while fear grips at my own heart. This celebration leaves my breath alternating between shallow and deep as I bow my head in gratitude.
There are the full blown happy celebrations brought on by the blooming daffodils that I just have called out “hello and welcome!” to. And the tender celebration moments when I quietly squeeze Gerry’s hand and say “I missed you”. There is the celebration of my soul as I catch myself turning my face to the warm summer sun and the gurgling celebration at the moment when my inner self can’t help but giggle because my outer self has thrown back her head in a full blown laugh.
Suddenly everything is an experience to be held up, to be noted, valued.
I have become a seeker of what’s right in the world. I have become a keeper of celebrations. I feel a calling now to notice and to hold up the ordinary moments that when viewed through the kaleidoscope of celebration show us that there is much right with the world. The vast quantity of things there are to celebrate has continued to shift my experience of the world. Even in the complexity of anger or grief, I can remember to breathe compassion …I breathe in and celebrate. I sometimes ask, demand and beg of myself to find the thing in any moment that I can celebrate.
The objective and the deadline of the blog asks me to actively step into the world of What is Right and once there, to hold up and experience the transcendent part of the moment.
And the result is that I live my life through the lens of what is Right. I fight for the lens of possibility and in the end it gives me endless moments of celebrations which sustain me through the harsh, hard and sometimes overwhelming realties of ‘what is wrong”.
And it turns out I have rekindled a love for writing, blogging and putting these observations out to be shared and explored. This Act of Courage has inspired me to start a new blog; one that captures my wandering wonderings. I’ll let you know when that launches, and thanks Dewitt for this great challenge.