Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Staggering Abundance

Irish Sea Cliffs - via

So, it "rained" yesterday in Los Angeles and today is glorious. The sky is impossibly blue and the sun is warm. When I traveled east along Venice Blvd, I knew the beach was behind me, only five miles away, and the mountains ahead were dappled with snow, crystal clear behind the glittery skyline.

That's why we pay the big bucks to live here, reader. Just in case you thought otherwise.

I woke this morning to a beautiful email from one of my oldest friends, a friend who lives by the Irish sea with her little children and Irish literature-loving professor husband. I'd copy the whole email here, but that seems weird. Instead, I'll tell you that her words were like bobbing buoys in the ocean at my back, turning my thrashing in cold to a calm and lazy, stationary float. Thank you, Missy, thank you.

Those buoys have been evident everywhere I turn these days, but Missy's email made me realize that I must recognize them -- and praise what appears to be staggering abundance in my life. I locked eyes with a green-eyed woman named Morningstar during a Tantric meditation in my yoga class on Monday and floated out of it restored. Thank you, Morningstar. A writer friend responded to my cabinporn post by offering me her own cabin near Yosemite whenever I'd like to get away. Thank you, F, thank you. Someone told me about a parenting book that addresses sibling squabbling. I immediately downloaded it and read the first few chapters last night. While I generally hate parenting books (don't get me started on the latest French people make better parents thing), those few chapters were like reading a script that someone had written for a reality show about my boys! Thank you, Anonymous, for this tip. Thank you. The mysterious Radish King, who's also a published poet -- an incredible one -- wrote me and Sophie a poem. I'm not sure whether to publish it on this here little blog, because it's so amazing and powerful and wild that I feel certain the whole blog would go up in a burst of flame and I'm not ready for that. Thank you, Radish King, thank you. Another friend emailed me about a possible job opportunity that would fit my schedule perfectly and seems almost an embarrassing answer to my prayers to the universe for prosperity. Thank you, M, thank you.

Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

from David Whyte's poem Everthing is Waiting for You


  1. It's early morning in Melbourne, Elizabeth. the birds have started their breakfast twitter. I'm up earlier than usual because I've just had the call that my brother in law 's breathing has changed and it looks as though he will die in the next little while. I have not blogged about this but over the past few days my husband's brother has been slowly dying in the final stages of cancer and my husband is away. He cannot be here. I have tried to take his place and it has not been easy.

    Your post here on abundance resonates with my feeling this morning on just that subject, the gratitude I feel for life and its connections, however far flung and this includes all the sorrows.

    I could not write this now were it my own brother who is dying and therefore I am at one remove but I reverberate to my husband's family's pain and sorrow as I always reverberate to your posts, Elizabeth, and to your heroic struggles and exquisite writing. Radish Kings poem is beautiful. Such a powerful statement.

    Thank you for your abundance.

  2. Now I see it's not Radish Kings poem but David Whyte's in any case, the words are elemental and I am too tired to rectify my mistake beyond acknowledging it.

  3. Gratitude. Recognizing the beauty amongst the chaos. Soaking in the the simplicity, because there still is an abundance of it,within our life, despite the hectic, overwhelming day to day bedlam.

    Each day lately, I seem to be acknowledging the sheer goodness of this life around me and it has made all the difference.

    Thank you my friend for more reminders.

  4. I am thrilled to hear all of it. Absolutely thrilled. Relish it--and may even more come your way.

  5. How very lovely to come here and see all of this goodness in your life and words. God bless you, Elizabeth.

  6. David Whyte is an absolute gem. His poetry never fails to stir me somewhere within I didn't even know I had.

    I am so glad you are feeling abundance. I hope that you can see your way clear to bathe in it for a bit and feel what it feels like to know that you are supported in ways you didn't imagine.

    I'm tempted to find that parenting book, but there are so many other books I think I'd rather read ;-)

  7. you give so much; every once in a while the bounty spins back in exactly the right direction and there's balance in the world. so glad you are the fulcrum.

  8. You know what? You got GOOD karma, baby. In every sense of that often misused word.
    You are loved.

  9. It makes me so happy to read this. Good stuff, all of it.

  10. I hope you stay in this moment for a very long time.

  11. Oh Elizabeth. This is a beautiful post. The buoy metaphor. . . sigh.


  12. I'm so happy that love has been showered onto you. I'm glad you shared the good news. It seems to make me feel better too. It's just what I needed!

  13. I too loved your buoy metaphor -- so glad you have friends like Missy, and also glad for the abundance of friendship and kind gestures and opportunities in your life right now!

  14. Woo! That IS some abundance. Isn't it great when everything comes together?

    By the way, re. your first few lines -- part of what I love about your blog is its great sense of place -- I relish the photos and descriptions of Southern California, a region I've always loved. So thanks for that, now and in the future. :)

  15. I'm really glad you liked the book. I've always felt Wolf was the parenting expert for people who can't stand parenting experts. I love where he gives the example about how sibling bickering can be dealt with by a parent really listening to the kids and guiding them and giving them the tools to come up with a fair and reasonable solution to their problem. And then he says um yeah the parent who thinks that is gonna happen is living in a fantasy word. the real solution involves not listening at all. But in the nicest way possible. " your brother jus spit on you. Wow. That sound unpleasant. ". What? You want me to do something about it? Would you like a hug?".

  16. i'm glad. and i love that poem, too.

  17. Glorious abundance and you are present to notice. Awesome.



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