Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau conveys it so simply here, yet every word drips with much deeper meaning. I am only 27 years old. And what's more, I've only experienced love in a few ways in those 27 years. I've not experienced the love of a couple who's been married for 50 years, or the love of someone I've just married, nor can I fathom the love of a widow for her late husband. But, as I'd mentioned in a prior post about different kinds of soul mates, I also believe there are different kinds of love.

In the recent weeks, I've been reexamining this belief, turning it over in my mind, trying to figure out why it has been at the forefront of my thoughts as of late. Well, there are several reasons behind its prominence, but those are not what I'm choosing to write about here. The pull in me that brings my fingers to these keys wants to write about a way to look at love that is relatively novel to me. As I'm sure many people can relate, there is no logic in love. And honestly, in my opinion, that's the absolute beauty of the emotion. It has no bounds, no limits. It is not restrained by rationale.

There's no controlling it, there's no stopping it or derailing it. It just ... is.

While my inner wisdom has always told me there are different types of love, different levels of loving someone and being in love, what experience has shown me so far is that it's not necessarily what kind of love you feel or accept in your life, or whether or not it's "healthy" or "unhealthy," it's about how you treat that love from its birth that determines its long-term effects. 

It may be a cliche metaphor, but I can't help think about the image of a delicate crimson rose, thorns protruding from its stem. When handled gently, nurtured, watered and given air, it flourishes, its thorns gently prodding and pushing when needed. But when coddled, starved, selfishly possessed or suffocated, it slowly wilts, dwindling to its demise; its remaining thorns, piercing. Love can nourish, it can spur growth in us and it can ignite -- like Thoreau's image of a flame -- however, if that blaze is taken for granted, manipulated, coerced into being something it isn't meant to be, it will slowly be smothered to ash. It will no longer be a light to anything.

But if we step away from our own perspectives, our wants, our suffering, our innately selfish desire to tightly hold onto each petal and every thorn, to feel the heat of that flame ... if we pry ourselves away from that -- for even just a moment -- we might catch a glimpse of what love can really do and what it can become. Because, as I've realized in the people I've loved, it wasn't until I stepped aside, put out my hand and opened my palm to selflessly let the wind carry away that rose, that it was truly able to grow and take on the form it was meant to, whether it was simply to inspire growth in someone or help them reach their potential, whether it was meant to heal or reawaken them. I realize that is not for me to determine or control. That is not for me to force or attempt to mold. 

Because the truth is, it was never about me.

It was simply about ... love.

 ~ C ~

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Storm

You are the blood flowing through my fingers/All through the soil and up in those trees/You are electricity and you're light/You are sound itself and you are flight ~ Sufjan Stevens

You Are The Blood

This Sufjan song, coupled with this video of scenes from silent horror classics illustrates the way I feel when a summer storm seeps in. There's something morbidly electrifying and invigorating about watching that ominous looking mass crawl into our peripheral vision. My ex-boyfriend used to have this endearing child-like excitement about inclement weather and storms. I'd always loved hearing them approach growing up, especially at my 1930s childhood home where the wind screams past the windows like a low, agonizing moan. But I never really grew to appreciate them the way he did until the recent years.

Perhaps it's because I've had more personal and life experiences since then, or I've just tapped into another part of myself, but when I watch those dark clouds and fierce winds roll in, infiltrating clear blue skies and gold-tipped grass, I'm slightly awestruck. And actually being outside during its approach, you can almost feel the cold and warm winds waltzing around you.

This past Friday, I watched the first storm of that day come in while I was in the office. It sent tingles up my skin as I watched its ebb and flow. I realized I hadn't enjoyed witnessing this seemingly routine occurrence in quite some time. A wisp of sad nostalgia rolled past my cheeks. I haven't been enjoying quite a few things I once used to ...

So, on this particular day, I decided it was time to reacquaint myself with those elements, starting with "The Storm." I pressed up against the window, strained to see the sky while gazing at the sharply bended plants before me -- and reveled. It wasn't planned. It just kind of happened.

But there I was, awestruck once more.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Staying With the Itch

The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I've always enjoyed a good Longfellow quote from time to time. This one felt as though he reached into the shadows of my heart, deciphered their complex code and penned it in a few simple words.

In the last few days, coming back down from the heights of my trip and attempting to plant my feet in the soil again, I've been thinking about many things, one of which has been memories. Clearly, we all have them. Some of them hurt, some of them cast wispy smiles on our faces, some, a flickering ghost of a tear. But we all have them. I've written poems and talked to friends about this phenomenon that tends to happen to me, and others I know, went the sun goes down and the skies darken around us. For me personally, I have this love/hate relationship with the night. As Scott Fitzgerald says: "In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day."

There's something about nighttime, especially the mid-hours of night, that seems to strip down all layers of armor, inhibitions and distractions, leaving me in a very raw and vulnerable place. But it's more than just that. It's as though whatever I'm feeling during that time -- whatever memory has decided to visit or emotion has overtaken -- is magnified to the point where every fine detail of it is exposed all around me. Obviously, this could be an amazing feeling, depending on the emotion or memory, but if fear or anxiety is involved, it can sometimes be crippling, causing a sleepless night.

Well, I've also been doing a lot more Yoga lately. One of the guidelines of the Yoga philosophy is embracing the concept that we own nothing. Everything tangible in our lives is something we are only borrowing for a certain amount of time ... our money, our cars, our houses, clothes, electronics. Sure, we "buy" these things, but they could be stolen tomorrow. The idea is that we decide what value we place on those things. If we realize they aren't truly our possessions, things to be attached to, but are gifts to enjoy for the time we have them, then when a time comes that they are gone -- whether stolen, discarded, destroyed or simply lost -- we can more easily let go, remembering they were never really ours to begin with.

But memories, those are different. Those are the intangible pieces of us that we'll always have. Those are the gifts or, in some cases, curses that we cannot discard, try as we might. Another aspect of Yoga is breathing, often through discomfort. So, when night falls and I find myself in that place of shadowy memories, I've decided to apply that physical discipline mentally and "breathe" through the discomfort, not to change the song that's playing or the channel on the TV or cast away whatever has triggered the memory. Instead, I'm learning to become intimate with it, embrace it despite the hurt or discomfort. Because, just like during Yoga exercise, if I avoid the hard poses, I'll never gain more flexibility or be ready for anything more. But if I breathe through the displeasure, eventually the ache ebbs, the muscles and tendons ease ...

And, just like that, I'm ready for what's next.

"Learning to stay is a description of meditation. Learning to stay is also a description of staying with the itch and not scratching." ~ Pema Chodron.

~ C ~

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rome-filled Melancholy

It's my last night in Rome. Today we visited my cousin, Angela's home in Tivoli, an old, charming city on a mountain in Lazio dating back to the Roman Empire. We ate, talked, laughed ... and laughed some more. Then we went into the heart of Vitoli for ice cream and a walk through the area, which contained the castle of Rocco Pia, built back in 1461. We walked through the main square of the town to a part that overlooks all of Roman suburbia and other cities. It was breathtaking.

On our way back to Velletri, the waning moon hung heavy in the sky surrounded by a frothy amber glow. I couldn't help but smile as I gazed at it through the back seat window of my cousin, Ionu's car. I thought back on the week, recalling my favorite moments. As far as sight seeing goes, I enjoyed visiting the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, stepping into another time period where every wall, tapestry, piece of architecture was soaked in history. My favorite piece of trivia: After Michelangelo completed the Sistine Chapel ceiling, all of the figures were completely naked, which, while the Pope was aware of this and expected it having known Michelangelo's prior work, many other members of the Vatican were not too pleased and considered it too risque. But it was a commoner who voiced the most disgust to Michelangelo -- who was in his mid-60s mind you and well into his prime and success -- telling him he should cover up the revealing parts of every figure. So, Michelangelo told him he would go in and change the ceiling. When the man went to see what he altered, he found a naked image of himself, located at the bottom right-hand corner of the right wall, with a snake wrapped around his body and its mouth around ... well, you can guess.

Suffice it to say, Michelangelo had quite the sense of humor. And of course, that was the first place my brother and I looked when we walked into the Chapel.

We also passed through the Piazza Trinità dei Monti and the Fontana di Trevi, one of the most famous fountains in the world. Weaving through the waves of people who were glued to every inch of the area, I turned around, made three wishes with three coins and threw each of them over my shoulder. One never knows, after all ...

Then, we visited the Colosseum. And this time, unlike last time I was here, we went inside. As I made my way around the interior, stopping every few feet to look at the maze-like floor in the center and the worn stones and mounted artifacts, I could just imagine the violent amusement that filled those walls for so many years. I wondered where the emperor would sit to watch. I could almost hear the screams, the wheels of chariots, the clash of metal. That night, after our dinner at a restaurant in Velletri where I found a local wine I fell in love with, we came back to Rome. But this time, it was just the "younger group" of us, including my brother and cousins, Rosmina, Andreia and Ionu, all around our age. Ionu took us to a local pub in Rome he is an admitted loyal regular to. The bartender spoke English and was also a former broadcast Journalist in Italy, so, over a good Indian Pale Ale, we exchanged a few thoughts on the industry in general. Then Ionu took us to the Colesseum at night, its walls lit up by warm, yellow lights, playing off the shadows and creases of its antiquated walls. I was lost to the vision. 

However, possibly one of my favorite random moments of the trip was on our way back from our night out on the town in Rome. Ionu started heading into an industrial looking area. If he'd only looked in his rear view mirror, he'd have seen my perplexed face as I tried to figure out where he was taking us.Then suddenly, we pulled into this randomly placed pastry shop and factory. However, the humorous part of this all is, it not only looked like a dance club from the outside, but it also had techno rave music blasting out of its doors. Oh, and it's 3:30 a.m. at this point. So, where do the young people in Rome apparently go after the pubs? An all-night rave techno pastry shop ... where they rebelliously eat cannolies.

I can feel the traces of a smile dancing on my cheeks as I write all this, but as I wind down this entry, the melancholy has also begun to sink in. Tomorrow, I make the journey to Frankfurt for our connecting flight, where my brother and I part with my parents as they continue on to Romania. While I'll be glad to be back home in many ways ... I am sad to leave my family and the reprieve they've given me. I know I'll be back and that some of them will hopefully visit me as well, but the best gift I hope to give myself is holding on to all I've gained -- this sense of rediscovery and home -- and packing it inside me to bring back to America.

In that way, nothing is truly left behind. And when I search for home again, I'll need only look inside.

~ C ~

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Family ...

Well, the last two days have been filled with Rome sight-seeing and family gatherings. Part of me wants to get into the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) and especially (my favorite) the Fontana di Trevi ... but I think I'll leave those for tomorrow. The main reason -- my family.

It's currently 4:30 a.m. and as a nearby rooster crows, it's sound trailing through my window, I'm reminded of my mom's village in Romanian as I recall the last two nights. They've been filled with nostalgia of times I've almost forgotten. Thursday night, we were in Rome all day and then came home to a full table of food, wine, Italian beer and smiles. My cousin Rodica's husband, Tomitsa, prepared dinner for us. This was after we stopped at some random pizzaria on our way to the metro station and ate our fair share of pizza. Suffice it to say, I haven't eaten this much in a long time, but I can't sit here and say every bite hasn't been amazing. So, while we were all fairly full, we finished dinner anyway and just sat and talked for hours. My Romanian has surprisingly come back to me in bits and pieces. I found out the history behind Rodica and Tomitsa's move to Italy, how they had to separate for a year during the corruption in Romania and Tomitsa came to Italy to find work while Rodica stayed with her two children and our family in Romania. Finally, Tomitsa -- who is in construction, mainly building churches, for a living -- was able to bring them all here to make a better life. It brought a lot into perspective for me. Love is essential to life, but hard labor, the struggle, the hard parts ... those are the vessels to happiness. 

We went to my cousin, Christina's house tonight (Rodica's sister and my mom's other niece). The food was amazing, including several different spreads, stuffed tomato skins and potatoes and pork. Christina's husband, Marius, loves cooking and being creative. But it wasn't the food that stayed with me tonight. It was watching everyone reminisce about their origins. It was watching the women in my family recall fond memories of their childhood. If I had a single word to describe all the women in my family, it would be "strong." They're inspirational in ways I can't even fathom ...

It was also my mom reciting Romanian poems that her sisters and mother used to say when they were young. It was all of them singing and dancing during the latter half of the evening, pulling me in at one point. It was the undeniable warmth that I can't say I've felt in the states in quite some time now. I was saturated by my culture and I reveled in every moment, rediscovering a piece of myself.

It is now 5 a.m. here and the rooster crows again. This time, I feel like it crows for me. 

~ C ~

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Ingredients of Life

Today, we took a ferry from Sorrento to the Island of Capri:

It's expansive, flower laced landscape and deep cliffs and caverns were breathtaking. It was also insanely hot today. I suddenly felt grateful for 75 degree Cleveland weather. I'd suspect it was 100 degrees at least, which did take its toll on all of us, but we managed to enjoy some shopping, a tour of the gardens at the top of the island and a boat tour around Capri. As our boat lulled in the water in a few spots, I watched kids and teenagers jumping off some of the smaller cliffs into the crisp, translucent water below and just float around the area. In that moment, I had the urge to stay there forever, just to be able to experience that whenever I felt like it:

I was fascinated and instantly thought of my grandma when we passed a villa owned by Sophia Loren. I could practically envision her sultry demeanor as she stood out on the terrace overlooking the sea. How I wished my gram was there ...

Also, the ice cream ... I forgot how amazing it is here. I'm not sure what they put in it, but it's rich, creamy texture hit a very hot spot today as we waited for the ferry back to Sorrento. I took it easy most of the day on food, after having a Hotel De Mare Continental breakfast that puts any U.S. Continental breakfast I've ever had to shame. But on our way home, my cousin, Rodica and her husband had us go to a restaurant with an outdoor patio and wooden grill where they prepared the food. I had a Tortellini Scampi entree which was prepared in a sauce that made the pasta practically melt in my mouth. The scampi still had their heads, which is how they prepare most entrees here, including fish. It's a little unnerving to have your food looking at you, but I got over it pretty quickly. We also delved into a 2008 bottle of Italian Cabernet Franc. And here I thought we'd stop at their version of a fast food place, Auto Grill, and grab something small for the road. My American, always on the go mind forgets itself sometimes, because today, tonight and every minute since I've been here, I've been reminded that life, food, company, conversation and indulging in the simple things ... that's what it's really all about. And if it isn't.

It should be.

~ C ~

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


As I sit on the intricately tiled rooftop terrace of our hotel overlooking the Mediterranean in Sorrento, I can’t help but gaze up at the stars … the same stars I look to every night when I let my dog, Lakota out. The steadfast “Big Dipper” is comforting as is the calm waters crowned in the distance by coastal lights from the outskirts of Sorrento, which wraps around this particular part of the sea.  I’m also looking up in front of me, at the embellished hotels capping the plush cliffs on the coast. Stone steps pour from one of them, steeply zigzagging to the beach below where we swam a few hours ago.

My mom is next to me, talking in her native language to my cousin, Rodica while my father sits at the foot of my chase lounge chair, sipping at his red wine. The scene takes me back to last night. Rodica had dinner at her place, inviting her sisters, Angela and Christina and their families. I’ve known for some time now that this trip was going to return an element of home back to me, but I didn’t anticipate how my heart would feel the moment my mom started singing the first of many old Romanian folk songs and her nieces followed suit. 

Granted, this tends to start toward the end of the evening after one or several glasses of wine and Visinata, a potent Romanian cherry liquor that equates to Italy’s Lemoncello in after-dinner popularity. But nevertheless, it always arrives when we’re with my European relatives and after years of growing up, taking it for granted, I’ve come to realize just how precious a cadence it is. I found myself thinking of my grandfather, now too old to travel this far, seeing a phantom image of him lifting his glass as he sang along. The smile on my face never left, making my jaw sore as a result. I haven’t felt that close to home in a very long time.

This morning, we made a trip to Pompei. I’d visited the last time I was here 7 years ago, but this time around was definitely seen through different eyes. As I walked along the uneven stone roads, seeing the remnants of cart wheel tracks, I imagined 79 A.D. and the city full of people. I found out they were only 5’2” at most due to, unbeknownst to them, ingesting lead through their utensils, stunting their growth. I could see the simplicity of life, the peddlers and the women caring for their children as I passed the wearied remains of their small, barren homes, the roofs destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. I couldn’t even fathom such a tragedy happening as I passed by the home that belonged to a wealthy Roman, murals painting each wall of every room. Then we arrived at the area they display the artifacts; the cooking utensils, clay water jugs and … bodies.

Yes, they have roughly 8 bodies on display of victims whose bodies became encased in stone after the hot lava and mud hardened. Their expressions are still intact. Creepy indeed, but for me – absolutely fascinating. My mind instantly, and perhaps morbidly imagined being there in that moment, how it must have been, an entire city wiped out minutes:

The bodies gave me chills, just as they did 7 years ago, squeezing my heart. And the soft whisper of the common thread on this trip returned. Life is precious, and like the thinnest stem of a wine glass, is the fragile piece that holds it all together, that gives purpose and breathes meaning.

And me personally – I’m done waiting for the lava to hit.

~ C ~

Monday, July 11, 2011

Salt Water Solace

We arrived in Velletri early this morning, which was 2 a.m. in Cleveland. I was, indeed, exhausted, but pleasantly so. As we drove from Rome to my cousin's house in Velletri, it felt familiar somehow. Yes, I've been to Rome before (though not to Velletri), but there's something about the stucco roofed houses, the terracotta walls and delicate terraces, narrow winding roads and vineyards that seem to envelope me with a sense of nostalgia. After taking a nap for a few hours, we headed to Nettuno Beach, which is on the Mediterranean Sea. Right on the coast near the part of the beach we stopped at was an old church and lovely bell tower. I have a sort of deep admiration, teetering on obsession, with old bell towers.

There is also something about immersing myself in salt water, fresh, strong salt water, that is both cathartic and healing. As I walked next to my brother, my mom and dad in our wake, and slowly made my trek into the warm water of the sea, it felt as though I shed a layer of my skin, letting the saline water cleanse me to my core. I looked along the coast at the various cream and warm colored houses and hotels, stacked up against a stark blue backdrop and smiled against the sun, but it wasn't until the bell began to ring at 6 p.m. that my face truly lit up. I looked at my dad treading water several feet away and he smiled back and said,

"Now I really feel like I'm in Italy."


Here I sit, aboard a Boeing 777 to Italy pondering the concept of power. Perhaps the feel of the plane’s thrumming jet engines beneath me fueled this line of thinking, or maybe it’s simply just been a concept on my mind as of late. But as I sat, curled up in my seat next to my brother, hoping sleep will overcome my stiff, aching muscles and grant me brief reprieve, we hit some pretty rough turbulence. The call to paper took hold and, well, here I am.

It’s 11:36 p.m. and soon I’ll be thrust 6 hours ahead, the threat of jet lag looming; but at this very moment, that doesn’t matter. I’ve never been a huge fan of flying, but in the last 10 years it seems my anxiety over it has tacked on a few more layers, making things like turbulence send a shot of adrenaline piercing through my veins, causing me to grip my armrest and doubling my heart rate as it softly echoes against my eardrums. The turbulence is over … for now. But it brought me back to the word “power” and what it stands for.

I’ve had turbulence in my own life, as we all have at one time or another. But it’s only been in the recent days that I’ve fully wrapped my mind around just how much power I give those rattling winds, whether they’re person, a job, the past, the future. All I can control is myself. It’s hard to loosen the reins of control and let go of the things I can’t navigate or alter. But, while sitting here, looking out my oval window at nothing but pure darkness, I realized just how much I am not in control of. Holding on tightly to those ropes will only shackle me to the web of fears I’ve woven over the years. Whereas letting go … letting go and finding breath is releasing me, ever so slowly. And those binds – they’re dissipating.

It is now 12:04 a.m. as I lift the slate over my window to a powder blue sky seared by a crimson sun dipping into a burning orange horizon. Though I know I’ll have more rough gales awaiting me, I’m finding that it isn’t necessarily about giving power to something and finding a way to take it back. It’s about realizing it was never something to be controlled to begin with. So, as I continue to release my grip on the things that once stifled me and ride out the adrenaline of trepidation, I hope to continue finding pieces of tranquility. I’m starting with this trip, with the warm energy my Romanian relatives always seem to bring me. Because, as a wise person recently said to me: “Yes, there are things that scare me sometimes, but I like to try doing them anyway.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”~  Mark Twain

Perhaps this blog's theme is unraveling after all. Whether these posts are derived from the day's inspiration or a result of recent reflection and revelation, I am undoubtedly on a journey and bringing you all along. In the recent days, my focus has been on getting back in touch with my senses, my intimate side and how they both tie into healing. Throughout my life, there have been a few key elements of nature that have never failed to either seduce me or fill me with tranquility -- at times, a bit of both. The moon falls into the latter category. I have been drawn to it since I was a child, its ethereal glow casting a silvery blanket over everything it touches.  Yet, no matter what turmoil my mind or heart are in, whenever I walk outside, my eyes immediately search for it, yearning for its translucent solace. And just like that, I am grounded with peace once more.

The air, its gentle breezes and rich, earthbound scents have also been a comforting constant in my life, as though each inhale caresses my lungs, enters my veins and envelops my heart. I wonder how much more at ease we might all be if we took time every day to connect with these layers of life. For me, just as the steadfast trees never fail to betray their wisdom, these moments have always made me feel at home again.

This intimate exchange can also translate to people. For quite some time now, I'd forgotten what a simple smile, a hug or a sincere act of caring could ignite. I'd lost sight of how significant it was to have those pieces of life in my stead, to connect with people again, to let them teach me, to let my senses remind me of what I'd forgotten. It's easy to forget ... when you get lost.

Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I went to my grandma's for our traditional cookout. For a few years now, my grandpa has been creating these notes, cards and menus -- some in English, some in Romanian -- he surprises my grandma with every now and then before they sit down to a meal he's cooked.
She's kept every one:

It reminded me what it feels like to give to others, even if those gifts are as simple as a note or something entirely intangible. No matter the pain I've endured or hurts I've acquired in my life so far, no amount of bitterness or anger has done much by way of healing. Just as the wounds and scars my grandparents have absorbed throughout the chapters of their lives have not withstood those gentle acts of caring. In the recent months, weeks, days, I've found that nothing seems to ebb the thrumming ache of past hurt like giving ... and forgiving, remembering who I am and letting my gifts float back to my surface again, breathing life into everything I take on and those I encounter. So, as I continue to gaze in the mirror every morning and get to know myself again, I hope the tapestry it paints goes easy on the eyes of those who are looking.

~ C ~

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. ~ Khalil Gibran.

Most people tend to dislike scars, to view them as a stigmatic mark on the body or mind. After all, a scar in the physical sense serves as a memory of a cut, an injury, a burn or hurt of some kind. But even as a child, I always admired them, not only on others, but the ones I'd obtained from a few good falls and scrapes. I felt they added character and saw them as a reminder of pain and oftentimes a lesson learned, but also as proof of healing. 

The internal scars, the mental or emotional ones ... those are a little trickier. For me, they can be quite stealth, hiding for months or even years until something ignites their ridged surfaces, unveiling the impact their original hurts had bestowed. But even then, they emerge as a symbol of wisdom, served up for me to drink if I chose to. I didn't always choose to. 

It's easy to get tangled in those interwoven strands of toughened tissue and letting their density construct a wall from further harm... and yet, from further living. It's facile to hide behind those thick husks as though their mere presence makes us somehow members of this elite faction with the right to remain jaded and covered in scales of armor.  I've come to realize that scars can be the root of hindering just as well as a rite of passage. When embraced, they not only offer remembrance and knowledge, strength and evidence of repair ... they also represent a life lived.

~ C ~

Friday, July 1, 2011

Soul mates

"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake ... tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions and break your heart open so new light can get in." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert.

For as long as I remember, I've believed in soul mates, but it's only in the last several years that I've come to believe there are different kinds of soul mates. The word itself is oftentimes cast in this overly romantic light that suggests two halves of a whole, but if you tear yourself away from the stereotypes and focus on the people closest to you, some of your longest friends or those who have come and gone, but left you better off than when they arrived, you may view that term in a new light. If you've ever met someone you have almost instantly felt a connection to, as though in some way, you'd known them your whole life ... a familiarity that emanates a sense of deja vu, a gentle feeling of "home" that you can't quite place your finger on, then you may understand what I'm referring to.

I spoke of fear in my last post, but I think an element of it applies here. Allowing that person or those people to unravel you, to see through all your guises and barriers, getting under your skin, peeling you down to your core, that can be one of the scariest, unnerving ventures you make. Transformation is a formidable, extensive and sometimes boundless undertaking. Like a caterpillar to butterfly, there is a period of stillness, hibernation, protection before you unsheathe and breathe new life. I haven't shed my coating yet, but I've definitely felt the dawning of vicissitude. My lungs are subtly expanding as they taste a sweeter air, laced with hope and healing.

It's easy to not let those people and their wisdom penetrate, to stay stagnant or in a place of complacent comfort, but in my experience so far, if I hadn't eventually released myself to that guidance, I would not have grown or tapped into my own well of wisdom. I would have continued to wilt; my petals a wasted breath of perfume, of life and love, disintegrating and unnoticed, into the soil beneath me. So ... all I can say is, when the day comes that you encounter someone who ignites luster in your dulled eyes and polishes your thoughts and dreams, caked with dust from being tucked away for so long ... let them in. Don't squander it or try to understand it or analyze it. Don't try to possess it or glamorize it. Let it take form, let it move you.

Let it transform you.

~ C ~