Thursday, June 3, 2010

Peace & Love

Love & peace rose
Originally uploaded by
crlpix (Away)

Here is my process. After a long day at work, and getting the kids settled in for the night, I often will drift down into my bedroom, and open my laptop while sitting on my bed. While my computer is booting up, I will light a candle or two to help center me, and to keep vigil with Michael. It is something that I will likely continue, at least until the end of this first year.

Once I return to my bed, I sit up against the headboard, open up my blogger account, and take a deep breath. I go directly to the New Post field, and begin. There is rarely any forethought given to what I will write about. Sometimes I sit there, worried that I will not find anything to say, but always, within minutes, my fingers and mind become one .

I am trying to welcome peace and loving feelings into my life today. I have sat with my deep sorrow for several days now. I am finding it difficult to pull myself out of it. Not to say that I am putting much effort in that direction, but I know that dwelling here will not be good for me in the end. It was only two months ago that these familiar feelings took me to an all time low. For the first time, or the first serious time, I was questioning whether death was more preferable to life. I sometime envy Michael, for as many tell me, he is at peace. If he is not, then he must be minimally having a good time.

I wish for peace. I don't think I mentioned here before, but last month I had more tattoos put on my left arm. On my upper arm I had these words written for me to focus on:

Peace Comes From Within

Do Not Seek It Without.

These words are attributed to the Buddha. Further below this message is a Mandala, which is there to remind me of my place in this universe, and as a call to meditate. I wish I could report that it is serving this purpose. So far it is reminding me that I wanted to remind myself to meditate. But as my therapist once reminded me, my practice of daily writing is in itself a form of mindful meditation. It is a constant flow of my thoughts and inner stirrings.

When I do take the time for meditation, I try not to make it such a serious time. I don't get too upset if I am not able to clear my mind. That is why I am so attracted to the idea of mindfulness, as it teaches me to comfortably allow thoughts to drift in, and drift out. There is no right, there is no wrong. Well, please don't share this philosophy with any of my children.

Tonight I seek to open myself further. I welcome peace back into my life. I honor the peacefulness that I learned from Michael. He was a very calm person, and valued solitude. Most of our late evenings were spent sitting quietly next to one another in bed at night. One of us might be reading, or writing, while the other usually had his nose stuck in his Sudoku book. Often during this quiet hour, we would gently reach for each other's hand, or give a loving smile. We saw the importance of having this time, and yet also needed to be mindful of each other in the process. This is the memory that carries me off to sleep each night. This is where I seek comfort, or refuge from the stress of the day.

I was a very fortunate man. Something led Michael to me. What ever that was, or who ever that was, I am reminded tonight to offer my gratitude. There are so many forces in this world, and many of those forces go unnoticed. In many ways love is so simple. It, in and of itself, doesn't require much effort. Relationships, yes, love, no.

Tonight I am holding love. I am holding love in a very quiet place. I am not clinging to it. I am not forcing it in any direction. I am not trying to understand it, nor am I trying to define it. Tonight I am choosing to simply experience it.

Peace and Love.


  1. There are so many forces in this world, and many of those forces go unnoticed. In many ways love is so simple. It, in and of itself, doesn't require much effort.

    So very true.

  2. Love is simple.

    thanks dan.

  3. carolyn stephensJune 4, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    I am intrigued by your new tattoo. I will be getting one soon. It was to have been to honor our 20th wedding anniversary (May 12), but the woman I found serendipitously yet clearly on purpose- she was so clearly the one person to do it - was already booked for that day so I have chosen to have it done on the one year anniversary of Jeff's death, July 17. Among other things, it will be the phrase "it is what it is" which was the phrase we heard daily beginning the day of diagnosis and continuing til, well, now. Every. Damn. Day. I hear it.

    Yours reminding you to remind you to meditate made me laugh out loud alone in the room.

    Something else you wrote also struck a strong chord with me, about Michaels's peacefulness coming to you now. I feel the same. Jeff did not stress, did not worry, did not get upset, and for much of our time together, I was the total opposite. But now it is very simple; it is as if his best qualities are in me now. Not that I am copying him or emulating him, just that his peacefulness, his quietness, his unflappability are PART of me through means other than my striving for them. I just don't get as worked up about stuff now. I rest when I am tired, as he was so able to do. It is a great gift. I don't know where it came from but I am grateful. I only wish I had learned these lessons while he was alive,