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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Christine and Stuart

I have lost too many good friends over this past year in a very sudden, unexpected way. I grieve each of them. This  is a repeat of the words of honor I had nearly a year ago for my friend, companion writer and photographer, Christine Whitelaw. We had each dreamed and opened to the possibility of my visiting her in Australia one day. Instead, I have had to make do with walks on the beach with her through her pristine photography.

I love you Christine and I hold your husband Stuart and your sons in my heart as the anniversary of your “old life left behind and your new life begun” wherever you are.

The Subject Tonight Is Love
August 1, 2014 by napkinwriter

Photography by Christine Whitelaw (c)

I was introduced to the poems of Hafiz by my writing companion/mentor/friend, Janet Conner in Writing Down your Soul, in her books and e courses and her on-fire essence of purpose and intention in your personal life. http://www.janetconner.com
Christine, too, quoted Hafiz on occasion and the poem she selected below gives us a glimpse of her acceptance of the “impermanence of the body”.
She posted these words on March 20, 2014 by dadirri7 — Christine completed her travels of this mysterious existence quite abruptly on July 2, 2014.
She wrote:
“More on life and death from Hafiz: do you like the idea of being simply “a midair flight of golden wine”?
Deepening the Wonder by Hafiz

Death is a favor to us,
But our scales have lost their balance.
The impermanence of the body
Should give us great clarity,
Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes
Of this mysterious existence we share
And are surely just traveling through.
If I were in the Tavern tonight,
Hafiz would call for drinks
And as the Master poured, I would be reminded
That all I know of life and myself is that
We are just a midair flight of golden wine
Between His Pitcher and His Cup.
If I were in the Tavern tonight,
I would buy freely for everyone in this world
Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty
Of time and space cannot endure very long.
Death is a favor to us,
But our minds have lost their balance.
The miraculous existence and impermanence of Form
Always makes the illuminated ones
Laugh and Sing.
(from The Subject Tonight Is Love, poems of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
http://www.amazon.com
My last words on Napkinwriter from Christine were posted on June 28, 2014, five days before she passed in response to my post on our 3 day family vacation on Mackinac Island in early June.
http://www.napkinwriter.wordpress.com/
Just for the Family Record, June 28, 2014 archives
dadirri7
“what a fabulous holiday Sue, I loved the butterfly house, and the pic of you three in rain gear … truly such fun and love to remember!”

Christine's LotusPhotography by Christine Whitelaw

Christine and I entered into our friendship through words…blogging…..and our hearts met across time and space, she in Australia, I in Michigan.
Through the permanence of words, we now transcend the impermanence of the body.
I remember the fun and love of our friendship.

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Celebrate Living

I am combining two efforts of late in this writing: to continue writing 50 stories of our 50 years of wedded life and love together and: to share some of the images I’ve been busy with for the 50 days of Resurrection Prayer/Creative Art project through Christine and John Valters Paintner’s Abbey of the Arts and Dancing Monks community. I am having so much fun with the various art images and techniques and word reflections they are offering, that my writing activity has lessened and I’ve just fallen into the fun of color and creation.  So here is the word for today!

LIFE…...”I just want to celebrate another day of living!”

My life is total gift, given by God and a mother who died shortly after my birth. Completely unknown by me for many years, I was raised by a second loving mother, whose God qualities were order, discipline and cleanliness. I loved her too but I yearned for the “hugginess” I knew my birth mother would have given me. All is gift and as I searched and discovered the realness of my birth mother, outside my family, I was given a great gift….from her best friend….who erased doubt and guiltiness from my soul over my birth, her death. She told me my mother rushed to her when she discovered she was pregnant with me and in great excitement told her, “NOW I KNOW the purpose of my LIFE.” Such a great unknown and mystery, erased from my life forever. Mom wanted to give me birth. I celebrate the LIFE and LOVE I have in my family life of husband, children and grandchildren. My mother’s life and love and purpose carries on through them.

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Even though this story begins before our marriage, indeed at my very birth, the story carried on well into our marriage and Tom supported me deeply as I put the pieces of my known and unknown heritage together.  Nothing much was said during my growing up years of my birth and my birth mother’s death immediately following.

Aunt Resh2Diane Tanberg, cousin (far right)…..My birth TANBERG side

After the birth of our first daughter, Laura, my mother’s presence to me was unmistakeable, and I set about finding out the details of my birth history, mostly through my cousin Diane on my mother’s side. Also through my mother’s nursing student companion and best friend and maid of honor at her wedding.  The pieces came together over time and through deep seated pain.  It was important to me to add name and photo of Doris into my daughters’ and grandchildren’s baby books.

1969

And this has been done. She is in our family through three more generations. Mom LIVES.

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As a writer, I’ve been told by my much admired mentor that the FIRST story you must write is your mother story. Mine comes in so many layers that it seems it is a kalaidascope of reoccuring glimpses, each one emitting, celebrating or grieving one glimpse of the total.
As for the creative word of the day from Valters Paintner…..LIFE…..I am deeply grateful for mine. I am also aware of the “thin thread” upon which I came into this world and in surviving a difficult birth, that grace was given to me to continue the lineage of Tanberg-Heffron through the very fine, abundant and happy lives of the Hajecs, Warriners, and Mitchells.

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