When I drive I like to listen to country music. It catches me up on what is emotionally current for a key segment of this country. I happened to hear an old Johnny Cash tune called Country Bumpkin. It was about a country bumpkin who walks into a bar, of course, and is laughed at by a hard-eyed woman. Hello, country bumpkin, she sneers. A year later, she has just delivered a baby and her eyes are soft, and she says to the baby, hello, country bumpkin. On her deathbed, she looks at loved ones and says, goodbye country bumpkins, it was a fine life. Well, I just cried like a baby. She was redeemed, you see, from cynicism and hopelessness. I find that touching.
Redemption is part of why I adore grandparenting, that second chance to love and protect small beings in a finer way than perhaps was done the first time. And it’s what makes the 12 steps work in a very special way for the lost. Amends are made. We amend our mistakes and make a fruitful life in spite of our sins, our despair, our meanness, our small heartedness. And why are we small hearted? Because we’re afraid life really is ugly. Hello country bumpkin….
Posted in Before Versailles, Charles II, creativity, Dark Angels, George I, historical fiction, inspiration, Karleen Koen, romance, romance writing, spirituality, story, story and character, story and family, story and life, story and love, Through A Glass Darkly
Tagged 12 step, amends, country music, grandpartenting, Hello Country Bumpkin, Johnny Cash, redemption
I heard an interesting phrase at a meditation retreat this weekend: compassionately let go. The wise man speaking (he runs in Deepak Chopra circles) was answering a question about wanting to help someone by telling them about your meditation practice and/or your God or guru or whatever it is spiritually that is working for you. You must do it without ego and without expectation, as a sharing, he said, as in this worked for me….and then compassionately let go. I liked that word compassion. I remember the first time I heard about letting go in 12-step….detach with love, was the advice. I could detach, but with love…nope. I was too angry, too fearful, upset by how another’s behavior was hurting me, but too afraid to walk away. Which reminds me of something another wise man once said, you always have a choice. Always. It’s just that sometimes the choice is between one pain and another. But I was talking about compassionately letting go: of another’s reaction, attitude, addiction, behavior, with compassion toward them. It’s out of our hands. Of course, it always was. Each person has his own path, his own guides and inner light for that path. We can’t make him turn on that light. The word love requires more than I can sometimes give, an energy of engagement that I can’t or won’t summon for various reasons. I can’t always love others. But compassion….I think I can go there, for the other, and also, for myself. Compassion is an interesting shade of love. Less red.
How do you see compassion and how do you see love? And how do you see letting go?
Posted in Before Versailles, character, creativity, Dark Angels, Karleen Koen, life, love, Now Face to Face, story and character, story and life, story and love, story and theme, story and writing, Through A Glass Darkly
Tagged 12 step, compassion, Deepak Chopra, letting go, love, meditation, why is it hard to let go, wisdom