Heart of Gold

IMG_0454

“I wanna live,
I wanna give
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions I never give
That keep me searching
for a heart of gold.
And I’m getting old.”
~Neil Young, 1971

 

A long time ago, I asked myself, What kind of life do I want to live?
My answers have changed, evolved. Sometimes they have even fallen silent in depression or self-loathing.
But, always, they have come back to a core truth:
I want to live a life of service. I want to be a light in a dark place. I want to be a good friend, a loving person, and a smiling face to a stranger.

Everyday, we walk through a place that is thick with doubt, pain, suffering, and malice. We encounter destruction, abuse, ignorance, and want.
Becoming a tiny flame in the darkness may seem like a monumental task. I find I may struggle with identity, with finding stability, or with my own demons, but there is always in my heart a desire to bring light to those around me. It’s then I understand that it’s not monumental at all. It’s as easy as sharing a smile, hugging a friend, listening, staying open-hearted, and being present.
Also remembering that everyone carries invisible pains that we know nothing about. Treating everyone with respect and dignity allows us to open our hearts wider, and become more understand of those hidden places in someone else.

Last night, I spoke to a friend who was grieving the end of a relationship. We are an ocean apart, and I could not share a physical moment with her. But, instead, I listened, spoke honestly and from my heart, and I was present in her pain. It was as close to a hug as I could get. Later, as we spoke our farewells, she told me I had a heart of gold.
I could think of no higher compliment.

IMG_1741This afternoon, as I sat and prayed quietly by the Peace Pagoda in Grafton, NY,  I reflected on the last time I sat on that very rock. I had been asking for guidance, trying to understand the emptiness I had inside of me.
Today, the answer was as clear as the water reflecting the sky; I had been emptied to allow the dark places to be filled with light. A light to share. I hope to do this everyday with all that I am.

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 

*Top Photo by Author
*Bottom Photo by Roseanne Amorose
(Please do not copy without permission. Thank you.)

Share the LOVE, kind readers! Tell me your tales of light!

Fearlessness

Georgia-OKeeffe-With-Pain-007

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

Fearlessness is never about being unafraid, it is about moving forward into the scary places, despite the fear.

When I first started really studying the work of O’Keeffe, I was drawn to the beauty of her desert landscapes. The openness of the skies, the amazing textures and colors, it all seemed like an alien world in comparison to my own.

I wanted to see those skies. 
And so, years later, I went ahead and finally planned my own trip. Now, keep in mind, this was my first time on a plane, my first time this far from home, and my first time taking a trip without anyone else close by me.
I was never more frightened.
And I never felt so alive.

Touching down in Albuquerque for the first time, was an experience I can not describe. I was exhilarated and completely alone. I was stepping so far outside of my own boundaries that I felt someone might try and stop me.
But no one ever did.
And I never stopped feeling the desire to leave the confines of my own safety net, despite my constant fear of the unknown. You see, I am a creature of habit and comfort. I love my little Hobbit hole and it’s safety. Like Bilbo Baggins, I would insist that, “I have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, and uncomfortable things.” BUT, when I decide to push beyond the those ideas of being uncomfortable and disturbed, I find my place of fearlessness.

For me, travel, and exploring new places has become my way of growing past the confines I’ve built around myself. I want to always push myself further, and touch upon the places that are difficult for me to be at ease. This does not mean I want to search out that which is harmful, but instead I want to continue to find the unknown places inside of my heart that I have yet to enter.

She was so warm
by the fire,
tea cup in hand
and a book upon her lap.
Somewhere
she heard the howl
of a wolf,
or perhaps a dragon,
and she shivered
with fear and…
delight?
What was that sound?
Surely, she must find out!
What good is waiting here
to be consumed
when she can open the door
and look the predator
square in the eye?

Throwing on
her warmest coat
and shouldering
her bag of tricks,
she headed out
searching
for the howl she still heard.
Crossing the threshold,
it was so loud in her ears.
And every step
into the unknown
brought the shiver
she thought was
healthy fear.

But as her journey continued,
and many adventures
were had,
she found moving
towards the howling
made it fade
into a purr.
And the wolf,
or dragon,
that moved her soul
out of her front door,
lived within 
her very brave heart.

~JL 

Post Script: Dearest Readers, if you have a place that delights you, and you think I would like to visit, please share it with me! I intend to make this life a living, breathing adventure! I am open to stories and suggestions. You can comment here, or email me at darklinglisten72@gmail.com
Thank you for visiting this page. May your life be full of joy!