Thursday, February 5, 2009

Coming Full Circle...

"And it took me, since I was 17 and left home, running from God,
to now, as a 30-year-old man, when I honestly feel like I've
come full circle and my heart's finally in the right place."

~*~ Scott Stapp ~*~

Maya and I in the year 2000. She came to me as a
tiny baby in August 1999 and I hand-raised her. And
in September of 2000 she went to live with my best
friend Jeff, whom she adored, and he had lost his
beloved blue and gold. Now, his life is frantically busy
and she is not doing well. Maya is coming back to me.

It would have been nice, if, like Scott Stapp, I had come full circle at 30, but I had just had my 3rd child at 29 and things were hectic and we had moved to the country to go "back to the land," and those were the years when a family can barely keep themselves together, all of a piece, and keep on keeping on. And it is right and proper that my earlier womanhood should have been spent with a wonderful man raising our three precious children who are now adults themselves, one with our first grandchild. And though Kevin and I haven't been married for awhile, I do and always will love him dearly. We are very close. But we too came full circle, and when the children had grown, our paths crossed with a hug goodbye, and off we went to live the next phase of our lives.

I cannot live the simple life of St. Francis, not that simple, any more than I could go be Thoreau in the woods, but I can simplify more and more, needing less and less, and caring for the precious animals in need who come to me, and if you came to my little cottage you would find it somewhat startling that I live in a tiny place with more animals than furniture (though there are an abundance of dog beds on the floor for the five dogs) and the five parrots, and soon Maya, are quite lively companions, not to mention the beta fish plus his new friends, the Golden and Black "Mystery Snails" -- which I believe to be Apple Snails, and someone please write and tell me if I am wrong -- make for a soothing atmosphere. Their slow-moving, peaceful calm, helps me daily come back to my breath and brings me back to mindfulness.

Upon becoming a minister, at the beginning of the year, I felt I needed to make grand gestures and be very organized and, frankly, be something more than I am. Being a minister doesn't mean we are the Almighty Being (which I never thought I was, but you get my drift...), but simply a human being, giving over our lives to a path of service. And it was with a great deal of relief that a few days ago I made arrangements to close my ten year old website, Dragonfly Cottage, and one of my blogs, The Maitri Ministry. With the latter it was too confusing for people, or they thought I had named it after myself which looks egoistic in the extreme, when in truth I had named myself after it. I took the name Maitri, legally, as a guiding star to follow, all the days of my life, the Buddhist practice of maitri, of loving-kindness and compassion. It's why I became a minister, it is what I strive to be, it is what I want to give to people and to animals, it is want I want to give to the world, as I am able. And to do that I need less, not more. And I need to love more, and more, and more, not less. And I need to make more room in my life for doing just that.

Dragonfly Cottage is the name of my home, and it is very dear to me, and it had it's heyday as a website as a very active community of thousands with, at one time, 15 yahoo lists, several moderators to help me after it became completely overwhelming, many beautiful, wonderful times, and finally, it, like all things, ran it's course. For the last two years I've barely touched it but to make periodic changes. And bills come due, and one looks hard, and it is not part of less, it is part of more. And February 13 it will disappear into cyber-space. And finally I am at peace with that. Finally, that feels right. It's been a decade, and as it turned 10 years I was ordained, and now I am to follow my path.

Prior to Dragonfly Cottage I spent 25 years being a mother, raising my children, and I will be a mother and a grandmother all of my life, and I take great pride in that, and I am bursting with love for my children, for my family, but they are on their own paths now. I have their backs, but they are doing well, and I am so proud of them all. And now their mother has her path, to be a mother and a grandmother, a friend and a counselor, a teacher and a healer, to all that I can. And I am ready. I am also a Warrior, A Samurai, cutting away the dross in my life to make what stays clearer. I am a great warrior fighting my own demons to serve others. I have come to love and accept myself as I am, and with my myriad of mental health diagnoses, all controlled by medication and nearly 40 years of therapy, I am balanced, I am calm, but I need to be ever watchful and take care of my own life. It is what I have learned to do, and I do it pretty well. It is what I have to give others, on many levels.

I am no longer the abused, frightened child. I am no longer the wife and mother in a household of small children. I live alone and my children are my little animals who need me. I am giving my life to them. I am giving my life to you. I am writing books to share what I know so that I might help others. I am giving what I have to give. I have come full circle, and it is just exactly where I'm supposed to be. I am a holy woman. An ordinary domestic mystic, as Lucie Brock-Broido wrote in her incredible book of poems, A Hunger. In that poem she wrote:

"This work of mine, the kind of work which takes no arms to do,
Is least noble of all. It's peopled by Wizards, the Forlorn,
The Awkward, the Blinkers, the Spoon-Fingered, Agnostic Lispers,
Stutterers of Prayer, the Flatulent, the Closet Weepers,
The Charlatans. I am one of those."

I am one of those. I am a Domestic Mystic. I am not one of the Great Ones, I am one of the small ones, and we need the small ones. When we are young we seek fame and glory. When we reach midlife and beyond we come to realize what a holy thing it is to find God in a rock, in a blade of grass, in an old dog's eyes. I see it in birds who come to me frightened, injured, or disabled, the ones nobody wants. I want them, I heal them, I kiss them, I give them everything I have to give. I am one of those too.

So the injured, abused child is now the healer, the dreamer, the one who loves, even the forlorn, especially the forlorn. I am a Domestic Mystic. I am one of those.

Be at peace. Spread Love. It is more important than you know...


Tomas Karkalas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shinade said...

oh Maitri,
I am so happy for you that you have found your very special spot in this universe and have realized it.

Please I am a wee confused though about what it is you are closing.

Are you closing this blog down? Oh my I hope not. I come to you and gain so much inspiration and strength.

Of course I support you in any of your efforts. but, I do so hope that you are going to continue on in the world of blogging.

Please do let me know.

Blessings of joy and much love and big hugs to you!!:-)

SlogBite said...

Hi Maitri,

I have a surprise for you.

SlogBite said...

Hi Maitri,

I have a surprise for you.

Beetle said...

Congratulations on being the featured Site on SlogBite today. Well deserved :O)

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