An Open Letter to My Son’s Friends at the Prom After-Party Weekend
May 14, 2018
21 Days of Yoga
May 17, 2016
Where the Light Enters You
February 6, 2019
May the Force Be With You
December 31, 2017
One Day After Christmas, Four Days After Watching the New Star Wars Movie
Yes, Virginia, there is a Rey.
And she is you.
There is a Force within us all, in the seemingly weakest where it may be easier to spot if we only take the time to look deeply, but equally in the most powerful, those who lean towards selfishness and greed, destruction, and hatred. Within their smallest seed lies the propensity for Good, and it is our job, as Skywalkers all, to turn them.
We are the Jedi, all Rey’s and Poe’s, Rose’s and Finn’s.
Christmas is a harder time of year
for the lonely. Like Little Match Girls, they look in through the window of others’ lives and see the warm home fires burning while they are left out in the cold. Let us remember them, find a way to show them the good in the Universe, in our hearts and theirs. And as we reflect on the year, this closing journey of the earth around the sun, may we remember too what stays alive, perhaps grows larger with each revolution: hope.
In this year of total eclipse, Alabama voters turned the crimson tide. Don’t think about an imbalance beyond that. Think about the swinging of the pendulum as it slowly gains momentum. Train your mind to speak only of Ben Solo, not of Kylo Ren.
We shall not come this way again, so it is good to pause in mindfulness of what awoke us and what brought us to our knees. We said good night to our sweet doggie Tasha for the final time.
But also, we rescued a lost and scared new puppy from the pound and brought her home and showed her all the love we could. We taught her to trust, to drink clean water, to stretch her legs and run in circles out by the canal and to always come back to our arms again.
The cycle continues. The forces push and pull and come back to center, or slightly left of. The Dark Side may be stronger but the Light Side contains less calories.
Let us remember too, this, because not much else matters: Nothing separates us from Love. Not time or distance or starting over. Not resentment or spats or stuck places or a few extra pounds around the waistline. Not minor transgressions or disappointments that sting at the time but amount to little consequence set against the backdrop of the Empire and the magnanimity of the Resistance to the First Order.
There will always be horses. And music and giggling children and extraordinarily rich and milky cappuccinos with artful leafy designs in the froth on top. Touchstones. Memories of castles on hilltops. If what we have lasts forever, we run the risk of neglecting it or letting it crumble into the abyss of complacent familiarity. But if our castles or trout streams or favorite pizza joints that really weren’t that great but great because they were ours, or what have you, are rare and far between, tickets hard to come by, distances wide but not impossibly so, they remain special. More special for the effort.
The climb to the top affords the most spectacular of views.
And so we sally forth, boldly striding forward or trudging one foot in front of the other, into this new year which will open to yield one of life’s grandest adventures — the Leave-Taking.
Beginning and Ending. Though we are all always foraying into a new land, for the 18-year olds among us, one of whom happens to possess a piece of me a mother can only ever bestow to her first-born child, they go tuition’ed, iPhone’d, ticketed, eager. Too eager? I think not. In my firm and leaky-hearted opinion, in this Life one can never be too eager. And if healthy zest with a dose of wide-eyed naivete leads to a little heartbreak, may our brave explorers dust themselves off and try try again with the intrepidity of the First Order and all its rebellious vigor and verve.
May we all face the being aliveness of being alive with a bit of Carrie Fisher in our hearts, and Tasha, and our mothers and fathers, who were our original Obi-Wans.
When I went away to college, took a junior year abroad, got engaged and moved across the country, my mother wrote me letters. Throughout her cancer treatment, she continued. I have her letters and I could show you where she signed each one, May the Force Be With You.
She’s been gone almost twenty years.
Five movie episodes later, one loving marriage, three great kids, a small but fierce battalion of friends, and countless “adventures” later; twenty years, no 46, of reckonings within myself, the darkness of self-doubt, shame and resignation pitted in an eternal battle worthy of Vishnu and the sages against the light of earned pride, revelation, self-trust and faith in things unseen for me to grasp what she wished for me in that simple sign-off, that six-word benediction. Thanks, Mom, for surely your magic worked its spell. The Force is oh so very much with Me.
The Force she invoked takes many forms. At its center is an unwavering sense, okay maybe not unwavering because it comes and goes like the wind, but underlying and sure as blue sky above behind the cover of cloud, that I am doing just what I need to be doing, exactly how it needs to be done.
A Jedi is peaceful and yet, she fights. The weapons of the Jedi are the same as those of the yoga warrior: gentleness and fearlessness. And a Jedi knows that the way to win is not by combatting what we hate but by protecting what we love.
A Jedi also knows that the student will inevitably outgrow the master. The master must step aside, let the student climb into his Jetwing fighter and fly off into a clear field of stars alone, armed with hard-won lessons, protected by a gentle and fearless love, an outrageous love that courses through the veins, and also, equipped with snacks, and a light saber.
Your light saber can be a floatation device thrown to a drowning neighbor. Your light saber can be a pen. It can be the blankets you pass out to the homeless, the cookies you bake with a friend for your families on Christmas Eve. Your best and brightest and most reliable light saber though, is, of course, the light of your own heart and the hope that shines within it and without, unto the world. Trust it. Follow it. Use it for good.