Monday, December 10, 2018

AMAZON SANTA


Through the looking glass, 
I wince at a younger me, 
toy catalogs in primary colors strewn about, 
a red wine stain mocks me 
from the white melamine desk,
as I click away.

Days later in the kitchen 
on the other side of the house, 
I feel the rumble of 
big boxy trucks, 
making their way down, 
the mile-long dirt drive,
breaking branches, 
like knives,
leaving deep wounds in farmland, 
scaring grazing horses half to death, 
delivering the surrogates,
the plastic proxies, 
the stand-ins, the substitutes
for love, time, family, passion.

Decades later,
my awakening is complete,
my grounding firm,
and today
I imagine a warehouse, 
a fulfillment center,
overstocked in Ohio 
with overtired men and women, 
bodies straining under 
the weight of color-coded bins.

And just this week, 
I’m on the inside again,
this time 
watching curious as one of my own, 
now a mom of her own, 
categorizes, sorts, stores, assembles, 
picks up after, 
her own brood of two. 
I eye the catalogs on her counter,
dog-eared pages full of intent, 
believing that her daughters of four and less 
must have, gotta have, absolutely need 
the latest singsong, sing along, alphabet soup, talking map. 
And once again, 
I watch
big boxy trucks,  
make their way up her paved 
suburban drive as the frenzied dog barks 
and chases after 
the Amazon Santa,
paid for with hours away from home, 
at a desk, 
doing things that bring more.
Always more.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

An Unexpected Encounter.


I unfurl my mat,
like a wave,
and sink,
cross-legged
into my ocean.

Muscles.
Mass.
Bones come next.
My breath, like the tide
Ebbs and flows.
I stretch out,
Touch the shore.
Fingers.
Toes.
Flexion
Extension.
Blocks, bolsters, straps.
Shanti streams from the corner.
My intention is courage.
My mantra is please.

My fingertips find,
curiously come home to,
a wet spot,
a part of me that has leaked out
and found its way into the
vastness of my mat.
In prayer pose,
I accept this unexpected encounter,
and from a distant shore,
I am beckoned to heal,
from the inside out.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Legacy of Love


My mom, Rose Mossa, turned 91 years old this past November. I turned 61 in December. We were born 30 years apart. Sometimes I forget how old I am, but I always remember her birthdate, and I just subtract 30 years to remember mine. I've been lucky to have a mother in my life all these years. Some of you may have already lost your moms. Rosie is a tough cookie. She's had an adversarial relationship with her life. She's known great joy, too. She's watched her two children bring children into the world. She's attended two grandchildren's weddings, and she's been in the joyful company of her first great grandchild, aptly named Grace. She's buried her husband, her one-and-only, her soulmate, her greatest heartache.

My mom may make a full and solid recovery from a fall in her home a few days ago. She may not. I'm not delusional. She's in ICU as I pen this. Providing she leaves this hospital in a day or two, she will spend weeks in a rehab facility learning to walk with the rod and pin in her left leg. She may return to her humble home here in Connecticut. She may not. I looked around her home last night and I recognized objects that, while meaningful to her, will hold no sway over me or the rest of her family. A window ledge lined with milk glass. Soaps, wall hangings, souvenirs, from many moons ago when I was lost in my own fantasy world. A bowl of beach glass. Dried flowers tied with faded ribbons. Photographs of my father that must have sustained her, preserved his memory since his passing in 2004, Objects that have followed her throughout her married life, childrearing, and widowhood. They say we see our lives pass before our eyes when we depart this world. I wonder if it's the same experience for the ones left behind.

Life is short. You hear it often. Occupy that idea fully, folks. Let the knowledge that your time on Earth is limited permeate your consciousness. Let it awaken, not frighten, you. Let it guide you, move you to pick up the phone, pen, brush, lens, whatever makes your heart sing. Please, do it today. Don't wait for tomorrow.

Smile. Rejoice. Love. Live your life with all the fervor, zest, and joy you have. Do it for your mother, for yourself, for the rest of us. Make sure your legacy is one of love.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Good News.


Grief mounts as Russia grounds fleet of airplanes.
3 dead, 4 injured after car plows into trick-or-treaters.
Man fatally shoots and kills 3 people in Colorado town.
Top 9 saddest splits in celebrity history.

Those were the headlines I read when I signed on to receive my email this first Sunday in November. If those messages weren't enough to sink my tender, open heart, a pop-up warning appeared, uninvited, on my laptop screen.

Every 2 seconds someone new becomes a victim of identity theft. Don't be next.

Fear. Destruction. Chaos. Geez, Louise, the whole world has, indeed, gone mad.

I have a split second to respond to the toxicity of today's headlines, and so do you. Be honest, do you revel in the despair? Do you hunger for more, eagerly devouring the blow-by-blow details? You bristle at my implication. If you are giving extended attention to these headlines, you are participating in the darkness, the madness. News is a big industry; it can't exist without your participation.

I get it. Shit happens. Good people become victims of random violence, but do you really need to read about, and watch, another vehicle, in the same week, plow into innocent bystanders? Here's what I fervently believe. We invite, absorb, and become what we put our attention on, and every minute counts. Do not waste a single one of your life's precise moments focusing on negativity. Have you ever had a strand of hair land on an exposed layer of your skin? You can feel it, right? A thin, lightweight piece of hair. Imagine that. Imagine then what dark and negative thoughts can do to you at a cellular level. Food for thought. (Check out medical intuitive, Caroline Myss, if you don't believe me.) What images, messages, and thoughts do you want your body, your cells, to absorb?

Choose the newsmakers who are genuinely making a difference. GoodNewsNetwork.org shared these headlines this morning.

94-year-old gets ready to run NYC marathon.
When 83-year-old landscaper needed new truck, donations grew like weeds.
Farmer rescues 700 acres of California coast to Native American tribe.
Help the Monarch butterfly population by raising them yourselves.

These are some of the people and issues worthy of making headlines, and the more you focus on them, the more of them you will see. Dig deeper. Your body and world will thank you.


Friday, October 30, 2015

My Way.


My dad passed away peacefully in his sleep, in a nursing home, back in 2004.  Mr. Mossa's two favorite songs were "Sweet Caroline," by Neil Diamond, and "My Way," by Frank Sinatra. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and I was my dad's daughter, through and through. I followed in his footsteps in oh, so many ways. Alcohol ravaged my father's early years and the missteps he made as a young man would haunt him into adulthood. As a child and young girl growing up in a dysfunctional home, I vowed I would never drink like my father. I didn't know what I didn't know, and in fact, my life mirrored my father's in myriad ways. The one difference, however, is that I found a solution. I discovered a spiritual remedy for what ailed me before it was too late. As a result, at nearly 61 years of age, an age when many people are contemplating retirement and are slowing down, I am just getting started. I found purpose and passion in work that I love. I have connected with like-minded individuals around the globe, and together we are making a difference though our creative energies. I may not have it all, but I have my freedom, and I wouldn't trade it for the house on the hill, the luxury car in the driveway, or a five-star hotel.

Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Giving Thanks.


The windmill. That iconic reminder of a bygone era, America in the 1800s, ranches, farmers, livestock, hardscrabble lives and times. At least once during my stay here in Arizona, I have had to correct the steering wheel and redirect my Nissan back onto Route 82. I am smitten, mesmerized. Is it my love of Americana, the lure of a great picture, or does the fascination go deeper? I love old red barns, and the sight of an oversized American flag still delights me. I have conjured up the perfect photograph in my mind's eye countless times---one of these Aermotor mechanical towers, galvanized steel blades gleaming (more oft rusted out), in the foreground, with a dazzling blue southwestern sky, and the Whetstone or Mustang mountain ranges in the distance. I suspect, however, that for me, the fascination, the identification, goes deeper. Sidestepping the notion of a past-life connection (which, incidentally, I fervently believe in), I am simply drawn, at this juncture of my life, to things and processes that harken back to a more mindful existence. Some will argue, there is nothing glamorous, romantic, or time-saving about having to pump your own water, hang clothes out on a line, or travel long, winding, arduous miles for fellowship. For me, living out here in southeastern Arizona, where the nearest grocery store is a solid fifty-minute drive, and the border patrol's presence is keenly felt, I am grateful for every opportunity to slow down, rewind, remember, and fall in love with the natural landscape around me; to yield to deer, horses and burros; to marvel at the raptors' flight overhead; to welcome the grasshopper's presence. In my own small way, I pay homage to the pioneering men, women and children who so bravely covered this sacred ground before me.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Leading with Love.


"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~ John Lubbock

I use this Lubbock quote often, and I wholeheartedly believe it is at the root of all manifestation. (Law of Attraction 101, if you will.) What are you giving your attention to? Do you expect miracles, or do you assume they happen to everyone else, never you?

I seek love, not the romantic kind, rather the kind that is found in grocery store lines, on the highways, daily on Facebook and in social media. I do not watch the news, I do not seek out the gore and desperate tidings online or in the newspapers. I will scroll right past your post if you're whining again about your cheating husband. I do not fixate on the latest virus or plague sweeping the county. I am not blind either; I know such horrors exist. I simply choose to focus on the things, the experiences, the happenings, that I wish to see more of. Generosity. Abundance. Kindness. It's probably why Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Given the headlines, it's disconcerting to see youngsters, and even grown men and women, carrying knife props, fake blood smeared across themselves. And please don't tell me I lack a sense of humor. Are you kidding me?

I once dated (literally, once) a man who kept a machete under the seat on the passenger's side of his truck. I'd been groping around for my misplaced cellphone when I came upon it.

"Why do you have a machete in your truck?" I asked.
"Just in case," he answered.
"In case of what?" I pressed.
"In case someone tries to mess with me," he countered.

I had just returned from my first solo cross country road trip---9000 miles in 30 days---and not once did anyone mess with me, not at the pumps, not checking into my rooms for the night, not on the long, sometimes barren and desolate highways. I went out into the world expecting safety, seeking connection, deliriously in love with life, and not once did calamity visit me. Perhaps there are two types of people in the world: people who look for, and generally find, trouble, and people who have faith and hail mankind as benevolent.

Maybe one day, someone, something, will prove my theory wrong, but in the meantime, I'll go on believing in love because when I lead with that, all things are possible. Try it. If I'm wrong, I'll refund your misery.