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Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Matter of Perspective

                                                                                   Sometimes it's all a matter of perspective. 
                                                                                  (picture is a rain  drop taken while on a hike)

It's been awhile since I last posted. My family and I have been experiencing lots of changes and life has been swiftly flowing. This morning I woke up at 2 am, an hour after my  dog last nudged me awake to take her out. I realized it was futile to stay in bed as thoughts began to race in my head and I rationalized that it would only be two hours earlier than I usually wake up. Oh, what the hey, why not?

I sat in front of the computer screen and felt the urge to write. It's been so long and the house was so quiet. I love a quiet house. Lately my children have enjoyed playing video games and watching movies. That has become more and more regular now that we are well into winter and it's freezing outside. I find the sound emanating from the glorified box in our living room irritating and it oftentimes causes me to retreat in my own room while it is endlessly drones on as the wind whistles a hollow tune outside.

What to write? I wasn't sure but didn't feel too philosophical. An image of a woman I will see later on today that I work for flashed in my mind. I was reminded of a moment while cleaning her house that we had not too long ago and decided to just write about that. I put it in the form of a poem but I probably could have just made it into a post. It's just the form it starting taking at 2:30 in the morning! I wanted to share it now because if I don't post it now I'm not sure I will.  It's unedited so pardon the roughness of it. 

I would love your thoughts! Please leave them in the comments section. Thank you!


I tell her the story of Buddha,
Born a prince and curious about the world.
Exposed to a suffering he never imagined
outside of his once insulated life,
He sought to rid the world of it.

As I sweep the floor I come to one of my
Favorite parts of the story. On the Eve of
the Buddha’s enlightenment, the demon Mara
Attempts many times to defeat him. In his final try
he sends  fiery arrows across the waters at Siddhartha.
As they sail on a sure and steady
Arc towards our hero, finding detachment and compassion
He transforms them into flowers that fall harmlessly
At his side.

We reflect on that.
I turn my eyes in her direction.
She has become more than a woman
I come over and help do the things that she can no longer do.
She has become a little oasis I find myself venturing to twice a week.
A warm place of laughter and shared moments.  
Peaches, her cat, runs her left flank
alongside my calf in a gesture of affection
as I reach up to dust the corners of the ceiling.


She is a woman that is no stranger to fiery arrows.
I go in her room to put the vacuum away. A bedroom
void of a bed for she can no longer get in or out of one
on her own. Living every moment now in her chair.
I remember the first time she told me that.
The image of stretching one’s legs out under the covers
On a soft mattress filled my mind. What an awful thing to
Never be able to do again. And at only fifty years.
So much more time left sitting and reclining. Reclining
And sitting.

She tells me of when her mother found out she had MS.
“Amy,  you should really think about the things in your life
that you might have done to deserve this.
You must have done something really
bad to make God punish you like this.”
Shocked, my friend immediately
expressed her rejection of such an idea of God.
God does not punish. God is good.
And God will turn her fiery
arrows into flowers, her sadness into joy,
her suffering into opportunities to give and to learn.

She asks me what I think and I agree. She is not overly religious
But holds a quiet and simple faith tucked in the folds of her
Heart. A sacred place I dare not tread with my skepticism.

A glowing optimism emanates from her countenance
and serves as the vessel that carries her above the
Furious waves of heartache, humiliation and turmoil.
I feel I can relate in a way as I  share that same sense
that we can transform ugliness
Into beauty, obstacles into stepping stones,
frustration into peace. Sometimes it seems all a matter of
perspective. A matter of unbinding ourselves to the
material that has a way of sticking to our consciousness
Like sap to bark.

I gently close the door when I leave,
warm skin meeting winter's icy chill.
Pulling  out of the lot and into the dark night, 
I glance in my rear view mirror and watch as
the light from her window
melts into the retreating distance.


  1. +1d your post. It is beautiful written Jessica :)
    There's no reason I wouldn't have visited and read your blog post and I am glad I did :)

    BTW that image that you have used is awesome!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and visiting Anmol! And for 1+ing my post! I really enjoyed your blog and glad you got a chance to visit over here.

      I love taking pictures of dew/rain drops and spiderwebs and the like..I took a picture of the raindrop you saw while on a hike on one of my favorite trails. :) Glad you liked it!

  2. Enjoyed the writing, it is wonderful. I have a close friend with MS, it is a debilitating disease no doubt about it. :-((

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jacques. I am learning more and more about MS..not only by what I've been reading up on it but also through my experience with my friend. It is really sad...I hope one day science will help discover more and more effective ways of helping those who have it..maybe ridding them of it entirely.

  3. So poignantly beautiful and descriptive, Jessica. I so feel for the woman about whom you write - my heart aches for her, but glad she has found peace regarding her condition.
    Great to see you blogging again! Missed you!
    Blessings always!

    1. Martha, missed you too! Thank you for taking the time to read it. Looking forward to catching up on your posts! <3

  4. I don't believe God punishes people with any sickness

    1. I don't believe he would either. To me, that's a pretty awful way of seeing a creator and an unhealthy one too.

  5. Life is definitely about perspective. We can choose to see the blessings if we want to.

    1. I definitely think perspective can help us through difficulties. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  6. I'm glad you decided to write, unedited and all. ;) Sometimes it's the rawness that shows the most compassion and passion. I love that you just went with it. I understand about needing a quiet and peaceful house, maybe headphones for your kids will help. That way you won't have to retreat to your bedroom?

    This is sad but beautifully written and I can feel the peace flowing through your words. Thank God she has a friend to spend time with and a peace inside her soul.

    1. Yeah, we don't have ports for headphones on our tv..but a great idea nonetheless! Thanks for the suggestion and for stopping by. :)

  7. I was drawn into this woman life with your words. To not be able to stretch out on a soft bed...always in a chair...oh the pain she must endure. I hope you have read the poem to her...I would think it might ease her suffering for a few seconds as she realizes it has produced others to pray for her. Beautiful

    1. I might share it with her...I actually hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

  8. Thank you for sharing "Arrows" with us. You have a talent for describing this exchange with such beauty and subtlety, you have a real gift. It's a stunning piece of writing. Your woman friend is also very blessed to have you in her life.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Pam. I really appreciate them! I feel doubly blessed to have her in my life. :)

  9. Very beautifully written Jessica. Everything in life is about perspective, so true.

  10. Your "ode" to your friend is simply beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much Barbara...I'm really glad you enjoyed it! :)

  11. It's been too long since I read anything new from your blog, Jessica. This was well worth the wait.

    Your friend is right. God doesn't punish. That's simply a made up story by those in charge of the church to keep us in line.
    God is love.
    God is good.
    God doesn't punish.

    How are YOU?

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Chris! It's been quite awhile, huh? Too long! We really do need to catch up! I really would value your thoughts on some things. We'll have to make some time. I've been okay..Hope your year is off to a great start.


  12. Lovely picture Jessica and a more beautiful poem.. it somehow left me also wanting more .. I just didnt want it to end <3

    Yes Life is all about perspectives and more often than not majority of our answers lie in them!

    1. Thank you Privy! Glad you found time to stop by and enjoyed the post. :)

  13. A wonderful poem! The way you write free-verse poetry is great. That is something I have always struggled with. You have a way with word flow, a real talent.

    I feel for your friend. Such pain and restriction. It's all about perspective. When viewing things in the light, the hardships are lessened and life is more manageable. God will never give us more than we can handle.

    I wish all the best for you and your friend!