Monday, October 10, 2011


We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.
~ Walter Anderson

Seems to be a lesson in this season of life for me . . . Trust. Of course, I've thought about it before. But it hasn't been a pervasive thought, more fleeting somehow.

It all started when I picked the word for a mixed media class. I had intentionally not taken anything with me to the class, leaving myself open to fully experience the class without a preconceived notion. The class was "Pass the Canvas." Jill instructed us to pick a word from the selections, one that we could use as inspiration for the piece. (Check out Jill’s work at: To be honest, I wasn't thrilled with the selection, but chose "trust." After all, that seemed fitting when we were to trust others with the work that was actually ours. To let the work evolve outside of my personal control, to let go, to expand a bit.

In late June Derrick and I rescued a white dove. (Though actually it is probably a lost homing pigeon.) We tried to find a home for it, but nothing felt right. So we’ve kept him, Henri, as part of our household. Not the easiest thing for a bird to coexist with two cats, lots of teenage boys, another international visitor, and me trying to manage it all at the same time. Yet it has seemed to be one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.

I turn to the symbolism of everything in my life. And what can be more symbolic than a white dove? When I tell the story of his rescue, and his presence in my life, my friends always say, “What do you think it means?” And I wonder. As usual, the answer comes in small pieces, woven into my story over time.

Henri is the epitome of living in the present moment. It appears as though he has no other place but in the now. He greets me with his cooing, gets excited about new seeds and water in his dish. He is happy when I go to sit with him on the patio to read or have an afternoon latte. It seems he even enjoys the attention of the cats, as long as they are safely far enough away from him, chattering as they do through the patio door. Watching all as the world goes by. I probably project way too much on him. But he calms my spirit whenever I sit with him or care for him. It’s a totally different experience than being with the kitties. It is the symbolic peace of the dove. He expects nothing, yet completely trusts that his needs will be provided.

I think of trust again. The word. As in the workshop, I have to learn to open up to others, Spirit, Life. To let go of the imagined control I have over my life. Do I live in a way that really trusts Spirit? Time and again I’ve been shown there is a place for me, for my talents in the world. The path has been laid down as if nearly paved in front of me at times. So why do I continue to guard my trust toward Spirit and others? True, my trust has been brutally broken by others at times. But the positives have far outweighed the negatives. And even those terrible times have resulted in wonders I never would have experienced if things had gone on without those times of broken trust. I think I place limits on my trust, I live in such a way as though I think I’ll reach my limit, as though the well will run dry, the sky has a ceiling. The reality is that there is no limit except that which I put there.

The other night I had a friend over for dinner. I hadn’t mentioned anything about Henri. Perhaps the critical voice of, “Why? You don’t need the extra work. It isn’t fair to keep a bird in a cage. . . .” was in the back of my mind. Yet, when I introduced Henri, the response was pure delight! Delighted in the story of the rescue, affirming that I did the right thing by bringing him in to care for him, giving me ideas about what to do with Henri in the upcoming cold season.

So again, I think about trust. Think that while for so long I’ve thought I was ready for love, maybe what I wasn’t ready for was trust. But maybe I am now. Ready to open up and allow myself to be vulnerable. Trust that someone else can hold my heart because of the simple fact that I let them. Trust that I am, in fact, worthy of receiving love in such a way.

I still wonder why Henri picked us as his heroes to save him when he was lost. Lessons come in the most amazing of ways.

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