Friday, December 02, 2011


Image found at NYpersonalinjury blog.

Walking where I've strolled before,
I stumble over unanticipated obstacles.

At first, I hardly flinch and land like a cat on my feet - feeling steady, feeling graceful.
Other times I catch my feet and have to take a minute to recover, but still land upright in the end.
Then there are the trip ups that lead to all out crashes - face forward on the way up the stairs or a butt bouncing trip all the way down.

In the washing machine spin cycle tumble - the world is a blur of color, sound and sensation.

Is there an injury?
Do I spring back up on my feet - embarrassed for the fall.
Up and down are shuffled in an unpredictable jumble of misdirection.
Are things really out of whack or do I just need some reorientation of space?
Is limbo where I belong?

It happens so fast and ends so abruptly,
like waking up startled and sweaty
from a dream -
of falling.

The chaos settles into fuzzy mindedness as the world tips upright once again.

Walking where I've strolled before -
unanticipated obstacles wait for me to stumble.

I need some grace to stroll with me on this path.

T.L. Eastman Dec. 2011"

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Canine wake up calls

What are the things that wake me up? Quite literally my alarm clock that goes off at 6am every morning to wake me up. Alarm noise is followed by a robust greeting from not-so-dainty 40lb. beagle cattle dog - Aggie. She plops on top of me with great anticipation of the great outdoor trek just minutes away from her Alphas feet hitting the floor.

If I don't move fast enough, doggy kisses are on the way.
Doggy kisses at 6am have an effective wake up call for just about anyone - espically me.

When I think about the awareness of my dog, and her ability to be present to the moment, I'm challenged. In my very human way, I will so often be in a moment but at the same time be thinking, planning, or working out the moment that has passed or is yet to come.

Dogs don't get caught up in the past or the future. Dog's live in the present. Even in the midst of a snoring canine sleep, Aggie will hear a noise and jump to attention barking at whatever has upset her rest. Often times, she will curl up in a ball, snore like she's sleeping, but her eyes will remain just open enough to be aware of her surroundings.

Wake up calls in life are usually big things. Wake up calls can be red flags that shout for changes that need to happen - and happen fast. Wake up calls can take the shape of a text, email or phone call from someone in crisis, that make us consider "What if this was me?" There is a song by Mat Kearney called Closer to Love with the lyric, "I guess we're all one phone call from our knees(in prayer, in grief, etc...)."

Just like this song says, wake up calls can also be things of great beauty that help us to see our world in ways we never imagined, help us take a step closer to living with great purpose in our lives and chasing after almost forgotten dreams. Wake up calls can help bring us closer to love.

Wake up calls are important in this way, but what if living in the moment and the space of love helped us stay in the place of awareness, just like my dog Aggie?

Waking up is so much more than rolling our of bed at 6am. Waking up is a holistic practice, that I need more practice in. Movement in life needs to be more than going through my paces. Each day, each moment, each opportunity, each conversation, each person is something/someone to be attentive and alert to.

God, help me to be on watch. Help me to be more aware of the grace and blessings you give in each moment of my days. Give me the ability to jump to attention more and go through the motions less. But even more than jumping, help me to live this life you have given to me with great anticipation and excitement every day. There is a great walk right around the corner, help me to hear and be ready to go when you call.

"Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

Mark 13:35-37