Life moves on! Just another super busy week over here. Thank you to all who donated to my Giving Up My Birthday campaign. As you can see, $570 was donated to PUCK, which will be doubled thanks again to the generous challenge grant by EBMRF and JGSF to total $1,140! I'm really excited to share the at the beginning of the year, JGSF and EBMRF put a $450,000 commitment to the work Dr. Tolar is doing at the U of M, and here we are in September, and there is only about $123,000 left on the table! $10, $20, $50, $100 at a time, we inch our way closer to our goal. Thanks, everyone, for standing with us! After all, I'm pretty sure all my online friends weren't planning on sending me $570 worth of gifts for my 40th birthday! :-)
Ang and I got - ready for this? - TWO date nights in a row this week! Friday night was my birthday, so grandma and grandpa watched the kids while we had dinner and a movie out. Last night, we got a babysitter and attended our friends Steve and Susan's wedding in their home. I was honored to generate a reading called, "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. It is a wonderful poem and here it is:
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
I relished the opportunity to generate this - not recite this - because I have lived so much of this poem over the past three years. It is REAL, not just rhetoric. Here's the video Ang shot of it...
Getting two nights together was just a joy. We love our kids, but I loved Ang long before we had kids, and it's VITAL to keep that initial connection alive, and after two nights together, I just grew more and more smitten with my beautiful wife. She is just so amazing. Super smart, sharp, gorgeous, funny, laid back, and devoted. All in one.
Today, Grandma and Grandpa threw me a small get together at their place along with Ang's brother and his family. We gobbled some yummy pizza and an awesome donut-shaped cake. Fun with family!
I just want to finish up with something very powerful I took away from my friend Steve and Susan's wedding. They created their own vows, and they weren't mirrors of each other's. They each generated their own vows, and before they did, the officiant, an old friend Flora Shule, explained that they were requesting that we listen to them going forward as these vows. It got me thinking, "How easy is it to forget to generate my (or anyone's) vows?" I mean, can you remember your vows off hand? And if so, are you present to not only generating them on your own, but listening to your spouse as their vows? When I think of my vows, I realize that I do a decent job generating them. However, when I think about and imagine Ang generating her vows my way, it TICKLES ME! It makes me giddy to just think about the woman I love so much, loving me that much right back. I realize that sometimes I just take our love for each other for granted, like it's on auto-pilot and auto-sustain. However, there is NO FEELING MORE POWERFUL in this world than the confidence I feel in myself when I really get present to the woman I love, loving me just as much. I feel INVINCIBLE! I love being married.
I love being married to Ang. Life is good!