Monday, August 11, 2008

Memphis Memories

I just spent a week with my family in Memphis. What a great week, with infinite levels of experience to acknowledge. We always get together for about a week during the summer, usually at a beach house somewhere. This time we converged on my parents' place for the pre-Elvis-Week. It was good to have a little more time in town and be with them. In the cultural history pages, we visited Sun Studios on Union, downtown, had a great tour guide, a 29-year-old musician himself, who was witty, informative, and had a perfect voice for tour-guiding - and, maybe, singing. (His CDs were for sale!)

Memories flash up everywhere, evident on the studio walls, in the stories our guide told, and in the faces and body language of everyone in the group, which included all ages and many nationalities.

Another highlight was visiting the farmer's market at the Botanic Garden. My sister, my Aunt, and I went through the long rows quickly, on our way from another stop, and picked up peaches, tomatoes, crowder peas, flowers, and... Delta Dollars! - a sweet treat from Delta orchards at a table set up by friendly Mike and Suzanne, from Tutwiler, MS. My mother's family is from Sumner, MS, not far from Tutwiler, so we traded a few geography details with them, and licked our fingers as the delicious chocolate melted in the Memphis humidity. They sell gift tins of different samplers, and use different artists' work on a few of the covers. We noticed in their brochure that Dog in the Fog, a print by Maude Schuyler Clay, is one of their selections. Maudie happens to be our cousin, and we enjoy her work. A showing of her prints (Delta Dogs)happened to be at the Perry Nicole Gallery while we were in town, too. We were sorry we missed the opening reception. We went by the Gallery and got to see her Delta Dogs selection too, along with a few gorgeous color prints.

The best part of the visit is spending time together. All the way there, during the week, and since I returned, I've been thinking about "eternal memories," and how we as energy beings live our lives. I don't think I could count the number of times I heard and thought the word "love" during the week. As I talked with Dad at different moments, lingering with him as he shuffled with his walker, still joking in his cheerful way even as he laments his loss of energy, tears came to my eyes along with a smile from so deep within. Dad is and has always been grateful for life, and for the gift of being alive.

I hear their sheer will and love of life, and how this motivates them. I hear the devotion, the commitment to love and life (and how they perceive God and this gift of life), and how they live this commitment of love, supporting each other, helping those who need help, comforting those who need comforting. Sitting next to Dad while at the eye doctor, and his saying, Well, hopefully I’ll get better, just broke my heart and made me smile forever. I love his attitude. I see how our faces change, how even the physical “mask” we wear changes our expressions as our physical experience begins to take more of our energy, and we strain to move.

When our physical energy becomes so compromised that we must think about each movement, each breath, not to the degree that we have to tell ourselves to breathe, but that our breath is labored and therefore conscious, inevitably –just as with each step we have to take. We are showing ourselves what it means to use our energy in this way – consciously productive, and also, sometimes, what it means to focus on the task at hand. As I appreciate the reality of us as energy, I appreciate more what it means to acknowledge and let our energy guide us more consciously as we focus on the tasks at hand, and how knowledge supports us in doing this.

I hear and feel the care from friends. I appreciate what our lives are in fresh ways, when we are together. I see how everything takes such effort. Dad is grateful for each thing he is able to do. Says he is grateful to be able to put a few things up (such as the ironing board). My mother is her beautiful, courageous self.

When I look at my family as a “collective consciousness,” and I sense how we all interact with each other within that collective, I see another example of what this pattern of creation means to us as evolving souls. As we experience our lives and lessons, and we each and all feel the love within us and express it at the level and personality that we do and have, I see the fractal patterns with fresh eyes. I see how we are each called upon to think about “what will happen next” – as in, how each physical need is met, in relationship to the relative level of comfort for survival. I think about what is happening Now? What does it mean to know that NOW IS? The mind is prompted to think about the comfort of emotional and physical survival, and the mental level of survival is responsible for how these other levels are accepted and able to adapt.

Today I read in Healing Ourself, "Our soul mind gives us the freedom to learn in the most valuable way we choose." (44)

Good night, sweet family. I'll see you all in my Dreams!

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