Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Manifestation of Thought = Dex and I will meet soon

Below is a revision of a guest post I wrote at Riyadh's blog on August 21, 2009, when he kindly asked if I might compose the 100th post at A Walk Through my Life.  In his blog he shares interesting insights into his life in Bangladesh. During the course of our blogging friendship I morphed into being Aunt to Riyadh, and he into nephew to me.

You may have noticed the Countdown Clock at the top of my sidebar flipping through the days until Dex visits us from the Philippines. I have wondered how best to explain to those of you who have not read prior posts about the Mother-Son relationship that has developed between Dex and me. It seems that sharing the guest post I wrote for Riyadh last year is the most heartfelt expression to describe the awe I have at the upcoming week with Dex. I will share more in the weeks ahead, but for you to catch up here are links to past posts about Dex:
And now this last award goes to Dex. I began this blog in February 2008, and found Thirty Thousand Fishes in the first couple of months of blogging, in those early stretches when the blogosphere opens a whole new world to the unsuspecting neophyte.....when this one, then that one catches your fancy and some of them win your favor, and a few your devotion. A comment here and there, shared interests and mutual admiration, then friendships are formed.

But then there was this: a whisper of recognition soul-to-soul, a son-mother kind of recognition, tender openings, filmy reflections, a vulnerability I feel now in sharing these words that are only a glimpse into something I am not able to fully express just yet.


The sampling from Thirty Thousand Fishes posted here simply shows how complex life's pain can be, how, if expressed honestly, it moves beyond personal to something universal, and how complexity sometimes collapses into pure heart-song.........
Mom? he wrote in April. Yes, anak, I will be Mom to you.
  • Post on April 24, 2009 - in which I wrote about Dex having passed the Philippine Bar and how we were on the phone together when the passing list was posted online (this post contains a postcard from him). He has since then begun his second blog The Fledgling Lawyer.

Here then is the post I wrote for Riyadh's 100th post last year, with minor revisions. It all makes for a long post but it leads to a final six paragraphs that bring me full-circle to my thoughts behind realizing the dream of meeting Dex in person. I ask your patience and thank you for reading on:


It's All Thought

I have had such writer’s block since accepting Riyadh’s wonderful honor to compose the 100th post at his blog. Many fragments of ideas came to mind during the past week and they lived in my head for minutes, sometimes a day, then scattered with my panic at the realization that the words I place here must have special meaning. After all, this is different than writing posts for my own blog. I’m quite happy with some posts there, less so with others, but they pass my inspection because they are my thoughts and they are representative of my mood at the time I prepare the post for publication. But how to appropriately celebrate with words the occasion of a 100th post at the blog of one who has become important to me, that is a different task altogether.

As I pondered what to write my mind kept returning to one idea and one person – actually, to a concept shared with me by one woman…..shared some four years ago about a year prior to her death at age 82.


Her name was Bette, which was what I called her the first time I met her after I married my husband, Michael. He called her “grandma” and that was what she preferred from me also. But she wasn’t really even his grandmother, not by blood. Also, she was closer in age to my mother than my two deceased grandmothers, and she told me years later that I was the daughter she never had.

The roots of the relationships are a bit complicated, so beginning with this photo of Bette should help make sense of it all…..mainly because she would tell you, as she told me, that it signifies when her life truly began.

This ethereal shot captured Bette as she looked when Stan, the love of her life, asked her to be his bride. There is an engagement photo of him taken the same day, dressed in his army uniform. He was a young widower, his first wife having died in childbirth. Their twin sons survived and they were around three-years-old when Bette and Stan married. Thus it was that this beautiful young woman, freshly graduated - with honors - from college in Arizona, became stepmother to his boys…..her boys.

When grown, one of those twin sons married a young, divorced woman with two boys: my husband, who was in grammar school at the time, and his toddler brother. In a nutshell: Bette was the stepmother of Michael’s stepfather.

Bette’s husband died just as Michael and I were getting together, some 15 years ago, and I never met him. She loved him so passionately that she truly did honor him every day, even after his death. She, Michael, and I became very close…especially after my mother’s death in 2000…and she shared with us some stories of the beginning of their love that she never told another soul. She knew those sweet secrets were safe with us. They still are and will always be.

In her last year as her health failed Bette loved having us come to her apartment to go over old documents, photos, and to hear the stories behind them. At the end of one of our last visits she took the two glorious framed engagement pictures off of her bedroom wall and, with a rather halting thrust, gave them to me, saying only, “Take them.”

We never knew how deep or personal she might want a conversation to be, so we had usually let her take the lead. But during one serious exchange, before she was moved to the hospital/hospice floor of her senior living center where liquid morphine ceased any real conversation, Michael asked her if she thought she would be reunited with Stan when she died, what she thought happens afterwards……

IT'S ALL THOUGHT, she said without hesitation.

We each have our own beliefs and ideas about what happens after death, based on different faiths or the absence of faith. The absolute truth is that none of us knows for sure. Yet one of the true wonders for those of us alive on the Earth at this time is our connectedness via a technology that allows us to share our beliefs and ideas about limitless topics….. to know one another, basically, through Thought.

Without ever laying eyes on one another, without sharing the same religion or race or gender or lifestyle, without ever sharing a meal or celebrating a holiday in the presence of one another, without ever giving a consoling hug or offering a cup of tea or listening to live music together or showing a new painting or the next chapter of a book we may be writing or walking around a brightly-lit city at night together after hours of fun, without ever physically extending a helpful hand during a move, without paying a visit to cheer one another at the hospital or attending the funeral of a parent of a blogging friend, spouse, child, childhood friend, without ever stepping foot on the continent where our confidant lives, without ever having taken a photo of one another or celebrated a birthday together, not knowing what each of our homes looks like room-by-room or the feel of the atmosphere in another’s town or city, without ever having heard the voice of one who has become like a brother/sister/best friend/soul mate/mom/dad/son/daughter, or – as is the case with Riyadh and me, nephew and aunt – and is the case with Dex and me, son and mother....without any formal introduction or common roots or life experiences or shared geographical location, we are forging new ways of sharing and caring for one another not even dreamt of by those who came before our Time.

I believe we are involved in a new Renaissance, an organic system growing within a technological framework, a next important step in our evolving and growth. For the first time in history, what Bette expected to discover after death essentially applies to the here and now, not the hereafter of heaven and hell.

IT'S ALL THOUGHT, she whispered.......

For us alive now, the manifestation of Thought has the power to enhance and transform our lives, and it may ultimately determine the future of our planet.


.

13 comments:

svasti said...

What a gorgeous post, Lydia. Well worth reading through, although not nearly the hard work I suspected when you asked your readers to bare with you.

I get it, too. There's people I've met through blogging, and then sort of even through someone I know who blogs, even if that person doesn't. And they've turned out to be really important people in my life. And then there's plenty of people that I've yet to meet, but hope I will get to some time. People I absolutely love, and yet we've never even heard each other's voices.

I wish you the very best of luck for your first meeting with your son! xo

the watercats said...

Great post! I love the fact that blogging is a very real community. People can recoil at the idea of a 'community', because with community, comes gossip, judgements etc. To me this is not a bad thing though, because each of these things indicates a deeper belonging...
I love the fact that I can talk to you, a thousand miles away, as if I was having a chat over the garden fence or at the kitchen table after calling round for a biscuit...
As to "it's all thought", that's a deep one. The kid only last night proclaimed over dinner that she didn't believe in God.. she went on to say she believed the earth was the main spiritual force, but that people who believed in God weren't wrong because whatever they believe, will be. Those who believe in heaven go to heaven, those who believe we go to the stars will go to the stars etc... the kid decided she was definately coming back as a horse :-D

Melinda said...

Wow, Lydia--what a profoundly moving post. It's hard to believe you had writer's block (I labeled it writer's blogck!). Because the words absolutely flow in this lovely and moving piece. Although, I've had it happen that way. I feel stagnant and then all of a sudden, the words just start becoming inspired (wish I could bottle that!).

Take care--I hope you are feeling better, my friend--

Melinda

Darlene said...

A beautiful post, Lydia. One of the great rewards of blogging are the friends I've made. I know that if they walked through my door I would recognize them and we could start talking as if we had known each other for ages.

Bette was so beautiful I thought you were posting a photo of a movie star. Her concept of "It's all thought" reminds me of my aunt who said, "It's just rooms. We go from one room to another."

I guess there are as many ideas of a hereafter as there are cultures and religions.

Your post is very moving.

Lydia said...

svasti~ Thank you for your wonderful comments, showing you understand and celebrate this!

the watercats~ Personally, I like the word community and see it the same as you. And I sure feel that you are a friend of mine within the community!
Your kid is so great. I love the things she says and I love that she can be so open about her thoughts in front of you. She is a deep thinker with a twist of humor. She would make a fine horse, but I'm glad she's a kid....here....now.

Melinda~ Thank you for your kind comments. I know what you mean that the block can suddenly melt, which is what happened when I quit fighting the returning thought of Bette. Different muses for different occasions!

Darlene~ Thank you for thinking the post moving. I felt the same about your comments about how it would be for a blogging friend to walk through the door. (I guess I'm about to find out that we are right!)

Kristen said...

Great post, Lydia! You're a great writer and I always like to read what you got. And don't worry, a blog post from me will be coming soon...it's just being off of schoool sick for two weeks gets ALOT of work to make up. I tried making a 'thank you' video for a quick little post, but it wouldn't work :( But yeah, soon when my brains don't feel like turning to whipped cream xD Have a great night!

Rhiannon said...

After reading this wonderful profound post...I am as usual pondering how many people are so dear and close (not in proximity) to us, and often more like family to us than our very own blood relatives. A blood connection most definitely not always mean there is and will ever be a "loving bond of closeness". I knew this firsthand since my young adulthood and all the way to this very day at the age of 59. I have a few close blog friends all the way across the other side of the world and their apecial friendship resonates with me at times more than the very people I am surrounded by and near me in close proximity.

A tear came to my eye reading your post. A good kind of tear, dear Lydia.

Oh and thank you for referring your blog friend to my Jim Morrison post. That was thoughtful of you to even take the time to think of doing that.

Bless you and thank you,

Rhi

Nancy said...

WoW! This is very interesting! Please keep us updated. I can't wait to hear what happens when you meet face to face!

Lydia said...

Kristen~ Now I am worried about you being sick for two weeks. That's rough, and especially as the school year wraps up. I hope you are feeling much better now so you can enjoy the long weekend. And I really look forward to your next post. :)

Rhi~ You and I feel much the same in this regard. Being related by blood is not an automatic entree into my heart...there is so much more to what makes for a strong connection between people. I do hope that you have found that bond with your sister, or that it is building to that. Enjoy the weekend.

Nancy~ I know; isn't it exciting?! I feel like we are pioneers, of sorts.Michael will have to take a video at the airport when we first meet. :)

kj said...

my god, lydia, this gave me chills. there is so much here i don't know where to begin.

i'll start by wishing you and dex the very best time. i know it will be that.

and i'll say that i understand how love finds its roots without a physical body. that happened to me too through blogging. my story has not ended well, but whether i like it or not the love will remain with me, probably, until i die, and even then, maybe then some.

my friend baino had a young(er) friend visit her in australia, and she enjoyed every minute.

some hearts just find oneanother

amazing.

love to you, lydia.

ps i'm glad we're often in synch. i like that alot.

Lydia said...

kj~ I like that we are in sync alot too. Am thinking your comment refers to your dear friend, Renee, who recently died. I'm still sorry that I didn't know of her blog while she was here...but I am reading the continuation of it being written by her daughter, which is special.
Dex and I will have some stories to share, I am sure. xoxo

M Riyadh Sharif said...

Wonderful composition! I'm very glad that you and Dex are finally going to meet. It's an extraordinary example of how sharing of thoughts bring two people closer in the real world. I hope you guys are going to spend a wonderful week.

Infact this incidence is giving a feeling that it's not actually that far away when I would meet my Aunt in real.

A lot love Aunt.

Lydia said...

Riyadh~ I am so happy to hear from you. Thank you for your good wishes for our visit. Dex is in Baltimore, Maryland, for a two-week seminar before he comes to Oregon. He has posted some pictures at FB. Winning the scholarship for the seminar gave us this wonderful opportunity.

You and I having a chance to meet seems a much better possibility now!
Love to you. :)

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