Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"You can close your eyes...it's alright..."

"...Well, the sun is surely sinking down
And the moon is slowly rising
So, this old world must
still be spinnin' 'round
And I still love you..."

-James Taylor
"Close Your Eyes (video - JT and Carly Simon)

I was looking through my journal from last summer and found this entry:

"These have been long nights...they usually are at camp...but tonight, long after the last camper has found her way back to her bunkhouse and the only sounds outside are the little brook just beyond my window and the occasional howl of a lone coyote, I am sitting under the quilts on my bed - knees drawn to my chest - singing lullabies to a daughter half a world away.

Where she is, the sun...though shuttered by low hanging clouds...has been up for hours, and the breakfast dishes are long-since cleared from the table.  She has showered, dressed and is wrapped in a sweater to mitigate the damp chill of a winter's day in southern Africa.

If you were to look inside my heart though, you would see her sleeping in her bunk 500 yards away from me in South Pines East...the older girls' cabin...where, in the soft recesses of my dreaming, she and her bestfriend,  Casey, have dozed off in mid-sentence under a cloudless midnight blue Colorado nightsky.  I think of her there, because I must.  It is my way of remembering that there is no space between hearts.  It is my way of reminding myself that what we hold in consciousness is nearer to us than the air that we breathe deeply...closer than the warm summer breeze that brushes against my cheek, lifts my hair, and dries my tears.

When I close my eyes, all evidence that she is
not with me completely disappears.  When I sing to her the lullabies of her childhood, here under a midsummer canopy of stars (while all other evidence screams that that she is really walking along the Indian Ocean 12,000 miles away) I am not alone in my cabin missing her. I am actually, in consciousness, holding her in my arms and can feel the rise and fall of her breathing against my chest...hear the soft mewing of her sleepy sighs as she dreams. 

These are not just a mother's memories cultivated by repeatedly watching videos of her sleeping, or shuffling through photographs of her as a toddler at play.  These images are what REALLY make up the body of my being...they are as much a part of my spiritual DNA, my mental molecular-mapping...as is joy or peace...patience or faith.  They are gifts from a Father-Mother God who loves our loving.   They are treasures preserved  accurately, and are alive in the realm of infinite Mind. They exist for His, God's, own rich pleasure.   I am but the abiding place...the photo album, the mental page on which God is storing these beautiful images of tenderness, serenity, and gratitude.

As I softly stroke her pale temples and smooth flaxen curls with fingers that stay folded in my lap 12,000 miles from where she is eating, studying, playing...fingers that do not need to touch to feel the silky threads of hair that curl around her small shell-shaped ears...I know what it means to be spiritual.  To live, and move, and have my being in the realm of consciousness, the kingdom of heavenly gifts where His beautiful images are given with generosity and mercy.

"So close your eyes, you can close your eyes...it's alright..." my Mother Love is telling me...
Her own daughter.  "I will keep you both safely tucked in Mind's locket...your faces will not fade for one another, your voices will sing...like the wind in the aspens outside your cabin door...through eachother's hearts.

Yes, you can close your eyes, it's alright.  She will be here...in My safe arms and in your open, waiting heart... always.  She lives here...just as you live in her heart wherever she is."  

"A mother's affection cannot be weaned from her child,
because the mother-love includes purity and constancy,
both of which are immortal. Therefore maternal affection
lives on under whatever difficulties."
- Mary Baker Eddy

I trust this truth.  I rest the heaviness in my heart on its promise.  I try to find my way towards that space where we both dwell...in His kingdom...in Her arms.  And from the sanctuary of this "space" I sing to her the lullabies of her childhood under the canopy of a shared sky....in the kingdom of a shared God.

"So, close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it's alright
I don't know no love songs
And I can't sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When I'm gone..."*

I love you my girl...

*if you didn't catch the link to the video of James Taylor and Carly Simon singing "You can Close Your Eyes" above, here it is again.


  1. Anonymous10:51 AM

    You always make me cry. This brings back my mom, who died in the fall, and how in her last days she looked forward to seeing her own mother. I used to wonder about this expectation, but I see it differently now, and it makes more sense after reading this blog entry. Her own mom died when she was 7, so it has been many years of waiting to feel what you so sweetly describe ... that trustful holding and caring. Oh thank you Kate for writing me through my tears. cdc

  2. Hi cdc...

    I know what you mean...I remember when my own grandmother was "getting on in her experience" and I was so sad about the thought of not seeing her. I talked to her about it one day. I said something like, "I don't know how to live without you in my life" (I had never known a day that thinking about myself in the context of having a grandma wasn't part of who I thought I was). And she said, "Well, I hope you're going to live your life so that you have great stories to share the next time we see one another. That's what I plan to do!"

    She said it with such strength and authority and certainty that it was all I needed. I was no longer afraid of the "what if" of her passing.

    Thoughts like, "what if she just disappeared and I never saw her again..."

    Sometimes when I write these stories up, it's a way of remembering for later...for her...

    and sometimes, as I said to another reader just moments ago when he wrote me about this post offline:

    "....Jeff is "on assignment" in Boston these days and Hannah is still in South Africa, so I am writing as much for myself as for anyone else. I always loved realizing that Mrs. Eddy wrote the book that SHE needed."

    You can usually assume that whatever I am writing about is as much to remind me of the Truths that I have already experienced in someway...or is to help me process the process of how experienced truth becomes an assimilated part of the body of our experience...our faith, trust, peace. Like digestion and assimilation...becomes the body of movement, strength, flexibility, activity.

    love to you sweet friend...these comments help me realize when I have found that real chord of truth...

    hugs, k.

  3. this is my lullaby for any and every baby I've ever held in my arms...

  4. I love singing this to "my babies" too...did you see the link to JT/CS singing this on Youtube...it's in the attribution after the first section of lyrics at the top.

    love you LM...k.

  5. absolutely LOVED the link, posted it to my fb page immediately.

  6. I know...so pure and sweet...it's one of my favorite songs for singing when volunteering in hospices...it seems to bring such peace...to both the patient and the families...nurses and doctors..hugs, k.