These are my words…

Check out a piece I wrote for Sports of Boston on Stuart Scott. Rest in Peace, Stu. I still cannot believe this giant is not walking among us.

http://sportsofboston.com/2015/01/06/remembering-stuart-scott/

rumi

I heard this quotation spoken in my Friday evening yoga class. I loved it because I lived it during 2014 and desire to never stop living it.

Hope is the glue that binds the action of knocking with the joy that is yet to be exposed. So long as we keep trying to get better, work on ourselves every day, and hold a hope for tomorrow, joy is within reach. At least this is how I choose to interpret Rumi’s words.

Hope can be a wonderful thing and, boy, is it dangerous. Some days it may be in abundance. Other days there is but a thin sliver to get us to tomorrow. This is rough news, right?

People say, “Hope is for suckers,” but is it?  The way I see it is the sliver is always there. This is the guarantee between you and the Universe. There is always hope, but it is the quantity and the surrounding expectations that are fluid. I have come to terms with just that this year. I am working on managing my expectations and enhancing the amount of hope I hold for tomorrow. Still, again, the only guarantee is that sliver of hope that we go to bed with each night. Expanding the quantity and expectations is up each individual.

I have more work to do with expectations. What else can I work on to bring more joy into my life? Perspective making? State of mind? Focusing more on my body, rather than the thoughts in my head? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What do you plan on to work on to bring joy into your lives? I would love to hear your suggestions on your journey toward joys.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I will light candles this Christmas
Candles of joy, despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch.
Candles of courage where fear is ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens.
Candles of love to inspire all my living.
Candles that will burn all the year long.
- Howard Thurman
I’m very proud of the progress I have made this year in many areas of my life. The card (bearing the Christmas blessing above) behind the candles, and an ornament that now adorns my Christmas tree were given to me by a work colleague in a department in which I do not directly serve. I am proud of these two gifts because they are signs of growth in two big areas of my life where I was most certainly lacking: communication and spirituality. I’ve worked in a seminary for 9.5 years and have balked at the idea of God. I don’t know why or when, but his presence seems to have disappeared in my life at some point before and during the years I spent working at the theology school. The spirit shone strongly through me while I was in college. I remember being able to feel a warmth in my heart, and to visualize a light in my chest. Then that light and warmth left me.
Thankfully, the He (or It) that was within me at one time, and now is now back because of the work I did on communication with the people I work with.
“Why are they always so happy,” I wondered. “How could they be so happy, it is sickening,” I once thought.
But it is not sickening: it is wondrous. They had something. Three somethings:
Hope, Belief, Faith.
These were things I needed and the only way to get them was to lean into those who work and live around me. No, I wouldn’t lose my sense of humor or my snarky wit. Yes, I would still enjoy big belly laughs.  And, I would gain friendships, respect, acknowledgement and a desire for people to actually want to spend time near me. Friendships and acquaintances that I never thought would be possible.
I let go of anger and opened up to hope, faith and belief in something larger than myself. The solution, and the fellowship at work, have been there all along I just had to let go, and allow those special people to educate me about how to live in community. This learning cannot be done with the use of books: it can only be done with busy heads, hearts, and hands in the form of good deeds.
So long as I am employed in this community, and as a citizen of the world, I will never forget these great gifts of 2014.
Thank you to each and every one of you for restoring my faith.

I have not posted in quite a long time. I hope to have more time to contribute to this blog (and some of my other ones) in the weeks and months. For now, please enjoy this delicious poem written by Anne Sexton that someone passed along to me. It is the perfect poem for this season of gratitude.

 

Welcome Morning

There is joy
in all:
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, Anne”
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,
dies young.

Anne Sexton

I have a story that brought such a smile to my face on Saturday. I was driving my car, racing to get somewhere as usual when I came upon my second red light. Frustrated. I inhaled and exhaled to keep myself calm. I looked around taking in the scenery. There was a historic church there a few interesting store fronts there. Then I saw him, or her, a big dog, head hanging out the window looking at me. I was totally in the moment and did something I would never normally do: I waved at the dog, smiled, and said “hi” out loud. Then the most unexpected thing happened. The dog barked back twice as if to say “Hello.” Finally, his friend or identical twin, popped his head out the sunroof, making it clear to me that the second bark was to say “I would like you to meet my brother.” The light turned green and our cars went their separate ways.

I love that I’m able to be a participant or witness to these moments because
I’m fully present.

I’m not always in the moment, but when I am it feels so good. With more practice come more rewards. Never mind smelling the roses, I say stop and listen for the barking dog.

cape cod

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All photographs and writing Copyright Kara Jackman. All Rights Reserved

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