Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Occupy THIS


An amazing thing happened today. My husband said he thinks a water pipe is leaking in an interior wall, and he pointed out his evidence. (This man has been ordered by our plumber to refrain from “fixing” things himself.) I studied hubby’s evidence, and it didn’t look like evidence to me.

But my head leaped straight into fear. Another expense! More bad news! Another explosion in our tight budget! My head freaked out so thoroughly, it hurled me right into an anxiety attack.

I was mauled by the sense of impending doom, pummeled by the “What Ifs” and the “Oh Nos”! Right off the top of my head, I conceived of 1,000 other things that could go wrong, from the personal to the global level. Then I went straight to the place where I can kneel in prayer, did that, jumped up and went to an AA meeting. Came home, breathed, called my sponsor. Was instructed to breathe some more.

I haven’t had an attack of fear like that in a long time. In recovery I’ve learned how to redirect the kind of catastrophic thinking that used to plague me. I have tools that work. Hours later, I’m still shaky, but my feet are planted firmly in the present, where all my needs are taken care of. After dinner, I’ll go set up a church hall for an AA meeting, where I know I’ll hear the music of faith from people who have been transformed.

I’m grateful that I can occupy my mind with what’s good, here and now.


Too Preoccupied with Birds to Notice

Sometimes when my mind is full of dire news
swollen by streams of the world’s sorrows,
I hunt for robins.

A pair of them live like lords on my land,
where they feast on a cornucopia of insects
leading busy lives in centuries of mulch.
The world’s calamitous chatter fades,
irrelevant, as the robins strut and pluck
the strands of their living harp.

20 comments:

Kristin H. said...

I am trying hard, really hard, to stay in the 2 hours. I have a knee jerk reaction to problems: plumbing, car, health, work, etc. that tends to send me into a tailspin.

Thanks for this post.

Brian Miller said...

we are similar in this chris i often retreat to the woods and nature to hear its sounds and refind rhythm

Terra said...

Oh let us copy the robins, and fear not, or as Jesus said, my Father counts the feathers on each bird, how much more does he care for us. Well, that is the gist of what He said.
I read a book titled Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, and I like its theme. Have you read that one?

Mary said...

Chris, first of all, good prompt. Secondly, I understand the fears. I had water leaking underneat my kitchen a week ago and I sensed it was probably something simple (which I couldn't fix) and hated to call a plumber for such a thing. Actually I finally fixed it myself -- a washer out of place, I was so proud. Thankfully, life can be simple some days. But, oh that there were robins HERE in winter!

Peggy said...

Love your descriptions of the robins! Good to have birds to take your mind off things like plumbing disasters! Good luck and thanks for the prompt.

Rachel Fox said...

Oh I do love that word 'mulch'. I was just looking at it yesterday - deciding whether to keep it in a poem or not! I think I've used it a few times...


x

Carrie Burtt said...

I can so relate to this Chris.....so many times problems that arise can make me worry to death....the poem is glorious..."as the robins strut and pluck the strands of their living harp."....this is beautiful! God knows what we need to hear. :-)

raysharp said...

lovely, esp last 3 lines. thx

Kevin Routh said...

Great poem! These are words we can all live by - instead of worrying and letting the stress of any given situation engulf us - go to a happy, peaceful place (watch the robins).

Visiting from the 'Poetry Jam'. :)

Gerry Snape said...

I love the cornucopea of insects!
Life is full of cornucopeas but sometimes I forget where they are and like yourself...panic...glad you found that place of peace again.

e said...

My Chanukah present this year is a book entitled, "We plan, God Laughs...great post. Thanks for your e-mail, too.

T & T Livesay said...

Every time I stop by here I am blessed. Your story touches me and your honesty is refreshing. Troy's brother took his own life after losing his battle with alcohol.... when I read about you and your husband successfully standing firm it gives me hope for a few alcoholics that I love. I just took the personality test you link to on the left ... interesting!

Syd said...

That anxiety brought on by fear is something that used to have such a grip on me. I would often feel paralyzed by it. I am glad to have the tools of recovery to help me get through to think clearer. Glad that you were have those tools also.

Margaret said...

Nature IS a living harp. I have really come to believe this ever since I have purchased my horses. Trail riding takes my breath away, puts things in perspective.

I really like the wisdom of your poem.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I SO LOVE this! Especially the plucking of the stranfs of their living harp. I love birds, and enjoyed this poem so much! I hope there is no leak inside your walls - do let us know!

Laurie Kolp said...

I, too, find peace in nature... especially cardinals.

dikvipreal said...

Thank you for sharing.

the cuby poet said...

I read your profile and discovered that the thing we have in common is that we write poetry for life. I have read some of your posts and poems and will visit again.

Victoria said...

what a treasure to have found your blog! I am following now. I love the words "I write poetry for life." I am looking forward to following your journey.

Morning said...

stunning take.

love the beauty of your word tour in wondrous nature.

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