During my internet ventures, I find I get a lot of questions about "who I am" and "what I believe." My online friends have called me everyting from a hero to a charleton. In my own defense - allow me to clarify that I am certainly not either!
About a decade ago - I was taking a class in public speaking, and our first assignment was to tell the class who we were. What I wrote then still does a pretty good job of summing up my philosophy of my life, and by default - who I am...
La Mia Storia
(Italian for My Story)
Generally speaking, I am the kind of cookie who crumbles, not the smart kind. Still I have figured out that I need to admit that I am powerless. I've discovered that I need to share with others all of life’s joy and pain - not to hold it in as if it were mine alone.
Yeah, I am a cookie who crumbles. But life has graced me with the knowledge that even the crumbs are sweet.
On occasion, when people hear my stories - they say "Chelise, you are so strong."
But I never believed this. I always thought they were wrong. I can see now, what they were talking
It’s the fact that when life is a roller coaster, I have a tendency to wrap my arms around the people and places and things that I love, and hold on.
My mother once wrote a poem, and in one stanza she vowed to "bring beauty up." I hope she knew - before she died - that she had accomplished exactly that. Like all parents - fostering the miracle of life - bringing beauty up, is exactly what my mother did, when she raised my brother and I.
I think it was Albert Einstein who said, I don’t know one million of one percent of anything, and this is definitely true for me. I am a veritable plethora of misunderstanding, every day that I get up and walk out my door. But who can argue with the fact that as long as you are still breathing, you still have the chance to learn more?
We are all like Michelangelo, who, after painting the Sistine Chapel, said, “I am still learning.”
As I stumble around out here, there are a few things which make the journey more beautiful. I may not know much, but these are the things I do believe:
I believe in sunny days, and I believe the rain washes the world clean.
I believe in preserving forest and rivers, natural places, spaces that are wide open and free.
I believe in redemption and healing. And I think you can sometimes find them by eating applesauce, or reading the Tao out loud. Or, on occasion - simply by realizing that you have made your mother proud.
I believe in the sacred wisdom of Buddha and Krishna and Kali.
I believe that Christ was a holy man, more than man, the son of God, a prophet in our time.
But I also have few problems with organized religion, I understand the reasons that people sometimes say that insanity and Christianity rhyme.
I believe there is at least one angel sitting in every tree, and that when you learn to see them, all of life opens up and becomes the most lovely kind of poetry.
So I believe in reading poems to your children, and helping them with their writing. I think parents waste their time when lecturing their kids about coloring inside the lines, or minor indiscretions, like nail biting.
I believe the Bible is full of sacred wisdom, and I do believe that for everything, there is a season.
I believe we all suffer periods of sadness, rage, and, grief that seems unbearable. But I think that if you focus on why me, you are way too caught up in searching for an insignificant reason.
I don’t think that grief needs a reason to be. And in truth, when it comes to my own grief, the word unbearable, has never applied to me.
I think it is something wonderful, and a miracle in addition, this gift we all get called the human condition. Who could ask for anything more?
I know that airplanes can be guided like bombs and fly into buildings. But I know too, that heroes will follow. I think everyone on this earth should be wary of blind patriotism, I find the military concept of necessary losses, awfully hard to swallow.
I believe the Rolling Stones were right when they said you can’t always get what you want. And I also think the Beetles were on to something, when they suggested that sometimes, you just have to let it be.
So I believe in music, reggae, rock, hip hop and the soul soothing that comes from listening to a slow country ballad. I believe that art is everything we are, it can show you the way we are distinctly separate, and also that we are one huge collective we.
I’ll tell you all this, these few things I know. But I’ll also say I’m wary of the word believe, I worry about assumptions, I try not to espouse rigid philosophy.
I know that the ones we love sometimes leave us. That even what seems permanent, gets annoyed by assumed permanency, and responds by going astray.
But I also believe in reconciliation, and the fact that we are all energy.
I believe in quantum physics, because physics will tell you that energy never really, goes away.
So mourning, like joy, and pain too - will indeed come and go. And just like the sunrise, all of it, is as it should be.
It aint much -but at least this much -I know.