Monday, October 22, 2007

Cow moments

I'm stuck.

I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but I can't seem to get there from here.

My friend and I call these "cow moments" -- those times when you're quite happily trotting along, only to meet up with something unexpected. You stop in your tracks and vapidly stare at this new thing in your life. For whatever reason you can't seem to make your way past it. You've encountered the human equivalent of a cattle grate aka cattle guard .

How do I make my way past this "grate"? I have found several effective ways to move around the barriers I encounter.

First, I have to recognize that I am stuck. It make take a while. One day I may notice that I stopped midway in a project. Why? I reached a point where I got stuck.

Second, after I recognize I am stuck, I'll look for "alternate routes". There are usually several options available, and when I stop focusing on the way that won't work, things fall into place again.

Third, if I'm still stuck, I'll discuss it with someone else. They will probably be able to see my "path". Joseph Campbell wrote: "If you can see your path, clearly, all the way, then you are following someone else's path. Your path becomes clear only as your foot touches the ground, moment by moment. That's why it's your path." For some reason, it's much easier to see another's path than it is to see your own.

While getting stuck seems to be part of life, staying stuck doesn't have to be.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Goodbye, Aunt Margaret

Last weekend was spent in Georgia as I attended my Aunt Margaret's funeral. She had celebrated her 80th birthday in June.

The pastor obeyed the marching orders she gave him and read exactly what she wanted from The Book of Common Prayer (1928, of course!). This would not have been unusual were it not for the fact that her funeral was held in a Baptist Church!

That was Aunt Margaret. She made sure things were done the way she wanted.

As we left the church, we were each given a photo of Aunt Margaret and a single red rose.

The motorcade from the church to Oak Hill Cemetery would have pleased her. Several police cars, sirens blaring, led the way as we passed the courthouse made famous by her book, "Murder in Coweta County", and the movie that it inspired.

When we arrived at the cemetery, red roses in hand, we gathered under the canopy as the pastor read the 23rd Psalm (also from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer). As we left the red roses were placed on her casket as a final, fond farewell.

Goodbye, Aunt Margaret. You will be remembered.