The prelude to this blog post is this: I wanted to write something today about Earth Day, the long-term commitment it takes to commit and care. I wanted to write about the reality of life changing trauma during a world pandemic. As my heart was swelling and eager to find the words, my attention was suddenly pulled in the direction of my earlier writings on my Jill RoseMary Blog: May 22, 2008 – December 31, 2011. In the introduction below, it will give a context for how I began this blog.
In Mexico, Rod and I were working on getting this blog ready for publishing, alongside of two other blogs I wrote: Venus Sophia Tea Room and Living Wisdom. Rod has been encouraging me to publish them and have copies on our bookshelves. I have said yes.
Today, something is compelling me to publish the first five posts, as an introduction. They somehow speak to long-term, larger picture commitment. ie. Earth Day They also speak to life-changing trama and the art of creating a new life. ie. The Life-Altering Times of Covid. I offer them today, again, in an edited form, as an offering to our times.
Jillian RoseMary LaBelle Sophie
p.s. I was born with the name Jill Ann. Through my life, through deep experiences and transformations, I would hear a new name after each big events. Jillian is my outward artistic name. RoseMary connected to a spiritual part of the quest. LaBelle Sophie is a song in my soul. I’m imagining that if I’ve got my body, soul and spiritual names reflecting the inner and outer aspects of my life’s story, so far, then this just might be my full name. However, I have so much more life to live, it will be so interesting to see what happens…….. xo
Jill Rosemary’s Blog
This is a collection of thoughts I wrote in a blog called Jill RoseMary.
On December 11, 2007, our youngest son, Kaspar, age 20, sustained a spinal cord injury while diving in the ocean off the coast of Vietnam resulting in quadriplegia. He was on a five-month adventure in Southeast Asia before starting university. He was volunteering at an orphanage in Vietnam for children with birth defects from Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. He had just finished a two week stay there, running and diving into the ocean for refreshment. That day he lost his life, and came back to life. He was airlifted to Singapore Hospital, after a night’s stay in a Vietnam hospital, and after a couple of months we all flew back home to Canada. We lived in Vancouver for months and this is where the writing begins.
Moments after the accident, friends of Kaspar set up a Facebook Page called Pray for Kaspar. I was asked to be administrator of the page. It was a very delicate thing for me to take on, writing to the over 1000 people interested to know more, and still hold a clear line of respecting Kaspar’s privacy, while grieving. At a certain point, Kaspar asked me to stop writing about him; and yet, I felt personally, I had to keep writing as a means of finding my way in the world that had suddenly changed in a second forever. It was a way for me to try to find and keep some semblance of balance and sanity, which I had lost.
So, as I ended my participation on FB, I began a new blog where I could continuously try to find my way. I choose early on to speak out of the positive and life affirming stance and not focus on any of the challenging and sometimes terrifying details.
Why? Because, I wanted to write about finding my way, our way, respecting, again, the privacy of all of my family members and my own grieving. I wanted to often write about my family and how it all was going or where it was hard, but in my commitment to both respecting their processes and finding my way in this altered state through the beauty of a guiding wisdom, I would and could only continue to speak for myself. This is the way I journeyed.
So why publish this journey? As I write this, I am moving forward in age. Many of our friends are retiring and that is not a word in my vocabulary. When I gazed back at what have been the things that I’ve done and accomplished in my life, I realized that supporting my family through this time and loving my family from the moment they all appeared in my life, has been a large part of my life work. The greatest joy I’ve had has been to learn to love, to live out of love, and to radiate love, despite and regardless of circumstances. It began with my family and over time has extended out to all of humanity, or as I see it, my friends—met or yet to be met..
I think in pictures, and I use my imagination often to find my way. Writing is one of the mediums I use to discern. This blog is a way in which I found my way through, during such intense periods of darkness that alchemized over time into a beautiful journey of light, love and understanding. A journey that altered and changed me forever.
Here are the words I found to help me take small steps, then larger and larger, until life, once again, became a choreography of beauty always asking me to continue to discover the next pearl of wisdom, the next ray of love, the next new thought that transformed the way I look at life.
Welcome to my journey. Namaste and blessings.
May 22, 2008
The Alchemy of Refinement
I have many thoughts in my mind which I will begin to place down on this blank slate. However, it will be from time to time. Today, I wanted to at least get something physically, written down about my intention, as the days are just passing us by, and I am not beginning. My thoughts today are revolving around the alchemy of refinement……
I am called to meetings this morning with Kaspar at the hospital, so I will leave it at that for now and return soon, when I can begin painting the picture in words of some other aspects of this unexpected journey. I want to also say, that I am very open to comments in terms of sharing a dialogue as well……but for now, I will close.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
The Cycle and Formation of Life
When someone said to me that it takes three months to go through a crisis and nine months to create a new life, I held onto that as a beacon of light in the beginning of this unexpected journey, until I realized it was true.
When I reached the three-month point, post-accident date, I experienced that crisis meant change; and I began pondering the 9-month pregnancy cycle in relationship to what had been shared with me. And then, I forgot about it.
Only now as we approach the six-month post accident date, do I realize that there was, indeed, a second trimester, which consisted of trying to find a new balance point. What initially felt like a full-blown, traumatic crisis is now seen and known as a life-altering change. What was felt as utter chaos and whirlpools of instability has now refined itself into a sense and place of balance and balancing the continued stress and on-going challenges.
June 11 will begin the third three-month period which I can sense is about preparation– preparing for the birth of a new, lovingly created life that will reveal itself fully at nine months–the gestation period for the creation of a new human life. In the beginning…..when the bolt of lightening struck into the moment of our lives sending us through the speed of light…..a sense of deep despair and anguish washed over all of us. It was hard to breathe, to cope, to accept, to find perspective. It emotionally expanded and contracted our hearts in ways I never knew was possible.
—so high and so, so low.
—so deep and so, so far away from anything we had ever known.
—so much in a state of crisis daily until eventually it alchemized into a timeless place of change.
And then in that timeless place of change, outside of ourselves, it began to alter us inside. A refinement of the crisis began to take place inwardly moving us into positions of becoming the change itself. It transpired in the form of living within a conception…not as a thought, but as an essence of becoming something new….like a seed.
Within this wisdom of living change, chaos appeared. Chaos which embraced the old and the new, swirling them around so fast that the substance of chaos turned into light. And in the light, within the essence of becoming, within the chaos of change, there was a lot of spontaneous activity occurring all at the same time.
Outwardly, there were many things to face, many thresholds to meet emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially; and they all had a life of their own. Creating waves in the ocean of existence, creating turmoil within the process of change, it became apparent only at the end of three months of battering weather, that the way to tame this chaos was to find a sense of balance and peacefulness., no matter what was happening. I have not mastered this balance, but I became conscious of it and fully committed to it.
Now as we enter into the third trimester of this process, I realize that, indeed, it is about preparing to emerge from this wisdom of change and balance and birth of our new selves into a new life and life style come the Fall.; trying with all our hearts to hold centre. A centre held upright in the continuing dedication to the formation of this new life within ourselves and in the outer preparation of practices, skill building, house finding, job searching, education planning, and the likes of it.
For within each one of us, there is always change, balance, counterbalance, formation and dissolution constantly going on. In it all, there is a sense of an alchemy of refinement, an alchemy of light and warmth, an alchemy of a living wisdom, that is turning all the aspects of this tremendously painful, difficult and shattering change in our lives into a golden substance, a golden vessel, and a golden opportunity to perceive and live our lives in the radiance of this alchemy of gold, this new environment of the golden.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Nature of Life
Yesterday was the six-month date of our new journey, June 11; and today is the beginning of the next and final three months in this nine-month cycle and formation of life. As there is always the high road, the low road will, also, always appear.
As the larger flight or picture of a new life unfolds before my eyes, so, too, does the spiraling descent appear, as a means by which balance has the potential to appear or disappear.
Where there is lightness, there is darkness; and so I have walked weary with words, this past week, unexpectedly rising and falling into joy and despair crossing the threshold into this third trimester. It is the time of transition.
It has been rough and humbling for one who loves the presence of grace and beauty. It has been too much to endure at times and yet, today, there is, once again, a grace and a peace upon me, and upon it all. The orchestration of this symphony of life has been acutely active and precise. However, as with any composition, there is no way to know for sure if it will reveal itself to human hearing or comprehension–as only portions at a time are revealed.
I have been pulled far out into the very nature of life where all things are interconnected, and at the same time, only feel the weightlessness of disorientation, as the specifics of living and how to unfold this new life, could not be heard or discerned.
Yet in that weightlessness, there was a sensing of all the parts…..there was a sensing that in order to have life, one had to have a connection and, most importantly, an interconnection with that which is living…..not just a thought about living, but a living connection into the flow and essence of life itself.
Let me see if I can say it in another way. Being pulled out of the life one was living means there is no ground under one’s feet. To be pulled out of the cycle and formation of one’s physical daily life of becoming and being transported into timelessness of being, yet remaining alive, is to be placed into the origins or nature of life itself.
Everything is still functioning on a bodily level, but on another level, there is a sense of a new conception and perception of life. It is as if one is plucked from the material world and replanted into an ethereal world where the essence of life itself is living, pulsing, breathing, singing.
I experience a very deep and rich forest filled with the trees of life not in form but in presence. I experience the song of life not in the form of birds, but in the essence of its silent sound and presence. It is as if all the tangible living things in outer nature appear unseen, as the inner nature reveals the beauty and true nature of life itself and that which is living.
One thing is true in this perception of the nature of life…..it cannot exist alone in a physical form…..for like the aura of colour in the northern lights…..everything interpenetrates itself…..there is no colour without the presence of light and dark…..without stillness and movement. Life is not a thing, but a constant graceful movement of a quintessential nature.
In the nature of things, environ means to embrace and surround. So environment to me is to embrace that circle of life, to surround it in moments of perceiving and then letting it go back into the flow of its movement. It is like a dance, really. It is very beautiful to behold in one’s mind and heart’s eye. The dance of the nature of life….the impulses flowing, the movements embracing, the sense of the wholeness of vitality in the inter-connectedness.
It is a beautiful thing…..life and the living.
Just the other day, I was at a nature sanctuary that had a boardwalk over this beautiful small and serene lake where there was abundant bird life. I could feel the air, experience the movement of flight, and hear the miraculous sound of the birds’ voices as they moved through space and time, revealing not only presence but substance. I could see them revealing the story, the song and the symphony of life…..and the sun sparkled on the pond’s water surface creating a mesmerizing affect of altering my mind’s reality.
Then I saw the baby ducks. They were downy soft and swimming on this water’s surface full of themselves and all they were. They were making little quacking noises and swimming in line behind their mother. When the playfulness began, they dipped and dove;and it was pure delight. When my eyes re-focussed, I saw an older duck swimming fast with wings outstretched on the water’s surface trying to catch up with the line of ducklings, being pursued by a couple of “teenage” ducklings. It was amusing in its outer playfulness….and yet transparent in its nature.
And I think of the nature of our lives here on Earth and how interconnected we are with the essence of life itself. Whether it connects to the larger picture, infinite presence of that which is living here and there and everywhere as one universal story, one uni-verse of song, or whether one experiences specific aspects of life which we love or are connected to like the animals, the birds, the stars, the planets, family, friends, plants, trees, words and communication, the artistic, there is a lovely flowing essence of life that is surrounded for moments and longer moments of time that reveals itself in form and then releases itself into its pulsing eternal presence.
It is a life that becomes a being for a time and then releases itself as an inhale and exhale of breath creating environments where it can live and reveal itself as a flower or a baby or an unfurled leaf. That breath of life can be within humans who appear for moments and longer moments and then exhale out their lives into the universal story, only to inhale again reappearing. There are animals and plants and rocks and minerals. There are areas of life that never inhale or exhale, but only are. There are parasites of life that suck it dry and bring decay to the outer form before it frees itself in the exhale of rejoining the eternal…..
In whatever way, the perception of life reveals itself, be it in the fragrance or unfolding of a rose, or in the mystery and revelation of a shining star, or the appearance of a human baby, the essence, the substance, the presence and the nature of life, in its movement or its cycle or its form, is simply breathtakingly beautiful.
The purity of that which is living gives the context for the origin of beauty itself……for beauty is the true garment, the true environment surrounding the ethereal presence of life……her veils of colour, fragrance, sound, voice, texture, and vitality….her embrace of enveloping the presence of life in whatever form it eventually takes, is the revelation of the majesty and mysteries of life.The aura of beauty is the rainbow of presence of places on both sides of the threshold of sight. The inner and outer aspects of beauty open the stained glass windows into an interior place of pulse and flow that give way to impulses and movements waiting to rise up and overflow, to be born in the inhale and exhale of breath……in the creation of a living being willing and wanting to participate in the wisdom of the living, the love of life, the presence of life, delving into the nature and circle of life, only to reawaken in the body of life.
And here I go back into this present moment and time,
in this life-altering moment in our lives, acknowledging on bended knee,
that upon our countenances and within our hearts and minds
I pray that we can maintain a true connection to what is truly important
as the rocky waters of existence continue to push us…..
May we find the ebb and flow to be peaceful
rocking us, not to sleep, but to ever greater wakefulness,
of how to uphold this life with human dignity and pure intention.
My heart overflows and flowers in love
for my family, and for my friends and really, for all that is truly living, seen and unseen,
everyone and everything.
That is the true gift
from the wellspring of life,
the radiance of love,
the alchemy of the golden
the presence of a healing warmth
that surrounds the ever-renewing conception and birthing of the living
from the depths of the dark to the heights of the light
where there is peace.
It will not come without our participation.
May we hold open the living environments of life
connecting and interconnecting daily.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Beauty of Life
I have decided to use this space to ponder thoughts as unrefined and unfocused as they may be to continue to find my balance, make my way through the dark and light, through my days of sadness and unknowing, and to keep breathing.
Within this environment, I have decided to just write each day… something.
The question I have been wondering is does a “seer”–someone who can see the meaning of things in other’s lives–read thoughts that are placed in the unconscious realm of the person or are they reading a type of cosmic script? Do we come in with the story of our life tucked away in parts of our human organization or is it written as we go along? Of course, it is both destiny and choice–but how exactly do they work?
My gaze has always been to the the cosmic universe, the starry night and the brilliant day skies…..and yet in this moment, I have been focusing and contemplating the life of a cell in our body. I have the deepest experience that they are but a reflection of the starry realms. It’s as if by looking into the cells teaming with life in our bodies, the cosmos and all the stars are reached through them. It’s as if something of our destiny is imprinted in the very cells in our body. It is a crazy thought, yet it is an experience I have. I wonder if in the starry and cellular imprint that we come in with, we are given our individual signature. I wonder if there are thoughts within us, within our cells, that will unfold in time should we choose to take them up. Thoughts as a form of light. Thoughts composed of light. Light as a guide and healing force in our lives. I want to know what the essence of it is….not the different names that are given to it depending whether one is religious, artistic or scientific.
What is light? What is the substance of light?
Light can be energy. It can illuminate things unseen. It can fill a space with a sense of being—alive. Whether it be the focus of light in the body, light in the mind or heart, light in the sky or within the home from a candle…..light is an amazing presence…..and so is the dark.
Dark not in the way that it has been seen as evil, but dark as in the point beyond the blue night sky where mysteries live unseen. Dark as a place that has life within it, but not yet in our gaze.
Inwardness can be perceived as dark if one doesn’t know the way into the deep sanctuary of that which is living. The beauty of the dark revealing its presence is when it is illuminated by the light. For there lives the realm of life on Earth, in the realm of colour…..the realm of consciousness.It is a curious thought for me…..the realms of the conscious and the unconscious……the realm of the inner life and the outer life…..to be light-filled with consciousness and to be alive with an inner life seems to bring together that sense of colour, of the perfect rainbow revealing itself in the revelation of the union of a conscious-bearing light and a dignity-bearing inner life.
So how did I get to this point? I do experience that each of us has a script for our lives written in the stars, imprinted or reflected down deep in our cellular life, present in our souls, being searched and quested for with our spirit’s light. It is a script that we have been writing through epochs of time, a script of pure human intentions. A script that can be read through the thoughts that arise within our days, different from the everyday thinking, those purportedly random thoughts, more seen through the pressing thoughts. Thoughts that are not leading the script, but giving inspiration from an original place or origin and contemplated inwardness. It can be overlooked in the outer life of unconsciousness….that life that carries on regardless of the presence of colour, revelations, thoughts, experiences, perceptions, and “other places.”
My question in the beginning about “seeing” into the meaning of one’s life…….I do feel that in order to see the script better, it is important to visualize and welcome the loving light of the universe into our beings so that the imprint can become an illuminated impulse. An impulse awakened to notice how it flows through us, guides us, enlightens us, and then heals us….
It seems essential to hold open the inner sanctuaries of our body, soul and spirit to receive that light, be that light, in order to be able to live out of our body, souls and spirits in new, awakened, and conscious whole ways. The light, alone, will not heal or guide.
We, with the capacity to open and hold open our inner lives,
our inner eyes, our inner wellsprings of that which is living,
our inner living environments, that bear within them the essence of the scripts,
need to turn to the task of nurturing
our inner and outer living, vibrant, light-filled lives
in order to truly ignite our lives with purpose
by growing and flowing in the living wisdom and colour of the living.
I experience it is the beauty of life,
to be able to hold open the space where we can fill our selves
with this essential and substantial light and love of life.
To be able to open the inner environments of the living outwardly,
gives us the opportunity to not only see the imprinted starry and cellular script,
but begin to become it.
More importantly, be it.
Be our full selves in each and every moment of our lives.
Well…..I never know exactly where my thoughts will lead when I begin thinking or reading or contemplating. But I am grateful…..as I have just been going through the kind of darkness on the Earth that has no light….the darkness that exists where there is no human life.
We all are asked to walk there from time to time, to rise up again on the other side, hopefully renewed by the strength needed in individual choices to understand this phenomenon and to have the courage, the grace of the light and the inner wellsprings reveal themselves as truth, beauty and goodness in the world.
Just so another step can be taken.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The Wisdom of Life
The past six months have been a journey of impact, shattering, discernment, refinement, and the search for balance. It has been a death and a birth continuously enacting itself on many levels…in the mind, in the heart, in the soul and spirit, in the physical body. It has been a plunge into the depths and a soaring forward into timelessness. It has been an experience of perceiving the essence of light and life…..an awareness of environments of warmth like a warm gulf stream enveloping the coldness of pain and grief.
Every fibre of my body has been touched, exercised, collapsed and renewed again and again. At the point of no return, I was pushed even further, never returning to the same point, only evolving in the groundless place of change.
And I continue to ponder what is life? What is healing? And is there really recovery as returning to original place before crisis? Or does recovery really mean recovering the rawness, the newness of change, with a new skin, a new fibre, that holds within in it the new life where we are now—forever changed….becoming the change itself.
As utterly painful as it all has been, it has been a gift as well. It has been an opportunity to experience life in a heightened way, a living, breathing way…uncovered by places, time and circumstances.
Experiencing how life pulses in the new arenas of life, the same way it did in the old; yet crisper, clearer, and more refined in that alchemy of refinement.
However, it does not protect me from the depths of all my fears and sadness. I have no judgment, because I understand we let go when it is time. We are held in certain places until we are ready to birth, to grow, to jump in, to jump out whatever the case may be. Yes, I have no judgment for mine or anyone else’s journey through this impacting moment. I have only compassion, care and kindness to give to the journey of learning how to truly embrace life without fear, without anything but the present moment.
It isn’t like there is a great white light of enlightenment surrounding us at this moment, but more a deep sense of responsibility to be true to this gift of life. Be true in truer ways than I have ever been before.
The opportunity to experience the deepest layers of darkness in change,
to fully embrace the light of a new awareness.
To sway in the embrace of a new kind of warmth….
ah, these suitcase words….open up and let me inside….
inside something that is wordless, yet rich and full and pulsing…..
and the question is how does one embody this pulsing,
this fullness, richness, presence…
how does one truly embody the essence and substance of life and the living?
It lies not in the thickness of blood, the emotions,
or the history of humanity in its living form,
instead it lives in a place free from anguish,
free from turmoil, free from human expectations.
It is like a flowing river of light that pulses through our bodies
right above the blood or around the blood,
or lining the vessels of passage.
It lines the pathways with golden hues and a sense of refined dignity,
like substances in their pure state before they gel or form or coagulate.
A larger integrity of the universe that is vastly related to one another.
And it is a warmth that melts brick walls of thought and boulders of tumours
that trick us to believe only cold, separate lives exist.
We are a beautiful assemblage of artistic expression.
We all bear the aspects and gestures of being alive that creates a masterpiece,
many masterpieces of life each and every day.
And I sit here in Vancouver, outside the hospital, at a coffee shop, loud and full and local. An older man speaking to his two friends on my right hand side about buying real estate next to a golf course. To my left, flute music in the background with friends mulling around amidst their beverage of choice, and I feel life in the day around me….in all its colourful hues and expressions….in all its simplicity and enormity.
In my imagination, I stand up with hands to heart and shout: Vive Sophia!
Here’s to the inspiring Living Wisdom of Life…..
written by Jill RoseMary
some photos mine, some photographers unknown