I’ll warn you on the front end, this post is gonna ramble.  Because that’s where my head is at right now, thoughts popping like fireflies and I’m following their dance and see where it takes me.  I’m relieved to feel this movement as, honestly, the last two weeks have been rough.  I mean emotionally rough.  Who knows why?  It happens, cycles happen.

It’s the nature of most minds, definitely my mind, to try and figure everything out.  Why am I in this funk?  What is causing it?  Is it physical? Emotional? Am I missing a nutrient?  Oh I missed several days of my hormones, that’s it!  Oh wait, it’s still here.  Then maybe it was all that dark writing, was that good for me?  Blah blah freaking blah the mind goes on and on with that clock face spinning and spinning searching desperately for the problem then the answer will be not far behind!  I’m just sure of it!

What if the problem was actually the searching?

When they do all those intake forms for menopause issues, one of the terms that comes up frequently is a symptom of internal tension.  Well let me tell you, most of every day over the last week or so, I knew exactly what they are talking about.  This unrelenting pressure inside of your very being that is a loud resonant knock knock knock on your brain.  It commands your attention.  It bubbles over at anything and everything it finds deserving of it’s unique brand of sharing.  Then it retreats, only to build again.  Let’s just say there were quite a few apologies flowing out of my mouth to my brother on our trip to Sedona.  “I’m sorry, I’m just not feeling like myself and I don’t mean to take it out on you”.  He always just replies “it’s ok Kathy”  or “it’s ok, I know you’re stressed” or one time he just replied by taking out the garbage without having to be asked.   He listens. He’s actually a soothing balm for me with his unique brand of tolerance.

Last night I got to think about this going on.  How to shake it, wondering when it was going to pass, when those hormone creams were gonna finally kick in, I mean it’s been four full days since I got back on them.  Four full freaking days already!

So I allowed my mind to wander in a different direction when I got home from a movie with some friends.  A very intense thought provoking film that is honestly my favorite activity when I’m in this state.  Let me sit in a dark cool movie theatre and watch someone else play out my angst on a screen.  It’s heaven.

I was also struck by a conversation after the movie that got me thinking about labels.  How we are so quick to want to label our discomfort so we can as quickly as possible, find the remedy.  And how we go down all these dead ends and wrong turns chasing those labels and cures.  How I’ve done that I mean.

All of this pressure, all of this just being over my own damn self, led me to remember one of my favorite all time poems that I visit and revisit when there is any need for it’s particular medicine.  I’ll just go ahead and share it right now.  I also found an interesting blog with some interesting analysis on it.  I’ve seen this poet, David Whyte, recite this poem twice in person and his own sharing of what it means or meant to him.  I’ll just say I’m glad this poem is on the planet as it’s been good medicine for me on many occasions.  Many.

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Turn to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

David Whyte
The House of Belonging
Many Rivers Press, 1998

This poem always makes me think about seeds.  About how they absolutely need those  essential elements of time and darkness and aloneness in order to sprout.  They do it all on their own, in their own time and with the right conditions they evolve in to a masterpiece.

They need that darkness and sweet confinement of their aloneness.

To a seed, it’s absolutely sweet.  To me, sometimes, it’s my own version of Hell.

I need to revisit this experience, this revelation, over and over in my life.  Each and every time I forget.  This poem has become a compass to me, yet it doesn’t mean I don’t stop forgetting.  This is maybe the one and only most important lesson in my life.  To accept these periods of darkness and seeding.

I had a Myofascial release treatment this past week and didn’t my body just curl right up in to that seed posture.  All on it’s own.

I felt all week and much of the last two weeks that I just wanted to be home.  I wanted to be home in my little comfy chair with my comfy blanket or in my bed.

And at the same time, I found myself resenting all the fun people out there in the world having fun while I was sitting here stuck in a near state of paralysis.  That judging judging mind loves to take all kinds of trips.  The Road to Self Pity is a favorite jaunt.  The I’m Going to Stay Stuck Like this Forever is a picnic it loves to pack.  The I Am Really All Alone In This World is one it will purchase a ticket for.

Yet life rafts come in all forms I’ve noticed.

Sometimes they come in the form of someone else’s pain.  I ran in to a girl online who was sharing her misery over a relationship that’s going south.  I thought what can I say to her?  Well, that’s when I realized it was really David Whyte who held the answer so went looking for his poem.  Which was of course for me.

So back to seeds.  I wake up this morning, laid in my bed for a moment to assess the emotional terrain.  Is it still there I asked my mind?  Well, there was a feeling of freedom that it had somehow started moving.  Of course even the asking of the question brought back a shimmer of that dark cloud but I was able to move much more quickly from my bed.  It’s kind of like your entire leg having fallen asleep but you can begin to move your foot.  Like that.

I came downstairs wondering if I had anything to write today, any thoughts in my head worth sharing. Any organized enough to even be translatable.

So I signed on to Facebook first.  And I ran in to this photo.


I became instantly captivated with this photo.  Looking at the jars, the seeds inside, the book in the background, the granite countertop, seeing she has a Blendtec blender vs. the Vitamix I’d gotten for my birthday, wondering what the greens are in her smoothie until all that wandering through that photo, through that looking glass, led me to think “Why am I not making my smoothies anymore?”.

Something happens when that paralysis takes over me that I forget even the simplest steps to take care of myself.  It’s these moments I realize the impact of growing up without a mother had on me.  I know very well how to kick in to auto pilot to take care of others but when it’s me, my mind goes blank each and every time.

Sometimes I’m lucky and a friend just steps in.  But most of the time I’m suffering in silence and stuck, forgetting even the basics.

So this photo and it’s pulling me in like those sidewalk chalk drawings did on Mary Poppins, was God’s way of sending me a life raft.

Now let me tell you a little something about the girl who took this photo, the smoothie maker.  Her name is Elisha and I met her through the Travis Alexander trial.  She was a very very good friend of Travis’.

I remember the first time I met her.  First of all, she’s strikingly beautiful.  I mean seriously head turning.  Tall, lean, gorgeous red hair, one of those interesting faces you just want to keep looking at.

I got instant tears in my eyes looking at this photo of us again and noticing for the first time it appears I am hanging on to Elisha for dear life.  See how my hands are clasped around her so tightly?  When you read what comes next, you may understand what I was grasping.  Her clarity.  This photo was taken the day the guilty verdict was handed down in Travis trial.


What has left the greatest impression on me about Elisha is her absolute level of realness.  She is a photographer so clearly has that artist’s soul and keen eye.  I remember sitting there on that outdoor sofa with her the day I met her and just feeling so much, it was almost hard to even speak.  Her pain at losing her very very good friend was so raw and so real.   She shared some highly personal stories with me about her relationship with Travis that I still remember every single detail of.  They had a very special soulmate type relationship although it was entirely platonic.  I’m actually feeling the exact feeling I had that day right now while she was speaking as I’m writing this.  Being in the presence of that kind of authenticity sometimes is just daunting.

I remember Elisha giving me a message that day about forgiveness.  About how she received a message from Travis saying we all needed to forgive his killer Jodi Arias.  Her commitment to this feeling, this knowing, was so strong.

The day of the verdict, Elisha went on national TV talking about that forgiveness.  This girl has balls I tell you.  In a moment like that when the collective community is immersed in vengeance, she’s talking, on camera, about forgiveness.  She is a living legacy to Travis Alexander.

So this morning I’m captivated by Elisha’s simple photograph really talking about these jars she got at the dollar store.

Then I realized.  Those are all seeds in those jars.  This photo is an homage to the importance of seeds.  But seeds in a particular moment in their life cycle. Seeds soaking in water in order to break down their outer shell, to release their life force.

I realized then and there that this is the moment I’m experience right now.  That moment in the second stage right here:


Can you see how delicate that second stage of development is?  It’s just barely begun to peek out of all of that hard protection.  It must surely have to build up a ton of internal tension in order to bust out like that!  After realizing it’s safe to come out and express itself.  But it took it’s own sweet time to get there.  In the third photo it’s starting to develop a bit more of a support system but that second one is where the rubber meets the road. It’s where all the vulnerability lies.  And yet it still can’t help but be moved to move.  To become more than it knew possible inside itself.

We all love to stop and smell the roses.  To rejoice at those beautiful blooms everywhere.  The poor seed often gets neglected.

Peonies are my favorite flower so I went in search of peony seeds this morning, never having seen one.  Check this out.

Peony seed pods-cr

Now those peony seeds themselves look so protected, such a hard shell.  But they’ve added a whole other level of protection to sequester themselves in.  I wonder how many layers I have.  How many will I bust through to land in to something like this?

pink peony bloom

All unfurled and ruffled and displaying a pattern but no pattern at the same time.  Just a full explosion of bloom.  I can relate to this.

A seed knows it’s place in the world and does everything it can possibly do to protect that residence.

Why do I keep thinking I need to pull myself out of that germination prematurely over and over again?

Today I thank that tiny sprout that’s begun to take that journey in to the unknown.  That little white sprout that trusts and eagerly reaches out without fear.  That sprout that remains fully connected to it’s container as that seed sacrifices it’s life so it can develop in to what it was born to be.

So today I will be going to the dollar store to get those jars.  Then the health food store to get the seeds Elisha recommended.  And tomorrow to make my smoothies again, thanking each and every one of those seeds as they sacrifice their potential for my own.

Thank you David Whyte and Elisha for helping me remember.  For helping me see.  And Elisha, I’m going to set about forgiving myself today for forgetting.  In you and Travis’ honor.


13 thoughts on “seed

  1. Heather

    I totally get this. I’m often in this same state, needing that “aloneness.” I believe that’s what allows me to grow and evolve in the way that’s needed for me to move down my path. Life’s ebb and flow.

  2. Kiminnm

    I have been in a funk too. It seems there is so much that the trial preoccupied and yet highlighted issues in my own life that now that it is mostly over..I am having to look beyond and move forward. It seems to be a slow best friend died unexpectedly a couple years ago at 49..sometimes I am ok but then suddenly it overwhelms me..taking those small seed steps are a help..those little things when I just don’t know what else to do with my for me it has been repainting the kitchen and cleaning all the cabinets. I am a caretaker also and it is hard to put my care on the list…one day at a time..thanks KCL for sharing that beautiful poem..I am going to write it down. Wishin you peace and Blessings from NM. Hugs. Kiminnm

  3. Oh my goodness! I’m in awe! Thank you so much! I just adore you. What a blessing to have met you. This is just beautifully and so very eloquently written. I knew we were to meet for a reason. You my dear, are very wise and an excellent writer. I think I needed to read what you wrote more than you needing to write it. It’s a collaborative effort. See how our loving Father in Heaven works? He is working his magic to help two “budding seeds” find their truth, yet again. Thank you for validating my worth. It’s something I rarely ever do, yet it’s what my soul needs, and yet something I don’t seem to ever receive. Unconditional love has been on my mind lately. I couldn’t sleep last night because I needed to feel it, most especially from men in my life, in general. Love seems to be a simple thing. Yet it’s something I’ve been deeply pondering and sharing with other’s over and over. Love is more than a word; it’s a VERB. It requires action. Anyone can say the 3 easy words together, to make a complete sentence “I love you.” But not everyone shows it, through action. I’m realizing there are too many in my life, who can easily say the words to make that complete sentence, but I require more. I require action. It’s what my soul and spirit need to flourish. With that said, we too, must love ourselves unconditionally. How are we to love others in this manner, if we aren’t first practicing with ourselves? I, too, can go into “auto pilot” and love others. But am I loving myself enough? Am I caring for my precious body and respecting her? Am I giving her enough rest, nourishment; mind, body, and spirit?

    I’ve been lost a bit lately myself, paralyzed by pain and taking a jaunt on “The Road to Self Pity”, and on that seemingly never ending “picnic,” to “Am I Going to Stay Stuck Like this Forever”, all the while purchasing that “ticket” to “Am I Really All Alone In This World?” And, too, feeling jealous and resenting “the world” as they are so freely able to enjoy life and all it has to offer, meanwhile I’m in bed, wishing my body would allow this foreign thing called “fun” everyone else seems to be having.

    This beautiful blog post dedicated to me, is extremely humbling. This is something never done for me, but just like you, always caring for everyone else, but myself, I too, only write about others, and rarely get to hear or read, nice things back. It feels uncomfortable, much like that budding seed. I feel lots of “pressure” about to burst, with either excitement, elation, or tears at any given moment. It seems what I fear the most and what feels the most uncomfortable is what I need the most. It’s “funny” how that works. You are a Princess! Daughter of a KING, Child of the most High God! Lately I’ve been reminding just about everyone of their worth and this knowledge, that we have a loving Father in Heaven, and Savior Jesus Christ, present in our lives, just waiting to bless us. Christ already suffered for us. Why do we add to our suffering? All we have to do is say YES to them and to the blessings they desire to share with us. Sometimes I forget to take care of myself because I’m not remembering my truth, that I too am important and our bodies are gifts given to us to perform our missions here on this beautiful Earth. I’m inspired by this post to commit once again, to loving myself more, unconditionally, all the while taking action for myself. To respect my “budding seed” so she can flourish and sprout. Thank you for reminding me, that I’m not alone in this journey and it’s ok to buoy each other up! Thank you for the reminder that this “stress” and “pressure” we feel, is necessary for our growth both physically and more importantly, spiritually. To be able to ultimately receive this unconditional love I desire most above all things, I must first give that love. And it starts with myself to be able to “sprout” to my full God given potential. Bless you my sweet friend. Xo…e

    • Elisha, what a beautiful addition your post is! I am so glad you shared it here. It is no wonder KCL found you to be an awesome and devoted friend. I hope we see more of you here!

  4. lovelaw

    A seed cannot sustain growth without sunlight…they reach for it, breaking the earth just to feel it. We are like seeds, waking each day, hoping to grow. Some days are easy…..the sun is shining, and the “earth” is soft. Some days are difficult…the sun is hiding, and the “earth” is hard and unforgiving. But, like a seed, we must keep pushing. We must be there when the sun shines again. Because, it will! We MUST keep pushing. For, if like the seed, we keep pushing, we will once again break through and feel the warmth, and sustain our growth. (Hug))

  5. Sometimes I think we spend the first half of our life living, and the second half forgiving and healing — don’t know about that — but I do know that healing is hard, the process of healing is not easy — that I have found in my 63 years — I think you are handling all of your “deaths” of feelings, and all the hard work at healing very admirably — give yourself a pat on the back — you are doing a wonderful job — and with grace and authentic feeling — I appreciate your posts.

  6. Cyndi Wells Platfoot

    I have had to digest this entry for a day to even know how to respond and I still have no clarity of mind to be able to make sense of how much this touched me. I’ve been in my protective shell for 2yrs now and it seems very scary to me to even get to stage 2 but you’ve inspired me!! Self care has always been a problem for me but it’s so important in getting to those different stages of growth. Thank again Kathy for sharing your struggles and expressing them in the blog you’ve helped me to see more clearly. xoxo

    • Cyndi, I think the first step to changing anything is to accept exactly where we are right now. Maybe embrace that “protective shell” for a bit, ask it what is has taught you, ask it if you need to learn anything more from it, offer no criticism or judgment in to the equation but totally feel the importance of this phase of development. That’s what I’m musing on anyway. Then allow yourself to be moved vs trying to move. Meaning allow that universal timeline to start moving you out. Sometimes I just try to push things (after beating myself up for being there) but sometimes they have gifts. Hope I’m making sense..thanks for sharing.xo

  7. jpaulaj

    What everyone else said (times two). Ditto just didn’t suffice today.

    Love & God’s Richest Blessings . . .

  8. KCL:
    This just really reminded me of John 12:24

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
    It’s amazing how much life is a continuous process and not a static “destination.” I don’t think I knew that at 21 or 31. I’m starting to accept that the most painful and difficult things I’ve experienced in my life have helped to to “bear much fruit”–that heartbreak I suffered when my college boyfriend decided he could do better (after I pulled a Jodi Arias and moved cities to follow him to graduate school! OK–let’s move on) was necessary for me to be able to recognize the qualities I wanted in a partner–NOT an investment banker from a rich family, but a short Mexican guy from a military family who had strong relationships with his mother and father and had a heart that didn’t require me to stay a size 4 Barbie doll.

    Thanks for sharing your heart on this blog–you have a real gift of sparking people to look inside their hearts & connecting! 🙂

    OH–And I totally agree with that gorgeous girl that we need to forgive Arias–the way that I’m doing that is by not reading anything about her (well, I TRY not to!). I just can’t sit in the cesspool of hate that she inspires–I have to focus on Travis’ encouraging words, the love of his family or Juan’s long eyelashes (what?! Did I say that out loud?).

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