Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino
in my last blog, i was on my way to what i called my “frustration vacation.” i was frightened and frustrated from working very hard to make my plans happen the way i wanted them to and from god’s patient counter- offers to me; otherwise known as the results. i knew i had to stop. so i journeyed to a stunningly peaceful but often difficult destination to reach – the still small place within. i said i would send you a postcard from my trip. i couldn’t find a postcard, but i did find this prayer:
Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.”
this is the beginning of a beloved quaker hymn. each delicious word has me lingering a little longer in the “valley of love and delight.” i am in heaven. no frustration here. i’ve been given the great gift of being simple. not a gift. but “the” gift – the gift of all gifts, better than anything that can ever come wrapped in a silk box with cascading ribbons. so my prayer is, “show me how i can hold onto this.” how will i keep it simple? because let’s face it. simple is not always so easy.
the first quiet answer that comes to me is “keep a balance sheet.” not the kind my accountant keeps, but one where i list my wants in one column and needs in another. even if it is just in my mind. wants are beautiful. they are the sweet mothers of creativity. and i am by nature and self admission a creative compulsive. i want to be a part of creating a better world for today and for my daughter and all of our children to live in tomorrow. i want to keep writing song after beautiful song. i want a crème colored cashmere sweater. i want to love and be loved. and then there are my needs. i need clean healthy food and shelter and exercise and a sense of purpose and the right amount of sleep. i need to be kind and loving to all and to receive kindness and love in return. i need to know i am a part of the whole if i am going to stay out of the fast elevator down to the valley of frustration.
to be free is to see that in every single instant all of my needs are being met. every right thought i need to think comes to me. every single item. every gifted breath. one after the next. i end up receiving even better than what i thought i wanted. thankfully, god’s imagination and creativity is greater than our own.
although i am still formulating what my new project will be, i do know whatever life asks of me, i’ll be asking in the midst of it to keep it simple. and when my balance sheet columns start to get out of whack, to…
To turn, turn will be our delight,
‘Til by turning, turning we come round right.
this can be the real project miracle. i’d love to hear how you are keeping it simple today.
peace and blessings