Anne Lamott (well, actually her neighbor, Rick) reminds me that "The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines." As many of you know I've been hovering in my wanna-be Buddhist space for a while, trying diligently to force enlightenment to visit me with news of what I'm supposed to be doing with this next part of my life. I might have been less demanding, more accepting of the day to day, gentle teachings I was receiving had I just packed the right snacks for this journey or found space for magazines. But, really, carting magazines on the trip seemed downright frivolous to me.
As I was in the midst of one of the more annoying sections of my journey, an idea flew at me and luckily I caught it. It yelled its message loud and clear: Your biggest problem during this trek is your eyes are all squinty and you're always looking inside. How can you be amazed by the new and compelling twists and turns of the road if you don't even see them? Oh! Rather than harassing the universe for exact answers to fit with what I think I already know, I'm supposed to open to the interesting questions and unexpected ideas that keep flying my way. That new reality took me on a detour from my usual and well-worn reinvention path; with heart and mind shaking themselves awake, I found a new clarity in the present moment, an awareness that changed my course. The reinvented Jane has committed to writing the stories of other bereaved parents who have told me they want their accounts alive for others to read. Our belief: each story, each child, each detailed memory are shared gifts capable of carrying the power of healing.
Take it from a fellow traveler - Rick has the right idea. During those important searches for illumination we must pack things that keep us open to unlikely paths. Always provide enough space for sustaining nourishment and new information for they are as close and as important as holding another's hand.