forever friends at nautilus teachings

the morning sun has not
yet risen above
mother ocean
when my phone ‘blings’
with a message…
today i get my full panel
blood work done
before my 55th birthday
which is arriving soon.
and as you know
my mom and grandma died
at 55,
so this is a biggie!
but the ‘bling’
makes me forget myself
and tune into
who needs me
at 5:45 in the morning?
i focus my blurry eyes
on the screen
to see who it is from
and i am immediately
taken back to
the 1980’s
and my first ‘bonus family
and friends’
with my first husband.
some people you meet
never leave you-
EVER!
this beautiful soul
was sunshine
on every cloudy day.
she was that gently breeze
you want to turn your
face towards
letting it tangle your hair
her giggle made your
soul smile too
she was just grace
elegance and beauty
all rolled up into one
tiny package.
i still love her
as a friend,
always will.
we got to hug, laugh
and exchange stories
at my sons wedding
two years ago.
we have both lived
full lives in those
30 years,
yet like all true friends
we connected like it was yesterday.


i know you know the feeling.
it’s the i am home
i don’t need to watch what i say
i can spill all my secrets to
while we share a bottle of wine
talk , listen and just be
girlfriends again.
but today
is about her
strong, handsome, wonderful dad
who passed away last week,
leaving her sweet, gracious, beautiful mom
to pick up the pieces
and somehow carry on
after sharing a life
with one person for 59 years.
i know they will all be fine.
i know they are a family
bonded so close
it makes me want to sit
in her pocket and
observe, listen and soak in
what family really is…
my mind flickers back to her.
she is a natural beauty
her children and grandchildren
all reflect the God given
soft grace she carries
along with pieces from
there handsome, devoted father
and both sets of grandparents.
i got to know them all.
i got to have them as part
of my journey
along the footpaths of my life.
i missed them.
so, now
when i see her pain
feel her sadness
i want to hug her close
and listen to all the stories
about her dad.
i want her to know
that for the rest of her life
he will be with her
watching, guiding, embracing her,
only now,
it is through all the memories
photos, videos
and pieces of him which lay
scattered across
everyones homes
and soul.
i want her to know it’s ok
to cry, scream and be mad
that dad is gone,
but to never forget
this
is
the
cycle of life.


it took me 7 years after
my mother died
to even be able
to make it through a day
without crying
and still 30 years later
on July 20th
the day she took her last breath
will be embedded upon
every inch of me
until i myself,
take my last breath.
we remember death
just like we remember birthdays.
we write them on
our calendar
counting the years
they have been away
and home with God.
all of this takes time.
we need to heal
cry, talk, and remember
all the good things
letting the sadness
evaporate one droplet
at a time
from our eyes.
oh little miss sunshine
who resides in my memory
as a young wife
and mommy of
days gone by,
know i am holding you
remembering your father
and praying for peace
for you entire family.
he will never be forgotten,
he lives within you all.

Read More forever friends at nautilus teachings

little miss at nautilus teachings

a few decades ago
little miss
beauty was born.
she had dark chocolate eyes
fuzzy brown hair
and was a teeny tiny
bundle of words
from first expression…
she stood firmly
upon any ground given
headstrong
and stubborn
immune to the
actuality
that her naked truth
may be inaccurate…
made from
deceptive love
she became a master
at mask wearing
falsifying
story telling
suppression
and rage.
she loved to slam doors
point fingers
blame everyone
and accept
nothing as fact
unless it flowed
off the lips of her
preferred parent.
she allowed both parents
to hold her
teach her
and love her
but the chosen one
was the only chaperone
she allowed in
to the camouflaged corners
waiting inside her pint sized frame…
the excluded parent
was not allowed to
accompany her on
any verification expeditions
having to do with
correctness, reliance,
allegiance or honesty,
thus forming
a labyrinth
of fictional reality
which would corrupt
any decision made in her life…
she began building
boxes filled with ammunition
she would one day launch
at the calculated target
lacerating them to the bone
leaving behind only
fragmented pieces
of what was their life
and leaving them
unable to decipher
crushing shame
from
encompassing devotion…


by 18 she was locked
loaded
and ready to fire
upon any one person
who dare seek
any inkling of information
regarding her employment,
education or boyfriend.
she brushed off
texts or phone calls
leaving no room
in her heart
for anyone
not in clear
acknowledgment
with her doctrine.
one spoken
displeasing comment
and she was engulfing,
like a fireball,
ready to consume
every inch of toxicity
pouring into her cosmic balance.
she believed in no one but herself.
a clear small warm stream
of faith flowed through her entirety
but she looked to the stars
for guidance and direction.
as time went on she fell into
and out of relationships
with men.
each one of them,
needing saving
hurling ugliness at her
but always
wrapping her up
in the love she wished for
from her father.
he was her heart.
but to him,
it appeared to mean nothing…
a man incapable of truth
or love
smiled, while lying to her
as he hugged her in close
strengthening the falsity
that he was normal.
inside he was weak
addicted to many horrible vices
and although she believed him
when he told her
he was clean and sober
she knew
he
was
being
deceitful…
a couple years passed
as she tuned out his untruths,
his
always blaming her mother
for his faults
until the day
she heard the words
coming from her fathers girlfriend,
“i don’t know how your mother put
up with this for so long..”


there it was.
her heart began to crack
small droplets of faith
began trickling enveloping
her distortion of thinking.
‘no. nO. NO!’
she screamed
‘i hate you! this is all your fault’
but she knew
way deep down inside
the woman who brushed her hair
sang to her
made her pancakes
taught her how to be strong
to think for herself
to love
and have faith,
was not to blame.
she just knew,
what she really needed
was her mom.
the inside of her was conflicted
wanting to save her father
hate her mother
and find her self.
God kept knocking
at the door to her heart
and sometimes she would
let HIM in
let HIM cradle her
listen to HIS words
just be in the memory
of knowing
she is never alone…
little miss
beauty was now nearing
her third decade on earth
setting a new course
moving far away
from him
from her
from everyone.
she took a chance
and told her mother,
“mom, i think this fall i
will be moving to…..”
her mom smiled
her eyes filled with tears
as she said,
“i am so proud of you
for doing what you want to do.
You have grown up so much.
Anything you need,
i have your back…”
there it was again,
her mother
never leaving her
her mother
always there…


no parent is perfect.
we all make mistakes.
but sometimes a child
picks sides-
especially in divorce.
sometimes the good parent
becomes dr. evil!
can you love a child too much?
nope.
little miss was taught
accountability
self love
critical thinking.
she was allowed to fail
struggle even…
she was taught to be
independent, learning
to do laundry,
cook, clean, how to use
basic tools, cut the grass,
nuture seeds to grow strong
manners, values, beliefs
and have faith.
so what went wrong?
where was the disconnect?
why did she start hiding in
shadowed corners so young?
begin to keep it all inside?
why from birth,
did she seek out men
who needed to be saved?
she replicated
what she saw in her own
family-abusive father,
weak mother, always trying
to fix him…
what about society?
exposure to peers?
i encourage you to
start spending
one on one time
being genuine role models
and mentors to your children
especially
as they become teenagers
and young adults
because this is the time
they begin to shove us away
make poor choices
and begin to find themselves…
finding a closer connection
can be challenging
and in some cases
impossible,
as was with little miss.
it wasn’t until recently
she sat with her mother,
while her mom really listened,
did not judge or preach
but guided her with a gentle
but firm hand full of love,
and for the first time
in decades
the two, mom and little miss,
connected
hear to heart…
in the words
of a 22 year old
who just graduated pre med,
“we didn’t ask you to give us trophies.
we didn’t ask our parents to do
everything for us.
society is raising generations
of kids who cannot think
for themselves
do for themselves
and are lazy.
this, my friend, is on the parents!”
the message?
little eyes and ears
are always watching,
listening
and learning…

Read More little miss at nautilus teachings

version, phases or stages at nautilus teachings

what version of
YOU
are you?
there are so many versions
of windows i stopped
counting at 20.
the bible has been
translated
in 2000 different languages
english version alone
holds 233 various translations!
trying to count
how many versions
of the apple computer
since Steve Jobs
first created it in 1976
lost me when it hit
30+.
no matter what electronic
you own
there are updates
to improve something.
all this got me to thinking
what if we could plug
ourselves in
and get updates?
vacations are toted
as unplugging from life.
seeing a head doctor
is called downloading
all our crap onto them.
we upload to society
and our family
all we THINK we know.
i was recently researching the idea
that the body regenerates itself
every 7 years-
i never got a yes or a no,
all i could find out was this:
Skin: These skin cells rejuvenate every two to four weeks.
Hair: has a life span of about six years for women and three years for men.
Liver: renews itself with new cells every 150 to 500 days.
Stomach and Intestines: typically last only up to five days.
Bones: the complete process takes a full 10 years.
so, i ask you again
what version are you
currently in?
when i look at my grandson
i think,
“oh, he is at the cute as a button
can do no wrong stage…”
kids then progress to the
“they never stop asking,
what’s that?” stage
from there is when
parents become the
grand inquisition,


Is this poop or chocolate?
Why is there peanut butter on the back of the couch?
Where did you put that booger?
Can you say “thank you”?
What did I just say?!
Why are you holding your privates?
Why is your underwear on your head?
What part of “no” don’t you understand?
Why are there Legos in the fridge?
Who gave their broccoli to the dog?
Are you sure you don’t have homework?
Did you just fart on me?
Why do you only have one shoe?
to name a few.
as we age
some of us lose our hearing
and instead of just walking
into the other room
and looking at the ‘going deaf’
one in the eye
we find ourselves yelling
from across the house
like our spouse is 2 years old
“honey. Honey. HOney. HONey.
HONEy. HONNNNNNNEY!”
only to turn around
find them smiling at us
or in some cases a bit miffed saying,
“don’t yell at me from the other room…”
i can still remember being at the
“mom has eyes in the back of her head” stage.
or how about when you are cooking
and all of a sudden the house
goes into stealth quiet mode?
that’s the “wtf, who’s hurt stage”
until they get to be teenagers
then it becomes the
“I am going to kill them” stage
when you sneak to their door
and smell the smoke
mixed with the open hot breeze
while you yell,
“were you born in a barn?
close that window!”
knowing the whole while
they cannot pull one over on you
because as mothers we have
a sixth sense.
which brings me back
to what stage
am i?


i don’t f’ing know.
most days it’s the
“walking around in
a sleep haze until noon, “ phase
because i wake up
6 times a night
half of those to pee
and the others
because of a hot flash.
d says when i wake up
i walk like a (his words)
“a muncha mooncha,,,,
like an oompa loompa!”
all i know is my hip hurts
my bones ache
my brain is mush
and all i want to do
is get an iv of coffee,
quick!
if you try to talk to me
before my intake of
‘vermont country blend’
dripping from my keurig
my middle finger rises up
and i say,
“namaste this…”
we all have many versions
of our selves
for some it can change
as rapidly as the wind.
then there are those
masters of zen
who you just want to
throw a rock at
scream obscenities at
strip in front of…
anything to get them
to express emotion
but all they do is
‘ommmmmm’ themselves
into a deeper consciousness.
reaching my mid fifties
i find i am somewhere
between the
parental inquisition
and the zen master
striving hard to find my balance
which is why i play
meditation music
when i drive
keep the house very quiet
and spend my days
writing, painting
and doing yoga
so when the noise does
enter my surroundings
i can blissfully close my eyes
offer up a prayer,
“please, Lord, let me have
patience and calm…”
put on my sheri smile
and be grateful
i am still standing
breathing
healthy
and able
to engage in the
second half of my life,
which i like to call
the,
“how many hours till titos,
can i go to bed yet
will i ever stop peeing all night
why do my bones hurt
what is with my toenails
do i have to still shave my legs
why can’t i eat that
why is the sun so hot
can i crank the ac down to 60
not another doctor
all i wanna do is have some fun
live to 100
without wearing diapers
and someone having to feed me stage!”
whatever version you are in
look back on the ones you left behind
and look forward of all
the new ones you GET to live through!

Read More version, phases or stages at nautilus teachings

mothers, wives, sisters, friends at nautilus teachings

how can one broken shell
hold such power
that without even seeking
it finds us
calls our names
makes us gaze downward
bend
pick it up
dust it off
and take it home?
faith.
after all,
we
are
the
shell.
we
are
missing
pieces,
scarred
carrying
barnacles,
as we wait to be seen
listened too
held
loved
needed…
it only takes
one person
to believe in us
turn our life around
rooting deeply inside us
we are enough.
our life then seems to
gently ebb and flow
like the soft silky tide
caressing the sandy shore.
we find our selves
reflecting light
upon the lives
of those we love
and encounter daily.
a rhythm sets in
and we become buoyant.
all our flaws
now seem invisible
our footprint is lighter
our smile shines brightly
and our hands are always filled
giving, holding, loving, helping…
we become the center
of the family
the problem solver
the encourager
the listener
the roots
their strength
and nourishment
for the rest of our lives.


as mothers, wives, sisters, friends…
we hold the power
to use our words
to help people heal and grow
our patience and faith
keeps us tethered to them
from first breath, first kiss, first meeting…
it is our calling
to help uncover the hidden
gifts each one of us holds within.
we do not give birth
to keep our children
by our side forever
we guide them gently
down the paths they choose
having their backs
should any thing go awry…
we do not get married
and just stop growing
we become one
through love, faith and trust
that no matter what
this person
is our safe spot
protector
lover
and best friend.
we learn to
sync our lives
much like the tandem surfer
each one balancing the other
with grace and kindness.
every day
as the sun rises
the clouds clear
and we open our eyes
it is our connection
with everyone we know and love
to acknowledge the tiny steps
along with the obvious,
to be the water that quenches
their emptiness
to provide a continual
restorative bond
allowing them to balance
all life throws at them.


we are all damaged
in some way
no one leads a perfect life
which is why
we need a bonding agent
one that is so strong
nothing can break it.
faith.
we need to stop searching
for something bigger
brighter
better
richer
newer
we need to take that
which is freely given
wrap our arms around it
encompass it with
Gods love
and acceptance
and live
truthfully
honestly
hand in hand
with the life
we are holding.
we need to keep
our focus forward
our vision clear
our minds calm
our hearts beating
our ears open
with that one person
that we have chosen
to stand side by side
for the rest of our life
not just through sickness and health
or for richer or poorer
but through happiness and sadness
brokenness and healing.
we need to take off
our rose colored glasses
and let the view before us
expand,
be an observer
letting the people
we love be fully
and wholly their own.…
yes, sometimes we face storms
yet if we allow in HIS
light, love, warmth and energy
to sustain us,
we will be guided down
a path of forgiveness,
opening us up to be
picked up
dusted off
and cradled
by our faith.
we are the keepers
of memory
the dream makers
the risk takers
the ones
who all their lives
revolve around
which is why
we must begin
by loving ourselves
continuing to be a learner
unafraid of growth
for it is only in the
expansion of our wings
that we are able to
navigate safely
through our faith
this glorious
beautifully
messy
thing
we
call
life.

Read More mothers, wives, sisters, friends at nautilus teachings

Happy Mothers Day at nautilus teachings

what if you knew
next year
the co-worker
who always smiled
and brought homemade cookies
to the office,
the one who’s desk was
plastered with drawings
and photos of her kids
or your elderly neighbor
who swept her driveway every day
as you drove by chuckling to yourself
doesn’t that woman have
anything else to do?
or maybe she’s your favorite
check out lady at publix,
the lady who greets you at the bank?
the one who seems like she’s always jogging?
what if it was you?
it could be one of them
some
all
or none of them
but what if?
what i know is
30 years ago
somehow
i did not know.
i was too caught up in
a loveless marriage
raising my 1 1/2 year old son
working a full time job
and trying to just
get it all done
being the perfect
wife and mother.
what did i take for granted?
that my own mother
would always be alive.
of course i knew she was sick
of course i knew she
was dying
of course i believed my fathers lies,
“your mother is fine. she is in remission”
i saw my mother still work a full time job
not out of need
but out of passion.
as she herself was dying,
she still rose up every day she could
and held the hand of those
who were closer to death than her
all while managing 9 counties
in their quest to raise money
for the American Cancer Society.
was she a super hero?
nope. she was just my mom
and my best friend…
my mother was stronger
than any one person i knew-ever.
so of course this was just
another bump on her journey.


did i see her?
yes, every day if i could.
did i talk to her?
yes, about life, my son, the family…
did i think to ask her,
‘mom, how are you, really?’
‘mom tell me about your life?
what do i need to know about my life?’
nope.
i was just to young to even understand
or believe
my mom would not be here
next mother’s day
let alone that coming holiday season.
what do i wish?
that someone
anyone
would have sat my butt down
looked me in the eyes
and said,
“sher, wake up. your mother is dying- NOW”
someone who was older
wiser
who they themselves had lost
their own mother young
and knew
they missed out on
important conversations
taking photos every chance
recording their voice
capturing their smile
holding their hand…
so, my friend
what if you know?
right now, as you sit sipping
your latte
gazing at your garden
or driving your cool car
maybe going out with your friends
or traveling the world…
what if you know
someone is dying
and you do
nothing?
over the years many friends
i know and love
have told me of their own
parent/grandparent/friend
they love who is dying.
after i hug them,
tell them i am praying for them
and listen to their story of losing
that big part of their heart
i gently hold their hand
look in their eyes
and tell them,
have the conversations
take the pictures
and videos
laugh with them
just spend time with them.


every time the person
has then thanked me
for this knowing advice.
am i tooting my own horn?
patting my self on the back?
nope.
i am sharing with you all
my brokenness.
it is because of my own pain and loss
that i can help
that i can share
that i can tell you
do it NOW.
take the extra moment
with someone you work with,
encounter daily, drive by,
know or love,
to just listen
to anything they have to say.
when you are on social media
and people ask for prayers
take 5 seconds and type the word
PRAYERS.
it is in the tiniest of expressions
with which we give people hope.
i’m not asking you to change
your beliefs, values, sexual orientation
religion, or political party,
i am asking you
to be
human.
you do not have to
be related to,
love or really
even like the person
to have compassion,
be empathetic,
to give them a few moments
of your time
and let someone know
they are not alone.
this is mothers day weekend
it will pass fast.
some will celebrate
some will morn
some will sit alone
in that small still place
looking up at the sky
or down in their hands
wondering
what if
this is my
last mothers day?
do you know
her?
is she you?
someone you love?
take off your rose colored glasses
and look at this beautiful life
we are given.
you are a gift.
share your self
with someone
you know,
today.
be a good human.
Happy Mothers Day.

Read More Happy Mothers Day at nautilus teachings

lead my life at nautilus teachings

30 years ago
this july He took her home
and although for three
minutes of my life
i was mad at HIM
and screamed hurtful things
up to HIM
my faith
the center of me
the core
of who she
taught me to be
knew
this
was
not
HIS
fault,
it was just life!
for most of this long span
i was lost
searching
for who i was
where i belonged
what i should be doing
and who i would give
my heart to.
i stayed firmly planted
in my church family
raising three kids
in the faith i grew up with
loved
and trusted.
my first two children
embraced it like
soft butter on a warm biscuit
but my third
from first drop off in the nursery
when she was 6 weeks old
screamed out in defiance.
I still remember being in church
listening to pastor bill’s sermon
when a young woman approached him
he paused
listened
looked me in the eye
smiled
and said,
“Sheri, you are needed in the nursery”
first i felt panic
then embarrassment
upon arriving in the nursery
i was greeted with
‘she won’t stop screaming,
we are so sorry’.
i picked her up
and still she screamed.
nothing was working
so i took her outside
in the fresh air.
as soon as the church door
bammed shut
she smiled
and cooed.


this scenario repeated itself
every week.
pastor bill,
who was like a father to me
and my mentor
called me on the phone
after week 4,
“let’s have breakfast”
over pancakes and bacon
we talked about faith
and as we were nearing the end
he gently said,
“i think your youngest is not
ready for nursery.”
i smiled. nodded and decided that day
she would stay home
and her father
would have to miss church
until she was ready.
she never liked church
not sure if she ever believed
i know today she just smiles
and rolls her eyes
at the mention
of the bible, religion
or God,
i’m not even sure
pastor bill,
if he were alive today
could convince this young beauty
there is a God.
i believe HE is everywhere
that no matter what i am doing
HE knows.
many times during the day
i stop and thank him
talk to him
cry to him
and when i wake up
at night
as i do
at least 3 times
all i need do is say
the Lords prayer
and I am immediately
back in dreamland.
HE and i are connected,
just like she and i were,
and although she
is now with HIM
i know
she knows
everything
about me.
whether this is truth
or not
i just don’t care
because it is my
belief
she
knows.
when i get to hold my grandson
i look him in the eyes
and whisper
papa angels, grandma sue and grandma angels
are with me
they are hugging you
and loving you
through me…


i love his tiny expression
when i whisper to him.
i could probably whisper
the garbage men are coming
to pick up the trash today
and i would still get this
response,
yet my faith
teaches me
otherwise.
i carry
the memory
of all the angels
surrounding him
and one day
he will hear stories
of all of them…
30 years ago
this july He took her home
50 years ago
i was wandering
through the church
as a child
with her
always holding my hand
guiding me
teaching me
faith.
i will share my faith
with my grandson
as well as my colors
and stories.
i will listen to his tiny voice
when he finds it
filling me up with all
his stories.
we are meant to share
those values we hold most close
with those we love.
i sing to him every week
nursery rhymes
raffi
Jesus loves me
and all kinds of songs
we will teach him to pray
read him stories
from the bible
just like we will read classics
like good night moon
and guess how much i love you.
every sunday
when i rock my grandson
a peaceful calm
comes over me,
one i have never felt before
a deeper knowing
that HE is in control
of not just my life
but everything.
yes, i have always known this
but now
as i rock away
looking through
eyes of the granny
that i have been gifted
to become
i know
she is at peace
she is with HIM
she is home
but more important
they are living
inside of me…
as the day closes
and i fall to my knees
in prayer
wrap my hands
around my own set
of big Jesus hands
i softly whisper,
“not now Lord,
i still have words
to write,
images to paint
hands to hold
and now, tiny eyes
watching me.
guide me, oh Lord
be in every thing
i think, say, do, write, cook,
create.
lead my life
and fill me with peace…Amen”

Read More lead my life at nautilus teachings

God, mom and me at nautilus teachings

we are connected
HE, she and i.
from conception
HE held me
began molding
and forming
my entire being
inside and out….
from birth she
knew my every need
her embrace
encompassed me
and her strong faith
took root within me…
as i grew i began
hearing HIS voice
reading HIS words
singing HIM praises
HE never left my side…
she knew this.
every morning before
her coffee and cigarette
she got down on
bended knee
clasped her hands
around the big
golden painted
Jesus hands
and prayed
as tears
cascaded down her cheeks
as the sun began rising
the birds chirping
and feeding their young
as the stars faded
she rose up
held me
and whispered in my ear
Jesus loves you,
baby girl.
She would walk me
down the long winding sidewalk
to the mosaic glass covered church
I would watch her write out songs
for us to learn in sunday school
on huge sheets of paper
watch her hands build
individual angels for every child
teaching them to live
in the knowing
every day
angels in heaven and on earth
are all around us…


i got to wander
throughout the whole church
but she never worried
or needed to look for me
because she knew
HE was there
protecting me.
I would wander to the
lower level classrooms
filled with tiny paintings
of HIM
i would kneel
just like her
and pray
just like her
and cry
just like her…
when i would open my eyes
colors were always
dancing upon the walls
from the light cascading
through the mosaic glass windows…
when i was small
i thought this was HIS message to me
i needed to fill the world
with color
whimsy
laugher
smiles
love
and faith…
my next stop was always
the sanctuary
where i would walk all the way
up to the front
where the pastor
preached his sermons
in front of the huge
Jesus holding a lamb
and a staff
and sit at HIS feet
knowing
i
was
home.
She would always smile
when i ran back into
her classroom
knowing
i was filled up
with HIS love
for another day.
then we would begin
our long journey home
winding down back streets
sometimes stopping at
the tiny triangle park
by the church to play
other days popping into
a neighbors house
for her to chat
drink coffee
and enjoy another cigarette
but my favorite days
were when she would
walk with me around
the lagoons at
Lords Park.


it was my
sanctuary and safe place
i ran to every time
my demon headed brothers
would chase me
pick on me
or whatever torture
the two of them
had dreamed up
while lying in their beds
the night before!
it was also the place
i could talk to the animals
roll in the leaves
watch the waterfall
spin around until
i could take no more
swing super high
and jump off
landing in soft sand
or just observe
all the people.
my favorite times
were when the bear,
lion and snack were in
cages in the side of the hill
when i looked at them
it made my heart beat
triple time
then i would run
to the creek
take off my shoes
and hop in the cool waters
chasing minnows and frogs
picking wild flowers…
when i would come home
she was there
with a cold drink
and warm fresh cookies
she was always smiling
humming
happy
and i knew
it was because
of HIM
for i could see no other
reason she would wish
to stay in this
old gray house
with the big blue rug
scrubbing floors
and ironing clothes
unless she knew too
HE would protect her.
when i was 9
on a bright shiny day
in july
as she sat all greased up
with baby oil in the backyard
cigarette in hand
she said,
“Ya know, sher, I’m going to die young.”
I remember this so clearly
because it was the second time
i remember my breath leaving
my lungs
and HIS hands cradling me
in assurance
no matter what
HE has my back.
I spoke very few words
most of my life
and on this day
i just looked at her
with squinting eyes
and fell into her arms
taking in her scent
and all the sounds
of the day
i began losing her
to HIM.
10 years later
when she turned 50
she refused to go to work
or get out of bed,
“my time is nearing it’s end, Sher,”
she said to me.
when my father got home
he made her get up
so she dressed in black
with no make up
did not brush her teeth
and just sat
with a glass of wine
in the dark front room…
soon her friends arrived
and kidnapped her
in a van filled
with fresh clothes
make up
food and wine
taking her to a tom jones concert.
when i rose the next morning
she was off to work
and upon returning
later in the day
i found her kneeling
hands wrapped around the
big golden Jesus hands
crying while she prayed
in the dark.
all i could do was love her.
HE gave me her.
HE welcomed her home
5 years later.
we are connected
HE, she and i.
God, mom and me.

dory & sher 1968
Read More God, mom and me at nautilus teachings

loss vs lost at nautilus teachings

love loss
or
love lost?
the brother i deeply loved
yet barely knew
fell away from my life
as opposed to
i lost my brother
when he divorced
his first wife
and left the whole family
behind.
my loss
of him devastated me
because i was young-
18-
i knew what a divorce was
yet did not understand why
and he offered no explanation-
or maybe he did and i cannot remember.
i had never had a sister.
this woman was tiny
and funny
and drove a Leggs truck
when i knew her-
remember the pantyhose
in the eggs?!!!
they drove a yellow sports car
her father gave them for a
wedding gift.
they lived outside sausalito ca
and i got the gift of spending
the summer of 1979 with them.
my brother
who is tall, hairy, has
the biggest brown eyes,
just like our mother
is soft spoken
super smart
and kind,
not to mention 11 years
older than me
i saw him as my protector
because he watched over me
when i was small,
babysat me until
he left for college
and when he found his first love
i got to be part of their wedding…
i felt loved with him-
more than i ever felt from
my father
or my other two demon headed brothers
who picked on me daily.
I remember eating pizza with them
in a small cafe
rollerskating down the hills
and just being part of
their life for a few weeks.
my brother took me to cut
off my long hair,
he gave me the strength
to break up with a bad
boyfriend
he let me see
dreams
can
come true.


so when i was
a freshman in college
he made the trip to tell me
about the divorce-
which looking back
i see how hard it must have been for him
to tell his little sis
his marriage was over.
i don’t remember how i reacted
but i believe i was upset
and did not understand
the loss of my “sister”.
after all, my parents
had fought their entire marriage
so i could not understand
what could be so bad
it could not be fixed!
(Ha! if only i knew then
what i know now about love…)
my brother flew home to ca
eventually got remarried
had kids
and built a wonderful life
which holds true today
except he lives closer
to me now.
somewhere along the path
of his new journey
i lost him-
for good.
If memory serves me correctly-
i went with one of my other brothers,
his two young girls
and my father to
their house for easter.
we had a nice visit,
my son was less than 2
mom had passed away.
in the conversation on the
way home,
evidently i said something
about his wife being a kept woman.
which was repeated by my nieces
in their 10 year old version-
so who knows what that was!
i remember the conversation
vaguely
and to this day i stand by
what i said in the car
because it’s exactly what his
wife said to me.
anyway,
this loss was not horrible
but it did hurt.
i wanted my old big brother back
but that was impossible
since i was beginning my own
rebellion by divorcing my husband
and starting over as a single mom.
did i lose him
because it was my choice?


i have had several connections
i chose to be lost
cutting the ties
in order to save myself.
the loss of my mother
devasted me
i still miss her today.
the loss of any relationship
besides surface with my father
and brothers
helped to heal my soul
i did this through forgiveness
and release.
i lost my mothers cameo ring
shortly after she died.
losing the ring
was the loss of a connection
between her and i.
it was the one item
she wore every day,
cherished
was worn thin
and i lost it.
i spent 15 years
lost in a horrible marriage
yet when i divorced him
the loss of his presence
allowed me to grow up
and begin finding myself.
loss
lost
lose
anyway form of this word
signifies some type
of ending
in our life
yet for me the most important
lesson about all of this
is to never allow myself
to get lost in any one person
to never lose sight of my passions
dreams and goals
and finally that loss happens
to us all
whether we like it or not
will i lose those dreaded
15 lbs that seems glued
to my butt, thighs and hips?
probably not.
will i continue to get lost
in the use of words
and throwing paint
upon canvas?
always.
would the loss of someone i love
be something i can heal from?
slowly, of course.
as we age we lose pieces
of our youth
we let go old beliefs
embracing new
we release pain
and find comfort
in the balm of wellness
we bind ourselves
closer with our faith
knowing
there is no loss
in heaven.
the loss of
those we loved,
we will meet again.
we lose memory
of any sorrow and pain
and only feel
unconditional love
forgiveness and healing.
love loss
or
love lost?
you decide.

Read More loss vs lost at nautilus teachings

do you know her at nautilus teachings

you may know her
if not
i am sure you have
seen her.
she always has this
sadness
about her.
she reflects
and speaks
happiness
kindness
love
yet if you glance
into those dark chocolate
brown eyes
you sink
like a dead weight
in the deep fissures
surrounding her soul
landing in the depths
of black
one has never
seen on earth.
she’s the one who
arrives at the party
smiling
yet you find her
on a chair alone
eyes focused downward
looking as if
she is ready to nod off.
she’s the one who may
have a few too many drinks
just to make herself
comfortable enough
to fit in
most of the time
she arrives late
leaves early
and usually
both are unescorted…
oh sure,
she has had lovers
crazy boyfriends
once she even tried
female companionship
no one seemed to fit
until that day she met-
him.
from then on,
every time
you saw her she had a glow
but she still ended up
in the shadowed corners alone
bottle of wine by her side
so as not to move
share
or engage.


you approached her
asking
“how are you?”
for a brief moment
she set her gaze
into your softness
wanting to melt
like a warm
chocolate chip cookie
but she diverted her glance
and quickly responded,
‘i’m fine. i’m good.’
you knew.
you felt her nudge.
and as she began to turn
you touch her wrist,
her response is terror
yet you continue,
“let’s have lunch this week.
I miss you…”
her face tells the story-
‘not in a million years..’
yet she gracefully smiles,
nods
and says,
‘this week is packed.
we will catch up soon.’
then
WHOOSH
like a turned off light switch
she
is
gone…
she thinks she revealed
absolutely nothing
to you
in her foot shuffling
nervous hand twitching
downward glancing
beautiful self-
yet you could see
the broken pieces
her color was off
tiny sweat bead
floating upon her top lip
a tear ready to
cascade downward…
yes,
from afar
her beauty mesmerized everyone
one could almost see her brain
creating images
writing novels
as she’d shyly smile
swing her long locks backward
look up
with light in her eyes…
she
needed
no-one.


she had her own world
she loved living in it
no one judged her
told her what to do
think, be or see,
so why
oh why
would she choose
to walk through this
heavy door
called life
and become
a part of all the pain,
sorrow, anger, hatred,
competition and loss
she observed?
you can’t take your
eyes off of her
you wander around
the gathering
peering through cracks
angling your head
around other people
in order to catch a glance
this time she has
removed her shoes
tucked her knees inside
her flowing long dress
wrapped her arms
around them
hugging her long limbs
into herself
she appears to be whispering
when you see
the kitty
slowly approaching her
soon its soft fluff of fur
is leaning into her
purring
as she takes one hand
with those long slender fingers
and softy grazes the top
of its head
as she smiles…
there is brief clatter,
the kitten scoots away
and her arms drape in sadness
surrounding her entity.
she picks up her wine
adds a bit more to
top it off
takes a long, slow,
silky sip
closes her eyes
and once more
she
is
gone…


“where does she go?”
you wonder.
then you think,
“i want that too?”
your husband comes up from behind
hugs you
kisses your neck
as you fall into him.
“no.”
you think.
“i love my life…”
but then you wonder
“maybe, she’s never had a friend.
maybe she’s afraid to be a friend.
maybe, just maybe
i will extend my hand in
friendship…”
you may know her
if not
i am sure you have
seen her.
she always has this
sadness
about her.
we go about our daily
rush, rush, rush lives
in a world where
most of the people seem
to be pretty much like us.
yet,
if you really look
there are those
who appear to be echoing life
they may walk the walk
talk the talk
hold jobs
raise kids
marry
carry on this outward life
yet inside
there is
a wilting
a lack of sustenance
a softness even
that they refuse to share
talk about
or let anyone in…
it could be a million reasons why
depression
abuse
abandonment issues
low self worth
lack of courage
no voice
but more than not
i believe
it’s because
she still wants to be that little girl
running barefoot down the
soft hills of her childhood
picking daisies
rolling top the bottom
landing under the grapes
climbing trees to see
how far
the road goes
letting the wind whip
through and knot
her long hair
swinging from the
weeping willows
long branches
and chasing fireflies
before she jumps
into her cool sheets
and dreams of
magical worlds
colorful fish
and the day
her soul
will be set free…

Read More do you know her at nautilus teachings

that’s life at nautilus teachings

there it is.
you are smiling
people are all around you
music is crooning
wine is poured
people are munching
you mingle
say hello to everyone…
a few, ask you questions
and then there is the one guest
who’s words shove you
downward
and all you can do is spiral
onto the closest
safe landing spot.
without warning signal
or prior knowledge
the world
becomes
one
teeny
tiny
town.
has this ever happened to you?
you are traveling,
at a friends house
maybe at work
the dr’.s office
or even in line at
the grocery store…
you meet someone
who knows someone
you know from your past
and WHAM
you cannot shut up
asking questions
to test them
is this real
or is this person a plant
because someone is following me
wanting to harm me?
paranoid much?
when you have any type
of difficult past
be it family, exes, friends
or just something stupid you did
when you were young,
and you have already
asked forgiveness for it
thought you had laid it to rest
but all at once
this tsunami of memories
and feelings-
the good, bad, mad, pissed, hurt, fuck you
consciousness
emerges
and
you
are
floating
back in time…


upon landing
your armor goes up
fists clench
heart begins to race
old scents, images and sounds
echo across your mind
while next to you,
the “planted peeps”
are smiling laughing
saying things like,
“girl, you and i will be best friends…”
“i was meant to meet you..”
karma?
blessing?
warning?
should you send up the
signal flair?
raise the white flag?
excuse yourself
and run?
in most cases,
none of that will work
because you are in a situation
you have not chosen
no matter how trivial it may be
so you stay
glued to their every word.
all around you
people are boarding the plane
or brushing against you as they
walk by to grab a beverage,
the guest speaker is
yammering on
your name is called
to enter the dr.’s office
and you don’t answer
until the receptionist
finally raises her voice
and gets your attention,
or it’s your turn to check out
and the people in line behind you
are saying,
“come on, already!”
what do you do?


you cannot ever stop this
from happening,
sure you can turn your ear away
not engage
delusionally think, ‘this is not happening’
but in fact
it does,
to every single one of us
at least once in our life-
more for some of us
because some tend to no longer
attach to one person at
a young age
and live
the rest of their lives
with them
so we do run in to
ex family
ex loves
ex step children
ex in laws
ex friends
and more likely than not
these exes have shared
the untruth of your story
with many people
because lets face it
some people like to lie
and gossip and tell
quite a huge fish tale
because it brings attention
to them!
reality is
we
don’t
know
if the person
who seems to have
some shared memories
of people we know
is real,
yet nostalgia
tends to warm our heart
make us yearn for home
or the good ole’ days
it is only in the process
of growing up
and older
that we can grasp,
it’s just all good,
‘planted peeps’
or not.
you decide.
for me
i cannot resist
grilling them on facts
only i would know
asking them tricky questions
one could never answer
unless you were in
the very room with me
and this supposed person
they “know too.”
and then,
there it is,
they
KNOW.


this recently
happened to me
and although i was
laughing it off on the outside
i was feeling creepy on
the inside.
why is it stuff keeps popping
back in your life,
the sharp edged spears
that hurt you the deepest
crushed your world
broke you apart
what is it about life
that can be so damn
frustrating
you want to stop time
put duct tape over their mouths
rewind the reel of life
and un-invite them?
lessons.
something God wants me to learn
and never question again…
for me it is trust, safety, faith…
trust i am strong enough
He would never put me in harms way
i am safe always through my faith
if i continue to believe and pray
for guidance.
i was being asked to trust God.
so, i sat back,
listened to their stories
laughed with them
accepting their words
as truth-
because they knew way
to much for it not to be,
i kept floating back
towards them
smiling
chit chatting
about the party
and in the end,
the
hug,
smiles
and the common
knowledge
that this person
we have in common
truly is a mf
a crazy
unbalanced
lost soul
that both of us
in another place
and time
just happened to know.
it wan’t karma
or the devil
it
was
life!

Read More that’s life at nautilus teachings