Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Shelter - a place where you let go - a place where you experience peace, and yes, sometimes find your beloved pets ready to accept you as you are, whether dogs, cats, horses, gerbils, turtles, or fish.

When I was quite young, the house where we lived (for me it was not a home) had a storage room outside just two steps down from the kitchen door.  It was here I could escape and live in a world I,  and I alone, created.

I would move the boxes and pretend they were chairs and sofas.  I would hang 'stuff' on the walls, take in a pillow, and close the door.  As I did so, I felt my heart come alive and dissolve into a place of peace.  It was a place where I felt welcome, could pretend, at least for a while, that I was happy, and pretend that there was a deep stillness of love around me that was missing elsewhere.  I had a tiny table and a little chair.  One plate and one glass and my dogs head on my lap.  It was all I needed.

Odd, how this morning, I remember the safety of that small room and how it sheltered me from a benign loveless life that I have no memories of today.  I have the sensation I had then of walking inside, closing the door, closing out everyone and everything that caused me pain.

It was here I had imaginery friends and a real dog. 'Freckles' absorbed my tears into his fur and the heaving of my heart, as it was breaking.  I felt I was raised to be depressed.  My father was chronically depressed in a loveless marriage.  He escaped to his 'farm' with its herd of black angus cattle, one stray cat named 'Cat', and some ducks and geese, as frequently as possible. Much as I did my 'storage room.'

It was here he found solace and I like to believe he found himself.  As I became older, I watched him after he left my mother, when quite suddenly he remembered how to smile and to laugh and to find joy.  Ultimately, he found life, sadly just in time to leave it.

So for me, I enter my sanctuary, work in it, live in it, but miss the stillness of that little room off of the kitchen where I played 'make believe.'  And today, I try, with all that is in me, to bring a semblance of joy and smiles to those who need it the most.  For me, I am not here to remain in neutral, in sorrow, in a benign unhappy existence, in a place where I merely exist.  We are here to expereince all the happiness we can squeeze out of this life - even, and especially, through our tears. 

Today you are invited to find your storage room.  That place or space where you can step outside of, and away from, the pressure life hoists upon you, and find out who you are and what your heart wants, really wants.

There is a kind of comfort in the knowing and in the discovery.  I am not an expert, but I do know what it is like to live in constant great mental anguish.  I have known joy, and I much prefer it. The scales are not always balanced.  Perhaps, just perhaps, it is up to us to tip the scales in favor of joy, whenever and however we can.

Join me won't you?


"Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul.”
~Christopher Forrest McDowell~ 

“In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along.”

~Billy Joel~

“The whole value of solitude depends upon one's self; it may be a sanctuary or a prison, a haven of repose or a place of punishment, a heaven or a hell, as we ourselves make it”

~John Lubbock~


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