Diary of a Sunflower: 22 August, year 2

Taking a bit of time to get into it. In my first meditation JC wasn’t there; the second time He was though. We talked a lot about my marriage break up and the question of annulment was raised again. Leaving that one here. I feel quite tired. I’m not sure about my companion. Perhaps he’s too nice, or a bit syrupy in the religious dimension. I don’t know. He’s given me the call of Samuel to meditate on – seems like a good place to start. 

I’m getting into this now. I managed to sit for fifty minutes this time – meditating on the call of Samuel. 

I went to the well to start with, but there was no-one there. I threw a stone down the well and called:  

Hello…

but there was no answer. I lay on the seat and looked at the sky through the trees. I was feeling a bit agitated but I tried to go to sleep like Samuel in the reading. The next thing I was sleeping on one of the beds at the Samaritan centre (the one with the window and the desk in it) and the phone was ringing. When I answered it, it was silent. This happened twice more, but on the third call, instead of just saying 

Samaritans, can I help you?

I then added:

I am here, I’m listening.

JC came into the room then. He told me it’s about being there – that’s the important thing. I know this. No matter what happens in the course of a duty, it’s important to be there. I saved a life the other night. The caller, when he first came on the phone, intended to take his life that night. By the time he went, he wasn’t going to – at least, not that night. He realised that he had lots of stuff to sort out – reasons to stay alive another day – and I was there to help him through that crisis.

When I went round to see English Rose, there was nothing I was going to say or do that could take her pain away, or to bring her husband back, but being there was important. It gave her the space and an opportunity to talk about him, and to remember him and some of the good times that they had had. JC also pointed out that it was possible for two spirits to entwine, it just hadn’t happened to me.

He also asked me why it always took me so long to answer the call, why He practically has to shout at me before I would respond. I said it was because I needed to exert my own free will. Even if my doing something is inevitable, I still had to feel that I had “chosen” this, even if reluctantly so: resistance may be futile but to a certain extent, necessary. Commitment is a big thing. Being here is what is important now. So much of my life is focused and driven – and even last year I made a lot of progress before I could just be. He said: 

You should climb some trees, sing, look at the sky through the branches. Be a child again, be open and just enjoy being here. There is no need to resolve anything or move on. Just stay here for a while with me.

Sounds like a good plan. I did picture spirits entwining and thought perhaps it’s what me and Sedation were beginning to do. Perhaps that is not what is actually happening, merely my desire for it; but perhaps it is what is happening. No wonder He says:

Wait and see.

Diary of a Sunflower: 21 August, year 2

Here I am again for another retreat. It’s comfortingly familiar, yet different, all at the same time. I have a male companion this time. He seems nice enough, but I’ll have my first meeting with him tomorrow. My room is bigger than the one I had last year, and the bed is firmer. I doubt I’ll have to put the mattress on the floor this time. The walls are bare, so perhaps I’ll do some paintings to make them more interesting. I brought my prayer cloth and icons with me, so I’ve set up a little shrine in my room. They didn’t have any of those scented candles they had last year, so I’ve bought one of the oil burners and a fragrant oil. I don’t think this companion will set up a display like the one last year did. I wonder how much different it will be with a man. Tonight, I’m just going to get myself prepared and tomorrow, we start. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 9 July, year 2

Sunflower has been living with a friend and her family for a few weeks while she is waiting to move into her new house. 

My last night at Solidity’s. One important thing I have learned through all of this is how valuable it is to take people up on their offers of help. I could never have managed without my friends and I really do know who they are, and I appreciate their friendship. Because I have friends that I can rely on, I know that I will always be safe. I understand this explicitly now and it has been really good for me to be vulnerable and to be able to let go and trust other people around me to take care of me – and they have. It could have been tense here, but it hasn’t been. There is a serenity. I didn’t know that families could live together with such little conflict. There has always been conflict at home – except when I lived on my own with Dance and Song. That’s the only time I have found peace. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 24 May, year 2

I just did a meditation:  

“Pase lo que pase, la vida sigue su curso. Whatever happens, happens, life continues. Let it go – hand it over.” 

“Made a decision to turn our lives and our will over to God as we understood Him.” 

What can I say? I clearly visualised me handing over that blank cheque to JC. Nothing but my signature – Sunflower – and the empty lines for Him to write in the amount. There was a little tug of war, but a smile with it: it was a done deal and we both knew it. I need to stop worrying and let it happen. 

We were down the river again – my life flowing. I leaned in to drink the water – faith? Like at the well, and it was cool, refreshing, clear, yet deep – like the well. I couldn’t see the bottom of it, like my painting. There were spiders crawling as well, and the fear associated with them. As soon as I acknowledged the fear though, they disappeared. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 12 May, year 2.

I’ve been neglecting myself! Exercise, space, food, health, work – the whole caboodle. And then I wonder why I’m feeling stressed! I just did a good meditation and I think it’s calmed me down a bit – I had a rage on earlier. I need to regain some control over my life – and let go of fear. I musn’t be afraid to be vulnerable with Sedation, but I shouldn’t be emotionally dependent on him either. Letting go of fear is one thing, but pinning everything on another for your emotional wellbeing is probably not a good idea. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 3 February, year 2

Feeling better today. To answer the question – no, I’m not prepared to lose myself in this love, at least not in the same way. As for being scared, I’ve survived lots of crap. What makes me think I can’t survive anymore? I’m only seven months out of a difficult marriage and even the material aspects of this have not been resolved. I have to expect a wobble here and there. This is the first big wobble I’ve had since I was on retreat in August, so I should stop being so hard on myself. 

I did another deep meditation tonight – or did I fall asleep? I don’t think I did that.  

There was no bitter wine tonight, just sparkling water, and I could see the water moving at the bottom of the well, although I couldn’t hear the stone drop. Diving off the cliff into the water – like amniotic fluid, protected. And circling with my arms outstretched, like on the cross. Supported and safe. Jumping off cliffs is safe because the water will cushion, protect and refresh me. And I was naked. JC was wearing Prince’s garish Bermuda swimming shorts, but He told me that I had bought them so they must be tasteful!  

Not everything about Prince is crap. How could I have married him? But I came into this life alone, and that is how I leave. I make connections along the way, experience love and pain and all the rest. 

“How well have you loved?” 

“Lord, why did you tell me to love? 

I have tried, but I come back to you, frightened… 

Lord, I was so peaceful at home, I was so comfortably settled. 

I was alone, I was at peace.”  

“When men came into you, 

I, your God, 

Slipped in among them.”  

(From: Prayers of Life by Michel Quoist) 

Diary of a Sunflower: 1 February, Year 2.

Being lost – is not necessarily a good thing. I was lost with Prince; didn’t know who I was or where I was going. I lost myself in Tenderness, and that was necessary and painful, but it was inspiring and constructive. Am I prepared to lose myself in this love? I don’t know. Part of me is scared. I’m scared of getting hurt again; I’m scared of giving it all and getting burned again. But being scared is part of the ride – there has to be a risk. You know this Sunflower. I was cushioned and protected by the water in my meditation. I’ve got to trust. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 31 January, Year 2.

Did a meditation tonight and I was so deep into it that I felt quite spaced out. I might have fallen asleep, but I don’t think so. I felt my arms tingling and then I felt warm. I remember the red wine and the water swirling in the chalice and being drawn deep into the eyes in my painting. I remember diving off the cliff, down the waterfall and into the water, turning round with my arms out, as if on the cross, and coming up to the surface. I remember holding Sedation’s face, JC pouring out the bitter wine and water from the jug, before I was drawn deep into it. I remember my mum, but not anything in particular. Stillness, and energy moving through my body – and I remember being lost – the time. I don’t remember when I might have been asleep – but I don’t think I was. I didn’t feel scared or unsure, as you might if you were lost. And Sedation was also there. Floating – I remember that feeling of being in the water, and I remember water filling up a rectangular cavity and overflowing on both sides. Will I lose myself in this love?