Geez, I don’t have a picture of my kids in red velvet. Maybe because I don’t have kids. (And I’m Jewish.) So I can’t write about soccer practice or how someone I gave birth to won the Nobel Peace Prize—and how’s your family doing?
So how do you capture a year? For me, I cherish moments. (You might want to do this with your year, too. Or, I don’t know you, you might have Oscar winners!)
I am going to write about two moments from this year, as they seem to be the ones that clamor for my attention. And they’re the kind of moments that not only happen once in a year, but once in a lifetime.
Before I do, I just want to pay homage to so much else that defined this year.
I’ve done a lot of public speaking in 2011, speaking at New Thought churches and keynoting at impressively cool conferences! I am still in awe that I have something to say, and that I don’t faint or do some crazy Touretts Syndrome thing– where I scream profanities from the stage or bark or mewl at the audience.
I’ve grown my Facebook Fan Page into an active community of creative, inspired souls who support me and one another. I love feeling connected to so many people at one time and being privileged enough to hold a torch for those who are making visionary, authentic choices, even on a Tuesday.
On a personal level, I’ve grown in my yoga practice and actually consider myself a yogini now, even though I may never do a handstand or get to class more than once a week. I’ve had surreal sweet moments walking Emerson, my dog, on a trail near a lake. That Black Lab/Bassett Hound Lovebunny mix of everything good in this life forced Paul and I to tear away from our computers and into the sunlight or the snow or the dark lit by moonlight. These were moments we not only reveled in the love of our small family, but in the freedom and delight of being self-employed.
So the Two Moments:
I get an email from my agent. I am in a foul mood, one of those days that spirals out of control and you beat yourself up for not having some imagined kind of pristine consciousness. You do have those days, right?
“Now what?” I think to myself as I see his name flash across my screen. I open the email and he tells me he has great news. Tarcher/Penguin wants to publish my next book Inspired and Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work! They have made a generous offer and written something touching like “We believe in Tama and want to support her work in the world.” I squeal out loud. I can’t believe what I’m reading, so much so that I think there’s a mistake in the numbers. And once and for all, I’m a living proof positive…that you do not have to be in a good mood for your good to find you.
Paul and I have just taken the train down from upstate New York to New York City and we are walking around 42nd street near Grand Central. We stroll into an H&M clothing store when we get a call from my brother. My mother, who has just driven us to the train station in Pawling, New York, about an hour ago, was in a head-on collision. I know in that moment, she is not going to live, and that this is it.
But we were only going to New York City for the night, and then we were going to spend the week with her on vacation. That’s what we’d come in for, my mind reasons, as though these plans matter. I feel the smack of the car crash in my brain. I feel the thud. I feel the impact. This is the thud of reality taking place. I leave the store, and lean against a wall, right on 42nd street. Probably hundreds of people pass by in their hurry. But I am in silence. I am in slow time. I am in the time of realization that this is really happening.
My mother is in the hospital. We ride the train up to Poughkeepsie. My brother gives me updates by text messages and talks on the phone. She leaves this world, while I have two stops to go.
Later, I will take in the masterful, unthinkable choreography of everything. How, because I had been so worried about my mother’s diminishing mental health, I had scheduled this time to be back in New York with her. And how my brother, coincidentally, had scheduled the same week off to take a vacation. Instead, we spend the week picking out a casket, clothes to bury her in, and pictures to represent her life.
I have come to appreciate, too, that my mother left this world on her terms. She did not have to leave the house she loved with all her heart, or endure the pain and decline of disease– or mental ravages.
(By the way, the picture of me in red, above, was taken when Paul and I got down to New York City. It’s about a minute before I got the call about my mother. I love this photo, because it’s the minute before everything changes. And we are always in that minute.)
I guess you could say that these two moments represent birth and death. Here’s where these moments are the same for me. They both radiated grace. They both pierced through my bubble of “being busy” and perennial self-absorption and reminded me that my life was part of a vast and Loving Universe, and that nothing is out of order; the web of transcendence sparkles with consistent light in every strand.
These moments were important, because I call them important. But I know that if I could pierce the veil, I’d see the same qualities in every moment. That’s what I’m dedicating myself to in 2012. I want to live in as many moments as possible with awe and the deep comfort and safety of knowing that Great Love is always present, and always closer and more abundant than I’ll ever imagine with my scrawny mind.
I wish this for you too– and for all the beautiful souls upon this planet.
Hey, and what are some of your 2011 moments?