The Joy of Being Understood, and Other Things, written a bit Stream-O-Consciousness-y

When you’re bottled up full with feelings, when experiences run both depressing and joyful, blank and vibrant, diverse and dull, when you’re uplifted by company and also nourished by solitude, when you’re lonely but exhausted by people, when you’re saddened by sickening on-going health problems that make you fed up & itch to get on with your life but so so slowed down, when you’re uplifted by dear ones and feel connection’s bright rays, when thrilling joy floods through you in the moments where you feel a bit less crap than earlier/yesterday/last week, when you’re dancing with despair & disillusionment & fed-uppery, but also joy and gratitude and meaning; when you’re a solitary creature but still experience loneliness’s blank ache, when you love your work so deeply and brightly and fully, but it does exhaust you as well as energise you, when you’re uplifted by doing things and yet also drained by them, when you’re spiritually drained by not doing things, but too limited in your doing-stuff-staminabilities, when many of your personal challenges are kept to yourself for one reason or another, when taking time off to rest resets you but also upsets you, when you long for adventure & intensity & wild abandon, but are forced by your body’s limitations to be careful and paced and sensible and smaller-living, when your soul needs to shout & shake but your body needs to cosset and curl up, when you are dynamic and happy in one moment but paying for that with pain and fatigue and yuckeries afterwards, when you can show up dynamically for that important hour or two, but only with oodles of private preparation and rest before and after, when you are fit to bursting with oxymorons and contradictions and tug of wars between the different aspects of your reality….

How wonderful it is, then, when someone shares honestly how they are, and you understand. How wonderful it is, then, when someone asks how you are and really wants to know, listens in a way that invites your honesty and fullness of truth. How wonderful it is, then, when someone embraces you and hugs you with their vulnerability and yours both vibrantly present in the space around you. How wonderful it is, to feel understood, and cared for, and seen. How wonderful it is, to care and to see and to understand, as far as you can.

And how beautiful and brilliant, to have a vocation, to feel a calling, to connect to a community, that comes together & shows up as they are & grows together, and in which you can almost always offer your contribution, whole-heartedly, in your own way, no matter how rough you’re feeling. How beautiful and brilliant to create living experiential beauty together with others. And how beautiful and brilliant to witness it in the world. How beautiful and brilliant.

And how the heart smiles, when the phone rings from a loved one at just your blankest saddest moment, and you can tell your truths and hear theirs, and talk light and dark, dancing between them with ease. How the heart smiles, when treasured close friends send you thoughtful kind words, by text, by voice message, by telepathic networks of loving intention, or by popping up at a good moment. How the heart smiles, when you see your presence has made a positive difference, when you feel the positive exchange of energies between yourself and others. How the heart smiles when you’ve been able to play your designated role and delight in rising to it, but also just be yourself as you are, at least a bit, and still be seen and loved. How the heart smiles, when we feel connected and cared for, and useful, and part of the web of things.

And how hard it is, to get through those moments where we feel disconnected, useless, cut off, full of doubt and worry and sickness. How hard it is to remember yesterday was different and tomorrow will be too. How hard it is to “meet those two impostors” (triumph and disaster), just the same – if indeed that’s a good idea to do at all! How hard it is to juggle all those great dances of complex self care and community concerns and global issues and all the great noise of today’s political, social and everything-al climate. How hard it is to truly un-learn the un-helpful things we have been taught to believe to be true, but which we discover do not serve life or hold true anymore. How hard it is to meander through all the illness, death, stink and rot, grot and sadness, grief and badness, meanness and bullies, confusion and exhaustion, and changes beyond our control. How hard it is to express how shit the shit stuff is; and also to stay connected to hope. How hard it is, to be human, and to witness it all and also play your part.

And how wonderful, amidst all these things, to feel understood, to understand, and to connect to love, in any of its beautiful, wonderful and varied forms.


The above splurge of slightly less logical writing than usual, is inspired by recent tough times and beautiful wonderful times, which coexist quite loudly with each other. 

Big thanks to the lovely people at GLOW choir today, who made magic together, contributed uniquely in various ways, and brought to life a beautiful and inspiring song by Judith Silver (and other beautiful songs too), which I have wanted to teach (and live) for a long time.

Big thanks to wonderful, wonderful friends and family who’ve shown up with words and ears at opportune moments.

No thanks to the really rough place physical-health-wise I’ve been in recently, which has also taken a great toll / had a vivid effect on my mental health of late – hence much of the stuff in the above splurge!

Big thanks to a few v close friends for some wonderful honest exchanges, and one in particular which I described above, which I’m very grateful for. Sometimes just hearing and being heard, in a caring manner, however briefly but genuinely, is a potent magic. And being understood as well as heard, and doing your best to understand as well as hear – what a beautiful gift to give. Thank you, dear close friends who have given this to me / exchanged this with me, today/recently.

The fresh cold moody air has also been a blessing, and the changeable skies, with their occasional gifts of beautiful, touchable, smellable, sensable, audible, lovely rain.

The beautiful song of Judith’s that we sang today incorporates some beautiful quotes in Hebrew, from Psalms. Here are some of them below:

Psalm 139: 9-10, translation Siddur Lev Chadash

“If I take up the wings of the morning and dwell on the ocean’s farthest shore, even there Your hand will lead me, Your strong hand will hold me.”

Psalm 121: 7-8 translation Siddur Lev Chadash

“May the Eternal One guard your going out and your coming in, now and always.”

This has necessarily been a less logical, less focused blog post than usual, and a more expressive, more therapeutic, more meandering blog post, as the moment warranted. And that’s the way it is. And that’s that.

See the main blog page for a variety of other posts, in different styles, about different things.

See the home page for info about voice coaching / singing lessons / choir etc!