A Conspiracy


Someone is messing with my Zen.

Mind you, it’s there for the taking if I don’t keep guard.

Thanks for the reminders.

The universe has conspired, you see.  It began at the start of the new year when I decided to set intentions and not adopt resolutions.  I would choose a few words to inspire and guide and teach me and leave it to the universe to make of that what it would.

And the words that came and set roost were: 

 “The universe is conspiring in your favor.”

And conspire it has.    In my universe of loved ones, there have been three deaths, a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer and the start of two painful divorces.  All in the last six weeks.   Plus a health scare of my own.

I began to reconsider my choice of words. 

Maybe choosing to conspire was a tad risky.

Maybe I should have chosen something like “grow” or “prosper” or “flourish.”

But conspiracy sticks, it seems.

For while there have been tears and anxiousness and sadness and fear, there have also been celebrations of lives well-lived, time given, perspective gained, peace promised in the future and a biopsy that was benign.

In this time, I have been lovingly surrounded by the presence and spirit of family and dear friends.   I have watched the moon kiss a mountain and hiked the ridge of another with friends of dear connection.   I have spent time with my grandson and my granddaughter.  And I have moved toward the next big step.

My Zen might have been rattled.  But it’s still there. 

Ever conspiring.

And so, I think, am I.

92 thoughts on “A Conspiracy

  1. Lovely pictures. Perhaps prayers said in community can remind us that there are “celebrations of lives well-lived, time given, perspective gained, peace promised in the future and a biopsy that was benign”. Philip Yancey up in CO writes about the rocks that stand at an “angle in repose”, the point where they just sit balanced where they are or tumble on down. Before the tumbling and positioned in repose (your pictures), perhaps prayers can gather to move mountains of concern. Keep faith.

  2. I hope that the year gives you some quiet time soon. That is way too much to deal with in the first six weeks of any year. But you seem to be handling things amazingly well. I hope lots of strength flows your way as you need it. 🙂

  3. This post (both your story and the photographs) is haunting and lovely, as are all of yours, and openly sharing of the full range of emotions and fears and sadness and hope. Here is one other blogger friend who is fervently hoping for a more positive year ahead for you.

    • Thank you, Dor. You are a bright presence in my blogging world. I hope I did not bring everyone down with my downer post on Valentine’s Day 🙂 But it did make me feel better.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles. What a time this must be for you! I have no doubt you will come through it with wit and wisdom and grace, but I know it must be so difficult. I’m sending you good wishes and comfort, too.

    By the way, those sculptures are amazing. I am dying to see the violinist in person.

      • Hi Bella, You know, I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog, but light and life positively radiate from within and without.
        Remember, when a handful of crumbs is spread upon the waves, they dissipate; absorbed as though they were never there. So have your friends absorbed your pain; diffused by their love.
        Bee well, D.

  5. Yes, Bella, thought something wasn’t right. There is little meaningful I can say about the deaths and divorces of people I don’t know. Other than give you my heartfelt blanket compassion. January appears to be a bugger of a month for people to break up. And, as time marches on funerals start to outnumber christenings. Only two days ago my mother who will be 79 next week talked about how she felt that life was slowly ebbing out of her, like a lace dress fading in the sun. Whilst a lovely picture she drew, I can’t stand the thought. Will have to get used to it.

    Because those we “know” always closest to our interest, my main concern in what you convey is YOUR health scare. I dearly hope you are alright. Better than alright. As to your choice of words, your “intentions”: There are things in life we can’t will.

    Bear hug, won’t crush you,

  6. May you have peace…and soon. But as for your zen. The rattling led you to know it was still there. I recently discovered I ignore the invisible in an ever-challenging quest to be greater and wiser. My prayers have been filled with: What do you want me to do? And not until I stopped fussing , did I find the answer of “Just what you’re doing.”
    But it’s not mighty! I replied. But the answer was still the same.

    Your zen is still there. You’re sharing it with others. it’s just what you’re needed to do.
    Thanks for sharing this part of you. And as always, your pictures are a cleansing breath for our spirits.

  7. That is a lot to take in all at once. It is odd that once one thing hits, others soon follow. I wish you and your family well. And I hope things settle down.

  8. What’s that saying about we’re never given more than we can handle? Personally, I think it’s a load of doo-doo. You’ve had a lot – and you’re still there. Your zen might be rattled but it’s rattling enough for you to hear ti … my inclination would be to take it a little easier, and, like you said, watch the moon kiss the mountain and spend a little time on you doing what you love. We can’t change what comes at us, we can only change/manage how WE deal with it.

    I am hoping for better, more peaceful days ahead for you … and lots of extra Zen, too.

    Loved your photos of those amazing sculptures … MJ

    • That is a great title Laurie—wish I had thought of that to use as the title of the post! The third photograph is of a sculpture in Taos, New Mexico. I loved it. Of course, it is even better in real life. Thank you, always. Laurie.

    • Seems I’ve been challenged with keeping steady more than usual which is why, I guess, I had to share all of my whining. It did help, however. At least me 🙂 Thank you for your kind thoughts and for stopping in. I love these sculptures and glad you did too.

    • I have definitely been fraught with emotion lately—perhaps I went off a bit too much here. Now that I spewed forth with all of that, I do feel a bit more balanced. Thanks, Walker.

  9. Oh, what a hard six weeks. But you are right, with the terrible news, there as been some precious times. Is that not what life is about? It would be wonderful to all be good, but we know it’s not like that (and I must remember that).

    This is a beautiful post. The words and the images combine to make it so. Thank you. And I hope things start to look brighter!

    • I have had some very good moments within all of this and for that I am very thankful. So appreciate your kind words, Katie. I always get a smile when I look at your pictures 🙂

  10. Powerful words. They too my breath away. I am sorry you are going through so much all at once. I had something similar happen 10 years ago (deaths, illnesses, surgeries) and I look back at that dark time now and marvel that I made it on through. I’m still breathing and appreciating things more now. My Zen has never left. I wish the same for you, Bella.

  11. Your photos are lovely, as are the words that accompany them. How about if you consider today the start of your own, personal new year, one filled with only good things?

  12. They’re called hardships because they are, in fact, so hard. But the way you’ve approached them is like your writing – loving, understanding, insightful and above all, inspirational to others.

    So glad you are well through all of this. And thanks for sharing it with us.

  13. I’m so glad things are going well! I get suspicious when things continuously go well for me, because it usually means the universe is storing up a big dump. But if I simply pretend it will continue to go well, usually it does. Mind over matter.

  14. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more sadness we experience as our world changes faster and faster. Your writing and your photography are like your salvation , and I’m so glad you have them. But I do hope that you have some moments of peace for awhile. A long while.

  15. Sorry to hear about the loss and sickness in your family. Events like this disturbs the zen and peace of our lives. But in the end our family and friends love and support will help us carry through the storm. I pray for good health for you ,your family and all you care about. God bless you always

  16. Hoping the universe stops messing with your zen. Wishing you and your family peace and good health for the rest of the year. Take care. Your images and words are a powerful combination.

  17. You took my breath away, Bella. I am sorry the year began with challenges, though I am grateful for benign results. Keeping looking for the beauty, as it is always present. You have a keen eye for beauty, too. I believe your zen will see you through. Prayers to you and your loved ones.

  18. My best wishes for you and for your family too dear Bella. This is so beautiful post, the photographs fascinated me. Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

  19. Dear Bella,
    Although I hate the sentiment that says that what doesn’t kill you makes you strong, I think it fits when hardships and heartaches are condensed. I too am glad that your Zen is still with you, and that it is still plentiful enough to share with your friends here online.
    Many hugs and good karma heading your way.

  20. I think that I have never met a more passionate and compassionate conspirator–nor one more indomitable. May your journeys and the universe answer your call to conspiracy with greater tenderness and generosity than it has shown in these weeks, and raise you up the more joyfully.


  21. Sometimes life has a way of stopping you in your tracks. I’m not sure I always understand why that happens but believing that you are strong and surrounding yourself with what lifts you up as you yourself try to do the same is brave and wonderful. Your blog is like a breath of fresh air for me that allows me to admire beauty and sit back and smile at your perspective. And I think that is something that deserves the most joyful conspiracy of all. Are you listening Universe :).

  22. This year has barely begun…..your strength is inspiring. When I first read this, I wanted to share something, but remembering how much I initially resented the comment when I heard it, I decided not to…..But I’ve come to see it in a diffent light, so here it is: 2 years ago I experienced the most unimaginable loss, one I didnt think I would survive, and of course blamed myself. Someone, a practicing Buddhist, finally told me “This isnt about you…your pain is magnified by your sensitivity to another’s pain – but this is not about your journey, its about theirs”.

    The comment helped in that it changed my pain from grief to wanting to lash out at him…But somehow, I’m starting to understand it….I think …..we become so entwined with our loved ones we forget they are not really “ours”, they have their own path to follow, but yet we do share a connection on a deeper level we do not yet understand…..

    anyway, my thoughts are with you Bella

  23. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your world. We never know the stories behind the people we see and when we get a small window we get to see that everyone is dealing with something. It seems that you truly have your fair share now.

    I hope you take some time for you – so you can scream loud enough to hear an echo and cry if the moment presents itself. Above all, thanks for giving this bit of yourself to us. xo MK

  24. I’ve just discovered your blog … by chance?? Hmmmm, maybe not. Sorry to hear you’re dealing with so much loss – Wishing you strength and rest for each moment. Take your time.

  25. I just love these representations of sculpture. Beautiful pictures!… and as for the thoughts on some of the troubles that have been harassing you lately, I can only hope that the zen will help you achieve a perspective in which you’ll be able to choose a portion fromm each dish that you can successfully digest. Some tastes are hard to swallow, except in minute portions… but it’s all part of this life. My best wishes to you.

  26. That side of life comes around every once in a while and tries to knock us off balance. I’m happy to hear you’ve kept your footing. Stay strong and keep writing. Please.

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