join the festival

“bon appétit” A new mixed media sculpture of mine (details on my artwork page)…as I was photographing it outside, a chickadee landed on top…so sweet.

I was talking with someone the other day and she seemed off. I wasn’t sure if this woman was just in a bad mood or was feeling physically ill, but the visit was edgy and a little uncomfortable. We’d made a plan to go out for coffee, and I really felt like cancelling, but I didn’t. Half way through our time together, she brought up something painful that I’d said to her in the past.

She said it with a laugh, but there was also a barb.

I almost apologized but stopped myself when I realized that I had already profusely apologized to her…several times. As a matter of fact, almost every time she brought up the past, I would find myself apologizing for something.

As I drove away, I thought, “No apology will ever be enough for her. She sees herself as an innocent player in a hurtful past and seems to crave, and get some sort of temporary relief from, apologies that she either can’t believe or accept. She wants to have meaningful, loving, relationships, yet holds onto the idea that almost everyone in her life has hurt her…and she will not forget, so she never really forgives anyone. She is stuck in the past…the unhappy, unloving, unfulfilled, past…and no one can free her except herself, but she doesn’t know it.”

I forgot about this interaction until several days ago, when I woke up in a less-than-good mood, began a conversation/grievance (can’t remember about what) with Jack, but was stopped mid-sentence when he said, “I am so sorry. Can’t we put that behind us? We are in such a new place….”

In that moment, I realized that I was doing the very thing that I hated being done to me. I was bringing up a past hurt (because of my own in-the-moment, bad mood/insecurity) and wanting Jack to, yet again, apologize, say he was wrong, say I was right, acknowledge how much he’d hurt me… I wasn’t at all interested in looking honestly at my own past behavior and how I’d hurt him. Nope…in that moment, I was (rather unconsciously) blaming him for my bad feelings and demanding that he make me feel better.

I sat there quietly and thought; “No one can free me except myself. It doesn’t matter what he says now. If I don’t change, I will continue to be the same kind of emotional victim that I find so unappealing.” This new thought brought a feeling of light to my mind and heart and I even felt grateful for that interaction with the woman several weeks earlier. It was as if I was given a glimpse of who I was or would become, if I didn’t change.

I also knew that I was being called up to higher level of living/love and that keeping my mind and thoughts in the now, continuing to gently turn them away from past and future, was the key to everything in this expanded field. Of course I’ve known this (at some level) for years, but this incident: being able to see this negative pattern in myself so clearly, brought me to a new awareness that the work of awakening is really quite a trip…and one that I really want to be on!

Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else, other than you, was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.” Osho

Mary’s Skin Survival Balm available now!

I’ve made another batch of my skin balm. If you are interested in purchasing any, email me at and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. The tins are 2 oz and are $8.95 each (buy 4, get one free). Shipping is $3 for one, and a flat $4 for any amount over one.



14 thoughts on “join the festival”

  1. dear mary,

    happy monday to you and jack tomorrow!

    loved your post below.

    john and i had saturday coffee with a friend for years after her husband died — full of good conversations about living in this world, good and bad.

    then, after john died, she, who was a caregiver for many of her elderly acquaintances, began to bring all the sadness of illness and deaths of her friends to our saturdays. which to me was like having a bucket of cold water dumped on my head.

    life is too wonderful and who knows how short to not be excited about all the good things we see (how about autumn’s screeching colors this week?) or current events that we find amusing and might manage better.

    soooo, i invited another friend to join us at the table and lighten the tone, which worked so well that others came and soon thereafter the original friend, who was aging noticeably and missing my ear for her woes, faded away from saturdays.

    our saturday coffees continue and are wonderful! 5 to 8 people, all of us with a different eye on life, but enjoying the trip.

    sam and margaret’s wedding and not one but two receptions (ny and chicago) were the best! i’m heading to friends in georgia for fishing and vacationing for a week starting just before halloween followed by a couple days in nyc before i head for home.

    i am bubbling over with being happy, healthy and alive.

    love, m 🙂

    > > >

  2. Hello dear Mary,

    I was just thinking this very day, “I wonder if I’ve missed a post from Mary? I hope all is well in her world.” Lo, and behold, here you are in my in-box, once again with a meaningful message. Thank you as always. Your timing is perfect.

    With gratitude,



  3. Dear Mary, Wow once again you have zeroed in on what has been on my mind . I was talking to a friend about an old hurt from years ago to me from my brother. And I remember thinking I am so tired of this and it just wasn’t worth thinking about it or talking about it. So thank you for your insight! Life is too short and I am happy and God forgave us so let’s be grateful and forgive others! Thanks, Joan. It was great to hear from you and see that beautiful picture of you with your grandchild!💕

    1. Thank you, Joan…letting go (forgiving and forgetting the past hurts) has been so important for me and so challenging at times. I find it interesting that although I was raised in a religious home, forgiving of others was not something that either of my parents talked about (or did!) and it is such a key to happiness for us. Blessings to you on this glorious day, Mary

  4. So grateful for your words and sharing this experience. It makes me take a deep breathe……in……out. Sending hugs.

    1. Hugs back to you, Virginia…and your words reminded me to take a deep breath on this very busy (but also very good) day. Sending you the happiest thoughts for a lovely day, Mary

  5. Mary, while you don’t post often enough, when you do now, it has such meaning. We all carry such a lot of baggage at times and we seem to enjoy nurturing it. How is it you hit the nail on the head so often…and I think we all appreciate the humanness of it. I can relate.
    SandyP in Canada

    1. I really appreciate your thoughts, Sandy, and I so agree with you that it can almost seem enjoyable to remember (or remind myself of) a past unhappy situation. It does help me to write it out…to “out myself” so to speak and yet again remind myself that i choose not to go there…there is no life for me now in an unhappy past. May today be filled with grace for you. Love, Mary

  6. Oh Mary, you are always writing what’s either on my mind or what’s been happening in my life also. Sometimes I still struggle with the letting go part. I tend to keep things inside and dwell on them. Not good. You always write such beautiful words- thank you 😍

Comments are closed.