Of Stars & Men: A Note on Grief, Love & Life

Part of this blog has been about coming out about stuff. Being vulnerable, daring to share. That’s why it’s sometimes quiet– not because I’m not writing, but because I’m not posting, not letting go.

This time was different. I wasn’t writing. These are the first words penned since I lost

–6 minutes doing other things before I can write this next part–

My Dad.

Some people have strained or even terrible relationships with theirs. If at all. Mine was a Best Friend, a Warrior, my King. There are some things you don’t fathom until they’re gone.

Can you imagine the world without the ocean? Or air?

My Dad showed me absolute, unconditional love and acceptance. I could share my crazy any time, no problem. And rebellious harshness was never unforgivable.

I wish this kind of love for everyone. It’s life.

But easy to take for granted if you always swim in it. Like Air.

His responses were always tempered. Wisdom from a lifetime of reading, wide-thinking, far-traveling, legal/social/cultural-navigating, fighting for equal treatment of others as a career and passion.

I could call at 3am, thousands of miles away. If needed he would come. “Too Easy.”

Dads who teach you they stand on the streetside to protect you. And admonish you to do that for others.

Dads who remind you not to jump at any news, because there’s always 3 sides to a story.

Dads who keep telling you not to sweat the small stuffand it’s all small stuff.

Dads who dance when wiping their shoes at the door, enjoy the little things, spark your coffee love, always point to Wonder and Gratitude, stay the course under any Fire.

Dads who Serve and always set the example and Standard. Dads who Survive.

It’s because of a crazy vision years ago that I started calling “God,” Dad.
(and I never told you..)

Mine left without warning. In his sleep, 63 years young. I could ask for nothing kinder. You get “the call” and the world stops. You’ve lost limbs, you have no strength, you’re falling off a cliff every time you think of him. You can’t breathe. Or look at photos. Or feel where his pen left its weight on inscriptions..

You wonder how anyone survives this.

#Covid restricted travel, blocked any kind of gathering or service, and so much more..

I realize many are running through these traumas. ❤
Hang. in. there.

But I know stars shine even in the daytime. Even when we can’t see them. Even if we aren’t thinking of them.

Gaining Perspective.

I showed my kids the sun in comparison to Rigel, a mere star in beloved Orion.

We read about solar nurseries and star life cycles and for the first time ever–call me crazy, or slow— I considered celestial bodies like living things.

Like plants, animals, people..

I shared this with my mom, and the quiz trap, “How many stars are in our solar system?” (wink, wink: One).

A bible-nerd verse came to mind and I went digging. But found a gem my broken heart wasn’t expecting:

“All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory..

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” (verse)

Sown in weakness, raised in power..

I thought of the fragility of my father in contrast to his inner fortitude.

I thought about seeds, like hope, that thrive under heavy dark, the weight of the world on their shoulders.

How many times do we feel weak or broken? Alone? Do we also know we’re strong and courageous?

We’ve survived 100% of our days so far.

Mighty Track record.

Not everyone believes in an afterlife or seeing loved ones lost. I’m hoping for it, and an Insane party–after all, if creation took “6 days,” and Jesus said “I’m gonna prep a spot” –like 2,000 years ago– let your mind go.

Love is powerful. Unconditional love is unstoppable. And regardless of time, space, dimension and belief, Im still feeling it.

Love your life.

Share your heart.

Shine like you mean it.

The night is a little less dark when stars just Are.

Keep hope in these strange, uncertain and sometimes breaking days.

And the greatest things aren’t seen with the eyes anyway, right?

© @JasNotes – thisisheartinformation.com


Marvel love, thanks Dad.

Hey, I’m Jasmine, how are you holding up in this Covid time? Sending hugs. Also, if you need some grief resources pls check online. I’ve been fumbling through it here. Everyone grieves differently and there are no clear cut stages or timelines. And Covid is wacking the already unnormal pain and process. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Take. Your. Time.

One Ted Talk I saw before the world broke said we dont move on from it, we move forward with it (Nora McInerny). Time helps. Breathing helps. I’m still in it so still lack wisdom.
I’m sending love. I did a quick google search this or this may have something for you. (but I haven’y thoroughly checked them).

Feel free to post a comment below, or share the blog. We could all use a little encouragement and connection these days❤

A little more Space Love?
Saturn’s Hexagon, what?
Rainbows are Full Circles, what?

A little more Encouragement?
Stay the Same or Show Up? The Rainbow Needs all Her Colors to Shine
Diamonds & Pencils: Become the Hero of Your Story
Stars are Always Shining, even if you Don’t See Them

Surely a Dad-Approved:
Busting Religion: Why I let my Kids Play with Batman, Nijago, Elsa..


NB: *I use He & His as simple pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with male and female “identity” (for lack of a better word) as demonstrated throughout the Bible and most blatantly through humanity. Related post, Transgender God, here.


Photo Credits:
-Old 80’s and 00’s pics of me and my dad @JasNotes
-space happenings poster via NASA
-“Justice is what love looks like in public,” book pic from Subversive Jesus, Craig Greenfield.
-Astronaut drawing, via Macmillian Color Library: Space (1979)
-Image of girl and sun, and NYC and moon via WP Gallery
-Star comparison via Macmillian Color Library: Space (1979)
-“South of Carina” Nebula/Stars image via NASA
-Cosmic/Explorer graphic via Stoian Hitrov (found via Walli wallpaper app)
-Poem, “Death Exists…” (in Dutch), thanks dear neighbor ❤
-Sun collage by me, originals via NASA (i think, yikes).

Where I can, I always try to credit photo authors. Pls msg me for what I miss.

Take care peeps ❤

Shine & Shadow: How to Stay in the Light without Throwing Shade

God-glimpses aren’t confined to churches, prayer or fasting. Sometimes (many times?) they can happen in the natural, every-day moments.

I biked with three of my littles one unnaturally warm winter day. The youngest sitting behind me piped up:  “Look, look!”

Continue reading “Shine & Shadow: How to Stay in the Light without Throwing Shade”

Playing ‘Hard to Get’ with God, or the Other Way Around?

Was ‘The Bachelor’ a jump start for ‘Secret Princes’ where royalty go undercover to find true love? These shows expose our longing to be loved for who we are, not what we have, do, or who we’re friends and family with.

Might it be the same with God?

 

 

Did Superman always walk around with the cape..?

Continue reading “Playing ‘Hard to Get’ with God, or the Other Way Around?”

God Loves Drum & Bass: Keep Calm, or Let Loose

[This post may be best experienced with speakers hooked up.]

Can we only experience God in a Cathedral or Sunday service? Do we need silence or meditation? If we’re searching with our hearts we might find *Him anywhere, but one powerful place is Music.

Let the Elevator loose! (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Now, I want to tell you a secret. When I’m waiting at the bike light you’ll find me tapping beats on my brakes. Sure, it’s a normal sight, but you probably don’t imagine I’m exploding internally. Amidst the peace and silence “outside”, there’s rowdy beats and wild noise inside me.

Continue reading “God Loves Drum & Bass: Keep Calm, or Let Loose”

The Fourteenth Day: An Obscure Prophecy That Might Give Everything Purpose

I’m a bit bible nerdy and instead of skipping over peculiar texts, I sometimes dwell on them. It’s a quirk I’m trying to appropriate so here’s my take on a text you probably never heard preached in church: The fourteenth day.

It appeared during Moses’ instructions to Israel before the 10th and final, most gut-wrenching plague. Every first born was to be killed and this plague sparked the Exodus from Egypt.

Continue reading “The Fourteenth Day: An Obscure Prophecy That Might Give Everything Purpose”

If God Was a Bear: “Brave” & Rebelling from Love

Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse sacrificial love and our divine identity, but Brave touches something deeper: the reality of our love-hate relationship with God.

Merida, a fiery and fun-loving princess who wants to live on her own terms (who doens’t?) runs up against traditions that oppress her spirit. Her mother tries to prepare her for all the ways and responsibilities of a princess, including arranged marriage, but the pair are losing their minds and each other.

Continue reading “If God Was a Bear: “Brave” & Rebelling from Love”

A Rebel Christian Manifesto…or, Apology

This has been an extra hard post to write and share. The danger in revealing something of your heart is it becomes open for ridicule, but it can also spark hope in someone– do people know how loved they are!? So I write knowing some identifying as Christian will dispute, just like I dispute the Nashville Statementplease don’t think that speaks for me, other humans, or those  identifying as “Christian”, or even God *Himself

Religion can steal/steel compassion and common sense, resulting in misinformed, cruel statements, actions, policies. But bible verses have always been used against fellow man, woman, child, even the environment.

Even the devil quoted scriptures.

 

 

(*I use He and His as simple pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female “identity” -for lack of a better word- as demonstrated throughout the bible and blatantly through humanity. Related post here.)

So for those not wanting anything to do with God or “Christians” because of those calling themselves “Christian,” and to stand (or, ahem, #takeaknee) with rebel Christians who’ve been persecuted and pushed out of churches for thinking, doing, or flat-out being something “different,”

And for every child, woman, or man that heard your voice doesn’t matter because of your age, skin color, gender, marital or parental status, anything external,  and for every creature and all nature that was abused under the notion that those made “in the image of God” are superior, this is for You.

REBEL CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO, or APOLOGY

Dear Children, little brothers and little sisters, You are the Mightiest Warriors of all.
Your heart, ideas, dreams and very life matter, not because of anything you do, but simply because: You Are. We are humbled by you. You’ve gone through fire because of the grave failings of our own adult hearts (Proverbs 17:3), and our grief is bottomless. (What are these tears God wipes in heaven if there are no more tears there? Maybe the ones we cry when we see just how much you’ve endured on our behalf…)

child heart - adult heart - as we grow let our compassion grow too
All heaven will bow before you. Thank you for your willingness to exist in this time with us.

Dear Women, Sisters, “Equal but with separate/different roles” was a lie spoken over you like “separate but equal” was spoken over those with darker skin color before you. You ARE equal to your brothers and your value rests not in your (in)ability to birth or raise children, to cook or clean… Your “role” was never meant to be defined by society, culture, the church, or anyone. God has always challenged our perception and understanding of identity and contrary to popular belief/practice, your giftings and talents were never supposed to be checked at the door when you came to a church service.

Continue reading “A Rebel Christian Manifesto…or, Apology”