Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm reading the Dalai Lama's book about his spiritual journey. His holiness, as a simple monk (as he calls himself) spends at least five hours every day meditating and praying - can you imagine? One of the things he is focused on during meditation is the interconnectedness of all things. This mindfulness, of our essential interconnectedness, is the source of his great compassion. I spend barely an hour every day meditating and praying, but nevertheless I get it, I really do, about our interconnectedness. Oh yeah.

My heart is heavy today after learning last night that the luminous, hilarious, lively, joyous and artful Tessa Edwards, of the blog Aerial Armadillo, has died. No I never met her in "real" life, but as with so many other bloggers and friends on Facebook, the fact that we became acquainted over the internet did not in any way interfere with our heart connection.

She had cancer, I don't even know in what form. She was very active on Facebook and continued to post to her blog until mid-October. I haven't seen anything from her since then. I am very sad, truly sad, not virtually sad, to think of her passing beyond the veil.

The other thing the Dalai Lama is focused on in his meditation and prayers is the reality of impermanence. The denial of this truth will cause nothing but suffering. Yeah, yeah .. all our days are numbered, which is one of the reasons I love to say that Life is short and we aren't dead yet. L'chaim!

At the end of my meditation this morning, I told myself in no uncertain terms: Don't take it for granted. Get out there and live fully, like Tessa did. Be creative, dance around, try things that seem impossible, love with your whole heart, err on the side of kindness. Throw your tendencies towards cynicism, sarcasm and hopelessness - and your fantasies of control - straight into the compost bin. Make a fool of yourself over and over again, OK? Laugh. Yes? I say yes.


steven said...

reya - her silence was so loud i wondered. tessa was one of those people who carry a lot of fire and made sure that the people around her were not only warm but could see their way clearly to living life in fullness and goodness. she's left a big legacy in her aid work and also in the simple fact of her presence. barry. tessa. out there somewhere. God bless. steven

ellen abbott said...

I didn't know her or of her but I fully appreciate impermanence having just lost a family member.

Seems to me that meditating five hours a day is a loss of time that could be better spent living the life you are here to live though I am grateful for the Dalai Lama and his compassionate insights.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Reya

see my post today and my reply to you yesterday.
I think we should all DANCE as we weep.
She was so very lovely
and we should weep for all those other people who cannot, for one reason or another, be shining stars
and shine as bright as Tessa


The Pollinatrix said...

I didn't read Tessa's blog, but I can appreciate your grief. Meeting people on the internet has shown me that not only does this medium not "interfere with our heart connection," but often enhances it, because many of the superficialities of "real" life are rendered moot.

As for meditating five hours a day, unless I got up in the middle of the night, my lifestyle would not allow for that, but my practice is to make my life a walking meditation, to remind myself to be present in every moment.

California Girl said...

I haven't read Tessa's blog but I appreciate the tribute you pay her and the reminder we need to "get out there and live fully" something I haven't done to my satisfaction. Ah well.

Another year brings new hope and new opportunities and another chance to redeem oneself.

Happy New Year Reya.

Linda Sue said...

Reya- what Steven said!
And also what you posted- Life is for living- I think that we can see the interconnectedness of all with out spending 5 hours a day meditating about it...It's kind of a no brainer...Tessa was more of a bodisatva- a working moving loving meditation to better the lives of others, enjoying her own time here to the max- brief but jamb packed! My hope is that she has found Marvy over yonder and is rough housing ruff and tumble- loads of licks and woofs.Fantasy perhaps, but that is how we cope...

Tess Kincaid said...

One of the many things I loved about Tessa was the fact that she made everyone so very happy, even though she was going through hell physically, she keep it to herself, and remained a positive force. Peace and love to her.

Reya Mellicker said...

I loved it that Barry shared his experience of having cancer, with humor and humanity, and that Tessa kept it to herself so she could help us live life in fullness and goodness. Yeah what Steven said, oh yeah.

My belief is that meditation and prayer are evolutionary practices that help our species get beyond the knee jerk realities of instinctual behavior, and therefore I am so grateful to the Dalai Lama for spending so much time doing this work.

As we are all interconnected, we all benefit from his focus and dedication.


Angela said...

Tessa is and remains a sister friend to me, and though, like you, I have never "met" her in person, I felt really close to her. How very sad that she will not write one of her joyous, loving letters anymore. But I still have her calendar of this year.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Reya this is a wonderful tribute to Tessa. She was and is a wonderful example of humanity. It is sad that we lost two wonderful people (Barry & Tessa) to cancer this year. Thank you for writing this and I love steven's comment. Peace and love. Cheryl

Reya Mellicker said...

Love you too, Cheryl. Remember our pact, OK?

Mary Ellen said...

Thanks for the reminder, Reya. If I could become more mindful, the days, weeks, and months would not blur together and evaporate as they have seemed to do recently for me. I believe the discipline of daily writing is also good for that - and you are a good role model for that. All the best for the coming year!

Chris Wolf said...


Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Mary Ellen. And a big ole heart to you, too, Chris. What a day. Whew!!

loveable_homebody said...

Hey Reya,

I'm sorry you lost your blogging friend and I'm glad that you have a comforting way to mourn her and also to make the most of your life. I like how you connected the Dalai Lama to your friend's death.

I know when someone I know or know of dies, I think about my own mortality and that of those who are dear to me. Her death helped you appreciate your life while celebrating hers and accepting the inevitable. I like that.


karen said...

I was so sad to hear of Tessa's passing.. what an amazing person (also only known through blogging to me). I did notice that she had not written for a while, but what she had written up till then had been quite incredible... Like Angela, I still have her beautiful calendar on my desk. She will be missed, indeed.

Mrsupole said...

Too many have passed away this past year. It was almost too much to handle. Three family funerals within three months. I hope I never have to go through another year such as this. It really puts a damper on one's happy blogging abilities.

So sorry to hear about your blogging friend Tessa. I remember when we rang the bell for Barry and we had so much hope. So many sad things and yet we always need hope that things will get better.

Now if I could just get rid of all this heart burn that I have also acquired this past year. I think it is caused from all this stress. Oh well, I must be helping to increase the stock value of Tums with how many bottles I have gone through lately.

Does anyone have any natural cures for heartburn besides baking soda?

God bless.

Val said...

such sadness - a big bright shining light lost to us all, but her glow will remain in all our hearts. Thanks for this post xxx

Reya Mellicker said...

Mrsupole I am so sorry for your losses, and so glad to "see" you here. Onwards to 2011!