Archive | February, 2016

All Worlds Become An Altar For Kneeling. . . . . . .

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Is It The Water?

Is it the water, he asked,
this youngest son of mine
as he watched me
mindlessly wording wow,
oh wow, oh wow. . . .

or is it the trees, he continued,
as I looked through the veil
that had separated me from
a lifetime of what I knew.

The oaks whose girth
surrounded vast space
could have stood centuries
of wind battering their bark.
Their streamers of moss flowed
from branches large enough
to be trees standing alone.

It was surreal.
I was standing at the brink
of a precipice walking
from eternity to eternity.

How did I part the veil
or was it pulled aside for me?
This altar of Nature whose sacraments
were a body of whipped waves
careening the shores
of this piece of land like
drunken sailors;

the wind pulling at the moss
of these Spanish Oaks
standing in prayer at the whim
of the Great God;
I was their altar boy
and I would have knelt forever
with the bells calling to worship
the recalcitrant intent on their toys.

This is where the journey takes you,
I say, to this place where the traveler
meets himself and finds his God
has come the way as his companion. . . . .
and the surprise is one of awe. . . .
oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. . . .

and it is for real.  For real.

February 10, 2016

photo by John Hallissey

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Everything Teaches. . .

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Teaching Respect

It was a muggy summer evening when a dear friend of many years and I went for a walk to catch up on our friendship.  It looked like it might rain that evening if  we were lucky.  So far it had been a dry month.  As we were passing her yard I said let us put the toys in the house in case it rains.  And she said what for because the children will be playing with them in the morning.  But I said,  it will ruin them if it rains all night.  So what she said, they’re only toys.   I said but they cost money and it was hard earned  money.  Don’t you respect the work you both did to be able to buy those toys?  She looked quizzically at me and asked what  was I saying.  I said when you respect the work that goes into earning the money to buy the toys,  you hope that the children or the grandchildren will take care of those toys because they appreciate the hard work you did that bought them.  She said she never thought of it that way.

It is true that we teach respect for property when we teach  respect for the person who worked to buy us material things.  Or what they work for and buy for themselves.  We do not vandalize nor cause damage of any kind.  We respect the person and respect the work done to buy things.  The items represent the individual and the work done and in caring for them perhaps we would become less of a throwaway society.   In the same breath there was a big lesson for me to learn.   The lesson was in the letting go when giving a gift.

My work in making the sweater in one case and in another a sweater being lost in the coatroom of the school was a difficult lesson to learn.  And no matter the hours going into the knitting of the garments,  in this case,  what I needed to learn was the letting go or my spirit would be wounded and nothing created ever again.  I learned that the pleasure for me was in the doing, in the creating.  And the final pleasure in the joy of the child in getting the gift from Grandma.  And in both cases worn proudly.  But the newness to the child wears off as the sun rises and becomes hotter in midday.  So the sweater is pulled off and in a fret tossed into the back seat of the van and in the latter case,  the loss was in the coatroom perhaps by another child who envied the garment or perhaps mistakenly thought it was his.  The lesson for me was in the release of the gift.  For once the gift is given,  it no longer was a responsibility nor worry of mine.  I had had its pleasure all the way from the anticipation to the creation and then to the recipient.  And there my release was complete.  To expect gratitude forever was unrealistic and would have strings attached.  That was not my wish.  A hard lesson to learn,  but it has stood me in good stead.

Also attached was a lesson learned well about children.  In our early years in social work when  summer camp was in session,  the end of each period brought revelations unbelievable.  The children would come to the barn where camp business was dispensed.  The end of the period would find the tables filled with towels and clothing and sneakers, with names either sewn  on them or in them.  This sneaker belongs to Joey Winner.  Not mine,  says Joey,  not mine.  But it has your name in it Joey.  Not mine he says,  not.  Where is the other one, someone asks.  Home, Joey says.  Then this is the other one.  Not mine,  says Joey.  Not.  The big question always is,  how did he get off the bus with one sneaker on or off?  No doubt someone asked where the other sneaker was and Joey in a rush to get off the bus  and there were many Joeys,  probably shouted,  in my bag!  And Joey disappeared into his mother’s car no doubt telling her that his other sneaker was in the bag.  The towels with the names collected and mismatched items filled bins with names no one claimed.  Not mine,  was the chime,  not mine.  It was the same all summer, every summer.  Some things never change.   But one has to wonder to what name the child responds.  And from where.

Photo by
John Holmes

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Life With a Capital L. . . . . .

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From a recent journal entry in October. . . .I have been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of reading and am nowhere near coming to any kind of conclusions other than it is all lived in the mind.  And perhaps Frank Herbert is correct when he has Odrade in Chapterhouse say is evolution the same as God.  And I would say Life with a capital L.  And perhaps there is a lot of bending and moaning about something that we are no nearer to understanding from this place than we can possibly be.  I don’t know but what as I wrote in my steno notebook,  that perhaps Earth life is stable or illusively stable or perhaps our illusion has a stable substance in order for us to understand other worlds which may roll and rock enormously.

I do not think it surprises me after reading Talbot’s book on holographic universes that we have a moderately stable world simply to get on with learning what needs to be learned.  How better than to pretend that everything is going to last forever.  Yet today when I was reading Chapterhouse again Odrade says that nothing ever lasts forever, whether we are talking about oceans or planets or trees or anything we think is stable and not yielding to change.  Wherever we are, we are but stewards of whatever world we inhabit.  And I think that is the strongest statement I can bend to.  I have long felt that I was steward of what I inhabited and maintained.  I worked hard at it and it is burned into my brain.  We are stewards.  No matter what world we are in.

Everything changes.  And all we need to do is look at our country with the weather changes.  Snow and frost already in the northeast and floods throughout the southwest and fires flaring through the mountains and the land parched.  Are we in trouble?  I think we are in change.  I think our oceans are in trouble and fish that die and land that cannot grow grass for cattle to graze.  Everything changes and nothing is forever.

And today I was thinking that no matter how many parts of me were cut up,  I would be whole in each part.  And I think that I understand the holographic universe in just that way.  That Jesus said life is everlasting.  We are safe.  We are whole.  We are.  Am.  And the worlds folding onto itself, in the implicate center folds where everything already is, to the explicate outer rims where I am.  And in the understanding of the roll of it constantly, it folds and refolds onto itself and with it comes new understanding because it is all in a state of becoming.  So is evolution another name for God or is it just necessary to understand that life is everlasting?  What is not learned at this point in time will be learned at another.  But Sweet Jesus,  I hope we do not destroy this world before common sense prevails and saves us all.

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Another Conversation. . . . .

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She Says, He Says. . . .

She says,
speak to me!

He says,
I have nothing to say. . . .

She says,
you can say I love you. . . .

He says,
I look out for you, don’t I,
and help others every chance I can?

And she says,
and everyone loves you but
what good to save the world when
your own house is falling apart?
We were told that, were we not?

Words mean a lot.
It is all we have
that connects us, one to the other.

He says,
no one ever said the words
out loud to me and I grew up.
So how important can they be?

And she says,
don’t I count?  Your heart is heavy like a rock.
Only by seeing what the past has done to us
can we change its direction.  And I see
your life long and worth the change.
But change direction
only if you see your Self
deserving of this chance.
I say work it!

He says,
you think I will see a difference?

And she says, 
you may really be surprised.  Really be surprised.

 

Art by
Claudia Hallissey

 

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This Valentine Heart. . . .

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It is a truth. . . . Sometimes we cannot improve upon a something that supports a truth and this is one of those times for me.  As we approach Valentine’s Day, to all who are bereft and do not or have not known love, what is missed is something you have known somewhere at some time else you would not know you miss it.  One day it will be yours again.

It will be a Given and you will know it because your name will be on that Valentine and you will be cherished for who you are.  It is a love you have known and matches what is in your heart.  You will broach the heavens this night and take a walk through the Galaxy and swing through the stars.  You will see again the love you embrace in your heart and know that forever you have had arms to enfold you.  Never were you abandoned.  Never.  This poem is for you.

This Valentine Heart

I lay my heart
crimson in splendor
beneath the branches
on fresh fallen snow,
open to my god. . . .

Here it is I am,
with all that I’ve gathered,
completed to form
just what you see.

The flakes have scattered
in splendid ways
to carpet the floor
as bed for my heart.

Pick it up if you please
but handle with care.
Sorely I need
a tender touch.

Life has tested me
to rare form.
I worked it all like Job
and wanted not to fail.

See, this Valentine heart
laid splendid on
the floor of the forest
but loved to the ultimate

by the god whose creation I am.

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Across The Table

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Across The Table

I remember the times we sat
and held hands across the table,
unable to say goodbye.

Not necessary we thought
for in the morrow
we meet again.

But soon the day arrived
when we did not meet,
expecting always a more

convenient time to come.
There were no other times
for when the day arrived

where darkness slid
behind the eyes,  the image
was no more reflected.

Foolish we were.
Did we not know public praise
could usurp a life?

But we sopped it up
and gloried in the satisfaction
of our own importance.

Forgetting that this illusion
was also supported
by hands held

across the table.

photo by
John Holmes

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Pause To Consider. . . .

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Engineering may code and modify DNA but individual evolution can be enhanced by emulating the behavior of one whose actions are above reproach.  It behooves everyone to action that does not send crossed signals.  We are not paranoid to think we are being watched.  As children we all had our role models whom we watched and were disappointed too many times.   We may have to pretend behavior we don’t normally wear,  but soon it will become who we are.  We can make a difference for the common good.  Or common ill.

                                                   *****

Whatever is not made peace with will piece the person.  It will break them into a million parts and they will never know that it can be peace-d nor seeing how they contribute to it all and will leave the adult body when they transit with behavior befitting the child in them.

 ******

We were told that what is done for one is done for all.  The lesson is profound when taken seriously and applied to everything.  Not just to the case in hand but to all cases and all hands.  Keep it always forefront.  The individual effort is noted and the heavens are not deaf nor are they blind.  The simplest and most menial task is only so when glimpsed within the structures of the day.  When taken to completion it becomes a sacred work of art.  Know it.

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We Are The Music

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We Are The Music

You say,

pull the shade!
Or the neighbors will see!

I say,

What will they see?
Us dancing?

I rest my head
upon your shoulder
and am happy
in the embrace.

Us dancing
in the kitchen
too small to move much,
but close in heart.

I say,

keep dancing.

You say,

but there is no music!

I say,

we are the music. . . . .

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