Archive | Essays

Wrongful Death

We have put so much faith in the medical profession but they ultimately cannot deliver us
from death.  Oftentimes in our western culture, agonies are prolonged as surrounding
relatives make their peace with what a very wise teacher once said to a student,  the only
thing you have to do is die.   The homework is up to you.   And often the departure is fraught with negatives.   The biggest being our inability to leave with dignity.   For then we are stripped of our freedoms;  the freedom to leave with a mind intact.   Is this the purpose of a life?  Is death so ominous that a breathing body vacant of spirit is preferable?

Preparation should have allowed for the personality to keep as much of its functioning self
as possible.  Medical science can make it easier for leave taking on both sides when what we leave is a body still recognizable with a spirit of the beloved we know.   It does not help when our memories are fraught with last months and years of pain that distort the image of the one held dear.  Medicine often negates all we tried to do in life.   When the body is programmed for long life it would be best if we also programmed the mind.

With so much emphasis on the body, we have left no time to fill the mind with nourishment befitting a body determined for immortality.   The spirit makes the break.  Little by little ,  the time spent away from the body is longer.   The tenuous thread,  the linkage to the heart in desperation breaks.   And by that time,  who we were can no longer be recognized.  The civilities, the niceties that we encouraged through the many years have departed with the spirit intact.   These are what makes a civilization humane,  civilized and what is left is Cro-Magnon.

The mind that has been fed, that has been nourished, has the right to what medical science offers.  But this mind will also call a halt to procedures that no longer give sustenance but instead steals from it its dignity.   The population at large has not availed itself to the study of man’s place in the universe   Has not availed itself to what has been offered as guidelines, as nourishment for the spirit.   It has not taken as gospel what we all should know from the time of birth. . . . that death too is part of the living process, the earth process.   And if we have accorded dignity to life itself, then death must be included.

To program a body for long life but starve a mind is criminal.   We are deluged with information as to what to do to keep the body active, to keep it healthy.   We are a world of proof that a healthy body,  one told to eat whatever is newsworthy at the moment will result in a body that fights diseases, that will be able to withstand everything.   And yet we will meet death, if not in our youth by misfortune, then in our dotage with a body so well taught that it will continue to do what it is we taught it from day one.  Yet the mind, the spirit has subsisted on kindergarten fare.  On porridge.   And we are left to wonder why mother or papa are not the persons we knew and if we loved them so much yesterday how could they change so fast to being mean and ugly today?

And where the peace and resolve of the unresolved that are suppose to occur at the bedside?  Where the reconciliations when the unable in body are also unable and absent in mind?  And where the spirit of the beloved who has nurtured us in ages past, the linkage to what was, as our children will be the link in the future to what we were?  The emotional tie will be non existent for the grandchildren.   The last memories will be the only memories for some and for the others,  the last memories will be wiped out as not being part of life.   And both are damaged, for unless we  rearrange our priorities, reprogram ourselves, rewrite the lesson plans,  the last memories will continue to be part and parcel of life in this 21st century.

What to do?   Feed the mind as well as the body.   As we stretch the body,  we must also stretch the mind.   New concepts, old ideas made relevant,  religions made vital, philosophers resurrected and visionary poetry made mandatory.  Literature to be taught and understood with today’s technology, in today’s high tech world has application in the dailyness of each of us.   Along with the ability to compute anything and everything, should be stretched the mind’s ability to grasp spiritual concepts to enrich the person.   It will prove to be practical in the long run.   And the result will be characters of substance befitting the body programmed for life everlasting.

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Begin With A ‘Maybe’

Oftentimes in my comments I will say that if I can introduce a `maybe ‘ into someone’s thinking,  we can help broaden premises.  Because I have lived long enough to see old ideas fail,  am I open to new ideas.   After due thought, I incorporate them  but  also realize that others are not as eager as I am.  We all know we cannot force feed an entire generation nor even attempt to change long established patterns of behavior.   People do what they do because to change any thing means that all things in the light of what is learned, must be examined.  People know this.  Humans know it.   It is not the work for the fainthearted.   It is the work of a human workaholic bent on cleaning up a mess of too many centuries old.

And in the process of reexamination and change,  what we grant to ourselves, we must grant to Others.   If freedom is ours, having freed ourselves either from a past holding us hostage or some other factor, we must grant to the Other, his.   If we claim the sun to shine on our heads, we must also grant space to the Other for the sun to shine.  What we have is a double edged sword.   We must also grant the right not to change to the Other.   If they prefer the status quo,  it must be granted.   But only if an Other’s space is not intruded upon.   By clinging to one’s own bent,  we cannot damage an Other.

When we have an entire generation bridling under a specific burden, it must be rectified.   That means whatever non-violent tools required, must be used.  We change things then bit by bit.  We know the dangers of drugs.   We know the crunch of unequal opportunities in all walks of life.   So we change by education, by election, by changing laws.  If we have a generation of grandparents seeing beyond their own children and grandchildren,  seeing across waters and generations to come,  we then have those who see life’s continuity.   When we have parents and grandparents viewing their own progeny as mortgage payments requiring due payment,  we will save liters of blood , not only our own but untold generations’ spilling endlessly on soil in wars not needing to be fought.  We will then make a difference.

A young man told me he knew what he was supposed to think and feel.  He said I will continue to try but at that moment he said he was scared.   I told him he was close to the kingdom.   He was.  Enough times told,  the frightened self will begin to change habits.

We can begin with a `maybe’ after due process of thought.

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Let Us Fall In Love

post ladyLet us resolve to fall in love with our Earth.  Other resolutions have already died.   Let us fall in love with our Earth and keep her alive.   Yet how does one fall in love with Earth?  It is easy.   It is a different kind of feeling, a oneness, a union that nothing dissolves or divides.  It is the steadiness, the compliance of all things in Nature that yield to a bidding when it is done with love.  She is not secretive.   She is an open book.

This love is a desire to return to a place where the heart knows its completeness;  in its wholeness with the laws of Nature.  We become one and the same.   We are its answer and its prayer, its meditation and its question.   We are what the seeker chooses to establish when all else fails to come to fruition.   When there is nothing that satisfies, there is always the hope and response in the garden, in the fields and in the forests.   In its beaches and in its waters.  It is a communion with the holiness in us and a love which puts all else to shame unless it measures up.

It is a comfortable place to be.   It is what we choose in place of relationships that wither with disillusion.   Nature does not.   She gives from an unending Source, reaching into her carpetbag to bring forth bits of revelation to entice, to give one reason to keep trying.  Yet when she falters, for every grievance she dispenses, there is redress.   In time there is an adjustment, a correction for every injury.   She is easy to love.   But no matter how many other worlds there are, this one is worth taking care of.   No illusions are necessary because she is sufficient unto herself.

In retrospect, this planet has suffered with our lack of stewardship.   So let us fall in love with her.   Let us resolve to take care of her.   It is time now to assume guardianship of this place we call home.

For this time she is all we have.

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We Connect With The All

I received an e mail with photos of several large elephants making their way to the home of a man who had befriended them.  This person named Lawrence Anthony spent his life caring for elephants in South Africa.  His death occurred on March 7, 2012.  Two days after he died, wild elephants showed up at his home led by 2 large matriarchs.  Up to 31  of them walked over 12 miles to pay homage to his family.   It does not surprise me that they thought of their caretaker as being more than just this person,  Lawrence Anthony.   The question was asked how did they know of the death of this friend and how was word spread.   Growing up on The Farm during my most formative years I saw very old farmers and their animals in communication not only verbally but with body language.   And the animals understood their caretakers without question.  There was a symbiotic relationship between animals and their caretakers.   They were of one heart.   This is how word spreads in the wild or anywhere when the relationship is of heart and understood so.   One knows at a level that our vocabulary has no word for.   My mother thought cows were the smartest of all farm animals.   She did not think dogs were smart at all.   And yet having read a recent study on dog intelligence,  some do have the intelligence of a 2 or 3 year old toddler.   I am in awe.   Yet I know as one who talks to my dogs and listens to them,  that they tune me out when there is no need evident,  as children do.

As far as the elephants making the journey to pay homage to their friend,  it is not surprising.   We are all connected.  There is a common thread that unites all to the all.   We in the western culture are a very small segment of civilization that does not believe in some level of reincarnation.   Most of the world does with different interpretations to be sure.   Many, many years ago I read that if souls wish to participate in earth life but without human experience, they can send a fragment of spirit or soul stuffs to experience physical life at some level of existence.   Elephants, jungle life of many kinds, dolphins and whales have long been known to have language and systems of thought.   We cannot close out  whole systems of Life simply because we do not understand them.   There are those who have spent their lives in service to an assembly of creatures and have learned to understand them.   One day there will be words in our vocabulary to describe meanings not found now.   Sometimes we have to step outside our frame of reference to begin to understand Other than what we are comfortable with.   How great is our need to know is always a good beginning.   Lawrence Anthony communicated at a level that went deeper than most people’s understanding of deep.   This connection to all life , and some say just sentient life, is as far as some go.   I would go farther and say ALL THAT IS is in everything.  I go so far as to say God in a rock and beneath it also.   I have had to redefine the word God to incorporate my views and friend,  it is a long hard work.

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The Need For Connections

It is a fact of life that when things are offered and we do not accept them, then when we want them, we find they are withdrawn.   It is a matter of inner vision, not having to do with sight.   We cannot see our need at the time.   But upon thinking and when we see their value, we find it is too late.

We then of course are sorry.   Whether the thing is offered by a person or because we are in a fortunate situation at the time, we do not

Nature's Wonder

Nature’s Wonder

accept because we have no need.   But to check one’s vision, to see a need before it arises means that one makes connections.   Timing is of the essence.   One must see how the connections between past occurrences and present happenings are related.  The moment becomes all to most people because to live in the moment is the current thought.  But without the substance of the past, the present has no meaning.  It is of itself, sterile.  To bring this home to us, we must think of who we have been to bring us to who we are in this moment.

And if we do not instill meaning in the present today, tomorrow will be bereft.   it will have no meaning and of itself, sterile.   We must avail ourselves when opportunities for change are given.  Too many think that today is born immaculate without the impact of yesterday.   If we do not see how our yesterdays have laid their mark on us, then we will not see how our actions today will affect our tomorrows and those of our commitment.

And we will not see how our harsh winter will yield to a benevolent spring.

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Eyes That See

I see a difference in the eyes of people whose vision is long and far away. These are people whose eyes do not stop at the curb but travel distances to a horizon higher than buildings and junks of every order and even lifting beyond the trees and the mountains.

The difference in these eyes is that they do not stop seeing where I begin.  They see beyond my body house and deep into my heart.   I find these souls now and again, but not often.   They do not linger about.   They are not in the malls nor connected to computers all day, nor are they working fingers on text gadgets.   They mostly are found in open fields, or working and communicating with animals or plaguing peoples with questions and puzzles to keep people’s minds from atrophying.   They are the pied pipers of children who follow them about like puppies.

Children often are the first to find these souls.   We must watch our children and to whom they gravitate upon entering a room.   We should follow them.   Others might consider these souls simple because obviously they are neither fashionable nor particularly charismatic.   To engage them in conversation opens worlds alien to us in daylight but familiar in the dark  night.  But children know them instantly and quickly recognize them from a place they both come from.   They know and recognize each other.

I am partial to these souls whose sight . . . inner sight. . . takes them beyond what most consider the here and now, the present.   In a heartbeat I would have their thought and company when I walk my fields.

What do they see?  Perhaps the ability to step behind our eyes to view the world from our perspective is what separates them from us.   Have you not wondered how these souls are able to pick up our thoughts or conversations coming into a room with no introduction?  And their ability to sort out our feelings without prior knowledge of our concerns?   These are special persons.   Special souls who wander among us.

We should grab them by the collar and say with force, halt!  I need you here.  Right now and right here.   They, with innate knowledge would be of immense value because by remembering from where they come and by lifting their eyes to the heavens

they tell us they come with memory.

 

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No Comfort

I don’t as a rule write of personal feelings, though for those who read my work, they would argue that my feelings are evident.   I wish to comment on a favorite blogger whose site is Full Moon Fiber Art.com.   She is Maria Wulf and she posted Loving Rocky.   It is a big decision she and her husband are working on.  The only thing I can say is that the road is steep and the way is narrow.

There was a decision of a major one we made when it was time to put down our companion dog,   Prince.   He was our companion in every way.   The cancer came quickly and after a hospital visit with a vet who was an expert in this particular disease, his diagnosis was clear and concise.   He said there would only be pain left in Prince’s life.   The day was set for his deliverance from his condition.   We would put him down.

When the day came I thought I cannot do it again.   My husband was going out the door and I stood by the south window and could not bring myself to go.  We were still dealing with emotions from recent events.   I turned around to look at Prince and as clearly as if the words were spoken out loud they were heard inside my head.   ‘You are not going to make me do this alone, are you?’  His eyes were pinned on me and they were clear and he was ready.   I found myself saying out loud, ‘of course not.’  I followed him out.

Did he say those words or was it only my thinking that he did?    If it were possible for this dog to speak, these were his words without a doubt.  I was his person and he spent his life with me.   How could I not be with him for this last act of devotion?   There are those of us who at times are given words or thoughts when something is demanded either of us or those we love.  And there are people who will always say that we read too much into things.   These are people who do not hear the cry in crisis nor their unspoken words.  Perhaps those of us who live lives with feelings on our sleeves and our heads wide open are the ones that heaven finds easiest to get to do what needs be done.   If this is so, we say, almost to a fault,  consider it done.

When you are hurting, it is no comfort at all.    But we can do no other.

 

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The Weight Of Words

There are words not in fashion these days.   The words are so old they are perhaps Victorian.   Words like honor and commitment.  When these words are used by someone who truly understands the weight of words, there is a time of hesitation, of expectancy and a heart stopping moment that puts the word into a time frame resulting in a memory.   We may forget the deed or the one who used the word, but we will forever know the true meaning of these words.

The meaning of commitment in this day seems to have flown out with all the trendy verbiage that seems to inundate the ethers.  The word itself brings to mind a feeling of duty along with the knowledge that here is something expected of us or our work.  It is asking something of us.   We are involved with the word.   We must take upon ourselves all that we are in performing whatever it is that we have either created or are  part of.   Whatever our work, our marriages or our children, we are party to them and our responsibility should not be in question.   We know the meaning of the word because someone loved us enough at some time in a some place and taught us what commitment meant.   We may not remember the teacher but if we know the word and meaning, the lesson was well taught.

It means that we were worth the lesson.   It means that someone cared.   And we are here, now in the midst of the work and we know our responsibility.  This does not mean that abusive relationships should be tolerated.   What this does mean is that in the ordinary course of our lives there will be those things which we will want to opt out of.  Too hard, too messy, and no glamour.  Certainly we deserve better we think.

What we must take into account is our attitude.   There is one very immediate term used by the young which I applaud.   Suck it up they say.   Exactly.   Suck it up.  Stay with the program, change our attitude and make it better.    Somebody did it with us at some time.  Remember the lesson.   The fact that we are here and breathing means that the lesson was delivered.  Now it is for us to relearn the meaning.   Perseverance, responsibility, duty and deliverance.   Many are watching us and our performance. Commitment. Show them the time and effort were not misplaced and we are worthy.

This is the classroom.   Paradise is the result

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A Presence In My LIfe

(In May of 2000 I, with the help of family, had self published
a hard cover book of poetry called Kiss The Moon;  A Woman
Speaks and Gives Grace. Except for a few copies I held back,
500 books were sold.   In the front of the book I explained how
the poetry came to be.   It will help explain  questions put to me
and show the road traveled.  The words are simple,
the work unbelievable.)

The sun was bright coming in through the high windows on
that first day of English Lit at the University.   The professor
was introducing herself  and I don’t know when my attention
wavered but when I looked down I found I had written these words,
`Fear death, ahhhh I do because I love life so much’!  I did not
know where these words came from but it was an affirmation and
I realized they had always been true.   Even today there would be
argument as to their source.  My thoughts mix smoothly with what
I consider a given and myself the instrument through which they
come.  I know when the work is mine.   I also know when a
thought is inserted or given.   And when one is given, there is
a giver or givers.

A leap must be taken when the truth of that statement is
confronted.  It is the reason people go to their places of worship
and as a friend said, that what we  hope is true.  Yet when faced
daily with significant events or thoughts, it is a puzzlement as to
why the  evidence does not speak to the person.   It will
eventually and when it does,  it will be the right time.

For me the beginning was in the classroom but took possession
of  a corner of my mind and stayed there while other things were
happening. Though I was alert to the thoughts that seemed to come
from nowhere,  there was this portion that tested the limits of what
was my history.  And one night while sitting at my desk I found
words tumbling over themselves and when I was finished a poem
was born.  I wondered how this came about and surely I must
have memorized this long ago.   Nowhere could I find this poem
and it was not the kind I would do on my own.  I read it to the family
and they laughed because it was comical, though philosophical,
and we let it go.  No one of course believed how it came to be.

It took a letter to my mother to convince me there was a
Presence in my life.  I started the letter and suddenly the
words were writing themselves and the missive was one of
good thinking and good psychology.  And from that point, the
muses or the Teachers as I called them were my mind
companions.

There are those who say that within the layers of the human
being there is knowledge and this knowledge rises when stresses
demand answers or directions.   This could very well be and
I do not argue this. But when a grateful heart murmurs a thank
you and the response in mind is you’re welcome followed by a
sense of rightness and companionship and love, then one
knows there is a Presence.

It has been a war of words over a lifetime.   A philosophy
has been hammered out and though it may not rest
comfortably with organized religion, still I have woven a
philosophical blanket with mended holes that has managed
to keep me warm.   It has taken all the years of my life and
it has been a hard work.  (I have no words to describe the work
involved.   None in my vocabulary.)  But I would not have
missed a day of it.
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How And Why

A grandson asked me to explain how my writing comes about.  
How I give birth to things and the meaning of some articles and poems. 
Some authors and musicians have said that the words and music are
heard with an inner ear.  Often writers will say they are writing with the flow.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said we must keep the pipes free and clear so that
we will hear the muses speak.  And with me the words will be there and it
is all I can do to put them down as fast as I can or like Emerson I am
in dialogue with the muses.  Other times when I am out of sync,  I
struggle for words.  To be able to say this means that time has been
given to learning what life means to me and how I respond to it.  I had to
find a balance with what I was taught and what I was experiencing. 
It is not easy to make inroads. It is not easy being different.  In another
time I would be called a mystic.  This is someone who has an inner
life with a connection to things invisible and intangible, but altogether valid.
To me life is a continuum.  We come from a somewhere and
we go to a somewhere we have earned the right to be.

I grew up in a family that took life seriously.  I wish we had laughed
more, just as I wish I had not spent 18 months in a hospital when I
was ten with a bone problem. (Penicillin came to market two months
after I was discharged from the hospital.)These were conditions that
shaped me.  The worst being separated from my siblings.  There were
eight of us and even though the country was still recovering
from the Depression, I felt rich.  There were six brothers and
two sisters so how could we be poor?   We had each other.

The previous post on the loss of our son’s baseball tournament I
realized  was also for me.  I needed to see the words written to realize
that the rules applied to me as well.   The same rules applied to
everything I have done in my 80 plus years.  First and foremost were
family and home and all that implied with its care.   All the other things,
the writing and independent study which I did when the rest of the world
slept were to make inroads for me.  What have I learned by digging
beneath the rock of who I am?  That there is a substance, a weight,
a something metaphysical hidden in all of us within our skeletons.

There is a fountain of lore within us.  When we apply what it is we
have learned in this life we come up with things that tell us where
we have traveled spiritually. I make connections.  Some people have
difficulty with this.  I connect life’s events and draw my invisible lines
and see no division in any of it.  It unites in my thinking and I wonder
how it has escaped those in power in high places who have the clout
to do something.  I have a son who told me that I make vacuuming a
spiritual experience.  Perhaps I do for am I not a steward of this
place I inhabit?  This continuous thread has been mine since childhood.
I link everything to All That Is.  Some would call it God and others
Jehovah and still others what they think Highest and Best.  I see
this link in games of children to those of adults as they dress
their lives with needed illusions.   The rules are for real and the
stakes are us.  We either are the victory and our gods the victors or not.

A friend tried to convince me that this is an impersonal world
and not to be taken personally.  I say this is my world and I will do
what is mine to do to the best of my ability because I do take it
personally.  We must or else it will perish.  Every action has
consequences, good or ill.   The roads connecting us to All That Is
are peculiarly ours because of our thinking.  What we learn are codes
or Beliefs to live by.  If the rules work in one place, they should without
bias work again.  If our  rules do not have favorable results,   we must
dig deeper and work some more.  We are talking about life and it may
take the rest of our lives to find the why of it.  Worth it?   Utterly.

The principles apply.   Universal principles apply and will work in
other places and times.  These are known as true values.  True
values do not change.   Because the substance of them has a
weight our hearts will recognize instantly.

Quantum,  sumus, scimus.    We are what we know.
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