Archive | Essays

For Love’s Sake

What we create are memories.   Not only for ourselves but for others.  What we think we are doing and creating,  to another within their frame of reference, is an altogether different thing.   For ourselves we may be enriching our experience.   For the Other, we are oftentimes teaching something of great value.  Or simply giving them something to warm them when life's experiences are not sufficient.  It is important to keep in mind that what we think we are doing together is often quite different for the Other.

In my lifetime there have been many memory makers.   The memories are sweet at times and often poignant and other times sad.   Maybe not the intent of the memory makers but this was because of my frame of reference .   If we approach each other with the intent of making our meetings something of substance, there will be many memories of those times.   But the most effective I think are the ones where the relationship is mutually satisfying, the good moments become the sole substance in retrospect.  There will not be a defining moment,  simply a sigh of something that has come into our lives uninvited but leaving or creating a deeper fulfillment.  Those are the ones that expand our spirits and give depth to who we are.

Oftentimes we are surprised, especially with children who visit when something is done which is outside their experience.  Coming to mind is a special visit of small children to our home when I set the table for dinner with cloth napkins.  The surprise on the little one's face will stay with me forever.  'I can wipe my face and hands on this?' the question was asked.   Of course, of course.   Another time with older children I quietly put logs in the fireplace and started a fire to take the fall chill out of the room while they slept on couches.  I saw sleepy eyes open and close as they snuggled on down.   The smiles on their lips are my memories.   I am certain that in their adult lives they too will recreate similar moments for those they love.   It is love that desires to make memories.

Small incidents surely.   But in the lives of those we welcome into our hearts they become the stuffs that are the substance of character.  Someone took or takes the time for these small things that begin to form the shape of who we are.   Someone loved us enough to do this.

For love's sake,  are we not honor bound to do the same?
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Peace In The Center

Refresh yourself at the trough of knowledge.  The water is cool and fresh and deserves a thirst that can appreciate it.

When the eyes see, there is peace in the center.  Providing of course the footwork has been done.

Not until one sees where one has been can one change direction.

Illusions are the finery with which we dress all the dailyness, all the scullery to make life not only bearable but to elevate it also.   It is a noble endeavor.   It is a god-work.

Evolution can only be taken a step at a time.  No lesson is skipped else it will not stick and carry forth.

It bodes no good to keep ploughing when the field is ready for seed.

One cannot expect to govern a body of men when one cannot govern one's own body.

One cannot be a better anything that what one is as a person.

Words are water and actions are stone it is said.  Your actions will shout who you are and your words will whisper to the ears of them who do not wish to hear and hear what you do as louder than what you say.

Do and you will be shown how.

The Spirit requires an indulgence now and again.

Man is a country quilt.  A patchwork of many colors and shapes.   Altogether beautiful.
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A Perspective

To forgive and forget has become a shopworn edict.  It can work just so long but when you realize that the god of the other person weighs your interest against his best interest, you might come in second.   You can forgive until your face turns whatever color it is not, it still is heavy on the heart.

Forgiveness can only work when we give up hope that the past can be rewritten.  Generally the insult or injury is not viewed as such by the other if they are still in our lives.  Even when pointed out, there is no ‘I am sorry’ because the other does not see a reason to be sorry.  It does not mean that the injuries are not valid.   It means that the other has a different frame of reference and heads are different.   It means that what is, Is.  It does not mean that all things are forgotten, but that from this point on there will be notable changes.    How different will depend on what we value.   And that is where the hard work of sifting and sorting and building a philosophy begins to accommodate life’s challenges.

Education of people varies so one wonders about credibility.  Women stand by erring husbands and often feel guilty. People stand by their governments no matter how rancid, employees stand by employer’s outrageous malfeasance, and children work to cover their parents’ stupidities.    Now everyone is to be held accountable.    This is how it should be.   But it is a challenge.

The question then is how to forgive the daily irritant in our lives, related or not.  In this day of  DNA , we are more than a little surprised just who our relatives are. The commandment still is to love one another.   When we look upon Others as separate from us, we deal with me, my and mine instead of we, us and ours.  Open warfare is the agenda and we become Separatists, whether we speak of a person, families or countries. 

Forgiveness may be difficult when we cannot accept the effort of Others who behave in a manner that is within their frame of reference or their culture.  That path may not be what we can share but we must remember within them also is the earnestness to find a way toward their truth.  When we acknowledge our different perspectives and that the past is accepted as past, we can begin to write the script for the future by our actions today, the present.

Let us gift ourselves and make today our present to us.

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The Dance

There is a dance that our feet learn to do when first we stand up.  That dance
is learned well, for even when our feet no longer dance, our phantom feet 
remember the dance.   They itch to dance.   And under penalty of death we
think, we stay with it.   If we decide to learn new steps, the old steps often need
to be altered.  And if they are, we think we are not needed for our dance or we
feel our steps are not noticed anymore and are taken for granted.   Either way
we may feel sorry for ourselves or worse, give up.   Very few give in and learn
new steps, perhaps slower ones.   The new dance feels alien to our self image 
and we are certain we will be laughed at.   Fortunately others do not remember
our old steps as we who danced them.   In the fashion of our admired dance
stars, we skimmed the floor and swept others along with us.

And that is the kicker.   When one is aware that a new step is needed, one is
aware also that the dance is soon ending.  How to do it gracefully,  with a
sweeping dip that barely touches the floor, takes a nimble body and mind.
Most of us do it with the tentative steps we learned when first we learned
to dance.   For the vision might still be sweeping, but the body falters.   And
before we know it, the audience's attention is riveted on younger feet still
learning new and beguiling steps.  We shuffle off the floor.   Our dance is over.

And we are never the wiser that the young feet doing the new dance could
not dance at all had we not learned the old dance first. 
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A Resolution

Let us resolve to fall in love with our Earth.  Since many 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 nor 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 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.   And
no matter the number of other worlds,  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 make her an object of our affection
and take care of her.   It is time now to assume guardianship of this place
we call home.

 

For this time it is all we have.
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A Life Worthy

Life is kind to those who treat her kindly.  But if intensity, with its power is used, then life desires to meet her match.  And uses the match for preparation to a higher glory that has little bearing on what one believes.   It is not a matter of life in a hereafter that has one floating on a bed of tranquility.   When life’s conditions are met in the physical, there will be testing periods only chosen by the person who feels the need to gather time and put it to use in a way that others would find untenable.

Who would put or pit themselves against situations that would force a do or die attitude?  Who would force themselves to grow in spite, despite all prevailing attitudes about stress and stress related illnesses, except the soul who knows a something that seems to escape the knowledge of others?

Escapes the knowledge of others.   It is an ancient thought that has propelled some to the present now with the knowledge that by stressing themselves they will prove capable of better and higher things.   And not necessarily in physical life.   There is something innate that tells them there is a something beyond physical life and when pressed, they will shrug and say who knows?    Or some such bright saying.   They will also when pressed deny it and say we work for our family, for position, for the good of some worthwhile cause.   But the truth of the matter lies in the fact that what they are saying is that they want to be qualified.   Qualified to pass a higher judgment to qualify for a position of work that will enable their transport into a world unlike the one they have known.

And the world held in mind is different than their neighbors, in that it will be of memory as they bring it to conscious mind.  These will be glimpses.  They could not elaborate if their lives depended on it and could not describe nor articulate their feelings.   It is done with the hope that what propelled them here has resulted in a life worthy of graduation to a something higher. They are in a cooperative venture with the heavens.   There is assistance for the intense desire of the pilgrim.  It is there for the asking.

Though the majority of us feel we are plowing the field with runaway horses, it is enough to find  at the end of the day, that we too have been tested.  And found worthy.
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We Are Asked

In each of us is our dream, our desire.   The striving, the process is the only thing worth the struggle.  This is why we work at it.   All else are diversions.   They are but a tangent of the premise.  Either the striving or the process finds the dream for us or we do not find it.  The goal is unimportant.  Goals can change.  In the search, the striving, we will find our  Self.   And we may find nothing but compromise with the Earth, the Heavens and our Self.  But because of the striving we then put all of us a step closer to brotherhood in the making.  And the next generation will find a depth, a richness and a spirituality just where they are and will build on what was a dream.  They will find no reason to tear down but every reason to enlarge the dream and depth of it.

It is not only the way of the world.   It is the way of the Universes for life everlasting.  To learn the rudiments, to learn the process puts the mystery back where it belongs.   Within the godhead and in the being who is part of the godhead.  The Divine spark resides in man.  Not only are we human but divine.  We are in God.   It is no longer appropriate to qualify ourselves as only human.   We are more.  We must bring the god premises down to where we are or lift ourselves up to where we think they are.  And our lives must reflect the highest and best in us.

Some are given greater glimpses, more in depth visions of greater scope.  But they are still only glimpses.   We all are given those moments when we know we are more than what we appear.   What it means is that from where we are, we are  to pursue in depth what it is we require to bring the greater vision to us and give greater meaning to who and what we are.  We then are able to reflect it in who we are and what we do.   It is no small thing we are asked to do.  

It is not only our world we must concern ourselves about but all worlds.  Those yet to see the light of day but also the mysteries of night.
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War No More

In my mind I am still in the midst of the Big War as my generation called it.   I am collecting my belongings,  gathering them closely under my long, big black coat and huddling close to vacant buildings.  The snow is dirty  with footprints and other soot beneath my feet and I long to have it disappear so I will not be so apparent in contrast.  Across my head mortar fire pierces the cold night and I stumble.  I think I am dead.  My possessions are scattered and there is no life without them.  They exemplified my personhood and now I am not even an idea.

Again, there is another skirmish, still from another time.  A speaker stands among the multitudes and is giving forth an idea to clothe man’s mortality, he says.  ‘I give to you Spirit, for without its recognition you continue to think you are nothing.’  My life is just fine I think and my catcalls and railing against him yields only to my spatting at him and running him through the village.  I followed him and made his life miserable till we both died.

I stood watching my young son in a high collared uniform one day at smokey tracks as the long train waited for the boys to board.   I stood by impotent with grief as he gazed into the face of his young love who held her upturned face with a hand firm on her straw bonnet.  The pain etched in both faces stays with me still.   Too old to battle that war, I battled others.

In triplicate sometimes.  A young man waged stop-gap measures in a series of events with eyes that held pain written before this century began to fulfill itself and thought only this life brought insurmountable problems.  Others in great numbers have incurred wounds that modern medicine with all its magic cannot even begin to heal.  And others whose mail is  addressed to places I cannot pronounce leaves no recourse but to worry about the uneasy state of affairs.   But I know war and you know war, too.

But I do not worry unduly.   There are places in my memory box which are unleashed and in dreams I am enmeshed in wars which only the history books have access to.   My age precludes my participation in the earliest skirmishes, we are taught.   But I have the details written in my genes.  I have the human interest stories etched on my heart because I was there.  And you were, too.   We have fought the enemy and continue to fight him.  He is our kin.   He is our brother.  He is us.  I am he.
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Our Sacred Source

I heard a grandchild say at a very young age, ‘when mama is happy the whole family is happy.’  I have seen when a family is in turmoil, in sickness, in argument, that nothing goes well.   It is then that the hot water tank springs a leak, the washing machine no longer washes and we are in despair.   We are all out of bread, out of milk and there is no cereal in the cupboards.  I have also seen things go right when a family is working in harmony even under adverse conditions;  even when illness and tight budgets or even no budget are taken in stride because the parent gods work to make it so.

A young friend says to me that she hates what no sun day after day does to her and is it ever going to stop raining!   We give credence to feelings like these.   One day I said to another friend, “how are you treating the world?”    “Don’t you mean how is the world treating me?”  he asks.   I assured him I meant what I asked.

It is not a far stretch to see that our Mother Earth reacts the same way.  Our Earth reacts to human trauma.   It reacts to human turmoil and human agonies.   There are those who say that earthquakes and tornadoes, hurricanes and other tragedies are parts of Nature and because we have such high tech systems, we learn of them more quickly.   But we are a planet of great numbers now and we live in each other 's  pockets.   We no longer have large expanses of lands and waters that can absorb Nature’s hiccups.   A tsunami is not a hiccup anymore when thousands of people are running for their lives while water is washing miles of shorelines and pushing new beaches where beaches never were before. When the Earth splits in two and hundreds are swallowed up in another earthquake while the other side of the world moans in pain as markets are affected, jobs and economies are torn asunder, this tells us all we are part of Nature.   We are as natural to our planet as all other species and events. Thoughts carry power as strong as Nature itself.  Thoughts and emotions weigh heavily and will have their aftermath somewhere.   We cannot separate Nature’s events from the emotions that view them.  

Nature’s events and our thoughts and emotions rise from the same bed.   Let us respect and pay homage to our Sacred Source.
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Forever Is A Long Time

Premises are the foundation upon which we construct our systems of belief.  There are those of us who come replete with boundaries signifying right and wrong and what is kosher and what is not.   Then there are those who come in with wings attached it seems.   And then there are the ones who have nothing in their carpet bags when arriving and are expected to fly by the seat of their pants.  Complaints are profuse from the ones who chafe with rules and then the ones with nothing don’t know where to look for guidance since even the ordained are not exactly clear on boundaries.

But here is the kicker.   What I have as a perceptual premise is what my understanding and experience have integrated.  What I must do is apply this principle to everyone because they may have their gods as their mentors in a belief system maybe far removed from what I hold true.  Our lives are a testimony to what we believe is our world with a system that serves us.  In a world where there is space for everything we consider to be sacred, ethical, and decent,  there can be peace and civility if we all adhere to the highest and best within each system. 

Of course there are those who would negate our freedom to live and worship.  The results we are all too familiar with.  We do what our belief systems deem the highest and best to repair and heal the ravaged wounds those beliefs incur.   What we need to do is live our truth as the example others would want to adopt.  We must think it through.  And think it through again.   And again.

Forever is a long time to keep picking up our mistakes because they bear our names.
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