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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.

 

2

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

3

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.
4

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.
4

The Leader Coach

I was thinking of our son's disappointment in the baseball tournament.  He coached
the team and they lost.  He poured himself into them and it just did not come
together.  Another place, another time, I told him.  It will happen I should have said.
His disappointment was keen and I could not take it seriously I said.  They had 
always told me that I did not see how crucial games were.  What I realized is
that one cannot orchestrate the outcome of anything.   One can pour oneself into
something, instil one's best and highest motives and desires but one cannot
orchestrate the outcome.  And perhaps the outcome truly is not that important.
But the process is.

What we teach to whomever we are in charge of we can determine by examining
our motives and intentions.  We w ill teach along the way those things which fit
into the process of maturation of an Other.  We will teach those things we are
proud of and those things we will heatedly say we never intended.  So it is
imperative that our lessons not give crossed signals.   We need to know why we
needed to win and why to lose was so undesirable.  We need to know what we
intended to prove.  Perhaps what we also need to know is what we taught along
the way and how it helped for good,  constructively, to enhance a life.

Did someone learn that discipline was crucial to keeping a job, a marriage
intact, a family?   Did someone learn that motive, desire was crucial to spark
the continuation of a life or many lives?  Did someone learn that practice can
be a method of discipline, that practice ensures that one can be at home
with anything not attempted before and that learning never stops?  Did we
teach that joy could be found in doing with one's body, mind and soul a
task that once seemed undesirable by changing one's attitude and saying,
`this I can do because it needs doing and because I see it as mine to do?'
Do I see my participation in this part of life as privilege and not as duty?

Did someone learn that to do one's best is what is required of life and in
doing so no regrets will burden them?  And was there a camaraderie,
a dedication to a joint effort and a love borne by all for each because
of the sharing of motive and intentions?  Did they all come through
happy to have participated and adding a dimension of success because
the individual's success depends on the cooperation of the all?

If the ball tournament brought these things home to some, then there
was no loss and the coach stands as leader.  A win does not necessarily
mean a successful team.  What one learns is what determines a winner
in the process.   The process is never finished.

For if it were finished, we also would be and the final page would be writ.
Who among us would say we've learned it all and played the last game while
breath is still ours?

(This was from a journal I had kept many years ago with a copy to our
son.  It is valid today and he agrees.)
1

The Beginning

There is a mountain top sitting on the edge of nowhere eager for attention.   Eager for those with a need to know to start the journey.   Eager also to dispense knowledge where there will be help.

We ask with great hope for the kind of help given by those who have been driven by a knowledge only given by a life devoted to learning about Self.

We hold these truths solidly for a lifetime because they have been researched with the knowledge driven by a higher desire.

Never asked for because it was not even known to exist.   Never asked for because there was nothing ever in the history of the Pilgrim to know such knowledge existed.   Science has always said that only bodily  senses were the only valid senses.  But the Pilgrim now knew that to be wholly aware was valid.  Senses held by the whole person was the only way to learn that to know means to access the unknowable and a way to know truth.

Eager always for the way to be clear means to research, to unearth one's self.  For the only way to the center of the truth would be straight on through one's self, through the psyche holding information for the price of life everlasting.

It is never evident at the start that there will be lessons to tear the heart apart.   But the only way is the step first taken inward.   Where it will lead is the surprise and the way.   The journey is a long one.   But for the journeyman it is the only way to go.  Home is the destination.

It is a long way home.
0

Her Advocate

The doctor was thoughtful as he asked, `is she in pain?'  And I said
that she takes the stairs quite slowly and has difficulty in the morning. 
I felt as if I was describing myself.    He touched her head lightly
and said, `take her home and love her.'

The walk home was longer than the other times.   We talked.  I told
her how I knew that she hurt sometimes but together we would
make it.  Her head was pointed in the only direction she knew,
home.

We climbed the porch and with great relief she sprawled.  It was
the only place in memory to put its square arms about her and say,
`welcome back.'

I watched her forget at times when a squirrel spirited her vision
and she gave chase.   A monumental effort for the enormous body
collapsed and found its rest with four legs at right angles.   She even
thought at times she was a pup and she remembered from some
distant time how she jumped straight up.   Now she found her
legs unsteady.

She does not whimper but takes time in stride.  I prepare her
supper with the crisp fatty bacon and no gourmet meal matches.
I look upon my cereal bowl and wonder.

One voice says, `put her out of her misery.'   Another voice demands,
`would you do as much for me?'  Another counters, `what will you do
with me?'

My bones become brittle now and I find rest at the top of the stairs.
My eyes grow dim and I tire.   Occasionally I do my spirited dance,
remembered.   And then my limbs remind me again that to dislodge
hidden memories brings pain.    And I wonder again.

Who will be my advocate?
3

A Lesson In Strawberries

I was a young girl, about 12.   It was our first summer on The Farm and it was a hard one.   But it also was filled with good food straight from the warm earth.

My mother had a talent for growing things in the city, despite its polluted air that even 70 years ago people knew to be unhealthy.   But in the clear air of the country, in the soil of her loam filled garden, her talents blossomed as did her crops.

We were getting produce ready for the stand down near the road.   As we were preparing the fruits and vegetables, selling them as fast as we put them out, friends from the city were arriving.  They were what we would consider diverse characters.  Some were people in her circumstances with many children and little money.  A few were wealthy but the outstanding characteristic of all these relationships was mutual respect.

Toward the late afternoon, I was tired and as most adolescents are prone to be, whiny.   The source of my irritation was the fact that my mother was giving to her friends, without charge, the best and finest of what we were putting out.   A bushel of potatoes here, quarts of strawberries there, a bushel of apples,  here.  But the strawberries were my argument.  I loved them and the ones she grew were the reddest, juiciest and largest I had ever seen.   They were sweet clear through and the dream stuff of that first June on The Farm.  With the heavy cream separated from the rich milk the excellent cows gave, these were mine she was giving away.  The strawberries summed up my resentment.

“You can’t keep giving away our profits,” I said.  “you have given away half of all the produce!”

She turned to me in a voice I have not forgotten and a lesson that has stayed with me.

“These are mine,”  she said.  “I will do with them what I please.  These are for me to give away if I want to.  No one can tell me who to give to.  My friends may never do anything for me, but if one of them does something for my children or my grandchildren, then that will be payment for me.”

I have thought often of that lesson in gift giving.  In giving what is yours.   In the course of my days, when someone did something for me I did not expect, there was the lesson in strawberries.  When so much has been done for our children by their friends and ours, the lesson in strawberries comes up.   When time, whole weekends of time, have been given up to add a room, to sit with a sick child, to listen to an impoverished spirit, to make dinner when the task seems insurmountable and appetite non-existent, to do any of these when time has become our most precious commodity, it is a gift of Spirit.  When a check arrived unexpectedly from someone whose only reason was “I remember how I would have felt to have received this. . . ” or the some ones who oftentimes helped our children through school because “it was done for me. . . “,  I thought of the lesson in strawberries.

As I review a life where so much has been done for me and mine, from sources unexpected, I am grateful for the lesson in strawberries.   My mother gave what was hers to give, what she worked for and gave freely.   I do not forget.
4

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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