Archive | Essays

Emmanuel, Emmanuel. . . God Within. . . . Us. . .

 

It was 1941 and I was ten and warned every time I went out that God was watching me.  And seeing me pick up a nickel from the wooden church floor and go across the street to buy a coveted pack of Walnettos.  Word followed me home of course and I was punished.

Why was I watched but not 6 million cries for help heard?  I asked.

How can one man with one idea ruin a world and a whole world of praying men cannot save it?  And I was punished for that too because we were Polish and Hitler had overrun Poland and our relatives turned in friends and family there to avoid being killed for concealing those who were Jews.

No one was asking out loud that question.  Not the Polish priest of the church and not my mother and father gods.   So I ask again what I asked when I was ten.  How can one man with one idea ruin a world and a whole world of praying men cannot save it?

And the reason is that the one man had himself and his idea to work on all men who adopted his idea and worked the power in themselves and the praying men depended on an outside god to do their work and not themselves.  Simple and as complicated as that.

Emmanuel!  Emmanuel!  Biblical.  It essentially means ‘god within.’  We were told that and we knew it.  We knew and yet we chose not to remember.

Jon Meacham on the Morning Joe program in March talked of  man’s better angels and initial work of the church to keep primary man’s first job which was to journey back to where he came from, which is our heavenly home.  Give thought world, give thought.   It was the Augustinian journey talked of through the ages.

I do not say man holds the final sparklers because we as the All That Is, are becoming.  I do say that Within Man is the Divine Spirit which waits for man to wake up and acknowledge that only he can bring justice and do good to this world. That only by realizing what he can become can the steps in evolution accelerate and Mankind, humanity’s condition, be enhanced.

As AA preaches, There No Spot Where God Is Not. . . .That includes the Divine Within the heart of man.  We are the life force, the intelligence undergirding in various degrees these universes.  And worlds throughout are watching this classroom.   If anything is not done to correct the injustices  or the inequities, it is not done because we do nothing.

Doing nothing because of fear or because we are benefiting from them.  So we are the cause and the cure.

I asked at ten and cried and nearing a hundred, ask again.

 

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When We Trash Our Souls. . . .

 

Our Connectedness. . . .

There is a connectedness  I see and it weaves through everything.  I am not certain where it leads nor if it ever had a beginning.  But this I know.  It is real and it is firm and it is gutsy.  Not a word that is elegant, but true to its core.  Gutsy.  It has a vitality all of its own and the sweet thing about this, is that the connectedness is real, so real that I am not certain why it is not  talked about as a normal, common thing.

It should be evident to everyone.  Rubies  are connected to stones and stones connected to moss if one thinks  and can see that man and fish, donkey and gods are one of  kind.  It should be a part of our every day life because it is part of our everyday living.

I would start the talk with babies and show them how their belonging to us is a natural and provident thing.  It and they are god sent.  I hesitate using the word god because it has a grandfather Santa Claus image to it and  the way most people think.  But yet the feel of this god sent connectedness is cosmic as well as has a natural bent to it and there are no appropriate words in this language of ours.                                                   

It weaves through everything.  The blood work of family puts all of us  in such close connectedness that there is only breathing space.  We are united and yet unique in our selves but the connectedness is vital.

This moves beyond family and puts all of us, one to the other, not so far but we know of the each.  And we are known.  There are no surprises  and yet the exchanges are of palpable good.  That what has happened before has the effects in our today and for the tomorrow our todays are already shaping the substance that will be a yesterday for someone.

One cannot see the connectedness unless the basis of each and their ultimate function depends on them being what and where they are.  And the what could be anywhere and their where can be anywhere.

We must remember how we connect and why.  Children have no problem with connections since their sources are similarly differential and have been accepted. They are blessedly blind to differences.

Our behavior is determined by conscience.  Problematical prejudicial  for some  but especially for those elected to serve in positions of power lately,  needing fusion of  collapsed spines with steel.  Wars only create more heartburn but who will redeem us when we trash our souls?

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The Journey Begins. . .

 

(When asked often lately, how to survive as a mystic in today’s secular world, sometimes the questions just need a repetition of previous work.  I edit for space.)

Previous entry the Teacher speaks. . .

When your mentor, the Nazarene,  thought man should be accountable, he did not wish for man to keep coming back and lamenting his ancestor’s anguish and never lift himself out of his mire.  He wished for every lifetime to be accountable. 

This is what making a difference is all about.  Not to become responsible for our ancestor’s inability to fulfill dreams.  Nothing can be done except by those who tied the knots.  The ones who did not meet obligations are needing forgiveness by their progeny.  There are enough worlds for this to happen in. 

Let their gods work it out and take them as responsibility.  It is not for the child to undo the parent’s tribulations.  Let the children be free to make a difference and the whole planet will survive as well as the people in it.  It will be a classroom of supreme order and not the hellish place it is today.

 

Continuing that entry I wrote. . . Like Machiavelli’s letter to Vettori, I put on my evening clothes (which in my case were flannel pajamas, ) and went to my table of books where I sat with my teachers of yore.  I, too, was lovingly received by them, where I pestered with arguments the injustices done to my world.  And answered by reason what their arguments were for the day.

I was revived in mind and attitude and went into sleep preparing again for the day’s events.  Like Machiavelli, the starving mind of me was fed and feasted on thoughts designed for the credentialed.  I was taught what no university could or was able to teach.  And given information only the gods in their compassion were able to garner and assimilate.

With understanding of the behaviors of peoples never to be voiced and nor even easy to live with.   It brings to mind the understanding of the word ‘expert’ the fledgling grandson in his growing knowledge of new words announced at dinner, ‘expert is a person who knows too much.’  And I followed with ‘and has nowhere to go.’

 

July 14, 2019. . .added notes today. . .for those who question how possible to live today like this.  There were those who say my life was not normal and neither were my interests.  All lives are different in ways peculiar to others. I came with an open head and one foot dragging in the world I came from before I was born.

Married young, we were of moderate means with no money for household help so I raised our children,   and in the vernacular, I painted and papered and mowed lawns and did yard work and appeared in public; an average life with no appetite for frolicking.

One does not need to take to the woods, (I sorely wanted to) nor to the mountain top.  Those are within.   But heaven does heed the crash at the gates.

Often with a ‘well, look who’s here!’  So the journey begins.

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Where Can We Go?. . . .

 

When I was in public grammar school and we were let out for weekly religious class to go to our places of worship, I sat on my hands in the basement of the old church and sweated.  I was not answering the priest’s question and knew I would  be  punished  but what he was asking was not my memory from where I came before I was born.  So I knew what I said was so because I was closer to my Source than he was.

I could not convince the priest nor those I loved most.  But I wrote this poem Where Can We Go in 1982.  It was a Given, thoughts impressed to me as I wrote and I give it to you.   We live in a quantum age and learn that  all time is simultaneous; it was a yesterday.  Just as true today as it was yesterday.   Since life is everlasting, it will be just as true tomorrow.

Just as our arms release beloveds, other arms open in welcome to them on the other side.

Where Can We Go?

As  the sparrow falls it is noted,
and the quality of life
is diminished by one.

Long ago the feathers were counted.
The color of the downy beast
was painted into the rainbow.

A child is born
in the forgotten regions
of a world too busy to take note.

The borning is observed, however,
by the cosmic populace.
Its growth watched and shepherded.
And when the child cries, the heavens lament.

There is no least in quality or number.
Each beating heart is calculated to keep
a world intact.  Each blink of an eyelid,
reason enough for the sun to keep itself alive.

The coming together and the going apart
of each is through a door opening and closing
onto a portion of life, indissoluble.

Now it is here, now gone from here,
now it is here.  Disappearing  from this place,
it takes form in another.

The sparrow sings in another tree,
and his song is heard by one who left the here
and followed.

Where can we go and not be found?

 

photo by John Holmes

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Awards That Hang On Our Hearts. . . .

It would never have occurred to my mother or my mother in law that there could be fun in the raising of children.  It simply was not in the frame of thought in their lives.  Children were work for my mother with eight and too much work for my mother in law with one.

That they could add something enriching the children’s lives that might serve them in life was as unreal as the idea that children were a special trust to enhance mankind’s progress.  This thinking is beyond many people today when children are simply added burdens to lives already heavy with problems.

When families struggle to put food on the table, to pay overwhelming bills and too many days left before the next payday and cupboards almost bare, understandable are the priorities and yet as the maxims state,  the unfed mind is as hungry as the unfed body.

We are familiar with hard times.  Decisions were made at personal cost to wants to favor needs of the children.  Children’s time for the insertion of good habits is brief as is the influence of the nurturer whose care they are before the door opens to outside pressures.

When I look at photos of our Emma E. and see how playgrounds evolved from what her family would consider dinosaur equipment and see the current pail and shovel still holding fascination, I think how things have changed and still remain the same.

We thrilled to the fact that the librarian knew the boys’ names as well as mine.  And we were allowed to take 25-30 books home in a box at a time.  Free!  And we laughed with joy when we could afford a record player and each took their wands and conducted the orchestra to the Sound of Music and a teaspoon of sugar makes the medicine go down!

Times are such in places where the extended family needs to help the young to ensure that Spirit is nurtured along with the bodies.  Wants of the still maturing parents can wait while the needs of their young cannot.

Vision declares what heart has always known.  The awards of this world are temporary.  The real are those which hang on our hearts.

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We Are What We Know. . . life everlasting. . .

When we reach the point in time that we feel there is no energy to meet another challenge, we relent and let go, we hope lightly, and prepare to depart.   We have lived our lives in preparation of our next address.  Those who love us know we won’t be disappointed.  We, ourselves, probably not so certain.

Life is everlasting we were told, not only for the daffodil, the mushroom and the evergreen, but of course for us.  I have blogged now into my 8th year and hope that what my life has affirmed for my readers is that I only write what I know.  What my experience and what my open head with memories have subtly and sometimes hammered at me, we are what we know.

If we have not played fast and loose with our endowed gifts, we have had a lesson plan written precisely for us, with the freedom of choice granted graciously.  Not a walk in the park for sure, but mountains to climb with pockets of joy to lighten the mix.

In my extended family we have had departures of late of beloveds.  After lives well lived, these departures leave a loss to be sure,  but what life has taught, we leave with a forwarding address.  Awakened will be other times and places and loves with arms open to receive us.

As we here bid goodbye, others shout, welcome!  We waited for you!  Amen and amen with a welcome home. . . .

Within Memory. . . .

You will again yearn for a patch
of green earth to lie down on,
to smell the pine forest alive in its secrets.
Or hidden beneath the crisp cover
of fresh snow.  They will not have left
your memory.

Somewhere also within memory,
is a place yearning for you.  It is deep
in time that is as remote as a country village.
And yet there too, you will find refreshment.

You will find eyes that light and
follow you when you enter their doors.
There will be those whose lives you have
searched for remnants of who you are.

You will find them waiting silently for your voice
to beckon them from where you have been hiding
for almost a century;  bent on finding a reason to live.
So come now, when you hear your name called

let us know you are willing to be with those
whose love for you is weighed in centuries.
Nowhere near the place you now hold as
being close to heaven and yet, yet, close enough

that you will lose your hold on the place
destined to be another memory.  You will take
love for god’s sake and hold it high
as a solemn token of the herald’s  torch,

reminding all that the way is always safe
until the games are over.

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The Crucible For Memories. . .

We, the each, are nothing but memories.  We are the Lord of Memories for ourselves and for those of our commitments.  And what we as the crucible for those memories have made of our world.  The painful we hope we have overcome and forgiven and the good will have repeated itself forever more.

For the children it was a matter of what could I give on which to build a life.  They grew beneath my heart and were my responsibility.  Many times it simply was a matter of the scent of cinnamon which would recall a Saturday night home from a date with a cooling loaf of bread waiting, or the ease of laughter in a situation tight with tension that would give a moment’s respite  for peace to enter and habits to give ritual a chance for discipline to be mastered.

Habit, talk, love, and caring demonstrated.  Not in that order but in whatever order they would be required.  I would not know what my children would call upon when the world went cold for them, but I could do what I could do and hope it was a something needed that was within my power.  Memories could do that.

The Memory Makers. . .

The smell of the damp morning
kindled memories of earth mold,
as she fetched the wood
and stirred the fire anew.

Warmth crept into the chill room
as ghost’s of Springs’ past kept watch
and in unison nodded approval
to make waves on still born ethers.

The children slept; their various ages
revealed by the length of their slumbers.
Each in  his turn made thanks
in silent novenas to the Memory Maker.

Her precise movements
were liturgical practices in acknowledgement
of their presence.  They were easy to love.
The fire spit; the fresh ham already

sent its perfume through rooms
with closed doors.  The sleeping children
stirred in deep recollection
of some thing long ago enacted.

They would soon rise and rub sleep
out of granular lids and bid the good morning.
And she, with her own recollection of
remembrances would nod in tribute
to the Lord of Memories, who discount arthritic knees to

press on each generation of Memory Makers.

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We Are The Vaults of Memories. . . .

Who Will Feed The Children? . . . 

Unsteady on his legs, I watched my grandson bend down and pick up his book.  In one motion, he touched the book to his lips.

In another time, when I was young, I saw his great grandfather move with just such a motion to pick up a piece of bread from the floor and touch his lips.

“Papa,” I asked, “why did you do that?”

“It is the staff of life,” he said.  “All bread is holy.  I am sorry I was not more careful.”

In a moment and more quickly than it takes to scribe the motion, the act of one was the continuing presence of the other.  The source of reverence for both was what each considered holy.  To our grandson still very much unsteady on his feet, I wondered the source of his reverence for books.  All of us loved books but was this bred into his genes and chose to show itself at this particular time?

Now at this time I have photos taken of Emma E. his daughter and my great granddaughter.  Taken at a book sale on a neighborhood lawn, Emma E. with her artist grandmother Claudia, has difficulty which ones to choose!

I see the generations, from my father, to our grandson, and now my great granddaughter, these three have brought the memory of the fallen bread and book to mind for this precise moment.  I did not seek out the memory and did not know it was stored anywhere.

And becoming familiar with The Holographic Universe, (Michael Talbot) and learning that memories are bedded throughout the brain, I am in awe of what mind does.  Like a magnificent filing system, the two memories signaled each other and unified a presence.

It was a simultaneous response, one beckoning the other to connect the great grandson to his great grandfather and now my great granddaughter to this holder and vault of memories, her grandmother great Veronica.  How much are we responsible for?

A loving gesture with bread.  A loving gesture with a book.  Both with reverence, a source of food.  Both soul food, knowing an unfed mind hungers as deeply as the unfed body.

Who will feed the children?

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When The Gold Shows. . . .

 

I wonder how many of us met last night, during the night in the class of Broken Pieces 101.  I woke up thinking it was my friend Maria’s (fullmoonfiberart)  post I read awhile ago on how we seem to become friends with others who are broken.  Perhaps the broken pieces of us want to unite with the broken pieces of others to become a new whole something.

I just finished reading Tom Atkins (Quarry House) post on restoring broken old things, and he said we could think things or pieces of ourselves broken.  Never to become what we were but I like to think that all that work in refining must show gold eventually.  Both in things and ourselves,  especially ourselves.

We all have something to contribute to that class and we work diligently on what we consider worth fixing.  Many do not come to class for the simple reason it is hard work but also many do not think anything is broken.  And why fix what isn’t broken?

But worse than that thought is that some do not see what is broken because to them it is not.  That something, either the thing or themselves could be better, work or think differently and therefore life would be enhanced and peace more than a promise,  they cannot visualize since it is outside their frame of reference, of thought.

It is not a matter of dismantling or throwing the baby out with the bathwater,  but simply of broadening the horizon, enhancing the meanings to be more inclusive and restoring what has been covered by rust and grime and dogma long past its prime.

To find literally that we have here an idea whose worth in its infancy was outside the box, outside the frame of reference, with derision not given a chance, to now be finding its niche, its putting place of prominence in our lives, is the miracle.  That is to show gold.

(excerpt from)
The Broadening Aspects of Knowledge. . .
(man)
Clad in soft slippers,
arranged in soft nightclothes,
too comfortable to mean business,
unless pierced with guilty stabs
into a lethargic conscience.

Man sits established,
too tired to lift the printed page.
With a mind anesthetized
and eyes already pressed in sleep,
he has succumbed to the day’s tally.

Oblivious to the fact
that only he can save himself,
he spurns knowledge,
resting uneasily in the revelations
of the last book.

. . . fearful of its responsibility,
with mind’s edges sealed,

he waits futilely for a savior.

 

photo courtesy of
Jon Katz  BedlamFarm.com

 

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Proof That We Came and Were. . . .

‘what is eaten at the table for conversation will determine the digestion of the world’s table.’
   the teacher. . . 

After The Gathering. . . .

I take the lemon wax and spray and wipe
to a fine polish, the table where food and
love have been served.
I take the memories from the last gathering and
camp them in a new place, to be taken out
in another time by those whose work it is
to be keeper of memories.

The table has changed places
as have the memories.
It is in place now and already others
have seated and supped.
New memories are being shaped
by those whose need within is
a hunger to touch places
too long isolated.

It is for each we do this.
We bring together our selves
for the fine art of fleshing out
the canvas where we have painted
our lives to create a memory
for a world where none was before.

The memory will be our proof that we came and were.

 

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