Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Reconsider the Set of Your Sails...or Not

There are times, in life…
When it simply does not matter how much sail you put on.
Times when the best of navigational skills are for naught.
Times when destinations and goals are of no consequence.

It is in these times that the wise, prudent and seasoned sailor embraces the reality of the circumstance…
And commences scraping barnacles and mending lines.

For the time is always coming, when the tide returns…
Access to all potential possibilities is made available…
And our state of readiness will determine our satisfaction,
With
the continuation of our Life Voyage.


“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)


IMAGE: Ian Denney, BBC

Monday, February 26, 2007

Appreciation and Respect

Having given much consideration to the conflicts in families, the discord between nations, the hostilities between Faiths, and the animosities between political factions... I have surmised the following:


We can never APPRECIATE... what we refuse to RESPECT



IMAGE: Sarah Prall, BBC News

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Gift of Tears

“Dad…Why do you always cry? You cry when you are happy and you cry when you are sad. Why?”

I knew that this was one of those rare moments when my concrete thinking daughter was open to an insight that could have long-lasting consequences in the development of her ability to relate to her feelings. I had best be brief, succinct, and accurate. “Please God” I silently prayed.

“I cry because I allow myself to feel… and tears are an important part of the feeling system. You see, Sweetheart, we were created with our hearts capable of feeling both joy and sadness. But our hearts can’t contain too much of either. So…we have a safety system that keeps our hearts from breaking if we feel too much of either sadness or joy. The extra comes out as tears. They can be happy tears or sad tears. But they both come out so that our hearts don’t have too much of either to hold. Because I permit myself to feel a lot… I have a lot of extra.”

Those with whom I have shared the first part of my emerging book Why I Am Here and You Are There, will know that I live my life in response to the leading of “The Master Gardener” as my “Still Small” inner voice speaks to my heart. Today I awoke with the recollection of the dialogue (with my daughter) that I just shared with you and an acute sense that there is someone, some “plant” in the “Master Gardener’s” care that is in need of the nurturing benefit of this little message of encouragement. In my capacity of “Minister of Manure” I am compelled, by previous commitment to the Master, to spread some of the “compost” of my past experience where preparation has been made and a receptive heart is readied. So, My Friend, whoever and wherever you are, here is the answer to your petition.

Go ahead… it is OK… allow yourself to feel… to embrace…to experience… to savor life as it is being presented to you at this very moment. Your heart will not break… tears will protect it from the hazard of too much (and the garden all around you will benefit from the watering of the excess of your courageous participation in the adventure at hand.) Live life… all of it…saving it is not an option… invest YOURSELF in living. And if tears are the result… let all (your children, your family, your friends) know that the tears are from a heart overflowing with the excess of living life.

Experience has taught me that the one for whom this insight is intended will recognize its merit. To that individual, whoever you are, I bid you joy, laughter, fulfillment, and peace.

(Note: Perhaps you are one of those who have complimented me with your reading of my little ideas for a while. If so, you might recall this piece. It was originally posted in April of 2006. I present it, again, for those who are newer readers. To all I say "Thank you for your kindness and generosity in sharing this moment with me.")

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Immortal

Our Creator would never have made such lovely days,

and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought,

unless we were meant to be immortal.


Nathaniel Hawthorne


Images: Top, Alun Pughe; Center, Becky Reeves; Lower, Colleen Derry / BBC News

Monday, February 19, 2007

Connection-ships

OK… let’s stop thinking of them as “Relationships.” How about we look at what we really desire as “Connection-ships.” For, it seems to me, what works… what has dynamic power… what gives energy to its participants… what has lasting and staying potential… is a connection. We can “relate” to things seen through the window of our automobile as we whiz past. We can “relate” to illustrations, stories, sounds, and flavors. But in order to “connect” we must become intimately involved… we must become a participant in that with which we “connect.”

I think of couples and friends who have endured decades of life’s challenges, and the ones who come to mind share with each other a mysterious set of “connections” that have bonded them. This in spite of obvious absences of what we would define as commonalities (things in common) that would demonstrate any usual interests or points of relating. They simply seem to "connect!"


So, I say “let’s cast off all of that acquired baggage of perceptions and discriminations that have attached themselves to that Relationship concept." And explore the new and yet-undiscovered potentials that lie in the infinitely unlimited Connection-ships that are wrapped as gifts of promise in our Tomorrows.



IMAGE: BBC News

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Desire

When asked, recently, how I would express my heart’s desires to the Person who I thought had the potential to be “That Special Someone” in my life. I gave it thought… and, to Her, I would say this:

I desire…

to read poetry to you and watch your eyelids float to your cheeks in serene rest…

to listen to your breath and sense your peaceful comfort in my presence…

to awaken you with kisses lingering at every line, curve, shadow, and highlight of you from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head…

to greet each new day with the awareness that it is to be another together… you and I…

to listen to my spirit, in a moment of solitude, as it communes with your spirit… wherever you are…

to walk through Life’s gallery applauding, celebrating, and reveling in the beauty of all of Creation… knowing that Life’s masterwork is forever in the chamber of my heart…

to look heavenward and say, oft and joyously, “Thank You!”… at the thought of you…

for you to know, in every fibre of your existence, that in our now and in our forever... we are One in eternal intimacy.

This is what I desire.


IMAGEs through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Valentine's Day Glance in the REAR-VIEW-MIRROR

As I slowly progressed through one of the busiest intersections in our community, I noticed the couple in a modest mid-sized sedan that turned the corner and took up position behind my car. There was something irregular about them. Curious, I watched them (in my Rear-View Mirror) as we drove slowly along. It was the most beautiful thing. These mature, and obviously well-ensconced in a long relationship, people were enjoying each others’ company. There was that air of “first-date” engagement in each other that was displayed in a quiet, comfortable, and completely natural way. I was so taken with their extraordinary harmony of inter-relating that I found myself enchanted. When it became evident that we were headed for the same grocery market, I decided to speak to them. As they parked and made their way to the store, I remained in my vehicle in a position that necessitated their passing.

“Please forgive my intrusion, My Friends” I spoke from my car’s window “but I could not help but notice the lovely inter-play between the two of you as you rode together in your car. Your obvious affection for and enjoyment of each other compels me to thank you both for encouraging my heart and making better the world that I live in. Bless you both.” I then returned their smiles and quick expression of thanks while slowly driving away (to reassure them that I did, indeed, respect their right to privacy and security.) I did not see them again until something around a year later.

On that occasion, I, again, looked into my rear-view mirror… and there they were. Now, mind you, there had, in the interim, been myriad faces in the view of that mirror. But these two… these among the certainly hundreds and possibly thousands that I had seen there… stood out like that well-clich├ęd lighthouse on the shore. And, as before, I could not let the opportunity to let them know that they had touched someone‘s heart pass. So, inasmuch as the traffic light had just turned red, I told my son (my passenger on the occasion... and well-accustomed to Dad's spontaneous expressions) that I would be back directly, and got out. Quickly moving to the driver’s window, I expressed my sentiments and turned to leave… whereupon, I heard the lady exclaim “Oh Dear… it’s the “BEING ME” (the license number that I chose for my vehicle) guy!” It pleased me that they recalled our earlier meeting as we exchanged farewells and I hurried back to my car.

So, what in all of this is of value to you at this reading? A few considerations. First… there are, sadly, so few in our world that share obviously healthy and openly dynamic relationships that they are easily spotted. Secondly… there is hope and encouragement to us all that there is possibility for just such a blessed union. Then, there is the encouragement, that I offer you, to pay attention to your own world… notice… care… involve yourself… speak the message that Life puts in your heart (lest you have one of those frustrating “I wish that I had” moments later.) Encourage! This is something that every one of us can do. And allow yourself to reflect on the You that is projected into that environment effected by you. Is there a joy within you that is obvious to your world? If “yes” I celebrate with you… If “no” you have my heart’s wish that you discover where that joy lies… and claim it!

No sermon here. Just an opportunity to consider. I bid you a Valentine's Day filled with joy and love.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Revisiting that Love Response

One of you asked me a question that I believe has remained unspoken by many who know me. I admire and respect this lady’s courage and candor in asking “So… are you truly in love with all your readers? Do you dislike anyone?” (Well!… the very nerve! [Yes I am kidding]) But the questions are very important ones and deserve more than a cursory response. So, here ‘tis.

First, my being “in love with all of (my) readers” is a matter of selective choice. I (just as you) have available to me the full range of possibilities for my response to the lives whose paths intersect mine. And I have made a conscious choice to make my “default setting” for my personal response to the world… LOVE. It really is that simple (as it must be for me to make it… for ‘complex’ gives me a headache. [teehee])

Yes… (to answer your intuitive question) I have most definitely been hurt… disappointed… abused… taken advantage of… misunderstood… misquoted… (need I go on?) by others in life. But my choice remains to have my initial response to others set on LOVE. And the rewards for that choice more than outweigh the total weight of all of the accumulated emotional scar-tissue from all of the unhappy occasions (and there have been PLENTY!) of my past. And PLEASE do not even begin to voice your “well, if you had ever experienced what happened to me” stuff. My “stuff” is as legitimate to my life as anyone else’s is to them. Stinko is Stinko in the nostrils of the individual doing the inhaling. (How’s that for a profundity?)

And what about… rejection? That is probably the biggest fear of all who would entertain the thought of venturing into the land of loving. OK… Yes I have had and still have my loving of others rejected. So what?! Rejection is a valid option for anyone’s election. I respect and easily allow the rejection of my love. I do, after all, offer my love as a gift… not as a preconditioned, expectation-bound, negotiated device. I give it… you are perfectly free to accept, reject, or even ignore the gift… it is, after all, yours to do with as you please. This is the nature of a gift. And the consummate beauty of this gift is that it is self-replenishing. The more that I give… the more is regenerated… FREE!

Second… the other (dislike anyone?) question… YES.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ever-Present Beauty

Amidst all of the misery, mahem, inconvenience, and even danger of a fierce winter storm... BBC viewers found beauty to appreciate. I share the perspectives of two of them with you.

Louise Turner calls her "resident robin" a "cute wee fella" as he visits in North London.

Nigel Grace shares this scene of serenity found in the "Snow-covered countryside around Wendover in Buckinghamshire."

With my warmest regards to these two of our fellow pilgrims on today's life journey, I bid you, My Dear Reader, my fondest regards and kindest thoughts.


IMAGES: BBC News

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

YOU

Perhaps you have had the pleasure of a moment that, at the time, was so delightful that words to express your emotions escaped you. If so, you will understand the motivation behind what I share in this expression of a moment lived 29 September 1989 that I attempted to portray in the words of "YOU."

You

To have a kindred spirit… a like soul with whom I can loose the chains of my normally well-controlled performance…

To be able to rest in the assurance that my inner-most secrets and desires can express themselves in an environment of safe acceptance…

To enjoy the free expression of long-desired, waiting to be experienced, wishes and fantasies in concert with another who hears and shares…

Such is the time shared with you… such is the feeling… the reason for the joy… the source of the smile that has accompanied me all this day… ‘Inner Sunshine…’
You!



John-Michael/ 29 September 1989


IMAGE (of Torre del Lago, near Lucca, Italy) by Neil Jones, BBC

Monday, February 05, 2007

Love... Friendship

"Love is just friendship set to music."

E. Joseph Crossman


IMAGE: Alan Rengger, BBC
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