Sunday, March 30, 2008

Passing Clouds

Welcome… I invite you to join me in a spiritual time and place… a place where we are unencumbered by any of those pesky elements of life known to us as ‘responsibilities’, ‘schedules’, ‘expectations’, and/or ‘imposed distractions’ visited upon us by ourselves or others.

In this place we are the lone occupants. Think of it as an open patch of ground (in my youth it was a vacant lot between my home and our neighbor’s.) And here we are … nowhere else to be … no sense of demands or requirements… just this moment and the presence of those clouds overhead. All of those slowly passing, ever-so-present objects in our otherwise uninvolved consciousness, drawing our attention to the myriad possibilities sculpted in their ever-changing forms.

You can see a [--whatever you see --] in that cloud, and I see something quite different. You try to demonstrate the legitimacy of your interpretation and solicit my agreement, while I point out the clarity of my perception and entreat you to acknowledge the viability of my interpretation. With extended explanations of our individual definitions, we can both admit the possibility of one another’s validity. All the while we are enjoying the shared stretching of our imaginations and the intimacy of our willingness to expose our minds’ mutual expressions of themselves … and the clouds, themselves ... are changing.

There is present, in this special moment, no criticism, no condemnation, nor any hint of disrespect for one another’s perceptions … quite to the contrary, it is our differences that make the game so alive, so challenging, rich, and so very enjoyable for us both. For, you see, we respect, appreciate, and honor one another’s diverse views without preconceived prejudice borne of any academic, ethnic, political, religious, or other outwardly-imposed bias. We are freely open to our own inward inclinations borne only of our individually-private inner voices. We are celebrating the expression of those spiritual voices in our translations of passing clouds.

Passing clouds are, after all, in the eternal scheme of things, all that our past experiences, exposures, happenings, and circumstances amount to. They had, in the moment of their dominance, absolute form and definition. But they have since passed on (just as this moment, with all of its priorities and demands, will, at the next blink of our collective eye, be but a memory.) And, just as this moments vexations and troubles are destined to "blow away" with the winds of life's continuance, history will relegate all that is, today, so demanding (when read on the pages of our newspapers, or viewed, or listened to in other media) into indistinguishable forms tomorrow.

Therefore, I, (in the little essays and thoughts that I offer) drift some of my ‘clouds’ through the sky of this moment that we are sharing. I express to you, my Dear Reader, the shape that I see in those clouds. Not that I hold my definition out as “the one true perception;” but only my own perception, subject to all of the failings and vulnerabilities of my knowledge-base, experience, and temperament. And, in so doing, I encourage you, Dear Friend, to accept the legitimacy and worth of my views, and the equal worth of the views of all of our fellow pilgrims, in this shared adventure known to us all as “life.” It is my hope that this gentle, all-accepting, unassuming presentation of my perceptions will awaken, in you, some awareness that will make your life pilgrimage more pleasant, spiritually rewarding, and, perhaps, even more enjoyable.

So, as you peruse these articles that I offer ... it is my hope that you will be able to turn everything else off … shut all else out … and allow yourself to be occupied with the consideration of what my private inner voice (my Muse) describes, and interprets, from the shapes of life’s clouds ... as they have appeared in my life.


IMAGE through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton,


Donnetta Lee said...

Good morning John-Michael. I found you through Josie this morning. Seems we have some interests in common: Joseph Campbell and Man's Search for Meaning, for example. Very nice blog. Thanks for letting me drop in!

John-Michael said...

How very nice, Donneta, for you to give this moment of you to me and my thoughts. I am, indeed, complimented.

You have blessed me with a smile of warm affection at your mention of "Joseph Campbell and Man's Search for Meaning" ... two pivotal influences in my life.

I do hope that we have an opportunity to become Friends.


CrazyCath said...

Hello there my dear John-Dad-Michael,

This is a beautiful post (although I have, up to now, been completely unable to contemplate it as deeply as I would like between TV noises, bathtime and cats!) but wanted to say that I have a place like your "waste ground". Or did, as a child. We used to live where a hill continued up beyond the back of our house. I would go up the back lane (mud and grass with tracks) and into the first field on the left at the end. I would sit on a gate there, overlooking a brook which babbled joyfully and noisily. And I would lose myself in the clouds where I could be ME.

You took me back there just now. Thanks.

(And the bathtime for child brought me back here! lol)
But I cherish those stolen moments. :0)

david mcmahon said...

Thought-provoking, as always - and beautifully put.

John-Michael said...

My Wonder and Joy, Dear Cath-Daughter, I am so glad that I could 'take you away' for a moment of delicious reflection and remembrance ... but (quite truthfully) I do envy you the happy and vibrant atmosphere of your very much alive and pulsing home. The 'stuff of life' is a great sound to bask in (though you may wish for a "volume control" at times [smile]).)

I love you, Precious!

John-Michael said...

I thank you, Friend David. A kind and generous thought from you is a very nice encouragement to my Heart.

Classic Charm said...

Ah, perfect timing my friend, just what I needed....I was just about to sit and enjoy a glass of wine and try to relax as I've had a hectic day. I knew coming here was just what I needed, and yes indeed it is....thanks again for your mindful posts that always make perfect sense.

jillie said...

I could sit there and stare at clouds all day!! Nobody ever sees the same thing and it's always fun to hear what everyone else sees. I've (ever since I was a kid) always to just be able to float on a fluffy cloud.


John-Michael said...

I bid you "Good Morning" Rose, Dear Friend. As I enjoy the company of your thoughts with my morning coffee, it please me to consider that you enjoyed the company of mine with your glass of wine, last evening.

I love you!

John-Michael said...

Isn't it nice to consider the gift that Life has given us, Jillie, Gentle Spirit Friend ... this gift of dismissal of 'accoutrement of physical demands', in favor of 'embracing of soulful flight.' Your comment stilled, and reminded me, afresh. Thank you for that, Dear One.

Loving You ...

Crystal Jigsaw said...

As someone who tends to live with her head in the clouds I have seen my life before me on many occasions. It had been mapped out long before I realised how precious it is.

Now I live it.
Crystal xx

John-Michael said...

Now there, my precious Crystal, is something worthy of a hearty celebration!

I do treasure your enhancing Presence in my personal world, Crystal. You make me better!

I love You.

Merisi said...

If it true what Paul Watzlawick said about our inability to enjoy the present being part of the solution to find perfect unhappiness, happiness then should be found somewhere in that realm between earth and clouds (or the vacant lot next door).

John-Michael said...

I will meet you there, Merisi, and we can compare notes on our impressions of what is, may be, or could possibly become ....

How I do thrill at your creativity and originality. you amaze!

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