Monday, March 24, 2008

Still ... "Making Love to My World"

A dear Friend, Ray, an elderly gentleman who I noticed as he walked silently by (week after week… going about his business in a dignified, stately, and private manner), made an impression on my Spirit, with the beauty of his Spirit. “Please forgive my intrusion, My Friend” I said with a hand raised in a ‘please stop’ gesture, “but I am compelled to tell you that your eyes, your comportment, the very countenance of you, all speak together to say that the man behind all is a man of worthy and noble character. I want you to know that your regular passing of this spot, where I sit, has blessed me and made my world a better place for your presence in it.”

Ray (being a very shy and introverted man) blushed with this extremely out-of –the-ordinary declaration and thanked me. “You are quite welcome” was my simple reply and I immediately returned my attention to the work that was before me so that he would feel no requirement for further engagement. This “sense it, say it, leave it” (my words…not his) methodology was gleaned from the teachings of Leo Buscaglia, a Teacher, Lecturer, and Motivator of the mid-to-late 1900’s. The key elements, as taught by him, were to ask (and by the asking make clear your respect for and appreciation of the ‘space’ of the other) for “forgiveness for the intrusion.” Then, after your message has been stated, remove yourself straightway to make clear the absence of any hidden agenda, thereby giving a complete sense of safety to the individual upon whom you have just intruded.

Ray and I, over time, became quite good Friends. And it was on one of our more lengthy visits (which, with Ray, were hardly more than fifteen minutes [for him constituting something of a marathon of dialog]) that he and I had the following exchange. “John-Michael, I have to tell you that I envy the frequent and varied relationships that you seem to enjoy. I am so shy and retiring that I could never be as open and free with myself as you are. It is clear that you do genuinely love all of these people with whom I see you interacting and they, you, in return. That is something that I must say that I do envy.” “Ray, My Dear Friend, I make love to all of the world around me every moment of every day. But, Ray, you speak of the glory and warmth of your relationship with your wife who you clearly adore. And by your comments, make clear, to any observer, the fact that she participates equally in her adoration of you. You go home, Ray, after witnessing my daily love-fest with life, to her. And you immerse yourself in the totality of that love. I go home alone. Ray… I envy you.”

“Making love to life” is the most accurate portrayal of my living. The intimate engagement in the most compelling of life’s elements … the core of life (for want of a better term) … is the level at which I sense, acknowledge, and respond to my world. I take no notice of roles or titles for I have played many roles in business, religion, society, and family … and have done so wearing the many varied ‘hats’ appropriate to the roles (and did it all quite well and even to the laudation of each relevant world). And, in the doing, I learned the temporal nature of such things … passing; for the moment; and then to be gone as though never there. But love, whether revealed in unspoken, distant appreciation or intimate exchange for the briefest or more prolonged engagement … is forever.

I am simultaneously saddened and challenged by the climate of today’s social, political, religious, and cultural atmosphere. Anger, vehemence, criticism, castigation, condemnation, confrontation, and refusal to respect, appreciate, or even consider the perspective of another is the comfortably accepted norm. I simply cannot participate in (what I consider) this sickness. The twisting of the soul of a participant is the price-tag for involvement that I would rescue all within my domain from paying. I have chosen to demonstrate the satisfactions, joys, happiness, and comfort of embracing others in the exercise of admiration, recognition, appreciation, adulation, and yes, even love.

This choice of behavior is not without pitfalls. I have found no models after which I may follow. There are, to my knowledge, no systems for the practice of such behavior that would have all potential misunderstandings and miscues worked out. I, therefore, find myself blazing a new trail with all of the elements of risk and even danger befitting such an adventure. But the quest is far and away worth the scrapes and bruises encountered along the way. I can endure the passing looks of skepticism, doubt, uncertainty, and even rejection encountered (with extreme rarity) amongst the more frequent, and almost-constant, smiles of appreciation, satisfaction, enjoyment, and even surprised delight that my behavior evokes. This is “making love to my world” as I am called by the conviction of my heart to practice it.

(originally penned, 2004)

IMAGES: Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton,


CrazyCath said...

Oh and long may you continue to make love to the world! As I noted yesterday, we are all unique, and this uniqueness that makes you YOU is what delights us all so and brings us a little peace, harmony, joy and love into our worlds.

Whilst the rest of the world (myself included) often try to hide our uniqueness and blend in unnoticed, you celebrate yours and I applaud that.

Wonderful post again and the photos are beautiful. Where is that river through a tunnel of trees? (Especially the last shot).

(((HUGS))) and love.

John-Michael said...

That last shot was taken at Golitha Falls, Cornwall, by Ian Britton (if you click on his link in the "images" credit at the bottom, and enter "cornwall" in his site's "search" window, you will enjoy lots more.)

Thank youCath-Daughter, for your generous and kind encouragements. You 'recharge' my spirit's 'batteries.'

I love you!

CrazyCath said...

I knew it was England! It HAD to be England.

Only in England.....(smile)

John-Michael said...

So you had best be telling your Hubby and your Dad to plan on packing up a lunch basket for an introductory excursion for your Yank-Dad upon my visit. I am so eager to meet the both of them (whilst celebrating our hugs. [smile])

Elizabethd said...

How interesting to see a Cornish photo. I lived there since childhood, though now in France. Cornwall is a place like no other.

Suldog said...

Blazing a new trail is something you do not just for yourself, John-Michael, but for the many who will follow and take that trail after you. God bless the trailblazers, and God bless you!

John-Michael said...

'Tis pleased I am, Elizabethd, that you enjoyed it.

John-Michael said...

If I can employ any of the elements of my "learning curve" experiences to pave that trail and afford a more enjoyable journey for the next to pass ... mine will have been a "blazing" well satisfying to me, Dear Jim, SulDog Friend.

You gladden my heart each time I hear from you.

Just Joni said...

Ah, John-Michael let me reassure you that no model is needed for following. The misunderstandings and miscues are elements of confinement to those who cannot see beyond the purest and simplest notions of humanity. With hands together I bow in respect to your intimate engagements in life...I have to say that I too envy your candid ways...I see it, I think it, but seldom do I say it...but I'm learning ~

thank you.

John-Michael said...

Tears interfere with this typing Joni, Dear Friend. Lady Muse knows. Your Spirit is in tune. Consciousness is set aside as you sent your thoughts to a heart ... that for the first time in years is struggling with self-doubt. For these last few hours, I have been assaulted my a tsunami of "who do you think that you are?"s ... "what do you think that you are doing ... messing about in the lives of all of these strangers?"

Yes, Joni ME! Great big ol' Mister "Okey Dokey." Having an afternoon of "Am I nuts?" moments. Then Life says "OK, Hot Shot ... now that I have your attention. I will, yet again, show you that I have you in that protective and guiding palm of my hand. Just as you have grown accustomed to."

And Life guided you to write. And You, My Darling One, are at the right place ... with the right spirit ... lifting and nurturing with the right message. And I am bowing in grateful adoration and appreciation of and for YOU.

I love you, Joni!

Misty Dawn said...

I came over here to thank you for the special words you commented on my blog... telling me that the more you learn about me, the more you love me - I can't tell you how much I needed to hear that today (OK, I'll admit I always appreciate hearing that from you - but, today in particular was sincerely needed and appreciated).

Then, I read this post. You are a 'model' for me, my friend. You may not have a model to follow, but you certainly set an example for others (and bless their lives in the process).

John-Michael said...

Well Misty, my Sweet-hearted and Kind-spirited Friend ... you have read the comments to and from others, and now know that "Yours Truly" has had a bit of a low spot himself today. I know that mine is born of weariness and oven-spending of my emotional resources over the past few weeks. But I do not know (don't need to) the source of your struggles today. Whatever our difficulties are born from ... I surely do like having You, as a treasured part of my world.

Knowing You, Misty, gave me a place to go for restorative and encouraging energy just a bit ago. And I am happy in that fact, as well as appreciative of it. You do understand, of course, that I genuinely do love You!

CrazyCath said...

Sending you (((HUGS))) John-Dad-Michael,

Had some stuff to do tonight. Not been blogging as much as usual for the evenings! Will lurk and surf a bit then get some rest. It's late now here.

Keep the spirits up. We all need your love on here!

And we all love you.

Especially me.

John-Michael said...

You are the Goodest of the Good, My Darling Cath-Daughter!

I too am just a few minutes away from re-introducing my head to my pillows.

I'll get 6 hours if I do it now. (And that beats the 3 that I have been averaging.)

I will sleep with my dream-setting in your family's lovely garden. Ahhh

I love you, My Sweet!

Misty Dawn said...

THREE hours? John-Michael, my very special friend, I will be sending restful and peaceful thoughts your way! I truly want the best for you in every way - you have no idea how grateful I am to have 'met' you. Thank goodness for technology - otherwise, I would have never been so lucky as to meet your kind and inspirational soul.

Cowgirl said...

Dear John-Michael,

I loved this! You are so right about the way things are today. You are succeeding as the trailblazer ... I felt the love you have for others the moment I first read your words. I see my friend Elizabethd has found you too!

John-Michael said...

Oh Misty how I do truly recognize your gift of "restful and peaceful thoughts" this morning. As I prepare for work, I am basking in your kindness.

Loving You is lovely!

John-Michael said...

Cowgirl, as I go out into my little world this morning, t is with your "as the trailblazer" fresh in my consciousness. I hope to make you proud. [smile]

Lovingly ...

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