Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In A Moment of Stillness

When my son was diagnosed as having Cerebral Palsy, I had a lot to consider. All that I was ... all that I understood ... all that life represented to me was, in that moment, irrevocably and eternally obliterated. There was no person to whom I could go to discuss the ramifications of this life-altering circumstance. No Mentor, Guide, Counselor, nor Adviser was present. I could not share my confusion; my dismay; my grief; my fear; nor my ignorance with anyone. I was completely alone in my situation.

The setting that I found for my deliberations and considerations of what I must do; who I must now be; how I must proceed, was a small art shop wherein I allowed my soul to find its refuge and solace through hours spent in the solitary exercise of losing myself in racks of art prints. Here, I began what has been a consistent, comforting, encouraging, and rewarding relationship with my Muse.






In the precious images of those prints, I escaped the pressures of immediate Life demands.












I soared to heights of distant perspectives.



I found a refuge from the cacophony of immediate necessities.








Those images provided lanes and paths of possibilities that I would not have known within the confines of my natural world.






The time spent with those renderings of places, people, environs, and worlds free of the pressing torments of my responsibilities ... gave my Spirit freedom, and I gave it license, to contemplate perspectives beyond my own experience.





And, to carry those moments with me into my natural world, I purchased and had framed several of those works that surround me, in my little cottage, at this very moment of recollection ... and still afford me the gift of moments of quiet consideration.





So ... for the last, approximately, one and one-half minutes, My Dear Reader and loved Friend, I have shared that therapy of refreshment with you. I have structured, for your benefit, all that you have seen and read thus far, to provide a sample of just such a moment of consideration for you. All in the hope that you will recognize the calmness and serenity that lies at your doorstep ... if you will but permit yourself the renewal, of being in a place of apartness from all that demands your attention.

So, for now, I respectfully invite you to "Be still and know" what your own "still, small, Inner Voice" has been trying to whisper to you in this moment. As I remain your faithfully loving Friend and Servant.




ALL IMAGES through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

27 comments:

Katney said...

tahtnk you for the brief retreat. It was refreshing and renewing.

lime said...

i must thank you for the lovely images of serene landscapes that offer opportunity for contemplation. i will also thank you for sharing about your son because knowing about his diagnosis also took me to a time and a place that was one of joy.

as a teenager i spent 3 summers working as a junior counselor at a special ed. camp. my favorite group were the kids with CP. my special buddy was a 12 year old boy who could not speak with his voice and who was confined to a wheelchair. but oh he and i managed to communicate so well and have such wonderful summers together. he was smart and funny and sensitive and had a smile that warmed you like the sun after a storm. thanks for a flood of happy memories in a way i am sure you had no idea you'd provoke.

John-Michael said...

There you go Kate ... just perfectly what I hoped to accomplish for You. You make my Heart smile.

Loving You ...

John-Michael said...

Oh Lime, my Darling, I just knew that what I perceive in your Spirit is of a depth and richness beyond the immediate. Angels like You have been the Gifts beyond price in Matthew's life. I will send some photos of him to you. He's beautiful! I thank You for sharing this new aspect of the wondrous You with me.

I do love you!

jillie said...

It's amazing what art therapy can do for ones soul! They allow you a moment to get away, collect yourself and then be able to come back refreshed. There is an art store in LaJolla that I just LOVE to go to. It's called the Images of Nature. They have the MOST amazing photos and I could just stand there and stare at them all day. One day, I hope to be able to afford one to put in my home.

That you for such wonderful visions! Some of the pictures from the woods remind me of when I was a kid I would just walk through the trees for hours and listen to the sounds of mother nature.


((HUGS))

John-Michael said...

To consider that I have had the privilege of giving You, Sweet Jillie, such a moment is a blessing to my Soul. I envision you in that shop, and my thought is that the "collecting" of your Self is a collection worthy of a pampered and protected care and appreciation. For, my Dear One, all that constitutes your Self, is priceless, indeed!

(Yeah, I do know that my love for You shows ... so? [smile])

Vi said...

Wonderful soothing photos!

Jules~ said...

This morning I learn more of you.
I am so sorry that your son has CP. If I may ask...when did this happen?
I am glad you were able, and still do, find comfort and direction in photos and prints. They do say that a picture is worth a thousand words and I agree. A picture takes us out of our small world and shows us things/places/emotions that we might not have normally experienced.
The ones you have chosen this morning are all so beautiful.

John-Michael said...

For You, Vi, my Darling, with my Love.

aims said...

A wonderful escape JM - and one we often overlook.

Thank you for bringing it to my attention once more.


Your pictures are breathtaking and transporting. They made me think of things I have forgotten...

John-Michael said...

Matthew was born with cerebral palsy, Jules~. He was diagnosed when he was less than a year old. Everyone fell apart. And, on that fateful evening, I had the epiphanal realization that (though I was always the "emotional" one of my world) Someone had to be "The Rock" of constancy, clarity, and quietude. So, at age 29, I assumed a life-role and responsibility that causes Matt's Mom to comment (when he was around six years old) "You shed the quickest tears of anyone that any of know, and are the most free with your emotions of any of us. But we haven't seen you shed even one tear for Matthew. And it has us all concerned." To which I replied, "I denied my Self that luxury when he was diagnosed. You all took the emotional licenses. I have to be what he needs me to be ... for him." (never fear ... trainloads of tears I have indeed shed ... privately [and in those months in that art shop ... "Mona Lisa's" {honest!}. They just left me to my anguish, sorrow, and aloneness. Sweet ladies. I love them still.]) And so it has been since 1974.

I am gladdened that you allowed your Self the moment with my thoughts and the images. Both are for You. 'Cause, I love You ... doncha know!

Suldog said...

That country road, with the stone wall... I want to be there, NOW. So lovely and peaceful. I can almost feel the stones under my butt as I sit there, just looking around, maybe enjoying a smoke and listening to some birds, and feeling a slight breeze. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!

Jules~ said...

Thank you for explaining more. To be the rock of emotional strength is so very hard. Even more difficult is watching your child go thru so much.
I can grasp just a bit of that. My husband had a son from a previous marriage who was born with severe heart problems. At just 4 days old he had open heart surgery, the first of many over the next 15 years. But for the grace and peace that only God can give, I don't think my husband would have been able to deal with it all.

John-Michael said...

You made me consciously aware of something that I have never spoken ... neither to my inner self, nor to any Other, Aims. For 'til this moment, I had always quickly dismissed that art shop experience, and the art works that served me so well, as an "escape." But just now, I realize that they were not that at all. They were (and remain) a Pinnacle. A "high place" from which I could do as generals of old did. I could "survey" the field of battle (if you will) in my heart and mind. And determine the nature of the "enemy's" forces ... the disposition of my assets ... and plan a course of attack and defense that would meet the needs of the day. Winning the "war" was never an option ... for life keeps admitting new and varied "foes" ... but the moment-by-moment battles ... Those I have enjoyed many victories in.

No ... "escape" is not what applies, I now (thanks to You) see. But a place of removal from the fray. Allowing the implementation of wisdom, vision, and responsible choices. I feel like revisiting those images, yet again. [smile]

I love our visits (limited as they are) ... as I do, indeed, Love You.

John-Michael said...

Lovely, SulDog! Thank you, Dear Friend, for availing your Spirit this moment for its refreshment. I am truly gratified. Know that, were it in my power, I would gleefully transport You there for the joy of seeing your happiness.

Sure do love You, Jim!

quilldancer said...

My work with handicapped children often leaves me disheartened and emotionally drained. Perhaps because I grew up walking through such wilderness scenes, to enjoy the real renewing of nature, I need to be able to hear, touch and smell it. I now live far away from the beautiful pine forests of my youth, but here the ocean provides me with beauty and solace.

lime said...

i would be honored to have you share pictures of your matthew with me and receive them as a treasure.

Crystal said...

LOL! I love it John-Michael! So peaceful and calm! I love the photos you posted with this. Talk about meditative therapy;o)

John-Michael said...

Like harmonic parts in Life's symphony, each, the Pine Forest and The Ocean, resonate their own range of soothing music to our receptive Souls ... don't you agree, Dear quilldancer? All in harmony and orchestrated for our spiritual betterment.

I am lovingly grateful for your kind attention, Sweet Friend.

John-Michael said...

I have seven photos of Matt winging their Email way to your waiting arms as I write, Precious Lime. I know that you will sense the specialness of his wonderful Spirit. Thank you for your invitation.

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

Have another sip of your beverage, lie back, and allow the purpose to serve You, Darling Crystal.

Gently Loving You ...

San said...

Thank you for this quiet oasis, John-Michael. You tapped into some profound and innate wisdom that told you to go to that shop and look at the prints. No doubt you were settling into new depths of love--for your son, for life itself.

John-Michael said...

For three months(after Matt's diagnosis), San Dear, I went to my office each morning. I would tell my secretary to handle whatever she could (she was great ... she handled everything). Then, I went into my private place, wept, prayed, meditated, wept more (and more ...), and then, emptied of all Self, often went to the art shop as a "clean slate." And allowed Life to speak to me. When time to go home came ... I went into the men's room ... washed my face ... straightened the necktie ... aligned the suit properly ... and drove home to assume my role. It was the beginning of many lonely years of complete immersion in discovery of who I was and was to become ... coupled with translating those insights and understandings to my son for his edification.

When at the end of twenty years of marriage, my wife declared that she wanted the person that she married back or a divorce ... she filed for the divorce.

The lessons of the time in reverent silence and listening to Life bore me through all of it.

I love your caring ... a lovely part of YOU!

Josie said...

This is very strange. I have had to come to a decision this evening about doing an intervention for someone in my family whom I believe has a serious mood disorder and needs help. I clicked onto your blog and seeing your post was like a message of strength.

Thank you!

John-Michael said...

My conviction is that it is not "strange" at all, Josie, My Dear. For I am completely comfortable in the Truth that, as Einstein said it "God did not create the world to operate on the roll of the dice." His point being that all of the universe functions under the control of very precise and exact forces. And all with a reason.

I bid you well with following the leading of your Heart. You are Loved!

Corey~living and loving said...

what a wonderfully creative post. Thank you for sharing it with me.

John-Michael said...

Corey, Corey, Corey, How I have sorely missed You! You are one of the sweet breezes that blows beauty in imagery accompanied by gentle kindness of Spirit and refreshes my Soul (Truly!) Thank you, Darling Friend, for your kindness.

I am grateful to know you well enough to love You!

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