Saturday, May 31, 2008

Making Love to Your World

How Do You … ?

How do You conduct your Self
When You enter the restaurant where She is employed?

How do You manage the impulse of your Heart
That wants so to see her … to bask in the serene beauty of her smile?

How do You bridle the enthusiasm of your spirit as she looks at You … And her eyes tell You that she is, indeed, genuinely happy to see You?

How do You respond when She tells You that she loves your poetry,
Your words that struggle to express the inexpressible?

How do You acknowledge her request for a poem …
Written from You … to Her … without overstepping sensitive bounds?

How?

You ask the spelling of her full name … not the name that she works by.

You “listen” to the Spirit that She speaks with as she pronounces it.

You hear the “sound” of her Heart’s Voice as she acknowledges You.

Then, You write:



Madeline

Through our tiny window of opportunity …
We allow our Hearts access.

Without regard for circumstance,
We embrace this Gift … that is Ours.

Deaf to Voices of Reason,
We float above the lifeless realities of Detail.

Hearing only the Song of our Hearts …
We harmonize in Loving agreement.

Though We can never Be …
We Are!



Then, You return home … Type your thoughts … Post them to your blog (that others can see how a passionate Romantic lives his daily life) … print a copy of the blog posting … and return the printed page to ...
Madeline.


And THAT, my dear Friend is today’s answer to “How Do You?” As you live yet another day “making Love to your world.”



(And, Yes ... this is exactly how this morning unfolded.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

For This is Wisdom


For this is Wisdom; to love, to live,

To take what Fate, or the Gods, may give,


To ask no question, to make no prayer,

To kiss the lips and caress the hair,


Speed passion’s ebb as you greet its flow,

To have ... to hold ... and, in time ... let go!







LAURENCE HOPE

aka: Adela Florence Cory Nicolson


09 April 1865 - 04 October 1904








IMAGES: SCENES through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
LAURENCE HOPE Wikipedia

It Is Well ...

When Peace, like a river, attendeth my way...

It is well, it is well, with my Soul.





Text from the hymn It Is Well With My Soul, Horatio G. Spafford (1873)
IMAGE through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

"Saved Alone"

I want to thank Lime for her reminding me of the significance of this story behind the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul." I located this well-presented version of the story and offer it (in a post-time altered sequence to fit the flow of today's "happenings.")


It Is Well With My Soul


Written by Horatio G. Spafford
Music by Philip Bliss

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin - oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin - not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend-
Even so - it is well with my soul.



"Saved Alone"
The History behind the Hymn
by Author: James Mumford


This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. You might think to write a worship song titled, 'It is well with my soul', you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words, "When sorrows like sea billows roll ... It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of Spafford's life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because of Horatio's legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close friends of Dwight.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords' only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.

Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest -- DL Moody needed the help. He was traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French steamer 'Ville de Havre' across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned. He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed East to Europe while Spafford returned West to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read: "Saved alone."

On November 22nd 1873, the 'Ville de Havre' had collided with 'The Lochearn', an English vessel. It sank in only 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had been rescued, Mrs. Spafford's first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her, "You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father's voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told "her soul is vexed within her", she still maintains that 'It is well." And Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers was.

Source: Equipped magazine, Vineyard Churches UK



I do hope that You, My Dear Reader, will, like myself and so many others over the years, find a moment’s Respite, Encouragement, and Peace in this account.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not 'AnyOne' ... 'SomeOne'


“So, why do you want to be alone? Do you not wish to be with anyone?” I was asked. “Oh no! Please understand. It is not my wish, to be alone.


I want very much to be with 'SomeOne'. But if I was with 'AnyOne,' it would only be an uncomfortable reminder, that I am not with that 'SomeOne'.” I answered.


Now, as I reflect on that brief exchange, I consider that You too (as You read these few, simple words) may want to be with your 'SomeOne' at this moment. But circumstance (or perhaps the fruits of previous life choices) have conspired to leave you alone ... with a discriminating disinclination to be with 'AnyOne'.

So, I write, that You may know ...
You are not alone in your Moment.




IMAGES: "Alone" Maxine Kahn, BBC; "SomeOne" Darkroom 11

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Airing That 'Laundry'

I have had this ‘bit’ weighing on me for all of my sixty-two years. The damned thing just will not go away. I had hoped that, with my “maturing” and with some measure of confidence attained, I would ,at some point in my life-journey, no longer be vulnerable to the insecurities and uncertainties accompanying “airing” my feelings. Perhaps “next year.” But for now … at the present … it is still a nagging pain in the asterisk.

You see, the deal is that I was raised in an environment that discouraged … no, that is to gentle … disallowed any “airing” of One’s feelings. In fact, the admission of even having feelings is granted certain “Weaker Vessels” and then only with an accompanying dose of disdainful disregard toward those who are so weak of psychological characteristics as to have a need for such an open admission of a less than concrete constitution. To have a disposition given to mention of emotions or feelings is to admit One’s inability to “handle these most-intimate of personal matters for themselves … in solitary privity."

So how was a young man … with a personality and temperament given to experiencing every element of living at the emotional level of consciousness; knowing every aspect of life in terms of passions, sentiment, feelings, and affections … to learn how to develop those sets of innate responses? From what source was such a young man to be educated, mentored, guided, admonished, and nurtured? Who, in an environment that cherished emotional sterility, was to be the model for me … yes (no shock to any who have known me for more that a few sentences of communication) for Me. For, you see, My dear Reader, I was directed, at every moment of confrontation with my natural pre-dispositions, to avoid “airing the laundry” of my thoughts, and, of course, those feelings and emotions that were destined to follow that dreaded circumstance of thinking.

“We do not air our personal laundry in public” was the handily applied aphorism that was broad-brushed over this particular aspect of living. “Keep it to yourself” was, and is, the controlling mandate of all in that environment. So, I made an on-going and valiant effort to “stifle” my Self. This went on for the first forty years of my life. I prayed prayers of fervent “Please God take away all of these questions that no one else is asking and content to live without answers to. Please, I beg You, remove these emotions and passions!” I would beg … right into my early forties.


Then, I began to see the validity of the questions. I began to accept the merits of the passions. I started to realize the wonder of having been created perfectly … as I am. I began to learn to speak what I had never heard spoken by anyone else in my world. I slowly experimented with addressing what I sensed in others … their withheld feelings and emotional needs. And they responded in the manner of a starving child presented with the breast of nurturing and sustaining life. Men, women, and especially children … in whom the flame of human sensitivities had yet to be beaten down by the suppressing forces of a world afraid of something that it had neither controls over nor means of addressing. The children are all-too-willing to “air” their wonderful feelings, ask their impossible questions, and voice their sterile-thinking shattering thoughts of infinite possibilities. This is what I tried to express in the Profile that I wrote at the outset of this blog when I said:
I find joy in awakening Imagination and endorsing the expression of Emotion in children as well as arousing Emotion and awakening child-worthy Imagination in adults.
I don’t know that I can improve on that statement at this juncture … now two and a half years later.

So, why now … here? Because two things have prodded and nudged me to make this feeble effort to address this matter of openly disgorging years of a pent-up tangle of familial, religious, corporate, personal, and societal values, standards, rules, and constitutions. First is that I allowed … yes allowed … for no one can impose any feelings on me … I allowed my itty-bitty tutus to get hurt. Yep, this six foot two inch hulk of former Marine Sergeant, Once Corporate Management Leader, Ordained Deacon, Owner/Operator of heavy construction company, gets his little feelings hurt … because he let them get hurt.

I chose to care about how others respond to my sometimes-clumsy efforts to give vent to feelings, impressions, and emotions that I have no standards or formulae to go by, in giving voice to. So, I have awkwardly stepped on some toes of sensitivity and/or delicacy. I know not in what particular way or at what point. But I, in my absurdly accurate intuitive way of sensing these things, am clearly aware of the chill of offense taken … or suspicious doubt employed by some who I genuinely like and would want to like me in return. And I let my Self feel it. Because, damn it, I do care! And I have no remote desire to deaden myself to that care. Even at the expense of potential injury to my delicate little tutus (feelings.)

But I was willing to bury this subject that I have struggled with for so long, for yet a while longer. Because there is simply too much of “Me” wrapped up in all of these considerations. It is too “personal.” But that dratted Lady Muse punched me in the ribs with my overhearing a couple at a party that I attended Sunday. They were discussing, with some gathered around, their feelings about some of the neighborhoods that they have been looking for a new home in. And they have encountered deed-restricted rules against hanging (“airing” to my pre-sensitized ears) laundry on outdoor lines “in sight of the public.” And (of course) I heard (in my own life-history pre-set awareness) “We do not air our laundry with others.” And I knew that I had not overheard the discussion out of some remote “coincidence.” (Darn that Lady Muse, anyhow!) Now, mind you, I am fully aware of the truest application of the time-honored “Do not air your dirty laundry in public.” And I do subscribe to the underlying wisdom of keeping life’s dirty little secrets private and … well … secret.

But the world that I grew up in, and have contact with to this day, has stretched that bit of aphorism to include ANY and ALL disclosure, mention, discussion, or admission of feelings, emotions, or intimate inclinations. … of any sort, kind, or description. The application of the rigid standard that “We do not discuss our feelings!” is glossed over with the broad-brush application of the aforesaid “laundry” maxim. And it is, in my personal estimation, and to my own individual sensitivities … crippling. And I am doing my dead-level best to learn how to overcome many years worth of the crippling effects of that early life. I may not have it smoothed to perfection … but my efforts at expressing the sincere workings of my Heart, as I am aware of them, when I am aware of them, and to whomever they are intimately intended … are genuine, unrehearsed, and absent any hidden agenda or intent.

So, I am rebelling. I went through the internet and downloaded photos of beautiful, colorful, wonderful laundry … airing itself in the breezes of openness and public availability. All for the sole purpose of fixing in your mind … and mine … the image of laundry being appropriately aired in a display of life being lived freely and openly. I think that it is beautiful!


(And I am going to make a concerted effort to be more gentle with my Self in the area of acceptance of my best-intended efforts at openness. And practicing of forgiveness and nurturing of my Self when I stumble over someone’s toes of sensitivities or suspicions of my sincerities. I see less hurt tutus in my future. [smile])


IMAGES
(upper to lower) Getty Image,The Independent; Earth Day Every Day; Secondhand Nation; pinopower; retractableclothesline.org; The Dandelion Path

Revisiting an IDEALIST Neighborhood Card Shop

We Idealists are, if you will, the “Neighborhood Card Shop” of life’s market place. We do not offer the “necessities” of life … the lumber or nails … the motor oils … the bread or butter, nor the wine or cheese. We offer, instead, the reminders of the ideals that make all of the essentials worth their pursuit. Meat and potatoes we do not present … but we do offer the bouquet, the candles, the card that expresses the sentiment that You might wish to convey over the fine dinner prepared from the meat and potatoes. We do not provide essential nutrients for the sustenance of the Flesh ... we offer the reminders of the Spirit and Soul, the Emotion and Desire that inspire the Heart as well as the Mind. We provide the ’soundtrack’ that adds dimension to the ’movie’ of life.

There are far fewer "Card Shops" than there are other merchants. There is good reason for their infrequency. Life’s day-to-day requirements have material need for far more of the providers of ‘basics.’ It is also true that The Almighty created a fewer number of us Idealists in life’s mix. (Providing evidence of obvious 'Divine Intention' in this design ... fewer 'spices' are necessary in the 'recipe' of living.)

I know my place. I do not offer myself as your provider of your day-to-day material requisites. But, My Dear Friend, I ask that you grant proper acknowledgment and acceptance of … respect and care for my place in the “shopping district” of your world. I will serve you happily and faithfully.



(Those of you familiar with this blog will recall having seen this message before. I replay it here, once every year or so, to allow new Readers to know me better. I do hope that this little 'window' into my Person serves that purpose well.)




IMAGES [top]Silvia Doberti,
[center] Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
[lower] Jon Sullivan, PDPhoto.org

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Heart that is Right

I had just gathered my daughter from her school and was engaged in her recounting of her day'’s activities when accosted by an exercise of parent-testing in the form of her first-expressed four-letter expletives (at least, the first tested on my ears.) A casual glance in her direction was all that was required to confirm my understanding that this was a probe of my reactions and that I was being toyed with by my nine-year-old offspring.

I responded with a smile and "Those are only words. They have neither power nor significance beyond the intent with which they are delivered. Apart from a message from your heart, they have no value, either positive or negative. If your heart is right, I don't care what words you use, they will be welcomed by me. But, if your heart is wrong ... if you have a mean-spirited intention in your heart when speaking ... no words of any kind will be acceptable or tolerated. So, (and I called her by name) the only thing that I will respond to is, what I perceive to be, the condition of your heart ... not the vocabulary that you express your heart with." We, then, shared a mutual smile of understanding.


Hence this little missive to you, My Dear Friend. Please grant me this intrusion into the intimate privacy of your spirit where I ask that you consider a focus... an aiming, if you will, of your heart toward simple... Nobility. Thinking the kind thought. Speaking the generous word. Letting go of your 'rights' and allowing grace and felicity to govern your environs, if but for this moment. For, you see, this is the essence of the "Spirit of the law"” as we have oft heard compared to the "Letter of the law." This is, if you will, the "True North"” as opposed to the "Magnetic North"” on this ‘"planet"’ of our lives. And what I am asking is that you navigate to the "true" noble value of life while the majority all about you are navigating to the "magnetic"’ sets of common standards that (while headed in the same approximate direction) have their direction compromised by accommodation and expediencies of circumstance.

In the development of the ever transitory "‘letter" of the laws of acceptable choices, the world all too often seeks the path of least resistance to motivations that are far less than noble. But that "Still Small Inner Voice" within our hearts will always permit our discovery of the "‘spirit"’ of those laws if we only take a moment to stop and inquire "What is the true intent of this law ... this protocol ... this standard?"” I can assure you, with certainty, that you will discover a core value and worth ... a spirit ... behind that direction of governance (be it scripture, legal directive, community regulation, or family tradition) and you will easily discern the response that will be immediately comfortable and natural, for you. You will, then, hear the "voice" of your heart and know what your personal best response can be. Please be forewarned, this election may very well be in contrast to the choices of those around you. But this is your individual purpose in life; to interpret, illustrate, demonstrate, and offer the options that are your contribution to life. Herein, please be confident, and fail not. For it is from our individual choices made that we establish our Self-esteem and confidence of Character.

I hear myself offering, with ever-more increasing frequency, the advice to intimate friends (and even casual acquaintances [when opportunity allows]) to "trust, honor, and follow your heart." For, you see, Dear Friend, in the final estimation, this is the only defensible position that we, as responsible individuals, can ever have.

To say that we acted, chose, spoke, or decided based on any exterior influence (whether religious, corporate, social, professional, familial, or cultural) is to say that we abandoned our personal responsibility and hid behind some alternative standard (regardless how 'acceptable' or 'proper'.) But when we have adopted standards to the degree that they are the conviction of our Heart and have a living presence in our Soul of souls, then we can act on our Heart'’s convictions and assume undiluted responsibility for our behavior. We can say, "“I followed my Heart"” and rest in that simple statement as sufficient reason for our choices, behavior, and intentions. And it is my constant hope that those internalized convictions are, in every instance, tempered with the spirit of respect for, care for, and gentle kindness toward the world around us.

So, My Friend, you can hear the message that I tried to convey to my daughter, those years ago. There is forgiveness and acceptance in the understanding that our words may err and our actions may accomplish results apart from our intent. Mistakes and blunders will always be our companions in the living of this life. But if our Hearts are right ... if our Purpose is focused on kindness, generosity, and the best interests of others ... the clumsy words; the stumbling presentation of our ideas; the failed execution of our best plans; will be easily embraced by all who know our hearts ... and love us for our attempts ... and respect our following of our Heart's leading.



IMAGE: Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A "Feel Good" Place

I was very pleased when a friend told me that visiting my blog made him feel good. Nothing could possible be more to my liking nor give me more satisfaction than providing a place where both Friends and passing Strangers can have a moment of comfortable ‘feeling good.’

Reflecting on that Truth, I am reminded of one of my most treasured poems. It was written by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911) and is titled "The House by the Side of the Road." I share it with you in the hope that it gives you ... in the midst of whatever Holiday ("Memorial Day" here in The States) Weekend madness you are dealing with ... a moment of 'feeling good.' And I thank you for your visit.


“He was a Friend to man,
and he lived in a House by the Side of the Road.”

Homer


The House by the Side of the Road

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In their place of self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road-
It’s here the race of men go by.
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I;
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.



IMAGE source unknown

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Truest Measure


Through our innate understanding that:

the truest measure of our character is ...

the size of whatever we allow to cause us upset …


many of the Lofty are made Low …

and many Humble are known to be Great.



IMAGE source unknown

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Consider

I did a little shopping, on a morning, a while back. As I was leaving the store, I saw the Store Manager talking with a group of the store's Associates. In response to that nagging little Inner-Voice, I left my cart-full of stuff, went over with hand extended “Good morning! Please forgive my intrusion, but I want to thank you for the consideration that you are giving (and I named the associate) in this time of their having to deal with serious health issues. It is very kind of you and I want you to know that your response, and attention, to the matter, are noted and appreciated.”

I received, in return, a rigid handshake (not unlike what you would expect from any average store mannequin) accompanied by eye contact that is yet to be made. I left the store having accomplished my mission. For, you see, I knew that the Manager had, in fact, extended no consideration to said employee.

I could have approached him with a confrontational “I think that you should be more caring and considerate of the current physical challenges to a very diligent and devoted associate.” which would have put him on the defensive and put the associate in an even less advantageous position. A lose-lose-lose result. I opted, instead, to subtly let the manager know that his treatment of the associate did not escape outside eyes, that there was, at least, a chance that the associate was presenting him in a favorable light to the community. And that at least some, of said community, were willing to speak up for the Associate’s interests, a well as his(the Manager's) behavior. And all done in a pleasant and positive tenor.

As I went away from him, it was with the word “consideration” on my mind. And it is the merits of that word, that I want to visit with you about today.


"To Consider:"
*To show consideration for
*To esteem; regard
*To look at thoughtfully
*To think carefully; reflect
*To be occupied or concerned with


You have heard me use this word with more frequency than most words that I employ. The reason for, and purpose in, that is that I have an urgent desire to encourage all of us (myself included … I too listen to my admonitions) to take the time and expend the effort to “show consideration for”, and “to esteem and regard”, and “to look at carefully”, and “to think carefully; reflect”, and “to be occupied or concerned with” ourselves, our lives, and our influence on the individuals touched by our lives. This is the core purpose in all that I write and live. It is the essence of being in each moment. For to “Be” is (in my estimation) to be considering all of the functioning aspects of our Being. That poor Manager was caught up in Doing the stuff of his daily “to do list” without giving due consideration to BEing responsible for the consequences of his BE-havior. The significance of his actions beyond his list of "stuff" to be DOne was missed. He is missing life in its essence.

So, Dear One, I ask that you CONSIDER your Self and the significance of ... This very Moment ... in your own life-walk. It means involvement. To consider opens you to intimacy. You will be presented with immersion in the particulars of living. As you consider life's offerings, you will feel the experiences that are presented to you. And, I submit, you will be, truly, alive. This Moment is a gift. I do hope that you will enjoy, celebrate, and be considerate of it.

Lest you miss the opportunity to truly
live ... this, and every, moment.



"Consider the lilies…, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet… even Solomon, in all of his glory, was not arrayed like one of these."
Matthew 6:28.


I do hope that You will count this as something worth considering.




IMAGES through the gracious courtesy of Jon Sullivan, PDPhoto.org

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rum-Raisin Ice Cream


I do not like Rum-Raisin Ice-cream.

There, I’ve said it.

There is nothing more to say on the matter (yet you and I know that there will, most assuredly, be more said.)

You see, Dear Friend, I do not begrudge anyone else their preference for Rum-Raisin Ice-cream. I hold no grudge against that flavor. There resides no bitterness in my soul toward the combination of elements that constitute that particular blend. I would never counsel anyone to disallow themselves the opportunity to sample that product nor would I undertake to undermine that dessert’s place in the universe of food products.

It is, quite simply, a fact that my own, personal, individual, particularly unique taste buds do not enjoy Rum-Raisin Ice-cream. And that is perfectly all right for there are myriad other choices offering themselves for my delight.

Yet... when my Friend of many years informed me, some time ago, that she is hesitant to allow herself to openly and publicly be my friend because of her children’s (all grown adults) reservations about me, I was disappointed. My big old twenty stone (sounds so much better than the equivalent in pounds) of feelings got themselves hurt. Why? Because ... (here is where I identify with Rum-Raisin Ice Cream) ... I am who I am. She doesn’t understand why I can’t mitigate myself to accommodate the sensitivities of her children. “Aren’t you denying them the opportunity to know you by insisting on Being you?” she asked. “Why can’t you soften up your presentation of yourself?” “They think that you are being ‘phony’ because you come on with such gusto.”

But who will they know if I present another image to them? Will the presentation of a ‘moderated’ me be an honest portrayal? Yet my friend persisted in the idea that we must ‘respect’ other people’s ‘space’ by adopting behavior that accommodates their sensitivities.

I lived the first four decades of my life in the daily practice of ‘accommodation.’ I was never relaxed. Every encounter was a ‘performance’ for the benefit and to gain the acceptance of, or create comfort for, my ‘Audience.’ This was as true with an Audience of one, as it was with a large gathering in some public meeting place. Consequently, no one (including myself) knew Me. I had no intimate relationships. There existed no place where I could go to, firstly, know who I was for my own knowledge and, secondly, to be that Person in comfort. The accepted social norm was that this was (and is) proper. I now reject that norm (for myself.) I also embrace the consequences resulting from that rejection.

One of those consequences is the reality that I will be (and am) sometimes rejected as a Person. That too is absolutely OK. For my Dear Reader, Rum-Raisin Ice-cream is not for everyone. But it is there for the individuals who have a preference for it and find enjoyment in indulging in its particular delights. And the Friendships that I now enjoy, I enjoy without reservation, in all of the intimate, passionate, and exuberant freedom, that is to be found, in Being the genuine ME.

(Don't you just love all of Life's available Flavours!?)



(NOTE: If You have been reading my stuff since February of last year, first,thank you for your kindness! Secondly, Yes! you have, indeed seen this piece before (March 2007.) But I like it! And I like to "run it up the flag pole" around this time each year (ice cream season is upon us!) So, if nothing else, maybe it will inspire a visit to your favorite ice cream parlor. [smile])


IMAGE Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Moment With God

A young Boy wanted to meet God. He knew it could be a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of Root beer and he started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an Old Man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The Boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the Old Man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.

The Man gratefully accepted it and smiled at the Boy. His smile was so pleasant that the Boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again, the grateful Man smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the Boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the Old Man, and gave him a hug. Whereupon, the Man gave him his biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the Old Man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "Dad, what'd you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I ate Twinkles in the park with God." However, before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!


__________________________________
Please note, My Friend, that this little item is NOT of my creation ... nor is this the first time that I have presented it here. Lady Muse said, this morning, "Some One is waiting for THIS." So, I have offered it, again, for that 'Some One' (or Ones.) In doing so, I am reminded of the first scripture that I learned as a small child, "God is Love."

This was originally, in fact, sent to me by a loving friend (via e-mail.) a good while ago. But I believe it to be worthy of passing along to you with all due gratitude to its unknown Author. (Because I subscribe to all of the Truth that it presents so simply, and picturesquely.) I do, however, know the source of the 'IMAGE.'

God (Love) bless You today, My Darling Friend.

IMAGE courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A "Scenic Overlook"

There are, along the way, places set aside … not destinations in and of themselves, but places for pulling over; taking a respite from the pace of the journey; and reflecting, in the momentary interlude, on the majesty, grandeur, and all-encompassing scope of where we have been, are now, and are going. These oases are dubbed “Scenic Overlook” by the signposts announcing their proximity and availability. While taking advantage of them the traveler is afforded the opportunity to survey his place in the scheme of his world as it is at that moment.

I have frequently found myself to be a “Scenic Overlook” in the Life Journey of many whose paths have been directed my way. I am not 'planned' on their itinerary nor am I considered as one of those places of note when they recount their travels to others. But I, when visited, have opportunity to present new perspectives on their pilgrimage. I am privileged to provide some new appreciation for their past; make available a fresh awareness of their present; and project hitherto unimagined possibilities for their futures. This is my ministry … my calling … my joy. I offer whatever I might, as my gift to the world that I am allowed to have some influence upon.

This motivates all of my intentions in thought, behavior, and action. Including what You, Dear Reader, are reading right now. I do hope that you have enjoyed this brief respite from this day's travels. For, you see, I have also chosen to love You.




IMAGES (Chesil Beach, near Abbotsbury, Dorsett): Through the gracious courtesy of: Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

The Stream of Life

I trust the Stream of life. The flow that begins at some point before my knowledge and goes beyond the limits of my awareness. I am confident in the perfect balance, purpose, and harmony of life’s flow. It accumulates all that joins it and carries all to an appropriate end. The fallen leaves of Autumn; the blossoms of Spring; the bits of ice in the Winter … just as the circumstances, events, challenges, and blessings of our individual lives … all, in their own season and appropriate to their nature, fall into the flow of life and are carried to their fitting purpose. All under Life’s control.

So it is with the items that I write and publish. I have, in this, and other venues, composed thoughts and transmitted them with a singular understanding that it was necessary for me to do so. I simply and trustingly responded to that “Still Small Voice” within my spirit … that “Muse”, if you will, that gives all of us a quiet, yet clear understanding of what we are to say … or do ... at a particular time and in a specific place. And, Dear Reader, this is the Source of what you have seen, thus far, and will see hereafter in this little vehicle … this BLOG.

The reward and validation that I enjoy is the response from the One for whom the message has merit and meaning. The “How did you know?”, or "Just what I needed." that comes from One whose need, desire, or conflict I was completely unaware of, but was known to the Source of my Lady Muse. Life provides a dynamic, all encompassing, and reliable flow that carries those of us who are willing to participate. And I am.

Hence, you will see some articles written long ago and some penned in the current time. I am simply listening to, and flowing with, the stream of Life’s direction. (And happy to have you along.)



(IMAGE: Courtesy of FREEIMAGE.co.uk )

The Nature of God


“The nature of God is ...

an intelligible sphere whose centre is everywhere ...


and whose circumference is nowhere.”



______________________________

(A last treatise of Empedocles quoted in the Roman de la Rose and by St. Bonaventura in “Itinerarius Mentis in Deum” [ch5, closing line])




IMAGE through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, Freefoto.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Painful Presumptions

Pre-sume /verb/ suppose that something is the case on the basis of probability
[The New Oxford American Dictionary]

He went forward on the presumption that He had the necessary understanding of the situation to equip himself for success. The elderly Gentleman (assumed to be the next-door neighbor) told him that after the locked door was overcome with the assistance of the ax (offered by the Gentleman for that task) He would encounter some resistance due to the rug that the occupant of the house customarily kept rolled up against the door as a deterrent to cold draught. And, indeed, after smashing the lock mechanism with said ax, He did, in fact, realize a firm, but yielding, resistance quite natural to a heavy rug. Hence, after persuading the rug to allow the opening of the door for a distance barely sufficient for his body to crawl through, he flattened himself to the floor and projected himself into the smoke-filled room and made his first attempt to evaluate the situation.

Having never before confronted a burning building, He was encouraged by the realization that the long ago learned (from sources not remembered) theory that there would be a space at floor level where the smoke would be eight or ten inches above the floor itself. And surely this was the reality that He encountered, as into that narrow space He crawled, and inched toward the room where He could clearly see the flames hungrily consuming every element and surface. This was the room that the neighbor had told him that the three children were normally in. Three small children who had been left by their mother who had gone for a quick visit to the store that was but around the corner. Three small children whose voices had been heard screaming for help just a short while before He had appeared upon the scene.

And now He was trying, through the acrid, oxygen-starved haze of that narrow corridor at floor level, to locate the children. Back out of the room He came to recharge his lungs with air. Choking, spitting, and coughing out disgusting remnants of that life-denying gas, He steeled himself for another entry. Again, He pushed past the rug-impaired opening and extended himself still further into the kitchen and toward what seemed to be the now fully consumed dining area of this small tinderbox of a dwelling. No luck … nothing … not a single child in sight and the heated chemical residue of all that the flames were converting into toxic gases scalded his eyes and his throat.

Back out, across the tiny deck that served as the back porch and into the small yard that was itself becoming engulfed in the stench of the fog from the fire. This time the neighbor was there with water (from some source that was not noticed) and offered to cool and wash his face. The water was gratefully accepted and used to wet his handkerchief, which He placed over his now-parched mouth and nose for his last foray into the hellhole of that inferno. He could only think of three small children who had not been heard from nor seen for what was beginning to seem like forever. Cursing the weight of that damned rug for its bulky resistance, He pushed yet again into now known territory and this time beyond until his lungs demanded retreat. Failure! With the mucous of a pulmonary system ridding itself of intruding threats pouring from his mouth, his nose, and even his eyes, He heard the arrival of the fire fighters.

To the first Firefighter to come into the back yard (where He and the, now still and silent, ancient neighbor stood) He yelled the information that He presumed to be a statement of all pertinent facts. The Firefighter gave him a look that was a puzzlement to him though it lasted but a fraction of a second. Then, to his astonishment, this huge (or so he seemed, clothed, as he was, in all of his fire-fighting equipment) fellow simply took a seat on that self-same tiny porch. The Man just sat there … “How absurd” He thought. He had just moments before used that surface as a launch area for entry into the chamber of unspeakable horror. “How can he be simply taking a seat and not doing anything?” He thought and wanted to scream.

Then … calmly … with measured deliberation … that Fireman leaned back, reached behind himself, around the still-open door, and, obviously (from the grimace of effort registered on his face) grasped that rug that had thrice been such an impediment to the would-be Rescuer, and pulled forth ... not a rug … oh no … a small boy! Cradling the inert form in his arms and hurrying toward the waiting medical equipment at the front of the blazing structure, the professional Angel of Mercy looked at the pair of dumbstruck observers and said “The children always go to the nearest door … and that’s where we usually find them.”

He had gone past that child three times. He had presumed the bulky weight to be what He had been told to expect there. He had presumed that He had all of the information necessary to do his best for the best outcome. He was ignorant of unknown probabilities. It is now thirty-seven years later and He still feels … really senses an actual awareness of the soft, ungiving weight of that little boy’s body as He pushed against it. He had cursed it for its impediment to his efforts to reach the children. Every time He now hears or sees a fire truck on its way to affect a rescue He instantly relives that moment. That boy would be somewhere around forty five years old now … but he is not. He never had a chance to be. And I … that’s right, I … will never stop regretting the presumptions that I made that day.

If there were no other reason for my efforts to share my perspectives … my ‘lessons learned’ … my little insights into this business of life ... the provision of an expanded set of possibilities for your consideration would be reason enough. I will do everything that I can to equip you with a wider understanding; a broader scope of outlook; an awareness of a more useful set of possibilities for your use in your entering into whatever areas of unknowns that present themselves to you. I can never accept the possibility that my reticence could leave you vulnerable to the pain, the unhappiness, the disappointment of missing the potential blessing of any experience … because your presumptions were left minus an expanded scope of possibilities that I could have offered you.

When I pledge myself to you as “Your Friend and Servant” (as I so frequently do) there is always, in my Soul, an awareness of the weight of some ‘rug’ against which you may be pushing in your life. And I must help you see the life potentials that could be there if only you know where to reach … what to grasp … perhaps, how to react.

To that end, I remain, as always, Your faithful Friend and willing Servant,

John-Michael
(originally penned 29July2005)



(IMAGEs: Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Real" to Each "Puppy"

The only Billy Graham column that I recall ever reading had a heading that captured my eye. If I recall correctly, it read “Puppy Love.” In his column, Dr. Graham responded to a mother's exhortation to “Please set my son straight and tell him in your column that he is too young to know ‘Real Love’. I have tried to explain that his ‘puppy love’ is not real," she explained further "but he will not listen to me. I know that he will listen to you.”

Billy Graham’s response etched itself into my consciousness and altered my perspective on the legitimacy of the viewpoint of others forever. He simply said “It is Real to the Puppy.”

Thank you Dr. Graham!

I hit my thumb with a hammer yesterday. And do you know, it did not even occur to me to say “There are people in this world with far worse problems.” Oh no! What I said was "__!!" Well, never mind what I actually said … that is more than you need know. But, My Dear Reader, I think that you begin to see where we are going here. That throbbing thumb did not get recognized with the cool detachment, of some applied table of relative Sufferings. It consumed all of my attention for not only that instant, but each time that I bumped it against something for the balance of the day. It was very real to this Puppy!

And so it is with all of us. We apply every fiber of ourselves to whatever is served up,on our personal “plate of circumstances.” We do not adjust our response to some scale of presupposed priorities. When that Circumstance is served up, by Life, to us … it gets all of our undivided attention. It has become our immediate responsibility, and we rise to meet whatever it requires.

Then along comes the parade of “Supporters”, the Well-Wishers, those who deign themselves to be our Care-Inflictors. And they come with their endless variety of platitudes. “Well Dear, you know, don’t you, that it could be worse,” or “I see, Dear, but, you know … I knew someone who had a far worse circumstance,” or “Oh my, that is not nearly as serious a problem as ___” (and they begin to fill that blank in with Stuff that amazes you in its voluminous quantities.) What about (I ask) a simple, brief, and sincere “I am so sorry.” How about a tiny bit of empathy! Hey folks … this is the Real Deal to this Puppy!

So today, Dear Friend, I ask not how your pain compares to the pain of others. I ask “Do you have pain?” And if you do … “I am so sorry.” For I would not that your life be aggravated, harassed, or vexed by pain, discomfort, or inconvenience of any sort or variety.

My sixty-two years has blessed me with many and varied pains, confusions, unhappinesses, and miseries. I know how lonely suffering is. And I would lessen and even eliminate all or part of what you are now hosting were it in my power.

What is, most certainly, in my power is my capacity and willingness to love and care about you. So, Dear One, please permit my Spirit to reassure you that you are, most certainly, not alone, right now … in this moment of your reading … You are thought of. Though I know not your name … The One who does know You knows the legitimacy of my care for you. This Puppy loves you.



IMAGES: PuppyDogWeb

Fat Jacque’s ... My Respite

Fat Jacque’s “Cajun CafĂ©”

Having returned to my Sanctuary of silence,
I seek the renewed nurturing of the womb …
Encompassing me with security, warmth and safety …
And free from all of the threats, dangers, and fears outside.

Such is my weekly visit to my special Place.
The surroundings caress me with natural peacefulness.
The staff are genial in a genuine and caring way.
The music playing seems tuned to my soul.
And my favorite spot is there … awaiting me.

Blessed respite from life … needed ‘time out’ called mid-game …
Fat Jacque’s … I’m back!


John-Michael/19 October 1989


Unfortunately, this sacred Hideaway is no longer in business. But I saved this reflection (written whilst enjoying one of my many Moments there) for the single purpose of Retreat. I, occasionally, allow myself an immersion in the sensations enjoyed there, through reading this. That is the wonder and miracle of Memories.

I hope that I have “triggered” some favorite Memory of yours with the sharing of mine. If so, you and I are sharing in an intimate “spirit moment” right now. Perhaps we can now ease ourselves out into our respective worlds … and create a new deposit for our Memory Treasury.

(I will tell you mine if you will tell me yours. [loving smile])



IMAGE: Peter Hilton, Hilton Harbour, hilton.org.uk

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Not Mom ... My Love

Though it is the day before that day designated for our recognition and celebration of the women who are our Mothers, here in the States, I offer this bit as my own response to what my Spirit spoke to me this morning. I do hope that it finds the Place intended, as my Lady Muse guided my evolving thoughts.


Not Mom … My Love

She is not who you expected to see.
The One so familiar to You is not in this Moment.
Just now, we are visited by the One who captured my Heart.
For she is not Mom … she is My Love.

This morning, we will see her through eyes of adoration.
Our desire is to offer Comforts to the One who comforts us.
We will rejoice in bringing happiness to the face that brings our lives a smile.
For she is not Mom … she is My Love.

Please, pour her another cup … serve her plate.
Today we gladly nurture the One whose nurturing is boundless.
We will enjoy serving our constant Source of endless service.
For she is not Mom … she is My Love.

Look beyond those eyes that always seek our wants.
And see, with me, eyes that know fantasy and flights of mystery.
Let me introduce you to the Lady who awakens my Soul’s dreams.
For she is not Mom … she is My Love.

She has always been with us.
But selflessly keeps her identity quietly hidden from view.
Placing us and the fullness of our lives ahead of her own identity.
For she in not Mom … she is My Love.

For today … in this chosen, hallowed moment.
This is my gift of awareness … to you … her family.
I share this woman in whom my desires and hopes are rooted.
For she is not Mom … she is My Love.

Know her as I do … see her for all of her Self.
Enjoy, love, and celebrate with me this complete Person.
Accept and embrace the fullness of her character … I present Her.
For she is not Mom … she is My Love.



John-Michael
10 may 2008

The Lady of "The Lakes"

As I went about my work this morning, I reflected on the many stories that I have gathered in my twenty years of delivering newspapers to the folks in this little neighborhood. Having, in pocket, my thirty day notice of termination, I am doing my own personal inventory of all of the blessed moments of human contact that my choice to be involved in the lives of these people have provided. The many wonderful individuals who have enriched my life. And, as I pass this one particular house, I recall with clarity the woman whom I would see in pre-dawn moments, walking her tiny puppy. The two of them would regularly be on her driveway. And her language of carriage bespoke a defeated Spirit … a broken Person.

So, I responded to the puppy. It showed enthusiastic joy at my arrival each day. Its energy was almost beyond this woman’s abilities to control. Then she relented and ‘introduced’ her puppy to me. She carried him to the window of my van and allowed the exchange of physical contact between the puppy and myself. Then, after some days of repetition of this level of trust, brief words were shared. Then more, with more time. All the while, an obvious melancholy and sadness accompanied her. Until the day that she opened and told me “her story.”

She and her husband liked this neighborhood. They wanted to build their “dream home” here. And they elected to build it in the more “exclusive” part of the neighborhood. The part identified as “The Lakes” and set aside for “custom built” homes as opposed to the all-similar homes from the developer’s catalog of Standards. So her husband and she made a Plan. They would postpone the start of their dreamed of Family until they could give full attention to their intended children. They would pay off all debts associated with their growing business as owners of a new (and very popular) pub and eatery. They decided that it would be better if the dream home was completely paid for, with no debt attached, before they had their first child. This would make for an idyllic setting into which they could bring a family … unfettered by any impediments … and enjoying freedoms that a successful business and a debt-free life could provide. A magnificent Plan!

Time passed. The business excelled their highest hopes. Its debts were all satisfied and profits accumulated. The home was built and all in 'The Lakes' acknowledged the new home on the shore of the large lake to be the most distinctive and understatedly elegant of all other homes in the pinnacle place of the neighborhood. Then the house was paid for, and time and circumstance ready for the ultimate step in their Plan. She became pregnant. They were realizing the fulfillment of all of their dreams.

Then the cancer. A tumor on his brain. Inoperable. Death eminently a short time away. She was disconsolate to the extent that her body began rejecting their child. The baby died before birth. Her husband died shortly thereafter. This was not their Plan! The glorious Plan was obliterated by the natural and normal elements of life. Elements that they had never considered might be visited upon them. They had insulated themselves in a shell of arrogant design that assumed their control of their destiny. And life simply did not comply with their design.

And this was the woman who I had for so long seen dragging her Self out to pick her newspaper up from the driveway of that magnificent house. The person whose shoulders drooped in the posture of a slave beaten into submissive servitude by a Master of compassionless intent. She was existing in a vacuum devoid of hope … of life itself. Not what she and he had ever “planned.”

And I thanked Life for the lesson. And I renewed my sense of urgency in saying what I have to say … to You … in this, the moment that we are certain of. If I am aware of a sense of Love … I speak “Love.” If I know concern … I tell you of my concern … right now. When you make me happy to consider the wonder of You … You are going to hear of it … right then! I will let no “Plan” nor postponement for some other “more opportune time” dissuade me from giving all that I have to give in each instance of “here and now.” Life has been generous and loving enough, to validate and reinforce the legitimacy of those determinations … with lessons taught by examples like the “Lady of The Lakes.”

Friday, May 09, 2008

How About ... Just ... "Getting Away?"

I know! It has absolutely nothing to do with responsible Adult Behavior. It is "Escapism" at its highest. But sometimes (especially on a beautiful start to a weekend) ... the idea of getting away is the most alluring of all possible options. So, I have been allowing my Self to do just that. Then I had a pang of conscience. And had to come back and invite You along. Here we go ...

To Kaikoura, New Zealand, courtesy of Gareth Williams, BBC


Then, How about Yosemite with Jon Sullivan, PDPhoto

Or, perhaps your mood is more inclined toward a (slightly isolated) house at the foot of Manod Mawr, Blaenau Ffestinioq, with Rory Trappe, BBC

If not there, let's join Phil Street, of Banbury, at Llangranog (courtesy of BBC.)

Or ... we can just take our respite on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand, with Chris Eccles (BBC)

So, there you have it. My bit of "running away" for the day. I thank you, My Dear Friend and Reader, for accepting my invitation to join in our little excursion.

I love You, and our moments together.

NAMASTE



Let's Address That "Yearnache"

"An 'aching' what?" you will now be asking. To which I point to your own sense of Yearning. Yours, mine, all of ours. Our Yearnings. How seldom it is that we hear (if, indeed we ever hear) any mention of yearning. The word conjures the absolute sense of that always present yet silent and unassuming vacuum within that wants, endlessly, for filling. David Keirsey in his wonderful work "Please Understand Me" (particularly the book 2) artfully presents, in his explanation of our "“values", the YEARNING facet of our total BEING.

"“Why" you may ask "“is this attention to individuality so important that you continually insist that we are repeatedly revisit it?" I am so glad that you asked. The importance (in part) lies in the necessity of avoidance of a malady that plagued me through my first forty years. Here I will present, for your consideration, the idea of preventing the debilitating nemesis: YEARNACHE. That'’s right! The all-encompassing aching that has its roots in the absence of fulfillment of Ones individual aspect ... Yearning. Hence, I am, hereby and forevermore, coining the never-before-known Yearnache to establish an identity for a naturally recurring reality in my life (and, I might add, something that I have recognized in the lives of many, many others all about me over the years.)

You see, each of us has, as a major influence on our inborn value systems, a knowable and predictable Yearning element. The fact that such a consideration is not a part of our daily transactional vocabulary (nor is it something that we even know how to address inwardly) leaves the matter unaddressed (most often for the entire duration of our lifetimes.) Thus, it is my absolute conviction that we are, most likely, apt to live lives of, not only unsatisfied but also, unidentified Yearnings. We are presented with social, cultural, religious, family, and moral standards by which we are taught to establish and measure our Desires. But far too often we are left (after satisfying those commonly accepted and recognized Desires) with an empty and sadly unsatisfied sense that we are not, somehow, complete.

Most often the answer to our sense of dissatisfaction is provided in the assessment of that 'wonderful' (NOT), guilt inducing charge of "Self-Centered-ness." "“So you are feeling unhappy, then just get over yourself"” I oft hear repeated. Herein lies the rub. Your Self is just exactly who You are supposed to be. Your Self is the individual identity with which you were wondrously created. And, my dear Reader and all-enduring Friend, your Yearnings are a valuable, integral part of the completeness ... the totality of ... You. (And the same is most assuredly true of each Child, whose development and nurturing, is the responsibility of each of us, with whom that child has even the briefest of contact.)

We can be attuned to each other'’s yearnings and make an effort to encourage and strengthen or, by default, leave that Yearning to wither and produce a 'Yearnache' in the Spirit of the other. To the end that we do not do that ... please allow me to introduce you to the four basic Yearning Identities. From there it is my hope that you will; first, recognize and honor your own Personal Yearning ... then grow to respect and edify the yearnings of those presented, by Life, to You.

Where do yearnings play in the business of the orderly stratagem of providence? I understand it to be generally accepted that the seventy-six percent majority of all of us humans are fairly equally divided into two camps.

Thirty-eight percent of the Concrete Thinking world yearns to make an impact while seeking constant stimulation. The other half of this empirically functioning group yearns for belonging and is motivated by a quest for security. The former were referred to, by Aristotle, as the Hedonics (Artisan). The latter he called the Proprietary (Guardian).

Of the equally divided Abstract Thinkers (the remaining twenty-four percent of the Population), one half Aristotle knew as the Ethicals (Idealist) while the other half were, to his thinking, the Dialecticals (Rational). The Ethicals (Idealists) are driven by a yearning for idealized love best defined as romance, while seeking Identity in their lives. Dialecticals (Rationals) yearn for Achievement and are compelled to seek it in knowledge. While the labels for these four (the Hedonic, Proprietary, Ethical, and Dialectical) have been revised by many who have studied them over the millennia, there has been a consistency of definition and a concurrence in the interpretation of their respective natural traits.

I think it highly unlikely that we will have a natural comfort level with Friend Aristotle's terms of identity in our own day-to-day contemplation's. Being the image-oriented creature that I am, I find it more workable for me to relate the divers types to people who exemplify their types.

Truman (the concrete thinking/ Guardian/ Proprietary) said:
"I never give them [the public] hell. I just give them the truth, and they think that it is hell."
Churchill (the concrete thinking/ Artisan/ Hedonic) gave us:
"“In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity.
In peace: goodwill."”

It was Gandhi (the abstract thinking/Idealist/ Ethical) who said:
"“Freedom and slavery are mental states."”
And the consummate abstract thinker; the Rational/ Dialectical Einstein left us his:
"“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Perhaps relating your thinking to these so-well-known figures will make the consideration of the four types more agreeable to you ... such is my hope. So, to summarize (I do enjoy the exercise of replaying the '“tape'” to reinforce the image.) We have:

*Einstein - the Dialectical/ abstract thinking/ Rational who yearned for
achievement and was compelled to seek it in knowledge. His happiness came in a life of logical investigation. [12% of us]

*Gandhi - the Ethical/ abstract thinking/ Idealist who yearned for idealized love (romance) in his world while seeking identity for himself and his people. He found happiness in the employment of moral virtue. [12% of us]

*Churchill - the Hedonic/ concrete thinking/ Artisan who yearned to make an impact while seeking constant stimulation. His happiness was derived from sensual (visual, auditory, taste, tactile, and aromatic [cigar smoking not excluded]) pleasure. [38% of us]

*Truman - the Proprietary/ concrete thinking/ Guardian who yearned for belonging as a responsible "“member in good-standing"” of his society while pursuing his quest for security. His happiness was centered on the acquisition of assets (to include honors, position, and authority.) [38% of us]


I take considerable comfort in the obvious significance of each of these types to the history of our world. (You will, no doubt, note my frequent reference to terms of "“comfort" or "“comfortable"” in my writing. For, My Friend, it is to this state that I seek to guide you; first, in your mind, and then in your life. Your recognition of; acceptance of; embracing of; then (ultimately) comfort with ... your SELF.) No credit, acclaim, respect, admiration, or honor can be legitimately taken away, from any of the exampled individuals, for their non-conformance to any set of measures, based on someone else'’s set of "“norms"... nor from You (with your own unique Personhood.) They each played a part of great consequence in the symphony of history.

You and I have our own part to play in this, our life'’s 'composition'. I smile to consider the irreplaceable tone of a singly struck Triangle in the midst of an orchestra'’s performance of a great work. So small the instrument. So limited the time of implementation. Yet the effect on the listening sense of the audience makes the musical experience whole. I encourage you to "strike a note" on the Instrument of your Uniqueness and enhance our shared experience of Life's Symphony with the resonance of ... YOU.

Vive la difference (YOUR difference)



IMAGES Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
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