Saturday, January 31, 2009

Response to an Image

Here, where my breathing is the sound of Life’s whisper …
I hear the Voice of my Heart’s prayer …
I know the Reality of my truest Yearnings …
The Longings that no one else could understand …
Are clear to me here.

And I want to linger … hold on to this fragile Treasure …
Lest my senses have stolen from them an instant of Aliveness …
And my breath be lost in the clamour of the world’s noise.
Please, Life … grant me this Place

for my Soul’s eternal dwelling.

31 January 2009


Friday, January 30, 2009

Fawn and Dog, at Home

Thankful for Friends who share "Good Stuff" with me ... I pass this Email Gift on to You. ('Cause I love You too, that's why, Silly! [grin])


This fawn followed the beagle home
-- right through the 'doggie door' --
in the Bittinger, MD. area, recently.

The owner came home to find the visitor had made himself right at home.


I must say a big "Thank You!," to Carole.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Five Minute, Fifteen Second, Respite

I ask that you give consideration, to allowing your Self ... a 5 minute, 15 second respite. A moment "away from it all." I invite you to permit your Spirit to bask in this Gift, that I received from a Dear Friend. My Soul's response is something that I desire for You, My Dear Reader and Friend.

(I received this translation of the aria, with the link to the presentation.)

Song to the Moon

O moon high up in the deep, deep sky,

Your light sees far away regions,

You travel round the wide,

Wide world peering into human dwellings

O, moon, stand still for a moment,

Tell me, ah, tell me where is my lover!

Tell him, please, silvery moon in the sky,

That I am hugging him firmly,

That he should for at least a while

Remember his dreams!

Light up his far away place,

Tell him, ah, tell him who is here waiting!

If he is dreaming about me,

May this remembrance waken him!

O, moon, don't disappear, disappear!

From Rusalka, by Antonín Dvořák

"Thank you Suza!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Envelop Me

I received a note from a very kind and caring Friend who knows my penchant for language. Hence, she is aware enough of my inclinations, to know that I would be quite distraught in discovering that I had published something with an incorrect form, of a word usage, as a part of a posted bit. So, I send my sincere "Thank you!" to that generous Friend who pointed out my usage of "Envelope" instead of the intended (and quite correct) "Envelop." And (after correcting the 04 April post), I offer this corrected piece.

Envelop Me

I listen, in silence, as your body entreats …
Every part of you speaks out … each whispers its request.
My face hears, through the sweet fragrance of your hair,
“This is where I must be … Envelop me.”

Nestled ‘gainst my chest, your shoulders make clear,
Your wish for a place of unassuming welcome … a refuge.
Your hands guide mine to cup you in insulating warmth.
As I hear “Within these arms I yearn to be … Envelop me.”

Racing through each day … from Requirement to Demand,
In these early dawning hours your legs seek retreat.
And summon mine to cocoon them in firm, gentle repose.
Your contented sigh confirming … “Envelop me.”

Independent and strong, you’re a Force through each day.
But in these still, silent moments I covet hearing you affirm …
“Here, together, secure happiness is mine.
Wrapped in your love, I wish most to be … Envelop me.”

As One we breathe … ensconced in serene harmony.
Unspoken, yet clearly understood, our bodies confide,
Messages and affirmations that will endure the madness of day.
I gladly embrace your gentle command, “For all eternity …
Envelop me.”


04 April 2008

The Green, Green Grass ... of Home

Consider this U. S. Army Soldier, in Iraq, with his tiny 'plot' of grass in front of his tent. I find it quietly heartwarming! Here is a Soldier in Iraq. Stationed in what can, at times seem to be the equivalent of a big ‘sand box.’

He asked his wife to send him dirt ( U.S. Soil), fertilizer, and some grass seed, so that he can have the sweet aroma, and feel the grass of Home, growing beneath his feet.

When the men of his squadron (his brothers and sisters in his family of kinship in commitment) have a mission that they are going on, they take turns walking through the grass and the Home Soil -- to bring them reassurance and hope.

If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of a scissors. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted.

How about we each offer whatever form of prayer as is our own … for this, and all of our Sons and Daughters, who nobly and humbly give and give (and give up so much) so unselfishly for us. I think that we can manage that. And I hope that you agree.

IMAGE and STORY, an Email Gift from Carole (A Dear Friend of many decades. Thank you, Carole

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm a Little Teapot

It started when I was watching an old episode of “All Creatures Great and Small.” I was taken by the poetry of an English ‘Tea.’ The hostess asked “Shall I pour out?”, which is quite uncommon to the ‘Colonial Ear.’ But it caught my fancy with its rather regal formality and elegant simplicity. “Shall I pour out” spoke to me of an offering of whatever is the best of what I have. And I looked up at the Occupant, of a shelf, in this single, little room, that I call Home.

It is one of my favorite possessions. A little “short and stout” teapot that resembles the image attached here (though, admittedly, with its soft yellow body and gilt spout and trim, far lovelier [to my eye.]) ‘Twas a surprise gift from Bob and Donna, brought up to my little insurance agency office on a summer day in Temple Terrace, Florida. My office was above their coffee/tea/sandwich shoppe in the Sherwood Forest shopping village. Donna and Bob exchanged visits with me going down to their place and them dropping in on me with frequent regularity. I had often offered them the hospitality of tea served from a simple, inexpensive (sounds so much nicer than "cheap", don't you agree?]), and quite ordinary pot.

“The special-ness of your hospitality, and moments shared, deserve something that reflects the quality of times shared with you. So we want you to have this.” And they presented me with the teapot. “1650” is printed in relief (as part of the image of the tea merchant’s traditional guild symbol) on the pot’s side. And on its bottom is the imprinted message that the pot originated from the Davison, Newman, & Co. LTD, “providers of the tea for the Boston Tea Parties.” And I looked upon it with a fresh appreciation, as I watched the televised afternoon tea, illustrated in the program that I was watching. And I thought, “We ‘pour out’ from our best presentation of our Self … the best of what we have produced, within our Self, in life.”

Yep! That’s exactly what I thought, those fifteen or so, years ago. I have been reminded of that truth on several recent occasions. I have listened to dear Friends verbalizing their frustrations, anger, pain, and anxieties … and as I listened, I was impressed with the “stuff” that they were willingly and consciously ‘pouring into’ their personal, emotional, and mental ‘teapots.’ And have done my very best to encourage them to step away from the immediacy of the moment … and consider what they were ‘brewing’ for future ‘pouring out' in the form of their sense of self worth, and their impact on the world that they touch (work associates, family, children, lovers, friends, and even strangers.)

For, don’t you see, My Dear Friend, we can never 'pour out' anything better than what 'brews’ from what we allow, encourage, and design to become part of who we are inside. The twentieth century, computer-age, rule that we have so oft heard repeated … “GIGO” (garbage in, garbage out) … was true far before the significance of the computer was ever dreamed of. What we dwell on; what we talk about; what we repeat and give a place of discussion to; what we listen to; all combine, to produce the offering, that we have available, for presentation to ourselves (in our quiet and private moments of reflection), and to all to whom we desire to give of ourselves in our opinions, advice, counsel, and encouragement.

Please allow me to suggest that we all offer the very best of the very best when we 'pour out.’ Just as the quality of a cup of tea is a direct result of the care in brewing, and the ingredients introduced into the pot … we all have control over the kinds of emotions, sentiments, impulses, and considerations that we input into our innermost Self. So, if you will permit, I ask you to let these thoughts simmer … as you hum along with me that old “I’m a Little Teapot, short and stout … Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, I just shout … ‘Tip Me over (for I have chosen to be yours for your sustenance … whenever and however you need 'Me'.) Pour Me (the best 'Me' that I can be ... all, of whatever 'Me' I was created to be) out'.” And I will pray that what ‘pours out’, will always be our Best. I promise to do all that I can, to encourage and lift you up in your efforts. I truly do love you ... don't you know?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Response to a Bumper Sticker

I read a bumper-sticker, placed on the car parked along the path of my pre-dawn newspaper delivery route, some while ago. And it ’pushed a button’ somewhere within me. So, My Dear patient and tolerant Reader, you find yourself the victim of my ’venting.’ [smile]

If you want niceness to prevail in the world around you I offer this suggestion. How about asking “Please Be Nice” instead of dictating, in sarcastic tones, that the reader of your car’s bumper sticker (me, in this case) “Just Be Nice.” I will confess to my something-beyond-normal attention to the “music” or spirit of what is said. And, yes, I can perseverate on details that could easily be passed over. But… by golly… there is an undercurrent of unkindness, and indifferent insensitivity, that is growing into a major theme in our world. And I am ever-more convinced that it is born in innocuous messages. A bumper sticker that, no doubt, gave the driver of the car a feeling of having done a “good thing”… a “Better than thou” that cancels any possibility of something ‘nice’ coming from the exercise.

The phrase that is begun with the word “Just” is a phrase that is saying “All else aside… just _____”, or “I do not really care what your feelings, predispositions, or opinions are, just ____.” The employment of that four-letter word indicates the presence of intolerance, disrespect, and arrogant domination. The person driving that car is telling me “I don’t care what you think, who you are, or what you are dealing with right now … I am telling you to behave in a manner that I deem to be nice … because I feel that I have that right, and you should be obliged, to acquiesce to my command.”

Would it not be more in keeping with the supposed intent of that message to humble oneself, assume a posture of niceness:

NICENESS (definition)
1. Pleasing and agreeable in nature
2. Exhibiting courtesy and politeness
3. Showing or requiring sensitive discernment

In assuming such a posture, One would have to step down from their pedestal of pious self-importance. It is not easy to be arrogant when asking “Please.” But, Dear Friend, I submit that there can be a new and fresh undercurrent of kind consideration created in our world … that world that you and I touch … if we will but do the simple thing that begins with an honoring posture toward those whose lives intersect with ours.

Our world has a crying need for a lovingly caring and serving spirit from each of us to the other.

And all of my rambling on … sparked by a bumper sticker that was, no doubt, placed there with the best of intentions … though without the added moment of involvement in considering its implications. I would only ask that we all take the briefest of moments to consider our opportunities to, “Please Be Nice.”

There! Isn’t that nice? [loving smile]

Bumper-Sticker IMAGE: Cafe' Press

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Favorite Inaugural Image

The One who is not in this photo ... his WIFE and her MOM ... is (in my estimation) the One who makes what we see illustrated there, before us, possible. Michele Obama is the Element that enables and empowers the magic of the rest of this Family's potential ... to be complete in its beautiful fulfillment. What I see here is a powerful and enchanting demonstration of what a Family living in an environment of supportive and validating, respectful, Love can, at its ultimate, be. I can only say ...
"Amen, and Amen!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Right to be ...

Embracing a perspective that runs contrary to what we see as “Truth” is neither a natural, nor comfortable, function of our human psyche. I offer here, a valuable tool for the sometimes-challenging task of accepting the hard-to-accept.

This “device” was a gift from one of my favorite people. The Reverend James Ellenburg was the Pastor of my church some years back. His background of work in fabric mills of South Carolina, and raising a family while answering the Call to the ministry ... then attending college, in response to that Calling, and maintaining his family, all the while ... gave him a delicious, earthy, spice of perspective on life. He was as 'down-to-earth' as I have ever know a man to be.

I enjoyed, immensely, watching him when he delivered a particularly bothersome point of instruction in a message. He would lean on the pulpit ... look out across the congregation ... and allow a slow, gentle, almost-impish grin to spread across his face. “I can see, by the redness on some of your faces, that you do not like what I am saying to you. That’s alright … you have the God-given, and constitutionally-guaranteed, RIGHT… to be … Wrong.

He would then chuckle with an irresistible kindness that made his point even more profound.

Many times over the past years, I have used Jim Ellenburg’s humorous truth to cope with a challenging person in my path. “It’s O K, you have the right to be wrong.” (silently spoken to myself) puts a smile on my face while defusing a potentially unpleasant moment. What makes it work is the imbedded truth that they do have “the right to BE,” or think, say, or believe whatever or whoever they choose.

I can honor that even if I do need a little spoonful of humor ... to make it palatable.

IMAGES: Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton,

Ultimate Blossom

Ultimate Blossom

Mine is an unyielding quest for an elusive state …
An unquenchable thirst for a nectar whose sample has been but a drop …
Yet that drop introduced the addictive hint of Possibility …
The possibility of knowing life’s ultimate blossom.

It is in the center of that blossom that I would ultimately reside …
Encased in delicate petals of exquisite hue …
Permeated with a fragrance that beckons and invites …
Cradled by a touch whose presence is alive with suggestion.

The flower of her adoration …
The bloom of her desire …
The potential of her possibility …
All invite me to seek new opportunities to discover her.

11 May 2007/ Revised 21 Jan 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The reasons for my compulsion to speak out, are few and simple. They are three, in number. And are both temporal, and spiritual, in nature.

Firstly, I am driven to make the world about me aware, of the wonder and perfection, of our diversity of unique natures. The recognition, acceptance, embracing, and celebration of the varied temperaments, personalities, and characters that are ours, with their incumbent gifts, peculiarities, and challenges, is my desire for all, with whom I have occasion to interact. Respect is the key concept that I hope to impart to a world given, all too often, to antagonism, condemnation, rejection, and, even, hatred for all who differ in belief, conviction, practice, skill, or persuasion. Respect for your Self just as you were so wondrously created … and for Others who were created with no less purpose and wonder.

Secondly, I desire to create an alternative environment of consideration, kindness, gentleness, and yes, love in the world about me. This I apply myself to achieving, not only by active practice of a spirit that communicates these qualities, but through the more aggressive efforts applied in vocabulary. By speaking out. By voicing the words of caring, noticing, appreciating, and loving. That word … love … is one that I incorporate into my consciousness and my expression whenever impressed by the guidance of that inner spirit that I permit to be influenced by what I will refer to as our common Creator. Common to all of us … neither gender, nationality, culture, politic, nor religion, specific. The Creator to whom I have surrendered my Spirit, and in whom I have invested my Eternal Self, is the Director of those thoughts, impulses, and inspirations that so happily encourage my expressions of appreciation, and love, for many with whom I interact daily.

And it is my hope and prayer that, in the wake of my life, I will leave a People who are comfortable with saying “Wow! You sure are different … and I love you without regard for our differences.” To have accomplished that, in any small way, will define my life’s efforts as a success.

Lastly, I am driven by my lingering awareness of the pain and unhappiness that has clouded so much of my life. And I will do whatever I can to spare you those miseries. The pain was borne of loneliness, and the unhappiness, a result of isolation due to the lack of a means of communicating the nature, desires, and feelings of my heart. The loneliness was a product of my innate nature being so out of the “norm” of that of the majority of the world around me. And the lack of ability to communicate the depths of my thoughts and feelings due to the absence of any mentor, teacher, model, or example to learn from and/or emulate.

So I now write with a constant desire to provide a flow of new vocabularies and illustrations from which I hope that you may glean a few ideas or concepts that give you comfort with some of your own feelings and thoughts. Feelings and thoughts that you have, heretofore, not had adequate means to acknowledge or adequately appreciate. And then to enable you to express and share those precious gems that you have inside of you with your own personal world. Thereby allowing you to enjoy the wonder of being You. And giving your sphere of acquaintances and loved ones the gift and delight of knowing, respecting, and enjoying all, of who You are, more fully.

These are the three purposes in my life … simple and clear. So, for those of you who have been asking “Why?” I hope that this gives some clarity to my reasons for my periodic notes and essays to you. That, and … the fact that I have chosen to love you.

(Penned: 01 September 2005)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dawn Over Mumbles

I like it ... and want you to enjoy it with me. That's all! [smile]

IMAGE by Jim Young, BBC

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Evolving Thoughts on Love & Adoration

: A feeling of strong personal attachment ...
induced by a sympathetic understanding or by ties of kinship

Adore: To feel or express reverent admiration for;
to regard with fervent devotion and affection; to idolize

This whole 'Thing' ... the challenge (for me) ... is about adoration … NOT love. I love readily. My preset response to living, Life, and all that I engage with as I live my life ... is to love. When I ask myself, “Do I love you?” it is entirely possible that I (as the individual [with all of the accoutrements that are part and parcel to my temperament and personality]) could even say, “Of course, I love you. But do I adore you? Possibly not. It may even be true that I really do not enjoy too large a dose of … you.” Could any of us actually vocalize that awareness to One with whom we share what is defined as “love?” (In whatever context defining a particular relationship.) Of course not! That would be, at least, unkind and insensitive … if not cruel. But do we not see just such an unspoken declaration all about us … being lived out in uninspired relationships that exist within those boundaries known as “Love?” Is it possible that I can love you … yet not be inspired, energized, motivated by that love? Yes … often! That awareness, of loving, may compel me to behavior, only because of a sense of obligation, responsibility, or some other uninspired dictate of conscience. But for a Romantic (the ‘affliction’ that I am ‘blessed’ with), love does not satisfy the demands that are ever-present in my Being.

What cranks my motor… charges my batteries… launches my rocket is adoration. Give me only that and I will be with you more than you could ever have dreamed. For, you see, I am one of those disgustingly incurable Romantics. I maintain that that is what was asked in “Fiddler on the Roof” when the question was posed; “Do you love me?” What he really wanted to know was “Do you adore me?” Perhaps even “Do you yearn for me … desire me?” He already had a certainty that he and his wife were safely nested in that “feeling of strong personal attachment induced by a sympathetic understanding or by ties of kinship.” What he wanted … needed … to know, was “Am I the person who you hunger for and are giddy with delight at having as Yours?” He was expressing a momentary sensitivity to romanticism.

Hence, it is my deduced conclusion, drawn from very personal experience, that to various women … who, in my past, have been enchanted with me, then decided that what they had (in whatever was their alternative circumstance), was more complimentary to their long-term ambitions, than me … I was but a Whimsy of intense, but momentary, enchantment. While I was perched on a whatever precarious pedestal (of prominence, popularity, power, or influence) that prevailed in the moment of our familiarity … I was what was desired (the object of a fleeting fascination ([if you will.]) But, when brought down to the level ground of rational intimacy, with all of my foibles exposed, the option of ‘Me’ didn’t look as appealing as it had before.

Just as the Performer on film, or stage looks so desirable … then, when offstage, is seen as a person … not an icon. At this juncture cold logic and personal agendas are applied and the scales of preference are influenced much more heavily on the pragmatic side, rather than on the side of that intangible known to us all as, “Romanticism.” I no longer inspired what I call “The WOW factor“… adoration from the other. And adoration is a constantly living dynamic in a thriving romance. Hence … I live alone. How’s that for an humbling personal insight?

(thoughts germinated, 12 October 1999 and pruned 18 Jan 2009)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Wink

There is something lighthearted … perhaps even bordering on irreverent … in a wink. And I find myself considering (in these times of such overwhelmingly consequential and intensely significant happenings in our world) the delightful escape that is expressed in said ‘wink.’ So, I am spending a few moments with the observations of Others … all centered around a wink. I hope that you, too, find a lighthearted breath and diversion from oppressive ‘Realities’ in this simple reflection.

“Maybe that's what life is... a wink of the eye and winking stars.”
Jack Kerouac

“Wink and shut their apprehensions up.”
John Marston

“There are times when even the most potent governor …
must wink at transgression …
in order to preserve the laws inviolate for the future.”
Herman Melville

“If, after I depart this vale,
you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost,
forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.”
H. L. Mencken

“I know many married men,
I even know a few happily married men,
but I don't know one who wouldn't fall down the first open coal hole
running after the first pretty girl who gave him a wink.”
George Jean Natha

Go ahead! Have a playful WINK at it all.

Dealing With Alienation

My life pathway occasionally intersects that of a person who touches a painful place in my core … and my soul aches for that Individual. I encountered just such a young woman whilst working in the warehouse that housed newspaper delivery operations. I was immediately sensitized to this person. For, what I heard from her is a crying Spirit that is lost … and I am intimately familiar with that pain. Whilst my miseries are something of my past, the awareness of feeling as an Alien in my personal world is forever fresh. Thusly, I did the only thing that I could do for this young woman … I told her that she is known … she is heard … and she is loved. And she is, above all, not alone. I then expressed it this way …


An alien to all that constitutes her environment …
Wanting … no, Needing to find a place of comfort …
Plagued by the exceptional capacities, evidenced as notable qualities,
She cannot naturally meld into the safety of obscure anonymity.

So she camouflages herself with defacements common to the others,
Assumes language and behaviors that conceal her innate endowments,
And avoids any challenges to the legitimacy of her artificial portrayal …
Most importantly, challenges borne of her own awareness.

Unknown to her, those without her qualities …
find validation for their behaviors,
In her degradation of her appearance and demeanor.
For they are all conscious of the extraordinary gifts,
that are naturally hers,
Making the cycle of mimicry, shared for comfort, an endless waste.

Only in those still, lone, and quiet moments of painful reflection,
Does she find herself confronted with unidentified frustrations,
As dissatisfaction, and Self loathing drive her to Self punishment.
Inflicting wounds … tangible, real, and knowable …
for all else is too dark and unknowable …
while her self-punishment is accepted as deserved flagellations.

When I last saw this tormented young lady, she had given birth to a child … though she was but a child herself. For those in the circle of frustrated dissatisfaction that constitute her peer group, had all elected to bear children, simply as an rite of acceptance.

I still find it difficult to dismiss my recollections of and care for her. Her innate intelligence, ready wit, and sweet spirit are such an obvious treasure. Alas, known to her only as a source of alienation, in the circle that she lives in. Though she demonstrated specific choices to discard a path different from that traveled on by her chosen world, I find it difficult to discard the Possibilities that she turned away from. Empathy can often be painful.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Companionship ... Loneliness

He who knows not the hunger for Companionship …

Will never suffer the gnawing pangs of Loneliness.

IMAGE: Anna Bakkar, National Geographic

Friday, January 02, 2009

In My Passing

In my Passing, I am aware of my Influences.
To bring Unity or to leave asunder;
Give Harmony or allow discord;
To leave a Smile, or disregard the frown.

In my Passing, I can control little.
Not my travel’s pace … but its Rhythm;
Not my environs … but my View;
Not destiny; but, most certainly, my Experience.

In my Passing, I will know.
Confused bewilderment … or satisfied Certainty;
Clashing cacophonies … or simple Truths;
Muddled confusions … or clarified Revelations.

In my Passing, however fleet or prolonged,
My life’s savor will be as sweet … or as bitter;
As filled with Delight … or as miserable;
Beneficial to, or neglectful of, each element touched …

In accordance with what I, in my Passing, choose …
With every Individual encountered,
In each circumstance brought my way;
To give, or take … embrace or refuse … engage or deny.

All is mine, to elect, in my Passing.
Such is the infinite Power of my free Will.
In my options selected, and choices made, I can leave
A rippling wake of Serenity and Gladness …
Or not.

I bid You, My Darling Friend and enduring Reader,
the most satisfying and accommodating of Life’s best …
In this NEW YEAR

(And, in passing, please remember that, through it all ...
I love You )

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Unless expressly stated, all original material, of whatever nature, created by J. Michael Brown (John-Michael) and included in this weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.