Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When the Time is Right ... Confirmation

How do you know that you are walking “Your Path”? What endorsement … what validation … what affirmation cements your confidence in the right-ness of your elections? Just like you, I had the desire for certainty. My confidence skated on the thin ice of a fragile Belief and wavering Conviction that I was being the person that I was created to BE. I, like you, was challenged by the voices of loving, caring, concerned, and trusted friends who offered their opinions and perspectives on my life choices. And none … absolutely none of them could see the rationale for my determinations. Yet … I persevered on the strength of an inner conviction that I was in harmony with the leading of the Source of all that is true.

Then Life reached out with a steadying Hand and a reassuring Voice in the person of the only individual who (as a consummate human being) could command my absolute confidence and respect. He was a respected and honored Scientist and Educator … and a deeply committed Spiritual Being. Inasmuch as he is no longer with me in physical presence (though certainly still-known in spirit) I can, and will, reveal his identity (want, as he was, to remain invisible, humble, and unobtrusive.) Swaminatha Sundaram, (Professor-Chairperson (Physics), University of South Florida, 1982 [B.Sc.; M.S.; Ph.D., D.Sc., Annamalai University, India, 1960]) became a dear Friend, Confidant, and Joy in my life from the moment of our initial meeting (as he placed his mail in the post-box at the curb, and I delivered the morning newspaper in the pre-dawn hours of the day.)

It was during one of our treasured luncheon visits together, that he (being a man of very few … yet each one valuable … words) said “You, My Friend, are a true Priest. You walk your daily path as lead by The Spirit … minister to each life encountered along that path … asking nothing and expecting nothing save the meeting of your physical and material needs. All at the direction and through the provision, of that controlling Spirit.”

Confirmation! I can tell you, My Dear Reader, that I have never, in all of my life, been more honored, humbled, and moved than at that moment. Life had warranted and authenticated my convictions in terms that I would never have known to ask for or expect. And I can now share this story with you, as my personal testimony to the certainty, that you will know, with sureness, the appropriateness of your life elections ... if you will but exercise that awesome power, of your own Free Will, to follow the Inspiration … the Inclination … the Leading of your own personal and individual “Still, Quiet, Inner-Voice.” Mindful that doing so will often be to the exclusion of all outside "influences."


I cannot promise you riches, fame, glory, or applause as an expectation resulting from such a disciplined and oft-courageous (and sometimes lonely) choice. What I can, and do, guarantee you is Joy, Confidence, Peace of Mind, and Spirit, that gives (in time … and with patience) rhyme, reason, and meaning to all of the conflicts, pains, disappointments, and sorrows of a life so lived. And ... at that time and in that place, when and where you need, and are ready for it ... you can expect, in some form, a confirmation and validation ... from the Creator of all that You are ... from "Life." A confirmation and validation of the reality of your BE-ing that unique and particularly special Individual, that You are equipped (by nature, inclination, and experience) to … BE.

This is, I promise you, My Dear Friend, the greatest reward that can possibly be imagined. To know that you are living in harmony with the intention of your Creator in the world that is your daily walk. That all is Right with You and your place in all of Time and Eternity. And it is to the encouragement, endorsement, and enabling of You, in your personal pilgrimage, that I am committed … as I remain;


Your constant Friend and unwavering Servant.



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

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Being ... not ... Doing



He would never be measured by the accumulated credits for what he would do in life. His would not be an achievement quantified path. Those who were to take note of him would not speak of the Stuff he had done; the Creditentials he garnered; the Degrees, Titles, or Ranks he had tallied up. No, my son’s life was to be recognized for one … only one … thing. Who he was to be … not what … as that individual Person that he was created to be. This was to be my focus and the core of my parenting efforts for as long as I had the opportunity to influence him. And it was to become my life’s mantra. It is who we be … not what we do … that matters in life. (I know … the grammar stinks … but you get the point!) If we be the best that we can be … no one on the face of this planet can ever be better. This is the path that Matthew and I set out on together. Setting aside all of the cerebral palsy baggage … we would set our sights on being our best … us.


So when the young man came up to me in the coffee shop and said “I noticed that Matt really likes to read the newspaper every morning. So I gave him the novel that I finished reading last night. I told him that he will probably finish it more quickly than I did, because he reads so much. I hope that he enjoys it as much as I did.” I smiled and took silent note of the beautiful way that Matt had disregarded the fact that he couldn’t read. He pushed aside that potential barrier to social interaction … by creating the illusion that he was an ardent reader. Thus he fine-tuned his performance of all of the subtle gestures and mannerisms that he had gleaned from observing the behaviors of those who did read the newspaper. And I had, for some time, watched his beautifully played-out role as he “thoughtfully” turned the thoroughly considered pages. He artfully picked out comic strips and used them as props to share with others … pointing; throwing his head back in laughter; and enjoying the ensuing comradeship with the Strangers he met as he sat at the al fresco tables outside the shop that I sat inside of. (Please note that Matt’s mental challenges do not permit his grasping of the humor in those comics strips … even when read and explained to him.)

This was but one of the daily exercises that I devised for him (without making any note of it … just treating it as a routine, customary, and altogether normal happening.) He sat outside … at a table of his choosing, and enjoying his choice of beverage and pastry … and introduced himself to whatever level of social interplay he was comfortable with. I observed; took mental notes for discussion with his speech therapist (as we developed our understanding of the particular limitations manifested by Matt’s cerebral palsy affected brain), and devised “coaching” tips to share with Matt.


You see, my Friend, Matthew did not want to be recognized as someone who was challenged by the retardation of his mental functions. He did not want to have his physical impairments noted or accommodated. He wanted to be … Matthew; just another guy; a friend; one of “the gang.”

At our neighborhood YMCA … where I weaned Matt from my accompaniment by pointing to the “Members Only Beyond This Point” sign at the entrance to the gym, and told him that he was the Member. I was just his driver and escort. And I had no privileges there … he was the entitled one … none of the many folks, that Matthew established himself with, discussed, or even took notice of, the fact that he had never experienced homework assignments from school … when he discussed, with them, their children’s struggles with homework. He had honed his listening skills to such a lovely degree of empathetic listening that anyone would comfortably believe the illusion that he was in complete understanding of every element of the subject at hand. He simply pushed aside that potential barrier to social intercourse, by focusing on the finer goal of the desired relationship. He was marvelous. He was allowing himself to be! And he became a very self-assured young man. Content in himself, and comfortable with others.

So why, you, my Darling Reader, may well ask, do I tell you all of this? Because, Dear One, I hear so many lamenting their frustrations and disappointments at not achieving what they had expected themselves to achieve. So much moaning and groaning about perceived “failures!” And it is all about stuff that they feel that they “should” (by some mysterious standard either imposed by others [who have no God-given right to either impose; or certainly not to judge], or by some inner demons that inflict demands based on nothing more than self-generated unreasonableness.)

To these I say “How is that human Being coming along? That’s right! You are not a “human doing.” Even machines and devices can do stuff. But only a Being given the marvelous Gift of choice and election can be.” So I ask you to consider following Matthew’s lead. Set aside those impediments to your realization of who you … and only you … can be. And permit your Self to be … that uniquely equipped, individually gifted, and singly able person who has this one-time opportunity to offer our world … You.

I humbly thank you for your patient indulgence with me. Please know that my speaking to you, in this way, is born only of one thing … my genuine and respectful love of … You.

I remain your steadfast Friend and always willing Servant.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Prayer



My favorite day of the year. Without qualification, Thanksgiving was always the day that I looked forward to. It represented the pinnacle of familial unity and intimacy. The Norman Rockwell image of Family around the dinner table was my ideal. (And, as an avowed Idealist, this was, for me, no small matter.) [smile]

Hence, when I purchased dining room furnishings, I selected the most accommodating dining table offered by the good folk at Ethan Allen. Substantial English oak and an ability to be expanded to a size that would welcome the entire family was my goal.

And on that annual day of feasting and celebrating, I happily assumed the role of turkey baker/carver, and Host.
Then, as we all sat around that grand table laden with magnificent treats and culinary treasures, we would hold hands … bow our heads … and one by one, offer each of our individual statements of prayerful gratitude for our blessings.

Thus it was on that particular Thanksgiving when we were additionally blessed with Matthew … sitting there, between myself and his mother … in his high-chair, and filled with wonder at the presence of an altogether unusual energy and spirit in his home.

His mother followed my reading of a scripture appropriate to the occasion with her start to our Thanksgiving Prayer. Then her Dad, Mother, Brother-in-Law, Sister, and back to me for my benedictory closing. But then, after my “Amen,” there filled the reverent silence, another voice … “M-i-c” … I lifted my head and looked. We all looked. Save Matthew, whose head was still bowed … hands folded in prayer … “k-e-y”. I looked at the others; shrugged; nodded; and we all joined him in his “M-o-u-s-e.” Then Matt lifted his head in complete solemnity and quietude … having offered his contribution of the most reverential and worshipful expression that his darling little soul knew.

And, My Dear Friend and Reader, I fully believe to this day that all of Heaven was stilled and blessed by that dear young Soul’s fervent prayer that day. For I remembered then … and still do … the verse of scripture that teaches us that “Unless you come in the innocent spirit of a little child, you will never know the kingdom of Heaven.”

I lovingly bid you … each and every beautiful One of you … a day of sweet, harmonious joy in the bosom of those with whom you share Love.

Happy Thanksgiving Day Dear One. I do, indeed, love you.



A Post-Script Note: In response to inquiries by some who are not familiar with the Mickey Mouse Club 'Alma Mater' (that Matthew was singing on that far-removed Thanksgiving Day) ... Here 'tis ...



(I will never tire of the many memories stirred by that song ... And I think that you can readily sense the reverent spirit that Matt felt appropriate to our prayerful moment. I hope that you enjoyed it!)


Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Autumnal Perspective (with a Chuckle)



by Michael Fry and T Lewis




(Note: Please click on the Image to enlarge)

Friday, November 05, 2010

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

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

"The Human Touch" revisited


In this day of applied Programs, Plans, Initiatives, and Systems, there is a void that is all too often left wanting. That want is addressed by this work of Spencer Michael Free. He (from his perspective as a practicing physician) spoke to an elementary requirement of the Human Spirit.

In response to a sweet reminder of this post (thank you Maria), I ask that we consider the power and potential that awaits each of us… if we will but offer our own personal provision of “The Human Touch.”


The Human Touch

'Tis the human touch in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine;
For shelter is gone when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only for a day,
But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul alway.


Spencer Michael Free (1856-1938)
Free graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Johns Hopkins University in 1880, and practiced medicine and surgery for some fifty years thereafter. In addition to some one hundred medical papers, he wrote many poems.


IMAGE: Maria Brandstetter, BBC

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Morning Reflection

Methinks we give Her cause for chortle …
A bit of a grin and a snicker, or a few.
Opening Her eyes with the dawn of a day, new to us.
But only another breath and of no particular significance to Her.

She smiles in patient acknowledgment of our supposed need to worry.
Is not her timeless humour engaged as She sees our angst?
Are we not silly children to believe that our flailings matter?
Can we not see, as She does, how fleeting are our concerns?

Earth stretches herself in boundless expanse, Her end … nowhere.
We fret over the scope of what we see before us.
She giggles the laughter of countless voices in Her infinite continuum.
Whilst we battle to create monuments to our meaningless impulse.

All that is Her expression adjusts and compensates,
realigning Her assets and resources, to sustain our newest affronts.
Whilst Her children greet Her with their songs and their awakenings.
She accepts our foolish indifferences and insults.

Ah, but what bliss would be ours
if we would but see Her in all of Her glory.
If we would only allow ourselves the joy of pause,
acknowledging Her constancy and power …
in humble gratitude.






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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Re-visiting An Interview

Almost two years ago, I was interviewed by a Contributor, to a Web site that provides "timely, in-depth, trusted medical information, personalized tools and resources, and connections to a vast community of leading experts and patients for people seeking to manage and improve their health."

I looked over the completed interview, and considered the possibility that some, of what was shared there, might be of some benefit to Readers of this site. So, with the blessings of the
Contributor, I am posting the complete interview here.

I do hope that You, My Dear Reader, will find some idea or thought to be of use to you as an encouragement, consideration, or, perhaps, a provocation to further thought. I have deleted the name of the medical information site as well as that of the individual mentioned in the
Contributor's introduction to the interview. The interview is, otherwise, unedited.

How to Cope
When Your Adult Child has a Physical Disability

I was looking over the questions asked here at [
medical information site] and I began to smile as I re-discovered a question from a lady named "[DELETED]." She was worried about her adult son who had been diagnosed with MS. And although the title of her question was: "Can MS affect the ability to match clothing (plaids with stripes) and colors?" the true intent of her question was to be found in reading between the lines.

This was a mom who was worried about her son's disease and how he would manage the potential physical and mental challenges that Multiple Sclerosis could bring. I began to think about this disease from a parent's perspective. No matter how young or old your child is...they are always still your child. How does a parent cope when their child faces the daunting challenge of a physical disability? What is the best way to be of help?

In order to delve more deeply into these questions I have enlisted the help of fellow blogger and self help writer, John Michael. John Michael's extraordinary way of writing stems from having to face his own unique challenges including parenting a son who has cerebral palsy. You may find more of John Michael's insights by visiting his blog authentically entitled, "Just being John Michael." http://justbeingjohnmichael.blogspot.com/

Based upon your life experience, what comfort would you give to a parent who has an adult child who is facing physical challenges?

To begin with, please know that I do not, in even the most remote way, hold my opinions or ideas up as any kind of standard of measure or (God forbid) sort of rule to go by. They are, quite simply, my own perspective and individualized inclinations. That said, I can tell you (and any Parent reading) that my comfort with what Matthew (my son) and I share, in our partnership in life’s challenges, began with my acceptance of, the reality that we all … every living, breathing, struggling one of us, live with our own set of ‘disabilities’ and ‘handicaps.’

While Matt’s are more obvious and clearly pronounced than others’, I have accepted the fact of my responsibility to confront and manage my own … and to help him identify (in the most gentle and tenderly ways possible), and deal with his. I have, simultaneously, allowed my Self to be open to, and receptive to, the difficulties and frustrations in the lives of those whose life-paths intersect mine. And I discuss, with Matt, these obstacles, to ease-of-living, so that he can share, with me, an active appreciation, of the hurdles that beset others. We discuss possible ways that we can compliment and make easier the lives of Friends. And we have conversations centered around our responsibilities, as Human Beings, to the world around us. This has given him a sense of participation and worth, in caring for people along the way … and has (while not spelling out or focusing on his own set of Complications) allowed him to gain a sense of worth as a Care-Giver for others. It, also, takes the intensity of focus off of all of the daily irritations that his cerebral palsy unrelentingly visits upon him.

This “Mechanism” (if you will) has proven to be a ‘tool’ of some considerable worth in my set of ‘coping implements’ … for us both.

How emotionally difficult is it for a parent to see their son or daughter unable to do things that others may take for granted?

The “emotional difficulty” is compounded by the reality that (in Matt’s life) he does not possess the mental acuity to enable him to thoroughly process the complexities of his handicaps. While he is at a high level of what would be labeled as “trainable” (God! How I do hate those labels!) he is obviously vexed by his awareness of the areas of life and living that are part of the experiences of those around him … and his inability to participate or be included in them.

I then, accept the responsibility (inasmuch as I am able) to “feel” and “sense” these vexations for and with him … then translate them into means of communicating to his level of comprehension and appreciation of them … to him. All the while wanting (at my emotional core) to curl up in a corner and weep for him. Emotional exhaustion and an ever-present sense of being emotionally spent has, consequently, been my life-companion.

How does a parent express concern for their child's well being without coming across as overly intrusive or pushy?

In a word … you can’t! Yep! That’s about it. My experience has been that if I am willing to let Individuals or Organizations … whose role or mission in life is to ’administer’ the programs or services (I use the word advisedly) that are intended, by well-meaning Initiators, to reach out to the needs of those who find themselves less than optimally functional … operate at their own discretion or with their own set of priorities … my son will suffer neglect and even some measure of abuse.

Yes, I know that that sounds harsh. And I do wish that it was not the fact. But it has proven, over and over, to be the Reality. But … when I take the active, involved, persistent, and (in the view of some) “overly intrusive or pushy”, I have found that I can cut through the layers of superficial and uncaring individuals and programs … and mine the nuggets of wonderfully committed and professionally devoted gems who give of themselves willingly and thoroughly, for the benefit of those to whom they have dedicated their lives and careers.

So, I make Matt the “Good Guy”, and take the mantle of “Enforcer” upon myself, for his benefit. This has worked out to be most successful and beneficial for all concerned. It gets past the layers of incompetence and wasted time and efforts quite quickly. And gets us to the “good stuff” with a minimum of wasted energy and emotion (which, by virtue of living with this situation, are already in short supply.)

What is the best way for a parent to offer help?

I think that this is most effectively accomplished by becoming a living and breathing part of my son. I have permitted my Self … nay, demanded of my Self … to be … actually and legitimately become an element of my son’s Being. I feel what he is unable to feel. I think what he hasn’t the capacity to think. I sense what he wants to sense, but can not get through the haze, of his brain’s unwillingness to cooperate, to sense. I offer tears when appropriate … whilst not giving in to self-pity. I offer determination … where he is not equipped to be determined for himself … whilst guarding against insensitivity or lack of empathy. All the while recognizing that this commitment to Matt is made at the expense of other life-demands that must be sacrificed (willingly … even happily … and without remorse of bitter regret) for his ultimate benefit.

All too often, I have known parents who let it be known that they are some figure of “Noble Sacrifice” and are ’giving up’ something for their child. Horse hockey! (That’s about as ’cleaned up’ as I can make that. [smile]) Firstly, their child is constantly aware of this added burden upon their shoulders. They hear and sense their parent’s bemoaning of their ’plight’ in life. And that child has this ’gift’ to deal with, in addition to all of the garbage that is incumbent with whatever life has given them.

No! My son’s handicap is something that I accepted, at the very outset (when he was diagnosed, at less than one year old), as Life’s enabling me to grow and develop into far more than I ever would have, otherwise. I had to become more of whatever a man can be … to be what my son needs his father to be. I accepted Life’s challenge to develop Character and Strength that I would never have known without the demands and needs of my son’s circumstances. Matthew has only sensed and known the reality that I am indebted to him for my life’s flourishing. And he has a comfortable and calm assurance that I appreciate him … far beyond his cognitive abilities to reason out those truths.

These are my own perceptions of the best ways that I can be of help to my son … and simultaneously, my Self. Best summed up in ... give. (Which, I suppose, is the best way to benefit any relationship.)

Can you give any advice to the parent who has been seemingly pushed away after offering help to their adult child?

This question stings.

Three years ago, Matthew phoned me and asked me to cease phoning him, and/or seeing him. “When you call or we are together, it upsets Mom. And that makes me nervous. And I can’t deal with it.” he said. Understanding his Mom’s temperament and personality (which I have [Thank Goodness] taken a good deal of time and invested a considerable amount of effort in studying), I understood what he was saying. So, I agreed. And said, “Goodbye.”

Because I have an absolute certainty that Matt’s ability to make that phone call to me was born of all that we accomplished over the thirty two years prior to the call … and I know the stresses and tensions that he was referencing (after twenty years of marriage to his Mom) … and my certainty that I can look Life full in ’the face’ and give an honest account of my Self, and my having given absolutely all of all that I had of Me, to him … I have accepted, and respect, his choice.

For me to demand some form or sort of “Parental Rights” in maintaining contact with Matt, would be an exercise in selfishness. It would be at the expense of his comfort and tranquility. And it would serve no purpose other than negative ones, including putting him in the center of a tug-of-war that would render no possible benefit of value. So, I have had no contact with the Son who I spent every week-day, of every year, after he ’graduated’ from school (9 years) … for nearly three years now. Hence the “sting.”

In your experience of parenting your own child who has a physical disability, what was the hardest aspect for you?

The loneliness.

What gave you the greatest joy in parenting your son?

The day that he looked at me and said “My brain doesn’t cooperate sometimes.” It was a bitter-sweet moment in which he attained the level of acknowledging his challenges. This represented a heartbreak in our joining of awareness … and the joy of his readiness to deal with some of his own frustrations.

Last thoughts?

Life is … ultimately and beautifully .. GOOD!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kinship in Spirit

As I enjoyed the televised travel show, I was impressed with the ceaseless supplications, transmitted by these Prayer Flags, on the pathway up to the Bhutan's Taktshang ("tiger's nest") Monastery.

I was glad for a better understanding of the concept of ongoing Prayers being carried heavenward on the bits of constantly-disintegrating fabrics. In this, I was reminded of the Scriptures’ “Pray without ceasing” admonition." In these Prayer Flags, I saw a physical manifestation of that directive. I appreciated further personal enlightenment in hearing the Commentator’s explanation of the Belief that each Individual achieves “higher Karma” through their commitment to climbing upward, in their arduous ascension toward the ‘Holy Site’ of this Monastery. And here I found a like Truth in “Take up your burden and follow …” as presented in so many various forms of exhortation, toward disciplined Discipleship, in scripture. I saw Unity in intent, purpose, and expression here.

My ‘virtual’ pilgrimage served (through the presentation by “Travels to the Edge”), to weave, yet more tightly, threads of Truth, into the Fabric of spiritual unity between Faiths. Truth, offered through the perspectives of authors of the Bible … in complete harmony with the very same Truth demonstrated in the utilization of these Prayer Flags placed by faithful followers of the Buddhist Faith. Both aware of some whispered inner Voice that communicates to them the Message that says, “It is good to always maintain a reverential and prayerful attitude toward that Power that created Us ... All." And Each responding, in methods and forms, in keeping with their particular worlds.
How beautiful is this demonstration of our kinship in spiritual awareness! And how blessed we are when we can accept personal growth and validation of our cultural and societal interpretations, and expressions of our individual spiritual sense … through one another’s shared methodologies. Prayers … whether expressed in whispered words, or bits of flags that send their messages heavenward … are one and the same. Our Souls’ expression of all that we know the need to render. Ever more clearly … we are Kin with each other. Or so it seems to my Understanding.


IMAGE: National Geographic Society

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Minister of Manure



It was in those sacred hours of early-morning quietness on a day that found me in the throws of a frustrated and discouraged struggle with my spirit. (I find these times that are without interruption or distraction an ideal time for dialogue with my Maker.) On this particular occasion, I was engaged in some strong bemoaning regarding my lifetime of losses, failures, frustrations and disappointments.

“Dear Father, I know that all that has occurred in my life has a purpose. I, as You see clearly in my heart of hearts, have complete confidence in Your control and purpose for my life. But, Father, with all due respect, I would surely appreciate some illumination on the picture of my life. It seems to me that everything in my life, every relationship, every career choice, every circumstance that this world uses to measure ‘success’ has turned to ‘dung’.” (I must note that I did not actually use the word ‘dung’ in that discussion, but I can be far more candid in my conversations with the Creator than would be proper in this text.) “So please give me some understanding of the relevance of this life of wasted effort that I have invested so much in.” Then came, by way of that distinctly clear inner Voice, His response.



This place, known to you as your personal world, is My Garden. I manage the preparations, the plantings, the nurturing, the pruning, and the harvest. You are quite right, all of your past could well be summarized, by the unknowing, as an accumulation of ‘dung’ (He used my actual descriptive term.) But, John-Michael, if you will agree to place that pile of waste at my disposal, I will direct you to those of my special ‘plants’ in My garden that are readied by circumstance (at My direction) for nourishment. Your ‘dung’ can become very valuable ‘manure’ for beneficial use or, at your option, can remain a smelly pile of unpleasant waste. What you must be willing to accept is the reality that it may not be your role in my garden to be the prize blossom or the award winning produce. What is required of you is your willingness to be the nurturing and sustaining dispenser of the manure of your experience and insight for the production of successes in others.”

“Oh, so I am being called to the ‘Ministry of Manure’” I laughingly responded. “Quite right” He affirmed, and we laughed together. (It is a good thing to laugh with the Almighty.) And so it has been for a decade or better now. I am most content to be His designated
Minister of Manure in the small patch of Life’s garden in which I live.


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

Friday, October 08, 2010

Flexible Containers

With our environment of language, and practice, as the "container" and the truths that Life brings to to us as '‘substance'’ for our "containing"... might it not behoove us to be reminded that the container is not the measure of the quality of the substance contained, and should be readily reconsidered, when the demands of the substance, outweigh the capacity of the vessel.

It seems appropriate then, with the understanding that the confines of religious practice, nomenclature, ritual, and dogma are but Man's feeble attempts to encapsulate and express spiritual truths that transcend the bounds of earthly abilities ... it might be a good idea (as spiritual insight and awareness grow and develop) to adjust, modify, reconstruct, refresh, revise, and/or discard those practices, rituals, nomenclature, and/or dogma (
containers) that no longer accommodate our evolving Awareness (substance)?

Ah, the joy of freedom in expressing new truths and understandings in an environment of healthy, positive, and dynamic enthusiasm!


John-Michael
(Originally penned: 11 August 1998)


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

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Painful Presumptions

As with the previous post, I have offered this one before ... a bit over a couple of years ago being the most recent. But it is something that resonates within me, and I want to offer it to that those who are newer Readers. Again, with apologies to my lovely Friends who have seen it before ... here 'tis ...

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)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Rum-Raisin Ice Cream


It was in May of 2008 when I last shared, this bit of perspective, with those who honor me with their attention. Since then, I am blessed with new Friends, and Readers, who have not read it. So, with apologies to those for whom this is a 'repeat,' Here is something that I still have strong feelings about.



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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Your Soul’s Theme Song



How long has it been since your soul was so full and overflowing that you simply had to sing? Yesterday? This morning? Last year? Never!? Well, for me, it happens only rarely. And what stirs and awakens this response in me? Why, that could just as easily be a circumstance, perhaps a season, a recollection, something read or experienced, or, of course, the touch of Another. But when it is a moment of celebrating the living of all that is ... right then ... I have one song that expresses my Heart's happiness with the joys of that instant.


And this is how it has been for me for as long as I can remember. When I am stirred, I sing. I recall my daughter declaring “You are depressed! Whenever you are depressed, you sing.” on some no-longer-recalled occasion. And I remember thinking, at the time … and again, now … how very sad that she has only made note of my "singing inclination" and observed my singing in settings that she interpreted as depressed or melancholy. How unfortunate that she was not with me in the isolated moments when I was given cause to sing for joy. If only she could know the exuberance of my song when I was first presented with what has become my Soul’s "Love Celebration" theme song. I recall, quite vividly, opening that envelope and finding within, the three-by-five index cards with the lyrics typed as an expression of the feelings of their Presenter. How I did sing that song … over and over … that day, and for many days (and years) to follow!

I recall that morning, as I went about my work, and found myself singing that very song. Freely and with complete abandon, I styled, modified, varied, and adjusted the tempo, key, even some lyrics, to my immediate taste. And, with unabashed gusto, I sang out my challenge to the early-morning chorus of birds. “Stand aside boys … you have competition this morning!" And I sang.

So, the question arises … What is, or would be (if you were so inclined) your Soul’s theme song? What melody would carry your spirit in a comfortable representation of your Spirit’s fondest emotion? What lyrics would translate the message of the desires of your heart into the atmosphere? And when will you be singing it next? And what are you doing … right now… to bring that to pass?

All worthy considerations as you and I share in that song given to me on that lovely day, by that lovely and loving Gift from Life. It was made famous by the New Christy Minstrels in 1964, and was given to me, on that little index card (back in 1973) that, over the course of many years, became worn to the point of disintegration. Here (as you listen to
The New Christy Minstrels sing) are the words toToday… as I bid you the very best of your Today. (Go ahead ... sing along ... I am.) [smile]



Today
Words & Music by Randy Sparks
Recorded by New Christy Minstrels, 1964


Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,

I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine;

A million tomorrows shall all pass away

Ere I forget all the joy that is mine today.



I'll be a dandy and I'll be a rover,

You'll know who I am by the song that I sing.

I'll feast at your table, I'll sleep in your clover,

Who cares what tomorrow may bring.



Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine

I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine;

A million tomorrows shall all pass away

Ere I forget all the joy that is mine today.



I can't be contented with yesterday's glories,

I can't live on promises winter to spring.

Today is my moment and now is my story --

I'll laugh and I'll cry and I'll sing.



Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,

I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine;

A million tomorrows shall all pass away

Ere I forget all the joy that is mine Today.





IMAGES: (Rose Vine) Univ. of Chicago; (Strawberries) Christine's Pies; (Wine) Earth's Best E Books; (Feast) National Maritime Museum; (Clover) Roundrock Journal



Monday, September 27, 2010

By Whatever Name ... In Every Way



The heart of a Father soars
at the first unintelligible sounds of loving recognition
from his infant child.

He requires no lofty phrases of oratory …
no declaration of profound allegiance
or obedient devotion.

His joyful acceptance
of this simplest, unadorned, adoration and trust
is without reservation or qualification.

This is true in the lands and regions
of all of humankind.

Language, custom, tradition, and setting
have no dilutive effect
on this timeless dynamic.

So it was with those first recognitions
of an awesome Power …
some inexplicable Source …
by earliest Man.

He expressed his sense of wonder and awe
in scratchings on wood, stone, or earth.

He gave vent to his need for expression
through ritual and ceremony …
with dance, song, and works of artful display.

The Father of all that is
cannot have been any less affected
by these efforts to speak,
than any father regarding his child.

A touch; a look; a sound from an adoring child
is always appropriate and correct
in the heart of its father.

I am certain that the “I Am” hears
the absolute, unadulterated message, from the Worshiper,
when addressed as Allah, God, Yahweh, Vishnu,
or through the rhythms from a ceremonial log.

This surely has been … and, forever will be, so.


John-Michael
27 September 2010



Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Greater Love Hath No Man ..."

Meet The Man Who Sneaked Into Auschwitz
by NPR Staff

September 18, 2010

This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of a World War II milestone few people have heard before. It's the story of a Polish army captain named Witold Pilecki.

In September 1940, Pilecki didn't know exactly what was going on in Auschwitz, but he knew someone had to find out. He would spend two and a half years in the prison camp, smuggling out word of the methods of execution and interrogation. He would eventually escape and author the first intelligence report on the camp.

The Mystery Of Auschwitz

In the early years of the war, little was known about the area near the town Germans called Auschwitz.

Poland was in a state of chaos. It was divided in half — Nazi Germany claiming one side, Soviet Russia on the other. The Polish resistance had gone underground.

Pilecki wanted to infiltrate the Auschwitz camp, but he had difficulty getting commanders to sign off on the mission. At the time, it was thought of as POW camp.

"They didn't realize the information from inside the camp was that vital," says Ryszard Bugajski, a Polish filmmaker who directed the 2006 film The Death of Captain Pilecki.

Pilecki was eventually cleared to insert himself into a street round-up of Poles in Warsaw on Sept. 19, 1940. Upon arrival, he learned Auschwitz was far from anything the Resistance had imagined.

Life As A Number

"Together with a hundred other people, I at least reached the bathroom," Pilecki's Auschwitz report reads. "Here we gave everything away into bags, to which respective numbers were tied. Here our hair of head and body were cut off, and we were slightly sprinkled by cold water. I got a blow in my jaw with a heavy rod. I spat out my two teeth. Bleeding began. From that moment we became mere numbers — I wore the number 4859."

That was a small and early number for a camp that would — one year later — see numbers in the 15,000s.

Alex Storozynski, president and executive director of the Kosciuszko Foundation, tells NPR's Mike Pesca that one of the early signs of Auschwitz's true purpose to Pilecki was the prisoners' diet. "The food rations were calculated in such a way that people would live for six weeks," Storozynski says.

Here's Pilecki's description of what a German officer told him: " 'Whoever will live longer — it means he steals. You will be placed in a special commando, where you will live short.' This was aimed to cause as quick a mental breakdown as possible."

Smuggling Out Word Of The Horrors Within

Pilecki was assigned to backbreaking work — carrying rocks in a wheelbarrow. But he also managed to gather intelligence on the camp and smuggle messages out with prisoners who escaped. SS soldiers assigned Poles to take their laundry into town, and sometimes messages could be smuggled along with the dirty clothes to be passed to the underground Polish army.

"The underground army was completely in disbelief about the horrors," Storozynski explains. "About ovens, about gas chambers, about injections to murder people — people didn't believe him. They thought he was exaggerating."

Pilecki also hoped to organize an attack and mass escape from the camp. But no order could be procured for such a plan from Polish high command.
"We were waiting for an order, as we understood that without such one — although it would be a beautiful firework and unexpected for the world and for Poland — we could not agree to do that," Pilecki wrote.

For the next two and a half years, Pilecki slowly worked to feed his reports up the Polish chain of command to London.

"And in London," Storozynski says, "the Polish government in exile told the British and the Americans, 'You need to do something. You need to bomb the train tracks going to these camps. Or we have all these Polish paratroopers — drop them inside the camp. Let them help these people break out.' But the British and the Americans just wouldn't do anything."

Pilecki's Escape

Eventually, after nearly three years, Pilecki reported, "further stay here might be too dangerous and difficult for me."

He planned an escape through a poorly secured back door in a bakery, where he'd managed to get a job. With a few other inmates, he ran into the night.
"Shots were fired behind us," he wrote. "How fast we were running, it is hard to describe. We were tearing the air into rags by quick movements of our hands."

After his escape, Pilecki continued to fight in the underground. But after the war, the Germans were replaced by a new occupying regime — the Soviets. Pilecki was again asked to gather intelligence, this time on the ways in which the communists were establishing themselves in Poland.

Filmmaker Bugajski explains, "He was actually captured by the communists, he was accused of espionage, and he was shot."

A Story Revealed — At Last

There's a reason many Americans have never heard the story of Witold Pilecki's infiltration of Auschwitz. The communist regime in Poland censored any mention of his name in the public record — a ban that remained in place until the fall of the Berlin wall.

Only since then have documents emerged that reveal his story — and that allowed Bugajski to accurately portray it in his film.

That film ends with an epilogue, as the actor who plays Pilecki, Marek Probosz, walks outside the same prison where Pilecki was executed.

"To our surprise, we see that this is free Poland," Probosz explains. "That you can talk about Pilecki, and no one is going to spit in your face or stab you with a knife."

Today there is a street in Warsaw named after Pilecki. A square might be named after him, too.

"Having a beautiful wife and two kids he loved dearly, he decided to leave them behind and go to Auschwitz." Probosz says. "Human beings were the most precious thing for Pilecki, and especially those who were oppressed. He would do anything to liberate them, to help them."


This article is from NPR and can be seen (or LISTENed to)
HERE

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Bid You "Good Morning"


As I allow this Image to speak to me, I am immersed in Yo Yo Ma's interpretation of "The Main Theme from Once Upon A Time In The West." I happily share this experience with You, my Darling Reader ... and bid You a "Good Morning!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hush


As I consider this image, I hear the Master of life speaking to Nature, and instructing Her to "Hush ... still all of the noises ...but do it gently, and with soft loveliness."




Which, then, reminded me of a piece that I wrote a couple of years ago
.

Hush Me

I am speaking too much.
My enthusiasm is intrusive.
This Energy I radiate, I know, is tiring.
So, please, just ‘hush me.’

Only one finger, across my lips,
Or to the end of my chin,
Will draw my attention to your eyes.
And they will just ‘hush me.’

When I ask too much.
Delve too deeply.
Suggest too frequently.
I beg you … just ‘hush me.’

Draw my arm close to your side.
Place your head against my shoulder.
Take my hand in the tenderness of yours.
My heart will draw to you, and just ‘hush me.’

I can sing ... I can dance;
Devise all sort of elaborate plans;
Make noble statements ... proclaiming my Love.
All goes still and silent … when you just ‘hush me.’




John-Michael
23 March 2008



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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seeing the Blossoms Amongst the Thorns

My thoughts, in March of 07 (when I first posted this bit) were on the confluence of four separate streams of truth, contributed by sources, both of today and many yesterdays. Here is what I said then (illustrated with images of a terribly inhospitable-looking plant which offers (if One notices) heavenly blossoms in the midst of its life-protecting thorns)...

My thoughts today are the confluence of four separate streams of truth contributed by sources both of today and many yesterdays. I am grateful to Life for my conversation with SA wherein I offered something akin to “All you need do is ... BE available ... to the new and desired circumstances that Life will bring to your awareness.” Her response was “And I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable. Right?” And she was, of course, quite right.

Then I was given the gift (recently) of a vehicle-to-vehicle visit (him, on his way to work … me, finishing my newspaper deliveries) with BLY and his offering of “It’s all good … all you have to do is find it.” He then smiled a knowing smile and added “There! That will give you something to ponder.” And I admitted, to him, that I would, indeed, ponder that thought (or, as he added further “That will be a new cud for you to chew.” as he smiled again and drove away toward his work place, and I continued on my newspaper delivery route.) Life was, once again, speaking through the insights and in the inspired voices of special Lives in my world.


By the time that I had finished my delivery duties, I was certain of what I am obliged to offer to you, My Dear Reader, today. Four elements from four sources (two of whom I have already revealed.) The other two are the biblical psalmist, and Dr. Alfred Adler (both of whom I have quoted in previous messages to you.)

Beginning with SA’s “And I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable.” I reflect on those imperatives that demand the attention of our minds, and insist on the focus of our activities, in our daily walk. These imperatives are (for the most part) forces that we are not even conscious of.

They are instilled in, and reinforced in, us by voices (often well-intentioned and genuinely caring) demanding our attention. From our earliest moments of life we have concerned individuals warning us against (what could be) threats to our 'success' in life. Voices of family, peers, significant others of all sorts and description. All insisting that we conform, adhere, and mold ourselves to their perspectives on every element of our lives. For they have the "experience" and know what is "Best" for us. I liken them to the thorns of life. Those aspects, of our daily existence, that warn us of life’s threats and survival demands … but have, as well, their own potential for inflicting emotional, physical, material (and even psychological) harm if not balanced with what BLY referred to as the “all good.” Those traits, idiosyncratic gifts and unique talents that are Life's Gift to our individuality. (And, please note, I do not discount the element of necessity to hearing and respecting these voices … to ignore the “thorns” of life [those potential 'pit-falls' of bad habits and practices] and would be nothing short of foolhardy. Thorns are, by their very nature and design, early warning systems and defense mechanisms necessary to survival. But they are NOT the Mission of the Plant.)


For, My Darling Reader, to internalize the thorns to the exclusion of Blossoms … the “all good” of life … is to create an inner Monster that will cripple and slowly devour us. I cannot count the number of individuals, who I have had opportunity to share life's walk with, who have had themselves damaged, stunted, lamed, and/or (at the very least) hindered by the words and actions of significant others in their lives. Thus triggering their survival responses of focusing solely on the threat of supposed thorns of inadequacy, self-worthlessness, incompetence or other limiting mind-traps. This produces a constant fear of, and attention to avoidance of, these sets of perceived flaws. Thus making their lives a miserable succession of unhappy attempts to overcome self-imposed shackles of Self denial and devaluation. And they, in that state, are not “available” to the beauty and joy of the other presence in their lives. The Presence that has shared their living moments ... unseen and even unsuspected. The Blossoms that are their unrealized Glory. And The Blossom is the purpose of that 'Plant' in Life's 'garden,' that is ... us!

Those blossoms of talents, gifts, abilities, and personality traits that are right there all the while … but have not entered into what Dr. Adler called “our realm of phenomenological awareness.” That is to say … those phenomena that are the always-present “good” do not even exist to our awareness when our focus is locked on the “thorn” which becomes the entirety of our existence. Great is my joy when I can reveal a glimpse of their Bloom to someone who has been languishing without a prior awareness of its presence. When I can awaken and expand the view of One whose vision has been blinded by the thorn-meisters in their life.

So, I must slightly amend BLY’s thought to read, instead, “It’s all good… all you have to do is be available to it.” And … yes, the thorns … the details … the demands … the necessities of life are also good and proper in life’s balance. And therein lies the key … BALANCE. All that we know (and all that we have yet to discover) is created in a wonderful balance and with a glorious purpose. This I am absolutely certain of, Dear Friend.

Thus, I can, once again, present the imperative of the Psalmist; “Be still… and know.” Please stop the repetition of behaviors that leave no opportunity for awareness of the new. Please permit yourself the refreshment of discovery of the “all good” that has always been present … waiting for your acknowledgment and celebration. Those undiscovered or unrealized talents ... your own abilities to 'see' life differently ... and communicate that fresh perspective to your personal world ... those who are hungry for what you ... and only you have to offer. Still yourself … step off of the treadmill of habit, custom, and familiarity … and breathe in a fresh breath of the “all goodness” awaiting your appreciation and embracing. Give your Self the gift of the complete You. BLY is quite right … “It is all good.” SA is quite right … “I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable.” May YOU be available to that better Self ... just waiting within your Person ... for recognition.

NAMASTE

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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Childishly Silly


I am, daily, deleting all of the several newspapers, from around the world, that I currently subscribe to. I simply can not bear any more heart rending input. My emotions are frazzled and worn to depletion.

But I do check in on the "pictures" section of the BBC News site. For I often find images that inspire and/or lighten my spirit. Here is one, from the Associated Press, that triggered a childishly silly caption in my mind ... I do enjoy Childishly Silly!


"Crow, Crow, Crow Your Boat ... "


I know ... it's REALLY BAD! ... (but it DID make you smile)


IMAGE: AP, BBC News

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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.