Sunday, December 25, 2011

Life's Unfettered Joy


And, herein lies Life’s fullest demonstration
 of unfettered Joy …

 
I happily share this Image with You, Dear Reader and Friend, in celebration of the Love that is so obviously experienced between my darling Brittany Brother, Christophe, and the Delight of his Soul, his Daughter, Rose.

My thanks to you, Christophe, for allowing me to share in the ecstasy of this beautiful Moment in your life.

My love to All in this sweet Season of Loving.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

A Lovely Gift


Those who pay heed to such things will notice that I have not posted any personal reflections for quite some time. The reason is simple. My Soul had no song to sing.


That changed yesterday.

As I accompanied my sister, Linda, in her quest for Christmas tree ornaments (in a nearby crafts store), a lovely Gift appeared. Her Presence was as that of a visitation by an extraordinary tropical bird. Such an overwhelming loveliness that I was instantly smitten.

And, just as is true of that likened bird, she was completely comfortable with her Being. Her smile communicated a gentle, tender, and totally unassuming harmony with her place in her world.

I made a clumsy attempt at thanking her for that Gift, of her smile. Then wrote, and gave to her, a note (on the reverse of a calling card) expressing my appreciation for her Presence.

Just as is true of that metaphorical bird, I do hope that, in future, she will make an appearance in my life. For, truth be told, I have repeatedly had the thought that nothing could possible be better than to greet each day in the company of such grace and loveliness. And, just as is so with the aforementioned ‘bird,’ I would never want to, in any way, restrain, inhibit, threaten, or discourage the possibility of such an appearance.

I am so happy that I have learned how to embrace Life’s offerings of beauty. To be open to acknowledgement of and expression of appreciation for these marvelous Gifts makes the beginning of my third trimester of life something exciting and inviting.

So, my dear and faithful Reader, today I sing a song of delighted joy as I thank the Author of all that is good, for the exquisite Gift of this lovely person into my little world. Such beautiful Bliss!

(By the way, Linda and I had an absolute blast together! Neither of us enjoys shopping. But, together, we had great fun. She is a wonderful sister. [And she agreed with me in my admiration of yesterday’s Gift.]) [smile]

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Frightened



"There are kids underneath my bed,"

Cried little baby monster Fred.

Momma monster smiled. "Oh, Fred,

There's no such things as kids," she said.


Shel Silverstein


Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Pure Soul



"The pure soul shall mount on native wings,

disdaining little sport,

and cut a path into the heaven of glory,

leaving a track of light for men to wonder at."


William Blake



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rarest and Most Precious Human Talent



“… Parnell McCarthy possessed the rarest and most precious of human talents … a talent so elusive that it receded only the faster before those who wooed it with more gadgets and toys: the capacity for participation and joy, the enviable ability to draw vast pleasure and enjoyment from small occasions and simple things.


For all the old man’s show of cynicism, he possessed the sense of wonder of a small boy flying a kite.”


Robert Traver
Anatomy of a Murder


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oasis



A tiny Oasis isn't a beach holiday ...

But it will help you make it through the Desert.


John-Michael
11 Aug 2011


Monday, August 08, 2011

Fixing Congress


The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified!


Why?

Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 ... before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.


Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land ... all because of public pressure.

Here is an idea that I have long-believed should be implemented. And I am grateful for having been a recipient of it in this consolidated form. So I am sharing it with you, Dear Reader, in the hope that you will apply whatever pressures you are inclined to use on your elected Congresspersons.



Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressperson collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.


2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.


All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

It may not be used for any other purpose.


3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.


4. Congress will no longer vote, for themselves, a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.


5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.


6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.



7. All contracts with past and present Congresspersons are void effective 1/1/12.


The American people did not make this current contract with Congresspersons. Congresspersons made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.


I do believe this a healthy step toward appropriate Accountability and just Service. I thank you for your consideration of it.



Friday, July 08, 2011

Time For a little "Feel Good!"


(I invite you to enhance your enjoyment of the video [below] with an understanding of the meaning of the Lyrics.)

Satchita Translation

(verses in Portuguese and Choruses in Indian Sanskrit)

Ask God,

That men find their lost steps
That dreams wake up sleepy eyes,
That love overflows and that we live in peace
That days end with tired arms
That luck strive to be on your side
That pain should not astound me
Or make me restless,

Ask God.

Sat - The formless
Chit - Consciousness of the universe
Ananda- Pure love, bliss and joy
Para brahma --The supreme creator
Purushothama -Who has incarnated in human form to help guide mankind
Paramatma -Who comes to me in my heart, and becomes my inner voice whenever I ask
Sri Bhagavate - The divine mother, the power aspect of creation
Same tha- Together within
Sri Bhagavate -The Father of creation which is unchangeable and permanent
Namaha- I thank you and acknowledge this presence in my life. I ask for your guidance at all times
Om - We are calling on the highest energy, of all there is

Ask God,

To send us from the sky a lot of wisdom
a true love, that nobody goes hungry
a brotherly hug, that we live in peace
That wars be ended and poverty too
That we find happiness among so much sorrow
That light enlighten lost souls,
And a better future




Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Better Man | Playing For Change featuring Keb' Mo'


'Should you notice me singing to myself (which I often do) as I amble through the Market, the chances are pretty good that this is what I am singing ...




I challenge you to try to be "Down" with this song on your Heart! [loving smile]

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sanctuary



Physical necessities insist on attention … but they can be negotiated with. All in the cause of prolonging the playing out of my Mind’s morning exercise. Something akin to Watching an altogether engaging Movie that is filled with distinct Elements ... all having meaning, significance, and relevance to my Life Experience.


For these Elements are all, indeed, bits and pieces of my accumulation of those Aspects of life that have been allowed, by my election, to be part of my personal, individual Awareness. Persons of particular import to me … women and men with even the briefest of influence … celebrities who have nudged a bit of space into my sensibilities (this morning found Steve Martin making a cameo appearance. Top shelf Talent free of any requirement of Royalties or Compensation. How cool is that?!)

Is it any wonder that, from my earliest of recollection, I have resisted the termination of a night’s sleep … in response to the rude demands of a new day … a whole new set of “input” to be processed (under the pressure of unsympathetic circumstances and players.) Be it School, Work, or simply daily interaction with the Stuff of ordinary life, my right-lobe/image–oriented and spatially inclined brain has been confronted with a world that unfolds in accordance with a left-lobe/data, and impulse driven tempo.

The result is that I know, from my first awakening that I am in for another day of frustrated attempts at coping with an insensitive world’s expectations and demands. And my only hope for any opportunity, to gain a safe place to sort it all out, and make some coherent sense of it all … to have some “processing time” … my only respite from the outer-world’s treadmill pace … will be in the sanctuary of my wonderful Chamber of peaceful contemplation ...

my Dreams.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Louis Armstrong - what a wonderful world

It has been a while since we enjoyed a Moment made sacred by the Spirit and Message of this Heavenly Gift.

I feel like it ... Now ...



I love You Aims!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One Picture



One Picture that illustrates all of One's inner sense of Self, Life, and Experience ...

This is mine ...




Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910). The Fog Warning, 1885. Oil on canvas. 76.83 x 123.19 cm (30 1/4 x 48 1/2 in.). Otis Norcross Fund, 1894.
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Saturday, June 25, 2011

We laughed!



We laughed!


‘Twas an easy, natural, and quite unrestrained laughter of mutual sharing and agreement.

There was no joke, story, or rational instigator of our gaiety. I do recall the tattered remains of curtains fluttering from glassless windows in that long-abandoned factory across the waterway. Though neither of us spoke of them, we seemed to silently agree that those threadbare flags from yesteryear were mocking us and toying with our Moment. And that was reason enough for us to join in the frivolity offered.

There we were … sitting at one of those ubiquitous patio tables with its requisite umbrella touting some unremembered brand of beverage ... under a crystalline-clear sky that reached to Forever. On an outing whose whose hilarity was pre-ordained by its beginning with the ill-conceived attempt at concealing all 6 feet 2 inches of the "Rogue Yank" (Me) in the back seat of a small compact car; under a blanket. (Did I mention the delightfully warm July day?) What a hoot!

The al fresco setting created from what had been the roof of an old church, now reborn as a trendy restaurant cum bistro, was our lovely discovery for lunch. Our view was of an industrial waterway flanked by yet-unrecycled warehouses and/or factories. I am sure that the starry-eyed developers would have had us see the transplanted images of the Thames/Siene/Danube (you get the idea.) [smile] And we were blessed with a delicious breeze that mitigated the Summer warmth ... and provided the energy for the aforementioned curtains' display.


Then there, there was that abandoned relic of a structure with its empty windows … empty, save those tongue-wagging old curtains. We took it all in … took each other in … and, suddenly; it was all so wonderfully grand! Ahhh!

I know no other instance of such unbridled and pure joy as those celebrated with her. Trust, respect, affection, and appreciation were ours … beyond measure. There, in the beauty of that timeless, other-worldly Moment, we knew unfettered freedom and ecstasy in a Comfort and Bliss borne of honest and pure adoration. It was … and will forever remain … heavenly.

I offer my heartfelt “Thank You!” to the Giver, of all that is good and perfect, for that marvelous Gift. It remains, these twenty-three years later, still as fresh and vitally new as it was then.

Oh! How sweet … the Laughter!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Eternity ... Heaven & Hell



Eternity
(n.)
Infinite duration, without beginning in the past or end in the future
(Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary [1913])


“Do you believe” I could ask, “in Eternity?” And I have a fair sense of confidence that I would receive an affirmative response from the majority of whomever I offer the question. So, neither beginning nor end … yep! That is how I know it to be myself.

Only makes the most rudimentary of sense that I celebrate this moment, in our shared Eternity, with you. This is our Heaven, if we so elect. Heaven being the Reality of living in the Presense of, and willingly choosing the direction of that loving Creator of all that has ever been … and will ever be. ‘Tis certain that Hell would be opting to live this moment in the elected absence of the influence and care of the “I Am.”

So, my Precious reader, I thank you for your heavenly Presence … here, in our Eternal Moment.

I love You! (Another 'Heavenly choice.") [smile]


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Pamela Murphy ... a Marvelous Being

Pamela Murphy, widow of WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, died peacefully at her home on April 8, 2010. She was the widow of the most decorated WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, and established her own distinctive 35-year career working as a patient liaison at the Sepulveda Veterans Administration hospital, treating every veteran who visited the facility as if they were a VIP.

Any soldier or Marine who came into the hospital got the same special treatment from her. She would walk the hallways with her clipboard in hand making sure her boys got to see the specialist they needed.

If they didn't, watch out. Her boys weren't Medal of Honor recipients or movie stars like Audie, but that didn't matter to Pam. They had served their country. That was good enough for her. She never called a veteran by his first name. It was always "Mister." Respect came with the job.

"Nobody could cut through VA red tape faster than Mrs. Murphy," said veteran Stephen Sherman, speaking for thousands of veterans she befriended over the years. "Many times I watched her march a veteran who had been waiting more than an hour right into the doctor's office. She was even reprimanded a few times, but it didn't matter to Mrs. Murphy. "Only her boys mattered. She was our angel."

Audie Murphy died broke in a plane crash in 1971, squandering millions of dollars on gambling, bad investments, and yes, other women. "Even with the adultery and desertion at the end, he always remained my hero," Pam told me.

She went from a comfortable ranch-style home in Van Nuys where she raised two sons to a small apartment - taking a clerk's job at the nearby VA to support herself and start paying off her faded movie star husband's debts. At first, no one knew who she was. Soon, though, word spread through the VA that the nice woman with the clipboard was Audie Murphy's widow. It was like saying General Patton had just walked in the front door. Men with tears in their eyes walked up to her and gave her a hug.

"Thank you," they said, over and over.

The first couple of years, I think the hugs were more for Audie's memory as a war hero. The last 30 years, they were for Pam.

One year I asked her to be the focus of a Veteran's Day column for all the work she had done. Pam just shook her head no. "Honor them, not me," she said, pointing to a group of veterans down the hallway. "They're the ones who deserve it." The vets disagreed. Mrs. Murphy deserved the accolades, they said.

Incredibly, in 2002, Pam's job was going to be eliminated in budget cuts. She was considered "excess staff." "I don't think helping cut down on veterans' complaints and showing them the respect they deserve, should be considered excess staff," she told me. Neither did the veterans. They went ballistic, holding a rally for her outside the VA gates. Pretty soon, word came down from the top of the VA. Pam Murphy was no longer considered "excess staff."

She remained working full time at the VA until 2007 when she was 87.

"The last time she was here was a couple of years ago for the conference we had for homeless veterans," said Becky James, coordinator of the VA's Veterans History Project. Pam wanted to see if there was anything she could do to help some more of her boys. Pam Murphy was 90 when she died last week. What a lady.


Dennis McCarthy, Los Angeles Times on April 15, 2010 ~




Medal of Honor

Distinguished Service Cross


Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster)

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star (with oak leaf cluster and Valor device)

Purple Heart (with two oak leaf clusters)

U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal

U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal

Presidential Unit Citation (with First Oak Leaf Cluster)

American Campaign Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France))

World War II Victory Medal

Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany Clasp)

Armed Forces Reserve Medal

French Fouragère in Colors of the Croix de guerre

French Legion of Honor - Grade of Chevalier

French Croix de guerre (with Silver Star)

French Croix de guerre (with Palm)

Medal of Liberated France

Belgian Croix de guerre (with 1940 Palm)

The Combat Infantry Badge



I cannot help but arrive at my own personal conclusion, my Dear Reader …

It seems to me that this Dear Lady’s being who she was … outweighed all of the accumulated awards, bestowed upon her husband, for all of his doing, of all that he did.

I am blessed to know, and have, in the past known, a few, very heroic, noble, and brave Individuals who fight daily battles with courage and effort equal to that of the most celebrated and decorated of Warriors. They will never receive any medals ... and, alas, they rarely enjoy even the most elementary of acknowledgement or notice.

Yet, it is my sincere conviction that they are crowned with a glory that surpasses the most bejeweled of crowns. They can face themselves and Eternity with the firm and solid confidence that they have given all that they had at their command for the highest and noblest of callings. They have given, and give, themselves, to Being all that they can Be. I salute them!


Pamela Murphy's story is yet another instance of One’s Being all that One can Be … having far more eternal merit than all of the most celebrated of Doings.

But, then again, that is merely my own perspective.

Lovingly,
Your constant Friend and humblest of Servants,
John-Michael



My sincere "Thank You" to Carole for sharing this lovely story with me.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

OK, I’ll Tell You



You have repeatedly asked (countless times over many years [usually silently]) “Why do you do that? Why do you insert yourself into the lives, circumstances, and private space of total strangers?” OK… I’ll tell you. It is because I have been alone for most of my life and I see your aloneness.

Yes, you and I have been surrounded by friends, colleagues, family, fellow worshipers, and companions, both passing and lasting. Yet we have been alone in our most intimate concerns, fears, doubts, wonderings, and apprehensions. I see you, when you are in the company of others who defer to your charisma; acquiesce to your projected confidence; still themselves to hear your voice; encourage your humor so that they can laugh, safely out of the limelight of prominence. And my heart hears the beat of your heart that is pounding out a message of ‘S.O.S.’ as it struggles with an isolation that is completely alien to the awareness of all about you.

And I recall, from my own storehouse of accumulated pain, the need that you have for an answer to your spoken and unspoken supplications to Life, as you have sought some word of comfort; some note of acknowledgement that Life is aware that you are struggling. “Here I am” I offer “You are heard … Life is with you … You are never alone … You are forever loved.”

This is my mission; my quest; my calling; to let you know that life knows you; hears you; is responding to you; has help, instruction, and encouragement for you. This I allow Life to use me to do … for you.

When I see your name in my address book; when I see your eyes in a crowd; when I see you across a busy restaurant; when I pass you in the market; in all of my life’s moments I am sensitive to you and available for you. I am yours … because I chose to give myself to you, long before we ever knew of each other. Our actual meeting was but a simple detail that I entrusted to Life. And here we are … in this moment… neither of us ever again alone. If we but accept the gift that is ‘Us.’ (“Thank You Life”)


So, perhaps, now you can be a bit more comfortable with this “Us” thing. I truly hope so. To that end, I remain, as always, your constant Friend and Servant,

John-Michael
31 January 2006


My Dialect

When I speak … I speak in the dialect of my Interlocutor.
When I write … I write in the dialect of my Soul.

The two are slowly ... tediously ... becoming one;
That I may know ... and be known.



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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Portrayals

This time, I have poured myself a tall glass of a very nice (though quite inexpensive [notice the avoidance of the word “cheap”]) wine as a “lubricant to writing.” I say “this time” because many have been the previous times that I have wanted to speak of this matter with you, Dear Reader. But it is just so “unmanly” … this whole subject.

In fact, it has occurred to me, for the very first time, this evening, that it smacks of Nana (God rest her Soul) calling up the stairs to her friend and long-term tenant, “Come on down. Our Programs are starting.” (The programs in question, being the daily, afternoon “Soaps.”) This was in the day of television’s early introduction to our lives, and few had one. So Nana would invite her friend to come down from her apartment to share in the experience of watching actors portray lives and circumstances that Nana would never … and I do mean NEVER! … participate in herself. In fact, would not want anyone to know that she had even the most remote interest in such goings on.

Where I feel that having this chat, with you here, in print, is “unmanly” … Nana would have considered her interest in (and, heaven forbid, enthusiastic involvement in watching) such “common” theatrics as unladylike (never allowed, under ANY circumstance), and perhaps even un-Christian (which could never be countenanced!) But I am brushing away my reservations because I want to share this element of myself with someone whom I have comfortable trust in. And let’s face it, if I can’t trust someone who is willing to wade through my verbal excesses, who can I trust?! [appreciative smile]

You see the thing is all about giving myself over to a portrayal. Yes … a portrayal! Every week I look forward to Saturday night (with repeats on Sunday night) so that I can surrender to the portrayal of romance, intimacy, friendship, conviviality, human exchange, and altogether very unvarnished and real relationships. All of this packaged and presented on PBS under the name of “As Time Goes By.”

Each week’s offering of this glorious presentation leaves me chuckling at human foibles, caring tenderness, blunders, forgiveness, acceptance, change, tradition, and on and on with the list of aspects of people loving, living with, and engaging other people. And I laugh, and very often cry. Tears of understanding, joy, empathy, longing, loss, emptiness, and yearnings without hope. All because the program (oops, there is Nana’s word!) portrays so eloquently and with such delicate honesty, all that I have always longed for … never had … and know will never be.

I would not presume to assign any definitions to Nana’s motivations for her enthusiasm for her programs any more than I would be so arrogant as to think myself qualified to explain the boxes of “romance novels” in the garage of one who is an avowed anti-intimacy devotee. (Something that I noticed [with considerable interest] as I visited that person, some years ago.) But I do “discuss” my passion for this presentation of all that I most fervently long for, with myself, each week.

I have a healthy understanding of the life-choices that I have made, and their natural consequences. I do not bemoan my state. I do, in fact respect the legitimacy of my circumstances, and my prospects. And, with equal respect, I appreciate all of the innate desires, appetites, inclinations, and proclivities that are a natural and legitimate part of who I am.


Thusly, I permit myself the weekly Gift of indulgence in “My Program.” Additionally, I invite you, my patient Friend, to give yourself the genuine treat of delightful enjoyment offered through excellent acting performed by outstanding artists (including, but not limited to Dame Judi Dench) on your PBS station (or on BBC, if available.)

Consider this my call up the ‘stairs’ that separate us, “Come on down. Our Programs are starting.”

Lovingly …


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Words



Words! Too many of not the right ones.


Therein lies the difficulty. A debilitating insufficiency of the ‘right’ words. Not that I don’t know a fair quantity of words … but I am dismally frustrated by my ineptitude in discovering and implementing the ‘right’ … no, not the ‘right,’ (that’s too easy) … the PERFECT; yes, the absolutely perfect words to convey all of the scope and dimension of what I am sensing. That is what I am in search of. I want to use the very fewest, of the most perfect, words to clearly communicate the full depth and breadth of what I want understood between us. But, alas, I am reduced to a fumbling, awkward, semi-incompetent, in that quest.

I have a precious Friend in Greece (Athens, in fact) who holds a particularly unique place in my heart. I have made several clumsy attempts at communicating the nature of that place to her. I have used the words “romantic,” and “intimate,” in those attempts, hoping that she would respond with a request for some clarification of my thoughts … thereby (in my hopes) allowing me to (in the ensuing dialogue) develop some better means of illuminating what I feel as opposed to what is initially (in today’s vernacular) implied by those terms.

I want her to know that, with me, “romantic” encompasses my perception of all that I see and know around me. I am, in the truest sense, and at my temperamental core, a Romantic/Idealist. So, when I speak of sharing my most intimate, natural, and instinctive awareness of life … I am speaking of sharing my romantic and idealized view. I see, and know, life in romantic terms. All of life. Every element of life. This is my natural state.

Not that I do not have a grasp and understanding of al that is pragmatic and factually based. I am exceedingly aware and respectful of all that the world around me knows as “reality.” The world’s processing of and relationship to life’s circumstances and elements I equate with the PC (personal computer), left-brain, and majority dominant Microsoft operating system view … data-based and driven. I am equipped (by my loving Creator) with the minority “operating system.” My right-brain, Mac/Apple, spacial/image oriented relationship with life is what I live with.

My daily relationship with every element of my world (including each Individual and Circumstance that I encounter) is one of eternal and infinite significance. I, quite naturally, and comfortably, perceive everyone and everything through a “lens” that translates that Moment’s encounter in terms of its possibilities and potentials for a more beautiful, soul-satisfying, and eternally-lasting effect. This is my norm … my automatic, “default setting.”

When I discovered someone who, while very frugal with expression and the use of words, conveys a sense of richness of awareness, depth of character, sensitivity, and tenderness, I was jubilant. Someone who answered a question with a drawing … and in that drawing revealed an intricacy of emotion and expression that surpassed volumes of verbiage. As is my nature, I responded with my customary enthusiasm and passion. Uh-Oh! The “P” word! Yes, I know that our world has relegated passion to a narrow niche of application. But not me! I live all of my life with passion.

While many are intent on crossing life’s pond without making any ripples or disturbing anything along the shore: to arrive at the other shore having made no “waves” … I want to stir the waters. I intend to leave a wake behind my life’s little boat … and everyone in that wake better, perhaps happier, maybe even more hopeful and loving for having been “splashed on” by my passing. The “other shore” is not my focus. That is where the trip ends and all opportunity ceases. Oh no! My interest is in making every lily-pad, along the shore, bob joyously, and wave their blossoms in exuberant appreciation of the Moment. So, Dear Reader, as you may have surmised, my passion level probably exceeds the level of my proficiency in communicating. [smile]

Hence, when I tell this particular Friend that I recognize her as a Romantic Intimate, I am feebly trying to say that I know her as someone with whom I can celebrate a view and perception of life in the romantic terms that I so-uniquely know. And we can enjoy a shared vulnerability to the intimacies of an unguarded and free appreciation of the eternal, ethereal, and transcendent qualities in what we encounter in our Friendship’s journey.

Now! Do you see what I mean when I speak of the insufficiency of ‘right’ words that I am vexed by?! Look at how many of them (words) it has taken for me to try to convey this seemingly-simple concept! How I do long for some linguistic tools that will enable me to more efficiently and comfortably peak my Soul’s desired messages. I know … I know … patience! But that is so hard to come by when you are afraid that what you have spoken could be totally misinterpreted.

I thank you, my Dear and oh-so-patient Reader, for your tolerance in indulging me this soul-venting. I am truly grateful for your kind attentions.

Lovingly …

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Astor's First Outing



Astor (just two days old) and his Mom (Cara) are venturing out into the World for the first time. (Notice the patience with which Cara introduces Astor to the new, somewhat confusing, phenomenon of Fences and Gates. [smile])


video

video

My heartfelt "Thank You!" to Steven and Mary (my sweet Brother and his wonderful Wife) for sharing this magical moment with me. I love youse guys!


Sunday, April 03, 2011

"No hurt survives"



One of the nice things that I do for myself is to subscribe to daily installments from "STORYPEOPLE." I heartily recommend this little oasis of pleasure to You. I am particularly touched by this little Gem ...



"No hurt survives for long without our
help, she said & then she kissed me &
sent me out to play again for
the rest of my life."





Lovingly ...


Friday, April 01, 2011

Stan


I had been attempting to engage life for twenty-one years. Stan had been in the game for thirty-six. We met when the firm that he had been with for an appreciable number of years hired me. He was obviously well liked and respected by his colleagues, and comfortable with who he was as an Individual. He was happy with his life. I had never known happiness with life … but sorely yearned for it. He had my attention.


As I entered this new world, I carried with me a bundle of frustrations, disappointments, doubts, and fears accumulated in a world governed by the constructs of Fundamentalist, Evangelical, Protestant religion and a Family that was staunchly locked into a pattern that disallowed any expression of emotion or affection … and, in fact, had a distrust of those who were inclined to display any such thing. A rather unhappy existence for One who is, by nature, an Idealist/Romantic. So I was wide open for an example of someone living a life that complimented my Spirit’s core desires.

And there was this Guy! Stanley H. Menendez. A man who was exuberantly engaged in living life. A man who was unabashed in his expression of adoration for his wife and family. Someone who did not live under the yoke of “know your place and stay in it” that was the credo of all of my previous upbringing and experience. This guy quietly, and in a dignified way, projected Joy in living … passion for his family … and genuine regard and respect for everyone who he engaged in his daily walk. When Stan spoke with you, you had his total and complete attention … you knew worth and value.

I tell you, my Dear Reader, about this extraordinary fellow, because he is celebrating,
this month, his 80th anniversary of life . And, though I am unable to be in attendance at the celebratory luncheon that his daughters have been so gracious and kind to invite me to, I could not pass up this opportunity to tell my little World about this wonderful Man. I hope, in my so-doing, that I can encourage all of us to be mindful, yet again, of the impact, and timeless significance, that we (most-often unknowingly) make on the hearts, minds, and yes, even the lives, of those who are touched by us as we go about our daily lives. Stan is still … all these years later … a Source of encouragement and joy in my life.

I am so blessed to have, as a permanent part of my life and world, a rare few Treasures like Stanley H. Menendez. Proof, yet again, that I am watched over by a loving and generous Creator.

Happiest of Birthdays to you, Stan … my Dear Friend. I love you.


Friday, February 18, 2011

If you've missed me,
there's no need for dread.

I'm really quite fine,
it's the computer that's dead.



(My thanks to Lime for posting this.)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Hope



I am well-acquainted with coping ...
hoping, on the other hand, is foreign to my familiarity.

Hence, at this moment in my life-journey ...
with this Alien, Hope,
standing at the threshold of my Tomorrows ...
I am ill-equipped to handle my emotions.

I have no casual or customary repertoire
of mind-set or behaviors to rest in.

This is unexplored terrain for me.

My sleep is sporadic and irregular ...
and my wakening hours are visited with all manner
of jumbled, unordered thoughts.

Yet ... I like it!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Awareness


So, My Dear Reader, here we are. The opening pages of a new chapter … in a book that has just closed the preceding chapters. Two thirds of the way through what we can reasonably expect to be our individual contribution to Life’s ongoing story. Mom was the last of the forgoing generation … and I (as the eldest of the next) stand in line for the present in succession to the role of most senior of our family.


There is an uncertainty to this position. Prior to Mom’s passing, last Tuesday (the 4th of January), there was an unrecognized barrier between me and the threshold of mortality. Even after Dad passed, in March of 2006, Mom’s presence kept me in the role of one of ‘the kids.’ That is now gone.

Though I was never before aware of it, I rested in the unacknowledged ‘safety’ of my parents as a natural buffer separating me from the altogether usual and natural happening of my own physical impermanence. The absence of that unconscious buffer has brought an unexpected set of neither unpleasant, nor uncomfortable, feelings and sensations.

Though no one will say it, I am now in the position of the “next in line” to go. My sister, Linda, at two years younger; my brothers, Steven, at eight years, and Tracy, seventeen years my junior, are logically expected to survive me. I am the “lead domino.” [silly grin] And I am aware of a whole new sense about life. I am actually engaged in a rather exhilarating moment. I feel really, really good. How’s that for weird? I know! Me too!

I don’t share this for any meaningful or purposeful reason … just to do as I have always tried to do … remain completely open and vulnerable to you, Dear Friend, for whatever benefit there may be in it for you.

I am working on a several bits of reflection that I will post when I have digested their individual ideas sufficiently to regurgitate them here. [smile]

‘Til then, I send my heart’s truest affection for You, Dear One, and thank you for your kind and generous companionship in my life. I do, truly, love You.
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