Dear Gratitude,

I am sorry we keep missing each other. You call and I miss the ring, or I call you back and well, maybe I don’t wait long enough for you pick up.

I am sorry.

I really want to hear you, and honestly, let you know I’m feeling remiss if I let you down. What’s that? Thanks for not holding it against me. We’re good.

I appreciate how quiet you are, like an old man watching his students at the park, swing, miss, make mistakes. And when they get frustrated and come over to you, you just smile and then they get it….

Or maybe you are the serene grandma in the kitchen, the one with flour all over the walls and stove, someone yelling in the background, and pans clanging, and for some reason it brings you more joy when the kitchen fills up with more people and their opinion on how to make the perfect stuffing…..

But I really want to see you more often than just at holidays and the random wedding. Why can’t we see each other every day? What gets in the way that’s so important that we forget each other? It’s ridiculous, right? I wouldn’t forget my child at the supermarket, or forget to go to work, or forget to put my pants on before I leave the house….. (uh, never mind that last example.) You see what I mean. You are so important to me, but somehow, I let weeks go by without reaching out, feeling you in my heart or just saying hello.

It’s been a week since I started writing this letter to you. In this time, I have realized, this letter, although sincerely felt, was not necessary, because you are right here, next to me. You have been here the whole time. I feel foolish and immature for not having recognized you in all your garb and disguises. When I’m sad and I see that is temporary. When I’m angry over an injustice, you pose as the possibility that we can do better. When I’m afraid, you comfort me as I remember I’m not alone. Gratitude, you are my constant companion. I am remiss for thinking you and I were ever apart.

Thank you. ūüôā

What Destroys the Truth?

This message was written on a note in a bottle found washed ashore:

Self-loathing kills all you manifest that is good and beautiful!

Well that’s a heavy admonishment. For one to believe it, one would be challenged to accept the possibility that we actually can and do manifest the beautiful, goodness, and all this things, acts and connections the statement implies. Are you one who scoffs at that and mumbles “B..sh.t! I make [poop]! That’s my gift.”

What if, despite your best efforts toward the contrary, you made a child giggle, or an old lady blush, or made your coach proud when you didn’t know he was looking? If you inspire anything similar to those gems, even once, then it is possible, and the opposite premise is true: You may be capable of manifesting the good and the beautiful.

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So what obligation do we have, as humans, ordinary people, trying to get by in the world, to preserve these so- called good and beautiful manifestations? Why should we care about these aberrations of fact that don’t fit with our worldview, these cognitive dissonance warps in our mind-body field of experience? Two reasons to care:

  1. The message “I only make poop” makes you sick, because you don’t like being lied to.
  2. Making yourself sick is a waste of time and energy.

While cognitive dissonance is not considered a mental illness, it can be argued that liing to one’s self or acts of violence such as self hatred might signal an imbalance in one’s health. 

Something called consensus reality is the generally accepted perception of the way things are. When someone experiences reality different from that, some people suffer psychosis from confusion or social rejection of their reality.  There are a few however who figure out the way they see a truth is not seen by a dominant culture.  They keep their heads and hearts intact, and realize, “Oh, they can’t see what I do. Better work on that.” So Albert Einstein, St Teresa of Avila, Henry David Thoreau, and Steven Hawking got to work.

But not all of us have the balance and fortitude to push through social norms. Social norms exist for stability to help a group of a few hundred thousand people get along. Meanwhile, innovation and seeing things a little differently helps keep it from becoming deathly boring. So let’s get back to that worldview. What was it again? “I don’t manifest the beautiful. I’m nothing special. I don’t do good.”

What if you are wrong? What if the social norms, meant to ensure the train comes in on time and kids do their homework, went awry? What if self-loathing has become so commonplace in your mind, the habit of self doubt is the norm in your internal society? To challenge it takes some courage, but to actually believe different than the norm may take a little crazy to punch through the habitual belief.  In other words, “I’m not good enough” might be fake news. We need to find that channel, tune into the message that isn’t the lie, and then go out there and prove the difficult premise: that You are, that We are, beings of light, of love, of generosity and exist without fear.

Celebrating Awe

We found a letter recently that had these two lines:

“Faith is about going forward even if it scary.

Gratitude is about appreciating that we can.”

Courage is another word for going foward in spite of fear. Faith is about going forward in the absence of belief. We develop belief on something, like experience, or being tod something over and over, and in some cases, people just need to decide what they believe so they can choose a direction and move on. When we are uncertain, many many of us stop in our tracks in indecision, so we are compelled to decide on what we believe to help us stay in motion.

What is moving forward then without a belief we are going in the wisest direction? Suspending our need to believe, we enter the unknown. We don’t “know” with our minds, we go forth void of certainty. We don’t have even the assumption of safety or reaching our goals. This sounds pretty scary. But we do this, we go forward with courage.

“Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to” – Miracle on 34th Street

Right in between suspending our belief and moving forward with courage, we pass through awe. Did you miss it? That’s okay. Moved by faith rather than belief, we still wish to get going. The need to keep moving is primoridal. We are do it.

The next time you challenge your belief, or change your mind, or discover you might be in love with someone, pause just for a moment before moving on, and experience Awe.

There is only now, there is only me, there is only you, there is only us, and there is only out there.

Mountains of JapanNow.

Here.

In space
and time.

Aware of this singularity, me becomes present.

And there is you.  You, in your singularity of experience, just now.  Just here.

Moments travel from one to the next and we touch others, the us of moments.  And we go forward in space and time to out there.

That is all.  The past is a construct of memory.  It does not exist.

Ideas of what will be are cast shadows.  The light is you.  And what gets in its way are hopes and fears and doubts, expectations and conjurings.  Without those, out there is bright, lit with our unending flame.  The moment, the here, the now, you and me, and love.  Love.

Love is the active present.  Anything other than love is the past or the future, which are only echos of the now.  Let every Now echo forth your choosing, your future memory of a past that no longer exists, but is a joy to recall into the present moment, with me, with you, with us, as we go forth into the out there.

.

 

Heading to the Far Side of the System

Some days, I sit and read the downloads NASA provided. One is titled “Silence Does Not Indicate Loss of Motion.” Yet, another one is titled, “Silence Equates to Just What You Hear”. I guess the good scientists thought I would forget how quiet this side of the solar system is, and perhaps intended for me to study the topic a little more….

The vacuum of space, beautiful as it is out here, provides lots of room to think. I was trained in several techniques for preoccupation with nothing and contemplation of the beautiful. I need to remember to write NASA a note: months in isolation tanks do not nearly prepare one for the quiet of a once bountfully filled heart.

I waste precious bandwidth quoting from my reading material, but instead want to convey I hear you. I heard you in the garden behind St. Francis. No words exchanged, silence still speaks.
The three degress of Kelvin are seeping in. An open heart means receptive for the happy as well as for the sad. The space, the fast expance between, leaves us to guessing which spin the hearts will take. Now, I respect the space you have put between us.

I think they knew solo flights would finally drive a human being insane. Good planning on the part of NASA…. I have a chamber on board that protects me from the absolute zero of deep space, and allows me to sleep. I wonder if I’ll dream. I wonder if I’ll be found.

End transmission.

Normal

So deep is the longing, to know we are with our village, our cave, our tribe. Speak with a friend without ridicule or fear of being ostracized. To know one can laugh at a joke or smile at a friend. To cry because someone died without fear… to mourn for the world, without worry that such connection is normal. If only there could be normal….

If only I could be normal, I could enter a room without fear that people judge for feeling others. If only we could be normal, if only everyone were kind, if only one could walk down the street at night and people would say good evening, and I would say good evening in return… I wish I were normal…..

I wish I were normal…I wish the thoughts in my head would not torture me and interfere with love. I wish a normal relationship with myself, like other people have…. others must go about their daily lives knowing all is good and right with the world, knowing nothing is wrong and all people and the planet are healthy and strong…. I wish I could be normal and know our world is perfect, all people are good and healthy and everything is fine. I wish I were normal….

I wish I were normal, no more torment, no more burdens of past wars forgot, no more messages of how I should be. No more trying to be good, no more striving to get a grip. If I were normal, I could fit in and get along… no more loneliness, no more being left out, no more fears to exchange like unpocketed coins in the clothing dryer of time.

I wish I were normal, and be the best human being I imagine everyone else is. I hope someday I will find them and not be alone any more.

Here there be bunnies

I don’t believe in evil.¬† It just wasn’t a part of my upbringing.¬† Simple as that.

As an adult, I came to understand the risks of being unaware of certain dangers. I’ve run into a pack of humans who put me in the hospital for a few days, been run over by a car that sped away, hit physically more than a few times, called names, and raped. Then there are just people you come across who don’t act unpleasantly in a physical way, but leave a mark. I’ve observed people who lie or deceive others, demonstrate an inordinate belief system of self importance, or otherwise consciously express the worthlessness of other beings. Sounds very sad. Still, my cosmology does not allow for an intelligence that feeds off the sadness, pain, or fear of others. So where does that put our humanity? Does our species just have that in us, that icky ribbon of trust breaking habits that will hang us eventually, until our species is strangled of all spiritual resource?

Does any of this scare you, or anger you? Does the unpleasantly listed above ring a bell, or do you identify yourself in that category of strangers that have acted out on others? Either way, we are all human – the kind people, the mean people, the people who are checked out from being affected by anything, and the broken hearted who were witnesses and did nothing – and we are all in. We all exist in this little world, this back meadow of a planet. Syria and Moscow and the mountains of Wyoming. Fiji and North Korea, Texas and California. This isn’t a letter about global climate change. This is a message about global heart change.

So, can it happen? Can we have that super-saturation point of enough is enough? Have we had enough of all the acts and thoughts and intentions that bring us all down? Are we good with saying yes to being kind, yes to seeing the other, yes to the human being we knew we could be, the one we hoped our parents would help us become?

It might be we just don’t need to put up with the unpleasantness we have allowed until now.

So next time someone does something unkind, violent, deceitful, call them on it. We are all in this together. No matter where we are in life, a kindness is a smile away.

A New Appreciation

I newly appreciate my propensity to deny the reality of a situation.  My little girl vision of love ever after is so deep, set into synaptic autopilot by a man who cared for me without end, is today challenged by the realities I have feared would come true Рthat we would forget how to love and be loved, that humanity would find herself lost on a barren rock, slimed with comfortable half-efforts and delusions that promises are enough.

There are parallel broken hearts all over the planet, in global politics and the culture of drug addiction.¬† The world as humanity makes it is imploding on itself.¬† Just like I can’t make the man I love to embrace me into his life, I can’t make a nation wake up and embrace its possibility.¬† This leap in juxtaposition you jest is invalid, but societies are just collections of communities of people who struggle with language and their past, doing the best they can to sort out a future…. Emphasis on “people”.¬† The ontology of the broken heart shall be recognized one day, and we will see that time does not heal all wounds, but only lets them fester when left to bleed unchecked….

The violence against ourselves is violence to all.  The love we withhold from others is a reflection of the love we withhold from ourselves. To the extent withholding love is a cruelty, we are, I am, accidentally taking out my disappointment on the whole.  Rolling into resentment is another expression of withholding love, and perhaps a quiet act giving rise to the violence already out of control.

Rather than slipping into that hell, which is only a thin veil away from heaven, I choose to recognize a new appreciation – the only healthy way out of this is to extend love even further, beyond the slick lonely stone. Maybe my caste net will hook onto some passing space ship, piloted by one who is also looking for someone to partner with, in appreciation.

Synchronicity, Oracles and Choice

A while back, I read what became one of five of my favorite books,¬†¬† The Holographic Universe by Robert Talbott.¬† I let my friend “Rob” borrow it, and, well, you know what happened to that…. Anyway, I think the author found a beautiful way to describe how we participate in this world, in this life, manifestation, how we co-create our existence and reality. It’s a science book, but one that won’t let us get lost in the denial that we are a part of something truly wonder-full.¬†¬† Fate doesn’t have the reigns, and neither do we.¬† There are potentials, possibilities and predispositions, but the fact that we can choose is a potent contender in determining what comes next.

It comes up over and over.¬†¬† “The Matrix”, Carl Jung’s cosmology, Chinese medicine, Philip Dick’s “The Minority Report” and “Gattaca”, Tarot cards and other oracles all recognize choice.¬† In John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, the discussion of “Thou mayest” is the only passage that became relevant to my young ears.¬† Dante’s Divine Comedy doesn’t belabor the point, but clearly a departure from the church in his day, he suggests ones journey through spiritual cleansing is partly up to the individual, not necessarily graced upon us alone.

My friend and I read our horoscopes regularly.¬† Sometimes I test it by reading my favorite source after the week is over, just to see.¬† Usually, it tells me about not only the week I just had, but the most significant portion of it.¬† The daily my friend reads is spot-on almost every single day.¬† ¬† I’m not advocating everyone should start consulting a reading.¬† What I’m suggesting is oracles are the result of thousands of years of people, from many cultures,
studying human dynamics and nature itself.  Through ups and downs, oracles can help us by predicting the tides and currents in the ocean called our life.  What we do with the information, or better stated, the attitude with which we chose to digest it, is ours alone to decide.

In Chinese medicine, the feng shui methods of aligning space with the location and person’s constitution includes a concept.¬† There are

  • the old (and really universal) methods of reading the currents,
  • a later method developed compass measurements, and
  • the third influence Chinese medicine recognizes is ren chi – energy from the heart.

Coming from decades of unexplained lifelong interruption, I can only say that the glimmers of insight that reminded me this life of remaining asleep might be a mistake, reminding me of the question “What if there is another way?”, came through and prevented me from taking my own life, inspired me to walk a different street, and lately, has given me the courage to believe in love where it appears to my minds eye none exists.¬† The oracles of horoscopes and cards or coins can only tell us what may be.¬† When we place energy on them enough to pay attention, circumstances tend to match, people pop up or that message comes in the mail.¬† It is our choice to pay attention that brings around the synchronicity.¬†¬† What we do with it… that alone is up to us.

Two lost loves

When Earth was new and young, and life played on her chest with its new emergence, there grew from her belly button two serpentine ribbons of light – one blue and green, cool and fluid like a mountain stream; the other magenta and fire, like lightning through heavy clouds.¬† The two tendrils danced and played with each other and wound in and out, interchangeably around mothers and their sucklings, within the patient legs of hunting lions and through the nostrils of herding gazelles.¬† Couples formed on Earth’s hip, mountain peaks they climbed using the ladder rungs these two energy sprites would weave for them.¬† Like a helix blanket, light from their hearts made more of these willow branches that draped around their eyes and shoulders as it entwined them.¬† Love was born on Her, and the innocent betrothed tethers of luminescence who inseminated it all suddenly became at risk of being lost forever.