Poem: Momentarily


Wind touches my face

Sun gently pushes my back

Sadness seeps away

 

Note: To rid ourselves of today’s sadness we must seek a moment here and there: in nature, with family and friends, with animals, within transcendence, inside ourselves, creating, in silence…however. Blessed be.

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Poem: Re-Human


How to be open

when life is caving in

or to give

when so much

is taken

The fires are lit

and souls are drowning

the earth is folding in

on itself

trying to get away

Transcendence

left at the

footprints

of Gods

who have abandoned

We are now

left alone

to swirl in our own

chaos

or to beg

for them to create us

again

 

Drifting


Today struck me as a day to reach back and reach forward. So I sent out some emails to folks I have lost along the way: partly on purpose, partly because life just happens. Feeling disconnected might do that to us I suppose…make us want to see who is still out there; those that were a part of our lives in the past. It’s interesting to see if they still care at all, how they are and what they are up to and if the connection still lingers. Sometimes the world can seem an insulated place.

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And one email was sent for future connections: to put a feeler out to see about a Friend’s Meeting at a Quaker Meeting house not far from where I live. I’ve attended them before and would like to check it out. Who knows if it still exists–they are often small gatherings in out-of-the-way places. So rather than go, I figured I would see if I could find anything out first.

Moving into my second year in this new place, I still feel alienated in many ways. While many things are good in my life (like the wonderful relationship with my Mother), there are other things that feel hollow. I’ve heard repeatedly from folks that this area is a hard place to feel a sense of community or to make friends, but I don’t completely blame the area. It’s my mental space too.

The older I get, the more introspective I become and the harder it is for me to find my tribe. Even one friend can be a challenge. Sometimes the confines of my four walls are a space that give me a comfort that can be hard to replace with other kinds of satisfactions. Being home is sacred, comforting, safe and peaceful. But I know the danger in being lulled into never venturing out.

So, I push myself to reach out: to the past (although it took dropping some walls on my part) and to the future which means letting go of some fear of not fitting in, to see if this sense of drifting I feel at times can settle down.

The Good Battle


There are certain moments in life where we are given a gift that sets us free. News that lifts us high and helps us to remember life is good and beautiful. Lately I have been given many of these moments and for them I am truly grateful.

It is so easy, with our fast paced, whirlwind lives, to take life for granted. To forget our connection to family and friends. We press on so hard into our daily tasks that we may not stop to look around us to see the wonders that abound. They are all around if we just take a second to see them.

Feeling compelled by life to have material wealth, we sometimes lose spiritual well-being. We take jobs that make us unhappy or keep people near us that really prove to have negative energy.

Because I am getting older and finally see the wisdom in serenity rather than money, my choices from now on will be very different.
This is my promise to myself.

As my Mother heals, I reflect on my good fortune to be able to be near her and help get her stronger. It is a blessing that such an awful thing can actually turn out to be something wonderful because it has bonded us so closely together. She is an amazing woman and together we are invincible.

And I also got a new lease on life today, which I will not take for granted. I’m grateful because I know that not everyone is as lucky as I am. I wish it could be so for all whom I love. But together we fight the good battle, and we’ll win anyway.

Because in the end, our spirits will all collide and meet somewhere someday anyway…….

The Real Deal


I feel I’ve always been pretty good at telling what’s the real deal. Of course this can refer to many things in life: food, merchandise (like diamonds–Marilyn would especially want to note), maybe love even (admittedly I’ve not been good at this). But in this case I’m talking about people. Are the people we meet, either at work, in social situations, on the street simply real?


You might wonder what I mean by this I suppose. Like, get real dude. It just seems the older I get, the more superficial people seem to me. Or at least, the less they are interested in things that involve anything that may mean thinking too hard, caring in a big way or really, really standing up for what you believe in.

It’s just easier to go to work, talk about your nails or hair, pretend that you’re friends with the person standing next to you, casually mention the horrors of the world, then hop in the fancy car and go home like nothing is happening. Like nothing is real. Like the horrors are really happening. Or your friends may not be really suffering, or maybe someone who isn’t your friend, just a co-worker, might need something from you more than a passing smirk.


No, it’s all about our own little microcosm. Our little floating bubbles that encase us and keep us separate but make it appear as though we’re able to see each other. But it’s just an illusion.

And in many ways I’m just as guilty. Oh I cry when I hear the news, but I don’t do anything about it. I just drive back and forth to work wishing I could do more. But I don’t. Not yet anyway. Swearing I will someday…when I can. At least I care I say to myself…it’s more than some. Does that make me more real?


When I’m with people, near people in real pain though, I do react. That much I can say. I can never sit by and just ignore it. And things like fingernails and doing my hair are not important to me anymore (well, they never were). It’s OK that they are to some, but there has to be more. Our worlds have to connect with people who have nothing.

So who is the real deal these days? Let’s get real here. Open our eyes to the real world. The war, the famine, the terror, the rape, the killing, the fires, the homeless, the poor, the racial disparity… And even the people close to us in true pain.

Let’s not pretend. Even while we live our comfortable lives, keep a piece of discomfort in our hearts to keep us real.

I’m Sorry


“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”…a very old line adapted from a book from the 70’s, “Love Story” by Erich Segal. I was thinking about this ‘truism’ today and found that I disagreed wholeheartedly and realized that I did since the 70’s. It always felt like a false statement to me somehow, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve begun to figure out why.

If we are human we are certainly going to err: within our friendships, our relationships with co-workers, children, spouses and even the casual encounter. An unintended comment or even a purposeful one in the heat of an argument can cause deep pain in someone else, someone who we may or may not love.

But as a human, it’s my belief that we should try as hard as we can not to cause pain, physically or otherwise. It happens though–certainly I have many times with words. I’ve been quick with these words when I’ve felt my pain has been deep and have justified saying things that may have made sense to me but clearly hurt the other person.

With time, I usually try to say I’m sorry, but often hit against walls. Because love or caring means you do have to say you’re sorry.

Sorry only works when two people engage in an act together though. The other half of sorry is forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness may be “given” to someone unknowingly, as in the case of an estranged parent or sibling. And this kind of forgiveness we may be doing for ourselves.

But forgiveness when attached on the other end of sorry are like the fitting of a key into a lock that opens worlds of possibilities. If there had been love, and each person truly feel their part in this exchange, then a deeper connection is forged. I know because I have experienced it. You have gone through a war together and come out stronger, scars and all.

When the opposite happens and one gives and the other turns away, this then puts an end to hope and continuing the human connection. More often than not, I find this is the case–that most cannot or do not want to forgive or say they are sorry. Maybe they feel they are not responsible in any way and aren’t willing to give even a little for the sake of peace.

Or maybe it’s simply that people are just stuck–stuck in the muck of their lives and don’t have the energy, time or inclination to do something bigger because it takes too much energy. I really don’t know, but it always saddens me each time I see or experience it. Putting out the gesture of peace and having it denied seems somehow inhumane in the true sense of the word.

It saddens me because it reflects a greater truth about our world. That we as humans just can’t say we’re sorry or forgive one another on a global level either. Our pride, ego and ethnocentrism keeps us from simply admitting that maybe we too may have done something wrong and that for the greater good, we just need to let go as ethnic groups, countries and tribes.

The ability to complete the sorry/forgiveness cycle globally seems imperative to us as a human race in the long run. And while for me as an individual I know I’ve lost people along the way I continue to try.  For the ones I’ve managed to keep because we’ve said we we’re sorry and forgave each other, I am extremely grateful. And for the rest, I can only hope someday they see that ultimately saying sorry and forgiving is really what the world needs for our interconnected futures.

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Poem: Hard To Believe


 

 

It’s hard to believe

As I pass by the serenity of mountains

And sitting, silent tractors freshly quiet from haying

With twin tower silos, erect and watching  in the distance

On this peaceful New England day–

My neighbors mowing lawns

Or digging dirt, planting new leach fields

Fixing flooding basements

Preparing for years ahead–

It’s hard to believe

Walking my dogs

Along country roads

With windy twisting trees whispering overhead

On a sunny day with warmth on my face

The birds twittering their songs–

Or my children

All safe and sound with bellies full-

How can it be

That others suffer so?

Running from their homes and fearing freedom?

Gunshots and death fill the air

And their roads filled with bodies

Is it possible while we eat

That others have nothing?

The web that connects us

Vibrates as they move

Turning my balance to despair

The bombs they hear shake my soul

How do I give them my visions and life?

A young soldier dies his life barely begun

He gave them his life.

As we mow

As we plant

As we walk

As we eat

As we pass through every simple moment

Our quiet and simple lives

Just a connection away

A thin web

Reflections of us-

I can’t help but think

They don’t have what all humans are entitled:

Peace