Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring, Insistently!

"To anticipate, not the sunrise and the dawn merely, but, if possible, Nature herself." 
~ Henry David Thoreau

Very busy today doing "necessary things", having just quickly taken my 13-year-old dog out and back in 20 minutes ago, she suddenly became rather anxious, insistent, pacing the room.

"Do you need to go out again?" I asked, thinking she had more "business" to do.

And so out we went - she is mostly blind and partially deaf and must be taken out on a leash due to the retaining walls and steps in the yard. Slowly she made her way up the little slope and stopped, sniffing the air best she could (her sense of smell isn't what it once was either).

She paused a long while.

The birds sang.

And then down she plopped in the grass in the sunshine and decided that's where she wanted to be.

Apparently she DID have "business" outside. Perhaps we all do. It's called Spring.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Somewhere Over the Rainbow....

"Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high..." 
~ The Wizard of Oz

Independent of the lyrics, this is what is playing on the radio as I begin to write, essentially the lullaby of which it speaks.  What a quiet joy it is to heed the gentle flow of late night Classical music, especially in these times.

Perhaps if we begin to breathe and listen very closely, we might begin to realize that what we seek is not up high at all.  It is not far away.  It exists without the seeking.  The Rainbow is within.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tearing Up

"People will oppress each other—
    man against man, neighbor against neighbor.
The young will rise up against the old,
the nobody against the honored." 
~ Isaiah 3:5, New International Version

I didn't realize I could see it.  I noticed this morning.  The sign.  

We all noticed it of course, or at least those of us who noticed - though there really wasn't an opportunity for any of us to manage to talk about it.  Right here, in what (they say) is one of the top ten "best places to live" towns of our size (smallish, mostly) in America, here in semi-rural, attempting-to-be-suburban Oregon.  

One day, the neighbor down the street put up a sign.  Block letters.  Across the garage.  Two cars worth of width, double spaced (if one could double space a sign on a garage, perhaps one might call it single).  "WE MUST RESIST THIS PRESIDENT.", it said, I think in all capital letters.  I would need to look at the picture to check.  Yes, all capital letters.

I saw it when I got the mail - it's very close to our community mailbox.  I think perhaps I noticed something was up when an oversized, souped up red (was it red?) pickup truck drove by and deliberately slowed, like we sometimes slow down in our neighborhood to look at a house strung with lights.  

The guy in the truck didn't look particularly happy.

"I wonder how long it will be up."  I thought.  I had a feeling it wouldn't be.  

Sure enough.  I don't know when or how it happened.  But I sense that it did.  It doesn't look like the rain or the wind.  Had I known I could see it from my house, I would have captured both the "before" and the "after".

Torn.


I always forget I can now see houses out that window.  Or a couple of flags. 

That particular neighbor cut down a beautiful tree, a very healthy, wonderful tree I would have said was worth attempting to save (but often opportunistic tree cutters earning a profit on trees here in Oregon might tend to say otherwise - and they always have plenty of "reasons", not all of them good ones or actually true).  

I was so astonished that day, as if frozen, horrified actually, watching those vibrantly abundant limbs efficiently and methodically sliced, this rough cut sort of a man (kind of like an older version of the guy in the truck) so very casually shimmying up.  Jolting awake, I ran to get my phone with the camera because I wanted to remember the tree as it once was - but I mostly managed to capture how it wasn't.  Mostly too late.  People tend to think trees aren't actually "Alive".  Some of us tend to Know otherwise.  We honor their space and the gifts that they bring to us.
 


Torn.

On a day when I wasn't expecting it.

I'm moving soon.

Let's talk about this notion of "resist".  I totally "get" what people are talking about, but let's talk about why that's completely the wrong kind of an energy.  Let's talk about how "resistance" only energetically empowers that which you are pushing against, so that it pushes back.  In fact, it even creates it.  Is that what we all want?

Torn.

And it is utterly and completely the opposite direction of where we need to Be.  We need to Flow like a river and not "push up against" anything, really.  It is Flow that carries Real power.

I hear it all the time now.  Friends and family are no longer speaking.  Neighbor no longer talking to neighbor.  Rampant Facebook unfriends.

Torn never really solves anything.  Torn just makes matters worse.  And sometimes those things become buried, unresolved, so they can do more tearing later.  Torn unfolds exactly what it is. 

It just leads to more tearing.

Instead of tearing one another to bits, we need to be talking.  Talking does not imply agreeing.  It doesn't imply either being any less firm about the things one chooses to be firm about.  Talking does, however, have a tendency to reveal that the "sides" don't quite exist.  And those on the fence become apparent.

We need to be teaching - when there are opportunities to teach.  And we need to be learning - and there are always ways to learn. 
 
We need to be listening.  Listening does not always imply actually understanding, but it does tend to help.

Add forgiveness to the mix, and the tears begin to flow.  And suddenly you have Empathy.  There's another way to treat a neighbor, and it's in the Bible, too.

Oh no, I didn't claim it is going to be easy.  This sort of work rarely is.  Ask people like Immaculee Ilibagiza .  Or Archbishop Tutu.  But the alternative is worse.  (Ask people like Immaculee Ilibagiza.  Or Archbishop Tutu.)

"Persistence" instead of "resistance", that's the general idea.  Persistence leads to Peace.

Because there are Miracles.  Immaculee knows...so does the Archbishop.  So can We.

(Just in time...remembered as Whole.)


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Silhouette

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.” 
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I walked in where it was warm, and lingered a while.  Outside it was Beautiful - yet winter.

The walls were filled with photographs of summer.  Mountains and waterfalls, flowers and birds.

I happened to look up. 

Winter had added its own contribution, rivaling the rest.



Monday, January 2, 2017

Music, Interwoven

“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”~ Charles Darwin

Some weeks ago my main cable TV connection went out.  The wiring into the home, I had been told last year, was not up to the standards of the latest equipment, but it had managed to work for a long while.  It actually worked fine until it was necessary to disconnect it briefly one day, and then it was never really the same again, and very soon, it gave out completely.  I decided not to reconnect it.

At first I missed it.

You see, somehow I had apparently stopped noticing the noise.  And when the noise was gone, it felt very strange.  The noise was actually generally the cable news spouting opinions about the state of the world - because "the news" isn't "the news" anymore and probably never was, but nowadays it doesn't even pretend to be "news" - it's shrill opinion, with a little "news" mixed in, no matter what the leanings of the "news station".

It turns out I didn't need it.  I learn what small amount of "actual news" I need to know in other ways.  Yes, I missed the old movies I liked to watch on TCM, but that's why we have libraries and DVDs.  And even those were tending to distract me.  So were other forms of talk, at the times I didn't need to hear it (as a radio host myself, I know helpful conversations have their place, but we need to personally respect what that place is).

I needed the Peace.  I needed the Stillness.

When family is here, we needed the Stillness, too, especially during dinner.  We used to be tempted to turn on the TV and generally watch "the news".

So what are evenings like now?

Musical.  Beautifully Musical. 

I realized one night it is shared, well beyond this home.  When I turn on the local Classical station, like I did on both Christmas and New Year's Eve (and Christmas and New Year's night, too, and all of the nights in between), it's like going to a concert.  (It's on at times during the day too, in between sometimes switching the station to Jazz.  It's on right now.)  When you are listening to a particularly good station, it has a way of surprising you - you come to realize the Music is lovingly woven together by the hosts, over time, night after night after night and day after day (the hosts are actually artists and composers themselves - that's what the weaving is).  You yourself become woven into the form.  It becomes inextricable.

There is something here that I've been missing.  I've felt I've known it before, and then somehow I lost it.  But I have found it, again. 

I'm reading more.  I'm feeling personally poetic (though I've been no stranger to poetry).   I'm even blogging right now (though I've been no stranger to writing).

It is changing me.  I feel it, already.  There is a new pattern.  There is a Divine majesty to it.  There is a kind of an unfolding.  It's like walking in Nature.  Perhaps it's just Beauty, and a kind of re-centering.

It is Still, even when not.

How is it the Music connects me even more to "the world" than "the news"?   Yet, exactly, so, it is.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Robin Dear...A Joyful Sign for the New Year!

"All the world is fresh and sweet...flowers blossom at my feet..." 
~ from a song about Robins in Springtime my mother taught me as a young child

Observed outside my window, just a few minutes ago....


While growing up in Colorado, the first Robin of the year was indicative of Spring, but here in the Pacific Northwest, it is never really winter. So perhaps the sign here for the New Year is to look for "Spring" each and every day!   (And remember, other seasons are nice, too!)

P.S.  Upon searching for the song I learned as a child, I was quite surprised I couldn't find it online!  I only found inexact fragments from schoolbooks dating to 1907.  This is my best recollection from the age of 3 or so, as my mother helped me to sing this song over and over and over again multiple years in a row (a few words highlighted with [] may not be exact, but very close)...when I would forget the words from the previous year, she would remind me.  I would like this to be preserved somewhere for history because it was a real song I learned around 1967, almost surely taught to my mother when she was a young child of immigrants in the New York City area (probably just across the border in New Jersey) around 1930-33.

Robin dear, I love you so
I really wonder if you know
Where the [little] flowers grow
Hidden deep beneath the snow

I've been waiting for your coming, Robin dear
And I know you're [singing,] singing Spring is near   [?]

All the world is fresh and sweet
Flowers blossom at my feet
Life [in] Joy is so complete  [?]
Robin dear!