Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Letting it Be

"Before the truth can set you free, you must free the truth." ~ Susan Larison Danz

It has become clear to me that these nightly writing exercises just aren't always  unfolding as deeply or as authentically as I would like, and so I very likely will not write here every night (it's difficult to predict), and that's OK - as I'll be looking for new ways to write, too.

If you want to know my honest opinion, when it comes to open expression, the kind that encourages respect for multiple empathic perspectives (and yes, there is more than one), yet goes to deep and honest places, we are struggling mightily in our world right now.  And I'm not quite sure what will change that, but it requires deeper work and not perfunctory exercises. 

So I'm going to reflect on how to go about that work, and I'll be here when so inspired.  If that is tomorrow, great!  If not, I'll trust in that.  I'm not going to force work that skims the shallows or dances elusively around the point, as that is not what I'm about, and it's deeply unsatisfying. 

We have deep and honest work to do.  Many of us.  Those who so choose.  That much is clear. 

Until next time . . . (that may be tomorrow - we will see!).  I know I'll be here Friday to let you know about Saturday's weekly radio program at 1 PM PDT.  The work continues.  More soon . . .

 

Ripples photo by Susan Larison Danz. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Letting Spring In

"Beauty always offers solace in a tumultuous world." ~ Susan Larison Danz

It's easy to get entangled in the cares of our lives and the world.  That's exactly when it's time to breathe, and open ourselves to Spring.  

 

 

Daffodils photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Boundaries

"A choice driven by fear is not any kind of choice at all - it is captivity." ~ Susan Larison Danz

We will not arrive anywhere enlightened if we live in a place where it is acceptable to coercively violate personal boundaries.  This is a very, very hazardous time on the planet, where such things are trending in this direction, and if they continue to be pursued, it will result in utter chaos.  That's what will likely happen.  There are many in the spiritual community who will stand up for what is right - and other communities as well.  And that will be the right thing to do.  Because personal space and privacy must be protected.  

There are those who have no respect whatsoever for those on a spiritual path because they don't believe in such things - they snicker and mock, diminish and deride, and have blinders on.  There is no respect for personal autonomy and alternative choices.  This is not conducive to decisions leading in a positive and respectful direction.  It leads exactly where it leads, to a stark and unenlightened future.  And very possibly to no future at all.

We have a choice on Planet Earth.  And we can do better.  Because we must.  



Mt. Hood photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Out of Control

"Fear may speak volumes when amplified, but Love controls the dial." ~ Susan Larison Danz

What happens when fear runs rampant?  Whether it is impacting an individual or a society, or both, it leads to skewed choices.  Because that's what fear does.  It skews things.  It distorts.  It leads to aberrations in "controlling" behaviors, which are even contagious.  Soon disrespect, dishonesty, egos on parade and plenty of nastiness results, and some of the worst examples in history show the extremes. 

This is what fear does.  It skews and disrupts.

What is the antidote?

Compassion.  Mutual Respect.  Honesty and Transparency.  Respecting personal boundaries and choices, the hallmark of enlightened spiritual paths (and societies) - and Unconditional Love. 

Too much control is actually out of control.  That's the irony of it.  That's what results from fear running rampant.  And no, it's not aligned with Spirituality, either.  How could it be?

 


Window Well photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

 

 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Courage and Clarity

"So is the danger a danger still; so is the fear worse." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Listen to today's broadcast of The Frontier Beyond Fear program here, now available in the archive:  Courage and Clarity

How do we work with our fears so we can find greater clarity?  We reflect on why this is so very important for our unfolding paths.  When we allow our fears to dominate our thoughts and decisions, not only is life unpleasant - we are unable to make clear, productive and authentic choices.  Why is Spirituality at the Center of finding our way?  It has everything to do with Clarity.  But it will ask something from us:  Courage - even as Spirituality is our greatest Resource in finding it.  What greater Resource could we have than our awareness of and conscious relationship with the omnipresent Divine?  Once we discover expansive, open, honest and authentic routes to Clarity, we will also find within us the Courage to freely explore our paths forward. 

A brief passage on fear and exploration written by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1837 is shared during the program.

 

 

 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Sunglasses in the Dark

"Fear always arrives with an 'opt out' option." ~ Susan Larison Danz

A number of years ago, this guidance came to me in a time when I really needed to hear it:  Dwelling in fear is like wearing sunglasses in the dark.  Take them off and behold the Dawn.

Sunglasses are so very stylish these days at night, and have been for a while.  

How is wearing them helping? 



Note:  I will be broadcasting live at 1 PM PDT/4 PM EDT on The Frontier Beyond Fear Blog Talk Radio program on Saturday.  Listen here:  Courage and Clarity  


Mt. Hood Dawn photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Authenticity and Spirituality

"Authenticity brings invisible people to life!" ~ Susan Larison Danz

Authenticity and Spirituality.  You really can't separate the two.  An authentically spiritual path is a path that is freely explored.  

How many times can I say it?  We are not here to be clones, robots, or to echo one another in echo chambers.

We are here to be uniquely expressed aspects of the Divine.   We wouldn't bother to be here at all if the idea was to be the same, or to always agree.  

It is of very great concern to me that uniformity of opinion seems to be elevated above all things, these days.  Not only is that an unattainable goal, it is not an attractive one.  It has nothing to do with an authentically spiritual life.  I'm already in "disagreement" with such an impossible and undesirable notion.  It is fundamentalism, that's what it is, the most rigid form of thought - such notions lead to the very OPPOSITE of a spiritual path.  And you can see it, very visibly, in the stress and discord that results.

We are here to celebrate our choices.  Only the most oppressive forms of non-spiritual thought demand absolute conformity, and that is not a characteristic of the open-hearted Divine.

Why we have strayed so very far from such basic spiritual concepts, even in parts of the "spiritual community" which never would have advocated for this in the past, is indeed troubling to me.  

Honesty.  Authenticity.  Non-judgment.  Empathy.  Forgiveness.  We all do it imperfectly.   These are fundamental aspects of Unconditional Love, the very Center.  "Fundamentalism" for its own sake, absent of Divine Unconditional Love, is just that: fundamentalism.  Those who cling to it can insist all they like and even demand or oppress - it doesn't make any of it Real or True.

 

 

Shadow photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Continuation

"Life is like riding a bicycleTo keep your balance, you must keep moving." ~ Albert Einstein

I must admit I almost skipped another night, but realized I'm not ready to skip another night, just yet.  It can be difficult sometimes to decide if we are being too "rigid", and sometimes, yes, we are.  It has everything to do with balance.  

As I write, I'm listening to a live radio interview about Artificial Intelligence, and I have only been partially listening, and they are exploring if we are living in a simulation or "a digital world".  They just decided this is probably "the real world".  What IS that, truly?  What is Real?

And why is there inevitably this assumption that "advancement" is necessarily technological?  I've written about this before, but it is entirely unproven (as assumptions often are).  Just because Humanity is in a technological "phase" doesn't mean it's one that tends to last.  

Wouldn't you love to see the "survey" of civilizations that have existed?  How many are technological?  How many survived that phase?  How many combined technology with greater "gifts" of being aware?  How many rendered technological advancement obsolete?  How many wrecked their world?  How many fixed it?  

Somewhere, this is known.  

How will it all turn out on Planet Earth?  

We'll either awaken, or not.

 

 

River photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A Moment of Silence

"Silence, healing" ~ Heraclitus

Yesterday was an unexpected moment of silence - and unplanned - as I had aimed to blog daily all year.

Even so, perhaps one was needed on a day like yesterday.  I will honor the moment.

 

 

Water photo by Susan Larison Danz. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Letting Change Happen

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." ~ Alan Watts

We resist it, sometimes - probably often.  Mightily.  Yes.  And sometimes it happens so quickly or so unexpectedly, it simply happens, and there is no time to react.  

Change.

For something that is such an integral part of being human, you would think we'd be experts.

But we usually aren't.

I may be thinking about it in a way that isn't exactly accurate, or maybe just one particular way, and this may seem a bit obtuse - when I was a child, I recall playing the piece Tarentella on the piano.  I was very young, and it was an easy piece, but not-so-easy when you are learning.  What IS "easy", really, when you are learning something new?  

I loved playing that piece.  I would play it over and over.  I can still remember a part of the picture that was on the page (there was a dancer and a spider, as I recall), and you can look up the history of it if you like, which is rather more intricate than anything I've known.  How it came to me tonight - and how I realize in this moment it rather beautifully relates to the quote by Alan Watts - is this notion of a dancer who isn't really paying attention to the music that is playing, and change is happening all around, but the dance just keeps continuing.  This is so very relevant to the era in which we find ourselves, unlike anything most of us have known.  

We think the dance can be the same, and we try to keep our patterns going.  But the music isn't playing in the way it was before.  

Everything is different.

And when we finally manage to notice, deeply notice, we can either decide to keep resisting or to flow with it.  

That's how life moves forward.  We let change happen.  Because it will.  And we will dance, in new ways, when we do.  And the music will accompany us and expand us when we let it.


Sacred Forest Sunset photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Trust and Fear

"It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves." ~ Henry David Thoreau


Listen to today's program on The Frontier Beyond Fear broadcast:  Trust and Fear: Navigating with Wisdom

I honestly explore how Spirituality can provide us with the Trust and Wisdom we need to make solid choices when confronting fear. Not only will we make better choices going forward, we will be comfortable with those choices. If you feel discomfort with a choice, it's time to look at it more deeply.
 
Whether on this day, you are celebrating the first day of Spring or of Autumn, today is an excellent day to consult your inner compass. We make imperfect choices all the time, as this is human, but being mindful of our unhealthy relationship with fear can make all the difference.
 
We also listen to wisdom from Henry David Thoreau's Walden, some deeply profound words to guide us on our paths forward. 



Blossoms by the Bridge photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Reclamation

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ~ Virginia Woolf

It dawned on me, though I knew it, looking back on just a year ago, that open authenticity is fading.  And we must not allow it.  It's a struggle to retrieve it.  That's how strong what this is has become.  We must do it a step at a time, as I'm doing now. 

Questioning is no longer in style.

And yet we question.  Clearly.

And that's the right direction.  It is really pretty shocking that it is the trend to question questioning.  History has taught us many times that is never, ever a good direction.  Question it.  Boldly.  As we must.

Go deeper.  And look.  And reclaim the choices that were always yours to claim. 

Choose.

Yes, you!

Choose.

Daily.

Freely.

You'll know the way.  Even when you don't. 

Spirituality teaches us that we are here to make free choices.  Several different versions of it say exactly that.  Wisdom isn't handed to us, and certainly not thrust upon us.  We must seek it.  And find it.  Anyone, and I mean anyone, who would intimidate anyone else regarding their own freedom to seek truth and wisdom is not someone who really cares much about truth and wisdom (or about you, or anyone else, or about much of anything of much use for Humanity). 

Care about truth and wisdom for yourself.  Care about it.  Seek it.  I'm speaking to myself as much as to you, though I've managed pretty well so far, quietly.  The more you find it, the more you can choose accordingly, and live your own life (no, though others would love to live it for you, that's never the right way).  Choose.  Freely.

The materialists* claim they own the planet.  They do not.  They only see things dimly because you need the Light to see.  It's really that simple.  Just because they shout the loudest doesn't make them right.  

If Spirituality calls to you (and it calls to everyone, one way or another, because of who we are and why we're here), it's up to you to open the door - crack it open if you must - push it open just a little - that's all it really takes - because what is waiting on the other side was always there to greet you.  It's an astonishing way forward.  But it begins with a choice.

I have reflected many times on Open and closed Universes, which I learned about in astrophysics class many years ago.  Truthfully, materialistically, none of the Universe varieties are particularly hopeful or attractive.  An open Universe expands and expands and expands (materialistically, that is) and eventually grows cold and dark.  A closed Universe collapses back to a singularity, eventually.  And then there is that theory about the Universes that bounce (they can't decide whether to be open or closed).  It all sounds pretty harsh, really, but we are looking at it materialistically.

I heard a story in passing today, and I only heard it partially, and I still haven't had a chance to look it up - about some black hole that has been discovered racing around the galaxy - either ours or somewhere else, I'm really not sure - but now we know black holes can be in rapid motion (seriously, yes).  

Face it.  If you believe strictly in materialism, reality is really pretty randomly terrifying.  Now we need to worry about (apparently) racing black holes.  Some years ago, it was mini black holes, or clandestine neutrinos, or any number of other things (I've already mentioned Carrington events, and near-earth objects).  I hear talk about pole shifts more and more lately.  Truthfully, compared to all of these bigger, giant things, even earthquakes and large volcanoes, the climate is rather small, though yes, that is talked about as well.  

But what we really need to be caring more about is who we choose to be, what we choose to seek, and just how open we choose to be.  That's what's going to change the planet.  (And when it comes to Universes, I prefer the Multiverse - it has a lot more to it.)

How did I come to write this in this moment?  Well, for one, I have a deadline every evening.  I was watching the first 25 minutes or so of The Hours, a movie I have not seen (I've kind of avoided it, for some reason, as I expect it to be very somber and serious, though I've known it is an excellent film - perhaps because it has a lot of gravity) - and there is a writer near the beginning who is talking about writing.  He talks of his regrets regarding not actually writing about things as they are.  Which is difficult, of course, as it requires raw authenticity.  And this feeling that there is never enough time to write enough (he is running out of time, within this story).  And this is quite a serious story, at the beginning (and no doubt, later), and in a number of serious ways.  I'll pick up watching where I left off, perhaps tonight, or perhaps tomorrow.  

But in this moment, now, I am writing.  Seeking genuine truth and wisdom helps us make wise choices (clearly).  And the choices are here for the claiming - when we claim them.  It's a necessary thing.  To know.


*A "materialist" is a person who adheres strictly to a mechanistic view of reality and generally insists on everyone adhering to exploring "truth" in this way.  Materialism arose as an over-reaction to oppressive non-materialistic world views many years ago.

Shadow in the Forest photo by Susan Larison Danz.


 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Awareness

"Awareness is all about restoring your freedom to choose what you want instead of what your past imposes on you." ~ Deepak Chopra 

Lately, I have come to have a greater appreciation of this term "Awareness".  Often when I have used the term "Consciousness", or especially "Expanded Consciousness", I really mean Awareness.  

The more advanced a society is, the more it values Awareness.  Awareness has nothing to do with industrial or technological advancement.  A society could live in a pristine forest on some distant planet and be more Aware than any of us here. 

Awareness also implies honesty.  There can be differing perceptions of a topic, but when a society is intent on honestly exploring truth, and honestly conveying it, Awareness is treasured. 

To advance as a civilization, we cannot do it without valuing expanding Awareness.  It's really that simple.  Anything less will go the opposite direction.  


 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Blossoming

 “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

Blossoming has everything to do with authenticity.  No two flowers are identical. 

Celebrate who you are.

 

 

Spring Blossoms photo by Susan Larison Danz.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Discernment

 "The rarest thing in the world, next to a spirit of discernment, are diamonds and pearls." ~ Jean de La Bruy√®re

 


Listen to today's episode on The Frontier Beyond Fear broadcast here:  Discernment

 

 

Spring Forest photo by Susan Larison Danz. 

 

 

 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Trust, Revisited

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

Trust, when placed in Something that can Actually be Trusted, makes all the difference.  We lose sight of it, sometimes.  But it never really goes away.  

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Free Spirit

"Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart . . ." ~ Don Black (lyrics)

When I was young, I used to hear this song quite often.  At some point, it became "elevator music" in the 1970's, and it always caught my attention.  Later, I liked to play it on the piano.

Why?

Because it's true.

Often children remember things that we far too often forget as adults.  And especially, lately.

 

 

Path photo by Susan Larison Danz.


  

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Seeing the Stars

 "My God, it's full of stars!" ~ 2001, A Space Odyssey

Today, on The Frontier Beyond Fear broadcast, I reflected upon our mystical relationship with the stars and with Nature, exploring what it truly means to "advance" as a civilization.

Listen to the podcast here:  Seeing the Stars

 

 

Photo Credit: NASA

 

Friday, March 12, 2021

The Stars We've Lost

 "One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime.  Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are!  If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God, which had been shown!" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, 1836

View above the atmosphere (Photo Credit: NASA)

I came across this passage the other day, accentuating a reflection I have pondered rather often.

We don't see the stars anymore.  Not most of us.  Perhaps a glimpse while on vacation, if you can get far enough away from the city.  Meanwhile, we are filling our skies with artificial objects, as unfathomable numbers of satellites launch.  And we hardly even care.  In fact, we celebrate our "progress". 

How is the diminishment of visible stars in our skies impacting the human experience?  How is it impacting us, mystically?  I happen to believe that the mystical is actually the way the advancement of a species is measured (if it made sense to "measure" such things, which is a bit contradictory).  We've abandoned it, mostly.  And at our peril.

Do we realize we are having an entirely different experience with the skies than all of those who came before us?  

I read an article not too long ago that we never really feel at peace within a city - because we've evolved to do far better in rural locales.  This isn't particularly about artificial light, but no doubt, that isn't helping.  And yet I couldn't be here writing without it and every other technological trapping.

What if things had happened differently?

If another Carrington event arrives, as it inevitably will, we will gasp to see the stars (and the auroras accompanying them).  This foundation we have built is fundamentally an illusion.  What would we do, then?  Who would we be?

Who do we choose to be?  Why wait?

If there was a contest between the mystics and the materialists (not to say that mystics think competitively), guess who "wins"?  There's only one way forward, really.  And it's not the way we've been taught to think.  The way we're told is "real" is the illusion.  And the way we're told is the "illusion" is actually Real.  And once you know it, you know.


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Being Honest with Yourself

"...to thine own self be true..." ~ William Shakespeare

This may seem to be a very simple - and even obvious - thing to say, but it's one of the most fundamental aspects of how discernment relates to inner growth and peace. 

When we are discerning and pay attention, when we are honest with ourselves about how we view things and how we feel (including when we're unsure), it makes a world of difference.  Honor the process.

 

 

Reflection photo by Susan Larison Danz. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Silence

 "Silence is a source of great strength." ~ Lao Tzu

Sometimes, silence is exactly what we need.  

Trust in the gifts silence brings.  



Reflection photo by Susan Larison Danz.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Celebrating Our Authentic Paths

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." ~ Mother Teresa

Sometimes we need to simply take a moment to appreciate the beauty of our authentic paths.  This is the very essence of freely expressed spirituality and divinely derived unconditional Love.  This is the path to inner peace and peace on the planet.  There is no other route.

 

 

Forest Path photo by Susan Larison Danz.

 

Monday, March 8, 2021

A Wonderful Choice

"When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains." ~ Ursula K. Le Guin
 

I was intending to write about this particular topic tonight, as International Women's Day draws to a close, and my Facebook memories from last year conveniently provided the text.
 
There are a few things I'd like to add this year.  Covid-19 has shown many full-time working parents what it is like to be at home with their children.  Without a doubt, I believe some parents will yearn for this to continue.  I have a great deal of experience in the workplace as a "work-at-home" Mom,  and I do feel this needs to come with the flexibility to work less than a full time schedule, as I'm sure many parents have discovered how challenging it is to work full time with children at home - and I was not even engaged in home schooling at the time, though I was very active as a school and community volunteer.  I believe parents should have a choice, if daycare outside the home is subsidized, to receive the same subsidy, if choosing to be home with their children.  This would open the opportunity up to parents of all income levels - and to their children. 
 
Here is an excerpt from my post from last year:
   
Happy International Women's Day! Let's honor the choices people make in their lives. In my life, I am very grateful I had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home Mom. If you are in the position to be a stay-at-home parent (and I know not everyone is - Mom, Dad or Grandparent!), it's the most rewarding life I can imagine, and I will never regret that choice. It doesn't matter how many degrees you have or how successful, that choice is worthwhile. I could have used very rare at the time in-the-workplace daycare, and my career was extremely successful, but it wasn't enough. I kept my career going, in its own way. 
 
I later returned to the full time workforce [in the office] (after life circumstances shifted) and took my career as high as I ever could have wanted, yet also observing the toll that this takes and the balancing act many women face. Then circumstances arrived which brought me home again, and that too was what it needed to be. It is absolutely amazing, being a stay-at-home parent. And I was led to astonishing volunteer opportunities as well, and multiple non-profit leadership roles in the schools and in the community. 
 
These days, this choice seems to be considered a "lesser choice", like expecting all children to go into daycare at a very young age is "the best way", and no doubt later, after school care. No. It isn't. Not for many parents and not for many children. Daycare is important, yes, for those who need or seek it, but I made my choice for a reason, and it was absolutely right. (When the time came for preschool, yes, that was wonderful to make that a part of our lives, but only part-time, and part-time kindergarten as well - full time would have been far too intense at that age for many children, had it been required. Choices are important!) I'm grateful I was in the position to make the choice to be home with my child - I wish more people could be, and I did make sacrifices for it, but considering that choice "less" is simply not the truth.
 
 
 
Spring Flowers photo by Susan Larison Danz.
 
 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Car Windows

"It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you of how powerful they are." ~ Clive James

Something came up about cars yesterday that led me to reflect on a few things.  In the "old days", especially in the 70's, you would regularly see people "working on" cars in a neighborhood.  Even as a young child growing into a teen, it was a regular observation that there were plenty of people around who knew how to fix and maintain a car in a variety of ways.  Or if you did need to bring a car in to a mechanic, it was relatively simple, usually.

This has changed.

No doubt, there are countless reasons why, safety-wise, emission-wise, etc. - and yes, feature-wise.

However, for whatever the reasons, the world has changed.  And it is my continuing intent in this blog to explore how these changes have changed how we behave.

When cars became essentially impossible for people who liked to fix their own cars to independently fix, something changed.  A dependency was created that didn't exist in the same way before.  This had an impact on regular life and self-sufficiency.

Technology can solve and enhance any number of things, but it also continually takes us in a direction that makes life more intricate.  

I was watching a movie the other night from the late 1980's in which a character was in a fancy town car and fascinated with the automated locks.

It got me to thinking about the days when there were no power locks and you manually opened the windows yourself.  As convenient as that "feature" is and probably more secure, there is something I miss about cranking open a car window.  What is that about?


 

Car photo from the mid-1980's, Susan Larison Danz. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

A Poetic Interlude

 "To her fair works did Nature link

The human soul that through me ran;

And much it grieved my heart to think

What man has made of man." 

~ William Wordsworth

Today I did something new on The Frontier Beyond Fear Blog Talk Radio program - a live broadcast centered around reading poetry, with reflections amid the poems.

You can listen to the podcast here:  A Poetic Interlude

 

 

 

Reflection of Trees photo by Susan Larison Danz.  

 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Unveiling Clarity

"I can see clearly now . . ." ~ Johnny Nash

I dwell in the 1970's quite a bit, and there's a reason for that.  Though every era has its complications, technology has changed us.  Not all technology is bad, obviously - I'm using it right now - but let's leave that aside for the moment - because, you see, we didn't know back then what we would view as lacking now.

I have been reading poetry and fragments of essays lately.  In an actual hardcover book that I obtained from the second hand store.  Not to say that really should be all that unusual, but lately, yes.  I used to read A LOT in the 70's, pretty much all the time when I could (and in most of my spare moments in the 80's as well).  When the television only has a handful of channels (at most), there are no computers, there are no video tapes, DVDs, DVRs or "video on demand", you either occupy yourself outside in some way or you read books.  Or maybe you bring a book outside and read it in a hammock hanging from a tree (which was one of my favorite things to do in the summer in the 70's). 

We've lost something.

And it is vitally important.  

We need to be "entertained".  Some of that entertainment may require us to think, but most of us are just not reading like we used to.  I aim to take it up a notch, truthfully, as not everything I read independently (i.e., apart from school) in the 70's and 80's was particularly demanding.

We have forgotten simplicity, and what it feels like.  We are over-stimulated much of the time.  Perhaps the Covid era has provided glimpses of simplicity - but probably not enough.

We need more clarity.  And it isn't going to arrive by continually being distracted from it. I am thankful to be unveiling it, ever more deeply.

 

 

Blue Skies photo by Susan Larison Danz.