Thursday, December 31, 2009
It does not appear after gaining material possessions. I find the things I desire fluctuate too frequently to be a benchmark. I find I receive objects and can still feel an absence.
It will not show up with adoration. Opinions of others are too fickle, and too varied. They fade and can disappear. I do not want it to accompany the exit of favor from others.
My self image; this morphing analysis of what I should be…my self-imposed grade card. It has had as many A’s as F’s. I have tried to associate a passing or failing grade with it’s presence. Perhaps it is the greatest teacher as opposed to the grade itself.
What I do --- is it who I am? I think not. Is my worth and worthiness based upon what I do for an income? Is my occupation significant in my evolution, and contentment as a human being? It is funny how much of its elusive quality hinges on this. If I quit my job --- or lose it, what about me changes?
The shape of body has nothing to do with the shape of my soul, and the depth of my ability to love, but why do I let go of celebrating the awareness of this? What is it about the measurements of our clothing size that seems to measure many other things? Also, our strength comes from not how much weight we can press but opposition we can endure and thrive in spite of. Still we cry out for it!
What we seek we have in escrow. It awaits us to be opened by a key called awareness. A simple shift in acceptance, perception, and compassion can adjust life’s lens to allow us to see it’s presence more readily. Happiness.
It is the circumstances that seem to diminish it and send it away for a while that also give us the opportunity to really place worth and value on those objects and people we attach it to. The magic though, lies in the fact that our perception can greatly embellish its luster when present and decrease the duration of the apparent absence.
We are fortunate to hold our own happiness “dimmer switch”. Often the labels we place upon situations elevate the severity of our perception of the pain we are, or should be enduring. Words we create can put space between what we have available to us and where we are.
True, there are the unbearable and unfortunate parts to our life script. We must wait for the situation to become right again. Patience is not in the waiting, but how we act while we wait.
As we endure the challenges life offers us, we can rest assured that our entire existence and idea of self worth does not have to be an all-inclusive deal to where if one area is disrupted, we are void of happiness entirely.
Happiness is a life-giving, world changing resource we can experience and share, simply by choosing to become aware of our ability to create it.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Awakening in the afternoon, I ask myself, has this crooked path I’ve ventured been intentional or by accident?
Has this quantum shift in values and awareness been to enlighten or to punish?
If the “intelligent design” had it in its purpose to bring me right to this spot all along, can I challenge the word “intelligent” by asking, would it have been more feasible to just arrive here sooner and without detour?
If the intelligence behind this journey I surrender to is indeed in control, why not better spend the time traveled passed in rehearsal of the path I now navigate?
I find in the heartbeat shaped avenue I now travel, I spend as much examining the summit from the base as much as the base from the summit, and it’s okay…
Surrender -- the ultimate challenger to my impatience is an equally matched opponent.
Is it wrong to desire to slow down and let ego – once left behind -- to catch back up to the shuttle and once again hop on board to possibly commandeer the journey? The drama of conflict is missing -- spicing the bland existence of serenity. Does loud color belong or the purity of whiteness?
Missing now the lure of forbidden actions -- fulfillment found in the past by the toxic pleasures that cripple the soul. Is it wrong to long, to relapse into a desire for the “me” that was? Self will is the drug, blind to its’ own ingestion.
The thoughts wrestle among themselves – good versus evil, yet either is neither unless the intention makes it so. What are these haunting thoughts? I question their origin.
Looking at this through the distorting pane of the fishbowl’s glass -- of a past life now gone, solace it finds me. Strength is found in faith.
The infestation of the impure thought withers as it struggles to breathe in air that is not allowed to it. The air of doubt I will no longer allow.
The armor is the awareness that stays the onslaught, the conflict cleansing, releasing the dam of pent up anger, fear, and connection to yesterdays; the release energizing -- allowing for space.
My peace found in the spiritual, the connection to the familiar -- now found anew.
I reach to touch it again, but for the first time; my new old friend.
I share now this vision with others -- I listen to life’s song.
My only question is, “Who may be there to tell me, if all this has been wrong?”
Saturday, December 12, 2009
One of the wisest people I know!
Yesterday I spent some time with a good friend who is also a supporter of my writing. She knows that I love writing and would love to make something of it someday. (I just need to let the rest of the world know this.) She also mentioned how something I spoke of had really touched a loved one and I was thankful I could inspire a reaction in her and others.
I once again reflected on this current passion of mine.
I write to not appear as I have any great gift. I am no more fortunate than anyone else. I am not blessed with any monumental experience nor am I professing that I know something others do not. I definitely am not taking the time to write to proselytize or claim to be a prophet of any belief. I would not be so bold as to do so.
As I spoke with my friend yesterday I likened my writing as if I were a friend invited into your neighborhood to take a walk with you. Have you ever done this? You are on a walk with a friend, in the same neighborhood, passing the same houses, fences and trees; your friend takes a break in the conversation to draw your attention to something along your commonly travelled path. “Wow”, they say. “That is some really nice landscaping.” Or perhaps, “I love how the trees bow to cover the street and give you great shade.” Maybe they utter, “You are sure blessed to live in such a great place to raise kids.” These exclamations are just some simple examples.
What I hope to achieve is like the above mentioned stroll, and that is to accompany you on a “walk” of sorts and to share some observations; and maybe to perhaps remind you of what you already know. It is this different set of eyes to scan the normal path we venture upon, that brings to our attention the things we miss when looking in a different direction. Sometimes a different prompt of perspective is all we need for a quantum shift in appreciation for things we miss or dismiss as unimportant or even hold in contempt.
My writing may be simple. It may even be of little topical importance to some. Yet as I was reminded of about an hour ago as I walked my son up to our favorite breakfast nook, he paused with an enthusiastic “Cool!”, as he watched a garbage truck assist a dumpster to empty its’ contents. The noise and clatter with the revving of the engine thrilling him more so by the second. What caught me was not so much the “thrill” of the event itself, as I must still admit that I probably would not find the beauty in the moment if I were alone. However I was reminded to look at life from a new angle from time to time, perhaps without judgment or attachment, and maybe, just maybe new appreciation will surface.
In this brief walk along a frequently travelled path, I was reminded once again, of that which I already know. Not so much that I take time to stop and smell the dumpster, but to sometimes see life from the perspective of a child. Also adding to that, another perspective can often distract us from the mundane to draw our attention to the myriad of other observational possibilities. Today the conductor on my trip was a 5 year old boy. Thanks son!
Even if this is the first and last “wall of text” of mine you may ever read, I pray you all are receptive to looking at the familiar with an unfamiliar perspective. I will also be around to share some of these “gifts in the shifts” I have been blessed with. Finally, never ever discount from where and who these messages may appear.
I will always be up for a good stroll, and thanks for allowing me to walk with you!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I am from the middle of Ohio, in the middle of the Snow Belt, from the mid west. I understand the laments and fading “sunny” demeanor of those who do not favor the ‘grayscale’ tone our skies take on for nearly half a year. We often endure, (what my daughter finds humor in), what I call “snain”. It is a nasty mixture of precipitation teetering between snow and rain; like sleet but less icy.
I guess I too find the melancholy mood that I sink into, not necessarily “SAD” (Seasonal Affect Disorder), but that an end is approaching. Finality. Cold. Slumber. Death? As I reflected on writing today I guess that the perspective I choose in approaching this perennial and cyclical event we call “winter” is up to me to either find the boon or burden in. As long as my roots bind me to central Ohio, the winter here is as predictable as the orange barrels that blossom along our highways come springtime.
What I see upon examining the onset of winter is a feeling I got at the end of a summer evening when I played outside with my friends as a youth. All good things will and do come to an end. The activities that occur in one day must cease, then there is a regroup, recharge, and renew that must occur for us to venture out yet again after a good night’s repose.
We would be called in to our homes, often fed, bathed, and surrounded by our families for the evening’s fellowship and activities, punctuated by recounts of the day’s events, to later lie in the comfort of our blanketed cocoon, to rise again for what awaits us upon the new day.
I see winter in this way - whereas with the cycle of the daily sun, the “seasonal sun” too must set. As the daylight does fade and temperature drop during summer days, so it does in winter just to a greater extreme in the drop and duration. It is as if “mother” has called us all in to calm down, surround ourselves with family, and refresh and renew for a new recharged perspective. This separation from the comfort of flip flops and misty pool sides will then embrace “snuggies”, warm fires, and the body heat of those we love as we lounge by a fire like a seasonal “palate cleanser”. We can bond as a family to momentarily distract from the temptation to frolic separately by a warmer season’s lure.
It is also the months with the bite of frozen air, the bulk of winter’s layers, and the inflated shapes of people with faces cast downward to avoid the bluster and bluff - that instills in us the appreciation for the upcoming gifts of color, warmth, life and beauty we will once again be rewarded with in spring’s transition.
Let us not forget too that it is hard to have a “grassball” fight and slide down a hill on a plastic disc in mid July. Winter also hosts some of our most endeared and celebrated holidays where we are reminded of giving thanks, spiritual celebration, and a call to remember our fellow man. Add to that too the awakening of a new year full of new hope and renewed will power to often tackle a forgotten goal or new one realized. February lets us celebrate Valentine’s Day - remembering those we love with simple gestures adorned with glitter and accompanied by chocolate delights. March brings in the thrill of seeing the first Robin, the first stalk of green breeching the earth to seek the sun as we cast our attention back to the brown skeletal trees awaiting their blooming foliage.
As I am “called home” for winter season, I find I act as I often used to when I pouted with a saddened “awwww”, knowing that the fun had to end. Balance is the ultimate lesson in all this. It is the pendulum’s sway of the seasons that show us the gifts they all have to offer, and the anticipation of the next season’s blessings is like a Christmas gift we hold and rattle before opening.
With my “awwww’s” spent and returning inside to congregate with those I cherish the most for a few months, I see that it is winter’s drop in temperatures and related activities that place me at the side of my loved ones to be reminded of who and what is important to me.
Yet, as do the insects rising from cocoons and animals from hibernation, we will emerge energized from our domiciles to benefit from a seasonal slumber. Once again we will be reminded that it is the retuning to the nest we do in winter that allows to us soar in the summer sun.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I pump my fist in anger; I lower my head in pain. My heart so heavy with sorrow, my efforts fall in vain.
My vision I tried to strive for, to fill the world with peace, once thought a noble gesture, my dreams they all but cease.
Impatience my soul’s true anchor, my ego another ton, will I ever feel accomplishment; my heart it seeks the sun?
Why must I wait, my must I fail, my goals be held at bay, why am I not deserving, why today is not my day?
I stand and scream in frustration my voice is seldom heard, is anyone really listening, to these lonely words?
What do you seek that you do not have, your heart must open wide, the dreams you dream, the goals you want, the answers lie inside.
Anger clouds perception and distracts from where you are, that which you are looking for is never really far.
The more you cast your gaze down the road, the journey you will not see, it is when you realize where you are, is when you are truly free.
Your voice is heard, your pain is yours, and you are not alone, but to one who blames and holds contempt, the truth is seldom shown.
I will remain beside you, to help you when you fall; faith and courage stay hopelessness, and help you stand up tall.
How can I feel hopeful when demons test my strength; when I am attacked by mortal sin with a never ending length?
Lust, addiction, desire, self-doubt, mistrust, deceit; how am I to carry on with my morality in retreat?
If I am to live a better life, why is temptation allowed to thrive? How is one truly able to become better, to really feel alive?
I feel the weight increasing, this burden of the flesh, I feel that I will never ever see myself refresh.
It seems that life is often like living in the shade, not that I am free from heat, but that the light does progressively fade.
Yes life is full of hurdles, full of valleys and of peaks. It is also from those very storms that expose the spirit’s leaks.
We must confront the things in life that we most often dread and fear, with these human challenges, our work becomes very clear.
Our scope must often broaden; adding forgiveness and also love, our insights greater deepen, and we seek some solace from above.
These hurdles that you mention filled with temptation and with sin; the solution is not repelling pain, but a connection from within.
I know you feel that you feel forsaken, and that your soul does truly burn, but if you accept these lessons’, true joy is what you earn.
So when life will steal a friend from me, a loved one or a wife, what good does learning a lesson do, when served at the tip of a knife?
If the message cuts us deeply, and our loved ones go away, what kind of sermon do we hear, what does life try to say?
I know that life is fleeting, and we are all on borrowed time, but to pluck someone from their loved ones seems quite an awful crime.
Why would we be placed us on this Earth with specific tasks to do, to only have it whisked away, our moments lived too few?
Is this retribution for misdeeds of a kind; because it sure is punishing, and to see a lesson I’ve fallen blind?
If life was so predictable from your very birth, the days would have no value or hard to find the worth.
When our days are numbered, and those numbers we don’t know, we shouldn’t miss an opportunity, to let our feelings flow.
To share our thoughts and laughter, and share a gentle touch, to show our love and gratitude with those who mean so much.
However when our loved ones leave us to find a better place, we can soften our deepened sorrow and fill that voided space.
We can lift our heads upward, and life’s tribute we will find, when we focus on not their leaving, but the love they left behind.
I think I see the message, you prove it loud and clear, to find what I have been searching for has always been right here.
I need to practice awareness, also acceptance and compassion; I must also try to seek some help for the life I wish to fashion.
At times I may be strong enough, at times I will fall from grace, and at times I will enjoy the sunshine, sometimes evil I will face.
I must not get ahead of myself, nor look too far behind; I must not become bitter or see life as unkind.
For life is what it is, I must accept, and I do not travel alone, and my love for you restored now God, and thanks for all you’ve shown.
My son I never left you, for that you must be sure, but to gain the greatest insight, some pain you must endure.
It is when we overcome the odds, and weather the winds of pain, is when we finally realize, it is faith and peace we gain.
The lessons we learn are difficult, unique and hard to take, but the main lesson that you must learn, is that you I won’t forsake.
For when you hurt, or are in need, on your knees my name you call, and I will be there in the way you need me to catch you when you fall.
My son I truly love you and all my children just the same, for when you seek the answers, just simply pray my name.
Of all the time I suffered, and dealt with things “alone”, I called your name with venom, I used an awful tone.
I am sorry I ever doubted you; your works I find divine, the wisdom of creation was yours and never mine.
I see there is a plan, in everything you do, and often that the obstacles were to bring me close to you.
I will now try to listen to the lessons you now present, I will no longer sit in anger and my life no more resent.
Thank you God for listening, alone I no more feel, thanks for allowing me close to You, I see you now as real.
I send the water to see how well you swim, and not to watch you drown; my goal is always to lift you up and not to hold you down.
For when things are going perfect and life is worry free, most people find it cumbersome to come and look for me.
Live life by example, and share the peace in which you seek, extend words of compassion, and always help the weak.
Realize that you are not alone in Heaven and in Earth, and that I truly love you, and your life it does have worth.
And when you feel lost, and the way out you can’t see, just know that someone hears you, and with you I will be.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Let Ye without “transgressions” cast the first stone…
As I have noticed this subject before, in the past couple days I have had it crammed down my throat. (‘Thank you’, Mr. Woods!) The fact that if we “wrong others”, we request silent accountability; however, if others “wrong (or disappoint)” us, we demand public retribution. Sadly, we are often not even “personally” wronged. We weren’t there, we have lost nothing, have little or nothing invested, yet as a society, we bark and become belligerent at the very instance we hear of a celebrity have a “transgression”. Just because we look at you Mr. or Mrs. Celebrity doing what you excel at, does it mean we have ownership in your personal affairs and to what extent?
Transgression – Definition:
1. To go beyond or over (a limit or boundary); exceed or overstep
2. To act in violation of
1. To commit an offense by violating a law or command; sin
2. To spread over land, especially over the land along a shoreline. Used of the sea. (n/a in this case)
It is funny that if a circumstance happens within our life, a personal fumble mind you, we beg for a merciful retreat of the onlookers to allow us to put a little “emotional Neosporin” on it to allow it to heal. Things like infidelity, financial depletion, rehab or addiction, accidental death, causing harm to property of others, loss of status, things that make us question our faith, or actually call us closer to it. These are things that are part of the human element.
I will be the first to say, “Tiger; what the hell were ya thinkin’ man?” That being if he were within earshot. That also if I were asked. He had it all apparently; the great career, ‘model’ wife, beautiful children, homes, cars, and a heckuva lot of money. It has been proven time and time again that those things listed above are not what it takes to create fulfillment, if so, those who have it, would not “transgress”, and those who are in lack thereof, would be in constant “transgressing” peril.
Yes, he is visible, yes, he is successful. The celebrity he is, “we” created, as his visibility is something we ordered up, got served, enjoyed and asked for seconds. Role model? Perhaps implied, but as I saw one of the many arguments posted today (ad nauseum) thrashing him for him being a “role model” and ‘what message was he sending’, I don’t recall him being hired or observed for being a role model per se. That is a title we perhaps pinned upon him. We watched and enjoyed him because he can swing metal sticks at a small ball with exquisite accuracy. That is what the endorsements are for, that is why he is fun to watch. I mean, when I have watched him play at a tournament and he approaches the tee box, I never hear the crowd yell, “great job being a perfect husband Tiger!” “I learned all I know about parenting from watching you Tiger!” Put the ball in the cup, dude!
I guess my weariness comes not from what the guy did or didn’t do. If he broke a law; he should answer for it. If he “transgressed” against his wife, he should answer to her for it. If his actions reflect negatively upon the values of one of the companies he endorses, they can negotiate whether or not he should continue being on their payroll. If there is a pattern of calling women other than his wife, it’s not healthy for a marriage and time to reconsider his interpretation and participation in a monogamous relationship. Basically, be accountable. But be accountable to those who have a vested interest in the situation.
Being a public figure and being ‘paid by the public’ as a sports figure entitles one to have some degree of accountability. If you do something wrong, admit it, take the heat, apologize, seek the necessary help or counseling, remedy it in your future actions, and proceed to the best of your ability, and if it is time to sever some ties as a consequence so be it. Do the crime, do the time. Enough. Next!
What I find nauseating is the perpetuation of not just Tiger Woods’ story, but anyone in the media, to where are they not only discussing the situation, but playing text messages and recorded phone calls, giving public forum to the alleged female “transgressors” whom he partnered with in his “transgressions”. Press conferences, tweets, social media posts, tabloids, paparazzi, web fodder, yadda, yadda, yadda, all saying the same thing in new colorful ways to keep the public captivated.
He is still a human (I didn’t say a good or bad one), but human none the less, and we act appalled or confused when a human, like us, falls from grace. It is so funny how the public thinks celebrity equals divine status and cleanliness of conscious and actions. I do not know of many who would love to have a hidden camera and microphone attached to them 24/7 without their knowing, and would be 100% thrilled if played back on CNN tonite.
The other dose of "media Ipecac" is the fact that it exists solely because we drink it in by the gallon. Nothing exists if it is not consumed in great public quantity. I personally today experienced some talking about Mr. Woods’ “transgressions” in this self righteous manner of what he should do and deserved, and I was thinking, “but wait, didn’t you cheat on your wife, and dude, didn’t you also have a drug habit and used to steal to get the money for that habit?” “I’m jus’ sayin’ man?!” Yet people like this were playing judge, jury and executioner frenzied like sharks over a fish head.
I guess my point is not so much the morality of the issue, or whether or not the guy deserves what he gets, even if he is responsible or not because he is a celebrity. What gets me is the hypocrisy that if the shoe were on the other foot, and we “transgressed”, celebrity or not, are we willing to endure and be held accountable to the same standards? If we “transgressed”, and someone found out, is it okay that the public and media knows, puts on a circus and then decides our fate as well? Would it be okay if it happened to us celebrity or not? Would you be okay with the same scrutinous package? Is it okay to not only have your “transgression” aired out for all to see, but to allow the further display of the lurid details?
I know if it were me “transgressing” against my wife, she would not only take a seven iron after me, but a few chips shots in, and a 2 putt, and my car would be in a sand trap somewhere. I get that part of the whole deal. If I woke the neighbors, and caused a scene, an apology is in order. Broke the law? Do time. How much of the details are permissible public knowledge though? I don’t know. I just know that as long as the public sits there with mouths agape like baby birds waiting to be fed, someone will happily regurgitate another serving of tabloid stew. My point is just don’t act so appalled next time; “transgressions” are sadly not as rare and shocking an occurrence. Perhaps they have happened in your family or neighborhood as well. Be thankful you are not a celebrity and to those who still desire to be, just be careful what you wish for.