Monday, December 17, 2018

The many beams from the Star in the East...

The real story comes from a love-source that cannot be understood with the intellect. 
                                                                                                                                     ~ Mark Nepo

A couple of weeks ago, my eight-year-old granddaughter asked the dreaded question. Is there really a Santa? Her brother who is now ten asked the same question a few years back and catching the parents off guard, things did not go well.

 Four years ago, I wrote about my Grand stopping on her way out the door at the newly unwrapped foot-high Santa standing on the chest in the hall. She fingered his beard, his red velvet coat and then took her time to feel all the little presents sticking out his pockets. Gazing for as long as a four-year-old gazes, she finally looked up sideways at me and states, almost solemnly and with considerable passion, "I love that guy." And from her look, I knew she meant it down to her little toes. Her face revealing she had entered that special place of wonder and love. 

She has held true to this passion for the "guy".  However, now four years later, her father texts me last week saying, "She asked if Santa was real yesterday. We said, yes, he is spirit. She was quick to reply, "Good, he's spirit."  Then she tells him she is relieved, as she thought it would be kind of creepy having someone in our house while we were sleeping.

My first thought was, how natural it is for her to accept the invisible and know there is more to life than what we see with our human eyes. Just because Santa is not in the flesh, not visible, does not mean he is not real. This great spirit flys through the sky on a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer (an amazing feat) bringing light, joy, and love to every boy and girl. Yet, unfortunately, he does tend to become more calcified and non-existent for adults.

However, Saint Nickolas (270AD) was always intended to be more spiritual. He was known for his great generosity and gift giving. Miracles happened around him. He became a metaphor and we need to think more metaphorically.

There are many beams from the Star in the East. It just did not happen in Bethlehem. Artists, mystics of the great religions, enlighteners, higher beings in whatever form and the angels among us often were and are moved by the experience beyond bone and flesh. They leave behind their scent -- kindness, compassion, an ocean deep wisdom and most importantly, at center, each is love. The way we identify wind is when the tree bends. The way we see electricity is when we turn on a light. A reality cruises through the invisible. Everything is larger than it looks.

I love such mysteries as they are beyond my wildest understanding. So yes, Granddaughter, there is indeed a Santa Clause as you so wisely observed -- who is a magical spirit, who loves every boy and girl and lands on every rooftop with bags of joy, wonder, fierce anticipation, and heaping generosity.

Indeed, we do need to think more metaphorically as it allows many approaches with many faces. If we see it only as who we are as humans then a greater power is missed. Yet, if we see it larger, the universe is ours, mindfully and spiritually.

Friday, November 30, 2018

How finely tuned we each are...

I often underestimate how sensitive the larger spirit is and how willing it is to help us in every minute and intimate detail -- when we explicitly ask. Yet, the other day I was surprised again. I had an unhappy spot that I had been suspicious of for a while. No matter how happy I was the previous day, at times, a dullness of spirit was present on waking. I am now suspicious of the influence the iPad I watch at night might have on my spirit first thing in the morning. I want to wake in elevated feelings like joyful purpose and a merry, eager heart.

Crawling into bed at the end of a day, I usually catch the news, an interesting interview or podcast, and am asleep in five minutes -- which is a real perk. Thus, I was not looking forward to putting the iPad out in the hall. Besides, would it do any good anyway? Would something larger than my human self hear? Plus, habits are hard things to break, especially when you enjoy them.

After pondering it a few days, and another touch of dullness, I set my intention and asked for a little spirit intervention. With the iPad out in the hall the next night, I try for sleep. An hour later and much churning, I am still button-eyed  At some point I must have dozed off.

Usually, on waking I literately roll out of bed to the floor and meditate. However, just before waking this morning, I am floating in water with kayaks (one of our fun activities on the lake) passing me like sandpipers when swimming at the shore. I love the feeling. Then the experience changes. I am floating on my back watching this lit candle floating in front of me. The experience leaves me with a serenity, sweetness and indeed, a light and merry heart.

Waking, gratitude and excitement weigh in. Something in me did hear! I roll out of bed laughing, realizing this morning there is not much difference between waking and meditating. No dullness, only the hum, and feel of spirit. I asked and was responded to! A coincidence maybe, yet, I know this land too well and have experienced it's magic too often to say, "Nay."

Truly every hair on our head is counted. An invisible reality/that great love does care, hears and responds to the smallest intention and littlest act. At the same time, in each of us, something larger than our humanness also hears and responds. Indeed, how finely tuned to the divine we each are and what magic we can discover by setting a resolve and asking. Dullness can become candlelight.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The night the sheep got it's hind foot caught in the hedgerow style...

The days were golden and the memories are still there in my veins...
Ahhh,  that were my childhood days...
                                                      ~ Aanchal Valecha

My Grands have stayed up late to toast marshmallows over the outdoor fire pit. They now are just tucked into new beds, in a new room downstairs. Two aunties sleep in the guest room across the hall so they can intercept if the kids (now eight and ten) are uncomfortable with this new sleeping arrangement.

After all is quiet, I tuck into bed upstairs with tea and cookie. It's been a full day. I even got an end of September swim with the youngest. My eyelids are heavy.  Before tea and cookie are gone, footsteps on the stairs.  The door opens and two Grands are standing at the end of the bed, each with a twinkle and a grin. "Grandma," they announce decisively, "we can't sleep!"

Not so enthusiastically, I ask, "How did you get past your aunties?"
I am informed, "We looked in but they are asleep." Now, it is about ten-thirty. We chat and then I tuck them in again. Going upstairs and just dozing off, two little silhouettes appear at the end of the bed. Now, I do know they honestly cannot sleep. So out we go for a snack. Food works, sometimes. Not this time. So another try, then another, and another with books being read in between. Finally, back to their beds again. Then, one asks if I will go right to sleep when I go back upstairs. I assure them, I will "in a blink." It is now going on three in the morning.

That did it -- oh, me of little forethought. Both sit straight up, stating, they can't sleep if no one else is awake in the house! The final solution. Upstairs they come. One crawls in with me and the other falls asleep in the bed across the hall.

Yet, I still have this little face on the pillow looking at me with the sweetest smile, all buttoned-eyed. What to do? Sheep, I haven't tried sheep. I explain how it works. We will count sheep jumping over hedgerow styles -- counting back from ten to one. I begin, taking my time describing what a hedgerow might look like (with a little embellishment) and then we got those sheep all lined up and ready to go. Eyes are shut, little hands are up under the chin as if in prayer.

All ten get over and eyes are still shut. Yeah, it worked! Then, eyes pop open with a little giggle. Resigned to my fate, I sigh, "Ok, let's start at twenty." My turn to pray. Fifteen sheep make it, I glance over, not a twitch in that little face. Sleep has thankfully arrived. Testing time. Without breaking cadence, now didn't one of those darn sheep get its hind foot caught in the hedgerow style at number five. Holding my breath, I wait for a response, none. Silence and gratitude twin my moment. Oh, a little giggle but not from me.

I am out of ideas and now it is three-thirty. Defeated, I turn out the lights, drape my arm over my Grand's chest hopefully for comfort and suggest we just lie still. Five minutes later, without sheep, books, or food, we both succumb.

I could look at the night as a bit of a disaster if I had wanted rest? Yet, we had twinkles, laughs, and stories. Eventually, they didn't know how to solve the sleep problem any more than I. We were indeed bonded in helplessness.

At the family dinner the next day, my youngest Grand turns to me and announces with excitement and a giggle, "Grandma, it was the number five sheep that got its hind foot caught going over the style."
"Indeed it was, Granddaughter."  Hmm, a little gold tint from a sleepless night -- maybe a childhood memory?  

Could it be in years to come, my Grands will say, as Valecha observed,
"The days (and even the nights) were golden and the memories are still there in (our) veins...
Ahhh, that were (our) childhood days..."

Friday, September 28, 2018

My first inkling, the seeming death of my father...

We only part to meet again.
                                         ~ John Gay

My first inkling there may be life after death happened the afternoon my father was buried. He was fifty-seven and I was twenty-eight. Being brought up a Protestant, I had accepted by word of mouth, there is life everlasting. My acceptance was too surface to have anything to do with belief and certainly nothing to do with experience.

For months before my father died of a brain tumor, he disintegrated before our eyes and before his own. He went blind within weeks, lost his body functions which embarrassed him greatly, and shortly after that, his ability to speak. It was horrible and his death was a relief. My mother, his devoted younger brother and I had been traumatized by merely watching his dying. I could not imagine what he had been going through.

Coming home from the cemetery after the funeral, feeling the darkness and angst of the past months and the grave, I started to plod my way upstairs to change my clothes.  As my foot took the first step, there on the third step up was my father -- as clear as if he was standing in the flesh. He was laughing! Shocked still, with no time for disbelief, I watched him, captivated. He was looking directly at me. His mouth was open, his head thrown back and his face was full, not skeleton-like as he had been for months.

 He kept on laughing, a happy, joyous laugh. It struck me on the spot, "My father is discovering a great surprise, he lives!" His aliveness permeated the stairs. Then, what seemed like minutes of me staring at him, he was gone (at least beyond the limits of my human eyes).

As I climbed the stairs, laughter began in my stomach. His happiness was contagious. As I reached the top of the stairs, joy was changing my insides. I was laughing out loud. I could not believe it -- joyous laughter juxtaposed with grief, pain, and darkness of these past few months. The graveyard feeling an hour ago was now culminating with his and my laughter.

My awestruck spirit felt pixie-light for the first time in months. I knew my father was great. At core, I just knew he was alive and swell. Amen.

Friday, September 7, 2018

We are all it ~ and the cactus couldn't resist.

The other morning I woke into the most velvet feeling moving through my chest. It felt material, tangible, alive, and it didn't even feel like a feeling! I didn't want to call it love although it landed me in that place, that aliveness which rather felt like a river flowing through my chest.

Generally, I hop out of bed, sit for prayer, and start the day. Not that morning. I was spellbound. And thankfully, it was the weekend; I didn't have to move. After a while, I grabbed a pencil and wrote the following, "Stay here, here, here in this alive, living flowing, captivation. Draw it in, in, in, like a substance, thick and breathtaking." Maybe this is what every Buddha monk sits in, what every yoga and mystic experience. Maybe this is why they can sit or stand in meditation all day if they choose.

"Several hours later, and here it is still humming, moving, and there doesn't seem to be any little me in the way. It feels so tangible, powerful. A thought, I am going to soak-pray every one I know in this liquid, oceanic love. Ah, then it dawns in me, this is who and what each person is made of. We don't have to be a monk, a yoga, or a mystic to experience this. I merely happened to wake in it."

Just breathing this pure feeling of high love, loving, moving kept reminding me of ocean waves hitting the shore endlessly, ceaselessly -- still coming and still humming. Certainly unnameable in every way yet, so beautiful I could have died in it and been in bliss. And, I was already in bliss, whatever bliss means.

If we could only know this is who we each are but it gets covered over with life stuff -- dents, conditioning, upbringing, education, and old patterns.

By next morning the feeling was beginning to fade, as I hunched it might.

Dropping in on a reader a day later, I began telling her my experience, that we each are this love, loving but we just get covered up with life-stuff dents. When concluding that this must be what every Buddha, yoga, mystic and an enlightened person sits in; she pointed over my shoulder and suggested, I turn around.

I honestly had to look four times. There was her garden Buddha and it appeared the cactus could not resist. It was growing toward the figure, wrapping its tentacles over its arm and around its neck. We both laughed at the seeming absurdity.

Yes, and isn't it great. We are all it -- at core, at essence, at soul -- this river of moving love flowing through this chest, this being, and this room is what we are made of, is our essence. Expanding as it does out beyond time, matter, and any me-ness. I say it, feel it, and have written it but this time the question is like God asking, "But do you really get it, Augusta?"

Friday, August 17, 2018

How old is love-age?

I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun.
                                                                                                         ~ Virginia Woolf

My daughter's friend asked her a few weekends ago, "Is your mother seventy yet?" Actually, sixty-nine was a while back. Yet I can hardly relate to any chronological number. My wrinkles tell me I very well maybe one hundred and fifty but that is not so, either.

 Physical age feels so black and white, so rigid, so solidly yes or no, and so obsolete. Actually, if I didn't look in the mirror, I might not be able to get the number right. So if no number was involved, would I truly know how old I am?

However, what I do know is,  I want to be the best age I can and live whatever magical-mystery this living purports to be. Yet, there's a problem, a number has been put on my age for the next year and now, in a culture of ageism, I have to live with its stereotype.  I hear of someone that is seventy and I think, "Oh they are old!" Then sobering, I reflect, "Oops, I passed that a while back." Thus, this solid-age-thing is tricky for my identity.

 Stereotypes issue from musty patterns of seeing that come from a climate of social conditioning which cultivates racism, sexism, gay-ism and a host of other isms that have nothing to do with our true identity and too often rob us of our natural selves.

So where do I find agelessness? I have no wish to be a fake-young or a fake-old. The piano takes me to an ageless place. I get a bit crazy. The beat, rhythm and incoming life force just cannot be contained in one small carcass when playing a little honky tonk. Then I catch the look in the eye of my ex who has a type of dementia, I feel my inner-outer eye and his are one. I feel his love flowing and suspect he feels mine. To my young grandchildren, I am just Grandma, fun and ageless. No value judgment attached, no over-the-hill-ism because their eyes too are apparently ageless.

I lost a dear friend a while back. Yesterday I was driving past her house and love, sadness, sorrow and memory in all their freshness awaited. I was ageless, she was ageless. No number for that as it was all alive and well.

How old am I?  People might as well ask me if love is old, if joy is old, or is laughter or sadness  old. I stop, look, and feel.  Nope, can't put a number to it. When I am in joy I feel nothing but joy, when in love, that's it, no age. Sorrow is sorrow, pain is pain, in fact, every feeling and emotion I have is ageless. I stop, breathe and wow, breath has no age either which begs the question, What age am I really? 

Again, I stop, feel the feeling. How old is love-age? How can I put a number to it? I spill over everywhere -- and discover the truest part of me is formless. Thus, I am concluding, like Virginia Woolf, "I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun."

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Taking my Funk out to lunch...

Most of us feel down at times. Sometimes this sluggish energy waits for us on waking and other times it just moves in for a little. A reader and I were talking about this recently. How emotions dip and one is left feeling like a squashed tomato.

She began telling me how she had handled her funk a while back. "I tried to move it for a couple of days, which is rare for me, but I couldn't get rid of it. So I took Funk to town and visited several art galleries I had wanted to see. We went to the Maud Lewis exhibition. And God, if anyone needed a funk it was her, yet she kept right on painting.

"After Maud, I decided to take Funk out to lunch at the restaurant across the street. The server asked if there was two of us. I said yes. She gave me a puzzled look and brought the extra fork, knife, and napkin. Funk and I actually had a delightful lunch. By the time I arrived home later that afternoon, Funk was nowhere to be seen."

I asked why she thinks to take her funk out for lunch worked? "Well, it was crying for heaven's sake. It was like a little being that needed attention, needed to be important. Besides, it didn't like Funk food.
"Good land, what's Funk food?"
"Oh, doing the same old, same old all the time. It needed something fresh and new that was different and something we both wanted to do. It needed to hold court, to be honored. Lunch out just seemed to fit. Besides, if I had asked Funk if it wanted another day of the same old, same old routine, it would have rolled its eyes and said, "Right!"

Later, I pondered the same question, why was taking Funk out effective? As she said, "For two days, I was fighting it but couldn't rid myself of it. I had to do something. So I put it outside of me and objectified it. Then I listened.  It was crying and wanted change. It didn't want to know what came next, and next, and endlessly next. It wanted to be acknowledged."
I quired, "That's it?"
"Well partly, Yet seeing the funk as other than me, I was freed from its identity which left my beautiful, natural, larger self in charge.

Looking satisfied, she added, "And next time Funk comes back, I am taking her to Winner's and buying her a new outfit."

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Oh you rascal day, what music will you play?

Hello Day, you little rascal. What have you in mind for this small box called me? Will I feel your early freshness like an inner morning skin? Will I pause to see your skies and hear your laughter in the wind? What music will you play?

Three hours later, lunch. "Ohhh Day, not once did I come out to play, or see your sky, or hear your wind. Too much to do."  

Yet now that I have paused, a delightful discovery, I am breathing! Ears hear, and eyes begin to see. Five minutes ago, I didn't know I had a chest, hand or heart. In fact, except for coffee and chore, I and everything around me ceased to exist. Ah, there is the ping of mesquite needles dancing on the roof as this red geranium here on the deck is shocking desert sand. 

I slow my breath.  How differently I feel; a little more awareness, a little warmer chest. Now comes this breaking wave of sweetness, a place of sacred space -- with a giggle waiting there.

"But Day, some days aren't so fun where tear and pain await; where light and merry heart can share no hope. What sayest thou, then? How will I avoid the inner cactus needles and dodge the snakes on evening walk?  And oh, that I don't fall to sleep again where hand, cloud, and all go missing except for chore."

Ah, and Day responds. "I am your strength, your comfort, your balm of Gideon. I am love in spite of worry, I am in your tear but not your tear, and in your fear but not your fear. Cleave the rock, the pain, the loss, I am balm to be discovered and invited as I dress your wounds while reaching deep.

"So, come on -- come with me. I am your magic-mystery tour -- skies will open, spirit-winds do run wild, and laughter does pass over this earth.* We will live and play this day and in my music, you will climb your hills and dance your song.  For as you see, I am your rascal Day. I am your seeing heart.

* a suggestion of paraphrase from Tagore's Gitanjali's reflections...

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Life’s a schoolroom for our human lessons…

Life is a schoolroom for our human lessons…
                                                 ~ The Cottage Woman

Many of the questions I asked the cottage woman (personally known as Metude) were for the people I was working with who were seeking spiritual and personal development. As I began to visit her, I recognized the wisdom she offered others could apply to me or anyone as it was generic in nature. During the five years of visits, she continued to emphasize that we are here to learn and that life and its situations are indeed a school room for our human lessons.  (Names, of course, are changed to protect privacy.) 

Below is an excerpt from a dialogue in reference to a friend who felt weighted and stressed by her family's needs and demands. Many of the questions I asked the cottage woman were requested. Then, in the visit, I would initially describe the situation to her as I did below, even though she seemed to know their situation better than I

 "As you are aware Metude, Pam wants your comments on how she is doing. And I might add, if it were not for her husband exerting his unhappiness and needing to control her, her children never doing a chore, and her mother and sister calling with their complaints, life might be more livable. Yet, she can not seem to say 'no'." 

My old friend is quiet as she begins to rock, then replies, "The body (Pam) is weak, must protect itself from exhaustion. Your friend accepts too much responsibility. These family situations are given for her to work with, but not to own themMuch confusion over loving someone.  She suffers from stress and must get rest. She has not learned yet to set aside what is stressful and what is not to own.  And because she doesn't, it causes her a great deal of pain."
 "Yes, true."  And I feel bad for her. 

Looking to see if this ancient woman shares my feeling, her face is expressionless. She merely continues to explain, matter-of-factly, "It is her learning.  She must set stress aside and go for her strength.  It is inward.  She sees stressful situations as pain and pain only.  She has difficulty getting past the situations and that compounds the problems.  Must learn to pace herself and take time for herself.  She lacks discipline which is much needed in this area.  It is the next hurdle she will work onlearning patience with herself and mainly, learning there is more to life than giving.  She must take time for growth and her needs.  

Metude pauses, then reflects, "Yah, tis goot.* She is beginning to see this. Although hard on herself and not able to live up to her own demands, yet, she is quite goot at healing herself.  She must hear this." 

"But Metude, Pam is really stressed about Frank in particular. He blames her for his unhappiness."

"She is learning. As the stress increases, it is how the human lessons are fortified." Hmm, everything seems be a human lesson.
 "My land, I never thought of stress working for her."
 "Only when the pressure is on will she learn to deal with the situation. Both parties are learning. One (her husband) is learning to be independent and make decisions. The other is gaining freedom but freedom is not gained without pain. We will proceed." Imagine, stress and pain functioning to pressure her toward freedom!  Yet it makes sense, as when the pressure is on, I get more work done. Also apparently her increasing independence is helping Frank to be more independent. 
However, I must remember, my negative thoughts about Pam's troubles weigh her down.  It is definitely a lot harder to find positive thoughts when in pain or watching someone else's. 

Her words did remind me of an earlier visit about a young man I had been working with.

"I have another person I am concerned about Metude. He is under a great deal of stress. He is only young but he feels tired all the time and cannot sleep. Is he sick?"
 "It is as it must be. When you are concerned for him it weights him and adds to his weariness because you do not see it as positive but as sick, which adds to the negative force. You must help others to change their perspective. Sub-consciously, he knows you fear for his health."  Oh, the power of thought and my genuine concern weights him and adds to his weariness… And this is my human lesson. Imagine, can our thought be that powerful? This is a fascinating concept: my genuine concern can add an emotional weight and negativity to my young friend’s spirit. This, of course, applies to Pam, myself, and everyone else. If I look at the situation as negative she is telling me I add to another's weariness and burden.

And decades later, I have concluded as Buddha did 2500 years ago, 

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”   
                                                             ~  Buddha

*The cottage woman always pronounced good as "goot". 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

We are not our bodies...

We are not our body.... We are that which possesses a body and that which stands outside the body.... (We) exist quite apart and independent of it.
                                                                   ~  N. Walsch

Thank goodness, we are not our bodies. The essence of who we are is larger than this earth plane, larger than my chest, stomach, or any other part of me -- larger than these bunch of particles called a body.  As I have written numerous times, the physicists tell us there is no matter, we are not a solid anything.  That I am concrete is definitely a case of mistaken identity or as modern science leaves it, an old fashion idea.

An acquaintance has just had her hands, feet and other parts of her body, removed. These body parts are not the alive woman I hear about, loving her young son, her husband. I also learned that fact one sunny day on the other side of the Tucson mountains. I regained consciousness on the road to see a twisted arm, supposedly mine, a wrist that was at a weird angle, also supposedly mine. Then I saw the smashed mirror and only the handlebars left of the motorcycle laying next to legs that looked like crooked stovepipes and both of them, supposedly mine.

Thank God, we are not our bodies. Our larger selves cannot get sick as they are not us.  My Ex is no more his Alzheimer's than I am a duck. His eyes and spirit tell me that all the time. In fact, my body hovered for quite awhile on the edge of living but I always felt very much alive and in some weird way, untouched. The accident didn't seem to happen to me, to my essence me-ness, to this that laughs, loves, cries and dances in spirit with rod-spiked legs. My essence didn't seem to be involved.

 Sometimes we just have to survive skin, bone, and organ but know we are not them.  I look down right now at a body, dissolving. Face wrinkled, hands wrinkled, and quite frankly there is not much that isn't. And before long dust or cinders await this physicality.

However, our wonderful bodies, while we have them, truly and merely are like the butterfly cocoon, a vehicle to expand our larger selves until we burst its skin. No, I am not my feet, hands, legs, heart, liver, brain -- which all begs the question, Who and what am I then?

Maybe, like Teilhard de Chardin, the great philosopher and paleontologist pointed out, "We are not human beings in search of a spiritual experience. We are spiritual  beings in search of a human experience."

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Real happiness in an ordinary toe...

Real happiness lies in that which never comes nor goes but simply is...
                                                                                               ~ Ram Dass

For several years this thought that happiness must come in layers has pushed to be written. After many happiness parties and life situations, I still felt something was missing. However, what is tricky --  is to know when I am happy, am I happy, really? And is there more to happy than happy situations which seem to end or become the proverbial carrot for the next chase.

Surface happiness, things are going well and life feels great and fun. However, at times, these glad events are like watching a scene that is perfect yet, views like a phantom, tableaux vivant. And as happy and grateful as I am for this human, worldly, wonderfulness I still detected a surface happiness.

The real happiness I am discovering (after some years) is more than being ok with self and those around one. Real happiness feels larger, deeper, more home, more ultimate, more right down to hard rock. Even when things go all wrong, it holds and stays the winds of the ordinary and is balm for the wound. Here, happy cells heal. Here, one catches the light in the littlest detail*, the least breath, and the farthest star. Here, is a glow, an iridescence, different than wonderful worldliness -- now most real, most perfect.

The Secret is simple -- real happiness flourishes in my chest, in this Me in me, this Be in being that comes in velvet breath... And as Ram Dass has observed, real happiness lies in that which never comes nor goes but simply is...

* When writing "light in the littlest detail" above, I came across this journal entry written a few decades ago, and a day or two after a visit with the Cottage Woman...

"I love the earthiness of living. Right now the light is playing on my toe. Sounds funny, yet this exquisite moment is counterpoint to such an ordinary toe! I wonder if there is any ordinary in ordinariness because there is nothing more ordinary than this toe. Maybe if I could see like the Cottage Woman, it would all be diffused with light, even the kitchen pot there, sitting on the stove."

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A new day and every raindrop has meaning...

Greetings to each,  a new start...

 After five years of writings, some of which are now published in the book Moments That  Blink Back, it is time again to start anew. Yet first, I want to thank you, the readers, for your encouraging and appreciative responses to the book.

Since my last writing was posted in April,  I have been working on my next book titled, The Cottage Woman. Several decades ago,  I met with a wise, old woman who visited me in a  small, rustic cottage located on the North Atlantic coast. We talked every couple of weeks for five years. Thus, I call her the Cottage Woman. 

Because of her, I discovered over time the five senses are fine except there is more: there is a beyond the five senses. I was learning that to listen to the unseen, the invisible; one develops another kind of listening and seeing.  

Early in my visits with her, I kept interpreting her lesson as physical listening and physical seeing. However, she had something else in mind and began to teach me a different kind of language and a deeper wisdom.

As a prologue to this book being published, I will begin threading some of her excerpts in between the new writings about the magic of everyday living. The timing of these writings and her wisdom will be more spontaneous than in the former postings.

Also when quoting the Cottage Woman, my immediate thought responses back then (as recorded in my journal) are put in italics.

These new writings will also be posted on my website. I do hope you enjoy...

My best, Augusta

The Cottage Woman often reminded me that I need to live a life of caring. Below is part of our conversation about a year after I met her. After trying to live her advice for decades and often missing her mark, I have concluded her wisdom can enrich anyone's daily life. 

Her encouragement is thus, "You are to remember you are in Presence.  Must feel it, lead into it, hold it.  Must have confidence in yourself and walk with assurance and love.  
You must also be very aware of being loving.  Walk in love. You do not do these things by yourself.”  How many times have you told me this, but it is different hearing about it each time. It is shocking to realize how much help the Other Side gives us humans and we are not even aware it exists for the most part!
She continues seemingly ignoring my thought, “Be alert. Every moment has meaning, every step, every breath. Be very sensitive to air, light; it engulfs and enfolds you, even the touch of air. Every rain drop has meaning.” I love what I am hearing. 

Then I ask about something which I often do to relax and center myself. "Has my walking awareness improved?"
My old friend pauses, tilts her head and repeats, "Making every step count.  Breathe.  Every moment has meaning.  One is very sensitive to air, to light that engulfs and enfolds one: even to the touch of the air.  Every touch of snowflake, every raindrop has meaning."                                                                                                              
                                                     The Cottage Woman