Tuesday, August 23, 2016

On Home




   
Can’t we all imagine how wonderful it must have been to be in Rio to see the Olympics! To marvel at the magnificent, 125-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Mt. Corcovado, extending its arms to embrace all below it! Or to languish on Ipanema beach or enjoy the vibrant nightlife! Certainly all of this must have been a thrilling, wonderful adventure for visitors and athletes themselves, and …by vicarious extension…those of us at home looking on. How many of us who knew we would never visit such an exotic place yet watched and dreamed of what such an experience might be like!

The looks of home...

Indeed…but then most probably our thoughts returned to us and to what it is that sustains our daily lives… the senses, smells, the looks of home. For those of us who have established roots in a loving environment, home has great meaning. Whenever we come through the door, it receives us. When we awaken in the morning, it awaits our choices. In my case, I am so familiar with its turns and spaces that I can walk through the house in the dark of night and never run into anything. My home is an old friend in so many ways as it receives guests with a comfortable equanimity, and I have only to look outside my front door to see a knotty, 50-year-old juniper that has grown up with my youngest child.

Extension of ourselves...

Home for long-standing inhabitants is an extension of ourselves into the surroundings as well. How vital are the marshlands circling our bay communities! And we don’t have to go far to watch seagulls fight over bits of food.

Fewer and farther in between...


Am I enjoying an over-simplified soliloquy? Perhaps…maybe just passing a little time, but maybe I am remembering and noticing a few images that change only gradually over time, images and treasured enclosures that I count on during times of increasing instability in a greater world that often threatens. These grow fewer and farther in between.


http://More Essays About Everything is now available on Amazon

You might also enjoy "On Brailling."



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On The Rehabilitation of Love


These times are very troubling.  The miseries regarding our coming elections are discouraging; the fear of terrorist attacks keeps everyone on edge.  It is no surprise at all that people of good hearts are calling for more love to emerge every day.  I agree; I agree with Emmet Fox when he writes that “there is no disease that enough love will not heal” and “no wall that enough love will not through down.”  I also think that most of us do not have much of a clue about what to do with the love energies that lie within us.
           
The dynamic energy...

 I have long believed that love is way more than a fine, floaty feeling that makes us feel good when we think about it.  I think that love is the dynamic energy that comes into life with us…in our minds, our genes, in the very cells of our bodies, and this means that love can be quite physical.  A good friend once said that “Service is love in work clothes,” and it is…if we know how to allow it to serve.  On the other hand, love misunderstood, not recognized, turned on its ear becomes hatred and often violence.  Love, by its divine nature, is healing, attractive and creative, but turned upside down, it becomes diseased, ugly and destructive.
          
The forefront of our lives...

  Looks like our essential task now is to bring love, its force, and its flow back into the forefront of our lives and never let it leave.  Perhaps we should always be asking ourselves:  Does what I do demonstrate healthy love?  Since we can never be free of it as a natural energy, we will either use it for good, or we will use it for ill.  As self-aware, spiritual beings living in a demanding world, we will activate the love energies because we cannot keep from doing so, and we now know that love is not only an essence but a “thing” to be reckoned with.
           
 Let us insure that…

      Love builds bridges, not fences.
     Love heals as it reveals.
     Love must always be creative, not destructive.    
     Love makes forgiveness possible.
     Love’s nature is freely unconditional.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

On Respect



    We did not come into life born with respect. We learned it, both for self, others and good ideas. In fact respect, which is a form of care, is such an important skill that people who are not taught it can often live barely civilized lives. A good dose of respect for others, for wisdom, for thoughtful behaviors allows us to learn and grow continuously, well past our childhood years. Lack of respect can actually stunt us since it can close our eyes and ears to the means to live a life that exercises all our vital traits. People who are not respectful of themselves and others often have not been what is now called “parented.” They grew into adult bodies, but not adult styles, and sometimes simply do not know how to act toward other people and in situations that call for genuine consideration.

"Manners"...

In the cave man days of civilization, people of my generation were taught a thing called “manners.” Nowadays that term is often derided as calling for “contrived behaviors,” but that belief misses the point entirely. Mannerly behavior was the doorway to real respect; it was a means of demonstrating concern for another’s well being using language and behaviors that were considerate of other’ feelings. It means that sometimes we approached another with needed sensitivity rather than thoughtlessly bursting through the door, heedless of others’ desires.

Meanness and careless language...

I have watched some folks…who should know better…just scour the atmosphere with meanness and careless language under the guise of “telling their truth,” which was just a way of saying anything they wanted, regardless of who might be hurt. Certainly if we really cared about listening and thinking about general well being, respect for what is at hand would be a natural response and a great opportunity for healing.

http://More Essays About Everything is now available on Amazon

You might also enjoy "On Accountability."