Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Papa's on the job. All's well.

.My husband is the most spiritually-aware man I know. I think he was born with the sense of belonging to something greater than himself and has simply taken his divine connection as a matter of course, just letting it be refined over time as he discovered methods of expression that suited him. These days he smiles more and says less as he softly retreats into the silence of increasing deafness. As he approaches his 90th birthday, his mobility is compromised so that he cannot engage in the visual and kinesthetic creativities he once did, but none of this seems to trouble him in the least. His spiritual connection is as strong as it ever was, and he knows he is greatly loved. For him it doesn’t get any better than this.

The door...opens...

This is a man who calls God, “Papa,” and please don’t mistake this as some reference to a Big Guy in the Sky. For my husband it is simply a comfortable appellation he uses when he turns his mind to Infinite ways. The minute he thinks of Papa, the door to the Universe opens to him, and he is once more immersed in the inner life he loves best. It is natural for him to say, “Papa’s on the job. All’s well,” and a small world of people who know him seem to love it too. No lights, no bells, just the quiet turn to Papa.

Personal connection...

It’s important, I think, for each of us to recognize a personal connection to whatever we believe, something made alive and vital. Spiritual principles are all well and good, but there needs to be a beating heart through all of it. These are complicated times, and it is a complex world we live in. I think we need all the help we can get, both internally and externally. We may look to more intricate formulas to secure ourselves, which are, of course, our choices, but perhaps something as simple as “Papa’s on the job. All’s well,” may do.

It is certainly worth the effort.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On morelovemorelovemorelovemorelove

Adela Rogers St. Johns, 20th Century author, screenwriter and journalist, was a friend of the Science of Mind Magazine  and would write a monthly set of Daily Guides from time to time. I remember quite vividly the first sentence from one of the Guides. It said whimsically: morelovemorelovemorelovemorelove. At that time only someone as famed as she was could have created such a crowded, power-filled statement. Today, however, is another matter. In a world rapidly growing more aware of our irrevocable connectedness, such a concoction of words would fit right in. It might be sought after as a visual reminder of the assurances of belonging so many long for.

The sole impulse...

Ernest Holmes called love “the grandest healing and drawing power on earth” and in the heavens too, for that matter. Astrophysicists tell us that we are part of a grand recycling system and that even our bodies circulate the dust of stars. Love is the essence of Oneness and as Holmes has written, “the sole impulse for creation.”

Recognizing and sharing...

What is the problem then? What keeps us from recognizing and sharing the essence that runs through all, regardless of belief systems or perhaps lack of them? Do we so fear that which seems different that we cannot recognize how much we are alike? It has been said that, if alien people from another planet could look down on us from a space ship they would see how homogeneous we are as a species and be very little caught up in our distinctions.

Practice remains...

As a race we have grown wise in technologies and the use of mechanics. We can do more and know more than our ancestors ever imagined. What still remains to practice and spread as vigorously as we can for our own living sakes is morelovemorelovemorelovemorelove. Maybe we ought to graffiti the word all over the walls of buildings, freeway overpasses, maybe even the Library of Congress and the Eiffel Tower…and inside the chambers of our own hearts.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On Chocolate for Days and Days


On a recent blog I indicated I had had an important birthday, and some of my coolest friends, my husband, and I gathered at our favorite restaurant to celebrate. In honor of the occasion, many brought one of my favorite treats…chocolate…chocolate with nuts and fruits…chocolate as creamy, gilt-wrapped truffles and crunchy bricks…chocolate with alcohol flavoring, even chocolate sprinkled with sea salt. It all had one thing in common; all the chocolate was dark. Not any namby-pamby milk chocolate, which is what chocolate "interns" consume, and absolutely no white chocolate, which is a sin against nature! This was all seriously dark, sweetened just enough to keep the taste buds from puckering up. And so, perusing my treasured haul a little later, I could see that I had chocolate for days and days!

Days and days...

The memory of “days and days” is a throw-back to my childhood when my sainted mother, seeing her children pushing their vegetables around on their plates, would say, “You’re going to sit there for days and days until you eat those vegetables!” Naturally as an imaginative child, I could see myself at the table all day, overnight, and into the next morning, so the hated vegetables got eaten. But what began as a pejorative eventually morphed into possibilities of continuous pleasure, and days and days came to hold flowing anticipation that brought light and hope. I could enjoy little habits that held positive meanings for days and days. I could enjoy small gifts for days and days brought by others who love enough to bring them. For me, some new beginnings last for so many days and days that, happily, they never progress to conclusions.

New Beginnings...

Yes, my birthday chocolates will last for days and days, and they will also come to an end along with many happily-remembered delightful, gastronomic digestions, but the love infused in every piece will go on for endless days and days…new beginnings all over again.

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You might enjoy "On Wonderful Me"

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Go Fly a Kite!

Those of us who are old enough may remember a time in our youth when someone rudely dismissive of us might have tossed off a comment like, “Oh, go fly a kite!” This was usually meant to get rid of a pesky kid and was not a big deal. Well, times have changed! The old, simple wooden sticks and scraps of cloth that held a kite together are no more. Today’s kites are works of wonder and things of beauty.

Majestic beauties...

In our neighboring kite park every weekend there are majestic beauties filling the skies…sharply winged kites that sweep and buzz with small motors that catch the wind…30-foot, multi-colored octopi whose tentacles trail behind them…tiny, crab-like kites that dance along the grass and never leave the ground. These days there are numerous kite festivals that involve not only huge kites with many parts but also expert flyers who can make multiple kites fly together in masterful symmetry.

Supportive breezes...

Now that there is a real art in kite flying and the flyer can place a kite just where he wants it to go, I have noticed how the wind treats some kites. Small kites without much scope or durability will not fly too high and be caught up in the near-ground breezes and tossed about uncontrollably, especially if the kite flyer is new at the game. But large, soaring kites, handled by experts who can navigate, will make their ways to the calmer updrafts high in the sky. There they rest on the supportive breezes that evenly keep them in place; sometimes they fly so high they are just a dot, barely recognizable.

We can soar...

In some ways, kites sometimes remind me of us. When we can’t get rid of the small stuff, we are batted around by anything that comes along, but when we are serene enough to let ourselves be lifted by the updrafts of Spirit, we can soar into new realms that we may never have known before.

Hmmm….seems kite flying can be more instructive than we thought…

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On Turning 80

The fact that I have been working on this blog for months interests me, along with another fact…that I am now considering my life in terms of decades rather than just years, even though I could have been doing this already for a number of decades. A scattering of years seems indeterminate, but counting decades sucks you right into serious accountability of time. Equally daunting is the awareness that I now obviously have much more physical past than future to consider. Time seems to be speeding up as the years begin to clump together more. Do I fear what eventually lies ahead? I may have once, but not now. I am no longer searching for who I am; I’ve figured enough out. What I do notice lately is that I have many days when I look in the mirror and ask, “How in the hell did this happen?” I haven’t decided whether turning 80 is an accomplishment… or a shock!


I have lived long enough now to have created a history of my own, and from it I have gained a thing called perspective. I have discovered that the gaps between my successes and failures have narrowed quite a bit. In some ways they have almost evened out. Don’t mistake me, though; the genuine loves have never dimmed, and the great losses still ache, but most everything else seems not quite as important as it once did. The job that didn’t pan out is just a memory, and the man I thought I’d never forget I can barely remember.

Walk with us...

I know this much. If the people who come into our lives do not get to be themselves, we will eventually be very lonely. Others cannot possibly be who we want them to be, and they cannot possibly fill the empty holes in us. They were never meant to. They walk with us…and we with them…along the multiple paths our lives will take.

A work in progress...

When I look in the mirror at the face I did not plan on, I ask myself: Am I growing old? Then I remember a current TV ad that asks: Doesn’t growing old mean living longer? This is a really, really good question. On the other hand, growing old is an established condition. Not much we can do about that…but growing old-er is a work in progress, open ended, not fully established, still malleable. Given my choices, I think I’ll opt for the latter.  And maybe, as Dr. Christiane Northrup suggests, I can become an "ageless goddess!"

So…80’s here.... Nailed it.... On to 90.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On The Drought


You know there’s a drought when farmers and fishermen alike cut back on water usage. You know there’s a drought when we pour leftover water on plants…or take showers only every couple of days…or rinse out the sink using a cup rather than a stream of water. You know there’s a drought when the weather mavens determine whether we have rain or drizzle by the size of the miniscule droplets of water. In California these are the things that get our attention these days. And when the late-night comedians take them on, we know we’re in trouble because they’re doing what they do best…making fun of things that aren’t funny!

A One-Time Gift...

Some decades ago it blew me away to discover that water was a one-time gift. Like so many other non-critical thinkers, I thought that water rained on earth endlessly from the heavens. Not so, it appears. Apparently water was bequeathed to the planet just once over the billions of years of planetary formation, and we are now part of its great, recycling systems. This means we must take care of our seas, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and underground aquifers, for once emptied, they take a long time to refill. And such a strange, recycling pattern it is. Parts of our country wash away in floods, tornados, and hurricanes while California and the American southwest parch and blister.


Barring some elegant technology that we know nothing about yet, the drought stricken among us have our marching orders. Conserve, conserve; use as little water on outdoor plants as possible. Brown is the new green; pray, perform rain dances (works for me), and become more ingenious as we can at living lives a little dirtier than we might like.

Looks like the term, “no sweat,” is going to become a call to action!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On Sanctuary


On a recent Sunday I had the pleasure of listening to a ministerial colleague comment on his topic for the day…Sanctuary. The moment he spoke the word into the room, I felt a profound depth stir in me, something primal and beautiful. I was reminded immediately of the old, medieval stories that told of people’s fleeing into churches to avoid persecution or prosecution. Once inside the church walls they could claim sanctuary and be safe from harm. As long as they remained inside the church, they were safe. Safe…at ease…secure, that’s it, isn’t it? Sanctuary. My colleague defined sanctuary as “a place of refuge, safety, comfort,” which churches and holy places still provide in their special ways. We expect them to be places where we may be received without judgment, where we may be uplifted by enlightened thought, where we may be immersed in an atmosphere of prayer and lifted Godward.


But my friend also broadened his scope…and mine…as he considered a much larger field of sanctuary. Quoting from a favorite scholar, Thomas Troward, he read, “The whole world is a temple of the spirit and you, yourself its sanctuary.” I had to ask myself: Is there a place in me so broad, so God-filled that those in my orbit can feel safe…secure…loved…in a place of refuge? Can others hide out for a while in the wings of my own atmosphere. Could I be like a great, leafy tree where birds come for shelter? I know this can happen. I have been with people who carry sanctuary with them wherever they go, and they are not necessarily great church leaders but often just vital human beings living their lives, knowing who they are.

Temples of the spirit...

My next question followed naturally. Could we begin to see ourselves as temples of the spirit, places where the divine resides so that we have light to share, gifts to bring…and refuge to offer? Think of what this could mean to a world so harmed by fears and uncertainties. What if we brought the best of ourselves into every day, not judging, simply loving as well as we were able at any given moment and making this a natural way of life?

Imagine what the world might become if we said yes.

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