Calm and the certainty of coming sorrow

calm and coming sorrow

In a quiet place, in a quiet moment, the scene opens on a guy sitting in a chair reading and, in between lines, reflecting on his life to date. Something is amiss in his soul, and yet his soul is calm as can be.

He frets at the thought that his noble old dog is showing signs of age, but he accepts he has no power to do anything except love her day by day.

That seems to be what feels amiss – the peace in his heart in the face of coming sorrow.

On the other hand, there’s no point in railing against an unfair but inevitable reality – not when there are still toys to gnaw and fields to wander.


Dare I say happiness?

the first compass flower

Our corner of the world is perhaps not utopia — I sit on a bench in an acre of clover, yes, but at the edge of the land a four-lane highway shouts down the songbirds with the constant shriek of cars and trucks driving to and from tourist paradise. Every so often a break in the traffic provides a glimpse of what once was on this space.

If I turn to my left or right or peek behind me, though, I see forest and a great bay where deer and raccoon and pelican and gull may not exactly thrive but at least they eke out a living. It’s no longer unusual to see a bald eagle and its mate soaring overhead, although it still takes the breath away. And so we screen out the roar of civilization and appreciate the land for what it is.

The first compass flower of the summer is here already, ahead of schedule – and I have been too pressed to the computer screen to have watched the north-facing leaves spiral up and over my head – at least I didn’t miss the yellow burst out of the green. Continue reading →

9 affirmations to make life better

9 affirmations

Thursday was Make Music Day. I missed it, although perhaps I did sense it in the air, because I did pull the guitar off the wall for the first time in ages and pick a couple of melodies for perhaps three minutes.

Every day ought to be Make Music Day. Heck, every day out to be Christmas, like the reformed Ebeneezer Scrooge keeping it in his heart all year. Every day ought to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Every day should be Bill of Rights Day.

Remembering what is good and right and gentle and kind ought to be a daily thing. Practice makes perfect, they say, after all. Continue reading →

Lost connection

dreamstime_s_92401138 lost connection.jpg

The little device chimed. He knew he had another email, but he was in the middle of the project and couldn’t stop.

The little device dinged. That was a news bulletin.

“Sorry, world,” he said. “I’m busy,” but his tone was pleading.

Now the device blooped. It was a text.

He stared. Everyone he knew knew he was in the middle of a project and couldn’t be disturbed except in an emergency. He probably shouldn’t have thrown in the “except in an emergency”; it gave people a loophole.

He picked up the device and the screen lit up.

“You busy?” said the text.

He rolled his eyes and typed, “Knee deep in the project.”

“Oh, sorry,” said the text. And then: “I forgot.”

He sighed. He went back and checked the email. And the news bulletin.

And an hour later, the project deadline passed. When they came to collect the project, no one was in the room, but the device glowed contentedly. He had vanished.

“His phone’s here and open; maybe that will say where he went.” She picked up the phone and vanished, too.

No one is guaranteed a sunset

Life is about enduring to the sunset,
attempting to thrive until the sunset –
because the night is dark
and you’ll need light, and food, and shelter
to make it to the sunrise.

No one is guaranteed a sunset.
But probably, you’ll be there when the sun goes down.
Your days are probably numbered in the tens of thousands.
So make this day worthwhile
so you can rest tonight and think,
“That was a good day,”
so a week from now you can rest and think,
“That was a good week,”
And “That was a good month,”
And “That was a good year.”
All in all, it’s a good life.

We live for the Oh!s

we live for the ohs

There they sit, stacked on the credenza I keep clearing and then cluttering up again – Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, A. Conan Doyle, Ray Bradbury – Thomas Jefferson, Ernie Pyle, Paul Harvey, Elmer Davis – S.I. Hayakawa – voices that have spoken to me long ago, far away, here, and now.

How long have I longed to join them, to be able to assemble words that move the soul so – move the soul where? to action? to understanding? to agreement? or just for show and tell? “Look what I found!” Look what I saw! Look what I heard today!

“Just” show and tell?

Show and tell is how we impart knowledge, how we learn, how we teach.

Something discovered is shared, and something inside thinks, “Oh! That’s how it all connects.” “Oh! That’s where that piece fits.” “Oh! I think I finally understand another bit of the universe.”

We live for the Oh!s. And in sharing, we join the flow, the wisdom of the ages.