Reflections

Truisms…

Love heals all wounds…

Not really, though I might be willing to concede that caring causes most…

Denial – not just a river in Egypt…

Funny. Ha ha! But not. At least not when it really matters…

Truth speaks for itself…

Perhaps the biggest lie of All, because it means nothing, if no one can actually hear it.

***. ***. ***

And in the end, what does it really matter? We will do what we will do, regardless of love, awareness or truth. We will believe what we want to believe, regardless of what wisdom, experience or knowledge we possess. We will trust ourselves before all others, even when we know that we are wrong…

Why?

I have no real idea other than the fact that truisms stand by themselves. Static little moments in a dynamic, ever-changing reality. Anchors in a stormy sea of unrelenting tides and passions…

Hope springs eternal…

Though only in a world where time is irrelevant.

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Reflections

Loving Veterans/Hating War

I am reminded today, Veteran’s Day, of an old dichotomy that I have never understood, and which still rears its ugly, hateful rhetoric quite frequently.

Why can so many NOT understand that it is possible to be both pro-veteran and anti-war at the same time?!

I mean, really people! Is that truly so difficult to understand?! So I thought I’d take one more stab at trying to explain, knowing full well that those who already get it will agree, and those who don’t won’t…

I, personally, love veterans! I mean that sincerely. I grew up in a military family. Most of my family members (and many of my male ancestors) are now enshrined in veteran’s memorial cemetaries. I am the only one in my immediate family who chose not to serve in that capacity, and that is because I have always been anti-war.

Which is not to say that all veterans must be combat vets to truly represent, but all active duty military must be prepared to face combat in order to serve. And that was a commitment I couldn’t make. I remember my father explaining to me that there were useful (and important) ways to serve the U.S. military without facing combat, but the bottom line for me was that, if all else failed, even those support personnel would be called up before civilians would have to “take over,” and I wouldn’t trust myself to serve adequately. Besides, I have never been one to follow orders first and question later, which is precisely the mindset required in emergency situations; my hesitation under those circumstances would cause undue hardship on my fellow soldiers…

But this isn’t really about me. I share these details only to emphasize my point. I know many men and women who joined because it ennabled them to get a “fresh start,” escaping lives of poverty, abuse, gangs, criminal cohorts, etc. I know some who joined out of a sense of duty, and a desire to serve our country. And I’m old enough to know some who were drafted against their wills. But in all cases, they made a commitment to serve, and they did so to the best of their ability. I can only honor and respect that. Always…

But war… War is run by moneyed interests, detached from the personnel and resources they exploit. War wreaks havoc, leaves scars that never heal, denies Life. I cannot respect or honor that. It is not in my nature to do so.

Are wars ever necessary? I don’t truly have the wisdom to answer that. I know I would not be living in this failing democratic republic were it not for those who took up arms against Britain to declare our independent status. But, by the same token, I know I would not be living in this vast, consumer-driven capitalist nation were it not for those who took up arms to annihilate the indigineous people of this land. And while I can tentatively support the first scenario, I can never (in my own heart and mind) justify the latter…

So… I know I lack the wisdom to determine the cause and/or course of war. It makes more “sense” then for me to choose the path of caution, to choose not to support any excuse for war. I declare myself anti-war.

But I have nothing but respect and honor for those who serve the military, in whatever capacity, and for whatever reason. Who serve in times of peace or war. I am pro-veteran to my core…

It is possible to be both, simultaneously, and without contradiction...

Enough said…

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Conversations, Reflections

Moments…

There are moments, like this one, in which everything feels perfect…

Disappointments stand hand in hand with hopes…

Joy and sorrow support one another…

Life echoes in the silence surrounding me, while the Silence mutes the sounds of living…

A cat purrs in timely rhythm with me, clocking each breath I take…

And my heartbeat, steady and slow, drives out all thoughts of death…

And time…

I am alone, yet I am Whole.

I am divided, yet I am sure.

I am ashamed, yet I am wiser.

I am complete.

*** *** ***

And he said to me…

“Did you know it takes three minutes to make a moment?”

“Yes, actually, I have heard that,” I responded. “Thanks for reminding me!”

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Visions

Completion…

and so I stood there, back to the ocean, waiting for that wave to topple and drown me. I did not flinch, nor did I try to move away. Which is not to say I was not afraid, for clearly I was. But it was not fear that rooted me in place, nor courage in defying that fear; rather it was determination, and stubbornness, a desire to see this vision through to completion. I wanted to know whatever the ocean jasper would reveal…

And to my surprise, the wave did not topple me at all!

I watched and felt, awestruck, as the full force of that wave funneled through my chest, blasting open a hole large enough to allow all that water through without resistance. It pooled rapidly around my feet, rising as an incoming tide. The spray of our encounter misted me, melding with the sweet and salty tears flowing down my cheeks. A pressure began to build behind my forehead and in my belly, pushing for release, until small cracks appeared, allowing the water more exit space. Rainbows formed around me in the abundance of ocean spray.

And the water continued to rise…

There was a moment, before I was submerged, in which all the pieces came together. I felt the solidity of the earth beneath my feet, where shifting sands met solid stone. I felt the sun upon my face and skin, warming me from within. I felt the winds of change whip through my hair, euphoric and invigorating. And then the water claimed me.

As it always does…

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Reflections

Bursting Bubbles…

There is a post I recently read that touched me. Deeply. I don’t know why, or how, other than the fact that the topic has been on my mind a lot of late. I’ve reread it multiple times, and still can not form a “proper” response to it. But in contemplating it, my mind has wandered down many seemingly unrelated paths. This post attempts to document that meandering journey, while the link that follows credits the impetus for taking it:

https://spiritandworld.com/2018/10/27/what-is-healing/

*** *** ***

I had a dream the other day, after reading this post on healing. In it I possessed (was given or found) a piece of Ocean Jasper. It is a variety of jasper I’d never even heard of, which I noted in my dream, but it was beautiful; greens and blues and whites, with bubbles everywhere, both actual and bisected (like little bullseyes all around). I was so mesmerized by this stone that I immediately looked it up upon wakening to see if it was a real thing. Turns out it is…

So, off to the gem show I went this weekend (luckily there was a gem and mineral show in town this weekend), daughter and grandkids in tow. I spoke to a vendor about Ocean Jasper, and he knew exactly what I was looking for. He told me it was hard to come by these days, and becoming rarer, as the mines in Madagascar are pretty much tapped out. But he had a chunk at home he could cut for me, and only $75-80 for a decent sized cabochen. I don’t have that kind of disposable income. Disappointed, I took his card anyway, in case by some unforeseen miracle, an extra $100 dropped into my life one day… And off we went to enjoy the rest of the show…

We saw hundreds of rocks. We “ooo’d” and “ahhh’d” over many of them. We looked for samples to add to my grandson’s collection. He learned to sluice, gathering some small, unusual bits he’d “earned.” We talked about taking a trip to Herkimer, about mining our own, and spoke to a knowledgable and patient vendor about the process. My daughter developed an unusual attraction to jasper, being drawn to its many varieties wherever we went; apparently there are many (MANY!) varieties of jasper. As the day drew to a close and the announcements began the final countdown, we visited one last vendor to let the kids choose a stone they felt most attracted to.

After going 3/4 of the way around an immense display of hundreds of varieties of stones, my daughter softly called my name. And there it sat, in a tiny basket with two other stones that looked nothing like it, label almost obscured: Ocean Jasper. Not just any ocean jasper, but THE ocean jasper, straight out of my dream. $5 later I left with a pocket full of dreams. Literally!

*** *** ***

I have been trying to “heal” my self, to become whole and healthy once more. I know it is possible, I believe it is necessary. Not that I should not suffer physical discomforts as all of us must, but because there is something else in that process to “prove.” I don’t know what that is, because I haven’t yet succeeded in accomplishing it. But I am driven to continue trying.

I understand the words used when others describe the process. I “get” the logic (both rational and intuitive) behind it. “It” all makes perfect sense to me…

But still I do not heal. In fact, I seem to be getting worse rather than better. And I do not understand why?! That part does not make sense to me. I am clearly missing something, some vital link, and I cannot determine what it is!

*** *** ***

I have a few sites I visit on the internet fairly regularly. Some are news sites, though I visit them less and less frequently these days as I begin to more fully embrace the “head in the sand” form of reality awareness. Many are blogs or sites where personal and spiritual evolution are discussed or promoted. I go there looking for inspiration, ideas, anything that can spur me forward on my journey.

But lately I find I cannot access those sites. I still get emails from them, every day, but when I click on the email, it doesn’t load. If I try to circumvent the email and go directly to the site itself, it doesn’t load. Hmm…

I thought at first it was my phone, until I realized it was only certain things that wouldn’t work. Then I thought maybe it was the individual sites themselves. I briefly considered a conspiracy-censorship tale, until it occurred to me that the sites were so random and often unrelated (including my own workplace blogs/groups in which I am an administrator!) that were now unavailable to me. In fact, the only thing these sites share in common is that I look to them for insight and direction. And the fact that they all present as blank white screens…

Leaving me feeling lost and adrift, unsure of where or how to anchor myself…

*** *** ***

I had a dream today in which my grandson and I were imagining things together. Suddenly he showed me what we had created, and it was an actual physical object! I was shocked, holding this small stone item he had manifested from our conversation. I thought to comment how it was smaller than I had imagined, but otherwise perfect in detail…

He immediately apologized (for the sizing “error”), and began a new series of “what if we…” remarks to try to “fix” his mistake. To which I could only respond:

“Nonononono… Stop! I wasn’t complaining, I was only surprised. It’s perfect just the way it is! Do you have any idea how amazing this is? How amazing you are?! You created this! Out of our dreams and imaginings. You made it real!”

And then I woke up, still holding the small stone deciphering cube he had created in my memory. Every edge smooth but well defined, a complex collection of smaller cubes combined to form an impossible 3-D structure, all composed of different varieties of jasper…

And a deep sadness to waken fully and discover my hands held nothing but memories of dreams…

*** *** ***

Election day is next week. Yes, I am going to vote, even if I am convinced the act is likely futile. I will go to my polling place. I will express my displeasure with the current government by not voting for anyone running on the Republican ticket. But I don’t yet know who I will vote for.

I am caught in that familiar tug of war between conventional wisdom and my own conscience. Because conventional wisdom says I need to throw my tiny weight behind the Democrats, supporting the two party system, even if I believe the Democrats (individually or as a collective party) are every bit as dirty and corrupt as the Republicans; any other vote dilutes the resistance to the Republicans. If I vote my conscience, if I actually vote for someone, rather than against someone, then I wind up supporting the candidate I definitely don’t want to win. But if I don’t vote my conscience then I wind up voting a blind party line, for a party I don’t even belong to, much less agree with, an act I swore I’d never do. And worse, I continue to feed the two party only machine, making further inroads by independent or 3rd party candidates even more difficult.

So yes, I will vote next Tuesday. But no, I have no idea for whom. And I probably won’t know until after I’ve walked into that booth and seen what I chose to do…

*** *** ***

And I suddenly remember my daughter asking me what the Ocean Jasper does, metaphysically speaking. I don’t really know, it being a stone I’d never heard of before that dream. But my initial research seems to indicate it has two primary functions: to increase empathy (opening channels between self and others) and to promote healing. When I told her this, she laughed out loud…

“Do you really need a stone to increase your empathy?!,” she asked in all sincerity.

To which I could only respond, “I know, right?! It seems counter-intuitive as I’m already drowning in it these days. But the healing… Well, that I could definitely use!”

*** *** ***

And as I write these words tonight, holding tightly to that stone, I sense it rising up behind me, threatening to engulf me totally. I “see” my self standing on the shore, back to the ocean, as a huge wave approaches; translucent blues and greens shimmering in the moonlight, white-tipped foam beginning to furl, full of bubbles… I stand there, rigid and aware, but unable or unwilling to move, anticipating the full weight of this wave crashing down upon me, driving the breath from my lungs, tossing me mercilessly about, helpless and vulnerable against the sheer force of so much water in motion…

Bubbles bursting like “the bombs in air”…

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Reflections

Permission to Cry…

So often we are told, from youth through adulthood, to “suck it up!” To “deal with it!” To “feel it and move on…” And I get that. I get why that needs to happen. We cannot live our lives, meet our responsibilities, or accomplish our goals if we indulge too frequently in moments of unproductive emotional excess.

But sometimes…

Sometimes, I think, we need that time to express that pent-up emotional excess. And for me, today is that day.

There is nothing specifically “wrong” today (that hasn’t been wrong every other day this week). There is nothing unusual about the pain, the sorrow, the grief, the disappointment, the regret… There is no ebbing or deepening of the waves of loneliness, hatred (toward self or others), injustice, or suffering washing over me from countless others coexisting in this world.

In simple terms, today is just another day…

But as the cold rain spills down outside, as I contemplate another seemingly endless day of discomfort followed by a night too short on pleasant dreams, I hear these words echoing softly in my brain:

“You can cry. It’s ok. If you need permission, consider it granted. Cry at will. Indulge your tears. All will be waiting for you when you are done, exactly as it was before you started…”

So…

If any of you are also feeling this need, please consider this post as your permission to cry as well…

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