You've entered the caverns, enjoy your stay.
Hesitating for a moment, Etienne heaved a heavy sigh. It must be done. He opened the door to the hall closet. A cluttered jumble, a tangled accumulation of strangely familiar objects greeted his eyes. Yes, indeed! He'd stuffed quite a number of articles into this darkened void. His eyelids lowered, blocking the sight of his own creation. He winced, nostrils flaring.
Emanating from the detritus of past endeavors rose an odor. Dust? Sweat? A combination of both with a touch of... pukey mold thrown in? What an idiot! His eyes flew open. Really there wasn't an inch of free space. (Well, a scarce twelve inches above the tightly occupied shelf remained free.) It must be done! God, country, and room to hang a jacket! His hand reached for the tangled mass. Wait! I need light! Insects, rodents, something unforeseen might lie within...
He wisely envisioned a host of invaders assembled within this makeshift menagerie. Creatures that bite and scurry away - afraid to stand in battle against a usurper.
The unhinging effects of FEAR might well be expressed in two oppositional anagrams. Forget Everything And Run. Or, Face Everything And Rise. Personally, I'd rather be on the side backing positive life choices. It's a good thing we finally stood up to the slaughter of the innocents in Syria. To Hades with the bigots and murders!
"If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?" Confucius
Early spring. Snowflakes drifting to the ground. Tiny bits of ice sailing on buoyant swirls of air. Yet the blades of newborn grass are only wet. Green. The warmer earth refuses to give way.
HOt DOg! I didn't buy fertilizer for nothin'.
Celebrate the Chocolate Bunny!
& Hope for the Approach of Spring ...
Living on the coast of Rhode Island can mean unpredictable weather. Schizophrenic might apply. Last weekend seven-plus inches of snow graced the landscape in a blanket of white. Nasal sinuses snapped-open in the cold crisp air. Ice crystals crunched beneath my boots. Today the temp is a balmy 54, and the snow melted hours ago. I'm considering unboxing a pair of sandals. Why not? There's already a glass of iced tea before me.
Yesterday an associate asked me what I dream about. Most of my dreams focus on the pressurized details of relocating one's home, but in last night's offering a group of us were putting on a play. The harrows of memorizing lines, piecing together intricate costumes, and coordinating rehearsals caused me to run from one imaginary room to the next. Laughing amidst a stream of brightly colored backdrops, I yo-yoed from elation over the project to frustration with sleepy-headed fellow thespians. The stream of encounters exhausted me. I shouted, "Wake up" to myself. Consciousness arrived after 9 am. Interesting turn of dream-subject. There's a play contained in the fifth novel. Think this is a subconscious message? Like: Etienne, get on with publishing The Theater of the Lost!
So this is the world we face today: a coming winter, irritating people gnashing their teeth just to maintain dominance, and all-around a sorrowful lack of compassion. Who are we? When I ask myself this question, I take a deep breath and believe it or not, ask the Holy Presence to keep me focused. Better to respond to biting accusations with silence. To respond in kind only weakens my ability to serve. And you see, that's what I've been called to do. Serve. Not those yearning for power, but those barely able to ask. Yes, the inarticulate, the stumbling, the ones near tears. Like myself, they need healing too.
Another old adage: Actions speak louder than words. A man says, "No one has greater respect for women than me." We've all noticed that he owned beauty pageants. Oversaw everything from picking contestants to awarding the prizes. Why? So he could feast satyric eyes on what? The cream of the crop. How do we know at least that much? Because his wealth never sponsored a pageant praising cooking or car mechanics, instead he bragged about his lecherous attraction.
Are we in a period of emotional dryness? An especially prolonged era where the primary forethought reads: "What's in this for me?" The lack of personal benefit equaling a distancing of self, or worse, a false sense of assurance. "These events are happening to 'them'"; or "I'm secretly glad this doesn't involve me." I was sitting in a group of teachers and counselors when the question of mood altering drugs arose. A round table show-of-hands revealed that only two of us (myself and a rather astute teacher) were the only ones not on some form of tranquilizer. Granted these are complex and draining times. Have we the courage to stay invested in life? I certainly hope so. Retreat? Only when drawing our last breaths.
Within our Basket of Admonitions there's an old saying: You can never go home. I beg to differ. A person can travel to the locale. Overall topography will remain unchanged, many of the same structures might still be standing, the smell of the air, the way the light hits the trees in autumn...these will stir remembrances. What is true about the phrase is the subtle caution it provides regarding human relationships. They are dynamic and in a constant state of flux. I've often observed that people are busy either ascending to more constructive planes or descending onto less productive levels. The latter all too often like a spiraling dive out an airplane. An exhilaration fraught with danger. Climbing upward to happy enlightenment, worth the effort to some, stays a less common occurrence. My grandfather used to tell me that it takes years to build something good and the result can be destroyed in only a minute. He was right of course. So I'll continue striving toward ascent.
These days and times. Troublesome, yes? One can almost feel the tension building in the air. Anxiety. Edginess. Sense something momentous coming? On the horizon, still identifiable. Relax, just for a moment. Don’t loose hope. Take a deep cleansing breath. Sharpen your perspective. Good things, happy occasions may still be celebrated. There are monsters and there are saints, the trick is to know one from the other when you see them.
Cool and rainy today. After years in the dust of the Southern California desert the air here feels like silk. A moist and welcomed change. (What's that you say? Stephen Colbert reports that 'moist' is not a popular English word? Personally, I like it a lot. Drenched seems an extreme and moist a subtlety.) Spent time this past weekend re-connecting with family and laughing, laughing. Drank my first glass of homemade rhubarb wine. Felt the warmth down to my toes. Hope life is looking up for you as well.