Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deeper In

Weather changes. Summer gone. Garden exhausted. Me, too.

Time for going in - not merely indoors, but into me, deep deep into heart, mind, soul.

Lower sun, early sunset, chill winds, turbulent skies.

World fades, shuts. Spirit calls, opens. Summer-slammed heart doors creak, beckon 'Enter'. Familiar, pleasant place of mystery, answers, questions, giving up and giving in, firm places to stand, hard places to lean against. God's essence surges.

Late nights, wee hours, thoughts soar, circle bedroom ceiling where sleep evades, flutter with golden leaves down down and up again, winging on updraft, sound, sight, smell of newborn season.

Friendliness, fear, faith. Family. Far-away folks fade. New friends, new family fill fresh void. God takes. God gives. Nothing remains, all ends, all begins. Believer's sustenance.

Belief. Learning, grappling, understanding and confusion, seeking, finding, comprehension, dissipating confusion, freedom, deepening search.

Familiar soothe-ments entice and do not disappoint.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo Opportunity

Beautiful day, autumn colors blaze and dominate gorgeously, blue sky frames the season I love.

Loveliness soothes. Not thoroughly but enough to take the edge off and offer a relaxed countenance, a smiling face.

Driving led me to a hilltop park where the view of my town spread out before my dripping eyes. Healing tears. Contemplation. Prayers. "Help me, God."

Heading home revealed blessings of life, moving photographs, lovely scenes of vitality, of every day, of assurances that life carries on perfectly in imperfection. An old woman bent like a yard decoration cuts dead flowers away while her hugging-himself husband watches contentedly under a royal blue baseball cap from a chair in the garage. A tiny, blonde girl, squats and cheerfully strokes the pumpkins on her sunny front porch. A black cat curled like a Halloween silhouette crouches near a colorful raised flower bed. A lanky, insouciant, flannel-shirted teen, ankles and arms crossed leans against a trailered motorboat on the front lawn, jaunty hat askew. A kitten pounces and vigorously plays with a crunchy, skittering leaf in the street.

All is as it should be.

I grow stronger in my spirit from carrying a burden not mine. "Bear one another's burdens."

I grow closer to my sisters as we share woman thoughts, daughter hearts, longings, joys, sorrows, faith.

I grow wiser as I feel the hurt meant to demoralize actually prove to me that, "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." Patient trusting settles the heart. God knows. He reminds me that those who malign may mean it for evil but God means it for good.

I grow fonder of people far away who once were near, I grow peaceful knowing that God removes obstacles for them, I grow happy that they are - at last - happy.

Comfort for today.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Severance: The State of Being Separated or Cut-Off

"The Master said, He who sets to work on a different strand destroys the whole fabric." ~~ Confucius
"It still remains true that no justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous. Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism. I had sooner play cards against a man who was quite skeptical about ethics, but bred to believe that 'a gentleman does not cheat,' than against an irreproachable moral philosopher who had been brought up among sharpers.' ~~ C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
"It came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said and however he flattered, when he got me to his house, he would sell me for a slave." ~~ Bunyan
"A sacrifice is obliterated by a lie and the merit of alms by an act of fraud." ~~ Janet, i.6.
"Hateful to me, as are the gates of Hades, is that man who says one thing, and hides another in his heart." ~~ Homer, Illiad
"Anything is better than treachery." ~~ Old Norse
"Choose loss rather than shameful gains." ~~ Chilon
"We must not listen to those who advise us 'being men to think human thoughts, and being mortal to think mortal thoughts,' but must put on immortality as much as is possible and strain every nerve to live according to that best part of us, which, being small in bulk, yet much more in its power and honor surpasses all else." ~~ Aristotle
My parents are moving away. Twice as far as they've been. My childhood home is being pieced out, separated, undone, put into trucks, hauled toward the four directions, much of it handed to strangers.

Home is where the heart is. True. The only constant is change. Also true.

Milestones, markers, memories, masterpieces ought to be handled with care, with understanding for their origins, their significance, their offering and place in history. Not rushed out the door into the rain. Not thrown hastily into a box by an ignoramus. Not treated like any meaningless dime store trinket especially in front of the old man who allowed it into his castle in the first place years ago with a story, a reason, sometimes as a gift for or from a wife, child, or friend. These things are things but they are so much more. They represent acts of seeking, finding, and love. How you treat them is how you treat their owners.

Compassion and gentleness are required. Any less is beyond disrespectful, it is cruel.
"Nature confesses that she has given to the human race the tenderest hearts, by giving us the power to weep. This is the best part of us." ~~ Juvenal

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hanging Up

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: "When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."
And the devil does indeed prowl around like a roaring lion seeking those he would devour, sometimes in the guise of 'nearest and dearest', those manipulators who use and discard us when we gently reveal independent minds and hearts with different approaches neither right nor wrong, simply out of line with carefully devised, greedy schemes.

Sometimes life throws a challenge our way, one which cannot be controlled let alone understood.

Growing older does not assure wisdom's fruition. Where mounting years can, if enlightenment is sought at all, lead to wisdom, compassion, and cooperation, the same passage of time can lead to personal putrescence.

Personal Putrescence: a state of being characterized by decay rather than vitality: selfishness, greed, rudeness, manipulation for personal gain, harshness, self-concocted fantasies, irrationality, unreasonableness, madness. Those stricken remain unaware of their condition but imagine heaven at their fingertips, 'Right' on their shoulders, and enemies at all gates.

"It could be that the purpose of [their lives] is only to serve as a warning to others."


There is drama too big, too loud, too crazy for most to endure. It lives in dysfunction's heart of hearts, shows its absurdity to all but those ensnared, bleeds onto normalcy its deranged definitions, hungers for sustaining supply, yet cries - for sanity's sake - to be put out of its misery.

Order in the Court!

Go home.

Be still. Be out of reach.

Villains, leave us our peace.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hugging Mums

Last year I bought three cheap mums; 79 cents each. My thought was that they would hold the yellow of summer's sun a little longer into the darkening months, lending and extending cheer to my not-ready-to-give-up-summer soul. Surely they'd freeze, sad but true. Our colder than average winter last year left little hope for an encore performance.

But nope. I was wrong. The first plants to welcome spring were the mums.


They grew and grew and grew and become huge.

(The little pot of last year's flowers in the top photo is the same pot on the left in the photo below.)

Through the heat of summer I watered and de-slugged faithfully.

"They'll be pretty in the fall."

Little did I know the comfort they'd be. Not only offering flower color but softness, fragrance, and a certain, unmistakable bid to hug. Yes, I said hug. See, there are so many blossoms per bush that one becomes transfixed while gazing at them when standing close by. You just want to wrap your arms gently around them as though holding a humongous bouquet or better yet, lying blissfully belly-down in a field of perfectly formed friendly flowers.

There I was one warm morning, alone, the hug-urge strong while the usual sheepishness hovered. I couldn't help myself. I bent down, I spread my arms and flower-hugged the mums. My nose dipped down and breathed in their loveliness while my face smiled at the petals' softness. Luxury! Wonder! Sheepishness gone, this was a really really pure sweet human-being moment.

Hugs have since been beckoned on many more occasions. Indulgence nearly every time.

Imagine my surprise when first Caroline then Cassie said, "You just want to hug those mums!"

Imagine their surprise when I said, "Go ahead." As though freed from long-time restraints, they did. I asked if they'd seen me hugging the blooms. "No. You do?"

We've been embracing our merry canary-colored friends ever since.

Pink is beginning to touch the edges, eventually brown will envelop them, and they will be gone.

But the memory of blossomy hugs, ah, that will linger through winter.

I'm sure of it.