Charles Mingus’ recording: “What Love” is playing in the background, setting the tone.
Just because you ‘ask’ doesn't mean you’re going to get what you asked for…but ask anyway.
I had time (translation: made time) to spend with my wife. Other than dinner together, grocery shopping and sitting together in church, we ‘let’ life happen and weeds grow in between us. Slow mornings, slower evenings, we have found time for one another, spent time just talking about ‘everything.’
There have been times (not out of these ‘woods’ yet) when I desperately pray, ‘believe’ and hope for a change. Not all selfish, often for someone else, the desperate needs of others…and yet “prayer” often means roll up your sleeves, Eddie, put some sweat equity into someone else, and just as importantly, into yourself. The bottom line? Work is prayer made visible.
The song, “What Love” has unpredictable twists and turns and yet a very strange rhythm.
A bigger picture: sometimes, many times, the ‘end’ is not what you envisioned. “Better or Worse,” is a matter of course.
A thought does not exist in singularity. It does not abide alone. It its one a many, of thousands, of tens of thousands. And as many emotions, expectations as well as past experiences spin in the calculations.
An image of red ball tipped pins comes to mind…imagine them stretching across hundreds of miles…imagine, from a bird's eye view how it would appear as a mesh…those are our thoughts, decisions and choices.
For the last couple years, I have placed lemon in my water. The idea began with the idea that our bodies, our diets should be more alkaline. And I read several places about the benefits of lemons in water. I go so far as to leave the lemon relatively in tact, the rind, pulp and seeds and all go into the cup. It isn't sweet, the water, upon initial tasting, is bitter. But over time, the taste is sweet. I have mixed, ginger root, lime, blueberries and strawberries in my water as well. It's a way to get refreshment and vitamins in liquid form.
Some of the 'best stuff' in life comes that way: in a bitter pill, a container that, on the surface, looks unappealing and tastes bitter. Mind you, I don't put in this class abuse of any kind; unfortunately for us humans, we tend to think being 'hard' on someone is necessary to help them grow. Not so! No, I'm talking discipline of self and of others, taking on difficult tasks with people who are 'difficult,' rough around the edges — again, not abusive! Stern parents who don't appear 'loving,' but fill our head with facts and hard work. Friends and family who 'love us' but it comes out as stern words, faces that rarely smile and arms that never enfold us. I have heard it said of love, it is 'worked out' in our lives. We want it to be romantic and soft and to express itself in kind, flowery words, but we have to realize, actions that build, are loving as well.
Now (again) I caution: love that is abusive, that can end the someone else's life, IS NOT love! But love that seeks to build, to strengthen and ultimately to see the brightest for our intended that's love. That is the "bitter with the sweet."
Seeds…plant them, grow them…eat them…
The "other" day, I put some seed in the ground. I watched them grow. Now mind you, my perspective is extremely limited; see, I can only 'see' them growing one way. I have seen videos of seeds growing the other way (the roots) as well, but never observed it for myself. I've dug up plants in my yard many times, the type I don't want interfering with the growth of my 'planted seeds.' The type that need no watering, have no seeds (that I know of) and appear without my wanting them to. But my seed, I nurture, I feed; I ensure they grow without hindrance. Sunlight, water, loose soil so their roots go as deep as they need and their stalks and leaves are fed.
We love to see green things grow, especially when they carpet our yard like a well maintained 'bed of ease.' We nurture our trees, carefully tend our gardens, so when the time comes, we can enjoy the fruit of our labor. As a matter of fact, I dare say, some of us lose sleep over the maintenance of our fields, so intent on making sure our effort is not in vain. We really care about our appearance, about our surface…but equal care and concern goes into what is not seen…or does it?
Have you found the exterior is lush and beautiful in your life and yet there's something missing? Have you taken note of your surroundings, of your 'circle' and is it providing food for thought or choking the life out of you? And if you dug deep, would you find you are the 'weed' for others?
Share your thoughts below.
In a given day, we rush forward, then back away. We "START," then STOP! Oh i know I'm not the only one! I'm just the only one talking about it. A great idea, a personal accomplishment, something no one else has ever thought of…but then, ten minutes later, we settle back into our chair, the "task at hand," our number one mission.
In a given day, I go through a hundred moments where, based on the current pressure, I'm "ready to go!" In my head I hear it: "you're better than this. You can do this 'art thing.' Go…and…Stop…Go…and…Stop…
Maybe you're Go and Stop is a a dream; maybe on most days it feels like a foolish pipe dream…someone tole me well over 30 years: "never stop dreaming." And I haven't. So with the entry, i dare you: NEVER. STOP. DREAMING!
What is your Go, Stop?
Promises…promises…I spend a lot of time in solitude as a child. I both hated it and loved it. Have a younger sister, come from a two parent home and had TONS of cousins near and far. Still, I found the 'inner space' more agreeable. Not antisocial - not completely - but we can be so demanding in our allegiances and requirements for 'getting along.' It always seemed to me, someone else got to talk, to 'command respect,' though it never seemed warranted.
As a 'office worker,' I get plenty of alone time. I work in a team environment, but every member "plays his part." And for the most part, we work separately. Blessing and curse, nonetheless. Given the opportunity, I could dialog with a brick wall (at least that's what my mother said of me on rare occasion). I like to listen, to hear someone's life story, their highs and lows. I like to compare "life notes," to find common ground and explore diverging paths. But I'm finding work environments are less conducive to conversation; seems people and corporations prefer to remain in their private bubble. So I sit quietly, thinking, planning… It is interesting that my preferred work and the way I work is alone. I sit in front of a canvas and a thousand decisions, inputs and ways to resolve 'a problem' come to mind. Sit, pen in hand or writing electronically, and a million words, thoughts and ideas come to mind.I've been told that ALL OF THIS leads to something; that my life will not have been lived in vain…sometimes, I really wonder…What about you? I would be interested to hear how you feel the 'pattern' of your life has unfolded. Comment below.
Today, I'm inventorying work created over the last 8 years. Mind you, this is work produced after a 23 year hiatus. This is work that, at times, I was certain, I would never do again. Didn't realize that small ember that sometime singed my thoughts, made depression a valley with no bottom, to the extent, life was a series of endless days and nights…no meaning. That small flicker of light was my 'hope,' at times too small to acknowledge. But 'there' all the same.
Today, I'm inventorying so much work that it hardly makes sense! I have things I have forgotten I did. There are images I laid to the side, dismissed as incomplete or passé´.
I quietly celebrate my past pains, now. I am not passed them, they are just a few feet behind me, in the rear view mirror. But I celebrate my ability to continue moving.
I want the same for Y-O-U.
Typical day: start off early (weekend too), before dawn, early. no matter how many hours of sleep I've had, I'm up, writing, thinking, praying…mostly, to keep my sanity, aka: game face on! Thoughts written consistently: I'm tired. "Why this?" "What did I do to you, to have this life?" Now truthfully, I have a very good life. I have a shortlist of great friends. If I have my way, retirement is about 10 years away…please God, let it be sooner! I've got this writing, this art, this love of music (definitely listening, not playing…yet) and a wonderful supportive, smart and empathic family. But the soul…
Since childhood, melancholy has set on my soul like worn clothing. It's my default, my security blanket. "Alone in a crowd," unless I really force myself to venture out…Well enough, I'm rambling and I usually reserve that for mornings!