In The Blink Of An Eye

5 Nov

Optimism is the child of Gratitude.

So much goes wrong, not the way I
expected or wanted. I live in a world
of rapid words, breathless words, words
that fly through the air like machine gun
bullets, words that murder my mind and
feed the darkness.

Optimism is the child of Gratitude.

I forget that I just flipped a switch and
created light, that my fingers race over
a machine capable of producing words that
instantly fly around the world, that the
bougainvillea’s delight-filled red blossoms
wait in the darkness, that my rumpled bed
was warm and the face in the gold frame is
the image of love that has withstood my best
and my worst for sixty years.

Optimism is the child of Gratitude.

When the last period is placed at the end of the
last sentence on this page, I will close my eyes,
a long blink, and when I open them, I will enter
the world of intentional gratitude. From the last
star visible in the fading night sky to the little
green plant I mindlessly water every day, I will
begin a journey of gratitude. And I will walk the
ever-broadening pathway that has no end.

Optimism is the child of Gratitude.
And I will be born again into a new world.

Second Sight

3 Nov

I have a friend who says he is losing his sight…regular sight, common sight. That kind of sight, he told me, is being replaced by another form of seeing. More and more he sees the world metaphorically. He describes himself as a Metaphorologist. The tree in the photo, for instance. It wouldn’t win first prize for beauty, but it is a living illustration of life. A metaphor. Some days he doesn’t know which way to go. This way, that way, standing tall, bending low. Kind of like that Bible story about the man who called himself “Legion” because there were so many different forms of himself enclosed in his one body. This tree is like that. We should name it a Legion Tree. The man in the story wanted to be freed of the many inside. My friend, on the other hand, wants a PhD in Metaphorology. Seeing through metaphorical glasses magnifies the moment and the messenger. At least that’s what he thinks. Seems that everywhere he looks there is a burning bush. If you happen to know of a University that specializes in Metaphorology, will you let me know. I’ll pass the information on to him. He’ll enroll tomorrow.

Here and Gone

2 Nov

I looked up at just the right moment. The sky was on fire. I grabbed my camera, and still in my pajamas, ran to the middle of the street and started shooting photos. No neighbors out, thank goodness. Five minutes before I saw it, it wasn’t there. Five minutes after I saw it, it was gone. Beauty visited for only a few moments, but it was astonishing. That little taste will serve me through this day. I wonder what’s next on the agenda of amazement…

Be on the lookout!

A Mirror

30 Oct

Before you begin this momentous day, sit with this flower for about 10 minutes. Yes, you can spare 10 minutes. See how beautiful it is. Think of what this one flower adds to the world, this one flower. It is designed for offering the world a gift. It is a creation that contributes just by being. From the bright splash of color in the center, across the blending of a softer shade, all the way to the lovely edges that rise and fall gracefully. Everything about it is exquisite. Do you know that you are looking at yourself? What you see in this beautiful creation is a reflection of who you are. You may believe it, or you may not. But that doesn’t change the truth. You were made to be beautiful. And it worked.

Reflecting

25 Oct

The reflection of beauty is more powerful, more intense when the surface is calm. Reflections from troubled waters are distorted. Chaos is not the best reflector of serenity and peace.

If a lake understands this, or a river, or an ocean, why not human beings? I have a choice, unlike bodies of water. I have the capacity, but sometimes not the courage…the willingness but not the will…I possess the insight but not the intention. Courage, the will, intention…aren’t those elements that make me human? I pray for the courage of convictions, the will to wonder, and intentions that go far beyond wishing.

I pray to be a reflection of peace that passes all understanding, sacred serenity that only the Spirit can birth, intention with integrity. And I pray that living water will calm, not just the surface of your life, but all the deep currents that flow through your being.

Strength In Shadows

24 Oct
Sometimes there is strength in the almost-seen, the slightly out of focus, the moment or place that demands close attention and intentional awareness. Pay attention to shadows
and opaque moments. They are often the places where opportunity waits for discovery.

Lord, help my eyes to see through the haze to the holy, my mind to move beyond the mist to the miracle. I admit that I do not see clearly, probably of my own doing because I rush
through life never noticing or consciously avoiding those things and people off
the beaten path.

Show me today strength in the shadows,
hope in the hidden.

The Blessing of a Friend

23 Oct
I wake today with deep gratitude for friends
who walk through life with me,
who add meaning to my life
and joy to my heart.
What greater blessing is there than
to have a friend, and to be one.
Thank you, Gracious Spirit, for
linking our lives

I Am I Will

21 Oct

So many of us feel like we are living in the almost dark of a very troubling
time. Our earth home suffers from our blatant abuse, creature-residents
living on the earth with us feel the anguish of climate contradictions,
disease forces us to wear unnatural face covers that protect but also
rob me of my image in the world. There are thirteen more bitter, name-calling days until election or explosion.

And yet.

I will not walk through these days with my head down, my vision
narrowed. I will look for beauty that surrounds me. I will be
intentional. I will not be robbed by fear. I am determined to
see. I will lift my head and look for the good, not the grotesque.
And when I look, I will see. There she is. Shadowed, silent.
Waiting to see what I will do. Delight or destroy. My choice.

I choose.

I will greet this new day with a prayer and a promise:
I am and I will.

Burning What?

20 Oct
If Moses had been herding sheep in this desert, he would
have seen a burning saguaro instead of some
common bush. I imagine God could light up
a saguaro, don’t you?

The Purpose of My Life?

19 Oct

The teacher told her fifth-grade class:
“The purpose of life is to learn so
you can be successful and happy.”

The Drill Sergeant told the new recruits:
“The purpose of your life is to do exactly
what I say…and fast!”

The professor of Theology informed the
graduating class: “As you leave this
place, remember that your purpose in
the world is to propagate the ontological
propositions of existential reality.”

My boss told me the other day: “Joe,
your purpose in this corporation is to
keep the money flow going so our
stockholders are happy and our bonuses
are big.”

I asked a guy on the street: “Friend, what
is your purpose in life?” He stood silent
for a moment, then replied: “Is this a
trick question?”

My good friend blessed me the other day
with a reminder that the poet Rumi
answered the question in the simplest
of ways: “Just to be in Your presence is
the point of my life.”

Simple. Profound. All encompassing.
True. Just to be in The Presence.
That’s all.