A Love That Lights The Sky

There is no hell if God is love and love is unconditional. And love must be unconditional or it is not truly love. If your love comes with conditions, then what you are expressing is not love.

To love unconditionally, we must accept others as they are, for who they are. And not just some others, all others. If we limit who we love, we are placing a condition on our love. That is not love. Unconditional love is boundless.

Hafez captured this idea beautifully:
And still after all this time. The sun never says to the earth, “You owe
me.” Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.

But to be able to accept others as they are, for who they are, we must accept ourselves, as we are, for who we are. And how many of us are really comfortable with that? How much time do we spend shaping an image or persona that we present to the world? And how many different ones are we trying to simultaneously maintain?

Not always easy answers to our questions. Must life be this complex? Love is unconditional. It is a simple statement. And it is a concept that I know and feel, at the core of my being, to be true.

Is it easy? Probably not. But the beauty of life is every moment presents us with a chance to begin again.

The better question is does this idea resonate deep inside of me and if I begin the practice of loving unconditionally, will I come closer to knowing the divine spirit that lies deep within?

For me, there is only one answer to that question. So now the practice begins.

 

Be well, live well.
Namaste

Surreal Truth Is Everywhere

So what does it say about a person that you can walk into a tiki bar that you frequent (I was going to add regularly, but I think frequent implies regularity but not of the digestive kind), and you sit down at one of your regular tables, because there are only three that are fully in the shade during the height of summer which starts in mid May around here and the waitress wanders over and starts chatting and after a few minutes says, “So you want a couple of beers, Miller Lights?” and I reply yes and she hangs around a bit longer and chats before putting our order in and in probably the fastest turnaround time of beer order to delivery she is returning with our beers, and I say (mostly because I haven’t yet completed the opening thought)), “That was fast,” and she answers, “The bartender had already started pouring your drinks?”

Of course, the waitress wasn’t asking me a question, I was completing my opening thought. And oddly enough, I thought that might be my longest opening run-on sentence ever, but at 155 words, I think it might have been short by quite a lot. My ninth grade English teacher would be horrified that I used “a lot” when I wasn’t referring to a piece of property. I still have a difficult time saying “hey”  often opting for the more traditional “Hi” mostly because this same English teacher upon hearing one of us say “hey, whoever,” would always say “Hay is for horses.” I always wanted to say, but they’re spelled differently, but I never did.

But she did instill a love of language with all of its nuances in me. I type the way it sounds in my head and I like seeing it take shape on the proverbial page, though today that page is digital. Sometimes, I find it easier to write long hand, but every now and again it flows on the digital page.

And sometimes it comes out in weird ways. On the same evening that I had my opening thought, I was talking to this random guy at the bar. He was 69 and probably still is, and had a long white beard and was telling me some story that he visited all 50 states while he was still in the womb and I said, “So your mother was in the circus?”.  I don’t think he was expecting that, because he didn’t know what to say but he did give me a belly laugh.

Now, in rereading my first two paragraphs, I realize I could have used a few more periods and my decision to use quotation marks seems random. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the random use of quotation marks but I think I could attribute my lack of periods to the fact that I haven’t had a period in almost eight years and I really don’t miss them. Though recently I began seeing a man and knowing him has given me a new appreciation for punctuation.

He’s great. Intelligent, funny, lots of interests, great kisser, wants to learn yoga and likes to dance. Neither one of us is big on texting so we don’t often engage in it. I’m a language purist and feel the need to spell out words and use punctuation. (I know, that whole leaving periods behind thing is more theory than practice.) He rarely spells anything out and uses no punctuation.  Sometimes I don’t know how to respond to his text because I’m not quite sure what he said.  And that always makes me laugh.

We spend a lot of time laughing so it’s all good although it often seems a bit surreal. Kind of how life seems most of the time when you just stop and observe. And I recently observed that I seem to have lost my way from my original thought but I’m sure you can figure out the answer to the question. After all, truth is everywhere. You just have to recognize it when you see it.

What Makes The Super Bowl Super?

So I hear there is a football game being played tonight. I’m not watching it. I’m not sure which teams are playing.

Nor do I care. I haven’t cared in a few years.

Not long ago, or maybe last year, I was talking to someone who asked me if I was going to watch “The Game.”

I said, No.

And then she said, “I’m just going to watch it for the commercials.”

And I said, or perhaps asked, “Did you hear what you just said?”

There was no reply, so I felt the need to fill the silence with words, “You are going to watch TV just to watch paid advertisements. Advertisements that companies have spent millions of dollars on for the sole purpose of inducing you to spend money on something you probably don’t really need. (There’s a bit of a dramatic pause here.) Just so they can make more money. (And this part is a bit quieter or more quiet if quieter isn’t   a word, and it may not be.) Capitalism has won.” (I’m shaking my head slightly at this point.)

I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation went.

But we’re still friends. Though I don’t hear from her as much as I used to. But it’s probably not because of that conversation.

And really, if you’re like most people, and let’s face it, I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, most people are like most people, you will probably see these commercials 1000 times in the not too distant future. So why the need to see it the first time it appears?

I think it’s a little weird, but I chalk it up to societal conditioning and a general lack of interest in giving much thought to most everything,

I don’t think I’ll get to the end of my life and look back and say, “I wish I had watched more football.”

And I know I won’t look back and regret not having seen the premiere of a commercial.

But that’s just me.

So instead of football and commercials, I’m drinking a little wine, listening to some favorite tunes and sharing my thoughts with the universe.

How are you spending the evening?

Perhaps Polly Wants A Cracker

I’ve been ridding myself of stuff. All sorts of stuff. I don’t want to dust it anymore. Not that I am a dust freak. I don’t spend that much time dusting. Maybe once a month or so in either direction. But I want to do even less of it.

And some of the stuff or most of the stuff was stuff that was given to me. I don’t talk to most of those people anymore. Not sure why. Also not sure why I was keeping some little knick knack or small bottle of jewel colored glass. But I was.

I’m not now. Though I did keep the plastic parakeet.

Polly. Or Polly is what you called her. I’m not sure it was a her. Can plastic be a gender? And if what is true in most birds is true in parakeets especially of the plastic kind that the more vibrantly colored ones are males, then Polly is not a she.

She’s green. With a little bit of yellow.

You gave her to me for Christmas. She arrived several weeks or months, I can’t remember even though it was just last year, after Christmas. She’s battery operated and even came with a battery. You were happy to hear that.

She’s motion activated. At least I think that is why she moves her head and tweets. Though she often does it when no once has entered or left the room. I think perhaps she is sensitive to the air conditioner cycling on and off.

I got used to it. The tweeting whenever.  Others noticed. Not that there have been that many people who have encountered her. My mother and I think my neighbor. But when Polly tweets they hear it and ask about it.

Then I have to explain how it was a gift from you and why I’m not sure why you would get me such a gift. A joke, perhaps? I shrug as I say it.

But I know the real reason.

You told me you got me the plastic parakeet so I wouldn’t be lonely. We hadn’t seen each other in almost a year when you gave it to me. And it seems unlikely we’ll see each other again.

Somehow, I am unable to tell people that.

And I don’t know which is sadder: That you think a plastic parakeet would cure loneliness or that I knew it wouldn’t.

First Draft

We had another of our great conversations last night. We have them almost every night. I’m only telling you this because you weren’t there. Not really. Some might say I was talking to myself. But that doesn’t capture the essence of what transpired. I could see you slouched on the couch, beer in hand, smiling that smile that makes me smile just thinking about it. And I admit that I did most of the talking which is so unlike our actual conversations where you carry the conversational load, but I could hear your voice when you asked a question or commented on my commentary. And we laughed. Quite a lot.

Not healthy. That’s what most would say. Not healthy to have imaginary conversations with someone you will never see again. ‘Not never’ is what you said. Never is what I felt when you told me you were leaving. But that last day we spent together, you really wanted to know if I thought we would see each other again. You kept asking me that question.

“Seems unlikely,”  was my answer which works in more situations that you might think possible. And still you pushed me for a more definitive answer.

“Depends.” This works in almost every situation because almost everything is relative. Of course, you didn’t like that answer. You sometimes view the world in black and white when I tend to see it in shades of so many different colors. And it’s not possible to know what the future may bring while we are still in the present. But still, you pushed. You had to know.

Sometimes when you replay the past over and over again, the details start to blur. You know the gist of it, the mood of the moment, the guts of what was exposed, but the little nuanced details that took you from the start to the end, those start to blur, just a bit. The exact words get jumbled up and then you think you know what happened, but maybe you don’t. Not really.

And sometimes, you see the exact moment when the mood shifts, the momentum changes, the players realize you can see right through them. You know the world has shifted on its axis and you know your life will never again be the same. Those moments stand out.

 

I know I’m a day late and probably many dollars short, but this is in response to the daily post writing challenge of a twenty minute stream of consciousness writing exercise.

 

A Chicken Tender Comes Home To Poop

So I can now add chicken tender to my resume. I just returned (though the actual returning occurred last night, but ‘just returned’ gives it the sort of out-of-breathlessness that it really doesn’t need, but I digress and it’s only the second sentence) from the land of sketchy internet service and no cell reception. Yes, I was goat herding again, along with horse feeding and cat whispering.

But this time, there were chickens. Three of them. In case you were wondering, all chickens do is eat, poop and lay eggs though I’m not sure of the exact order. These are not free range chickens though they used to be free range but if they ranged free here, they would be coyote food, so they are in a little chicken coop. Of course, by ‘here’ I mean ‘there’ because I didn’t bring the chickens home with me.

The chickens laid their eggs during the day in a straw-filled covered kitty litter box in the coop. In the evening, after herding goats into the barn and feeding horses, I would collect the eggs, scrape chicken poop  and turn the kitty litter box around so the chickens couldn’t get in there during the night because if they did they would poop in it. Apparently, chickens are like cats and people and prefer privacy when pooping.  I can’t say that I blame them.

My hair stylist (though I’m not sure my hair has a style as I just let it do what it does best which is hang) is also a chicken tender. She says she spreads the chicken poop in her garden. I didn’t do that. I just scraped it off the tray that lined the bottom of the coop into the pasture next to the coop. There’s also horse poop and goat poop in the pasture because horses and goats aren’t that picky about where they poop.

Do you know what other animal isn’t picky about where they poop? Frogs! After being gone for a couple of weeks, my front porch had quite a bit of frog poop on it. Yes, those cute little tree frogs are pooping machines and they like to poop on my porch. There’s not frog poop on my porch now because I swept it off before I started writing this.

I don’t know about you, but after dealing with all that poop, I’m a bit pooped but I did want to give you the straight poop on chicken poop.

 

A Free Safety Meditates On The Redundant Way

So, about a month or so ago, I last posted and in that post that last I posted I said that I was back. Apparently, that turned out to be less than true. This, of course, is assuming that true is not an absolute. I like to think that it is an absolute though there are times when it seems a bit ambiguous and I am always surprised when I like ambiguous truth.

In my defense and it bothers me a bit to think that I feel a need to offer a defense, so maybe there should be a better phrase than ‘in my defense,’ but since I can’t think of one as I’m typing this, I’ll stick with the ever so popular defensive position, but not the safety position I played on a college powder puff team, but the one that goes something like ‘at the time I wrote it, I really had every intention of writing more…..’

I’m sure most people have figured out I’m not great with intentions, though again, the free safety in me feels the need to add my intentions are typically good or well intended which isn’t the same as well attended. If I had been attending to my intentions, my intentions would have become actions because I would have been attending to all those things one must do to turn an intention into action. Of course, one must know what all of those things are and I don’t, so that’s a problem. I think I may have Intention Deficit Disorder. I’m going to start telling people I have IDD.

It’s possible that the problem is I’ve been so very busy with all of the things I do when I’m not writing that I haven’t had time to write. It’s also possible we won’t be bombing Syria but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Let’s just say I’m having difficulty accounting for all of my time.

I took a class on meditation because I wanted to see what it was about. It was about meditation. We did a bit of it. My left foot fell asleep. I did leave the class with the intention of meditating each and every day because that’s the redundant way. And I did meditate for about fifteen minutes the very next day. Of course, that was about six months before my last post so that was one well intended but not well attended intention. Like I said or wrote, I’ve got IDD and I’ve got it bad.

Or maybe not so bad, because I did acquire a DVD course on mindfulness and meditation though not because I want to be mindful about how I’m not meditating but because I want to be more mindful and thus meditate more or maybe I want to meditate more and thus become more mindful. (I should probably figure out what I want.) I’ve watched 6 lectures so far and those of you who might recall I don’t always do things in order will be pleased to know that I am watching them in order because I will do things in order when it makes sense to be orderly and in this sense it did. Of course, lecture 6 was the one that told us to actually begin daily meditation. It suggested that one not proceed with the lectures until a daily habit has been established. I watched lecture 6 three weeks ago. I haven’t watched lecture 7 yet.

Again, the free safety in me wants to add that the lecturer in lecture 6 who is the same guy in all of the lectures but you couldn’t know that for sure which is why I told you said that establishing a daily practice might take some time. Clearly, he has known some IDD sufferers. This IDD sufferer meditated three days in row after watching lecture 6. SInce then it has been a day here and a day there, but not everyday and the last day was at least a week ago though I can’t remember the exact day. I really have no excuse or explanation though some might argue this post is some sort of an explanation. And they might be right about that.

So clearly, I have not been meditating. So what have I been doing? I fed a hot dog to a great blue heron. Twice. Though it really only took a few minutes each time so I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it except that it was cool or frio  if you speak Spanish and I don’t though I know ‘frio’ means cold or maybe cool. Do Spanish speaking people saying ‘Es frio’ the way we say ‘It’s cool?’ I don’t know. But I’ve spent time wondering about it.

I’ve also been shooting the next door neighbor’s cat. With insulin. The cat’s diabetic. But again, it only takes  a few minutes every twelve hours. I only have to do it one more time. Until the next time my neighbor goes out of town. And I’ve only done it a couple of days so, again, not a huge amount of my time.

And while I haven’t been holding my breath on the Syria bombing thing, I have been calling my congressmen (and yes, all three of them are men) and sending them and the White House emails asking them not to involve us in someone else’s civil war as nothing good will come from it. Yes, I think the use of chemical weapons is deplorable though I think the use of ALL weapons is deplorable hence my reluctance to lob bombs. At some point we need to stop the perpetual war machine that we have created. And now seems as good a time as any to begin that process.

I seemed to have gotten off topic and don’t really know how to end this post so I’ll just say thanks for reading though I didn’t say it so much as wrote it.

Happy trails to you……….and thanks for reading.