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.

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.

Every Day Should Be Devoted To Love

Happy Day Of Crass Commercialism Devoted To Making You Feel Compelled To Spend Money You May Not Have To Demonstrate Your Love For Someone Who Should Already Be Aware Of Your Love That A Corporation Named After A Third Rate Saint! Granted that is a little long to put on a card and my apologies to St. Valentine. I really have no idea if there is some sort of hierarchy of saints which would make my assessment of third rate accurate.

I have always been bothered by Valentine’s Day or Valentime’s Day as some are wont to say. (I don’t get to use wont nearly enough.) And it’s not just me. Most people read on >>

A Little Pooh For My Best Bud

It’s almost Friday! You’ve made it through another day! I’m sending lots of positive thoughts your way! In some circles, they call that prayer.

I think the meter and rhyme of the first three sentences in the previous paragraph establish an upbeat tone. Of course, the exclamation points help, though the use of three of them, but not all at the end of one sentence, gets me dangerously close to sounding like a preteen Valley girl.  Oh, what the duck, I’ll let it stand as is, because that is how I truly feel (not to mention the inside joke read on >>

Shattered

It wasn’t the first blow
or the second
Eventually
a crack appeared
sending fault lines racing across the surface
like fingers of lightning shooting across the sky
There was no sound
to the explosion that followed
Pieces rained down
shimmering like diamonds
Each piece picked up gently
turning it over looking for the flaw
Wondering how they could ever
fit together again
Knowing she would never be the same

Finding Pretend Love on Craigslist

I have a weird fascination with Craigslist personal ads. It’s a bit like not being able to look away when passing the scene of an accident.  I discovered these ads about three years ago. Shortly thereafter, I lost my job (not because I was spending too much time online reading ads, it was blamed on the economy) and had much more time to peruse these ads. After all, I can only watch so many Youtube videos.

I have occasionally answered these ads. I particularly like answering the ads with the potential girlfriend quizzes.  Now, I don’t expect romance to blossom from answering these quizzes, I just like taking the test. It reminds me of those quizzes Cosmo magazine used to have. Cosmo may still have those quizzes. I wouldn’t know as I am no longer a member of their target demographic and haven’t looked at a Cosmo magazine in years. I do occasionally drink Cosmos – they’re yummy!

There was one ad that caught my eye. It was titled Pretend Girlfriend Wanted. I was hooked and clicked on the title. This is what I read.

After reading ad after ad on Craig’s List about individuals seeking to find a relationship offering meaning, contentment, or an opportunity to be spanked by a dominant transgender nun, I have decided that all I really want right now is a pretend relationship. 

The benefits of a pretend relationship lie in being able to communicate (via email only) with another individual about things that are not actually occurring in one’s life. It’s the incredible chance to be completely dishonest with another individual who wants nothing more than a beautiful pretend connection with another soul. 

We needn’t share photos, real names, or accurate personal data. I will never ask you to call me, meet me, or send me your bank account routing number to help a deposed Nigerian dictator who will pay you back in millions. I just want to have a deep, intense relationship that has no actual roots in reality. 

To be my pretend girlfriend, you must be exceedingly intelligent, articulate, and edgy. Your sense of humor must be phenomenal — I would never pretend date someone who was not incredibly funny. You should be quite beautiful with striking features, (though I will never really know if it’s true). It’s essential that your mastery of English includes proper spelling. I will pretend break-up with you in a heartbeat if you make lots of typos. That’s a major turn off… 

I am (in truth, just this once) a really bright, very good looking professional, (don’t believe it, I am already lying to you) who is probably running a bit hypo-manic in recent weeks. I am coming off of a very painful pretend-break up, so I might be pretend rebounding right now. 

Potential pretend girlfriends please note: I will not respond to any replies that include photos of your penis. (I don’t expect any such replies, but it seems like that’s what everyone writes at the end of their ads…) 

I am so looking forward to hearing from you….. 🙂 

This could be the pretend relationship I had been looking for all of my life. I’m intelligent, articulate and edgy, or at least that is how I imagine I am. I also imagine that I am taller, more toned and never have a bad hair day.  Imaginary me is quite the catch.

I decided to respond to this ad and used my alter ego email account. Imaginary me has her own email address.  This is what I wrote.

Finally, a  pretend relationship I can wrap my mind around if not my shapely, toned arms and deliciously long legs. I do believe you may be the pretend boyfriend I have been hoping would show up in my inbox. 

I, too, desire a pretend lover who has mastered the English language.  And while I can overlook the occasional typo in the heat of the moment, the inability to distinguish the difference between there, their and they’re leaves me wondering just how much of the lottery proceeds are actually being spent on education.

I do love to laugh and I am so happy to discover that a sense of humor is also important to you. My friends, both real and imaginary, tell me I’m funny. I do love being around people who possess a quick wit.  I know your missives will be filled with humorous insights about the daily imagined events in your life. I can hardly wait to read your first email.

I must confess that I’ve been reading the CL ads for a few weeks now and I have been alarmed at the number of men who post such seriously awful pictures of themselves.  If they would just smile, they would look so much better, unless they are missing their teeth, in which case, they might be better off posting a photograph of their dog or truck. I picture you with a wonderful smile and just a bit of mischief in your eyes. Thank you for not posting a picture as I would hate to have my fantasy of how gorgeous and sexy you are ruined by poor lighting or an unflattering camera angle.

I am thrilled that I can pretend to be someone I am not with you or perhaps I can be myself at last.  You will never know for sure.  This is incredibly liberating.  Thank you so much for your consideration.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Over the next few weeks, our pretend relationship grew. We regaled each other with humorous imagined anecdotes from our pretend lives. I can’t go into all the details as some of the emails were a bit racy. Imaginary me, at times, can be a little dirty. And then it happened.

He wanted to exchange photos, but I demurred. He then asked to meet, and added,  I’m married, is that a problem?  

Hell, yeah, it’s a problem! In his ad, he had said he would never ask to meet. Of course, I shouldn’t have been surprised that he was married, after all, if he can’t keep his pretend promises to a Craigslist stranger, why would he honor his marriage vows.

We had such a good thing going and he had to introduce reality into the equation. That never turns out well. As entertaining as the pretend relationship had been, I knew it was time for a pretend breakup. I sent my pretend lover one last email.

Sadly, my work as an undercover operative for the DEA might endanger your life if we were to meet.  Between my job, my sideline business choreographing pole dance routines and my volunteer work at a local center helping transgender nuns adjust to their new identities, I have little time for a real lover. A pretend relationship is really all I can handle right now, but thanks for the pretend memories. Oh, and good luck with that marriage thing.

Imaginary me is back on the market, and I’m told she is quite the catch.