This morning, as I was watching these clouds carrying themselves across the sky and slowly shifting their shapes,
it occurred to me that I myself am a sort of cloud. I, too, am constantly changing, despite my deceptively fixed appearance. If people had seen me this morning on a trail with my wife in a local nature preserve, they wouldn’t have seen the river of fresh thoughts flowing through me, each one new and special, each one making me someone slightly new. Nor would they have seen the cells in my body being purified or replaced, or the fresh oxygen bringing newness to my lungs, or the blood ferrying freshness to every part of my body. They would have seen a 78-year-old silvery guy staring at a sky full of fine, feathery clouds that first looked like lions, then small ships, then sailing hearts. They wouldn’t have noticed that his life was slightly new each moment. They wouldn’t have seen what was constantly being born inside him.
Even these stones of long ago, which we passed on our walk this morning,
are steadily – if slowly – shifting and reshaping and adjusting, and, as the years and centuries pass, they will gradually pass away into stony particles and dust and sand. They seemed solid as we passed them today, just as I seem solid as I look at myself in the bathroom mirror. However, stones and I and everything are always participating in the forever dance of change. As I sit at my desk and type these words, what I actually am is shifting and reshaping as fast as the clouds we saw this morning.
LOOSE (Philip M., 89, Blessings, CT) He always tries to be a loose cannon so he can freely shoot cannonballs of kindness and make mighty explosions of sympathy. He also hopes all hell constantly breaks loose, because he wants all sorrows to be loosed from the fires and find freedom so they can blissfully and silently disappear. He loves to be always at loose ends, because if the ends are loose, they are swinging and swaying and able to lead him to superbly loose beginnings. He says if you watch him carefully, you’ll see he breaks loose almost every second, mostly from the past and future, always busting out and standing gloriously in the present. He tells me he loves to hang loose from a tree limb in his yard, hanging and swinging and throwing nickels and dimes around on the ground because he says change always likes to be loose. His mom always said he had a screw loose and he’s been proud of that for 80+ years, and hopes all of his screws are now loose because then his life can easily shake and sway with this loosely flourishing universe.