"To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle." — Walt Whitman
Month: June 2021
WORDS THAT AWAKEN
Friday , June 18, 2021
I should bless this day – all of it. Each moment should be a moment of celebration, a time to stand still in thoughtful appreciation. It should be a day of constant praise, when even the slightest sway of tree limbs and the smallest, most transitory thought should be honored. Today, I hope I can remember to pay tribute to every occurrence – the whispering of our car’s tires as we drive to the put-in place for our kayak float on the Wood River, the first feel of the kayaks as we slide them into the river, the words the water seems to speak as our paddles softly shove it along. Like every day, this is a day for adoration. When I was a boy, I was taught that our church was sacred, but now, at 79, I know that everything is sacred – every room in our house, every aisle in McQuade’s grocery store, every waft of wind on the river today, even every setback and sorrow – and therefore everything should be honored. I should silently glorify the way the river flows in its wavering way, the way my elderly, valiant hands smoothly move the paddles, the way winds know precisely how to drift among the riverside trees, the way our car carries us gracefully to the river and back home, and the way all obstacles can show me the trail to wisdom. I should be in awe throughout this day, for all of it – each minute – will be blessed with amazing marvels.
I should make my own bumper sticker: BLESS THIS DAY!
Let the pencil praise
the paper it writes on.
Let the paper praise
the desk it rests on
as the pencil sets out
its glossy words.
Let the table sing praises
to the floor
that prays to be solid and steady
for the trustworthy table
and its paper
with the lustrous house of words
rising upon it.
WORDS THAT AWAKEN
Thursday , June 17, 2021
‘Big’ is not a fancy word, not one of those multi-syllabic words that can make a sentence sound smooth and sophisticated, and yet it is a word that says a lot about life, about today, and about every single moment. Life itself is big – very big. There’s no way that the vastness of life could ever be measured. I, and all of us, live in a universe of colossal size, and our individual lives are just as immense, spreading out endlessly in all directions. To myself, I usually seem fairly small and trivial, but when I step back and see the ‘big picture’, I see a life called ‘Hamilton Salsich’ that’s as spacious as the boundless sky. Today, too, will be huge, ‘a big day’, a stupendous unfolding of major miracles. I probably won’t notice many of the miracles, but they’ll be there, always unrolling in their almighty way. Every breath I take will be a marvel, and every thought that throws itself across my life will be stupendous in some special way. Each person I see today will be somehow significant, both for me and for the universe, and all the passing moments will be consequential and far-reaching. Today, life will be a ‘big shot’. Each moment, if I listen carefully, will ‘talk big’ to me, and will ‘think big’, as well. Life will carry a very ‘big stick’ today, and I hope I can pay attention as it swaggers around, almost – but not quite – ‘too big for its britches’.
there are pencils and pens on desks,
and there are thoughts
throwing themselves across the skies of lives,
and there are moments made of miracles,
blossoming and prospering.
no one is normal,
everyone is bizarre
in the best way.
never take your eyes off
WORDS THAT AWAKEN
Wednesday , June 16, 2021
(from Latin convenire ‘assemble, agree, fit’, from con- ‘together’ + venire ‘come’)
Today, if I can stay alert and see beyond my muddled thinking, everything will be convenient, because everything will come together in perfectly suitable ways. All events – even the ones I don’t particularly like – will be well-timed. When I lift my arm, it will be somehow appropriate that I lift it at that particular moment, and when my head makes the slightest movement, it will be a flawlessly timed movement. Tree limbs will bend precisely when they must, and feelings will flow through me in well-timed ways. Furthermore, if I stay open to what’s actually happening, everything will be within easy reach today. If I need patience, it will be right beside me in abundance, and all the calmness I could ever need will be readily available. Problems today – if I stay alert – will be quietly solved in a trouble-free way, and comfort and reassurance will always be just around the corner. At every single moment, if I keep my eyes and heart open, I’ll be just a stone’s throw from peace, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from harmony.
How did I get so lucky to be alive on such a helpful, handy day!
WORDS THAT AWAKEN /
Sunday , June 13, 2021
Every day is a good day for comparing, for setting things side-by-side to see their similarities. I often have the opposite habit, of seeing how dissimilar things are, but the truth is that everything in the universe – everything – has a marvelous resemblance, as if it is all part of the same family, which, of course, it is. There’s a strange – almost shocking – similarity between me and trees (we both twist and sway and sometimes stay silent) and clouds (we’re always moving, even when we seem to be still) and dust (we tend to gather in groups) – and all of us, all the seemingly separate things in the universe, are composed of similar, ageless atoms. We all carry the sparks sent forth when ‘the big bang’ happened many billions of years ago, and thus we’re all sisters and brothers in the truest sense. I can’t escape being part of a community. I live side-by-side with light and wind and little and large living creatures. I am the brother and sister of the shoppers in the supermarket we use, and the good buddy of broken hearts around the world. Indeed, today I can mention myself in the same breath with sunrises and silence and lightning and the butterflies among Delycia’s flowers. We’re all close and kindred in the best of ways.
Wait for the wings of the morning.
Wait in winter for the words of summer.
Wait forever for falling snow.
Wait for silence.
Wait for daylight in the heart.
Wait for the great gift,
for goodness coming out again
like the sun.
WORDS THAT AWAKEN
Monday , June 14, 2021
I’ve always wanted to have a good influence on people and on the world, but I now realize that it’s inevitable – that everything is a good influence on everything. The word ‘influence’ derives from the Latin word meaning ‘flow’, and in this swirling life we all live, the flowing never stops. The moments glide together in always helpful ways, the days stream along with their sometimes concealed gracefulness, and each and every person and grass blade and bird song somehow pours their power into all the rest of us. Flowing never stops. My thoughts slide together with thoughts in West Virginia and Japan, and my feelings surge with feelings from folks in Singapore, St. Ives, and down the street. Influence never stops happening in all the best ways. The soft warmth of spring sunshine is a model of good behavior for me, and winds are good guides for me as they circulate in their supple ways.
Today, I hope to enjoy the freely flowing universe I am part of, to feel the ever-flowing influence of this powerful thing called life.
And here’s a poem about the ‘folding’ aspect of influence …
(about Braelynn J., 52, Blessings, CT, USA)
She loves folding her hands together
because she sees the way winds
fold together in thoughtful ways,
and the way sunlight likes
the fellowship of shadows.
She says she cuddles with her thoughts
because their closeness
helps her feel the affection
they have for each other,
and the friendliness of this moment
and that moment,
and the bond between mountains
and dust on easygoing streets.
She says she lives
in the community called quietness
where moments mix and blend
in the best of ways,
and she just watches
WORDS THAT AWAKEN
Friday, June 11, 2021
When I write a personal letter or email, I often start with the word ‘dear’, and it occurs to me this morning that perhaps I should start every moment today, and every day, with the same word. I could say to myself “dear breath” as my lungs easily rise and fall, and “dear old and lined fingers” as they stroke the keys on my computer’s keyboard, and “dear amazing words” as letters gather in groups across the screen. The word ‘dear’ means something cherished, and shouldn’t I cherish the way winds slide and sway among trees, and the way my 79-year-old feet find their way with grace across the grass in our yard? I could say “dear adored bread slices” as I prepare my breakfast sandwich, and “dear darling sneakers” as I lace them up before my daily walk with my dearest Delycia. ‘Dear’ is for the precious things in life, and surely I could say, over and over again all day, “dear, dear eyes” as they somehow bring the visual blessings of this world into my life. Indeed, all of life today – absolutely all of it, the so-called ‘good’ and the supposedly ‘bad’ – will be unbelievably lovable in some special, secret way. Every single second could be a best friend. I could say ‘dear’ over and over again as the charming hours disclose themselves.
WORDS THAT AWAKEN
June 7, 2021, 4:27 a.m.
Today, instead of trying to make harmony happen, and instead of trying to constantly search for harmony, I want to simply appreciate the harmony that is already everywhere and everything. Reality is harmony and harmony is reality. Trying to make harmony happen is as silly as trying to make the present moment be here right now. It already is, always, and so is harmony. At 4:33 a.m. as I type this at my desk , there is perfect symmetry right here and now. In some utterly mysterious way, as these words are appearing on the screen, everything in life is moving in flawless coordination — even the words themselves, placed across the screen in impeccable compatibility. True, this world I live in often appears to be the opposite of harmonious, with its wars and sorrows and seemingly steady confusion, but I’ve slowly come to see that the disharmony is in my thoughts about life, not in life itself. Life, when I can see it clearly beyond the fog of my own thoughts, is a miracle of equilibrium – always. Today there will be coolness and calmness in each fresh moment, and total fairness as the hours flow along. My life may sometimes seem unsettled today, but inside any confusion will be the radiance of harmony. I look forward to looking carefully – and seeing it.
Heaven is harmony.
Heaven is what you get
when you hold a pencil,
or a breath of air,
or a person.
It is what you see when the sun
settles on the grass beside you.
It is just a streetlight flashing,
or a strong hand holding yours.
Heaven comes to you
when you call it,
and then you can carry it
in your heart to others.
WORDS THAT AWAKEN
June 9, 2021
There’s no doubt in my mind that today will be the best day it can possibly be. Each moment will be in the best of health, and the life I experience will quite literally be the best of all possible worlds. Today’s weather will put its best foot forward, always being on its best behavior. Sunlight will be at its best, and breezes will wish me the best of luck as they lift and fall and flow along. The squirrels in our backyard trees will do their level best to leap from branch to branch, birds will give us their best shot in songs, and the sky and its clouds will be in their Sunday best on this best of all Wednesdays. Looking ahead, I see countless moments that will be the best of the best, always bringing out the best in me, which is why, right now at this best of all times, 5:31 a.m., I’m sending my very best wishes, as best I can, to this best kept secret called Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
June 7, 2021, 5:02 a.m.
A Word that Awakens: Buoyant
Today, I hope to hold in mind that life is a bottomless, shoreless, surfaceless river, and all the 79-year-old ripple called ‘Hamilton Salsich’ has to do is stay loose and simply go with the flow. Buoyancy is the best gift life gives. Built into nature – all of it – is the ability to be light and to float, and that’s what I want to do today. I want to be what I truly am – an easygoing part of a stream that has no boundaries. The moments will swirl and whirl as the great river of today moves along, and I want to both float and observe and just be part of the infinite, invincible buoyancy. This majestic river, this endless here-and-now, never started and will never end. It’s a boundless stream that carries life along like a resilient, lighthearted shipment to nowhere and everywhere. Today, I hope to thoroughly enjoy the ride.
It’s wonderful to realize this morning, as I sit at my desk and hear the winning songs of birds outside, that every single moment today will be utterly victorious. Each moment will be as strong as a thousand sunrises, each one arising like a pristine and meticulously successful experiment. In a life that often seems like an endless series of modest failures and uncertain successes, today – truthfully – will be one prizewinning moment after another, if only I can turn and see its accomplishments. All day today – and this is amazing to realize – the limitless present moment will be utterly triumphant, the unvanquished ruler of the universe. Misgivings about the past will surrender to it, and concerns about the future will wane and wither in its splendor. I will witness – and be an essential part of – unceasing triumphs today, moment after prizewinning moment.