EXQUISITE

Saturday, June 5, 2021

A WORD THAT AWAKENS

         The word ‘exquisite’ comes from the Latin words meaning ‘to search’  or ‘sought after’, and today, I want to seriously search each present moment for its exquisite treasures. The look of the lamplight on my desk as I type this is exquisite and could be studied with eagerness. The small shadows the light makes around me are exquisite, and the books standing in silence on the shelves  have the fastidious look of things carefully constructed and deserving of attentiveness. Just now, I can faintly hear the graceful songs of birds outside, an example of the commonplace, magnificent music I could search after and be attentive to all day long. This day, all day, will be well-crafted, full of delicate constructions devised by our splendidly artistic universe, and I look forward to scrutinizing each moment for its special splendor. 

REJOICE
(about Shay M., 91, Blessings, CT, USA)
Saturday, June 5, 2021

So the phone rings
and another moment shines like a star.
The phone in his hand
is warm with friendship,
the rain on the windows 
has a restful voice,
and this life he lives 
flares like a candle flame,
all because this woman 
called to sell him something. 
Joyce, her name was,
a name that sings
on this day of dark rain,
and Rejoice!

shouts his pencil 
across a silent piece of paper. 

LUMINOUS

WORDS THAT AWAKEN

June 4, 2021, 4:24 a.m.

luminous

            It’s still dark outside in Mystic as I begin to write this morning, but it’s fun to realize how many lights are lit all over the world – lights in homes, in sprawling stores and small cafes, in cars carrying special passengers on roads and interstates, in hospitals helping the world rise up from the darkness of illness.  This world, in many ways, is always luminous, always glowing with different kinds of light – from varieties of lightbulbs, of course, but also, metaphorically, from people’s inner lives, from the human spirit that diffuses effulgence into even the darkest corners.  

            But this morning I’m understanding, once again, that this inner light, this shining that all of us sometimes feel inside us, comes not from us, but from a source as vast as the endless spread of stars above us. The universe, and life itself, is a constant floodlight, a dazzle that never started and will never end – and, as I sit in my softly lit study in our small home in our small town, I am an irreplaceable part of that radiance. Like all of us – all humans and squirrels and antelopes and blossoming peonies, and specks of dust – I am shimmering like a star, at all times and in all situations, a light that can’t help but be bright.  This is a cosmos of  luminescence, even at 4:50 a.m. in still dark Mystic, Connecticut.   

            Today, I hope I can simply open my inner eyes and behold the luster that lives in the heart of each moment. I don’t have to do anything to make the light shine. In fact, I just have to stop my ceaseless doing, and begin, each moment, a new life of seeing – of simply  being aware of  the astonishing shine in every here and every now. 

A ROAD IN JUNE 
Friday, June 4, 2021

A bird is singing on the fence across the road. 
He has a friend. 
He wants to lend 
her happiness and friendship and a load 
of joy. 
A boy 
in love he is, a bird who probably showed
another girl 
a whirl 
of songs just yesterday along this road. 

WORDS THAT AWAKEN: Eager

June 3, 2021, 4:43 a.m.

eager

            This morning, I’m hoping I can feel eager, all day, to see what the day will bring. I hope I can feel, all day, like I can’t wait to watch the miracles that will unfold in the coming moments. When Delycia sees me throughout the day, I hope she might see an ardent look on my face, as if something wonderful is always coming into view. The word ‘eager’ derives from the Latin word for ‘sharp’, and that’s what I want to be today – sharp, perceptive, observant, always alert for the coming marvels. And ‘sharp’ is what life will be like today, as it always is. Life itself will be quick-witted and clever today, always stylish and snazzy, and I want to be sharp enough – eager enough – to notice the fairy-tale spectacle of each passing moment. I want to be keen, all day, to stay at the exact center of life’s continuous extravaganza. What’s interesting is that the day itself, life itself, is always eager – always presenting itself in a wholehearted way. There’s no apathy, no laziness, in the way life presents itself moment by moment. Life – the universe, reality, experience – will be always passionate today, always earnest in its presentations. My toast and eggs at breakfast will be bright-eyed toast and eggs, my elderly hands will be enthusiastically elderly, and each ordinary moment will be avidly ordinary. The smallest breeze passing among Delycia’s peonies will flow in a fervent way, just like all the moments, and – I’m hoping – just like young 79-year-old Hamilton Salsich. 

Below is a view of the patio and gardens of our favorite resort. (Actually, no – it’s our beloved backyard and Delycia’s beloved gardens.)

WORDS THAT AWAKEN: Laudable

June 2, 2021

laudable

Definition: (of an action, idea, or goal) deserving praise and commendation: laudable though the aim might be, the results have been criticized.

            Today, I hope I can think of each moment as being truly laudable. I picture myself pausing briefly before each moment, and perhaps slightly bowing as a way of paying homage. It might be similar to seeing the majesty of the Grand Canyon suddenly materialize at sunrise, or raising a window shade at night and seeing a vast, star-studded sky. Each moment today – the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones – will be just that astonishing, just that dumbfounding and bewildering and commanding, and therefore worthy of respect and honor. Who knows? Delycia might even occasionally see me standing silent and awe-struck today in the face of a brand-new moment. She might say, “Are you ok, Ham?” as she watches me stare at the new moment in absolute wonder and reverence. I might say to her, “Yes, I’m ok, but …  sweetie, where did this moment come from? How did it get here? And how did it become so totally new?” She might lovingly take my hand and sit down with me and say, “No one knows the answer to those questions, and no one ever will. It’s a mystery – a marvelous one – and deserving of our praise. So let’s just be silent and pay tribute to this beautiful and meritorious moment.” And I’ll bet we will somehow know that we – and everything – right then and there, are shining. 

Below are some scenes from our very laudable hike with our good friends, Peter and Evelyn, at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA: