Tuesday, July 13, 2021

            I find it amazing to realize that, throughout my long life, I have always had a plentiful supply of all the true necessities. I haven’t always had an abundance of ­­material things, like physical health and money in the bank, but now it seems clear to me that all the moments of my life have been, and will be, overflowing with gifts. For instance, I have always had copious amounts of patience available to me, to be used as I wish (though I very often didn’t use it), and an ample supply of open-mindedness has forever been ready to help me welcome whatever happens, if I choose to make use of it. The spirit of friendliness has been profuse all around me each day – in friendly thoughts and people, for instance – and the riches of  easy peacefulness await me in every moment.  Life has been – and is – lavish with lightheartedness, although I haven’t always been aware of it, and every hour has been generous in its gifts of insight and wisdom, though I have totally overlooked or ignored many of them. My life, I see now, has teemed with true wealth – not the material kind – right from the start. All my 79 years have been a non-stop presentation of special favors – thoughts and feelings and experiences I’ve never had before. 

            Am I not a lucky guy? And isn’t it about time that I realized and appreciated this good fortune?

July 11, 2021

In Plentiful, PA, USA,
friendship is profuse,
spilling over in libraries and banks
and even in the friendly factories.
There's a bumper crop of kindness
in this lavish village, and willingness
seems to wait at every corner
for needy passersby.
In Plentiful, sorrow produces
bounteous supplies of thoughtfulness,
and disappointment always distributes
prolific amounts of insight.
In this humble little town,
opulence is seen in simple smiles
and waves of hands.
Even visitors feel lush
with lightheartedness and ease.
If you visit Plentiful, PA,
be prepared to overflow,
like everything does.


July 10, 2021


            Today, like every day, will be gifted. Each of its moments will make precisely what must be made, and will do the making in a masterly way. There will be cleverness in all this day’s creations – in the way wind moves among Mystic’s houses, in the polished presentation of each blossom in Delycia’s garden, in the dexterous movement of my thoughts and feelings. Today , like every day, the present moment will always be brilliant. Our forever perceptive universe will see exactly what is needed, and will present it with consummate skill.  Each moment today will be like a wizard expertly working its wonders. I will walk hand-in-hand with the genius called Now.    


July 9, 2021


            In the gospel of John, after some friends of Jesus have spent an entire night fishing from one side of their boat and catching nothing,  Jesus simply tells them to throw their net on the ‘right’ side, and when they do it, they catch an overwhelming number of fish, so many that they can’t pull the net into the boat. Today, I can also make a similar easy choice. Moment after moment, I can consciously choose to cast the ‘net’ of my awareness on the ‘right’ side – the side where the inestimable, measureless gifts of the present moment are always waiting to be ‘caught’. It’s really as simple as that. I only have to turn away from the side of the boat where nothing but empty materialistic hopes and illusory fears seem to be thrashing around, and turn toward the side where the boundless power of patience and kindness and peace is always ready to be welcomed aboard. I hope to be a wise, observant fisherman today.


July 8, 2021


            On our kayak float yesterday on the Wood River, I occasionally watched the small whirlpools started by Delycia’s paddles just ahead of me, and it got me thinking about the mysterious whirlpool I call ‘my life’. This life I’m living is not the solid, separate ‘event’ it so often seems to be.  As I watched a whirlpool swirling around beside my kayak, it seemed like the perfect symbol of the endlessly revolving movement of what I call ‘my life’. What is labeled ‘Hamilton Salsich’ is actually a continuously transforming swirl in the shoreless river of life. I seem to be a separate and self-governing individual, but in truth, I am a fluidly spinning twirl in a universe that knows precisely what it’s doing and where it’s going.  I need to simply slacken and loosen and learn to appreciate the marvelous  circles and spins life does with me as I swivel around in a river that’s infinitely more amazing than the scenic Wood River.


Whenever you see a dish 
with crackers and cheese,
listen for a robin's voice. 
Whenever you hear an airplane
looking for its home, 
listen for the songs 
your heart sings. 
Whenever you hear the highway
saying its prayers in the distance,
look up 
and see your life arriving 
like a new friend. 


And here are some scenes from yesterday’s kayak float …


July 7, 2021


            Delycia and I have a small home beside a river in a small town, but I wish I could more often feel like I’m home no matter where I happen to be. Home is our white stone house in Mystic, but home should also be the sidewalk I’m walking on, or the store where I’m browsing among beets and cabbages, or the forest in which I’m walking on a warm July day. Home, as we say, is where the heart is, and shouldn’t my heart be wherever I happen to be, whether at the beach beneath the soft ceiling of a summer sky, or in  a grocery store with shoppers whose thoughts and feelings are lit-up like lamps. Shouldn’t I feel just as ‘at home’ holding the door for a friend miles from our house as doing the dishes in our kitchen, and shouldn’t speaking to the clerk at a store be, in a way, as pleasant as passing words back and forth at home? I live in little Mystic, but I also live in the limitless universe, so perhaps my real home is as vast as galaxies. It could be there are countless doors in my real home, all leading to moments that could be called miracles, all opening to places as comfortable and kindly as our living room on Riverbend Drive.  


A bird and a blossom 
making friends, 
a rooster helping morning 
make its entrance, 
a lawn mower making music 
across a lawn:
it's a joyful time in July,
when even an airplane passing over 
can make music 
in a happy heart. 


July 6, 2021


            During my 79 years, I have spent far too much time in one sort of struggle or another – the struggle to fill a day with ‘accomplishments’, the struggle to stay focused on what’s happening right here and right now, the struggle to be brave in a sometimes nerve-racking world. However, in the last 30 years or so, I’ve been bringing the surrender flag with me more often, and carefully unfurling it now and then. I’ve been giving up struggling. I’ve been setting down my combat tools, putting aside my weapons of warfare. I’m still a fairly faithful and attentive do-er of tasks, but I try to be attentive in a temperate way, and faithful like flowing rivers, with a peaceful kind of pushiness. Rivers, I have always realized, do not struggle. They simply slide around rocks and move freely along, and when trees topple, the waters open wide and say “Welcome”. Rivers are powerful in a soft but persevering way, and that’s what I’m aiming for in my daily life. I’ve traded struggling for flowing, and I think contentment has followed me with more willingness than when I was a warrior. 

And here are two faces we saw in huge boulders along the trail we hiked this morning. Can you see the faces? To me, they seem utterly peaceful, just resting, as they’ve done for probably thousands of years, beside the Beebe Pond Trail in Groton, CT.


July 5, 2021


            Each day – each moment – I am nurtured by our compassionate universe. All the countless atoms in my body are continuously nourished by a soft, persistent force that’s beyond understanding, and somehow my heart and lungs are taken good care of by a ‘mother’ that’s steadier than the endless sky.  Today, I will be attended to by breath, by thoughts, by unfolding feelings, and by the warm words I will read and hear. Breezes and sunshine and vast distances will administer to my needs. I will be fed by every pampering moment. Sustenance will be as close as the quiet air. 


This morning 
I came back to my life. 
Cars came back  
to the streets of our town. 
Sounds that love our homes and lawns 
came back. 
A flag on a store 
came back to the wind 
with a rush,
and words I sent out walking yesterday
came back this morning
to this poem.


July 4, 2021


(Here are some words I wrote 17 years ago, on June 24, 2004:)

            On my 62 mile bike ride today (yes! I rode my age!), toward the end I paused on a bridge over a graceful stream of water, and I got to thinking about the durability of that small stream. That water, I thought, has probably been flowing exactly like that for hundreds of thousands of years. While the human race was conducting war after war, while sorrows of immense proportions were sweeping across the land, while billions of people were being born and billions were dying, this little babbling brook continued to pour over these rocks near where I was standing with my bike. In its soft, persistent way, it was too strong to be stopped. As I watch the water quietly flowing across stones, I thought of another powerful river – only this one has been flowing for all eternity and is completely impossible to stop. I was thinking of the river of love. What can stop – what has ever stopped – this river from pouring strong feelings of kindness and goodness into hearts surround the world? For untold millennia, human beings have been feeling this powerful flow of love, even in the worst of circumstances. Has a tornado brought disaster to a town? Love is right there, quietly flowing through and among the townspeople as they rebuild their lives. Have terrorist struck again and destroyed the hopes of hundreds and thousands of people? Love is right there, softly pouring across the suffering hearts to soothe and strengthen them. There simply is no situation that can dam up or sidetrack the endlessly durable stream of love. Like the little brook moving under the bridge where I stopped on my ride, love just quietly keeps doing it’s immortal and mighty work.

And two fairly recent poems …


Keep a cooler in your quiet heart.
Keep some thoughts of ice and snow,
memories of kindness shared in December. 
Write with cold pencil lead 
the coldest, clearest words. 

So the old world turned,
and the words of sunshine 
were spoken. 
That's all - 
just a loving sentence in the trees,
and phrases of kindness 
across the waters,
and the lit-up life of poems 
in the air.
All faces were forward,
all arms were swinging, 
all hearts were heavy 
with happiness. 


Saturday, July 3, 2021


            The life that I usually think of as ‘mine’ actually belongs to the infinite and infinitely prosperous reality that we call ‘the universe’. Though it usually seems to be separate and small and enclosed within the limits of the body labeled ‘me’, in fact, what I call ‘my life’ truly ranges out to boundless, timeless, and ever-prospering realms. Scientists estimate there are somewhere near 1082 atoms in the universe – of which ‘my’ 1027  atoms are a teeny tiny part – and all of the universe’s atoms are constantly prospering, as they have been for countless gazillions of years. Yes, there is constant change occurring, but it always occurs in a vigorous and flourishing way. Yes, there is what we call ‘death’, but it is simply part of the always changing and ever-thriving energy of this permanently productive universe.  Today – like every day, and including me – will be exceedingly well-off, overflowing with liveliness. If there is gladness, it will be boundless, and if there is sorrow, it will be bottomless. Happiness will constantly spring up and blossom, and so will sadness. Every single moment today will be successful, in immeasurable and often unseen ways. Saturday,  July 3, 2021, will be an affluent, ‘stinking rich’ day, and I will be a lucky part of this opulence.


1. Figure out the flight of moments. 
2. Make piles of feelings 
and watch them float away. 
3. Love winning and losing the games of life.
4. Give to the wind
and watch what it gives back. 
5. Be brave like sunlight and life. 
6. Let your heart lift you up 
and up. 


Friday, July 2, 2021


            Slowly but surely, over the course of 79 years, I’ve come to see that life is a faithful friend, a friend I am very fortunate to have. How, I often wonder, did this trusty friendship happen? How did what is called ‘I’ come to have this dependable friend called life? And how did life itself start in the first place, and become so trustworthy? It’s amazing to me, for instance, that the present moment – right here and right now – is always right here right now. Sometimes the past and future seem way more real than the present, but the fact is that the present moment is unswerving in its devotion. It’s always here, and always reliable. No matter how confused and fearful I might become, the present moment, continuously new and fresh, is beside me in its steadfast way.  And the same can be said for all the dependable powers of life. Kindness, for instance, is tried-and-tested and forever ready to come to my aid, and patience is a proven friend, instantly available to help in any situation. Maybe best of all, love is loyal in its devotion. I am never without love’s endless power, no matter how disastrous my situation might seem. All I need to do is open the door, and boundless and loyal love is there, well-prepared and willing.  

            How did this mystery called ‘I’ become so blessed, so safe?