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:

WORDS THAT AWAKEN

tenacious

adjective – tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely: a tenacious grip.

from Latin tenaxtenac- (from tenere ‘to hold’) 

Monday, May 31, 2021

            Today, I hope I can hold in thought that everything inside me and around me is tenaciousTrue, it can often appear that life is the opposite of tenacious – that things around me are tentative, unsure, and preparing to fall apart at any moment – but the truth is that life – reality – is absolutely unshakeable. Perhaps I should say that the present moment is unshakeable, because that’s what life, or reality, actually is – the eternal present moment – and nothing can unfasten the grip of this persistent and resolute force.  It is everywhere and everything, and is single-minded in its determination to always stay with me, right here and right now.  Come what may, be they losses or disappointments or hurricanes or sorrows, the tireless, single-minded present moment is always beside me, always inside me and all around me in its boundless, steadfast way. And it truly is boundless. Since no other moment ever exists but the present, it extends out in all directions – and forever – and thus is always everywhere, always unflinching and unswerving, always tenacious. 

            If we’re looking for a purposeful, unflagging friend – and surely all of us are – we need look no farther than the never-ending here and now. That’s where life, or reality, always is, and it is always tenacious, always waiting and ready. 

WORDS THAT AWAKEN

convenient

from Latin convenire ‘assemble, agree, fit’, from con- ‘together’ + venire ‘come’.

May 30, 2021

            Today, like every day, everything will be convenient, because everything will ‘come together’ in a perfect way. As I sit here at my desk very early on this morning in May, the vast universe is coming together in multitudinous ways, as it is always doing. There’s never any dispersing in this congenial universe – never any disbanding or scattering. All is always assembling, never dispelling. Today, like all days, will be a non-stop get-together of atoms and molecules and thoughts and feelings and  sights and sounds – a celebratory social occasion, in all ways and in all directions and in all moments. The seemingly separate entity called ‘Hamilton Salsich’ will be an inseparable part of the festival, along with innumerable specks of  dust and swirls of winds and rays of light, all assembling in an effortless way to work special wonders in every moment, which will make all the coming millions of moments on this 30th day of May utterly ‘convenient’ – totally together, well balanced, calm, and at ease. 

            Wow! How fortunate I am to be part of this coming social festivity called ‘today’!  

WORDS THAT AWAKEN

Agreeing

Friday, May 28, 2021

            I hope this can be a day of agreeing for me. The boundless universe has something planned for me for each and every moment, and I hope I can be completely congenial. It would be fun – and relaxing – to be able to say a respectful ‘yes’ to whatever comes along today – to smile and wave and reach out my hand to every thought and situation. There’s no doubt that concurring would be a far easier way to spend this day than differing, arguing, and rejecting, which is how I usually spend my time. I don’t mean that I am generally disagreeable when with Delycia or other friends. No, my disagreeableness arises when I’m dealing with thoughts and situations. I’m almost always arguing with my own thoughts – tossing out this thought or fighting against that thought – and I usually treat seemingly adverse situations like outright enemies, rather than friends I can possibly learn something from. For me,  a typical 16-hour day is usually, to be honest, a 16-hour battle. 

            This day can be different. As I write, I hear the spring birds outside making their morning music, as if singing a convivial greeting to whatever comes their way, and I hope I can be just as agreeable. I hope that, each and every moment, I will have the same opinion as the universe. If life presents me with seeming difficulties and problems, I hope I can hold out my hand and help them feel welcome, and thereby help myself see how utterly harmless they really are. I hope to be able to smile at every situation that arises, to quietly consent to every circumstance. I surely won’t like  everything that happens today, but I hope I can peacefully acquiesce to everything, and thus gracefully rise above to see the glories and wisdom of whatever happens.  

THE GIFT OF 'AGREEABLE'
May 28, 2021

One day, 
the word 'agreeable' 
gave its best gift
to a sadly quarrelsome man,
and the man suddenly saw 
the wisdom of assenting.
He turned to his wife 
and wished she would speak 
so he could agree,
and he gave his enthusiastic consent 
to the wheezing in his lungs. 
At breakfast, 
the lukewarm coffee 
gave him the chance 
to be courteous to it, 
and he greeted a pain in his foot
in a chivalrous manner. 
He made some mistakes that day,
which made him mad, 
but he simply smiled 
at his anger, 
and it softly disappeared. 

Humor

WORDS THAT AWAKEN 

Humor

4:29 a.m., Thursday, May 27, 2021

         It’s always been interesting to me that the word ‘humor’ derives from the Latin word for ‘moisture’, suggesting that a little humor can sprinkle refreshing moisture on the boring dryness of the so-called ‘personal’ life of Hamilton Salsich. On any given day, I can get so wrapped up in the tedious task of protecting my separate little ‘self’ that life itself can seem as dry as an arid desert, and that’s why a spirit of showery, refreshing humor can be beneficial. Life seems so serious sometimes, but a good laugh can loosen up the seriousness, and soon my troubles are miniscule bubbles in the boundless, effervescent stream of life. Whenever I’m leaning over a cliff of scorched dreads and worries, a little laughter always sprinkles relief, and soon I’m seeing, again, that life is more comical than tragic, more like an amusing sitcom than a serious drama. 

         Today, I hope I can laugh at distress and suffering when it shows up – turn on the hose of good humor and give it a blissful shower! 😂

A MOMENT OF LAUGHTER
(about Bobby L., 37, Blessings, CT, USA)
Thursday, May 27, 2021

One day,
a moment of laughter
loosened up his life, 
and soon it was floating off
like a family of clouds 
in a boundless sky. 
He was scared 
to see all his seriousness 
disappearing so smoothly,
but soon he saw
that laughter lets in the truth
about everything, 
and that seriousness is as flimsy 
as the flowing winds,
and before long 
he and life were laughing together 
and throwing fears 
up in the sky 
like small, shining stars. 
 

I sometimes laugh in a light-hearted way when seeing the beautiful flowers in Delycia’s garden, like this elegant poppy just popping forth from its shell yesterday in full splendor …

WORDS THAT AWAKEN

Adorable

4:30 a.m., Monday, May 24, 2021

       Today, I hope I can keep in mind that everything is adorable. The word ‘adore’ derives from the Latin word ‘orare’, which means ‘to speak’, and everything in this sacred universe is always speaking. Today, I hope I can be always listening. Messages will be made for me today – messages from the early songbirds that are making music outside as I write this, messages from all the moments that are ready to roll through the day with their infinite liveliness, messages from sticks in the grass and shadows among trees and the spoken words that will come like lucky winds from Delycia to me all day – and all of these messages are ‘adorable’ precisely because they will be speaking directly to me. 

       So here’s a message for me from me: “Listen carefully, Ham. This will be an adorable day.”  

Align

4:33 a.m., Tuesday, May 25, 2021

     It’s wonderful to realize, early each morning, that everything in the universe, and in my life, is in flawless alignment – all perfectly positioned to make a perfect day for everything and everyone. Of course, it’s hard for me to see this alignment, as absorbed as I usually am in my small, personal world, but it’s definitely there. What’s wonderful is that I can sometimes feel this alignment, this way the universe has of displaying itself with trimness and discipline. Even in the midst of the chaos of a human world beset with disease and hostility, I sometimes sense the orderliness that exists in nature in even the worst storms – the way 100 mph winds work in graceful harmony as they whirl through the atmosphere, the way the flames of all fires swirl with a certain kind of symmetry. In the midst of what we humans might call ‘chaos’, there is always the consonance, the evenness of form, of the immeasurable and meticulous universe.  

       Today, I hope I can see the superbness, the ideal alignment, in all the minutes and hours, for it will always definitely be there.     

ACHIEVING

Saturday, May 22, 2021, 4:34 a.m.

       For most of my life, I have wanted to achieve – to bring off big successes, to carry out complex tasks with aplomb and honorability. What I have usually failed to notice, however, is that the universe all around me is always achieving, always performing astonishing stunts, always being the consummate superstar. Just the way early darkness is slowly disappearing into daylight as I write this is an astonishing feat, as is the fact that my old fingers can quietly dance across the keyboard to bring new words to the computer screen. My chest just now rose up silently with a fresh breath of air. Is there any achievement more amazing than that?  

APPLAUSE

Friday, May 21, 2021

5:25 a.m.    Today I want to listen to the peaceful applause the universe is constantly creating. In the midst of my worries and concerns, I hope I can hold my ears open to hear the praise that’s all around me – the trees clapping their new young leaves together, spring’s birds singing compliments about their neighborhood, and even the oil in the pan, a bit later, speaking highly of two eggs as they swirl together to become my breakfast. For a very fortunate 79-year-old writer of prosperous, happy words, this day in May should be a day of applause. 

I felt lots of applause inside as Delycia and I walked the Beebe Pond trail this morning – a pathway that wanders in wonderful ways among roots making lovely patterns across the trail, stately trees of all shapes and sizes, and boulders that have been majestically sitting there for centuries. Here are some scenes from the walk …