WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

August 15, 2021

ROUSING 

            It may seem strange to think of high-spirited ideas as forces that can ‘fall’ upon a person, but sometimes it does seem to happen, a sparkling thought suddenly swooping down on me like sunshine that sweeps everything else away. It can create a newness and impressiveness in my life, like a letting go of all that’s old while something fresh flows in. I’m one person one second, and then a thoroughly sunny idea sweeps into my life, and suddenly I’m someone new, someone I’ve never met. It feels like a mental flood has flowed through me, leaving something lighthearted and bright when it’s gone. For instance, occasionally this cheering idea drops down on me: thoughts are more powerful than things. It’s a simple concept, but one that has sometimes actually restarted my life, this idea that a far-reaching, hopeful thought can control and conquer any situation, no matter how menacing it might seem. Each time I understand, once again, that cheerful, confident thoughts inside me can speak with infinitely more force than any troublesome circumstance outside me, I feel startlingly free, totally fresh and remade. I feel reborn as a force, not of blood and bones, but of soul and spirit, all because of a single rousing thought from somewhere beyond and boundless. 

ALWAYS WAKING UP
(about Bernice D., 61, Blessings CT)

At 59,
on a sleepy, sultry day
she saw, for the first time,
that each moment is made new,
and that she, too, is always new -- 
a fresh, stirred up assembly of cells
every single second. 
She saw that, in a sense, 
she was always waking up,
and she realized 
that she can’t help it, 
that rousing and rising 
was just what the universe always does, 
constantly and endlessly 
spurring itself on. 
She realized that even 
the airless languor of the day
was continually awakening 
into new and unspoiled airless languor, 
and that even her fears and sorrows 
were unceasingly bestirring themselves
into unprecedented designs
so she could better see and understand them
 in every respect
in this always newly-alert world. 




WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

July 6, 2021

SURRENDER

            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.

WORDS THAT AWAKEN 

Monday , June 14, 2021

INFLUENCE

            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 …

FOLDING
(about Braelynn J., 52, Blessings, CT, USA)
  

She loves folding her hands together 
in friendship,
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 
and wonders.