DOOR

A Word Like Light: DOOR

Friday, March 17, 2023

         There are many doors in our house, but the best of all doors is the one inside me, the one that, each moment, opens to the miracles prepared just for me. What’s really wonderful about this is the door inside me is always brand newand always opens to a totally new view. Today, each moment will present a door I have never seen before, a door devotedly decorated by the timeless universe, beckoning me to turn the knob and know the stunning truth that waits behind it. I might call each moment my personal doorman, graciously waiting for my signal to open the door and wave me through with a bow and a smile. Does this mean that there are thousands of doors waiting for me today? Not really. There is only one door, the door that is here and now, and the joy of this day is that I get to open that door and see the spectacular creations the cosmos has prepared for me, right now, and again and again and again.

ANIMATE

A Word Like Light: ANIMATE

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

         The word ‘animate’ comes from the Latin word ‘anima’, which means ‘soul’ or ‘life’, and this anima is constantly lighting a soft and lovely fire under me and everything. I sometimes see and feel this refreshing flame, but only when I stay still, and look and listen. Each moment is prepared to fully enliven me. It’s like a superpower breathes new life into me every single moment, over and over, with cheer and good-heartedness, all day and all night long. Right now, as I’m typing these words, everything I see around me is being energized just by being here, right now. The old pens and pencils in the jar on my desk are actually brand new in this new moment, standing in a way they’ve never stood before. Our couch with its blue cushions seems to be cheered-up simply by being present, and the windows in the dining room show scenes outside that are, in some ways, brand new, scenes I have never seen before in all my 81 years. My old, faithful lungs are constantly rousing me up by bringing me approximately 26 sextillion molecules of air each moment, and my heart gives my body a buzz by moving blood cells at the rate of 3 feet per second, rolling roughly 83 gallons of blood zestfully through me every hour! And then there are thoughts and feelings, which somehow blossom inside me by the thousands, unfolding fresh and boundless light hour after hour

         For certain, the anima, the soul and life of what is called ‘me’, is firing-up itself, second after second, stirring up endless newness, and with absolutely no help from this separate so-called ‘me’!

COPIOUS

A Word Like Light: COPIOUS

Thursday, March 9, 2023

         The life I am taking part in in my 81st year is, above all, a copious one. Every single moment is abundant with choices and chances and roads to travel and stunning personal mountains to ascend. Of course, moments can also be plentiful with fears and disappointments, but right in the midst, each of those moments is also overflowing with opportunities for grace and wisdom. And of course, how wonderfully profuse are the thoughts that come to me by the thousands, hour after hour, flying from who-knows-where to take part in my life for a few moments or hours. Like all of us, I’m alwaysoverflowing with thoughts, just as the sky is abounding with stars every night, and I have the pleasure and freedom to choose from this amazing mental abundance. I also have a copious amount of choices presented to me all day long. They flutter like butterflies in front of me moment by moment, each choice – even the bad ones, even the seemingly disastrous ones – offering numerous blessings of countless kinds. And think of nature and all her teeming miracles – the dust in the air making limitless fairylike circles and swirls, the inexhaustible oxygen atoms softly flowing into lungs around the world, the immeasurable rays of the sun spreading and shining in innumerable ways. 

         I and all of us are surely involved in an exceedingly copious universe. Just writing about it today stuns me with a vast sense of astonishment and thankfulness.  

POSSIBLE …. and Sunny

A Word Like Light: POSSIBLE

         Anything and everything is possible. That’s the message I hear when my inner ear is open to the voice of the universe. Unfortunately, I often spend my time listening to the discouraging words of so-called ‘common sense’ and ‘practicality’, which closes the door to the boundless realms of possibility. There’s no end to what is feasible if I consider the limitless diversities and potentials of the universe. Every moment is an infinite mixed bag, a medley of movements and modifications that can never be measured or totally understood. We like to think we know what is possible and what is not, and yet the assortment of opportunities that are always available to us is mind-boggling in its infiniteness. Wind easily works with mountains and trees and seas to help itself swing and sway across our planet, and I could be like the wind, working with life in a loving, trustful, and free-wheeling way to travel into unbelievably beautiful realms. Moments move through my life with kindness, and I can journey through my days with the faith that everything is wonderfully generous and plausible.  Sadness and sorrow will happen, for sure, but surrounding  and intermixing with the sadness and sorrow will be endless kinds of simplicity and peace. This universe is filled to the brim with possibility, and so am I, which makes me shout a soft cheer from my desk where, this morning, I’m setting down all kinds of imaginable words.  

__________________

OUR SUNNY 

            Several years ago, a stray tabby cat would sometimes wander into our yard and settle in a soft place under a tree and peacefully pass the time – and even sometimes gracefully rise up into Delycia’s lap and let her stroke his fur. He and she made a happy pair as they sat in the shade enjoying each other’s presence. This went on for days and weeks and months, the stray gray kitty coming over on a regular basis for a visit, and Delycia and he forming a warm, now-and-then relationship.  

            Then, about a year ago, something said to both of us that we should invite this handsome, gracious kitty into our home – not ‘for good’ – of course not! – but for, well, just a pleasant and very quick visit. 

            Well, it was a pleasant visit … but not at all quick. This 50-year-old (in human terms) feline has since become our cherished housemate. After carefully inquiring of neighbors and making sure he was a stray, we officially adopted him, named him Sunny, had him examined and treated by a local vet, and now this sunny friend shines a very significant light on our lives. Each morning at around 5:00 a.m., he announces the new day with his resolute but affectionate meows, which somehow seem more beautiful to us than spring birdsongs. I get up and open the door to our bedroom, and directly but delicately Sunny springs up on the bed and snuggles beside Delycia. Throughout the day, he occasionally serenades us with his musical meowing, usually when Delycia is in the kitchen and he senses the coming of some special food into his dish. A real treat for all of us is when Sunny stylishly ascends into my or Delycia’s lap. (He truly does not jump. Like a performer, he ascends, and with the silkiness of a ballet dancer.) I think he loves these lap-minutes as much as we do. We stroke his fur, and he purrs along like he’s in kitty-heaven. He loves especially to have his head softly massaged. He purrs and whirrs and hums, and we thank the gift-giving universe that we have found such a dear and sunny friend. 

AISLE

A Word Like Light: AISLE

Friday, March 3, 2023

         When I was a boy in a family that attended church regularly, I thought of aisles as being sacred passageways in a church leading to some sort of sanctified experience. At church, I walked up the aisle to my seat, and I always found myself feeling almost scared, as though I was entering a place of vast mystery. These days now, at the age of 81, I often feel, in the most ordinary circumstances, like I’m once again looking down the aisle of a sacred place, but this place is called the present moment. Each moment, I am living in – walking down and up – an aisle in the mystifying and revered cathedral called life. And, what is wonderful is that no matter in which direction I turn, the aisle always leads to the highest and most consecrated experiences possible. When I was a boy, I went to church, usually only on Sundays, but now, in these reverent days of elderhood, I truly know that I am walking down an aisle towards something sacred every moment – even though I am usually not aware of it. Like when I was a restless lad in church, I am still typically distracted by daydreams and musings, and thus I don’t notice the holiness of all the moments. Right now, at 5:23 in the morning, as I’m sitting at my desk in front of my computer, I can look down the aisle of life and see and feel the purity and sanctity of all existence. Yes, I am in a church, but it’s the majestic and cheering church of daily life, and the aisle that I’m always walking down or up is always leading, and arriving at, everlasting acceptance and satisfaction.

ELEGANCE

A Word Like Light: ELEGANCE

Today – like all days – will be a day of elegance. There will be style in the smallest actions – in our cat’s suave meowing, in the swanky sounds from the humidifier, in the fashionable sway of tree limbs in passing winds. Each brand-new moment will have a graceful neatness in it that is perfect for that singular moment – and all the moments will have an opulence that will flow over and through me with poise. Even if sadness arrives, I hope I’ll be aware of the kindness that will also be arriving, from within and outside me, to help me work with the sadness in a gentle but brave way. Even if tragedy somehow comes, the vast dignity of skies and sunsets and sunrises will be shining around and inside me to show me the way to healing and peace. Whatever happens, good or bad, all day long my breath will fashionably come and go, my old fingers will bend with elderly flair, and thoughts will grandly promenade through me. And all of this through no effort of my own. Our universe is a swanky and affectionate dancer. It lives each moment with sumptuousness and polish, and thus, so do I – though I sometimes have no awareness of it. I get lost, now and then, in a feeling of the messiness and confusion of life, but I’m hoping I will participate today with panache in the tender and sophisticated whirls and twirls of each elegant moment.

WISDOM

A Word Like Light: WISDOM

         I sometimes think the greatest questions in life concern wisdom:  Where does it come from? How is understanding made? Where do I go to find new ideas? Thoughts seem to be constantly pouring into me, but how? and where from? What I often realize, now in my 80’s, is that I should simply love these glorious questions without worrying about answers. What’s important is that wisdom is waiting for me, always and everywhere. Like a gracious, all-loving wizard, insight welcomes me in every new instant. Fresh thoughts seem to continuously follow me, moment after moment, ready to completely enliven my life. From my kindergarten days, I have wanted to be a ‘smart’ guy, and now, in my refreshing old age, I see that ‘smartness’ moves through the universe like winds through trees – with ease and solemnity and sovereignty – and that I am actually a part of this boundless wind. The amazing truth is that I don’t have to ‘find’ wisdom, because it’s always sailing inside me, and I inside it. All of us – all humans and mountains and squirrels and skies – are breezes within the wind of wisdom. We don’t have to find it, but just see it and be it.  

HIGHWAY

A Word Like Light: HIGHWAY         

My life has sometimes felt like an endless traffic jam – as if I’m stalled amidst countless obstacles, trying to go somewhere but getting nowhere. It’s been so easy to feel befuddled and bottlenecked, like I’m living a totally sidetracked, jam-packed life. However – lucky for me – there are times now, in my 9th decade, when life seems to actually be a wide-open highway rolling freely toward limitless horizons, and I’m just peacefully passing along as freely as a cruising pleasure car. These are occasions when life feels like a clear, unclogged expressway welcoming me to move freely and effortlessly along, through problems and victories and sorrows and delights. What I’ve learned is the fortunate fact that all the slow-downs and stalls in my life are caused only by my own thoughts. Life itself is an infinitely widespread road that leads in endless directions toward boundless truths and wonders, and only my own thoughts can throw me off course and set me in a relentless traffic jam of fears and worries. The flawless and free highway of life is always here, ready to transport me on adventures that, be they happy or sad, can always be magnificently rewarding. I just have to have the car of my thoughts washed and tested and ready to roll. 

BEAM

 A WORD LIKE LIGHT: BEAM

      The word ‘beam’ strikes me as being very useful in understanding the meaning of life. It helps me realize that all of life – the Universe itself – is constructed with incredibly rock-solid beams that reliably hold everything up – everything – more solidly and beautifully than the grandest castles. These are not material beams, made of stone or steel, but the beams of vast, non-material, unassailable substances like love and calmness and courage.  Material beams, no matter how sturdy, can bend and break, but what force can defeat the powers of infinite kindness and boundless serenity? Buildings may collapse and cities be blighted, but composure and perseverance can smile and stay quietly steady. Hatred may bark and try to bite, but unconquerable friendliness can always reach out a hand in all-encompassing companionship. Truly, the boundless, non-material beams that forever support life are holding me up right now with unflagging force. I just need to open my eyes and my heart and see how heavy-duty and hard-wearing all of life truly is.   

FOLLOW

WORDS LIKE LIGHT

Friday, August 19, 2022

         Today I hope I can be a loyal follower of the present moment. As each moment makes its way across the landscape of the day, I don’t really need to do anything myself except quietly follow and be steadily surprised by what’s unfolding before me. I can be a quiet companion as the day discloses its surprises –  a loyal supporter and admirer, going along with each moment just for the joy of seeing it and appreciating it. Of course, this day might lead me along some roads of discomfort or sadness, but even then I hope I can be faithful companion, just walking beside the infinitely wise present moment, watching and learning and being quietly thankful that I can follow such a sensible guide.  

FOLLOWING LIFE
(on Sanibel Island)

This is flat country,
perfect for following life,
just floating along
and letting life
unfold the way
it wishes to.
You’ll wonder where
it’s leading you,
but light and warmth
will work in thoughtful ways
to comfort you,
and millions of beautiful,
benevolent shells 
will help you accomplish
the feat 
of following life
like a fervent, loosened up
 learner.