Introduce

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

June 16, 2022

         This simple but special day, like all of them, will be what I would call an ‘introducer ‘, and a very good one, too. If I keep my eyes and heart open, this day will propose brand-new plans and strategies for me, and suggest the freshest and best ways to appreciate life. All day long, astonishing activities will be formally presented: my fingers dancing with elderly flair across the computer keyboard, water freely running from the faucet when I turn the handle, my old, happy hand stroking my unshaven cheek. Everything will get going every moment. Brightness will seem to begin wherever I look. A new miracle will be formally presented when I sip my coffee, or take a taste of a plum, or let my head effortlessly turn. This day will put forward a new type of friendliness, even in the way my two legs love working together as I walk. 

         Please, dear day, set in motion your marvels. I am ready. 

Below are some scenes from our walk yesterday on the Beebe Pond trail …

… and, two photos from the top of the Coogan Preserve trail today, where I was resting after a tough climb on my bike …

… and, our friendship poem for yesterday, and some of Delycia’s lovely flowers, inside and outside …

Energy

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

June 12, 2022

         I would love to feel lots of energy today, and it should be easy to do, since I belong to a universe made of endless energy. Actually, I can’t avoid being perked up today, all day, since I am part of an endlessly vast universe made of endlessly vast vitality. I probably won’t always feel this inner vitality, but it will definitely always be there – my 37 trillion cells working freely and fluidly, my breath coming and going with reliable buoyancy, thoughts constantly zipping around inside me. I may sometimes feel fatigued today, but the universe that I am an important and inseparable part of will never be wearied of working its little and large miracles. When I feel sapped and drained, perhaps I should just watch, for a while, the tree limbs in our yard endlessly flowing and shifting with the steady – though invisible – movements of the air, or maybe I should simply pause for a few moments and feel the reliable rise and fall of my belly as my body does its dependable breathing with quiet exuberance. There will be forcefulness in every moment today, even in simply the fact that each moment will be made fresh and brand-new before my eyes. Today’s dynamism will be unlike any other day’s, always crisp in its newness. I just need to stay alert to the pizzazz and punch that will be always happening inside and all around me.     

And two scenes from our morning walk in the seaside village of Noank …

Implicit

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The word ‘implicit’ derives from the Latin word meaning ‘entwined’, and, as I look outside at 6:09 on this spring morning, I know marvelous miracles are secretly entwined in everything. The trees are not speaking directly, of course, but implicit in their silence and dignity is a message of consummate peace. Unstated in the cloud-filled sky is the graceful wisdom of nature, and every leaf on the rhododendron bush sends a beautiful underlying message. Indeed, inherent in everything I experience today will be subtle and far-spreading truths, if I can just take the time to carefully look and see. Even in seemingly silent moments, a joyous serenity will be implicit – unstated, but steady and endless. 

* a wild and beautiful scene on our bike ride Friday on the Kingston (RI) rail trail *

Build

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Friday, April 22, 2022

            Each moment today, amazing structures will be built, though not of the solid, measurable kind. The vast universe will be constantly swirling in perfect unison in order to construct wonders never seen before – fresh thoughts, newfangled feelings, scenes assembled like sleight-of-hand magic. I’ve often thought of myself as truly the most important ‘builder’, the one who is responsible for ‘making’ my life useful and successful, but I see now that the immense universe – life itself – is the only designer and laborer, and all I have to do is watch and be filled with wonder. Today, like loyal and talented construction workers, thoughts and feelings and scenes and sounds will be building marvelous ‘structures’ all day long, and I will be ‘touring’ these miracles and feeling happily bewildered by their beauty. I wish myself a delightful journey!

And here are two happy bike-riding buddies today, on the beautiful bike trail in Kingston, RI …

Watch

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

         I hope I can learn to be a better watcher. Miracles are made each moment of every day, and I want to be a more steadfast and serious observer of them. Most days, I’m lost on side-trips in my head, following the flow of my roving, fitful thoughts, but I hope I can learn to stay alert, and truly watch. Each present moment is a marvel – a never-before-seen performance, a new and limitless wonder – and how better can I spend a day than feasting my eyes on these unfolding phenomena? Of course, I’ll be doing things every day, but at the same time I can be watching – carefully scanning the wondrous spectacle of each moment. Maybe I can learn how to do and watch at the same time, how to be both a meticulous do-er and a vigilant watcher.

Below, scenes from our 3-mile walk this morning at the Coogan Farm Preserve…

Open

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

         In the early morning, like right now as I’m typing at my desk, the coming day often seems littered with obstacles – projects and duties and to-do’s that stand among the coming hours like complicated barricades. I often feel like I have to carefully evaluate these obstacles – push them and prod them and poke them until they finally give way and move aside. A coming day, in this scenario, can loom like an endless series of adverse encounters and contests.  

         Another view of a coming day is to see it for what it actually always is – a wide-open and boundless land of opportunity. Every moment is made of endless constructive possibilities. The horizon of each hour stretches out for limitless miles and miles, and all I have to do, each moment, is see the ever-present open door and walk through it. The only obstacles in this coming day, truly, will be constructed by my own thoughts. For some strange reason, I have an 80-year-old habit of building barriers with my thinking, and then feeling frustrated because I can’t get around them. 

         This day, February 5, 2022, will be totally unfastened – as clear and passable as the wide open sky. Yes, my thoughts will seem to close a lot of make-believe doors as the hours pass, but the fact remains that openness will really be all there is. I should be stunned, all day, by the views.

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Friday, October 22, 2021

SUPERIOR

         This will be a superior day. Each moment will be a first-class one, ready to give me the finest gifts possible. It’s like, right now at 5:10 a.m., I’m setting off on the finest adventure of my life, a unique escapade called “October 22, 2021”. From one point of view, it may be just an ordinary, average day, but from another, wider perspective, it will be a day of the highest quality, when each moment will be like a choice plum chosen just for me. My thoughts and feelings, whatever they might be, will be of vintage quality. Sad thoughts will be perfectly sad, and worries will be as if carefully chosen. When I’m sitting in a chair, even the sitting will be of the first order, and my wobbly walking from room to room at home will be wobbly in a flawless way. I simply can’t avoid greatness today. It’s built-in to each moment. Mastery is what this autumn day is made of, and I am part of it. How lucky can a 79-year-old dude get?


AN UPSCALE DAY

One Wednesday, 
all the ball fields in town looked exalted,
and the stylish trees beside his house 
seemed pleased to be stylish. 
Lofty feelings came to him
side by side with prestigious thoughts. 
Even the dust on his desk 
was distinguished 
in the way it sat so silently and imposingly, 
and the streets near his house 
seemed superior to all others. 
On this day, 
he did a higher-level kind 
of sitting in his lazy-boy
and looking out the window.  


Three cairns on our sunroom windowsill …

… and sunset from our patio last night …

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

STUN

            This day, I hope, will stun me almost constantly. Like a child, I’d like to walk through the moments of this day in a continuous daze, totally stunned by the miracle after miracle that life will surely produce. Just the skill of carrying a cup of coffee to my lips – which I just did – should astound me with its finesse and gracefulness, and the way Delycia and I share thoughts by sending them over to each other in spoken words should astound me again and again. The fact that my body will breathe – in and out, over and over, all day today – with absolutely no help from me, should stagger me the way a child is staggered by the simplest occurrence. This day will be a maze of the most beautiful kind, and I look forward to wandering through it in a stunned way, constantly stupefied by the wonders of this mysterious life I somehow share with mountains and squirrels and Delycia and shoppers in McQuade’s supermarket.

ONE DAY LIKE CHILDREN 

One day,
they chose to be children.
chose to have stunned faces
and eyes as wide as windows.
They walked around
wondering why and how
about everything. 
They gaped instead of looked,
studied instead of passed by,
stopped and stared instead of
glanced and went. 
They spoke
only questions or exclamations
all day, 
because you can't
say clear statements
if you are constantly 
astonished.

And here’s a scene from our long, lovely walk on Napatree Point yesterday …

WORDS LIKE LIGHT

Monday, October 4, 2021

EMPTINESS

            I have spent most of my life trying to fill my days as full as possible, but now, almost 80, I am finally seeing the importance of emptiness. I want to be always prepared to receive the gifts that life continuously brings, and only an empty container is truly ready to receive. I want to be like the wide-open Grand Canyon, forever friendly to whatever is waiting. The immense, hospitable canyon welcomes storms and sunshine and daylight and darkness, and I want to be just as welcoming, but I can’t be welcoming if I’m already chock-full of beliefs and desires and fears and to-do lists.  If I imagine the Grand Canyon filled to the brim with junk, I get a picture of what my life sometimes feels like – a measureless container, but so full it can’t possibly be open to the miracles life is ready to provide. To me, being empty means being as clear and free as a sky that’s ready to receive all the winds and light and storms and silence the universe creates. It means unloading my endless worries and creeds and desires so there’s room again for the marvels each moment makes. I want to be a canyon that’s always empty so it can always be freshly filled up, moment after amazing moment. 

CAREERS

He thinks he might grow up 
to be a peacemaker, or perhaps 
a poet who lives among lakes 
and trees. He often thinks a life 
of throwing baseballs would be fun
when he gets a little older,
or a career involving canyons 
where the calls of the youthful earth
can be heard. He recently sent away 
for information about following 
lonesome trails that know no end,
and brochures about jobs 
studying distant, miraculous shores. 
He's even considering becoming 
a singer of songs of wisdom, 
or working as a protector
of people's hearts and minds. 

However, he's only 80,
still unfolding as a person.
There are refreshing years ahead 
in which to decide. 
No need 
to rush these things. 


And here's a scene from our walk yesterday at the Denison Pequotsepos Preserve ...

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Friday, October 1, 2021

LET

            Today I want to let the miracles of each moment remake my life over and over again. Really, all I ever need to do is let. The generous, lavish present moment has gracious gifts prepared for me today, all day, and all I need to do is step back and give my consent. It will be as easy as saying ‘Yes’ from dawn to dark. I truly don’t have to work hard today, or labor, or toil. All that’s necessary is to give permission to each moment to take me on its brand new trip. If there’s sadness in some moments, giving permission to the sadness will allow me to see the wisdom it holds inside it, and if sorrow is the gift some moments bring, I need to open the sorrow slowly and accept the secret strength and understanding it always carries with it.  I hope to be a green light today instead of a red one. I want to let the flow of the miraculous present moment move smoothly along. 

ALLOWING, SOME DAYS
Jimmy Lee H., 38, Blessings, CT

Some days, Jimmy just winks at everything,
simply lets things happen as they will.
On these days, he accepts the strange sounds 
of the dishwasher, and consents to the noise
of the interstate close by. He says yes
to the discomfort in his stomach, 
shakes
 hands with a host of worries, 
and high-fives 
his significant fears. 
He says it’s a day 
for permissions, 
so he lets disappointments 
stroll through his large life, 
and quickly 
condones the raucous motorcycles 
that 
sometimes race past his house. 
On those days of 
concessions, 
he even tips his hat to his 
to-do list, 
and smiles as he sweeps the kitchen floor. 

And here’s a slide show of scenes from my walk yesterday morning in the Peace Sanctuary …