FORWARD

­­WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Sunday, July 3, 2022 

         Today, like all days, will be constantly moving forward. Indeed, its life-giving, steady progress cannot be stopped. Each moment will move ahead with both vitality and peacefulness, bringing into view realities that have never before been seen in the history of the universe. It will be a day of continual advancing for everything, each person and squirrel and street and speck of dust becoming something fresh and newfangled each moment. All the moments will be totally forward-looking, moving easily ahead into unmapped territories. I guess we could say that this day, like all days, will be ‘forward’, like a brash young person is – bold and brazen, a valiant adventurer on the hunt for thrills and breakthroughs. 

         No doubt I need to be always on the alert, ready to accompany this shameless, audacious new day. 

Below are some scenes as we passed through Elm Grove Cemetery on our walk this morning …

HOLD

­­WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Thursday, June 30, 2022 

         Today, like all days, will hold me carefully in its friendly arms. I may sometimes feel adrift in a sea of concerns, but all the while this day – part of the life that started cradling me 80 years ago – will be safely enfolding me. Throughout the day, the present moment will always be with me, embracing me within its everlastingness, spreading itself out to its infinite distances so that I can feel the fun of having no boundaries at all. There will probably be moments when confusion may seem to be clasping me tightly, or when fear may appear to be following me, but always – always – the dependable present moment – life itself – will be enveloping me in its vast and trustworthy way. I may even sometimes feel the gracious squeeze of life as it holds me in its welcoming, inescapable arms. 

MAGNITUDE

­­WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 

         This morning, I am hoping I will be able to recognize and appreciate the magnitude of the coming day – of each moment of the coming day. There will be immensity in everything that happens today. Even every breath I take will have greatness within it, and all the flashes of sunlight in the forest as we’re bike-riding on the rail trail will be brilliant beyond belief. There will be a marvelous radiance inside every thought, and all the feelings that flow through me will have a hugeness that I hope I can be aware of. Every turn of my head and all the ways papers and books and notes sit on my desk will be of serious significance. The soft, sheer curtains that hang beside our windows will have a special kind of importance, and my hand will occasionally rest on the top of my desk with dignity and prominence. Like all days, this will be a day of grand magnitude. Historic events will occur –  someone in New Zealand suddenly understanding something, a small child in Tennessee taking its first steps, my hands and fingers coming together in friendship. How lucky I will be to be present at so many momentous proceedings on such a prominent and illustrious day!    

Below, a quiet scene at the start of our 22-mile bike ride this morning with two friends on the Kingston (RI) rail trail …

LAW

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Monday, June 27, 2022

         I have always tried to be a law-abiding citizen, but, in this very instructive eighty-first year of my life, I’m finally realizing that, in one sense, I have no choice in the matter. There is one law that I must obey – the most important law of all, the only eternal and shatterproof law. This is the law that says the present moment must be obeyed, because it is the only moment that exists, is without boundaries, and has all the power in the universe. In moments of clear thinking (which, I’m afraid, are still fairly rare for me), I realize that this law is indeed unbreakable. Each day, each moment, I actually have no choice but to obey this law – and why should I ever resist obeying it? This law surrounds me with comfort and fearlessness, reminding me that all is always well inside its reassuring certainty. It says that whatever is happening, be it scary or soothing, can be successfully dealt with because it is happening within the limitless present moment, where I also am ‘happening’, and therefore the situation and I can smoothly work together to unfold the wisdom it is bringing. As has always been the case in the history of human civilization, frightening events and situations – for nations and families and individuals – are occurring across the globe these days, and the only way to weather these storms is to meet them in the boundless present and roll with them through the troubles and toward wisdom and healing. It’s an unbreakable law: every present moment is large enough to contain both distress and restoration, both sorrow and understanding. I just need to recognize and appreciate this unassailable principle of reality.   

Below are some of Delycia’s beautiful early summer flowers …

and here are two healthy breakfasts ready on the patio table this morning …

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 …

TIMELESS

WORDS LIKE LIGHT

Friday, June 3, 2022

How strange, and wonderful – to realize, at the age of 80, that reality is timeless – that this ‘time’ thing that I’ve been a slave to all my life actually has no true reality! The concept of time is based on a belief that there’s a separate past and a separate present and a separate future, and that reality can be measured by comparing this past, present, and future, but the truth is that there is only the present. I can never be anywhere but the present. The present moment is ageless and always abiding – and therefore, so is everything. Nothing ends, because the present moment never ends. And nothing begins, because the present moment never begins. Time is an artificial measurement that does, for sure, help us live constructive daily lives, but it is simply a concept. It is not reality. This moment, right now, as I’m sitting at McQuade‘s café drinking excellent coffee and eating a ‘Kind’ candy bar and writing these words, is dateless and boundless and undying. And so is this moment. And this one, too. It’s all and everywhere – the timeless and astonishing present!

Below is a scene on the beach yesterday morning, at a pause on our lovely walk, with Delycia quietly contemplating the sea …

ENGINE

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Tuesday, May 31, 2021

         I sometimes worry about our car engine, wondering if it might one day break down on some lonesome road, far from friends and repair shops. However, I know that I never have to worry about the engine that drives my life, because it’s precisely the same engine that manages the entire universe. The sun has been dutifully rising for billions of years now, and the same power that steers the sun steers the countless thoughts that rise inside me, and steers my little lungs that reliably lift and fall about 21,000 times every 24 hours. Each day – each moment – is made by a motor that never starts and never stops, a machine that’s been making miracles since time began. It can’t break down, because the ever-present present moment can’t break down.  Actually, I’m an integral part of this everlasting motor. I think because it thinks; I smile because it smiles. 

         I love riding in our car, feeling the smoothness of movement over the roads, and I should love far more just sailing smoothly along inside the engine called Life.  

Ignite

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

         Life is always igniting, though I usually miss the fun of watching it. Today,  each moment will ignite with the soft flames of newness, and thoughts will burst into various kinds of flares, again and again. Kindness will kindle all day long, giving me and everyone a chance for some soft light and warm-heartedness, and sparks of words will shoot up as people talk and old, bald men make paragraphs and poems. Explosions of freshness will occur all day long, like life set alight over and over. One second of silence might inflame me, the way a sunrise arouses the sky. Come on, young March 16. I am ready. Fuel me with your fire!

Below, some scenes from our 3-mile walk this morning on the Beebe Pond Trail…

Imperial

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Friday, March 4, 2022

         Today, like all of them, will be an imperial one, and I hope I can appreciate the majesty of it. Every single moment, even worrisome ones, will be somehow magnificent, dressed in princely clothes and arriving with impressive pronouncements. I should make a slight but serious bow to each moment, showing obeisance to its splendor. On our daily walk, I’ll see the trees curtseying as stately breezes sweep through, and my thoughts may often feel more majestic than a sunrise. All my feelings today, even the smallest, will be kingly and queenly, as if royalty is right beside me. True, most of the time I’ll just be walking or standing or sitting in our small, humble house, but there will be something distinguished even in the soft carpets, and even a cup of water will have a royal look.  

Below is our chalkboard poem for today …

Plow

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Friday,  January 7, 2022

         This morning, as we were waiting for our snow-plow guy to come and clear the streets so we could go out for our usual Friday cafe breakfast, I started thinking about some other kinds of plowing. There’s the plowing, for instance, that I often find myself doing as I try to push my way through a day’s apparent problems. It’s all about ‘me’ then – me the brave tough-guy who thinks he can bulldoze his way through barriers with sheer resolve and self-discipline, the macho muscleman whose ego-centered actions usually lead to more frustrations and fears. But – there’s another kind of plowing, the kind the boundless present moment is constantly doing. Each present moment, today and every day, softly pushes its way through oldness, and – presto! – the streets of life are instantly clear and free to travel. It’s like each moment of life is a freshly-fashioned snow-covered landscape with pristinely cleared roads and trails ready for free and easy travel. What’s wonderful is that I don’t need to call the present moment to come and plow us out, since it is always right here, right now, doing its smooth and thorough and magnificent work. 

         This morning we were waiting to go out for our special cafe breakfast, but we were already ‘out’ in the wide-open and wondrous world of the present moment, thanks to its eternal power that never stops plowing and clearing the way. 

The view from our bedroom window this morning