"To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle." — Walt Whitman
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
August 15, 2021
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)
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
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
The word ‘discover’ literally means ‘to remove the cover’, and, as the years have passed, I feel like a seemingly solid cover has slowly been removed from my life. Now, at the age of 79, I sometimes feel like I’m standing on a high mountain peak and staring at a boundless and beautiful land I’ve never seen before – as if a cover of clouds and mist has been withdrawn and a stunning scene has come into view. I don’t mean that life has become perfectly pain-free and beautiful for me. I still face fears and sorrows and setbacks each day, and the daily news continues to present a world full of malice and mayhem, but I’m more able now to see that, right in the midst of the seeming disorder of daily life, there’s a peace that has no boundaries and can never be defeated. I think I’ve finally realized that all of the so-called problems I’ve struggled with for so many years are no more substantial or dangerous than the softest mist that sometimes covers vast valleys. I’m now able, at least sometimes, to see through the mist of troubles and tribulations, and discover, again, the boundless, indescribable beauty that life is truly made of. It’s like discovering a brand-new world at least a few times each day. Perhaps, at 79, I’ve finally reached ‘the age of discovery’.
The word ‘satisfied’ comes from the Latin word ‘satis’, meaning ‘enough’, and today I hope to remember that life provides more than enough for me each and every moment. I should be pleased with whatever happens today, because, in one way or another, it will be a bountiful gift. Just the beauty of breathing in and breathing out should bring me contentment, and simply sitting silently at my desk and clicking the computer keys should keep me smiling with satisfaction. The ability to easily get up out of a chair in my 79th year should bring me gladness today, since it is truly an amazing skill, and each passing scene I see should bring me the good cheer of a child with a new toy. Indeed, life itself is a brand new toy I will receive each moment, a gift of unfathomable value which should fill me, all day, with the sincerest kind of satisfaction.
Two scenes from our walk on the shore of Long Island Sound yesterday …
I’ve always found excitement in ‘something new’ – a new book, a new shirt, a new movie to watch on television. For most of my life, I guess my days have been fairly boring, because ‘something new’ has always seemed far more exciting than what was happening at any particular present moment. Sometimes, though, it becomes clear to me that literally everything and every moment is ‘totally new’. Each moment is a flash of perfection, an unfolding of wonder and mystery that has never been seen before by anyone, and every so-called ‘thing’ – every chair, table, tree, coffee cup, and flower blossom – is a pristine, unused, and astonishing accomplishment by the universe. I am truly always face-to-face with freshness and innovation. The pen that’s beside me right now, sitting on a set of postage stamps beside some yellow post-it notes on a brown, well-lined desktop, is stunning in its newness, and will be just as stunning in every fresh moment in the future. In fact, each moment of each day is stunning and stunningly new. So who needs ‘something new’, when all the moments make amazing, never-before-seen miracles?
will let you lean on it,
and will love you for it -
will love you with its easiest heat,
with its musically warm winds,
with its long lists of summer's blessings.
Have faith in July 14th,
because its sunny songs
will be steadfast friends
from morning until the singing of stars.
Hour after hour,
July 14th will follow you,
with affectionate, watchful eyes,
always ready to help
or hold you in its arms,
a day as devoted and thoughtful
as they come.
Here we are, as happy as two 80-year-olds can be, pausing yesterday on our marvelous bike ride on the O’Neill Bike Path in Kingston, RI …
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Each moment of each day is quite literally an adventure. The word derives from the Latin word meaning ‘arrive’, and there is no doubt that, in each and every moment, something brand new arrives – an innovative thought making an appearance, a fresh feeling presenting itself, a scene materializing that has never been seen before. My life often seems to be a tedious test, but in reality it is always, here and now, a stirring escapade, a caper among limitless mysterious miracles. Even if I don’t realize it, life continuously sends me off on a rousing romp, every single moment, part of its unceasing, adventurous quest, an expedition that I should welcome and love. I just have to open my eyes – and my heart and my arms.
MAKING ENDS MEET
(about Bernice D., 61, Blessings, CT, USA)
she doesn't have to make ends meet,
because that's what life always does.
The ends of moments meet
to form all the endless thousands of years,
and every end of sorrow
slides together with others
to make some thoughts
that shine forever.
making ends of days meet
to make miracles
of everlasting starlight,
and ends of joys
jump together in friendship
with the ends of animosity
to set loose the endless dance
of all ends and beginnings,
which is why
there's really no end