Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 4:42 a.m.

            When I recall that the word ‘depend’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘to hang’, it makes me think of how often I ‘hang’ in suspense each day, waiting and hoping that I will be able to produce some successful results for myself.  Everything seems to ‘depend’ on ‘me’, the seemingly small, separate individual named ‘Hamilton’ who is in charge of producing good results moment by moment. It’s a wonderful relief, then, to remember the simple truth – that I am no more in charge of constructing a successful day than a drop of ocean water is in charge of constructing the surf that rolls up on our local beach in Watch Hill, RI. The drop of water smoothly and easily flows where the vast power of the ocean takes it, and, even if I often have no awareness of it, I always smoothly and easily flow with the boundless force of the ocean called the Universe.  (I like to call this force Love, or Spirit, or just Life.) 

            So, on this 8th day of December in 2021, what is called ‘Hamilton’ or ‘Hammy’ or ‘Ham’ or ‘I’ or ‘me’, will be a marvelous part of the marvelous ocean of ‘Love’. There truly will be no separate ‘me’ trying to accomplish things, but just the bottomless power of Spirit, including ‘me’, streaming and swirling long in its endless and serene synchronization. Things will happen and results will be achieved, but none of it will depend on a separate ‘me’. The ocean of Life, which contains ‘me’, will be doing its wondrous work all day long. 

            And so, I don’t need to depend on ‘Hammy’ to accomplish things today. I don’t need to hang in suspense, hoping good results will somehow come. I can relax and totally depend on the Force that makes me and the surf and the winds and the weather and the love and the light of  everything. 

            How lucky can an 80-year-old drop of water get?!   


Sitting in a snug chair, 
with the sounds 
of a clock 
clicking in its dependable way,
does exactly what he needs -- 
nestles him 
in a feeling of wholeness, 
as if he's not 
something separate, 
but, like all of us,
a necessary and exceptional section 
of an endless procession of marvels. 
The moon makes its amazing appearance 
above the house some nights, 
his hands, his heartbeats, his simplest thoughts 
are just as amazing, 
as are everyone's, 
he knows, 
because nothing is brighter 
than anything else 
on this luminous, 
blended,  and powerful planet 
that always moves with all of us 
with effortless formality and fellowship.


Sunday, October 10, 2021


“She said she was just beginning to understand her selfishness.”  — Sarah Orne Jewett, in “Miss Sydney’s Flowers”             

I don’t think I’m any more selfish than the next person, but strangely enough, like Miss Sydney in Jewett’s story, I seem to be just starting, at age 79, to understand my particular type of selfishness. I’m not an unusually greedy person, and I do show a reasonable concern for others, so I don’t think my personal kind of selfishness is especially spiteful. No, what I’m beginning to see is that I am selfish simply because I’m consumed with concern about my “self”, the supposedly separate person I call “me”. I’m starting to appreciate the fact that most of my thoughts have been about this “self”, hoping to either protect it or enhance it or use it to stand strong against others. Somehow, over the years, I’ve nourished the notion that nothing is more important than shielding and strengthening this small, separate self called “me” — and now, almost 80, I’m just starting to understand how irrepressible this preoccupation has become. This, to me, is selfishness of a high order, and it’s something I want to hold up in a light, look at clearly, and then hopefully leave behind. This meager and insignificant “me” which has occupied so much of my time for almost eight decades must be set on the scrap pile where it belongs. The only “self” I want to support and make stronger in my senior-citizen years is the one called “Life”, the  vast, mysterious marvel of which each of us is an indissoluble  part. That would be a commitment, a dedication, worth undertaking, far more praiseworthy than the pledge to protect a silly little “me”.