Becoming Light

So fellow travelers, one of the things I love most about being part of an authentic creative community is the ripple effect of inspiration which runs through the work we share.

When I shared yesterday’s post on our community page, I described the experience as “thoughts I have rumbling around the edges of my consciousness start percolating into a potable brew because of the creativity (we) shared.”

This morning my friend Kate posted a stunning photo and words in my heart immediately began bubbling to life.  So with her gracious permission, here is her image along with the words it gave rise to.

Hearts and souls reach out

Hope shines bright darkness receeds

Be the Light within

KatesFlower

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Resiliency, Nets and Webs

So fellow travelers,  with one of his poems today, my friend Tom Atkins made a comment on resiliency.

Life knocks us down. Sometimes we get up again. Sometimes we don’t. To this day, I don’t know where our resilience ends, or why. I don’t know where it begins, or why. I just know both are real. It’s scary, not knowing.”

I sat with the poem and his comment for quite a while this afternoon.

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Water Lilies in the afternoon sun at my little pond, my sanctuary for ponderence.

I don’t need social media to find evidence of the life’s blows; I know many people within my own personal circle who struggle to find the strength to keep getting up.  Friends raising transgender kids in a bathroom obsessed society, or dealing with chronic pain trying to find relief from an insurance hampered medical system, or hanging on by the thinnest of financial threads in an uncertain job market.

Being someone wired to make a difference, it sucks to feel helpless to help others.

“Hey hang in there! Sending Prayers and Hugs!” sometimes feels like an empty platitude, no matter how much genuine love and Light I will into each keystroke as I type. I can hope my friends feel my love and can take in the Light when they read the words of encouragement I’ve sent them online. I hold onto that hope when I feel most helpless.

It’s hard to stand by, even in a supportive role, as people face the challenges on their path through life. Yet if there is one lesson I have learned well in half a century and then some of mistakes it is this: Each of us must find our own way. We may travel together at times, yet ultimately no one can live our lives for us. Each of us is responsible for creating the life we have. Every moment of every day we make choices for Light or Darkness,  Love or Fear. Everyone has the power to change their choices and no one can make those changes for them.

This thought called to mind another recent post from a writer who filled my heart with joy by describing our connection as “friends who have invested in the creation of a history.” Dang, if I had plans for a tombstone that’s what I’d want inscribed “She was a friend who invested in the creation of a history .” Maybe it can be put on a plaque at the foot of the tree which will sprout from the biodegradable burial urn I intend to end up in.

Lisa’s post (which I also reblogged here) spoke to the matter of how we truly can help simply by being there for one another. The way  we create, maintain and strengthen our connections to each other weaves safety nets which allow us to catch each other when we fall. Sometimes those nets can be used to pull people up, if they will take hold. Yes, sometimes we seem to slip through the gaps. This is why it is essential to maintain and strengthen our connections to create stronger nets with smaller gaps.

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Sometimes, we are not mindful of when we are walking into a web we perceive as a safety net.  In my experience this happens mostly when we have lost our sense of who we are. Our need to belong can over ride our innate awareness of malevolence when we are desperate to find acceptance.  I have learned the best way to discern the difference between webs and nets is for me to become better at practicing kindness and being compassionate. Genuine kindness and true compassion are always selfless states of being; they come from choices focused on others and are never self-serving.

Webs are woven from conditions set by others. Safety nets are unconditional, they allow us to be our true selves even when it means letting someone fall further than we wish to have them go. We cannot always save people from themselves. Sometimes the best we can do is stand by waiting to cast our nets and have faith they will catch those we love.

That point of faith I think is where our resiliency begins and ends.

Some of our pond fish. Considering the winter conditions they survive year after year they are the embodiment of resiliency!

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

… on the complexity of ‘all you need is love’

A Big Magic moment when creative hearts and minds connected and wove something of substance. Consider yourselves “Dingled” as we call it. It’s quite a gift.

just ponderin'

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Wind At Sea

Sailboats are more about knots than nets, so you’re going to have to bear with me.

The other day I was messaging with a friend in that very cool, smooth, to and fro way that friends who have invested in the creation of a history do.

At one point we were touching on some of the life stuff we were each seeing and feeling and she was half joking that she was going to write a ‘house on fire’ poem and I said I was half thinking about writing one about cults, but was having trouble finding words that rhymed with ‘cult’.

She offered a few close rhymes – dolt, colt, molt, volt.

I volleyed back that I was thinking of making up my own words.

Lult – as in I was lult into a false sense of security.

Mult – as in I multed under…

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Parking Lot Zen

So fellow travelers, while running errands this morning, the powerful clouds above brought me to a stop as I crossed a parking lot.

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Dropping my load of packages at my car, I walked to the end of the lot to catch a clear shot with my phone. Then I stood there for a while taking in the moment.

Thoughts of lives lost to mindless violence again and again make my heart ache. It is as if we are all at war with ourselves everywhere.
Yet there is One thing I am sure of: though lives may end, souls are never lost and those souls no longer here on earth are radiant with peace now:

Our world like the sky
Seems filled with storms and drama
Let peace guide our hearts

One more thing I know:  I can practice kindness every day and focus on peace in the midst of anger. Small things done with Great Love.

Walk gently on the path my friends and be kind to one another.

 

Zen Moment with a Frog 

So fellow travelers, this morning, one of our resident pond frogs greeted me with a signature banjo-like twang before taking a leaping dive from the rocks into the water. He resurfaced a few minutes later, treading water steadily around the edge until he reached the water lily pads on the other side.


He had some thoughts to share :

Jeremiah says

Keep your head above water

Til the storm passes


Be responsive rather than reactive. Be mindful of the opportunities within each moment. What we do now directs the changes we set in motion

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready. 

Empathy, redemption, and the kindness of letting someone go

Wise words on the dividing line between encouragement and enabling, a line which benefits no one when crossed. Clear boundaries are essential in healthy relationships and group dynamics.

The Trailhead

080 This, I assure you, is my own image. It’s an animal butt, after all.

(I’m taking a brief break from my out-west postings to address something timely. Then back to our regularly scheduled creek crossings/weirdo encounters, etc)

Earlier this week it was discovered that a member of one of the Facebook groups I help to administer has been stealing photos from the web and posting them as her own, on our group and others, for a very long time.  As an avid photographer and a lawyer – and hell, as a person who generally likes other people — this was a topic of interest to me, beyond merely my personal experience with this particular event.

I’ve worked for many years, hike and paddle many miles, and spend thousands of dollars on travel expenses and gear to get my images. The idea of someone claiming them as their own is not…

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Haiku for Monet

So fellow travelers, I am eternally grateful for those moments when the Light stops me in the midst of life’s craziest hurdles.

I had one of those moments this afternoon.

Water lilies in

Perfect afternoon sunlight 

I feel like Monet 

As I sat transfixed by the play of light and shadows on my little pond, I was deeply grateful to be reminded things of this life may pass yet that which is of true value always remains.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.