Tag Archives: Health

Fugitives From Ourselves

Ozark Cabin with John Gardner Quote

Yesterday, my post was about the need to get back out into Nature to promote both our physical and mental health.  What constituted the path to true happiness.  The outward journey to inner healing.

So I felt the need to balance that today with this quote about the inward journey.  This is the toughest journey of all.  And it’s something we often try to avoid.  It can be a scary trek, but it’s also the most rewarding.  Making contact with our spiritual selves.  Without all of the distractions from the external world.

The quote is spot on.  Sometimes people lose themselves.  They become automatons.  Traversing the same trails every day.  Speaking in clichés.  Allowing platitudes to fill the mind.  Avoiding self-examination.

A little time spent in quiet meditation every day is a step to getting back in touch with our real selves.  Unplug from the technological world.  Disconnect from the external illusion and find your authentic soul.

LOGOz

Photo: I chose this pic because this isolated cabin in the Ozark mountains is a good analogy to our inner selves.  Yes, in the material world it’s an external physical structure, but it can symbolically serve to represent our inner consciousness.  Our soul.  Our particle of awareness.  Our gift from the Source.

It is surrounded by a vast external world of distraction and illusion where we often flee.

Come home and relax for a spell.  Sit by the fireplace.  Reconnect with your spiritual self.  Expand your consciousness.

I actually stayed in this little cabin a few years back.  It was a great place to get back to Nature.  Away from the frenetic pace of modernity.  And away from our self-generated hubris.  Not only a place to heal in the outdoors, but a place to make that inward journey in peace and solitude.

In Metta

Call of the Wild*

I’ve been doing a lot of stumbling lately.

I really like that word.  Its main definition is about walking in an unsteady manner, being clumsy, to almost fall, or to make an error.  Blunder.  But I like the other definition, that of unexpectantly coming upon something – like truth.

Now that’s no error.  That’s magic.

Continue reading Call of the Wild*

Happiness

I like this quote because it truly cuts to the heart of it.  We can not find happiness in the external world, or through ownership of material possessions.  True happiness is an internal state of mind and the mind can’t find its way there if it is living in the past, or focused on the future, or by thinking that something or someone else outside ourselves will somehow deliver it to us.  In a pretty package with a bow on top.

It can only be found in the moment with love and through grace in actually living.

I must say for me, travel, being in motion, taking in the real world around me with all of my senses, helps me to live in that moment of spiritual experience.  Just like the moment of this sunset 🙂

LOGOz

 

For Vera

Look closely.  What do you see?

About three years back, I was walking along the roadside and I saw Red Clover blooming in the ditch.  I bent over and snapped a picture, a close up, without even giving it much thought.

Later, back home.  I opened the pic up on the computer screen and my jaw dropped.  It was, is, absolutely stunning!  At least I think so.

What we often regard as single blooms are really composite flowers.  A cluster of miniature florets forming that glorious efflorescence.  And this is what I saw.

Red Clover+C1

A common plant.  So common that people don’t seem to notice it.  Just walk on by.

The Bumble Bees notice it , though.  It seems to be one of their favorites.

But just look at those tiny composite flowers.  The angle of the ones at the top produce the effect of looking at flames dancing in a fire.

But straight on, you can see the tiny detail of each independent bloom.  The red veins of each. Those vascular bundles of Xylem and Phloem that extend the entire length of the plant. The Pistil, holding the reproductive organs.  Each of these tiny flowers will become a seed . . . once the bees do their work.   It will transform and appear much like the head of a Dandelion, before the tiny umbrellas balloon its many children to their distant destinations.  To start the cycle anew.

And to the side and lower views, you see each of the microblooms’ petals.  What an intricate design.

Like a cluster of diminutive orchids.

So many focal points.  The camera can’t decide.  It zooms in on the tiny hairlike projections in between the hues of crimson.

Three years ago, with the snapping of a picture, I snapped back into life.  Back into the life that matters most.  Appreciating the real world and all its glory.  And this re-awaking was fueled by what some would call the commonplace.  Would scarcely give a glance to such a plant.  A wildflower.  An uncultivated beast.

After all, it’s not a Rose . . .

My friend Vera and I were talking about this in relation to my post Wildflowers yesterday.  The uniqueness, the beauty, the ability to recognize and appreciate it before it’s gone.  And I think she said it perfectly when she said:

“It’s funny how we are inclined to categorize things as common or rare, forgetting/ignoring the fact that each one is unique within their own kind. It takes wise reminders to be conscious of that. To have the capacity to appreciate beauty while it lasts, or indeed, transience, in general, demands high wisdom and appropriate temperament.”

And so I dedicate this post to her.  And if you really want to read some fine poetry, and by “fine” I mean amazing, you should check out her blog.  To Dad With Love Poetry.

Until the next wildflower . . .

LOGOz

 

Silence is Golden, but Mantras . . .

You can fill in the blank in the title.  I might say . . . “are miraculous.”

***

I can remember back in college, I had friends who used to wear their headphones constantly.  They told me they couldn’t study without listening to music.  And I always found that hard to believe because if I’m listening to music, the only other thing I can do at the same time is dance.  And I’m not so great at that either, although I have fun flailing about 🙂

I mean I can’t even go to sleep listening to music.  Music just seems to engage some part of my brain that carries me somewhere else completely.

And totally.

Continue reading Silence is Golden, but Mantras . . .

To Feel is Life

I know there are times where the words just don’t seem to flow, but is that really “writer’s block?”  I mean maybe I just don’t feel like writing something today.  Maybe I have other things to do.  Or maybe I’m a bit burnt.

A crispy-critter.

Sometimes writing something, a story from the past or a poem about a relationship, is just like a sucker punch to the gut.  It knocks the wind right out of me, and I really need some recovery time.  Some mindless activity to let a new scab form over that old wound.

Some wounds take a while to heal.  Some never seem to heal.  Such is life.

In fact, some wounds I don’t want to heal.  Never.

Now that might sound weird, but stop and think about it for a minute.  Or two.  Or three, maybe.  However long you need.  It may only be a blink of an eye for some of you.

There was a point I hit when I was a nurse where I had seen so much trauma that I really feared that I would no longer be able to cry.  Seriously.  Is there a limit on tears?  Are we only given the capacity to have so many?  Only allowed to cry one river of tears?  If so, my tears were all used up.

But I experienced another tragedy shortly after that fear hit me that left me crying for a full day.  And while the events of that tragedy were awful, I’m glad I experienced it.  And I hold onto it.  And I cry every time I think about it.  And it happened over 25 years ago.

I’m just glad that I didn’t lose the human connection.  My ability to empathize.  My ability to feel emotion.  To feel pain.

I think it’s essential to life itself.

If you lose this ability, you’re no longer human.  You would no longer even be animal.  You would be a machine.  Processing mechanical inputs and spitting out mechanical outputs.

To feel is to heal.  To feel is to love.  To feel is to live.

To feel for another’s suffering demonstrates that interconnection we have with everything in all life.  To actually feel the same feelings that another entity is experiencing, well, that’s a true connection of spirit.

It’s illuminating.  It’s invaluable.  It’s enlightenment in a raw form.

LOGOz

Photo: A portion of a dandelion’s head – its seeds covered in the morning dew.  Imagine each drop of water to be a separate story.  A story of life.  All such stories are intertwined 🙂

Dragon !

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and postings on the Net lately about Millennials.  And a lot of it is very derogatory and carries an overall tone of blame.  Blame for what?  Apparently, there is a blame game now where if it looks like you’ll be delayed in reaching some of society’s dictated milestones, such as marriage, children, and owning a home, then you are defective.

In fact, people falling in this category are more than just defective.  They are downright utter failures.  And those in this generation acquiring a higher education are also called fools for racking up student loan debt.

Of course, if you visit the pages like LinkedIn, the general tone is that if you’re having difficulty achieving the American Dream, regardless of who you are but especially if you’re a Millennial, it’s because you are incompetent and lazy and simply haven’t learned to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  It’s also assumed that you do not know how to prioritize your purchasing power and always spend beyond your means.

If you were only like the commentator who walked 20 miles to school each day, uphill, both ways, and forwent buying so much as a candy bar until they could afford to buy a falling apart car with the money they earned mowing lawns and doing other odd jobs until they became a self-made . . . blah, blah, blah . . . judgmental bigot?

I find such types of gross over-generalizations to be pretty ignorant.

Continue reading Dragon !

Bees

I took this pic a while back when I was traveling through Michigan.  It really doesn’t matter where you are, Bees have a direct impact on all of our lives.  Without them, pollination would be severely impaired and we’d have a lot more difficultly breathing and eating.  Basically we need them to live.

In China, they’ve killed off so many bees that people are are having to hand-pollinate fruit trees.  Check out these pics from the Huffington Post – These Photos Capture the Startling Effect Of Shrinking Bee Populations.

And for a nice, easy read on how hives function, check out this blog from Big Island Bees titled: Bee Hive Hierarchy and Activities.

Of course, I like the pic because I think the bee is just beautiful.  A perfect work of art with Nature as the master artist.  Oh, the flower is pretty too 🙂

LOGOz

 

 

Nesting

“Reality” is a word I find troubling.  For one, it implies that we have a basic and comprehensive understanding of some situation or event or location or person.  But generally speaking, we don’t.

We have limited perceptions.  They are limited by our senses and by our interpretation of events based upon our past experience.

That word “reality” also seems to carry with it the concepts of being finite and permanent.  When in “reality” nothing could be finite or permanent.  Everything, and everyone, is in a state of constant flux.  Change.  Ever morphing into the next transition.

Continue reading Nesting

Coffee

A couple of days ago my coffee pot died.  It happens.  Machines reach the end of their productive years just like us living, breathing beings.  Usually sooner though.  Entropy.  That eternal state of decay.

Of course, when a machine bites the dust one of the things we think of is, “Did I get my money’s worth?” How many years did I get out of that coffee maker?  Well, that sparked some memories.  Not all that pleasant.  And they began with the why.

Why did I get that coffee maker?

Continue reading Coffee

Elsewhere

I dislike beginning another blog with a chant about being absent for a while, but there it is.  I’ve not been here.  I’ve been elsewhere.

But where is “elsewhere?”

I kind of like that word.  In fact, if I ever incorporated a township, that’s what I’d name it – Elsewhere.  And everyone would be invited to go there and take a mental vacation.  And better yet, while you were there you could conjure up any type of reality you desired.  The only limits would be the boundaries of your imagination.

Actually, I think we are all in Elsewhere every day.

Continue reading Elsewhere

Brain Games

Well the old brain is clicking along today. Somewhat dazed, but the ramblings in my head don’t go away – except maybe when I meditate.

It’s funny we go through life trying to find meaning, to discover an identity for ourselves, and yet try as we might, we, as beings, are kind of hard to define.  And if we can’t even define ourselves, then how can we elucidate a purpose for this existence.

As I was listening to a song this morning the lyrics kind of hit home when I heard, “I don’t even need a name anymore, when no one calls it out, it kind of vanishes away.”

Continue reading Brain Games

A Worthy Trade

We all misplace things from time-to-time.  Car keys, your cell phone, a pair of glasses, a pen.  Perhaps a favorite shirt.  Of course, there is also the void.   A vortex.  That place where a single sock or the lids to our plastic containers seem to just vanish.  To be swallowed up.  Leaving behind the sad, unmatched partner, only to be discarded at a future date.

Their usefulness now lost . . .

And sometimes I think the spirits are messing with me.  Because I search and search, retrace my steps, look in the same place multiple times, and there it is, my quarry, sitting in one of the same spots I’ve searched three times over.  Only now it’s so obvious I can’t miss it if I tried.

I wonder ???

Over the years, I’ve tried to keep a copy of everything I’ve had published.  It’s nice to have an electronic copy, but even better to have a hard copy.  Something tangible.  Something I can hold in my hands.  Feel the texture of the paper.  Smell the ink.  Visualize the word placement.  Hear the words as I read through them.

There’s something about the whole sensory experience that makes it more magical.

Continue reading A Worthy Trade