Tag Archives: Spirituality

Full Snow Moon

 Last night, I tried posting this pic from the WP app on my phone. I had a bit of trouble but I think it did finally come through and I hope you’ve liked it.

Took this one off the back porch with a 400mm zoom lens and cropped it to enlarge it more.

The phone app doesn’t allow you to post a feature pic, and now that I’m back on the lap top, I’m making a few edits. I’ve also tried WP’s new editor with this one. Can’t say that I like it.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

In Metta

Neural Roadmaps Revisited

Revisiting the past seems to cycle in our lives.  If not physically, mentally.  But it seems there are times when the physical odyssey is unavoidable.  It may even be unconscious at first.  We embark on a journey just to realize midway we are circling back in time. Perceptions have shifted, aged, but we are retracing routes gone by.  “Treading trodden trails,” as the saying goes.  Neural roadmaps.  Highways of memories.  Echoes of day dreams.

The roads might be slightly different.  And the faces we see this time around may be new to us, drawn together, in passing, by a transitional event.  In this case, it was my mother’s final breaths.

I saw the parallels as I was driving by the home where myself and my brothers grew up.  A small town now a burgeoning suburb of a major city.  When the family moved there, the population was around 250, plus a lot of corn fields.  When I left, there were little more than 2500 people.  It’s no longer a rural community and the population has passed 30,000.  The corn fields replaced with structures.  More boxes for storage, of categorized life.

My old home is now a dental office with the yard paved over.  A parking lot for tooth repair.  The vacant lot across the street, a playland of the imagination where mythic battles raged in the jungles of weeds, now a motor bank.  The majestic apricot tree on the corner by the park, gone.  Not even a seed to carry its memory of the sweet fruit it offered free for the taking.  The lake we fished in, fenced off, imprisoned.

The historic downtown, an outward reflection, a mimic of time, but the core has transformed.  The library is office space.  The hardware store, an art gallery.   The feed mill, a microbrewery.  The old school is torn down.  Time and places evaporated.

But all of my memories are intact.  The pleasure and the pain of growth.

Every summer this home was a launch point for the family reunions.  First with my dad’s family in Indiana, and then my mom’s in Michigan.  Those were times of active voices.  Of laughter and play.  The excitement of seeing cousins, of family card games, and mysterious old homes to explore.  Spiral staircases to dusty attics, and coal furnaces in the basements.  We mined for treasures.  And we found them in shiny objects unearthed, planted by the generation before.

And there were haylofts in old barns, where we leaped into the sky, hay piles lying beneath to break our fall.  Flying for instants that lasted forever.  A shirt was a cape, or a parachute.

An old hand pump still brought water from the earth.  A hidden aquifer of life.

An electric fence for horses, and a dare to feel its pulses.  Grab hold the wire and zap a brother with the other hand, before mom or dad would shoo us away.

Pulses, pulses, I feel my heart beating as I drive, wandering back in time, shuffling though images not matching the roadway.  Highway hypnosis.

I’m retracing that reunion route again, but this time, the nuclei of both families are gone, having passed on to the Blue Road of the Spirit.

My father passed in ’09, and after revisiting the ground where I was raised, I stop to pay my respects to him and my paternal ancestors.  He was buried in the family plot in the town where he grew up.  A few miles down the road is “Stearleyville,” or its shadow, founded by my great, great grandfather.  The reverse of my hometown.  The small village is gone, fully reverted to farmland.

The cemetery is filled with generations, back to the original immigrant couple.  Two stones eerily bear my own name.  One my grandfather, and one his second son that died as an infant – born on my same birthday, passed 30 years before my birth.

I remember my dad’s funeral.  Full military honors.  Steeped in tradition.

He taught me the meanings of honor, integrity, loyalty, strength of character, and hard work.

We talk in silence.  For a while.

Then it’s on to Michigan.  A small town on the border of Ohio. My mother also to be buried in a family plot.  Similar small town and farm family roots.  The memories of both homes blurred.

She’s outlived the rest of her family so we have a small ceremony.  A few cousins, whom I’m meeting for the first time.  It’s a nice service for a well-lived life of a good heart.

She taught me compassion, empathy, and self-sacrifice.

My parents’ bodies lay some 300 miles apart.  Their spirits united?  Their soul contracts complete?  And the particles of consciousness they helped bring into the world are scattered about the Midwest. Such is the stardust of which we’re composed.

Family plots.  Family traditions.  Traditions I will not follow.  My ashes are to be released into the wind.  No name carved in stone.

I wonder, when I leave, what neural roadmaps my daughter’s memories will travel.  I hope that she too has flown wearing a magic cape.

***

 

Photo: I didn’t actually take this image, but it is an image of my brain from an MRI . . .

And if you didn’t see it earlier, check out my intro to this post in my Daily Musings – Rotation.

Thrown for a Loop

Back in early November, I had settled into what I thought was a pretty decent routine.  Reading, walking, hiking, meditating, and exploring my hobby of photography.  That routine came crashing down when the house I was living in became contaminated and I had to make a hasty retreat.*

My patterns are still in a state of disruption.

Writing has become a bit secondary to solving the housing problem.  But I did finish a series, at the invitation and encouragement of my blogging friend George,** about marriage and divorce.  And that too left my head spinning a bit.  I was, after all, revisiting some very painful memories.  Basically, these memories, as well as the present situation, all involved a theme in common – the loss of home.

And I mean “home” in the more intangible sense of that word.

Not just a place to stay, but a feeling.  A feeling of sanctuary.  Of warmth.  Of love.

Loss of “home” is not the same as moving out of a place we’ve “occupied.”  It’s abandoning a sense of security, of integration, of sentiment.  A home is where there is a heart connection.  It becomes part of you.  An extension.

Usually, this extension of ourselves is tied up with another individual or a family.  It’s a communal nature.  What makes a “house” a “home” is not the decor.  Not the pictures hanging on the wall, or the color scheme of the bathroom fixtures.  It’s an amalgamation of the feelings of warmth and protection and mutual love.

Quite an introduction there, I guess.

Intro to what?  You know how I like to switch gears. 🙂

Continue reading Thrown for a Loop

The Darkness and the Light

Fear, desire.  Lightness and dark.  The polar opposites are said to be interrelated.

But that doesn’t seem to match our perceptions of reality.  I mean, do people fearing some awful event actually have a secret or subconscious desire for that event to happen?  Self-flagellation??

I’m not really sure.

There is a growing body of literature talking about our power to manifest the things we want in life.  And I’m not sure how much credence to put in that line of thought.  This mystical power if activated improperly, by a negative focus, would rain terror down upon us.  And that seems to negate the concept of free will, or our ability to say “no thanks.”  “I don’t wish to be struck by lightning.”

Continue reading The Darkness and the Light

Time for Review ?

Time is slipping away, and as we approach the end of another year it’s time for people to engage in reflection, projection, and resolution.

Some are already referring to this as being the end of a decade.  And they’re glad for it, calling it one big dumpster fire.

To others, it’s the end of another year of tumultuous political machinations.  Or perhaps, a role call of all those who died, famous and infamous, loved and unloved.

Others find victimization, trauma, sadness, and are truly heartbroken.

And to others still, it has been just another amalgamation of meaningless seconds ticking away on the clock of the Universe.

Continue reading Time for Review ?

Fulfilling Relationships = Life

I really do like studies.  Even the ones where we think there are obvious conclusions, as if we didn’t need any documentation.

“Everybody knows that!”

But us humans do like to research.  To authenticate, substantiate, certify, justify, confirm, establish, corroborate, prove, support, validate.  Whatever word you want to use.

We like confirmation and quantification.

So, while I’m not overly surprised, I do find it intriguing that the research bears out that modern medicine has very little to do with our overall health – only about ten to twenty percent at best.  A full eighty percent or more is determined by our relationships.  At least that is what a seventy-five-year study conducted by the Harvard Medical School concluded.

Continue reading Fulfilling Relationships = Life

A Momentary Pause – Smile

A momentary pause here.  Hitting the reset button.  With about 500 words. 🙂

One of the things I truly enjoy about blogging has been the community.  And I noticed from the beginning that the tone of most pages is one that is upbeat and positive.  In fact, many are inspirational.

And I think people seek out the words that help them rejoice in the day.

Generally speaking, I’ve followed this path with my writings, but there are times I have to note that some of my posts, and my most recent posts in particular, do stray into negative waters.  The series I’m doing on marriage right now is one of those examples, as is the post yesterday about having been looted.

And while I realize this is real life, and many people like reading real life posts, others simply find these monologues depressing and uninteresting.  Some may not like reminders of the troubling situations they are in.

Or that human nature can be so vile.

Continue reading A Momentary Pause – Smile

Life Review

I recently finished reading, “Backwards: Returning to Our Source for Answers,” by Nanci Danison.  It’s a fascinating read as the author describes what people have come to recognize as a near-death experience, but she refers to her adventure into the unknown as a “beyond-death experience.”  Or that she experienced “temporary death,” which implies a longer time out of the corporal self and an ultimate return – with vivid memories of what happened.

Continue reading Life Review

Gray Days Revisited

Gray Days Revisited

I think I’m going to start a new tradition on Word Press.

It’s obviously the beginning of November and this is the time of year when those of us who live in areas with decreasing sunshine are afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  “SAD” – what a cute acronym.

SAD has become more of an issue for me after my days spent in Arizona where there seemed to be an unlimited supply of Sunshine – even during the monsoon season.

Well, I wrote a piece about these “Gray Days” a while back, and I re-posted it last year, and so now the tradition has solidified.  This time, I’ll just put the link below (and above) as opposed to re-posting the blog.  If you have the desire to read further, click away.

If not, well you’re missing out 🙂

It crossed my mind, when I re-read my post today, that I was in a highly creative state of mind when I originally wrote it, as well as the posts surrounding that time in general.  You see, I was in love then, and the creative juices always flow more when I’m in love.

I might have been in love with a person, a place, or even a passing idea – a newly formed and beautiful image in my mind.  A dream.

But love, regardless of its source, is all powerful.  And while it’s difficult, we writers do try to express such feelings with words.

I read a great post from my blogging friend Cristian Mahai today that began with a beautiful quote from Faulkner.  Check it out for a little inspiration about the writer’s duty and about beauty.  I think this fulfills my duty for the day.  And read on, if you wish, about how even the grayest of days can be colorful and inspiring!

Here’s the link, again, to – Gray Days.

In Metta

LOGOz

Photo:  Even the most gray, rainy, and cold days can be very beautiful – like this image I captured in the Rocky Mountains.

Orange Sky

I took part of the day yesterday to be a music day.  I don’t always take time out to listen to music, but I believe it’s one of the most magical creations that flows through people.

And it always takes me away to a place where I’m happy.

It’s similar to writing, in a way, because there are a limited number of musical notes, but an unlimited number of combinations of those notes to produce, well, to produce something magnificent.

Only so many words, but we writers craft them in so many ways.

And from my various pics you know that I’m rather fond of sunsets and sunrises too.  And sometimes, you just happen to be at the right place at the right time to catch a glorious one.

So here’s a combination of a sunset with a song.  Hope you enjoy it.  And while it’s playing, I’ll go back to that creative corner in my mind and ponder the next writing . . .

In Metta

LOGOz

 

 

Photo:  Somewhere in the Southwest that I’m missing today 🙂