In All Our Years

Practicing love and kindness for all.

your Objective

I have met many people from around the world, through their words alone. I have not always met them, but it is a joy when I do, to connect in the same space and breathe the same air.

I recently met someone through a close friend and his mind is sharp, keen and invigorating. He posted a question on social media. It was simple and basic and at first glance, not so telling, but the responses allowed for deeper insight into reasons we exist, the whys of our plights and the needs we have for ourselves and others.

I sat on the question for a week and finally after a hard week of my own toils for the need of food and shelter, found an answer to it … for myself.

His question:

“So what’s your objective, when do you want to complete it, and what percentage do you currently see it being completed at that time?”

My answer:

When I first read this post, my mind immediately dropped into a thought process of time when managers asked the same question. There is a resistance to the prediction and answer because one is trying to govern and control an outcome. There is, of course, a need to be predictable and to plan. An Apollo Moon Mission leaves the earth with only a limited supply of oxygen, so you do need to know the exact answers to your question, or to at least have some reasonable margins.

Even with all the planning in the world, Apollo 13 was a very close call, there was the unexpected. We try to plan for this, but sometimes we just don’t make it … the Titanic for example … and yet both of these events did find success to all and some ❤

I have not answered your question yet Joshua Harris … You ask for an objective and a timeline. … As with the oxygen issue, we too have a limited supply each and every day, we can step through our days and plan at least in the moment and project the future based on these moments.

And I have executed plans and set timelines and met them time and time again, but what I find is that the individual milestones, our small successes, are just the continuous results of the higher level goals …

Like when raising a child, we ask them to clean their room and get ready for dinner, wash their hands, when perhaps we should allow them to explore the broader space of their existence … Ask them to love one another in their family, find happiness and joy in their actions, and use their life energy to make the lives of others around them better as they enjoy their own endeavors.

As for adults, we are left with the same … doing the dishes, washing a car, fixing a broken faucet, changing a diaper … but the broader objective is to the life we have and to cover our world with the light we receive from others, the earth, and the star of our earth.

So to answer your question, my objective is to be kind to others, enjoy my life and participate in the lives of others … and given current statistics of life expectancy and extrapolating in an optimistic way, I am a little over 57% complete and while my efforts may be finished in December of 2060, I would hope that others younger than me will continue to use our Star in the best way, for a better day … a very good question Joshua Harris, a very good one indeed. ❤

but Perhaps

It will have been a decade later this year,

since I have seen him, heard his voice, hugged him …

He is living his life in his own way,

and I am so very proud of him …

As his father, I fostered his independence,

both of us (his parents) did actually …

I hope that one day we will come together again,

and he will tell me of his adventures, his life …

Perhaps in a time, a place,

I cannot say-

but … Perhaps


~ this one written a few decades ago, when he was close ~

This Little Guy

 

On the Beach

Your stillness mattered most, amidst the threat of driving rains.

I had slept the night, soundly, safely- not a threat that I could feel or see, remembering you resting there next to me.

The soft raspy sounds of water on the shore, slowly waking me from the night, the place where there was neither song nor flight, just me.

As my eyes opened, I began to see- you were no longer there next to me. Perhaps in my thoughts, you were, but not for real, not today- not for a long time since.

Without much thought or breath, I rose and left the comfort of my stay, and journeyed out to start the day.

The sun barely visible along the span of ocean and air, I walked toward the shore.

Without a soul in sight, bar one solitary bird, its feet planted in the sand, its gaze to me, across the remains of the night. It waited.

In short time as air swooned me toward, I found myself there, within reach of the small bird. It was not afraid of my approach or that now I could easily touch it.

Its eyes looked deeply into mine, not seeing around me but into me as if it knew my plight, my struggles from the night.

The bare of my feet joined the birds as the water flowed over them, sinking them deeper into the soft sand, the shells- the stones.

I knelt and reached for the bird, the wind rustled its feathers as it tucked its wings closer to its heart, awaiting my touch, my grasp, my hands on the full of its body.

I gently picked it up and pulled it close to my chest, the place she used to rest, with me, silently, softly, the many nights that had long since slipped away.

I stood up, tall and free, lifting the bird up from the beach, the sun starting to peek a bit more, lighting the shore.

I breathed, it breathed. We looked out to the sea, not a care in the world, just the two of us then- in this place, the all of it for us to be.

The little bird spoke, “You were kind to me.”

“Yes, you were so deserving of the love we shared.”

And then with my feet shared between us, we started toward the rising sun.

The morning strengthened. The light now ample for all to see. More life appeared.

One then two, people and birds, crawly things from small holes in the sand, sounds from the land of those wanting to be on the beach too.

Our pace slowed as we approached a small pool. It had formed from the mix of currents that found their way to the land, to the beach, moving the sand, the sand that was beneath my feet.

I stopped.  The small bird looked again into my eyes and then wiggled out of my arms into the pool of water. The little bird floated without care or plan, I followed with feet and hands, lowering myself into the ocean alongside it.

We floated there for a while.  The tide wandered in. The pool grew larger until it was- no more, the ocean all around us now.

The heat of the morning, calling for us to drink fresh water. The little bird looked at me, knowing I could not stay, nor it for long, not today.

And before calm or thought, without warning or farewell, the little bird flew up and away, to where it did not tell.

I watched it fly full and free. The light shining on us both now, the bird up in the air leaving … in the water, close to shore and the endless land, just me.

I turned my gaze away and walked from the wet, the dry welcoming me as before, until then perhaps when I would return some other day, to be, on the beach.

OnTheBeachPT

Messenger of Peace

Once upon a time, a guitar found joy in the resonance of sounds strummed on its strings. Its owner loved the instrument, made of a precious wood, carved and crafted into the musical instrument that it was. It was a happy and joyful guitar. As the years moved forward, the playing found pause. The owner busy with life and work and other things.

Along with other household belongings, the guitar found its place in storage and sat in the dark, quiet and alone. As the years went by, the storage unit fell into disrepair and the roof opened to the sky. Rain fell and blanketed all that was inside and dry. The guitar filled with water and the wood swelled. One by one, the musical strings fell away from its neck.

Upon discovering this, the owners took all that could be salvaged and left the rest- to the land. The once happy and joyful little guitar, or what was left of it, sat under a large banyan tree, totally exposed to the elements. As time passed the layers of wood peeled away from each other and mold and moss covered every inch of it. The strings rusted and most all of those parts that allowed it to sing were returned to the earth.

One sunny day, a joydreamer wandered by and saw it. The old guitar, now barely recognizable, lay abandoned. She picked it up and gathered what was left and brought it into her home to dry. The wood began to dry, and twist and curl and bubble. She watched it each day and took care of it. Disassembling it carefully and rescued what remained.

The little parts of the guitar rested in the days that followed, watching the joydreamer work on her art and other things, quietly wondering what would become its fate. And then one day, the joydreamer approached, took all of the parts and spread them out on a large table. Piece by piece, each was touched, caressed and carefully loved, with color and light and sun and air and love.

It would be several years in the making, but one day, the little guitar was given a smile, a most beautiful smile and eyes to see. To finally see the joydreamer that took care of it.

“Ah, you are so beautiful my little guitar.”, said the joydreamer.

The little guitar could not speak, but only looked on as the artist spoke.

“You have been through so much in your life. First from seed, to tree and all the days you grew. To the day, the tree was harvested and crafted into the materials you would become. Metals from the deepest mines would make your strings and then some lucky beings would play you, listen to your song, your voice until they grew tired of you and left you. Oh, my little guitar, not anymore- You are loved again!”

The remains of the guitar listened intently. The artist spoke more and they found conversation in the morning hours of art and life and coffee and joy. Always dreaming of joy.

Then one day, the final touches of love were complete and it would be time for the little guitar to see the world again.

“What shall we call you?”, asked the joydreamer.

The eyes of the guitar looked on and forward, but no words could express what the artist had done for it. They simply gazed peacefully at the new life breathed into it. There was a message there and the artist knew it, saw it and felt it.

“Messenger of Peace!”, proclaimed the joydreamer.

You will travel the world and to all who see you … peace with prevail.

The Messenger of Peace marveled in the name and all that was given to it, forever grateful to the earth from which it came, to hands of those who strummed its strings to hands of the joydreamer who cared enough to restore the song within it.

MessengerOfPeace

Original artwork courtesy of Stephanie Clifton
a.k.a. JoyDreamHer of JoyDreaming Life Art Studios ™.

as it Seems

Everything is as it seems.

The secret to a harmony is discovering this
in the barrage of misconceptions that surface
in the quest to change that which is … is.

Change is possible in the collaboration
of those who understand this.
It is this understanding
where seams become
one with the other.

Everything is as it seems.

love me as … I​ Love You

I have enjoyed everything ever desired and needed and am grateful beyond words. Through my own choices when seeking clarity in all that was around me, I lost all but self.

During my reflection in those times, I discovered these simple words which I found to be explanatory to what was needed. They were healing, albeit challenging for self as much as for the ones I loved. Even so, I decided to live fully by them, giving such love to all I would meet, not in hope of returns, but simply, to extend fully- unconditional love.

“Love me without fear
Trust me without questioning
Need me without demanding
Want me without restrictions
Accept me without change
Desire me without inhibitions
For a love so free…
Will never fly away.”

– Dick Sutphen

The finale of his words is the challenge. “For a love so free… Will never fly away.” A love so free is all each of us desires; To be accepted as we are, to be needed- to be loved.

The final sentence, is the hope, the reward, the tell in the request. It is; however, not a guarantee or a sure thing, but the relationship that arrives when each of us embraces the meaning, sincerely, with the all of who we are.

May each of us discover this love in ourselves and those we love,

forever and a day.

One Star is Still a Star

Wow .. I’m dumbfounded. I have a suspicion that my ex-wife wrote a bad review of my book on Amazon. I am not one to judge or condemn anyone and I learned to not say anything unless it was kind and caring. There is so much hardship in the world for reasons we can not control so why spend time causing hardships of our own?

And of course, there are other writers better than me. I welcome any feedback to help me improve my prose. Our minds are human and there is always room for improvement and ways of thinking and doing things in any profession. One learns by doing, trying, making mistakes and trying again. I’ve written since I was a child, for myself, to help me understand life and those around me, for the synaptic rush of joy that follows after writing and then reading a heartwarming passage. Our lives are a combination of all things and our joy is our perception of all things we can see, touch, feel and experience.

And now I am thinking, well maybe I’m not dumbfounded at all. I loved my wife and enjoyed many years of marriage, home and children and all the joy that goes along with having a family. It was not always easy, but when two cooperate and love each other and contribute to the whole of the life shared, love, prevails. There is much happiness and security being in a fold that each of us create. Families survive, thrive and find their way into the years that follow. Collaboration and love for one another are paramount.

Relationships do; however, fail. All of us have experienced this at one point in our lives. For those who can stay the course in marriage or a long-term relationship till death do we part, my heart rejoices in your success. Penguins mate for life, Beavers, Wolves, Gibbons, Swans, Albatrosses, French Angelfish to name a few. Humans … eh, not often. This is sad, but this is life. Our noggins are advanced and partner choice wins over simple survival, for reasons that change throughout our life.

Our intellect is both our success and failure … emotions flutter and disorganize us throughout our lives. It is in the seeing and knowing and loving of each other in all of our states that is the true love, the true life, we all long to have.

The book Hold Me tries to explain the hows and whys of being human, and finding joy, love and caring for one another. It is a personal story and a loving one. I’m not Ernest Hemingway or Robert Frost, or Jack London, but humbly … In All Our Years … and not just my years, but all of our years.

Writers write for themselves, to feel, to learn, to share and to find way in this wild world of ours. If others find joy in the writings, then good for them. Each of us affect one another, whether a spoken word, a post or comment, a poem or something more .. being there in person for someone, sharing in a difficulty or happy day, a sunrise, a sunset, a new child, witnessing a seed push up through the darkness into the waiting light above … your light, our light. ❤

May each of you find stars and joy in all you do and in the relationships you encounter and remember to Hold each other in kind ways, always … and remember one star is a still a star.

star

Pressbooks … Publish Everywhere

Everyone has a story to tell. Some may tell their story in conversation. Some may embrace journalism with print or pictures. Some may reflect abstractly in poetry or stream their experience online in a blog or other digital platform. Communication and expression take on many different forms in this day and age. As for me, having lived across the boundaries of print and computers, decided to use the traditional platform, the book.

I often think of how authors before me have lived and written. Their outlets were newspapers, journals, small books and large books or picture shows for that matter. Times were slower then and more deliberate. Writing was time-consuming, not only from the obvious cerebral demands, still in play, but the tools were cumbersome. They used paper, hand and pen, typewriters, white out, more paper and not to mention all those trees! Trees that haplessly gave their life for us so that we could record our story evermore.

So this time, for this story, I decided to pursue the digital age and also when an interest is there, enlist a tree or two to give its life so that others may hold and feel the book, open it, and read by the light of our star.

Having attempted to navigate the traditional route of agent, editor and publisher, with little notice, spare a nod or two, I found the sweetest self-publishing platform to assist me. Pressbooks boldly declares, “Publish everywhere.” and allows this author to do just that. I’d highly recommend the platform for aspiring writers to get their words into print and tell a story or two. Everyone has a story to tell, don’t you?

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pressbooks.com

the Love of Rain

There are times we found ourselves-
waiting for the train,
when in fact the love of rain-
is all around us.

She is not with form or substance-
unless held by another,
or when gathering together-
in a lake or ocean.

And all the while
when low or down-
upon the ground,
the silence of sunlight
draws her back to the sky the above-
… to travel and dance …
… and mist and snow …
into a place beyond-
which we would never know-
if not for the love of rain.

if not …
for the Love of Rain.

 

 

Into the Open

I woke one morning and wandered into the open and gazed toward them. They stood still and tall, not a care in view, one or two peering back toward me, the one with feet. I stood for a moment, feeling their gaze, the air, the light and moisture on my face and hands.

They turned back toward the light, the sunrise, their source of energy, and life. Quietly welcoming the new day, roots planted firmly, deeply, growing, into the earth below.

I wandered toward them, toward the eastern light. A rustling of branches and leaves giving song and welcoming me to step into their home, the forest of friends and family, children and grandchildren, and those now long since turned into soil.

The birds had been awake for some time now, chirping and fussing of this and that. One noticed my approach and looked down at me as I stepped onto the forest floor and began walking on the plane below. The winged creature, clearly able to navigate this world in a third dimension with ease and without assistance from another, questioned my survival.

The tree does not have a name. Man may call it by one because of the way it looks and grows and is, but it does not know this. The tree does not have a name for man. It knows only that some do harm and some do not … even still, in the moment, there is no judgment in the gathering of tree, of man or bird- We are simply together, roots planted, feet still, the birds claws, clutching a branch or twig.

As the sun continued it’s morning journey, life continued to percolate, leaves breathed in and transpired, birds stepped into the air, rose and swooped, looking for food. The roots of the trees twitched and stretched, seeking water from a day before. I looked up in marvel and breathed gently the precious breezes of life.

As I stood, in the majestic of their home, I found the strength and agility to challenge the little bird’s question. I approached one of the giants, a calm and secure one, with limbs low and in reach … and stepped into her… Waiting Tree

 

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