Deep and Simple

“But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.”

Bonny and blithe translate to happy and carefree in modern day lingo.  Being born on a Sunday was considered the best of the best.  If I believed that the day of birth dictated temperament or the life one would live, I’d be upset not to be born on Sunday.  I don’t.   I’m just happy it’s Sunday.

Sunday used to be a day of rest.  Now, Sundays often find me too busy.  I need to return to the essence of what Sunday’s used to be.  Instead of preparing for the rapidly approaching Monday, Sunday is to be savored.  It is a day to relax and enjoy life.  Ideally, it is a day to honor God or whatever God means to each of us.

Yesterday, I opened a library book and pulled out one remarkable idea.  The book said that one of our problems in life is that we over think things.  It went on to quote Fred Rogers who said,

“I firmly believe that deep and simple, is more essential than shallow and complex.” 

After Mr. Rogers shared this amazing idea he asked the listener to “spread the word.”

Sunday:  A day to enjoy the deep and simple.  Don’t over think it.  Experience it.  Spread the word.

Seeking Encouragement

“There are three kinds of people in the world today. There are ‘well-poisoners,’ who discourage you and stomp on your creativity and tell you what you can’t do. There are ‘lawn-mowers,’ people who are well-intentioned but self-absorbed; they tend to their own needs, mow their own lawns, and never leave their yards to help another person. Finally, there are ‘life-enhancers,’ people who reach out to enrich the lives of others, to lift them up and inspire them. We need to be life-enhancers, and we need to surround ourselves with life-enhancers.”  Walt Disney

Today, I hear a lot of discouraging words.  Some of them might even have been mine.  What I want, really want, is to be a life enhancer.  I think I would be a really good one if I wasn’t so afraid and easily derailed.    At night, I dream of being able to “park my train in a roundhouse of tranquility” so I can hit the tracks fresh and new in the morning.  Instead, my train stands on the tracks in a bad side of town while hoodlums spray paint me with obscene graffiti.  Not really, but it often feels that way.

And the people that I most want to reach are the least open to what I’m trying to say.

Giving up is tempting.  I’ve met my share of “well poisoners”  I’ve wasted valuable time believing them.  I’ve wasted myself.

I understand the lawn-mowers.   As much as I think I would enjoy a world of one, the truth is I’ve always understood that we are all interconnected in ways we can’t even imagine.  Millions of tiny ripples do make a giant wave.  No time for lawns when you’re out on the ocean.

A life-enhancers is what I want to be.  How about you?

 

 

 

 

Arise

“Arise, pick up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8)

These are the first words that pop in my head as I open the page to write.  In the background, Mumford and Sons sing, “Awake, my soul.”

The timing is too perfect.  Obviously, the Universe/God is trying to  tell me something this cloudy Sunday morning.  Under a cloudy, stone-colored sky, my cathedral forms, the houses in the neighborhood: the flying buttresses, the clouds the spires.  The sounds of morning become the hymns.  Mumford and Sons become the morning preacher.  They tell me something I need to hear.  Their voice merges with my own.  How can I add more?

Lyrics to Awake My Soul :

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally showLend me your hand and we’ll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I’ll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free
Har har, har har
har har, har har

awake my soul…
awake my soul…

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show
Har har, har har
har har, har har

In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life

In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life

awake my soul…
awake my soul…
awake my soul…
For you were made to meet your maker

awake my soul…
awake my soul…
awake my soul…
For you were made to meet your maker
You were made to meet your maker

 

Blank

Blink is the name of a book by Malcolm Gladwell.  It’s about thinking without thinking.  Maybe there is room for a book called Blank.  It would be about not thinking without not thinking.  That’s what I’ve been doing lately.  Blank pretty much describes it.  It’s not that I haven’t had thoughts or inspirations or creative ideas but holding on to them, sorting them out, confining them with words has been a bit beyond me.  My mind has been a huge swimming pool and I’m floating on top in one of those comfy air mattresses.  You know, the kind with the fancy cup holders and arm rests.  While out on the water, I have fallen asleep.  If you listen closely, you can hear me snore.  Actually, you probably don’t have to listen closely at all.  I snore very loudly.

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Love What Is

Stumbling out of bed at 8:20 a.m., I’m not loving what is.  Maybe, I’m still dreaming.  Life doesn’t feel real yet but then again it doesn’t feel very real very often.  Something is missing.  It’s a something that has been missing for a very long time.  This morning I see what that something is.  It’s me!

Sure, I’m conscious.  I’m functioning.  Odd, how one can be alive but not fully present.   I haven’t given this much thought.  Haven’t wanted to . . . until this morning amongst the inspirational reading I get in my e-mail box I read these three simple words:

LOVE WHAT IS.

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Unmoveable

The air is damp and heavy.  It feels thick and moist with each breath.  Walking the trail is a challenge today.  I want to turn around and go back home.  Something doesn’t feel right.  Maybe its the wet warmth that presses down on my shoulders.  Maybe its the battleship gray of the sky.  Maybe. it’s the invisible suitcase I drag behind me.  This morning it is full of rocks.  I pretend it isn’t there and keep walking.

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What I Want


(This clip shows my favorite song from my favorite episode of Spongebob Squarepants.  It’s the perfect contrast in opposing perspectives.)

Defining what I want has been a big challenge.  My life has felt like a puzzle with lots of missing pieces.  I’ve crawled around the nooks and cranks in my mind filled with angst determined to find a way to define myself and what I want from life.    The search became a “have to”, a job, that nasty four-letter word: “work.”  Isn’t it supposed to be easier than this?

Time for my walk.  I head out the door, taking my concerns with me.

Inside my head, I see an image.  It’s me in a race car.  I’m a passenger without a seat belt.  Racing through life, I lurch and tumble over every bump every swerve in the road.  I’m not having a good time.  I want to feel like the driver.  I want to see where I’m going and be the one to steer toward it.  I’m supposed to be the driver, aren’t I?  I walk with this image in my mind.  I feel the road under my wheels.  I tumble, I bounce.

Then I remember the lesson from last weekend.  Visiting a senior community garage sale, I finally discovered what I want to be when I grow up:  Retired.  These seniors were having a great time.  They were relaxed, enjoying each other’s company, chatting with strangers, having fun.    Simple, good, clean fun.  That’s what I want, what I’ve always wanted: fun.

It’s not deep or altruistic.   It won’t earn me fame or fortune.  I won’t go down in any history book.  It doesn’t matter.  I just want to have fun.

At first the bits and pieces of internalized voices, challenge this dream.  “You can’t always have fun.”

“How childish!” says another.

“Life isn’t supposed to be fun.  It’s work, hard work, and then you die,” whines another.

I smile at my joy killers.  I do not argue.  I can see that having fun isn’t their objective.  They cling to their own special brand of misery.  It’s a misery that I understand well.  I’ve  just decided I don’t want it.  I give myself permission to have a dream of my own.  I give myself permission to be a passenger in the race car called life.  It’s OK to enjoy the ride.  It’s OK to have FUN!

I say, “Whee!”

Now that I understand what I want from life, I know that I won’t always feel it.  Fun, often requires some preliminary ground work that doesn’t look or feel like fun.  Fun is often hard work.  Most of that hard work takes place between the ears.  It requires a constant commitment and renewal of perspective.  Misery is easy.  Fun, on the other hand, often requires effort.  It needs a stage built, a set designed, a cast of eager characters and the courage not to tamper with the result.  It’s sort of like, “If you build it, they will come.”   Building something requires effort and an effort I won’t always feel like making.  When the bleachers are full and the game is on, the effort it took to get there will be so worth it.

FUN!  IT’S WHAT I WANT AND I CAN FIND IT ALMOST ANYWHERE.

Insert: Giddy laugh, lively dancing and general celebratory spirit.  I’ve left the building.  I’m having fun.

 

Casting

 

Yesterday, we went fishing.  No one caught a fish but I think the idea of fishing caught me.  I like the idea of casting a line out into the river of life to see what we might hook. I carried this thought with me as I headed out the door for my walk but I had yet to really make peace with it.

Random thoughts float around my head.  I cast but do not catch anything.  Frustration flashes across the surface.  My walks are usually full of inspiration.  Maybe I’m trying too hard.  Random runners and walkers meet me.  I decide to smile at each of them or at least offer a friendly nod.  It’s hard to be frustrated and smile at the same time.  I think of smiling at everyone I meet today.  It’s hard to smile and be afraid.

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Glow

Some times, the sky glows.  Some times, it doesn’t.  Last week did not glow.  It was a week touched by rejection.  It wasn’t a bad week.  It just didn’t glow.

So when I leave for my walk this morning, I’m looking for the glow.

The trail stretches before me like a ribbon of asphalt cutting its way between the carefully planted shrubs and the careless weeds.  Shrubs and weeds are married in a union that can not be separated.  The gardener in me wants to complain about the weeds.  The traveler in me knows they are inevitable.  Could there be a message here in between the trail, weeds, sky and shrubs?

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I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.

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The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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