Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Thank you" for....

I routinely start each day saying "Thank you" for the smallest of things that exist in my life. A seemingly small expression that barely points in the direction of what I truly feel when I am happy with something. Being able to give gratitude for all that I am aware of, fills the space where doubt and fear could easily grow."Thank you" for the good night's sleep that has given my body rest and new dreams to live for. "Thank you" for the full breath I have just inhaled, that comes from fresh air, swirling through trees, mountains and seas to fill my lungs. As I stand up for the first time today, I am thankful for the steadiness of spirit that allows me to rise on strong legs and well taken care of feet, that has taken years of effort to achieve.

It can be so easy to sow doubt, within ourselves, about what isn't working in our lives and in our country. So, today, as to not dwell on what can go wrong, I say "Thank you" for all that is....being careful not to assign labels of right or wrong. Individual perceptions oftentimes have us bestow positive or negative qualities onto life's events, when in reality, our reactions to them are what gives an event its' quality. Being able to adjust to changes allows us to make the most out of the things we cannot control nor influence. The present is always bright, when we do not weigh it down with fears of the past projected onto the future.

"Thank you" for the friends that want your friendship...and ask you for nothing more than for you to be your authentic self. "Thank you" for the ability to unearth that authenticity within and to allow it to be shared with those who love you....and knew, before you did, of its existence. "Thank you" for the love of family members, whose destinies are karmically aligned with our own, and foreseen before birth.

Primarily, on this day of expressed Thanksgiving, I say "Thank you" for the unison that Joe and I move in tandem with, whether awake or asleep, near or far, with or without, because it occurs by our own volition, without demand, much as a circle flows into its beginning. "Thank you" for that flow that begins with one and ends with the other, for the legs that supports the weight of the other and for the thought that gives rise to an action in the other.

We celebrate this day at the home of our generous friends, Walter Allen and Brian Leister, in Easthampton, shared with dear friends that have supported our dreams for more years than any of us care to count. The commemorative friendship feast is being deliciously prepared by the professional chef in our family, Dennis Williford, with his usual taste, skill, jocularity and joie de vivre. And finally, "Thank you" for taking the time to read these thoughts and giving thanks of your own.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Old Friends

“Old Friends…Old friends…..
Sat on the park bench like bookends… A newspaper blows throw the grass…falls on the round toes..of the high shoes..of the Old Friends…”
as sung by Simon and Garfunkle.

I am having lunch today with a friend that, until two weeks ago, when he sat down in the barber chair next to me, I hadn’t seen or heard of since the early seventies. I would not have recognized him at all except for a hauntingly familiar gaze that sat fixed in his expression as he peered into the barbershop mirror. I searched my memory bank to determine where I knew that look from and it suddenly hit me that it was very similar to that of a young man that influenced the most essential part of my early maturity, the need to be honest and to be myself. Still unsure whether the provenance of that stare existed in the man that sat next to me, I forced my memory to chisel away at the years of experience that now formed his facial features and the weight of living that now smothered his once muscular frame. I suddenly realized the indelible physical elements of our existences are carved in our smiles, voices and the way we peer at things. All else is subject to change, except for the possible non-physical elements, like humor, or lack of it, or our practical sensibilities, or lack of it.

The benefit of being around friends, family and lovers for years on end is that we grow accustomed to the ever-changing transformations that age affords us. We don’t see the wrinkles and girth that bespeak our experiences with any crystal clarity, but take them on, as we do our own, with minimal resistance. We share diets, health clubs and moisturizers, all the while fighting the same battle that we gradually lose anyway, but with an adjusting eye to our own and others ‘improvements’. Yes, improvement is the right word because beauty in its full bloom is the most beautiful of all. And who is to say that in the autumn of our years the serene glow of stalwart survival isn’t as gorgeous a beauty to behold as any other. The charm of a blemish free face cannot compare with one etched with character, full of a life’s expressions. Though a toned body, of any age, still holds a greater appeal, than one that speaks of neglect, a bald patch or silver hair on the top of the head has become very appealing to my ripened eyes, as they relent to the irrepressible seasoning of the body, and I ultimately appreciate that success in living is to be still living at all.

As the guy got up to leave, his barber said, “See you next week, Mike”, and I knew it was one in the same man from my early days. Using the technology of today’s youth, I Googled him and found him on Linkedin and emailed him to verify the encounter at the barbershop. I look forward at lunch today, to having a shared reminiscence about our youth and the ensuing years that followed, and the still relatively youthful dreams of tomorrow.

The crooked smile, that had always generated a deep warmth within me - when I reflected on it - greeted me as I walked into our meeting place. The look in his eyes and the sound of his voice - that I had yearned to see and hear since encountering him two weeks earlier - catapulted me, for the briefest of moments, back to the time of a fantasy remembrance of what we shared. But, in as quick a moment as it takes for reality to set in, those indelible characteristics reformed around the lives that had altered the both of us. Our experiences had subsumed the fantasies we may had carried of a lost time and we left one another with an updated reality of the struggle and luck we've had in life. The hazy romantic reminiscences of what might had been - that we all carry about - crystallizes in the actuality of what has BECOME.....old friends bridging a gap in time...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scorpio Rising

As the voices of the almost one hundred people, who crowded into the expansive dining room of Regina Darby, sang out loudly, "Haaaapppppy Birthdaaay, Happy Biirrthday, Happy Birthday" to her, Bill Freeman, Robin Bell-Stevens, Gail A. Marquis and the other Scorpios on hand, I felt lifted by the resonance of the song and the abounding joy, at a time when my soul needed it most.

Lifted from the ashes of a week of disappointment that brought dire predictions for the Democrat's political future, I felt buoyed by the bonhomie in the room. As we sang out, the ponderous negativity of media prognostications, that had consumed me for far too long, melted away...... and I began to see the power and force that we as individuals have to shape and mold our universe in our own vision. Regina, Bill and the Scorpios assembled there, represented those that will not be bound to outcomes and will rise above them.

As our friend, Micki Stickford (another Scorpio) who sent me a message about "A Spiritual Conspiracy" (see below) whereby positive souls are working quietly behind the scenes, to bring forth actions that actually care about one another and the environment, I felt an initiation and inculcation, as I read the inspiring manifesto. The inner revolution of light, it spoke of, sprang forth on the voices of the many people who had come to celebrate last night. Aligned in a deep understanding that more is ahead for us to be thankful for and that it is up to each of us to make it happen, bonded us in subconscious ways.

To our many Scorpio friends, who know the odyssey of burning out and rising again, and rising again and rising again, I wish you a Happy Birthday and thank you for your inspiration and sixth sense.


On the surface of the world right now there is
war and violence and things seem dark.
But calmly and quietly, at the same time,
something else is happening underground
An inner revolution is taking place
and certain individuals are being called to a higher light.
It is a silent revolution.
From the inside out. From the ground up.
This is a Global operation.
A Spiritual Conspiracy.
There are sleeper cells in every nation on the planet.
You won't see us on the T.V.
You won't read about us in the newspaper
You won't hear about us on the radio
We don't seek any glory
We don't wear any uniform
We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles
Most of us work anonymously
We are quietly working behind the scenes
in every country and culture of the world
Cities big and small, mountains and valleys,
in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands
You could pass by one of us on the street
and not even notice
We go undercover
We remain behind the scenes
It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done
Occasionally we spot each other in the street
We give a quiet nod and continue on our way
During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs
But behind the false storefront at night
is where the real work takes a place
Some call us the Conscious Army
We are slowly creating a new world
with the power of our minds and hearts
We follow, with passion and joy
Our orders come from the Central Spiritual Intelligence
We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking
Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Movies ~ Kind words ~
Smiles ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance ~ Social activism ~ Websites
Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness...
We each express ourselves in our own unique ways
with our own unique gifts and talents
Be the change you want to see in the world
That is the motto that fills our hearts
We know it is the only way real transformation takes place
We know that quietly and humbly we have the
power of all the oceans combined
Our work is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains
It is not even visible at first glance
And yet with it entire tectonic plates
shall be moved in the centuries to come
Love is the new religion of the 21st century
You don't have to be a highly educated person
Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it
It comes from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings
Be the change you want to see in the world
Nobody else can do it for you
We are now recruiting
Perhaps you will join us
Or already have.
All are welcome
The door is open
~ author unknown