The Wisdom of the Universe in a Blade of Grass

All of the wisdoms of the universe are held within a single blade of grass. If you look carefully enough you can see this in your minds-eye.  We are afloat an infinite sea of vibrating strings. Everything we know and everything we don’t know. Everything we are and everything that is, was or will be, is connected–It is all part of we. And in that lie the wisdoms of the universe.

 

It has taken me most of my life to realize this something that I knew instinctively as a child but had dismissed or hidden from my conscious mind.

Ever listen to the silence between everything else?

When we grow to adulthood we leave behind our childish ways, we assimilate and integrate with society, many of the beliefs and instinctive truths we held dear as children are washed away with grown up ” rational” thought and much of our free thinking and creativity is lost at sea.

 

People look for answers, they have a need to convince their rational minds what the heart already knows. They flock to gurus and philosophers and there are no shortage of those who have all the “answers”. In actuality,  the best guru is a child who remembers the universal truths that are born inside every single one of us.

 

Lovely Pink Anemones from my mother’s garden.

I remember spending time in my mothers garden; lying in the grass, and the way the grass smelled and how the breeze gave me goosebumps. And how the trees swaying made shadows dance across my eyelids.  I remember watching the clouds pass by so effortlessly.  It seemed the moments lasted longer and I savored each one as it melted into the next.

I remember how connected I felt to everything in the universe and this was no big revelation to me.  I did not need to be taught this, I don’t think any of us need to be taught this.

I knew that everything within my vision;  from myself and my cat and the bird he was eyeing in the tree, to the ant and the worm and to the tree itself. I felt connected to the very soil I stood upon and to the sky over my head and every person and all life on this planet. I would see everyone as a friend.  And I thought this until I was about 4 or 5 and then something told me, I don’t know what, but something told me to put a lock on those ideas and stick them in the back of the closet where I would throw my old toys. There they would stay until my mid thirties, when I started to wake up again.

It was in those dark , still and silent nights when my mind could stay quiet enough to hear the whispers of my soul that I began to catch glimpses of the light. I learned the more that I listened the more I would hear. I also learned right off the bat that most of what I did hear at that time in my life was not good. My heart was sad and my soul was lost and lonely.

It is in reaching a bottom of sorts where I found the will to climb out. I quit a 20 year addiction to alcohol.  I returned to the grass and the trees and the tiny daisies in the lawn. I found my connection with nature was returning and I healed in the power of that wonderfulness.

Everything I have learned so far, through the words and actions of others, though raw experience and through the whispers of my very soul, have put me to where I am now and the realizations that continually dawn on me, leading me to believe that what is the most important is the intangible and that we are truly are intangible beings in a tangible world. And that what we seek is truly inside us.

This is just a beginning of sorts for me. A rebirth. A getting back to where I need to be. I have returned from an extended break from writing and blogging. I have much to write about. I am excited and happy to be back and to reconnect with some kindred souls ones I have met along the way and new ones as well.

~Nancy

 

 

Tiny wisdoms found here and there 

 

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

 

I’ve traveled all around the world to see the rivers and the mountains, and I’ve spent a lot of money. I have gone to great lengths, I have seen everything, but I forgot to see just outside my house a dewdrop on a little blade of grass, a dewdrop which reflects in its convexity the whole universe around you.
~Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
― Thich Nhat Hanh

 

I would say that there exists a thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else, and that our dignity and our chances are one. The farthest star and the mud at our feet are a family; and there is no decency or sense in honoring one thing, or a few things, and then closing the list. The pine tree, the leopard, the Platte River, and ourselves-we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together, we are each other’s destiny.

The Power of Cuteness

 

 

Hey! It’s wide eyed cuteness giving you that come hither look, almost daring you with it’s abject innocence, it’s helplessness. it’s downright adorableness.

Its purr sounds so sweet, so smooth and comforting.

Eyes that speak to you, pleading.

You are my savior. The only one in the world that can help me.  I cry out for you to love me, to protect me. I am innocent and small. This big bad world is much too big and bad for the likes of me.

How can one resist one such as this? Admit it, you like I are a sucker for a cute face and most of us are. Studies have shown that just looking at pictures of cute babies causes the release of dopamine, one of the chemicals released by the brain that makes us happy.   Dopamine motivates us to take action and gives out a surge of reinforcing pleasure when we do.

 

We are awash in a sea of chemicals and emotions. Cuteness relies on this and demands our attention. And cuteness rewards that attention.

And cuteness sells. This is no big advertising secret.

Cuteness selling cancer sticks

People today spend more time looking at cute things than ever before. The internet is awash in cute images. A virtual zoo of furry kittens, big eyed owlets, cuddling otters and prancing baby goats.

 

 

Cute Pikachu

We watch the minions bumble about on the big screen, buy Hello Kitty merchandise, or watch a Pikachu convention dance on YouTube.

The appeal of these characters may seem trivial, but it actually highlights an evolutionary force — one that can trigger billions of dollars a year of consumer spending.

 


 

THE MIGHTY POWER OF CUTENESS

 

Cuteness has power, never forget that. And never turn your back; cuteness can attack.  Cuteness tends to be underestimated and it has much more power than it leads on. Those same cute little fuzzy paws can have retractable claws capable of ripping us to shreds. Be careful.

 

 

 Dangerously cute!

 

Slow Loris

 

 

 

The Slow Loris:

Irresistibly cute. but dangerous. The only living poisonous primate on Earth. They have glands on the sides of their elbows. When slow lorises are threatened, these glands would release a foul-smelling toxic fluid. Then, this primate lick some poison from the gland and mix it with its saliva and bite the one who disturbed it. This poison could cause allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock.

 

Bears:

They may be our favorite stuffed toys and animals really don’t come much cuter than bears. But in reality they are also one of the most deadly and will not only kill humans, but will actively hunt them down (they are one of only a very short list of animals known to do this). Grizzly bears and polar bears are considered being the most deadly, but all large species of bear are potentially dangerous to humans… even pandas.

 

Poison Dart Frog:  

The frogs’ poison is found in their skin, making them too toxic to touch. While most species are considered toxic but not deadly, they are distasteful to a predator and can even be fatal. The poison can cause serious swelling, nausea, and muscular paralysis.

 

Leopard seal:

Leopard seals rank alongside killer whales as Antarctica’s top predator, according to National Geographic. Bold, powerful and curious. Normally these cute and underestimated animals target penguins but they have been known to hunt people. In 1985, Scottish explorer Gareth Wood was bitten twice on the leg when a leopard seal tried to drag him off the ice and into the sea, and in 2003 a leopard seal dragged snorkeling biologist Kirsty Brown underwater to her death in Antarctica.

 

 

Big Cats: They look so soft and cuddly.  And they do remind me of my cat Mocha. I don’t have to tell you that if you encounter a big cat whether it be a lion, tiger, cougar, or just a stray panther in your neighborhood grocery store. Don’t pet it. Admire it from a distance. And try to refrain from flash photography.

 

 

What is cute and could I be cute already and not know it?

According to the Urban Dictionary.

(What us young and hip and happening young writer types use. )

cute 
attractive, esp. in a delicately beautiful way; pleasingly pretty; affectedly or pretty or clever; precious; mentally keen; clever; self-consciously cute mannerisms or appeal.

 Konrad Lorenz’s Kindchenschema, or baby schema, as defined in the Nobel prize-winning scientist’s 1943 paper on the “innate releasing mechanisms” that prompt affection and nurture in human beings: fat cheeks, large eyes set low on the face, a high forehead, a small nose and jaw, and stubby arms and legs that move in a clumsy fashion. Not just humans: puppies, baby ducks and other young animals are included in Lorenz’s theory. Neil Steinberg for theguardian.com)

Often cuteness does not recognize itself and this is part of its appeal.  And sometimes cute doesn’t even want to be cute, this generates even more cuteness. Odds are that you are in fact very cute and just don’t know it.

Do people ever say “awwwwww” and pat you atop your furry head?  Do children stop and talk to you in sweet little voices reserved for dolls and animals? Can little old ladies resist pinching your cheeks?  You just may be adorable indeed.

And what if you don’t have a furry little head, or whiskers or a bushy tail? It does help to be cute on one’s own but everyone can harness the power of cuteness not just babies, little furry animals and people like myself.

I have been called cute on more than one occasion but seriously, it doesn’t hurt to have a little backup cuteness in your back pocket.

 

Last summer I was walking around downtown in the sun. A crowd had gathered around a band on the street corner. Three or four twenty something guys, not especially cute. Garage-ish sounding and not special except for the littlest member; someone’s little sister doing basic strums on an over-sized guitar, now she was cute. Everyone loved them, their jar was overflowing and the spectators were happy.

 

And what if you don’t have a cute little sister or a kitten in your back pocket?

We can all harness the Power of Cuteness!

Being adorable does not require a certain something beyond an attitude of adorability.

Simply put: You are as cute as you feel to be and don’t accept anything less. So get out there. Be cute. Be powerful. Know that in being yourself you can rock whatever you set your cute mind to.

Have an adorable day!!

 

♥ Nancy

 

 

 

 

Cute Quotes

Cute is when a person’s personality shines through their looks. Like in the way they walk, every time you see them you just want to run up and hug them.

~Natalie Portman

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think people should look cute all the time.

~Rachel Zoe

 

 

 

 

 

Cute Spider

Everything looks cute when it’s small.

~Cynthia Rowley

 

 

 

 

 

 

I myself never feel that I’m sexy. If people call me cute, I am happier.

~Coco Lee

 

 

 

 

Baby possums.

Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.

~Shel Silverstein

 

“There is a distinct evolutionary advantage to being fuzzy, as much of the mammal kingdom had discovered, particularly when you wanted a human to scratch your back.”
― Jeffery Russell

 

References and Cute Related Articles

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15 cute animals that could kill you (Mother Nature Network) 
The Science of Cute   (Dailyherald.com) 
Goat Kid Pajama Party  (Youtube) 
Puppy Power: The Power of Cuteness in Marketing   (getspokal.com)
The new science of cute (theguardian.com)

Plague Everyone with Joy

I wasn’t always so sunny and happy. People were always telling me to smile. I have noticed that my face will typically give me away and that when I’m lost in thought, which is often, it looks like I am angry.  I’ve made it a point to watch this. I have also made it a point to watch my thoughts.
For much of my life insecurities and doubt have plagued me. I have hurt myself with negative messages that became my mantra that ran constantly inside my head. This made me miserable. My negative energy attracted even more negative energy from others. I struggled with not being understood but it never occurred to me at the time that I also needed to try to understand others.
I decided to be kind to myself and forgive myself for being so very imperfect. I thought I could change my inner dialog to something positive and I looked for the good in me and told myself good things about myself, even if I didn’t believe them.  More importantly I took this same love and understanding that I was finding for myself and turned it outward. I made it my “job” to reach out and say something kind or supportive to people especially those who seldom hear that sort of thing. I made sure my compliments were honest and true. I learned that I could find something encouraging and positive to say to almost everyone.
 Not that this is easy all the time for everyone. I am a naturally shy introvert. It has taken many baby steps to get to where I am today. I have tried to plant tiny seeds of sunshine wherever I go.
And more and more I find these seeds have sprouted.
By spreading the love it comes back, absolutely. 
 I don’t mean to sound trite or come off with some well worn out syrupy platitudes.  I have heard people complain about the unauthenticness of the idea that thinking happy thoughts and that an attitude of gratitude is a cure-all. It is perfectly normal;  healthy, in fact to have a wide range of emotions including sadness. Emotions are colors on a palate and life is art. We as artists can make our lives masterpieces when we use a full range of hues.
That being said:
I find touches dark blues,  patches of deep purples and deep black hues to be in beautiful contrast to the soft pastels and sunny oranges and yellows, it is in that contrast that I find beauty in, but a little of those darker shades goes a long way. Life provides us enough of those. If I can, it is the sunshine I will spread.  Makes me happier anyway.
I can make the conscious choice of letting the darkness that hits me in life stop at me. This is how I cope with the crap that hurts me; with my refusal pass it on.
I am so blessed.
So if I seem a little pollyannish or silly remember I didn’t start out that way and that really, no one can be blissfully happy all the time.   Happiness requires the decision to be happy. Just the simple act of smiling is powerful magic in itself.  Science has shown that the simple act of smiling can boost your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.
 I think to stay happy we need to spread that joy around like it’s the damn plague especially on those days when we do feel like crap.
So get out there and plague everyone you meet with joy.
Watch its boomerang effect come alive.

 

 
♥ Nancy

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We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy.
― Swami Satchidananda
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Related and Unrelated Articles
 JOY to the World–Three Dog Night

 

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Reality is expensive but dreams are free

 

 

Dreams live in the stratosphere high up in the clouds. They are free and are hanging around like low lying fruit just aching to be taken. They are seldom realistic but in reality real life is littered with unrealistic realities coming to fruition.

I have been listening to some Alan Watts talks, the one that’s been prominent in my mind is in which he proposes the “what if?”. What if one could compose 70 year lifespan into a night of dreaming? Dreaming dreams one could control; every night a different dream.  At first we would do all the things we ever wanted and then after we’d get bored with that–we’d go onto adventures, getting more risky and dangerous knowing it was all a dream after all. We would seek even greater thrills to the point that we’d make ourselves forget were even dreaming. We’d keep changing the odds and randomness until we arrive at the life we are living now.

This concept intrigues me, it seems so simple,  I can almost feel it just beyond the mind’s eye waiting out in plain sight for me to discover it. I have decided to run with this notion and become its fair-weather friend for as long as it serves me.

I have allowed the winds of fate to lead me around these last couple months. It has been an interesting ride, riddled with cute nuances, funny innuendos and interesting deja-vu.

 

After all we could be part of a cast of characters running rampant inside a shared lucid dream.

I have heard much conjecture on the subject in the worlds of science, philosophy and spirituality among others; what is reality anyway?

Some say nothing matters and reality is but a series of electrical impulses conjured by our brains.  Elon Musk and others, including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, believe that there is a significant chance that our world is just an elaborate simulation created by an advanced civilization and that all we are our bits of data encoded on some giant quantum computer.

Some say we are pure spirit and we come from a far off place and will return there someday. I have attached myself to the idea that we are all just drops of water in a sea of infinite vibrations swirling over eddys and through currents.

These ideas however intangible are making more and more sense to me in the tangible world that seems so damn unreal. At this point I am ready to believe anything. And so I go on faith and hope and a certain expectation that things will turn out alright in the end. I found it’s better to go with the flow if you can,  but still keep an eye out for rocks.

Getting back to the lucid dreaming and the subjective reality. I have decided in true Aspie fashion to take the whole thing literally and just go with it.

Why not? I have tried the dour realistic reality for far too and in reality its a drag.

 

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

~Albert Einstein

 

I can imagine myself lying there dreaming about myself pounding away on this keyboard. I consider this current “dream”. The back door is open slightly letting the fresh air and light in. I can hear the sounds of birds and I am content, a purring cat to the right side of me and a cup of warm jasmine tea to my left. I have hope in my heart and love in my soul; ready to just pour out.

And I think: Hey this is not so bad…

(....Alan Watts laughs at me from the ugly couch at the far end of the room…)

 

Biding you all a good night or day or whatever it is where you are…

and have sweet dreams…

 ~Nancy

Art by Trash Riot

 

“Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” 
~Anaïs Nin

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“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”
― Shirley Jackson

Related Articles
What about when we die we wake up–Alan Watts
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? Elon Musk Thinks So.
Dreams–Cranberries
Dream a little dream of me-Mama Cass 
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? (Scientificamerican.com) 

 

It’s Your Trip

 

 

You are Magic

Never put limitations on what you can do, on what you can be. Society likes to put labels and limits on us; unspoken rules that can be and are being broken everyday. There has never been another you. Only you can contribute your own special magic to the world and this is your time.

Fear holds us back from being our true selves.  Fear of change, fear of making a mistake, fear of pain, fear of rejection, fear of nothingness…

There are many fears but they all prey on us in the same way. It is only by acknowledging them and shedding light on them that we can begin to attain mastery over them and thus ourselves.

There is a voice inside you that knows the way. It comes in whispers and innuendos illuminating the path with overlooked randomness and by intuition. Your heart knows the way. What the mind sees as a mountain, the soul knows is irrelevant.

We are all just beams of light. We shoot across the sky and play among the stars. Because it is all play. This. That. Everything. In whatever we do, we have chosen this particular ride, whether we remember it or not.

You are in complete control and you can wake up anytime you want.

You can listen to the voice inside you that whispers, that sings, that hums and sometimes screams. You can listen to this voice or you can go back to sleep and dream.

It’s up to you. It’s your trip.

 

~nlm

 

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” 
― Alan W. Watts

 

 

The Voice of the Universe

The voice of the universe is everywhere.
In the trees. In stars. In the air.
In my heart. In my hair.
Within.”

—Jonna Jinton

 

I listen to the wind move through the trees tickling leaves along the way. I hear the loneliness in them, the smallness of them. The universe is made of these. Bits and parts of somethings that make a whole.

We are one together. A breathing being is the universe. I witness its breath in the clouds. I feel the beat of it’s heart in the river. I touch its profoundness in the soft moss under my feet.

I feel so alive in this one very moment; I take in the million joys that spill over like a wave. It fills my valleys and makes them green again.

The voice of the universe speaks to me. Not in words but pure emotion. It speaks to me in brilliant birdsong and in the roar of the sea.  It whispers in the Sunday breeze, knocking down fence posts to make me listen.

Once in a while the universe sends something so absolutely exquisite I can’t help but pause in splendid wonder. Once in a while can be everyday if I let it…

 

~nlm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serendipities in the Rough

 

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.
—Arthur Golden

 

Life random, it is constant and ever moving.  It leaves no chance to go back and try again. Our journey in this what we call existence is wrought with surprise. We can never know what is just around the bend. Our experiences are accidental. We can cross our fingers and hope for the best. We can rely on a steady hand to guide the way, we can watch out for rocks but common pitfalls will befall us and so will other things too…

Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

 

Those words stared at me, written in my own hand. Stuck up on my computer at work. I stared at those words on that day a few weeks ago before I crumpled up the paper and dropped it silently into the trash. Our entire department was being downsized or outsized…whatever. I was out of a job. 

We were being paid for the day. It was ten o’c lock Monday morning and I was “free to go.”

A first for me; A layoff and fresh into my new independence in my new apartment. A fear rose up in me. A dread. A panic. I went home and cried.

I would like to say at this point I straightened up and used this setback as an opportunity to take on a newer and better adventure. I’d like to say I conquered hardship and myself but really I fell into another job without really trying. And now two weeks in I am finding the hidden “dangers” in taking the safe route. And I wonder if I have taken full advantage of my situation…

 

 

It is how we look at it all which makes the most impact on our lives. There can be hidden gems in rough serendipities. And something that may for the quick moment seem to be a setback could in reality be a spring forward.

 

 

Nature makes way for the new. An emptiness must be created in order to fill it. A tree sheds it’s leaves in the Autumn. They fall to the ground; becoming one with the earth, helping provide nourishment to the tree to grow its new leaves in the spring. Nature is constantly giving birth to itself. And we as part of nature are constantly being reborn. Every day we are alive this happens. With every experience we become a newer version of ourselves.

 

Every flower must grow through dirt. —Proverb

Life is like that. All our experiences; good and bad make us who and what we are. We can glean wisdom from this. Scars heal and can make us stronger. We can look back at our very survival as proof of that.

 

Kintsugi, The Japanese Art of Fixing Broken Pottery With Gold.

 

There are many who are “broken” in this world of ours. We are legion. Seldom, if ever, can anyone escape unscathed. Some say that a dose of hard times in one’s life makes one more sympathetic to the plight of others and more grateful too.  I think this is true to a great extent.

Tragedy is tragic and unfair as it is, we must salvage what we can from it. If only in order to save ourselves and others.

There are many forms of tragedy that exist. Much of it out of our control. I don’t have to tell anyone how troubled this world is. It’s easy for me to say that good can possibily ever come from bad.  I have lived a relatively fortunate life. I have not truly suffered like many have. But I do know something of hope and often it is born out of a human heart and spirit and nothing else.

There are going to be low days.  It’s inevitable. but it is those low days that prepare us for the high ones, these are inevitable too. I think this when I’m having a bad day; that I’m somehow paying my dues or paying it forward for later. I feel that in the law of averages my “bad luck” will turn to “good luck” Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But this has a magic all its own.

 

Nothing is perfect. My new job isn’t either but it does afford me more time to spend with a very important person to me who makes me feel wonderful and in that maybe it is all for the best…perhaps I will seek some rough and very soft serendipities there for a time…

~nlm

 

Related Articles

 

 

 

Whatever does not kill us: cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience.

Garden of the Mind

 

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece

~Claude Monet

 

We all engage in self talk. A running inner dialog that writes the script of our lives.

Seldom are we completely aware of just how influential we are on ourselves. We definitely live up to our own expectations. Positive or negative.  Problems arise when insecure feelings begin to dominate the conversation. And rarely do we share these dark thoughts with others. They are hidden behind a wall of bravado we put up between each other. This causes us to see only the exaggerations put together by our imaginations not the full scope of reality.

Insecurities are kept in a secret place locked inside ourselves in that dark closet of pessimism, where fear lives. It is fear that leads us to lie to ourselves in the first place. Much of the negative crap that our own insecurities whisper to us is not accurate or realistic at all, but these hidden feelings do have a profound effect on our behavior. Only when we can forgive ourselves for not being perfect can we begin to rebuild and replace all that negative crap with good crap.

I liken a life to a garden. What grows in our garden is what has been planted.

 

 

The lives which we are living now are the result of our past actions and those past actions were the result of our past thoughts. The seeds we planted long ago are sprouting now.

We truly are what we have cultivated. We can thrive in a colorful vigorous and sunny garden or we can wallow in the dark. and it is that simple… of course surprises can spring up

Life is random and certainly not fair. We are subject to the whims of that randomness…

…and no matter what we do surprises can spring up…

Sometimes squirrels can dig up your tulip bulbs and plant them in your neighbors backyard…sometimes a spring hail shower can wreck havoc on your tender pansies. There have been times when a black cloud descended into my garden and left it cold and dark. There have been times when I thought that the sun would never shine again…

And then I found the sunshine within myself and lit up my garden with hope, faith and blind determination.

 

 

These are the times when we have to rely on that sort of sunshine to make our gardens grow.

…that’s why you need a good dose of it stored up in your pocket for a rainy day.

 

 

Determination: Yes. Work: Most certainly. Anything worth anything takes work and belief. That is your sunshine and nothing will shine without it.

Gratitude is like water. It nourishes life in our garden. It makes what grows grow. Without gratitude we will never find the happiness and contentment we seek.

Attitude. How we frame the picture we see.

What some may interpret as a raging storm can seem like a gentle shower watering a summer flower.

 

Seeds are the ideas we present to ourselves. We can plant what we want.

 

Being afraid; having social anxiety…the alien-ness I felt being on the autism spectrum…my alcoholism.. these were symptoms of a greater problem these were/are my challenges. I on instinct planted seeds to counteract the ones planted many years before which led me to feel so sad.

How do I do this? I change my inner dialogue. I forgave myself. I saw myself as a poor damaged thing that needed sympathy, love and understanding.  I began to treat myself more kindly; I began to lie to myself but in a good, encouraging way.

I told myself wonderful things about me; things I didn’t believe. But I kept planting and counting.

I counted reasons to be grateful. I thanked God or the spirits that be. I thanked the universe for my good fortune. I embraced mindfulness and tried to enjoy every passing moment for what what it is without expectation. I found worthiness in contentment and strength in humbleness.

 

I wrote words like”optimistic” ,”happy”and “Yes” in bright colors and tapped them around the house.

I found solace in the colors of music and the sound of the rain.

I refused to be daunted by a reluctant sun so I made my own.

 

What began as a tiny spark has grown larger and my garden is growing with colorful, green, growing wild things.

I continue to plant seeds whenever I can. My garden is a work in progress. Always planting something, digging, weeding, taking it all in.

Despite changes and setbacks I am here to encourage other gardeners who may be discouraged. Maybe to make myself feel a bit better too.

 

As Ram Dass once said: We’re all just walking each other home.”

And I say that it’s damn good to have a friend to walk through the rain with. 

 

~nlm

 

 

 

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The Way

forest-path-trees-green-nature

The way is winding

it’s direction uncertain

I am on a path meant only for me

and the trick is to know

the way.

Every step is a moment that passes by

the moments that make up my life.

There are triumphant ones in the sun

There are humble and joyous moments

and others which lie in the dark, cold and unforgiving.

They belong solely to myself

I cannot go back

We are made up of what we do

and this is what makes us who we are.

Some of us wear down paths consisting of varying degrees of unease

watching and waiting for that something that never happens…

This way is littered with occasions to lend my heart out

they fall to the forest floor like leaves in the autumn

and sound crunchy under my boots.

 I feel for something I think I’ve lost.

And I think I’ve left something unsaid.

I cannot seem quite to remember

Time flows ahead…I can’t go back

no matter, no matter

I tell myself

The way is winding

and we may find ourselves

at one end only to begin again.

Coming in and out like the tides.

A new river to step into.

A new stream to cross.

Urging me on to the next and the next and the next.

 

~NLM

 

 

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.

~Mother Teresa

***

Mt. Ranier. Washington State, USA.
Mt. Ranier. Washington State, USA.

 

The Extraordinary

 

“I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes”

~Walt Whitman

 

heart of compassion art

I have always felt an affinity for the extraordinary, the misunderstood lone marcher to a different beat. I want to be an advocate for the underdog. A champion for the unique, the quiet, the humble and the meek, for the underestimated and under-appreciated, for the kind, for the strange and beautiful, for those who feel out of sorts, out of time and out of place, for the anxious and the disturbed, for the sad but hopeful, for the awkward and the shy, for the anxious and the brave, for the deep thinkers and sensitive souls, for those who feel the system is rigged and life is unfair…

For we who feel voiceless in this loud world. Fate has not forsaken us.

We not alone… We contain multitudes…

random-people-art-psychedelic-group-color-trippy

It is through alliance and unity that we the unique can make a difference as a force to be reckoned with. It is up to those of us who have a voice to speak up!

 

If I accomplish anything with my writing  I want to tell all those who feel that society looks down upon them for their uniqueness that you are not alone. There are others who may be different from you, others from different times and places, others who who may be different in every way but share this same longing, the doubt and insecurity, the same fears. The same need for love and understanding and for peace, a need for a place to grow in the sun and become more.

There is that great untapped potential that many of us still have hidden deep inside. We all have our treasures. They should be encouraged to come out with exuberance like Spring and cultivated like exquisite orchids. Like fine art this wonderfulness should be shared with everyone.

orchid-plant-flower

 

Society gets hung up on the package and not the contents. We are a judgmental lot. So much gets lost in the roar of the crowd. 

It is up to all of us to be there  for us all…as they say we are after all just walking each other home. 

   We can help each other. It is through alliance that we the different, the unique and the misunderstood can make a difference. We are a force to be reckoned with. We can celebrate our uniqueness and that of others. Our strength lies in our diversity, our unity and our willingness to speak up for each other.

There are many more of us than them… 

 

 

~nlm

 

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
Walt Whitman

To be hopeful in bad times

 

 

These are the times that try us. We can be broken. We can fall down. We can walk down a path of darkness but that does not mean we will never see the light. That doesn’t mean we will never walk in the sun again.

To be hopeful in bad times is not stupid or futile or simply in vain. To be hopeful in bad times is essential. This is our foundation. This is the beginning.

 

We have been taken on quite a ride lately. Our “normally” crazy world is insane. Our society is sick and we are running a fever.

I am a mix of emotions in regard to our current situation in the United States and the world. I am passionate in my belief in equality and kindness, in peace and understanding and inclusiveness.

I like many others believe our country is going to hell in a hand-basket. The words “fascist” and “dictator” are floating around paired with “dangerous”. People are angry and sad…and scared. I have wondered what it would have been like to be a German citizen during the rise and rule of Hitler. Watching the changes, living with the results…

I also am very conscious of the fact that the status quo has much to be desired. The deck has been stacked against we the people for quite some time.

I will not mention his name, never, in any of my writings; in my blog, on Facebook or on Twitter. He is not my president, that damn and damned orange menace.

Never before have I seen such division and hostility. Our dear leader is showing us how to conduct ourselves and it is downright nasty. It is not who we are. I refuse and I resist.

We are the descendants of immigrants and revolutionaries.  Right or wrong, our country was built on revolution, sacrifice and blood, sweat and bitter tears. It was also built with certain ideals, ideals we have lost to greed, vanity and indifference.

These ideals are etched in our hearts and minds. It is our diversity paired with a belief in equality and fairness that makes us strong. We are united in our common love for life, our families and humanity. We are the strongest when we are united and united behind a common cause.

I believe we have our cause…

It has been said one needs to hit rock bottom before one sees the light. I believe we are waking up. It has taken a shaking but I believe, hope anyway,  that we are sufficiently shaken for the magic to take effect.

The common enemy; I don’t mean that orange menace exactly. Our true enemy is our collective selves. We have allowed this to occur; this what some would call a coup, a misstep or a stupid and dangerous mistake. Somehow we have someone in office who most of us didn’t want doing things that most of us do not like, do not like at all.

Lots of people have marched and ranted. Some have destroyed. Some people I suppose must be glad if they paid attention and believe and wanted what he promised, he is dong those things; as fast as he can. An agenda that obviously been planned. He is checking them off one by one.

Every day a new outrage.

And everyday more and more stories of unity. Maybe if we can unite behind a common enemy we can unite behind other issues.

Perhaps we had to hot rock bottom to finally ‘get it”. I know from experience that in order to have a different world a shaking up in the status quo must occur and seldom is this easy or peaceful.

Yes, to be hopeful in bad times is essential and this time is no different. I have hope because people on a whole do care and I do believe they are good at heart.

This is a time to dig deep and not turn a blind eye and just go along. What this means; listen to your heart, to your soul, it knows the way…it knows the truth, we all do.

For now I am holding on to hope, trying to be calm and kind and more understanding and to keep a smile….

…time to write something funny for the next one…

 

~nlm 

 

peace friendship-63743_640

 

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

(From the Declaration of Independence ) 

 

 

 

Out in the cold

snow-falling-gif

 

“You can present the material, but you can’t make me care.”
― Bill Watterson

Just another winter’s day, just another icy commute in the dark. You can hear the shuffling of footsteps on the frozen ground. No one speaks, no one smiles, we all just keep moving..

People waking to and fro, many in a hurry, most of them with the same look; that same glazed over gaze which extends beyond the person right next to them as if the other person, the fellow human is not there at all. It is a tunnel vision of sorts, it could be more of a selective vision. It is an acquired ability. We are not born with it; this talent for ignoring the obvious.

 

It comes out of necessity and takes practice.  In this rapidly changing world, many of us are getting a lot of practice. If you live in a large urban area you probably know what I mean…

homeless-cold-person-snow

I know you’ve seen them: Their swelling number are almost impossible to ignore. The tents and blue tarps under bridges, the huddled sleeping figures in crowded doorways.  It’s not just in my city or yours, it’s everywhere.

And it scares the hell out of me. And I shiver. From the cold or that icy fear or both I don’t know.

Last night in my city of Portland, Oregon a newborn baby died possibly from exposure, sitting in its homeless mothers arms. This would be the 5th person to die from the cold in the last 2 weeks here.

 

homeless-child-mother-snow

What kind of people are we? We forsake our most vulnerable citizens. It is a sickness I think this indifference. One of ills of our society and one that just seems to be growing.

We are told those less unfortunate deserve their fate. It is easy to want to believe that. That means if I work hard and toe the line and do what I am told. I too won’t be one of those less unfortunate ones, it is tempting to want to believe this; it feels safer.

At least I think it does…

I think of all the people in the US who have just lost their health insurance. Again I could be indifferent here, I have mine. To me, seeing a doctor is not a luxury…yet.

I have a warm home and enough food to eat.

Why should I worry about these strangers? Many of them are probably drug addled or mentally ill. They probably want to be out here. They like living on the fringes of society. No bills , no responsibilities. Not my problem… Right?

funny-sign-man-hookers

The man at the bus stop with the unkempt beard and the wild eyes. He is hard not to notice; wrapped in a tattered blanket he is shouting obscenities at the sky.  My pulse quickens;  I am scared and I tiptoe past him hoping he doesn’t notice me, I walk down to the next stop.

Nothing is all black or white. But we are all human from the innocent babe to the wild man at the bus stop. We are all part of the same human family. I admit it is easier to care about the pretty, the untarnished, the salvageable.

homeless-man-face

 

I imagine the man with the wild eyes was that too once; pretty, untarnished, salvageable. Now he is just part of the wreckage left behind to lurk in the shadows, in the cold doorways, watching everyone look away…

Something to ponder on…

 

 

~nlm

 

winter-snow-nature-animated-gif-22

“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent, but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
Stanley Kubrick

 

 

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punchbowl-falls-oregon-frozen-winter-snow-water

 

Winter has come. It has descended from the sky like a great and terrible bird;  declaring itself with a wicked wind that howls and screeches. Gripping you in it’s talons and keeping you there–chilling you to your bones. Bringing along a blanket of snow and ice that has worn out its welcome days ago, much of it trampled on, trodden on and fouled with soot and dirt and yellowish stains.

It is dark and cold; about 15 ºF with the windchill. I have deemed this yet another “3 layer day”, I am bundled up head to toe, all in black except for a flourish of hot pink scarf. I stand out against the whitish snow and in the moonlight. The beautifully bright and full moon has been kind to us early risers sticking around for a viewing well past the time I catch the 4:59 a.m. train.

night-snow

These are the days that will make me appreciate summer all the more I think. It is hard to see out the windows out into the darkness but I can make out in that same kind moonlight Under some of the bridges and overpasses I can see the outlines of tents flapping in that horrid wind.

I don’t know how I would fare out there without a home in the cold. I bitch and complain bundled up in my new warm coat, on my way to a nice warm office building. I have nothing to complain about.

The train gets me downtown where I catch an express bus that takes me the rest of the way. It is quite a commute but affords me the time to think. This I haven’t had for a while.

The sun is rising as the bus careens down the highway, making up for lost time I suppose. The sky is pink and orange; strange and beautiful against the whiteness of everything. streets. Metal towers and giant apartments are starting to litter the skyline as never before. There is a building boom. It seems everyone wants to move to quirky Portland.

The bus takes me to a suburb called Tualitin. I have a new job. It is better than the last one.  I have a lot to be grateful for.

night-pond-lake-by-work-lights-water

I can’t help but laugh at the poor lost ducks on the frozen pond that is adjacent to the building, they stand there waiting for everything to return to normal.

Nothing ever returns to “normal”. Just the definition of what normal is, changes.

~nlm

 

 

 

frozen-crows-portland
“Crows in Snow”by Walter Berg. Portland, Oregon. January 2017

 

“All that you touch
You Change.

All that you Change
Changes you.

The only lasting truth
is Change.”

Octavia E. Butler