Thursday, November 15, 2018

An Observation and a Memory

I was in New York City yesterday for a freelance gig at CBS.

As I walked several blocks from the subway, I chose to look at people differently. New York City is peopled with many races; White, Black, Asian, Indian, Hispanic and all cultures and races in-between. New York has a large black population, but blacks are still a minority population in this city.

When I was in Nairobi, Kenya a few years ago Caucasian was not even a minority race. Caucasian was an anomaly, and I felt the difference. It was not a negative feeling, but more of a sensory one. Maybe it was just me, but I felt I stood out in the crowd so to speak. I was never felt fearful, only different.

The proportional difference between blacks and whites in New York City is far more than that of whites to blacks in Kenya. In Kenya, it was possible for me to travel miles and hours and not see another white person.

Yesterday in New York I decided to watch people more closely. I looked at black mothers and fathers on the subway with their kids, and I did so with awareness and appreciation. I saw tenderness, concern, and caring. I knew it was always there, but I was not as aware of it as I was yesterday. I watched family interactions with admiration and with a distant memory of covering the civil rights movement in the sixties. Back then, as a young reporter, I attended services in Black churches and listened to a fiery preacher call for justice and righteousness in an affirmative chorus of “Amen’s.”

The older I get, I have a wiser appreciation of human identity and shared dignity.

I think one has to experience being a minority before one can understand a portion of it. The only things that are truly important in life anywhere are equal opportunity, smiles, courtesy, dignity, tolerance, equality, and the clear acknowledgment of the sameness of being.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Day After...

I was going to go to bed without commenting on this election, but somehow I found my way to the desk and thus this epistle.

I am disappointed in the American electorate for their lack of discernment in not turning more races, both Senate and governors, over to another party control. Please note, I did not say, Democrats, for there is fine leadership in all political beliefs. The more we as citizens recognize that, the sooner we will have a multi-party system that sustains the core beliefs of our electoral system and puts the rule of law above partisanship on all sides.

I was going to be satisfied with the results of the election, until Mr. Trump today threatened, in essence, retaliation to any house democrat and committee who investigated his presidency or his family during the next two years.

It is the sacred responsibility of Congress to check and balance the executive branch of government. Personality and despotic politics is now the rule. Loyalty to the leader is the criterion. Truth is left aside. Facts are ignored. Civility, courtesy, compromise, and courage are dissolved into shouting, anger, and baseless attacks.

This is not America. This is not America.

If we want an America where all feel comfort, all feel represented and have a voice, and all feel the peace of liberty, then we must look within our hearts, not our egos, we must acknowledge and discuss alternative thoughts and find the greater good for the whole. That’s being an American.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Why Poetry?

Why poetry?

Poetry, whether its rap or metered verse, quatrains or sonnets, laughs and cries, clarifies and condemns and brings the intellectual and emotional senses into a radiating body of meaningful words.

Poetry holds, sometimes forever, an emotion long past, a desire forgotten, a wish remembered or a splendor that’s vanished in the illusion of time.

It is also a minute connection to the elegance of verbal choice; to the beauty of form and the emotion of words put fitly together on the palate of the mind. Poetry is both raw and sophisticated. To me, poetry is love at the purest verbal level.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October's farewell

t's a colorful Fall here in the East so I thought this chilly October morning should have a little poetic tribute to the changing season.

I now know why we call them leaves;
Too soon they fall when frosted thieves
Lure their green to red and golds
In colors soft and dazzling bolds.

Leaves drop from age and sometimes breeze
To land on lawns by shrubs and trees.
They drift in circles to the ground
In crinkling, cracking, crunching sound.

O' leaves of branch and bush, behold!
Your service lasts despite the cold,
As quilts of warmth for creatures low
Beneath the ground, before the snow.

Some leaves will sail to lawns serene
Where children's smiles can then be seen
Waiting for the rake and pile
To leap upon and lie awhile.

But soon the crumpled stems and flake
Are raked in rows for match to make
A downey flame and spired smoke;
Incense of honor to the oak.

Then barren trees stand naked, strong,
To slice the wind of winters song.
They lean and bow from bending blow,
When snapping, cracking, to and fro.

I know there is a message here,
Where trees with leaves at end of year
Do molt their husks of leafy sheen
So other seasons can be seen.

Thus trees and man are oft' alike,
In time all shed their aging haik.
What's left from passage is pristine,
As spirit light and spirit green.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

To Be of Service


Within the human spirit there is an intrinsic, yet often-obscured desire to be of service. Service can be defined as “instantaneous response to need.” We see it all the time in selfless acts of courage when heroic action is spontaneous in saving a life or some other act of bravery. Philosopher Joseph Campbell calls it “a moment when you and the other are one,” and nothing could change it even to the point of death.

Somewhere deep within our soul being we acknowledge that we are individuals existing in the illusion of time and within an earthly density of a created and collective oneness. We are individual drops in the amniotic ocean of being. We are the individuation of the indivisible. We subconsciously, spiritually, know that life experience is not singular, but collective and somewhere in our awareness, we know that if even one of us minutely achieves, all of us do.

Response to need is a simple process, but difficult to sustain on a daily basis when we have to contend with the duties of living, myopic worry and the ego’s constant harassment for self-aggrandizement. There are ways around the ego’s chicanery, but not many of us choose to be a mystic and master the art of meditation and its precipitate subjugation of the ego self.

So, how to be practical in the request to help?

One way is to believe that “thought” has power or energy. Good thoughts have positive power, and bad thoughts have negative influences. These thoughts, these pieces of energy, can be sent by the mind, in the envelope of good will, to any recipient and it will have an impact. Religions would call it prayer, but holistic physician Dr. Larry Dossey, in his book “Healing Words” calls it a general sense of well being for another and has proven the power of positive thought with scientific experiments.

Our sending energy does not have to be specific but should have the imprimatur of well-being. Since we are part and parcel of the creating Source, we can leave the specifics of the solving to the omniscience of unconditional love, but the power we create and send through graceful thoughts becomes free will energy to manifest as solutions, compromises, and accomplishments.

Another way to answer the call to help is to do so within our sphere of influence for that too will affect the whole. To the observant, not a single day passes without numerous opportunities to serve. There’s the story of the little five-year boy who wanted to help an elderly neighbor whose wife just died. Upon returning home, his Mother asked what did he do to help. The child replied, "I sat on his lap and helped him cry."

Service is as simple as that. Poet William Wordsworth wrote, “…Even the daisy by the shadow it casts protects the lingering due drop from the sun.

Opportunities abound in each moment for us to be of service. Seeing them is important. Feeling them is even better for empathy is often a more significant motivator than intellect. Perform each act of service with the unconditionality of the Source, and the exponential component of service will then manifest for the greater good of all.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Perennial Quest

Humankind is always looking for evidence of life’s continuation. Some people say “I don’t know,” some say, “No way, this is it.” And others wonder and hope there is something beyond this life.

Many accept through faith, the promise of a heavenly reward.

To me, the All That Is in his/her wisdom has left clues for the curious and proof for the discerning, that life never ends. Nature is the key.

Trees and plants and bushes seem to die every fall. They lose their form when their outer garments drop, yet in the spring, leaves return and life continues with a new robe.

I think the human spirit is similar to the nature of trees and other flora. When done, the host body is cast off, but like the tree a part of us, our spirit,  remains alive, free from the constrictions of density and the many illusions we create.

Spirit is our natural state. Human form or incarnation is one way  the All That Is chooses to experience living through us as us. We are the thought offspring of the Source.
 
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