Okay, to start with, It's vs its is just not easy to remember. It's is the constraction of it is or it has. Its is the possessive for something belonging to it whatever "it" is. Easy? No way, because I do have to look it up quite frequently, but maybe now that I've written this down here, maybe I will remember...?
Now that that's out of the way, I was thinking about how some many things seem so easy until you actually try to do them. Keeping a discipline like writing a blog...that seems so easy. But, really, it is not. It's not easy at all, except when it is. I know those statements seems to contradict each other, but, sorry to say, that is just how it is.
It's easy to come up with ideas. But writing them down, well, sometimes that is not so easy. I sit down, I face the blank page, I wait. The words won't come. The blank page is so beautiful i its own strange way. Unspoiled, untouched. Pure. Clean. Who am I so spoil that? Then somehow I shake those feelings off and begin. And sometimes the words just tumble out, spilling onto the page. Do they make sense? Are they laid out properly? Somehow, I never know until I am done. And sometimes not even then. Usually it's when someone reads what I've written and gives me feedback. That's when I know. It's that easy, or just that hard.
I don't usually get political on my blog, but tonight I think this might border on a political rant. Maybe not. I'm kinda skeptical about it. And that's what concerns me. I just finished watching and listening to the State of the Union Address by our currently sitting President of the United States. I truly like the man. I think he is a good, good man. I think he has faced incredible odds during his six years and counting in office. It seems to me that when the opposition party declares from day one that their sole goal is to keep the newly elected by the people President from getting anything done. Amazingly they did not succeed, even though we don't hear much about his accomplishments...of which there are many.
But that is not what I feel like ranting about. In fact, I don't really want to rant. I just want to know something. When does a "healthy skepticism" become a "jaded ennui?" Don't get me wrong. I feel inspired every time I hear Barack Obama speak. He has a way. I am sure it comes from being a professor and former community organizer. He in charismatic...even with his long pauses and um's here and there. He knows how to express himself and people do listen.
But I am skeptical when it comes to thinking he will ever realize his potential, get the things done he intends to, without the opposition party sabotaging him. But again, that is not what I want to go into here. My musings are about this nagging feeling of ennui, of being so disenchanted with The System, that I check my enthusiasm at the door. I hate when I think to myself or say out loud, its all madness and nothing will ever change.
That's what is bugging me tonight after listening to, and being inspired by, what the POTUS had to say tonight as I was equally disgusted by the signs of disrespect and disdain by his opposition. Civility is dead? Compromise is impossible? This is nothing new, sad to say. And yet, when I turn off the TV tonight, I will most likely still think there is a chance....a slim one...but a chance we can get it together as a country and move forward.
End of rant.
Martin Luther King, Jr had a dream. It was a dream for all mankind. It inspired him climb the lofty heights seeking justice and equality. On this day we set aside to honor him near the date of his birth, it is impossible not to think of him as an American hero. He was willing to, and finally did, give his life in pursuit of his dream of the promised land.
I look at my life and I cannot say I have had such a dream to inspire me to do great things like Dr. Kind did. In fact, I would say my life has been rather mundane in many ways. I few times I have actually been "spurred to action." I marched on Washington in 1993 and demonstrated against Proposition 8 here in California. I vote. That can be a radical act. Dr King fought for the right to vote for every American citizen. Not voting would be a slap in the face to him, I believe.
As I was saying, though, I cannot think of a time I ever was truly inspired to rouse myself from what is probably a bit of complacency, or was it fear or doubt? I don't know. I truly admire men like Dr King. He, like many other men and women heroes, rose up on behalf of the oppressed and disenfranchised. I hold them up in awe.
Yet, another thought, though. Sometimes by quietly living a life of integrity and truth, one can make a difference. Perhaps that is where folks like me come in. I recognize how privileged I have been to be born a white male in America with a modicum of wealth and security. I also know it could vanish at any moment. I like to think I am open and affirming of most and actively love freely. For me, it is being grateful for all I have and being able and willing to share with others that makes my dream come true.
I guess my dream and Dr King's aren't that far apart. And because of him, I believe I am a better person. I would only hope there are one or more who might say the same of me someday.
Day 16 of the New Year is just about over. I find it very disconcerting how quickly the enthusiasms of the New Year fade. The blank slate gets covered with Great Intentions and perhaps even a few Pipe Dreams. And somewhere as those fall off or fade, the slide back into what led you to where you might have started. And yet, there is always that underlying feeling that if you just fend off the little nigglers that distract you from your dreams and schemes, it really can happen.
I have been off to a good start and its time to get back on track. Things like writing this blog, working with creating photo images, and jettisoning those things that simply drain without giving back...I was on track. Still am, just need to remember what I'm about.
It's a good feeling. To create, to be recognized and supported. It's possible, it happens ...especially when you least expect it. That, my friends, is what I am discovering in 2015. It is something I suspected, but never really truly embraced. The time has come. The time is here. And just as they faded, the enthusiasms of the New Year return and the Great Intentions and Pipe Dreams are resurrected. And so it goes...
One of the great lies we tell ourselves is that there will always be time...time to do all the things we want to do, we need to do and we have to do. There will always be enough time to exercise and eat right. There will always be enough time to travel. Time, my friend, is not, I repeat, not, always on our side.
When you think about it, time is a man-made construct developed to help us keep track of our daily lives and responsibilities. It really doesn't exist. We write dates and appointments down on calendars so we know when to show up for things, but we forget to show up for ourselves, and for those we cherish in our lives. The ultimate truth is, there is only now. Now. That's all there is.
If we don't live in the Now, we aren't really living.
That last sentence bears repeating: If we don't live in the Now we aren't really living. This is true whether you are eating, drinking, having sex, taking out the garbage or writing a blog. Now is all we have. Be present. It may seem like there is always time, but that's not really so.
This blog was inspired by the news that two people I know of are in critical situations, life and death I guess. Knowing this makes me value the time I have been given and reminds me to keep them, and everyone, in my thoughts and prayers, while living my own truth...my own Now.
Some days there's not much to say...practically nothing. Nope nothing at all. I suppose that's when you know enough has been said.
Sometimes I write poetry. Not often. I'd like to do more. This one is playing with words, something I like to do. I wrote it earlier this evening. For fun. Hope you enjoy. Let me know....
Sometimes a little bit
Is just a little
Sometimes quite enough
is not quite
Sometimes the heart
just loves a
It is a little bit like trying enough
and often like not trying enough.
It is what it is and sometimes
what it is
The heart only knows what
the heart knows;
not a little bit, not quite enough ,
Yet if one listens, it is always
Quick now! Before it's too late! Quick, before it melts! Hurry, quick now, before he gets here. Some things seem so urgent that if they are not immediately attended to, something bad will happen. The opportunity will be missed. The snowman will melt before you get a picture. He will come in a catch you before you can hide the evidence. Quick, its almost morning. The clock will strike midnight and a new day will begin. There are no more opportunities to do what should have been done on this day. Like this blog. Like I intended all day to write it for this day, the ninth of January. In a few minutes it will be the tenth. Time is flying as usual. And the only way to slow it down is to stop and do what must be done. And so I did. Quickly, before it was too late. Thank heavens. Another regret avoided. Another blog written. And tommorrow is of course, another day.
Again today, something strange happened to me. I am beginning to wonder about this New Year, this 2015. Yesterday was about an epiphany. Today its about, well, I guess its about trust. Or maybe its about knowing that things will work out just fine. And there is no reason not to accept good fortune when it comes by way...without guilt. But even talking about it, I realize I am superstitious about some things. Don't want to "jinx" it.
What, you might ask, am I talking about? Well, its simple. For about three months now I have been in the throws of replacing my beloved 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had a major stroke in October when it blew a head gasket. Now even writing that, I feel so materialistic, but, I do need transportation...sold, reliable, earth-friendly transportation. I need a vehicle to transport myself places, to transport others, to carry my dogs and, well, that is safe.
Today after much research and with the assistance of an auto broker, I think I found that vehicle. It is a 2015 Suburu Outback. Green. It has lots of bells and whistles that I have to admit appeal to my ego. But it also has a raft of safety features: rear view camera, drive assist, Eyesight (a feature that senses objects around you and gives you the heads up when you're too close to another car. It actually will slow you down! I am convinced I need these features. I won't go into detail, but age and such is taking its toll. Well, that is a bit of an exagergation, but the fact is, in today's traffic environment, I need all the help I can get.
So what's the problem? I got a loan with a good rate, payments I can afford thanks to my financial advisor's guidance and advice (I need her too). It is even a gorgeous shade of green that makes it different from the run of the mill cars on the road. I like different.
So, again, what's the problem? That little voice in my head keeps saying, "don't get too excited." Crud. I hate that voice. I know it is just my good sense trying to keep me safe. But come on. Oh well, I won't know until tomorrow for sure. And if it doesn't work out, there are other Suburu's that will come along. (Apparently this particular model with all I wanted on it it hard to find, just rolling out, etc.).
So maybe I will get just a tad excited. Even just at the possibility. Dreams are not bad. Its making them happen. And accepting the dreams coming true are really a good thing. (Little voice cries out, "Really? A new car is a dream come true? Really? Just transportation, just a means to get around. Why not a Mazda 2 or a Smartcar? Not that there's anything wrong with those.)
Okay, stay tuned. In the meantime, I will curb my excitement. After all, happiness comes from within, not our "stuff". But the right "stuff" can help.
Something happened to me today. Something that was a bit like a wake up call. Strangely enough, it happened at a memorial service. (Yes, this is the second one I've attended this year already. Life can be ironic sometimes). It was like a call from the Universe. It was a true "wake up call".
The service I went to was for a most wonderful woman, a member of my church. She was one of those ladies of the "old school" where manners and graciousness mattered, yet she never put on airs. In fact, I would say she was one of the most down-to-earth women, no, people, I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She was a gem, a joy, a fine example of what it means to be a good person.
Whenever I'd see Jeanne in church, she was put her hand on my arm and say, "Come by and have a cup of coffee with me." And she meant it. And I did several times do just that. I went by and had a cup of coffee and some banana bread or cookies with her. She made good coffee and baked a mean banana bread. And she made great conversation. She not only talked about church goings on, but on city politics and events and how the Lakers/Cardinals/etc were doing.
To put it succinctly, Jeanne was interesting. She had lived a long and full life. But more than that, she was full of joy. Joy. She liked people, loved her family and the church and could make anyone feel welcome anywhere, any time.
So I went to her memorial service because, well, I couldn't have been anywhere else. And I learned so much more about her. She was one of 12 children. She was married to her husband, a man she still referred to as "My Jim", for just shy of 60 years. Two children, four grandchildren and many grandchildren. She never worked, but, as one of her grandsons noted, her work was making life better for everyone around her. And she did that just be being herself.
So on this day of Epiphany in the Christian church, it seems appropriate that this celebration of life should bring a wake up call to me, if not everyone present. The call? Take time. Take time to get to know the people around you. Visit. Have a cup of coffee. Don't be too busy to converse. That is what life is all about. Jeanne knew that. And once again I am reminded of that. Don't put off visiting. Don't forget to ask how people are...and really listen. Everyone has a story. And if you are tuned in, you might just learn something. If I had such a thing as a resolution list for the New Year, this would be in the top five. In any case, it is time to incorporate this into my mission.
And so there you have it: another wake up call.