Monday, February 28, 2005


Cullasaja Falls, NC
Photo © 2004 - Allen Rogers Photography

Even empty,
with emptiness.

There is nowhere to go
not taken-
where are you
when I am depleted?

I am the meaninglessness
I have gone nowhere
that cannot be sensed.

I am emptying you out,
or so it seems;
your wanting too much
leaves too little a space
for me.

Want for nothing-
you are already filled to overflowing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Life Lessons

Grandma, Christmas 04

"…Suffering is part of life and has meaning. Precisely in the handicap, in the disease, in the pain, in old age, in dying and death one can, instead, perceive the truth of life in a clearer way."
Manfred Lutz, a psychiatrist and Vatican academic

I am reading “Life Lessons” by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler. My mother in law, a gifted writer and an inspiration in so many wonderful ways sent all of us kids a copy as ‘required reading’. I look forward to her gifts of books and music as each one seems to be perfect for the moment. Her mother, my wife’s grandmother, is struggling in her final days with a body that is failing her, with pains and constant discomfort and with the concept that there is indeed an end to this life as we know it. She is afraid of what lies beyond and outside of herself.

There were times throughout her life when Grandma didn’t always make the best of decisions. Perhaps she thinks she is alone in her thoughts, her wishing she had done things differently. I want to tell her that she is not alone- that all of us have made mistakes. We all wish we could have done certain things differently at one time or another in our lives. I wish I could tell her that in the darkest days- even in dying, there is still an opportunity to make peace in the moment. Beyond us is an eternity of being that is incomprehensible, unexplainable and quietly waiting till the day we transition, but right now there is a wonderful, magical moment that is still ours and in this moment we can forgive ourselves as well as seek forgiveness from others.

The messages found in “Life Lessons” aren’t just meant for those experiencing loss and death. The lessons are very much meant for all who glimpse the possibilities of the greater good surrounding us. All we have is this moment, if we are fortunate we will have many moments ahead- but this isn’t guaranteed. There really isn’t any mystery to life; no great riddle to answer- no enigma beyond our comprehension if we take the time to be still and listen to the tiny voice within which is the collective answer to all our questions.

Watching Grandma in her finals days, witnessing my own father and sister suffering from ill health, observing a world that sometimes makes no sense whatsoever- all this that seems so sad and incomprehensible can be reconciled by choosing to see peace in the moment, by choosing to see divine order unfolding.

It doesn’t mean fully understanding the moment- it means choosing to see through the eyes of Mother Teresa who witnessed all about her, "the presence of Love in its many distressing disguises."

Friday, February 18, 2005


May River Red

Enlightenment 101 (not a required class)

"We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder. If you look at it logically, it's something that was drilled into your head when you were a small child. It certainly was drilled into mine at that age. And you really can't be responsible when you are a kid for what adults put into your head."

"When you look at beliefs in such things as, do you go to heaven, is there a devil, we have more in common with Turkey and Iran and Syria than we do with European nations and Canada and nations that, yes, I would consider more enlightened than us."
Bill Maher on MSNBC's 'Scarborough County'

"Make no comparisons, make no judgments, delete the need to understand."
Brugh Joy "Joy's Way"

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Feeling Blah

"Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Be Still and Know

Ask as many questions as you can, and when you are finished- ask one final question, “What would I do knowing all the answers?”

"Peace does not come from knowing when the answers will come, or from where they will come, or how… peace comes from simply knowing the answers will come."
from "Trust Your Heart" by Judy Collins

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Doing Nothing-

"Just sit there right now. Don't do a thing. Just rest. For your seperation from God is the hardest work in the world."
-Hafiz, Love Poems From God

Friday, February 11, 2005

On Being Capable

Presently, I’m in the midst of some human drama surrounding a close friend who is bent on drinking himself to death. While unadulterated by alcohol he is a most capable guy but when he starts drinking he cannot and will not stop until he is falling down- intoxicated. Last week I had to go over to his home and help pull him together and be of support. His girlfriend and me drove him to the doctor’s office for x-rays on his elbow and back, as he was black and blue from falling down and we were afraid he had fractured his elbow and perhaps a rib or two.

What is it that makes a person do this to themselves and to others?

Alcohol is such a powerful drug and alcoholism, such a mysterious disease that I simply refuse to try and understand it. I have experienced first hand the allure and power of alcohol from my years on the road with the band. I am thankful that my body finally revolted shutting down my ability to process alcohol easily and by producing debilitating head-aches when I exceed my limit of one beer or a glass of wine. I am thankful that I had the ability to stop and that my body revolted as it did.

But for others- it’s a mystery to me. I don’t even know the right questions to ask anymore, so I’ve stopped asking. Instead, I choose to simply hold them in a higher consciousness. We can do this with anyone we care about who may be going through a serious illness or disease. We need not fully understand the debilitation or circumstances, rather simply know that they are far more than their sickness and conditions.

We can also choose this higher awareness for ourselves as well. We are more than our limitations; by nature- we are whole and complete, capable of anything we set our minds on. When the body or mind breaks down, our wholeness is still absolute. We are not our brokenness, nor our conditions. We are, by disposition, inseparable from Spirit and there is never anything that we can do to change this.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Near Burke's Beach at Low Tide 2003

Flow to me, through me, and
Return again.

I am this water, rock, reed, this churning
Towards my own level, both above
And below.

I am all things-In my unknowing,
I am nothing when lost inside my surety.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Carried By A River

Photo by Kevin Miller: Laurel Creek near Hot Springs, NC 12/14/02 @ +3"

Carried by a river. Any river worth being on carries you along,
although I have heard others talk nonsense of running rapids and
beating the water.

No, conquering rivers cannot compare to the grace that comes from agreeing to be carried away downstream.

When all you've ever known is dry ground, the descent into untamed rapids becomes the purpose, not the take-out or destination. When you think highest ground holds your soul it is just then you feel the plunge into the churning, dark water. No one stays dry forever. We all end up downstream one day... it's just that some will end up not knowing how they arrived, thinking all the while they were doing something.

All we can do is drop our paddle in the water, the river does the rest.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

On The Wind

It is the second century BCE in Israel, the disciples approach their master and say, “There is a man blowing the ram’s horn in Galilee claiming to be the Messiah. Master, is it true?”

The teacher opens the window and reaches out his hand to feel the wind. After a moment’s concentration, he says, “No, it is not true.”

Most of the students are appropriately impressed at their master’s ability to sense the spiritual reality by the wind. However, one novice, a slightly impudent disciple, is troubled. “If you are so spiritually intuitive,” he asks the master, “then why did you need to put your hand out the window? Why couldn’t you sense the air in the room to see if Redemption had arrived?”

The master responds ever so softly, “Because in my room, the Messiah has already come.”

Retold by Marc Gafni Soul Prints: Your Path to Fulfillment

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