The eye of the beholder.

May 7, 2019 § 4 Comments

What is real? Real is what you witness with your senses–then it is interpreted through your mind, your preferences, your past, and reality becomes personal.

How do these personal realities co-exist?

Let’s say we walk in tandem, briefly sharing the view. Side-by-side, we come as close as we ever do to seeing things in the same way, but even then, what we choose to notice will differ.

What we notice is based on a lifetime of noticing, a lifetime of learned preferences. Because of that filter, even when together we see different versions of the world, each of us perfecting our individual perception of what-is.

As we go along together we talk, trading an approximation, not of what-is, but of how we perceive what-is, a perception shaped by our individual experiences, our place in the world, our historical moment.

As the one who has gathered those experiences, those observations, we believe we know reality.

But when it comes to knowing reality, each of us is one of the blind men with a hand on a particular part of the elephant, each of us describing, based on what can be perceived through that limited touch, something too big for any single human being to comprehend.

We can become strident about it, insisting that what we have decided is true is the only valid way to describe the elephant. We can be humble and ask others to tell us what they have learned about the elephant. But ultimately, we come to our own conclusions and then forget the question entirely, assuming we know all we need to know about the elephant. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Choosing off a limited menu.

January 15, 2019 § 4 Comments

 

At first, life is an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Stuff yourself!

There’s plenty more in the kitchen!

 

 

But time and mortality begin to take

options off the table.

 

So far it is just friends and family members—

Ones who are older.

Older than we are anyway.

 

We watch them peruse a narrowed menu

and feel sorry for them.

But the day will come when

we too will have to choose off a limited menu,

one that won’t disagree with who time

and circumstance and our own

I-am-immortal behavior

have made us. « Read the rest of this entry »

Think I’ll write a poem.

September 23, 2018 § 3 Comments

You can tell it’s

a poem

by how it

looks.

*

Even if it doesn’t rhyme—

poems don’t rhyme

all the time.

Verse is terse.

And imagistic.

*

Leafless trees are

gaunt old men standing

homeless in the snow.

*

Tomorrow is a page

unwritten

–or better yet,

a page unturned. « Read the rest of this entry »

Safe in this moment.

September 16, 2018 § 4 Comments

You are safe in this moment.

If you weren’t you wouldn’t be reading my blog post.

Everything is fine. Neither fight, nor flight needs to be called in. No action is required.

So, take a conscious breath…and let it out slowly.

But maybe you are only fleetingly in this moment, the words on your screen registering intermittently because much of your brain is occupied with scouting ahead, scanning the future for that gray speck you just know will be trouble when it gets here.

Your body, which has a hard time distinguishing between present and future danger, responds, not to the words you are reading, but to what you are imagining. Muscles tense, your heart gallops.

When that looming threat fails to materialize, you will probably convince yourself you’ve robbed that bad thing of its power by calling it out, by naming it.

This mirrors the magical thinking that assured you, looking under your childhood bed was what turned monsters into shoes and dust balls.

Chances are, you had nothing to do with containing the perceived threat, which was probably not a threat at all, but just a blot on the horizon as random and transient as a cloud shadow.

« Read the rest of this entry »

The never ending adventures of God: The Second Coming.

August 3, 2018 § 4 Comments

 

God stood by the side of the road holding a cardboard sign. HUNGRY, it said.

He’d written the word with the marker he’d put in his own pocket by conceiving of one…Let There Be a Marker. How solid it had felt in his just-as-solid hand. In use, the marker had squeaked across the cardboard; the ink was running out.

The marker was the only dry thing by this twilit strip of asphalt. Rain was pelting down. God’s hair dripped, and the rain ran its cold fingers down his neck soaking his T-shirt.

The last time he had come here clothed in flesh it had been hot and dusty, but like this, it had been vibrant in a way omnipresence could never match. Omnipresence was existence spread thin.

Being everywhere and nowhere had a lot in common. « Read the rest of this entry »

Eye level.

June 18, 2018 § 4 Comments

So much of what we consider important is based on scale.

Full-grown, we are generally in the 5’-6’ range.

We do not fly, so human eye level is our perpetual vantage point.

Those living things that are larger than we are, and there aren’t many, are viewed at that eye level. We see the trunk, but have to make a conscious effort to lean back and peer up into the crown of a tree.

Sure, we see full trees as distance brings them down to eye level, but distance obscures, generalizes.

To see, really see a tree…well…I suppose you would have to climb it, get up to tree-eye level. « Read the rest of this entry »

The second age of wonder.

April 22, 2018 § 5 Comments

When we are young and new to life everything we encounter is unexpected, interesting, inexplicable, mesmerizing.

We live in a constant state of wonder.

The discovery we have hands, that water can splash, that sand yields to toes, that faces that vanish come back in response to the magic word “peekaboo,” that grasshoppers hop, all amaze us.

In our early years wonder has our full attention.

Time passes and the kid gets cool. Wonder, as available as ever, is often met with a shrug, a quick glance. Wonder requires us to stop. Stare. Forget everything else.

Frankly, we are too busy for wonder. We’ve seen it all before. Unless it comes with huge pyrotechnics we put any potential source of wonder on the slag heap of been-there-done-that.

As if it were an illness, we have built up an immunity to wonder.

But as we get old wonder comes slowly back. It catches our eye, briefly at first, but over time our attention turns inexorably toward it, until wonder pervades almost everything we do, see, hear, taste, feel, think. My husband says it is as if wonder invites us back in. Or maybe we are the ones who issue that invitation.

All I know is that sometimes wonder is so present I can almost fly on its wings.

Why? « Read the rest of this entry »

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