I Wonder If The Words Will Come

What if I just let my fingers do the walking?  What if I just open my mouth and see what pours out?  Let’s give it a try …

***

The unfolding of layers of wonder

Absent from the swirl of damnation

Flowing over the world, picking up compatriots along the way

A firmness, a resoluteness, in the face of smallness

The unknown beckoning me, welcoming me, to the mist beyond today

No opinions of “I’m right and you’re wrong”, no comparison, no big deal

Being buffeted, gently thrown to the left and right, and accepting it all

A slowing inside, a softening of the face, a descending to the earth

The colours blend so beautifully – no sharp lines as blue becomes turquoise and turquoise becomes green.  There is an artist here with pastels and a soft cloth for rubbing.

The rabbit just stares at me, he with his wrinkly nose.  “Who are you, Bruce?”

The fire consumes … but then again maybe not.  Does the eternal flame reside within?

The books pile high, with much to say.  Perhaps I will strike a match and be warmed.

I move my index finger just a bit and the world turns in response.

There is much to be done in having us come together.  How shall I give?

Ahh … it is such a river.  The rocks have no chance.  The surge is inevitable.

Someone is calling the threads of the shirt to loosen, the skin to part, the bones to make way.  A heart is coming out.

Wandering seems like a good idea.  Wobbling and stumbling are just fine.  And there is a direction which my human eyes can’t fully see.

The skin is torn open.  The blood flows.  Friends hold the ice to my head and bandage the wound.  It’s what the world needs.

I see the pulsing of the vein in my wrist.  There’s life here.

Giving is the answer.  Not exchanging.  Not being owed.  The freedom of wanting nothing in return.  Not even love.

I look up at the windows of the homes passing by.  Some dark, some light.  What are those lives like up there?  Do they have the same joys and sorrows as me?  Yes, they do.

The grains of sand flow through my fingers.  There is no stopping them.  They are falling to where they need to be.

How can a cello be so mellow?  How can those deep tones vibrate so profoundly through my bones and muscles?  Something is calling me.

It’s dark now.  Merely the silhouette of the little tree out back.  It’s time for all of us to rest awhile.  Still.  Silent.

There are spaces here – within my body, between you and me, among the hours and minutes.  It’s a joining, not a distance.  And so I smile.

The moment of the peacock spreading her feathers, of the flamingo taking a step with his backwards knees, of the raised eyebrows

What if I just fell apart – not in mental illness but in disappearance?  What if no solid Bruce remained, but if instead some sweet energy disguised in a body touched here and there?

It’s the eyes.  They hold the most beauty.  No matter whether the skin around them is smooth or baggy.  Look inside.

We need hugs.  Not the crushing ones, not the backslapping ones, just the gentle holding that stays, a sublime pressing that loves.

I wonder if you see me or if I’m merely a thing to your gaze.  Please don’t make me a means to an end.  Please see the light that’s shining.  And may I always see yours.

What’s possible is so much more lovely than what’s probable.  What if the future could be so radically different from what’s past?  What if I can’t use any of my experiences to guess what’s next?  What if “not knowing” is the ultimate adventure?

***

Hmm.  I’m done.  The words came.

 

 

 

What Does That Word Really Mean?

In my last year of high school, called Grade 13, I took four subjects.  One of them was Latin.  “But that’s a dead language,” you say.  Not in my heart, both back then and right now.  I love words, and I love discovering where they came from.  Here are some examples that get me thinking:

1.  Transmit … to send across

We can think of this word in connection with electrical energy and power lines, but there’s more.  We human beings transmit spiritual energy – a giving, a blessing, an including.  Your transmission is sent across to me, and mine to you.

2.  Translucent … to shine through

Perhaps the issues we have in the world are not opaque, not solid.  They might be made of filmy material, allowing the human spirit to penetrate them … and keep on going.

3.  Liberal … free, not tied to

I know we can be liberal beings – untouched by the opinions of others, by the prevailing wisdoms of society and by the walls of the mind.

4.  Fluent … flowing

As I see it, the best public speakers don’t necessarily have vocabulary, tone of voice and confidence mastered.  But they take us on their river of thought so we can see new lands.

5.  Perfection … finished, completely made

I don’t yearn for an end result.  I ride inside a perpetual becoming, erecting buildings that I may disassemble down the road in favour of an emerging design.

6.  January … referring to the Roman god Janus, who presided over doors and beginnings

This brings to mind New Year’s “resolutions”: the power of holding firmly.  For if we are not firm in letting go of the old, there will be no new.

7.  Compassion … to suffer with

Not being outside the person and feeling sorry for them, but really being inside them, sensing the agonies as they do.  Staying there, not walking away.

8.  Love … friendliness, delight in

A reaching out to the other, offering them your goodness so they can see their own, celebrating their unique gifts.

9.  Awakening … to rouse from sleep, to spring into being

And in what respects have we been sleeping?  Having the most toys wins.  Being better than you.  Feeling there’s only so much happiness to go around.  The truth, however, resides in the eyes of the other.

10.  Essence … to be

At the bottom, there is who I am, far beyond the roles, the traits, the appearance.

11.  Flamboyant … a flame, a blazing fire

For that warmth is in us all.  Will we let the passion escape from its tiny prison so others can bask in the glow?

12.  Equanimity … equal mind

“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” will come our way.  So will “the peace that passes all understanding”.  Is it possible to see them as friends?

 

 

Other People’s Words

Sometimes, such as right now, I can’t think of anything to say.  That’s all right.  There are 7.7 billion of us with things to say.  I should listen.

I still get to participate in this post.  I’ve chosen quotes that move me.  If words don’t “sing” to me, I don’t pay much attention.  Let the music begin:

***

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

Mahatma Gandhi

Yes, I don’t have time to deal with toxic people.  There is much to be done.

***

There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision.  The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.

Teilhard de Chardin

I am pulled towards the beauty of open hearts.  “Resistance is futile.”

***

Make peace with silence, and remind yourself that it is in this space that you’ll come to remember your spirit.  When you’re able to transcend an aversion to silence, you’ll also transcend many other miseries.  And it is in this silence that the remembrance of God will be activated.

Wayne Dyer

Listen … the heavens are singing.

***

Who can say if the thoughts you have in your mind as you read these words are the same thoughts I had in my mind as I typed them?  We are different, you and I, and the qualia of our consciousnesses are as divergent as two stars at the ends of the universe.

And yet, whatever has been lost in translation in the long journey of my thoughts through the maze of civilization to your mind, I think you do understand me, and you think you do understand me.  Our minds managed to touch, if but briefly and imperfectly.

Does that thought not make the universe seem just a bit kinder, a bit brighter, a bit warmer and more human?

Ken Liu

Oh yes … we know each other, even if I’ve never seen your face.  It is a bright world, full of sisters and brothers.

***

Hell, in my opinion, is never finding your true self and never living your own life or knowing who you are.

John Bradshaw

I feel such sadness when encountering the flat ones – where money, power and ego rule.

***

I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks.  It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool.  It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love.  And it happens most when we connect with other people.  I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments.  Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities.  Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.

David Brooks

Oh, the bliss of entwining with the countless beloveds!

***

You are here to evolve and make your consciousness high.  You are here to dance, sing and celebrate life.  You are here to help others to make their life happy.  We are here not to compete, but to learn, evolve and excel.  We are not here to make divisions in the name of prophets and religions.  We are here to encompass the world with love and light.

Amit Ray

May we fall into knowing every one of us – beyond space and time.  For the people of Senegal and Belgium, and the people of long ago, are with me now.

***

In each of us there is another whom we do not know.

Carl Jung

And perhaps I’ll never know this other Bruce, but he guides me nonetheless.

***

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.

Yasutani Roshi

Actually I am over there in you and you are over here in me.  We merge in peace.

***

When faced with a radical crisis, when the old way of being in the world, of interacting with each other and with the realm of nature doesn’t work anymore, when survival is threatened by seemingly insurmountable problems, an individual life form — or a species — will either die or become extinct or rise above the limitations of its condition through an evolutionary leap.

Eckhart Tolle

We are not 1 … 2 … 3 …  We are 1 … 7 … 229 …

***

Creativity is the state of consciousness in which you enter into the treasury of your innermost being and bring the beauty into manifestation.

Torkom Saraydarian

What can I draw forth from me during my remaining time on Earth?

***

Attempts to wake before our time are often punished, especially by those who love us most.  Because they, bless them, are asleep.  They think anyone who wakes up, or who, still asleep, realizes that what is taken to be real is a “dream” is going crazy.

R.D. Laing

I’ve been seen as weird, strange and airy fairy.  I’ve also been seen as transparent, loving and sweet.

***

The language of light can only be decoded by the heart.

Suzy Kassem

Be still, my rampaging brain, my keen intellect.  There is much to learn.

***

Don’t seek love externally, it’s fleeting.  Go beyond the ego and awaken the love that already exists within; it will encompass everyone and everything in your life; it will permeate your very being.

Danielle Pierre

Love them all, Bruce.  Light the world.

***

The tree was so old, and stood there so alone, that his childish heart had been filled with compassion; if no one else on the farm gave it a thought, he would at least do his best to, even though he suspected that his child’s words and child’s deeds didn’t make much difference.  It had stood there before he was born, and would be standing there after he was dead, but perhaps, even so, it was pleased that he stroked its bark every time he passed, and sometimes, when he was sure he wasn’t observed, even pressed his cheek against it.

Karl Ove Knausgård

Companions linger to the left and to the right, above and below.  And we are the richer for them.

***

Lots of words
I like them
And they like me

Animation

I have two favourite words.  The first is love … well understood by all and sundry.  The second is animation.  The reaction I usually get to that one is some version of “Huh?” or “You like Disney flicks?”  No matter – my joy in the word goes on.

Someone, no doubt wise, said:

“The Latin word anima (meaning breath, soul) that gave us animal, has given us other words.  The English adjective animate (meaning alive) comes from the Latin verb animare, meaning to give life to, which in turn comes from anima.”

The dictionary sees animation as the state of being full of life or vigor, and offers these synonyms:

Liveliness, spirit, high spirits, spiritedness, energy, enthusiasm, eagerness, excitement, vigor, vivacity, vivaciousness, vitality, vibrancy, exuberance, ebullience, buoyancy, bounciness, bounce, perkiness, sprightliness, verve, zest, sparkle, dash, elan, brio.

Woh … so many words.  But the word itself is true.  For decades, I’ve understood that to animate is to breathe life into, to take an ordinary moment and make it vibrate.  I think that is a gift of mine – to see the light in an apparently normal second or minute.

The light was with me half an hour ago.  I’m in Aeolian Hall, a 135-year-old concert venue in London.  A young woman from Montreal has just sung five songs, as the opening act for Martha Wainwright.  After five minutes, Amélie Beyries looked at us and said “There are spirits here.”  So true.  Her voice climbed the heights of tone and soul.  Her fingers caressed the piano keys.  And just before her last song, she stood at the edge of the stage and cried.  “I’ve never experienced a hall like this.”  We smiled and loved her.

Amélie had taken us into her heart and shone a light upon us.  The time was alive, glowing, vibrating.  And we all have the power to do the same – to set others ablaze.  Maybe a little smile, a kind word, a hand on the shoulder.  We can animate the lives around us simply by being “over there” with them.  Then candles can light themselves.  Dimmer switches can push themselves up to maximum.  Off-white can transform to forest green.

Let’s do it

Words Tumbling

I woke up many times last night.  I don’t know why.  Each awakening was accompanied by a spill of words.  The thought came to write all of it down but sleep kept taking me back in.  When my alarm said hi, I knew that something special had happened, but the details were lost.

I grabbed a white index card and my trusty pen.  Lying on my back, I waited.  And more tumbling came out.  Throughout the day, I took little moments of repose and just watched.

So here it is: a selection of thoughts from somewhere splendid, somewhere unknown.  There’s no sequence to it.  And no “sense”, if you mean explainable.  I’m not sure what it all points to, but that’s okay.  Mysteries are fun.

***

Home is where the heart soars

Underneath and beyond

Sinking into love

Ribbons of light

Floating on the river

Words fall away

Underneath it all

The light of a single candle

Opening into the abyss

Mouths open … waiting

Actually not

The snake climbs the tree

The eyes of the young ones

Dancing in the night

Wandering in the world

Clouds above … pain below

Under the wings of freedom

An appetite for the luscious

The pond … everlasting

Falling through air

All through the night

I want me

Here we go again

Listen to the world

I am me … you are you

We fall from the sky

I sing upon the sands of time

Darlinka

Underwear king … of you I sing

The anthem of the world

I love you, my dear lovers

Falling into space

All together now

The wonder of the world

Unknown together

A volcano spurting

Love embraced in a robe

Over and under … above and below

Wings abide

The pulsing … the falling … the slipsliding away

Hands out … palms up … forever

Nothing and no one and nowhere

Aren’t you ready yet?

Floating upwards on a wind

Arms wide open … heart wide open

Love them all.  Light the world

One and for all

All that I want is here

What loosens?
What falls away?
What remains?

Human beings throughout the ages

What is the love that is here right now?

Holding on ever so gently

A universe of young minds

***

Well … that’s a whole bunch of stuff
Wash over me, dear words

Every Word

The realization that every act, every word, every thought of ours not only influences our environment but for some mysterious reason forms an integral and important part of the universe, fits into it as if by necessity so to say, in the very moment we do, or say, or think it – is an overwhelming and even shattering experience.  The tremendous responsibility of it is terrifying.  If all of us only knew that the smallest act of ours, or a tiny thought, has such far-reaching effects as to set in motion forces which perhaps could shatter a galaxy … If we know it deeply and absolutely, if this realization becomes engraved permanently on our hearts, on our minds, how careful we would act and speak and think.  How precious life would become in its integral oneness.

Irina Tweedie

I wonder if I have the power to shatter a galaxy.  Irina thinks so.  Is this just a romantic passage of writing or is it true that everything I do, say and think has an huge impact?  If it is true, how will I be in the world?  Sometimes thoughts just … come.  A few of them are negative, critical, diminishing.  How do I control that?  I don’t know.  I have experienced, however, times when I let those thoughts drift away almost immediately.  Cutting off the criticism so fast is also a powerful act, one that fits with Irina’s words.

This morning I’m going to breakfast with “Ben”, one of my neighbours in the condo development.  From the moment I say hi to him, I have the power to enhance life, rather than diminish it.  Does this even extend to how I pull Scarlet into his driveway?  Yes.

When we’re sitting around that gorgeous counter at the Belmont Diner, other folks will come calling – for coffee or the full meal deal.  What will I do?  First of all, I’ll say hello.  Greeting them is an acknowledgment of their existence, giving the message “I see you.  I value you.  I’m glad you’re in my community.”  Those simple thoughts can shift the planet.  I sense that they’re not just aimed from me to Joe or Mary but that somehow they spread across the smiling face of the earth.

All of this is not to say that I should walk around all tensed up, worried that a misstep or a misspeak will damage humanity.  No, I need to trust my heart, trust that goodness will come out of my hands and mouth.  Feeling ease in each moment, knowing that I intend the best for you, will allow my gifts to flow.

So Ben … the day begins.  What shall we create together?

Not Too Bad

I study words.  I study the way people speak.  It’s a strange hobby but I like it.  In the spirit of glasses being half full or half empty, I look for how I want to express myself face-to-face or on the computer screen.  Life has its share of suffering for all of us but I wonder if our words can uplift the world.  Of course they can.  We simply have to choose.  Even in the heat of the moment we can enhance or diminish.

Today I’m reflecting on phrases that are termed double negatives.  Not just one deficit thought aimed at our fellow man, but two.  Let’s take “No problem”.  That phrase is meant to be a positive but there’s something subtly sinister hiding under the surface, I think.  How about “Good” as an alternative?  That feels better.

Here are some other word groupings that can invade our psyches:

1. Not insignificant
2. I do not disagree.
3. I can’t hardly believe …
4. Less unhealthy cigarettes
5. There is hardly no worse challenge.
6. I am not, no way, ever going to help her.
7. Congress decided not to refuse to delay the vote …
8. I’m not saying he isn’t honest.
9. I choose to not allow negativity to seep away at my soul.

Am I just talking the rules of grammar here?  No.  I choose to put positive energy into the world and therefore I’m vigilant about the words I use.  May I never be hypnotized by convention.

Double Words

I like words.  Today I’m liking words which have two very different meanings, while keeping the same spelling and pronunciation.  Homonyms.  I find the contrast fascinating.

1.  Conviction … being found guilty or being committed

2.  Ball … a fancy dance or an object to throw

3.  Race … a person’s physical imprint or a competition among runners

4.  Pupil … a student or part of the eye

5.  Organ … a musical instrument or part of the body

6.  Volume … how big something is or how loud something is

7.  Date … a day of the year or a rendezvous with romantic potential

8.  Mass … how much something weighs or a religious ceremony

9.  Cataract … a waterfall or an eye problem

10.  Staff … people who work for an organization or a walking stick

***

The thing is … we human beings often look at an object, a person or an event in one particular way.  It means this.  But what if it could also mean that?  Something completely different from our usual perspective.  What if we were open to discovering the infinite amount of thats in life?  Would we not be enriched?