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POETRY’S PLACE

The place of poetry in society is to speak, to speak in a way that encourages awakening and proclaims your heart.  The place of poetry in society is to encourage others to speak, in the music of words, painting, music. . .

 

She is

a rose

for the bees

the midnight ocean’s

moon

music

that makes you feel

your heart

beating

 

Lilie 6/17

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What’s It Really About?

On YouTube, there’s a Seane Corn (well-known and respected yoga teacher) video about the new president.  She says it for me.  I want to be part of that group that is watching in the direction of the creative thinkers and activists.  I want to be an assist in any way I can to advance the essential compassionate nature of self and others.  I want to hold a line for integrity and compassionate, ethical behavior.

Yesterday, after writing, I realized what I’m truly feeling – it’s grief.  I’m sad about what I see and hear.  I want to be there for others, stand up and protect the vulnerable because it’s right, because I saw too many who wouldn’t, couldn’t stand up.  If the rest of the world decides they can live without dignity, integrity and compassion, I can’t.  Regardless of the cost, I can’t.  I don’t think life is worth anything without it.  It’s the essential purpose of a living being:  Compassion.  I miss the mark frequently, lately, but I keep going back, keep looking for the influences that will draw me back to what is most important.  Those influences do exist.

In a high school civics class, the teacher (my favorite) went around the room and asked each of us to say what we wanted to be as adults.  My turn and I said, “A good person.”  Most laughed, two didn’t.  The teacher said, “Go ahead, say why.”  I said because I knew I was smart and would always want to learn and always would be able to make a living, but the work was to be a good person, to not hurt others.  I said that I was hurt a lot and this person also hurt others a lot, when I was grown and on my own, I didn’t want to see it anymore, I didn’t ever want to be that.  The girl behind me (my closest friend) leaned over the desk, hugged and kissed me.  I was ridiculed by others.  At that time, I didn’t seem to notice or care.  I meant what I said, corny as it sounds.  I realize that’s what the grief is about, I still do mean that.   That’s still what I want.  I want to see it in others, too.  I don’t want to see it fade away.

Mercy, love, compassion, grace, they aren’t just emotions.  They are the reason for life.  Whatever else we have created, the reason for life is to love and demonstrate it by being good to others.  I’m sorry for the ways I haven’t been and am back on my mission.

So, when we’re ready for that snarky remark to put someone who irks us in their place, they are a person, they came by their ideas somehow, they have a chance to awaken as we’re trying to.  Stand up, protect and be kind.  Have a day of kindness, delivered and received.  Thank you.  Lilie

 

 

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OK. . . Karma

Let’s stop the silly stuff about Karma.  I think it’s important.

What is karma?  I’m not an expert, but I’m going to give it a go here and explain, the best I’m able with my understanding.  We often joke about karma, or we use a very generalized expression of it to comfort ourselves in times of suffering.  That’s not it.  If you are cheated by your neighbor, treated unkindly, a house is not going to fall on them. No. Very seldom is there such a direct line.

What goes around, comes around.  No.  Not that either.  You reap what you sow.  No.  If we look around, we know that’s often not the case.  There are people who create suffering and never seem to suffer for their actions.   So, what is karma?  What’s the redress, then, for wrongs?   Good news/bad news, there isn’t any.  But, there’s a better plan.

What you entertain in your mind, what you say, what you do matters.  Doesn’t matter your social status, income, etc., what you think, say and do matters.  Because it is you.  If you care about that, that’s where it is.  I care about that.  It’s the building block.  It’s a solution.  It’s an opportunity.  It’s an ‘anyone can change, at any time’.  It’s a second chance.

When you wake up to the realization that you choose who you are (not talking vocation/occupation), karma enters the picture.  It matters.

If you cheat your neighbor and ‘get away with it’.  You didn’t get away with it.  You’re a cheat.  If no one knows it, if the neighbor doesn’t tell – you’re a cheat.  You decided.  That’s your self.  That’s what you put out there.  It is going to change things.  You may never see it, but it’s going to create suffering beyond the limits of your vision.

Who do you want to be?  In any situation, that’s the thought to have.  No matter what someone else does, who do you want to be?  What do you want to leave about yourself?  The more you practice not to create, or leave, suffering for others, you suffer less and feel better.  Doesn’t mean you put up with negative behavior from others.  It does mean, you use that awareness to learn how to cope with situations that cause you suffering, in a way that is in alignment with who you are.

In case you missed it:  The justice, the good news, the redress is knowing deeply inside yourself the value of life, of living beings and making that commitment to choose what you pass on – – to end suffering in your moment, in your place, inside you.  This is how things change.

I usually oil my soapbox with orange and olive oil, I’ll go do that and wish you a good day.  Thank you.  Lilie

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What’s Up with You

It is hard for me to be consistent in writing a blog.  I had to consider that I wouldn’t be doing any bells and whistles:  few photos, probably no video.  No fanfair, just simple, plain writing.  I felt I did have something to say that could put something constructive and truthful into a wider conversation, so I’ve begun.

Why the difficulty in consistency?  I’m going to try to condense, condense, condense this.  I have an underlying condition that made me vulnerable to an illness (shingles) which became an overarching illness in itself.  It’s a rare situation with shingles (although, I’ve read many histories, so I think it’s just underreported and soon the medical community will catch up, as seems the predictable outcome of many conditions).  The underlying condition and shingles aggravate each other.  I have an inability to control my own inner thermostat  – therefore, I have difficulty being exposed to heat – of any kind.  Heat will trigger neurologic symptoms and the shingles illness, which has its own complex of symptoms:  Eyesight, face pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, triggered asthma, paralyzed intestines/bowel, severe leg pain (both legs, left more than right) with difficulty and limitation in standing, sitting, walking.

I have been offered and, at various times, have taken pain killers:  morphine in the form of MS Contin, Fentanyl patches, Vicodin and so on.  I do take some pain medication (none of the aforementioned), but my go to is meditation and a serious attempt at a mindful life.  I have many assets in my treasure chest.  I use them freely.  For me, I feared the pain medication trap and the whole western medicine protocol for pain (as it exists in most parts of the country), at this time.  The protocol is:  antidepressants, anxiolytics, opioids, other painkillers, and antispasmodics.  An inadequate and dangerous protocol for just about everyone.  A deathtrap for personality and functioning, in my opinion and experience.  I looked to and explored (for 20yrs) the approach begun in 1979, MBSR (mind body stress relief), established by Jon Kabat-Zinn.   I looked to Insight Meditation Society resources and info.  I looked to yoga.  I began studying yoga over 40 yrs ago (when it wasn’t hot, cool or popular).  I achieved certification in the teaching of yoga and meditation, but I am no longer physically able to teach yoga, though I maintain a daily program for myself.

Pain, and other manifestations of the illness, now prevent me from getting out much.  I live in a beautiful place but a rigidly conservative and predominantly fundamentalist religious area.  I am not those things.  I had to reach out and work hard to find community and it’s difficult for me to travel to that community as frequently as I would like.  I am thankful to the internet, lol, you bet – because I can have conversations with those whom I share common interest; and, can listen, hear a different conversation, ideas and encouragement, as well as feel I have something to contribute, still.   Pain limits my ability to write every day, or even consistently.  So, sometimes a day or week is better than another.  It isn’t that I lack initiative or interest.

I’m hoping that blogging reaches others who have similar stories and who are working positive searches and ideas to improve and enhance their quality of inner life and that of others.  That’s already too much, too many.  Thank you for stopping by.  Let me know about your blog, please, I’d like to read you.  Make a day of tea and toast with kindness, with love.  Lilie

 

 

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BEEN A LONG TIME

It’s been a long time.  I have the usual excuses and they are truths, too.  I got discouraged.  By nature, I’m a poet (of sorts).  I ‘see’ things with a rhythm, so when I try to write about something, any subject, it just doesn’t come out the way I see it because in the ‘just writing’ I lose the rhythm in which I originally felt (saw) the subject.

And, I got discouraged because of what’s happening in our country.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Oh, we had plenty of time to see it coming but, like any good ostrich, I didn’t think the tornado would land, not near.  And, it harkened back to old and terrible memories of living experiences where freedom is not freedom for everyone.   It brought up negative feelings that I didn’t want to have and couldn’t seem to let go.

I have a little Westie (West Highland white terrier), she is now 11 1/2.   We adopted Ruby in 2009.  She was a rescue, lived her 3 1/2 years in a cage with 20 other dogs.  Ruby is what her trainer called ‘tender’ because she had such sweetness and tenderness about her.  Ruby is not a fearful or cowering dog, she can be bossy and she does have good, strong ‘dog instincts’ but she has this tenderness, even the trainer noticed.  So. . .

One day, early morning, I was making tea and toast.  Ruby loved the smell of the peach tea and she does have a penchant for buttered toast.  We went out on the deck and shared our tea and toast.  She was so happy, she was ‘wiggly’.  I looked at her and saw the answer.  I also heard (in my mind) some very wise words of George Harrison.  When the Beatles were breaking up, there were hard feelings among these still young men.  Later, as a result of his meditation practice and maturity, he said that it wasn’t a problem among the four of them, but that they were growing up, changing, ‘leaving home’.  They evolved in their age, maturity, desires, talents and it was an exciting, scary, hard thing to grow up and away from what you have known and loved.

Things change, they must.  People, neighborhoods, countries, governments.  It can make you scared, angry, sad–all of these, before you even realize why you feel this way.  That’s what was happening to me.  I knew, deep inside, this is a great time of change.  I’m witnessing an incredible evolution.  It’s been coming but we’ve been looking the other way, hoping to be distracted, wanting things to remain the same.  But, the same isn’t working anymore– for anyone.

I decided I can follow the endless bitter backlash (both sides), daily dumping of the latest fear/complaint; or, I can do what I want to be, what I hope to believe in.  Tea and toast with love and kindness.  I don’t disregard the need to participate and pay attention.  I just choose how I do that.  I protest by finding every thing that I can do that is helpful to respect and dignity of self and others.  I do that.   I search ‘for the helpers’ as Mr. Rogers’ mother advised him to do in times of trouble.  They are there.  There are some marvelous things going on.  Educators, scientists, engineers, billionaires, little folk like me:  Using all the resources they can bring to encourage, uplift, to help self and others, to evolve because that’s what is happening.  We can become aware, more aware that this is what we’re in the middle of and make a positive peaceful difference.

I’m choosing Tea and Toast with Kindness (a registered name), because my Ruby said so.