Awesome

I hate that word and the way people overuse and abuse it.

Awesome, dude!

That was awesome!

He/she was awesome.

Fuck awesome!

If everything is awesome, then nothing is awesome. We’ve reduced it to triviality.

But, then…

When you have the honor and privilege to know and love an awesome person.

Awesome because, though he was quadriplegic, he ran to you for a hug.

In his power chair.

Though his speech was difficult to understand, he spoke plainly

When he was on the phone with his girl friend.

Though he needed help with the meanest tasks,

His smile was AWESOME.

His love was awesome.

His humor was awesome.

His strength in the face of disability was awesome.

His love for his young nephew, yep, awesome.

It is not hyperbole when you are talking about him.

You have led the way for the rest of us.

Today I will try to be awesome too.

I guess awesome isn’t so bad after all,

When applied to the right person.

– Small town boy

Dedicated to Terrae O’Neal, 

1/6/80-4/6/17


Awesome!!!

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Where does the flame go?

Where does the flame go when the candle goes out?

Where did it come from?

It’s a zen question like:

“You know the sound of two hands clapping; what is the sound of one hand clapping?”

The heat, the light, the flickering,

Where do they go?

A flame is not what you think it is,

While it dances there in the melted wax,

Hiding the wick it relies on,

Forgetting the required spark that got it going,

Regardless of its pending demise.

It is merely energized molecules,

Vibrating so,

That we are able to see that part if the spectrum it displays,

Light. The light.

And to feel the heat it radiates when we hold cold hands to the flame,

And feel it’s life.

Flames can join other flames,

Till there is a conflagration.

Is that where it went?

When life was snuffed?

Did it join the conflagration 

Of the universal flame?

Energy is neither created nor destroyed,

Nor are you, my love.

You have been,

We shared your brief life,

And you are 

Still, resurrected.

I know. I feel your warmth yet.

I bask in the light of you.

I love you.

– Small town boy

A little at a time

I do things a little at a time now.

I’m teaching my self piano, a little at a time, one half hour in the morning and one half hour in the afternoon.

I’m clearing grass from between the flagstones on the  patio, fifteen minutes each day.

I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle, a little at a time, fifteen minutes several times a day.

I’m meditating in  small amounts, morning and evening, praying too.

I can interact with my grandchildren at breakfast and after school in moments.

I call my wife at the beach once a day; or  I call from the beach.

I’m losing weight, a little at a time, fourteen pounds now, in a month and a half, by eating smaller portions.

I’m reading several books, a little at  a time with each, each awaiting more  time to finish them.

I’m writing these  blogs in  small doses, for both me and my readers. If they get too big, I edit them down or break  them  up.

But, I love you a lot, all the time, for ever. A little at a time doesn’t work for me. You are constantly  on my mind and in my heart. 

– Small town boy

“For precept must be on precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10

The Ocean

God is like the ocean.

Powerful, beautiful, and dangerous.

S/He ebbs and flows with lunar cycles.

One can stand at the edge and watch or enter the surf and feel the power, straining against it.

In warmer climes, one can swim in the salty waters, until one is  out of their depth, but stll able to stay afloat, because of belief in the ability to float and swim.

There are boats on the water, large and small, some fishing the depths, some transporting cargo to unknown places.

There are animals near the shore, birds, crabs, sea lions, and sand shrimp, all occupying there own niche, all a part of the oceans ecology.

Am I part of God’s ecology?

In the depths, where I can not see, live giant whales, sharks, fish, octopi and squid, and so much more: diverse in nature but adapted to life in the sea, each having its own part to play, each a part of the food cycle.

Am I part of the spiritual food cycle? Whom do I prey (pray) upon, and who preys (prays) on me?

The sea has been here before me and will be here long after I’m gone.

As I stand here naked before it, arms upraised, willing myself to resonate with its roar, I await the day.

Resistance is futile, harmful, and not in keeping with why I was made, not in keeping with my basic, fundamental nature.

Being open and working with the forces present allow me to ride the crest of the wave, to receive the power offered, and to live with a force stronger than my own and feed as my soul requires.

Thank God for the ocean and it’s abundance.

The ocean is great and reaches far away past the horizon to where others stand by it and marvel at its grace, beauty and power, my brothers and sisters on this globe,

A planet, when seen from afar, is notable because it is blue,

Blue because of the ocean.

Let me sail forth today, find the spirit of God, and fish for the sustenance offered me.

Let me be with other sailors riding the wind and the waves, going together on life’s journey today.

Amen

– Small town boy

Acceptance

I learned the power of Acceptance in 2005 while I was working on Kausay Wasi Clinic in Coya, Peru.

I was there with twelve others from Portland, Oregon, on a construction mission sponsored by  Northwest Medical Teams, to change a prison into a medical center in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Sitting on a plastic five gallon bucket turned upside down, I was working on a wall socket that had been wired in series instead of in parallel, causing all to go out if one went out, like a Christmas tree light string.

As I listened to our hosts, Guido and Sandy Del Prado, discussing next year’s mission to continue this construction, I had an epiphany.

I could fund next year’s work.

I had fortuitously invested in Microsoft at it’s beginning and had the funds necessary.

As soon as I thought this I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of ? Of what? Of love? well-being? of I don’t know what, but it was powerful, emotional, and wonderfully frightening.

I was being loved and all my sins (?), past indiscretions, worries, guilt, negative energy, and more, were melted away by this feeling.

I was stunned. I felt of a sudden the power of love (acceptance). I felt good could  overcome evil, not because it was good, but because love is very, very strong. Strong enough that it could melt me with just a little more given to me then.

Love isn’t creamy and smooth. Love isn’t being starry eyed. Love is a very great, misunderstood power in the universe.

Like the mythological story of the wind and the sun trying to get the man to take off his coat (which sun won by warming him, doing what the wind could not by blustering). Love simply accepts you. I felt it. I felt it accept me.

I didn’t know I hadn’t felt accepted until this event happened.

I now knew what Acceptance was and that I had to accept myself.

I felt like a hot dog.

I felt like the bun, the relish, the catsup, the mustard, and the blemishes when stripped away and I felt accepted, allowed this glowing inner self to be revealed and seen and touched by me.

I hope you will feel this Acceptance one day. It seems more powerful than, but including, forgiveness.

Can you accept what I’m saying?

Can you see that you are accepted, no matter who you are, no matter what you have done or haven’t done?

And ultimately, can you accept yourself?

There is no need for forgiveness, just a need to understand.

You are accepted for who you are now.

You are loved more than you can know, because if you knew it would overwhelm you.

God is love. Love is power. Acceptance is how it manifests.

Peace.

-small town boy

 

November Rose

The rose of November is the prettiest, the sweetest rose,

The one I love the most.

I have lived with her a while now,

From when she was a bud, through her summer years,

Among the other roses who have by this time given up in fear of the oncoming winter.

And yet, my rose younger gets,

And holds the baby roses on her knee and fills them with love,

And grows younger by association.

I would not cut this November rose and put her in a vase to show her beauty,

Because her beauty is evident daily in her garden of green and brown.

From where does she come this miracle of nature?

From North Dakota where the winters are cold and harsh;

No wonder she thrives on this moderate climate of the Willamette valley.

Though truth be told, she’d rather be at the beach.

Her birthday is November 25, my November Rose.

– Small town boy

Play ball

Neither of my great grandchildren, nor my grandchildren for that matter, know much about baseball.

I tell them we went out every recess to play ‘workup’, the game that allows you to workup from outfield to infield, pitcher to catcher, to become the batter.

And we played with a baseball and brought our own baseball mitts. No protective gear. On the playground. With girls. And after school too. And on weekends.

So when the world series was on everyone listened, asking those near a radio to tell the score.

We didn’t have caps or teeshirts or other memorabilia.

We had bubblegum trading cards. Baseball players in bubblegum, with stats, which we collected and traded.

We went to the movies to see the game, in the newsreel at the beginning before the cartoon and the movie.

What I’m saying is that we didn’t have teams, nor little league, nor Babe Ruth; we had workup, where everyone got to play every position. It was egalitarian.

We didn’t chew and spit or grab our crotches. Well, we chewed bubble gum, for the baseball player cards.

And everyone could play, every position;  everyone, anyone, who showed up.

And we all showed up.

– Small town boy

Just a note

I don’t have time to write a letter, and what I need to say is more than a Tweet can handle, so

I’m going to drop you a note.

Just a note, not hand written so you could judge my mood by my handwriting, but typed, thus giving nothing away, no clues, without emotion.

So here it is, what I wanted to tell you that was so urgent!!

I’m afraid I have to speak out. I can no longer remain silent, too much is at stake you know.

If you hate me after reading this, I’ll understand, but I have free speech, right?

If, however, you agree, well then..

You know what I’m about to say, you probably have wanted to say Something yourself.

Are you as upset as I?

Confused?

Well then, you see what I’m getting at.

Enough said.

(If you understood this message, then you have been listening to political news too much!)

– Small town boy

The Mouse, the Louse, and the blue nosed pig

Said the mouse to the louse, Let’s get out of the house,

And go see the pig with the sky blue snout.

I dont know why, you need  to see the pig,

Is this frivolous or is it something big?

I want to se the marvelous pig,

Not because he does a jig,

Or because he eats a fig, no

It’s something we share.

Have’t you noticed?

You haven’t the remotest,

There’s something about us,

It’s something we share,

Something deep inside us,

Something others may not see,

You don’t see it in Me, but

Because he realizes it in him,

Discerns something of the universe, something kind, some empathetic response,

I see it brightly in him,

He sees it loudly in Me.

I love him and he loves me,

We just feel better when we’re tigether, you know?

Do you have someone like that? Said the mouse with an orange tail.

I do, said the louse, it’s you.

Then come along and we will go see the pig with the blue snout.

OK, I ‘ll come, but first I must paint my toenails yellow.

– Small town boy


I don’t love you anymore

A young mother at Lloyd Center in Portland, Oregon

Was trying to get her young son to return to the stroller,

When he shouted, “I don’t love you anymore!”

“You don’t love me any less.”, she returned.

In light of my recent assertation that we are all IN love,

I now posit that we are never out of love.

I love all whom I have ever loved, even today.

And I will love you till the day I die.

I love you no less today than I did before.

You are in my heart.

We are IN love.

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For those who dream of lost love, it isn’t lost.

For those who want to fall in love again, you were never out of love.

For those who are looking for love in all the wrong places,

Stop looking.  It is all around you. Your are swimming in it, breathing it, living it each day.

All you need is to realize, discern, comprehend, get it, stop and feel it.

The problem is not that you have no one to love, it’s that you have everyone to love.

Everyday I find another to love, and who loves me.

Every hour I think of those I love, and who love me.

Every minute I feel the love,

I feel love.

At first I didn’t.

Then, slowly, I noticed love in unusual places, occasionally, but then

I ignored it, other than a passing glance.

Now that I am tuned into love, it is almost unbearable.

Who am i to receive such a gift?

Don’t you know my err-ful ways? My mistakes, my poor choices? My goofs?

I am not perfect, far from it, but love is perfect, and by it I realize

There is perfection in me. That perfection in me

Is in you too. That perfection, that love, is what we share, when you say:

“I am IN love with you.”

And it doesn’t go away. It is there forevermore.

Just sit, be quiet, and feel it.

I love you.

-Small town boy