And This Gives Life

I have been away from WordPress blogging and commenting lately, more so than usual, only briefly scanning blogs I follow, but not always or infrequently commenting. As the popular slogan goes these last several months, “unprecedented times,” the unprecedented part is profoundly and painfully true thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The times part is so true as well, as there seems to be little of it for personal hobbies, pleasures, and R&R down-time, e.g. blogging, commenting, or simply finding 1-hour of quiet-time. I am also quite annoyed with WordPress seemingly introducing every year a “newer better version” of the Editor. As if I am free to learn new software programming features like I work full-time for WordPress, this constant frequent changes or complete overhauls rub me a bloody chapped ass! I’ve loosed a fury of expletives at my computer screen so much the last 2-weeks my neighbors are ready to dial the police.

Despite these “unprecedented times” and WordPress incessantly changing their Editors to draft/write new blogs, I jump on here to quickly share a short, romantically moving, classic and soothing Shakespeare Sonnet. I hope it touches you as much as it does me. There is no other modern, renown, multiple Oscar-nominated actor that can recite Shakespeare any better than the late Peter O’Toole. None in my opinion.

Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?

I recommend listening to the YouTube clip of O’Toole’s heart-rending oral rendition of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 with your eyes closed. This allows one to imagine every vowel, every eloquent word and rhythm O’Toole seems to effortlessly capture and float upon your ears like a warm whisper.

If you would prefer to read this exquisite Sonnet, I give you the fourteen lines here:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


For all of you, do not forget what makes us uniquely beautifully and brilliantly human with each other.

—-

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Sometimes, All I Need

Is to move. Dance.

As this body was meant to do.

Escape.

Float away with Earth’s rhythm.

Lost. Found.

And should I meet you in the center,

When she gives, and gives more

We shall meet inside Her pulse…

And know

This is where I began,

We began.

Where I learn.

Where you learn.

Where I met you

And you, and you, and you.

And you me.

Here, there, now… gone.

Sometimes to return,

Other times…

Where I grow

Where I hurt?

Where I thrive

Where you thrive!

Where I die

Where we will die

In peace, content, smiling,

Because I moved, I danced,

With you.

I experienced

You experienced

In the Book of Time

Are we strangers?

When together, same place

Same time, same beat?

Every single moment

Of this singular planet

In step, in rhythm.

Alive, so very alive.

So not alone

This is it. My body knows

I belong here, now.

We belong here, together

Moving together, dancing together

That is a life well lived.

THIS was a life well lived.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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You’re Right

The state of meditation is a powerful vessel.  A connected state-of-mind and body to dimensional existence is about as meaningful a life as a person can reach; an altered or altering consciousness.  But a person cannot reach that point solo.  We also need the right surroundings.
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image Vladstudio

image Vladstudio

Growing up I loved playing my drum-set.  In our downstairs playroom I had my 15-piece drum kit setup along with our band’s Peavey amps.  Plugged-in to those Peavey amps was my stereo.  Through my stereo I played the songs from epic rock-metal bands with more epic – so I thought – drummers.  And within moments of beating the skins, high-hat, bass drum, and cymbals…I was there.  Much of the sessions I would reach a heart-rate and drive that I could barely hold my sticks from the perspiration.  I eventually had to place a fan on top of my bass drum to help cool my frenzied journey.  I would reach such a vibrational rhythmic state of meditation that I can only describe as fluid between here and there.  My sense of place and time, aside from the rhythm and beat, was lost; oblivious to anything in the house or outside it.  It was there that my expression, my place in the moment and in the world, was most creative and most lucid.  It was – and to this day as well – my way of belonging.

The years from 1990 to 1995 were the most devastating and most life-changing years of my life.  Here’s a summary:  My father committed suicide, my girlfriend-turned-fiancé abandoned me and our 2-year relationship without a single verbalized explanation, I was arrested by law-enforcement, I walked out of my wonderful psych-hospital job-career and out of my half-completed master’s program at my seminary, my daughter was born, a 5-month marriage ended, and I moved back to my hometown.  Often during those years I sought the solace in the one place I knew I could find it.  One song I’d play over and over and over, and behind my drums I’d play along…let go of my nagging thoughts and find my place of belonging.  It was the only song, music, and lyrics that would make sense to me where I could find my father and my daughter, both of whom were no longer with me.

 

I have since learned that finding the place of belonging is sometimes very difficult, even tragic.  But having survived it all, I have discovered just how powerful the state-of-belonging and connecting can impact not just a life, my life, but life around us.  This is how I’ve equated it in my mind.  As the lyrics of the song go…

If you open your mind [and soul]…You won’t rely on open eyes to see

My painful and beautiful journey would not have been possible if I had not had three critical travel-items:  my parents and extended family, a creative growth-model of education taught by my father supported by my mother, and then finally love.  These three integral parts must continue with us into adulthood.  They must evolve and grow in order to best manage in life the inevitable change and unexpected plot-twists!

If you have those three flexing growing components in your life – each illustrated mathematically by dividing 100 into 3 parts – the number cannot be emptied but goes on and on ad infinitum.  For me, Fibonacci’s Sequence, or Golden Ratiowould be the counter-part, if you comprehend my wackiness.

The three parts each need more than just the mind or cerebral cortex.  They need feelings.  They need the freedom of fluid creative passion!  Nature and the Universe (Multiverse) already create then modify, refine, then create more and so on like the Golden Ratio.  Human DNA, generation to generation, does the same thing.  As highly intelligent feeling beings, we have the passions to ignite life.  If fortunate enough to have loving, nurturing yet non-oppressive parents and family, then we are given the early tools to ignite a significant belonging life…not just for ourselves, but equipped to provide a general blueprint for others too!

If this parental-family environment is taught throughout the primary and secondary schooling – in other words explained via the table below – empowering the child and adolescent, then the state of belonging can be perpetuated outside of self.

Learning Method table

Assuming you are allowed how to think rather than told what to think, then a once very successful American icon spoke these words of enormous spiritual-cerebral wisdom to take on your journey:

“Whether you think you can or you think you cannot – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

If a young mind and heart are constantly denied the means to freely express, create, and recreate, learn and relearn for an eventual greater good, passing on a new fluid blueprint, then it would seem ironically, one becomes entrapped in the past.  That is most unnatural.  Ford recognized the power of self-actualization learned through and from our environment.  In other words, there is a connection between us and everything around us.  But there is more Henry – another force that is just as fluid.

Ford’s imparted partial-truth cannot be fully owned without the sticky fuel of feelings and love-ingredients to energize it.  There are some things that can’t be taught.  They must be realized.  Though it had a compass rose, I was given my blank map.  The natural aether in the lucid state of vibrant rhythmic meditation is an individual journey…for me discovered during my youth, rediscovered in my darkest hours, and now openly shared in wisdom and passion.  It is my primal home away from “home,” where I truly belong.

I swim in it regularly.

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Live Well  *  Love Much  *  Laugh Often  *  Learn Always

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