Daphne, my dog. Did you know about oxytosin? That’s the chemical in your brain that makes you happy when you are with your pet. There’s some kind of connection between us, that sets of a chemical reaction and makes life nicer. Daphne is half Akita, half German Shepherd. That sounds fierce, but she’s the sweetest, most playful thing you can imagine. When another dog wants to pick a fight, she lies down on the ground and looks up at him like she’s saying, “What the heck, life is too short for fussing and fighting my friends, lets just play.” And she gets her way. Even the meanest will end up having the time of his life, romping with Daphne.
She’s currently in heat and lying on the ground with that forlorn, abandoned look. Soon, she’ll be her playful self again. Thank you Daphne for making us all so happy. I don’t know about oxytosin, but I know she’s an alchemist, doing something to those brain chemicals to make life a little sweeter.
As life goes by, and I get closer to the knowledge that I won’t be walking planet earth forever, there is the temptation to cram to get everything done that I haven’t been able to do all these years. The inner conversation tends to be, “If life is passing by so quickly, then get moving.” At the same time, I find more meaning in stopping each day to find the immediate course of action, with patience and trust. Yes, its true, we have to keep on giving until the very last breath. But perhaps its more important to eliminate useless, temporary issues that only feed worries and add stress to life’s beauty.
Someone said that watering plants, cooking a meal, loving your pet, cleaning your house are sacred duties and fill your days with apparently small, but very important acts of love, that in the end, stroke by stroke, make up the painting of your life.
In a world that in my opinion is overly achievement-oriented, and steeped with the yearning for recognition and material success, just taking it day by day doesn’t seem to cut it. But what about all the generations before ours’, the people who had no other choice than to sit for hours and read, write, embroider or think. There was no way to speed up physical action, no airplanes to catch, no Iphones to answer, just life, survival and resorting to inner resources that produced some of the greatest artists, musicians and thinkers that have impacted our society starting thousands of years ago. Our surroundings have evolved, but have we, as a people truly evolved? Or are we still infants, looking for more, grabbing more and over indulging in the luxuries that spend our days with distractions and keep us from the true purpose of it all?
I want to live intensely until God sees fit to take me home. But I now realize, that true living is to feel, imbibe and enjoy every minute of every day. Each breeze, each hug, every word, every meal, every chance to live with intense awareness of life’s blessings will escort me to the great doors of eternity, where I am sure that all things, big and small are recorded and will be re winded for me to see.
It happens to be Bod Marley’s birthday…
“Don’t worry, be happy……every little thing’s gonna be alright.”
It’s not about being perfect or trying to be someone you’re not in order to lure a person into a superficial friendship. It’s about communication. With a friend, you can let it all hang out, but you learn to respect the dignity and space of the other. If a relationship is all about “me…me…me” and what I get, then it’s not a relationship.
Over the years, my real friends have been whittled down to a handful. Some, I haven’t seen in many years but I know when I leave a comment on Facebook, or “like” their comments, we are there for each other. It’s an attitude of the heart. I think its a mixture of trust, appreciation, recognition, honesty, freedom to be oneself, and not shunning the responsibility of saying whats on your mind regarding someone else’s condition.
As the Bible says, “The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of a traitor”.
Trust is to put your heart and mind in the hands of another, and know they have no second agenda because they truly care and wish for your success. But you can’t find this unless you give it. Sorry to say, in this world, most of us wait until the other takes a step forward to grant this kind of unconditional love. But if you are fishing for friendship, then bait your hook with authentic values, stoic heartfelt patience, acceptance and truthfulness. The strength of friendship goes beyond the “right and wrong” or “She should have….”; “Why didn’t he?…..”. Its there all the time. It weathers the storm of mistakes and even offenses. It takes the value of the person to another level where no matter how badly they behave in one circumstance, you know them well enough to believe and love them anyway, and vice versa. Friendship doesn’t betray; it wishes the very best, celebrating the others’ success, rejoicing in their happiness and letting their tears wet our own cheeks.
To find a true friend, that are so few and far between, means to find a great treasure. Let us lift our glasses and sing three cheers to friendship. How sad, how lonely we would be without it.
It will never die! I put on the radio today and the first song to greet my morning exercise was Claude Debussy’s “The Girl with the Golden Hair”. I think this piece and perhaps Beethovan’s “Moonlight Sonata”, or Pachabel’s Canon, have been a constant inspiration throughout my lifetime. Will there be music in heaven, or is that where it comes from in the first place? Will the musicians of all ages be playing out their new compositions, and sending vibrations earthward to lift our souls into that place where human conflict and dense, earthly problems subside?
I believe it. There is a place where Mozart, Handel and Jimi Hendrix will join together in an eternal concert of sound and joy.
Have you ever noticed how people’s wrinkles reveal more than just the age? Some might make them look sad, tender or sweet. Others reveal inner anger , frustration and greed even when the face is smiling. Life has a way of sculpting and forming the soul. One can hide innermost feelings, but the strokes of destiny and the emotions allowed free reign in the heart will chisel the countenance. I look in the mirror and see my worries, failures and questions, but I also see the lines of joy, laughter and a life lived with meaning. No amount of collagen renewal cream will totally erase them, and so I will sport them daily, without shame. Hopefully, as time goes by, I will develop more of the laughter and smile lines. So, let the wrinkles reign in all their splendor. Let us bear them with pride and dignity. Youthfulness is really a state of mind and wrinkles are the stripes we wear to prove our battle history. I wonder when people began to be ashamed of their age. Who told us age was something to hide? I suspect its all about losing ones attractiveness, and sex appeal. Well, to lose some of that and gain the state of a wise and worthy human being seems far more attractive to me. There is nothing more unpleasant than the sight of someone who has undergone multiple plastic surgeries to hide the truth. Why would anyone feel so insecure as to want to hide the years they have survived? We should wear medals for having lived, fought and stayed afloat in this life. When you know there is an eternity and the tiny measure of years we spend here on earth is merely a fraction of the life we have and will live, then a few wrinkles should do nothing more than prove our worth.
I strongly recommend the recent movie produced by Clint Eastwood starring Matt Damon, “Hereafter”. It brought home some powerful concepts that are so often avoided because we don’t want to look farther than the here and now, or prepare for death. It touched me deeply. When the movie was over, I found myself in a state of reflection that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. It occurred to me that there are relationships in my life I’ve got to leave behind. It’s not about cutting anyone out of my life, but about letting my old emotions towards these people die to allow room for freedom and new space to get to know each other in a different way. It’s as if I had gotten stuck in the past, basing my love for my family on old, overprotective feelings that had them and myself trapped. It’s about moving on.
The hereafter doesn’t start at death, but follows a pattern all through life’s journey. Living today and letting yesterday die, allowing the metamorphosis of transition and growth give us new wings by shedding old skin and setting to the mission at hand must become more important than old worries, frozen mind sets and habits.
When the Hereafter arrives, my prayer is that I’ll be ready to pass on with a full heart to meet those who are already on the other side where we will share joy and a sense of closure.This physical life is but a speck in eternity. If we can come into the knowledge that it will go on, then we can choose whats important among the vast buffet of events and feelings presented to us. The art of it is to find the delicate balance between living with the heart here and now, making things right and better while keeping the focus of eternity alive and burning.
Long live life! It’s here forever! Let us live it fully!
While watching the Copa Libertadores soccer tournament with my fanatical, Argentine husband, I took in a few well learned lessons. The Argentina team kept coming out even, not winning, not losing. One of their players is considered the best in the world but he had no room to move freely on the field. There wasn’t “team chemistry” going on, and the criticism of his playing was cruel. Finally, the Technical Director made some key changes, taking out a few old timers who weren’t giving enough space, and putting in those who would support the talent of the best player.
The brilliant changes manifested in the results of the next game, Argentina won,3/0. This outstanding player was free to set up plays that led the whole team forward and the attitude of the new players was to catch the spirit of team action. Their opposition had no chance at the ball.
When we have come to a stagnant point, life calls us to evoke changes at all levels. Perhaps we need to sacrifice a well meaning relationship, throw out old mind sets and bring in new strategies, renew our core beliefs and discern what space our “best player” needs to take over the field. Age should not be a limiting factor; on the contrary, we are now aware of whats really important and our loyalty to useless habits can be eliminated. We are ready to give it our best shot throughout the years we have left. It’s time to let change take its course, do or die.
Many great men have drowned in despondency and boredom, procrastination and depression. Habits, routines and inflexible inner conversations have the power to kill creativity within the soul. But like old wine, if one matures with the ability to cultivate the richness within, and bring it out to enjoy, there is no age limit or fear of death and uselessness. The bottle must be occasionally turned to mix the flavor as the years go by. Bottoms up!