Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

How to Live the Relevant Life

January 4, 2016

Take a look around. What do you see?
Seriously – When you drive to work, what do you see? When you drive to school, what do you see? When you’re running errands, going to the supermarket, or going to meet friends, what do you notice about your surroundings?

Are you taking in the beauty of everyday things? Are you taking delight in the little things?
If you live in a rural agricultural area, have you noticed new animals in a rancher’s field? If you live in a suburban area, have you counted the number of playgrounds?
If you live in a dense urban area, have you noticed the architecture that surrounds you with its evocative expressions and mood?

What about the people you encounter?

Look at the people in your life. Look at the ones who bring value, love, compassion, and respect. Are you reciprocating? You should be.

Take the time to look around… And this isn’t about texting and driving (although that certainly is a worthy topic for discussion, but maybe another time).

This isn’t about unnecessary distractions. It’s about life. It’s about the beauty in everyday things. It’s about noticing something for the first time. It’s about appreciating things that you’ve seen before. It’s about setting your mind, and your emotions up for the kind of supreme awareness that makes you sympathetic & empathetic to your world, to the people, and creatures of all kinds. To the plants and even the stones.

Let everyone in your life, everyone who matters, know they matter. Show them. Tell them. Share with them. Because life isn’t about how we start things, it is about how we sustain and polish things.
Take a look around.
Take the time to make your life one where quality lives in the present moment.
Do it now.

Advertisements

Yes … There IS a Santa

December 4, 2009

I have family in town this week.  The good kind.  The kind that if you had the room you’d want them and their brood to stay with you.  The kind you don’t get to spend enough time with.  That sort.  Anyway, we went to one of the holiday offerings in Orlando at one of the Theme Parks that has a special ticketed event that serves all the cookies, hot chocolate, apple juice and pre-packaged apple slices one can possibly consume, as well as parades, decor, and offerings unique to the season.  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  This is a winter wonderland for kids of all ages.  Unlimited cookies?  What gets better than that.  And the brilliant logic as a parent is to let your child consume as many as possible and then flame out in a brilliant buzz of sugar-induced energy which ultimately results in a good night’s sleep for all.  Sometimes.

Anyway, back on point.  We had to leave early to pick up more family arriving at the airport.  On the way to the pass-through under the train station I noticed a small crowd gathered and walked over to glance past the toy soldiers.  Just beyond, seated on a plush crushed red velvet sofa-looking bench, was a guy dressed as Santa.  Something inside me said “I want to meet Santa,” even as another voice countered with, “it’s just a guy in a red suit.”  But we did.  We waited a few minutes, not long at all, until it was our turn.  The cast members were just delightful and filled with the spirit of the season.  It had cooled off to the point where, in the mid-sixties and with a slight breeze, it felt like the holiday season was upon us.  One of the cast members handed us little candy canes and admonished us not to eat them until after we met Santa.  The sticky candy gets in his beard and on his robe and had to be cleaned off and all that.  The child in me just wanted to get on with meeting Santa.  I still wasn’t really feeling it until it was our turn and we walked up to Santa.  He smiled at the two of us and patted his knees.

“Oh no,” I protested.  “I’ll sit next to you.”

He shook his head and patted his knees again as he looked at both of us.  “You’ll be fine.”  It was clear, in Santa’s domain, he was calling the shots.  He was the comforting patriarch and we were the children.

As I got closer and sat down and we both got comfortable on his knees the magic transported us.  I was a child taken back to a time that was measured in experiences and moments of joy.  I studied him carefully for a few moments as we spoke to him.  Real beard? Check.  Real mustache? Check.  His face had just the right windburned texture and even his eyelashes had a hint of white.  But his eyes.  There was delight in those eyes.  A joyful magical spark in them as he spoke to us.  Naturally he had the laugh, and the rich, basso profundo voice.  But it was the eyes.  And if the eyes are truly a window to the soul, as many a poet has declared, I saw in Santa’s eyes the hope and belief of a little magic in a sometimes-weary world.  We weren’t rushed away.  He smiled as he talked to us and I thought this must be who Santa is.  I wore a big smile the rest of the evening.

And some of you who have followed these articles know this has been an interesting year.  A year of loss, of unplanned charity of the forced kind, of the opportunity to stumble and not fall, but to recover and move forward.  I have often spoke of how we are measured by our ability to rise and overcome.  But I am beginning to believe we are also measured by our strength and faith.  It is one thing to speak of these things, but another to perform in action admirably.

If you make it out there, and I hope you do, make some time for yourself and your loved ones.  Do yourself a favor and visit Santa.  There is an infectious energy in the power to believe.  He made me believe.  There IS a Santa.  And when you visit him please tell him I said hi, and thanks.  And Merry Christmas.

Peace on Earth, or I guess I Don’t Own That Anymore

November 24, 2009

I’m relaxing this morning at the Lodge.  My escape has been 
for the time catching up on all seasons of The West Wing: intelligent, well written and a nice diversion from the real world. Although I must say it is still earily topical, on point with  a remarkable sense of prescient timing.

It’s not yet Thanksgiving and the Christmas tree is up, all six stories of it, and the holiday decor abounds.  An elegant selection of music specific to the season – currently as I write, “what child is this” plays in the background.

And I think about my computer being stolen.  It happened recently while I was visiting out of town relatives.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to be a writer without a computer? I was old school once upon a time with a typewriter and a less than graceful hunt and peck method to serve me. 

Several books and scripts as well as other projects on commission later and the tool of my trade is nowhere to be found, thoughtfully misappropriated by someone who must need it more than I.

I should be really upset. It has been an interesting year.  I think this is a minor test of our ability to be measured by our ability to rise when we stumble, fall, or overcome obstacles.  Or someone’s idea of a joke.

I’m disappointed.  Myself a card holding member, I’m at a loss for words when it comes to understanding the human race.   I want to have faith in the good I believe to be out there.

White Christmas is now playing. I’ll allow the music to have its soothing effect on me, just as the good knight sir Congreve recognized it does for us, savages all.

Peace on Earth. I’d like a little of that to bless us all. Maybe compassion and tolerance and understanding might come with it, and along with these noble truths, the sense to know right from wrong, and the strength of character without tilting to make those choices. Whomever has my computer; take care of it. It was new when I got it and still has that “new car smell.”
Peace on Earth.

A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda

November 19, 2009

This piece is too beautiful not to share.  My thanks to Mark for the timeliness of its arrival.  We find ourselves in timeless moments of awe when something speaks to our soul and resonates with a voice all its own.  This piece does that.  Let it speak to you and let your spirit soar.

 

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair

or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter

of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer

Passion and what it means

October 29, 2009

Passion.
Think about the word for just a moment.
In this age of instant access and immediete fulfillment we lose sight of the importance of passion as we pursue in epic effort all things that might be side bars but are not germane to our necessary objectives.
For some, passion is like love. Fleeting and elusive, it appears both tangible and wispy at the same time, a haze that at first blush looks like a wall but remains little more than a reasonable facsimile.
For others, passion is all consuming and choking, with no room for nuance or interpretation.
Somewhere in the middle is where I’m aiming. As the co-architect of our destiny, we ought to find this standard and define it for our own purpose.
I’m a late bloomer. Torn between the absolutism of looking over my shoulder at what might have been, and looking forward to all the great things that can be, I strive every day to choose the latter, though admittedly it might be easier to frame my life based on the choices I’ve already made.
We should direct our pursuits. We should find our passions and define them. Primary among them is:
how does this help me and improve my world?
If the answer involves casualties, I recommend exploring other options. Choices exist.
Find your passion and embrace it. Welcome others into your plan and they will embrace it with you, and nothing is better than the support of family and friends when it comes to lofty efforts.
Our passions, like every other choice, can be rendered for good or bad. That choice remains our dominion.
My passion and energies in years past have been sometimes misdirected.
But introspection and analysis do much to offer insight and guidance. What we do with these life lessons influences our impact on ourselves and our world.
Find your passion. Nurture it. Make it a part of your life and a force for good. Whether it is a passion to perform, to do good deeds, to create, your offerings will offer peace, inspiration, and solid footing in a sometimes perplexing world.
This world needs passionate people, people dedicated to making the world a better place.
Let your passion be your legacy. Let it triumph your accomplishments. If your aim is true, others will take up the banner and cause.
Find your passion. Evolve. Change yourself. Change the world.
Your passion CAN make the world a better place.