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Posts Tagged ‘musings’

Reblogged from October, 2011…because what’s old is new again:

I suppose it wasn’t really there after all. I must have been daydreaming. When you’re hanging at the beach, some things just kind of blur together, like the pod of dolphins the other day at one point clearly being a pod of dolphins, gradually fooling the eyes into trying to decipher what was bottlenose and what was fin and what was tall wave. The playful animals somehow melded into being waves. Eventually when the excitement wanes and you start questioning your own senses and sensibility, you learn to quit looking, and refocus anew on what is, on what was, to begin with.

I thought I saw a ship, of great proportions, traversing the horizon. It had a bright color that caught my eye, contrasting from the sea, and maintained a steady path, as long as I dared to watch.

While it caught my gaze, I imagined where it came from, how long it had stayed in port, and where it now headed, what it carried. The Sunday newspaper keeps a public record of such data, but it’s been a month of Sundays since I read a Sunday paper.

But the ship was real as long as I looked at it.

I was driving, though, and could only afford intermittent glances. I was driving fast, windows down, music loud, hair flying.

I know it was there. But then, I glanced again, and it was not. Simply slipped out of my vision, out of my reality.

It reminded me of the man I used to see come home on what I calculated must be his lunch hour, as I ran the last hill on my runs. His house was one of my reality checks – I used it to remind myself of my goal, since it was at the peak of the knoll, the hardest and steepest hill of the three I conquer on my usual 2.5 run.

Once upon a time in the season of jasmine, I marveled at the tall southern pines which graced his front yard, with something that looked like clematis climbing up the trunks of each tree. They were so fragrant, I came to look forward to springtime runs, just to get to that last, steep incline.

 

Each labored inhalation was rewarded. His front porch was typically Southern, a wraparound with ample rocking chairs and detail in the woodwork, beckoning one to stop for a glass of sweet tea (slice of lemon) in the fragrance of the climbing flowers. The trees, and the clinging flowers, disappeared up into the sky-blue like some Jack-in-the-Beanstalk fairy tale.

How I would have loved to stop!

But my course would have been ruined had I done so – I was compelled to finish what I began, compulsively dedicated to completing my circuit, and his house was only one stop on my way to my destination. How sad…and it always seemed…no, seems (I still go by) so inviting.

Through the spring and part of the summer, I saw him come home. He would be parked in the side driveway, sometimes standing on the porch, sometimes inside, sometimes conversing with his landscapers. Sometimes just standing there, yakking on his phone, or pausing to watch me and wave.

And I always kept going.

Although we saw each other nearly daily, he was a stranger, and I to him. He was at the end of my run, at the top of the steepest hill, and I could not, would not stop, no, never. Never meant to be. He and his coveted possessions were well out of my league. I would not be interested in such.

I had to keep running, keep my pace, knowing the end was near and soon I would have rest. But in that rest I often thought of how nice it would have been to stop my run short and crash on that ample front porch and get acquainted with the wealthy neighbor. He didn’t know me, not really. And I didn’t know him. No, we were Worlds Apart, on two different courses, two different schedules, two different paths. He may have thought he knew me; he probably imagined he knew me, but he would have been wrong. Someone like that and those Things could not have understood or known joy from someone like me and my things.

And, like the ship that I’m not sure ever really existed, he also ceased to exist after my weeks of illness which prevented me from my daily runs. I have gingerly, carefully resumed and gone back, as I sit at the lapping water here, but he no longer comes home for lunch. And I have not seen a ship like it on the horizon since, either.

Both are gone; I am alone, and left wondering if they ever really existed, or if they were figments of my imagination, like so many other things.

I suppose I was a figment, too…not quite real, not quite tangible. Just sort of, out there. Interesting to imagine, but not really existent.

There is safety in not really being real, not able to be figured out, comprehended, perceived fully. Perhaps it is best if figments remain figments, visions as visions, dreams as dreams. That way, things of intrigue remain as we wish for them to be thought of, and we do not run the risk of disappointment, should the harshness of reality not live up to our dreams.

Our dreams…our delusions…our mirages serve us well, to provide the comfort of distracted vision, and of hope and curiosity, without the pain of what is, what must be, no matter how satisfying what must be, is.

Both the ship and the man were elusive and surreal as they passed before what I thought was my reality, bringing interest and reason to look while they lingered in the periphery of my reality, ever just so out of reach and causing me to question my sanity, yet serving a purpose by challenging myself to keep looking and to keep running all at the same time.

Oh, why O why, didn’t I stop long enough to verify the existence of the ship? and the man? Was I afraid they’d be real? Or that I would have to change to accommodate their reality? Was it better that they came and went from what I thought was my vision, that they remained a part of the Unsure?

How bittersweet, never to know for sure. I could never pursue either, and must stay on my circuit.

Damn, today’s run was totally to mentally detox. The news at high noon (delivered in the best room with the best catered food which I didn’t eat) was supposed to be good, which I couldn’t swallow, either. It was good to everyone but me. My crestfallenness did not go unnoticed, and I know they saw me tear out of the parking lot on my run after the meeting with more vigor than usual Upon my return, I was swamped with Higher Visitors and calls from all angles, feeling me out, no one daring to ask. The Secret is not theirs to uncover, they knew. And I was helpless, speechless, unable to explain. Only someone like me could be living such a dual life in so many dimensions.

But the run was hard and fast, and the man wasn’t there…again. I guess I missed too many days, so it was…just…a run. And I returned to face reality, my dreams and thoughts and feelings sequestered to the depths of my inner being, where they are better kept behind the game face.

But nothing can erase the ship on the horizon. I know it was there. I know it seemed like it wasn’t at one point, but I can still see it, I can still picture it crossing my path when I had time to pause my gaze. It was big and bright and happy, and added perspective to the horizon. The fact idea that it was there gave enough impetus to relish the rest of the surroundings, even after it disappeared.

Even if it wasn’t real, it was…just for a moment…it really was. And if I willed it to be so for the sake of my sanity, is there anything wrong with that?

The fumes of belief fuel faith.

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My friends, I have been taking a good long walk on my beach this spring and it has been nice.

I have seen so many miraculous things during my break from blogging. Things in me, things in my world.  More wonderful grace from God.

All these things have been here all along, it seems. I see this now. I guess I just need to stop long enough and really examine them.

You know, God has so many great things in this world of ours. There are so many great things of beauty. And many of these things reside in each of us. Miracles, if you will, that we were born with, that God has in each of our own worlds.

I have been walking into the hard breeze at times, sometimes into the brightness of the Son. I have been able to access answers to questions and miracles around me during my Spring Break from blogging.

I hope each of you find your own paths, to find answers in your own ways. These walks can really open your eyes!

I started this blog on my beach, hanging out my shingle under my beach umbrella so to speak, a good three years ago. It started simply as an expression for myself of the small things I notice in my world and how the Big Guy is so involved in our daily lives.

It helped me find and look to God for what I needed in my life all this time, seeing the good all around me, whether it was actually there or not. I cannot dismiss any of the good that came to me during this journal of my Musings by the Sea.

I have found a lot of answers in myself on my beach. Things I knew were there. Things I had forgotten about. And maybe some things I did not consider even possible, but they were there the whole time.

I have prayed for things. Lots of things. Many of my prayers have come true. Some in miraculous ways, diversions that I never saw coming. And other prayers that have gone unanswered. And I wonder if those were the prayers I should have been praying in the first place.

This past January, Alabama played Auburn, an instate bitter rivalry. The game came down to one final play, a field goal. I know I prayed so hard for that field goal to go through the uprights, just as thousands of other Alabama fans were praying desperately for the same thing.

Likewise, thousands of Auburn diehard fans must have been praying for a completely different outcome. Somebody’s prayers had to go unanswered. Lots of Alabama fans that night saw that illustrated, I think.

God doesn’t answer everybody’s prayers – or at least not the way we ask him to. He knows what is best for us, in keeping with His miracles He prepared for us at our birth.

And so people wonder “why should I pray if God doesn’t answer my prayers?” I understand God wants us to pray for what we want so He knows what we need.

Alabama winning that night really wasn’t that important to me now in the major scheme of things. It really wasn’t what I needed at that time.

So walking these beaches has brought forth some changes in me that I see, as far as what I try to pray for these days. Just like my beach and the ebb and flow of the tides, we – you and me – seem to be changing all the time, or at least have the potential to change and not stay stuck in the same tidal pool year after year.

I have seen huge changes on my beach, as in “Abandoned,” changes that are hard to do at the time yet sometimes needed to take place in order to be purged or purified.

I have seen small changes in my beach (for the better) that seem to take place every day, as in “I, On the Other Hand, DID Inhale…”  Or changing my perception in noticing God’s ‘abundant’ Grace and Mercy every day, as illustrated in  “Gestalt Mosaic.”

Oh how I love walking on my beach! Thank you God!

But I know every Spring Break has to come to an end and sooner or later we need to face the trials and joys of reality. And my calendar is reluctantly suggesting I need to come back to reality and take care of business, too.

Somehow getting from point A to point B is never easy in life. But we never get there while our feet are lodged under a pile of sand in front of our favorite beach chair, do we?

So I am psyching myself up, looking for my flip flops and my top, my keys, my phone and am getting ready for the tasks ahead.

Oh, how walking on the beach can help us see things clearer!

This walk, my time on this beach has been so invaluable! It’s opened my eyes…highlighted some changes that need to be made in both myself and the outside world in general. And I leave my beach a much happier person! So much happier and full and complete…like “dancing in a room without a roof.”

I am ready to start a brand new beginning with my new outlook(s) and “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!”

Oh how being on the beach can be so motivational!

Hey, God, thank You for Your love that You have for all of us! If we know You, we know You are foremost all about love. You love all Your children so much and we are Your fortunate family to receive Your gracious love and blessings.

God, help us always to see and appreciate Your unending love for us. Help us see it in others as well as be the picture of love our selves, just as Your Son was.

We know You love us as your children and you want the best things for us, our own unique miracles. You want us to use the very talents and blessings we were born with in our own unique miracle that you destined for each of us.

I know sometimes, as we get caught up in our own agendas of what we think is best for us, or what is really important to us, we lose track of Your purpose, Your plan you have for us. And you try to steer us back to Your original plan – Your will… here on earth, as it is in Heaven.

I cannot dismiss all the love you have blessed me with! I love who You’ve made me and I love my world. I am not worthy of all these blessings you have bestowed on me, for us -not even close. I am a sinner too. But You love me anyway and give me more than I could ever dream about.

Thank You Father for Your boundless love! Please help us all to find, feel, and understand the love You have for us. It feels great!

Everyone has Your miracle out there waiting for them. And Your miracles are GREAT and beyond our wildest expectations.

Thank you Father for these great blessings! I love you!

I am so happy!! I could just break into pirouettes on the boardwalk…because happiness is the truth!

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It’s been that kind of week where I had to snatch bits and pieces of self-nurturing wherever possible in order to stay both energized and relaxed, simultaneously.

One of those bits means commuting with the windows down, flying top speed across the waters and giving action to my favorite songs, at top volume. I will take you for another ride –

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I could give a rat’s arse if I wind up with a rat’s nest after this commute.

I love watching the progress of the construction of our military’s next Littoral combat ship. They always leave their barn door open so we can see how she’s coming along:

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This baby takes a LONG time to build…nice to see it looking almost ship-like at this point.

The tunnel, like being in my darkest state of mind…trapped, confined, constricted, hard to breathe, stuck, riddled with despair – even though I’m snug and comfy inside my familiar vehicle of choice; railroaded into moving forward, no end in sight (trust I must):

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Flying through the wormhole

The coolest cloud formations happen this time of year:

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I could watch these all day!

And, yes, the clouds yield plenty of sub-tropical downpour, too:

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Get the hazards on for the low-speed interstate crawl!

A glimpse of that distant ship is always comfort – and just a quick gander, lest I lose all control and my car decides, against my better judgment, to jump in and swim after that elusive ship anyway-

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Personally, I think the askance horizon lends itself to the sensory experience one has at sea, all lined-up-horizon photography tips aside.

I think I’ll sleep with the windows open tonight and fall asleep to distant thunder in between the waves.

Thanks, God,  for windows of all sorts – windows of escape, windows of opportunity, windows to the soul. And for the thrill of flying hair and Your freedom through all of them.

(And readers, please forgive this hot mess o’ blurry, grainy pictures – it’s the theme, really. Besides, aren’t commutes kind of a grainy blur?)

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…pulled into the driveway of the nice neighbor up the road to get some Satsuma oranges (cross between mandarins and tangerines). Funneled $5 in jug and grabbed bag top-middle and used shredder at home to make orange zest to throw into cranberry sauce the second it came off the stove…

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Captured this sunset on the commute home, because there was a 2-car accident on the sure-fire alternate route to avoid holiday traffic, and another couple of smash-ups on every other viable route home. God bless the slow-n-steady…I got home safely and savored the colors in the sky in the process:

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Came home to this sight…. (friends, study the spud)

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Yes, I have a jar of shells (or fifteen) around the house, including on the kitchen counter. I have never, however, had an army guy sticking out of a potato greeting me upon walking in the door. This was a first. I noticed the children parked the army-guy-in-potato near some of my cookbooks (which I rarely use). I believe they were trying to tell me something which I shall analyze tomorrow, probably and unfortunately after the fact. In the meantime, I will take the hint that there may be heavy combat in my kitchen between now and Black Friday.

In other accomplishments today, I:

~Reassured a young child why his mother’s cancelling his home pass for the Thanksgiving weekend due to his not-that-negative-behavior days before (even though he did his level best for a whole day prior) and her perception of inconvenience was justified…have a heart, ma!

~Reassured a set a parents why their child’s insistence that they did not want to go home for Thanksgiving because they can’t stand the fighting between Mom & Dad, was justified…knock it off already, y’all.

~Tried to help a 9 year old understand why he could not go home just for one day for Thanksgiving because his mother preferred to have men with meth over for Thanksgiving instead of complying with Child Services’ request that she attend family therapy so that the child might come home for a home pass…and we wonder why the world is going the way it is?!

~Explained to an 8 year old why Mommy was more interested in preventing domestic violence by going by boyfriend’s wishes to have her all to himself instead of 8 year old coming home even for a few hours on Thanksgiving…put ‘cher big-boy-boxers on, dude. Really.

~Comforted a seven-year-old about why Mommy can’t be with him because she has to work the ‘hood selling her body instead of being with him tomorrow. No comment.

God bless the owner of the bowling alley who offered these children a discount diversion for the day of Thanksgiving, and the owner of the skating rink who opened his business and heart to them the day after Thanksgiving, just cuz.

And the only reason I can’t take them all in myself is because it would be a gosh-darned ethical “conflict of interest,” and besides, my mother with Alzheimer’s is spending the day – and she’s mad as a freshly-uprooted fire ant right now right now because as POA I stand between her and her every dime she wants to give to every unscrupulous charity which hits her up at every opportunity by mail and phone. If only I could bring home the kids and feed them all and let them play on our Wii and pick out their favorite shells and stuff, Grandma would be amply diverted and fulfilled in the giving of her time and energy, and we’d have a big ol’ time.

Somehow I fantasize were HIPAA and privacy laws not such a barrier, everyone would get their physical and emotional needs met and be provided for, just fine thank you very much, the down-home way.

Kind of like the Honor Jug above.

Thanks, God, for the ways You help even when we feel helpless, for the ways You move in the lives of others that we can’t see in our finite glimpses. Thank You for making everything right when things can seem so wrong. Thank You, Lord, for the ways You meet the needs of those who are the neediest in Your eyes, not ours. Thanks, God, for teaching us to give thanks for all things, even those we can’t fathom.
God, thank You for meeting the needs of the dear friends here, too, needs which may be overshadowed by man’s perception and definition of “needs.” Thank You for loving us all as we are in our various stages of need, and for cutting through all the red tape we put between You and us. Thanks for knowing our hearts, even so…

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It seems that…

Youth is a burst of fast energy,

punctuated by brief spurts of rest.

As life progresses,

this gradually reverses

Until our age yields to

Slowing,

punctuated with brief spurts of

Energy.

Perspective is relative.

Just when we think our hearts and souls

can bear

not one more tear…

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…the Sun rises again

~~

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It came in a dream some nights ago, free and clear.

It was in the latter part of sleep, the part where you have bypassed all cycles theta, alpha and beta.

Yes, this was delta, the heart of all sleep.

But there it came, plain as day, a blank check. It was for another Purpose, though, given to me by someone not fully known.

In a stupor I held the check, bewildered that such a thing could transpire. I was transfixed and transformed, unable to fully comprehend the breadth of its unconditionality.

What was Amazing were all the para-realities it represented, all the other blank checks I’ve been given throughout life – including some I may not have even yet recognized.

The dream suspended me in the vortex of its unreality and its vivid, delta-demanding reality.

Who would write a blank check like that?

How does one make sense of its reality?

Why did it happen? to me?

Why, oh why, can’t we harness that alter-dimension?

Maybe it’s best that we can’t.

How many blank checks have you cashed?

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I’ve been posting pictures lately instead of words, so in honor of this blog’s One-th birthday, I thought I’d have a few words pop out of this virtual cake.

But not many…we’re headed to the ‘goon today with my dear aunt visiting from Bah-ston. (Yankees love cheese grits-n-shrimp, lemme tell ya…an’ she’s gonna love seeing pipefish while snorkeling, no doubt).

Here’s what I’m wishing for when the candles are blown out:

1.) For all my bloggy friends to have a fulfilling year of blogging – I’ve learned a lot from this and from you in a year – I’m humbled!

2.) To remember where I am (at the beach! in paradise! woo-hoo!) when my current heap-o-messes overcome me (there is Ahhh in the Arrghhh!). And that wasting away in Margaritaville is always superior to hoping a Mayan event will whisk me away from longsuffering.

3.) That I might resume my quest this year to overcome obstacles (like bull sharks, jellyfish and a torn ligament) and swim across the bay. Simply because it’s there. Y’all come man my pilot-boat, k?

4.) That when an adrenaline-inducing lightning storm (complete with big fat hail) zapped out my office phone on July 4th which now pretends to be in service by letting you leave a voice mail, but it isn’t, and the purchase order for a new one will take damn near two weeks to fill, that all those nice people leaving me voice mails under the assumption that I am receiving their calls will understand that I am not and they will have to call back in 2 weeks. I’m there, really I am. I just can’t hear you. Please call back. I can make no outgoing calls. I am not complaining – my workload got easier. Perhaps there is bliss in lightning. Hot-cha-cha, n’est-ce pas?

5.) That the key lime pie will not disappear from out of the fridge before I’ve even had a slice.

6.) That the proper Southern Baptist ladies on the bleachers at baseball this spring had never admitted out loud that they all read “50 Shades of Grey.” I knew my religion was right all along…

7.) That the still-young water heater will magically start working again and that the washing machine, which flooded the kids’ room today, was not responding to yet another supernatural event. Not to mention our laptop dying totally last Thursday. EGADAMIGHTY. Get me to an un-haunted house. I am tired of spending more time with Mr. ShopVac than my family. And what good is the extended warranty if you have to send the laptop off for 6 weeks? Oh, sure…just take all my personal information, be my guest. Tra-la.

8.) That I will use this blog to transmit peace, blessings and goodwill.

9.) That the guy in the white pickup next to me who smiled at me last Monday at the intersection as I put away my orange sticky note after writing yet another thought down during the red light, would reappear and tell me why he looked so bemused and kindly. Who were you? Where were you going? Why were you studying me to the point of not being ashamed to let me catch you smiling down on me? I was only wearing capris that day, not something more, um, truck-honking-worthy. And curses to the semi who did that to me coming out of the tunnel the other week – shame on you – you almost caused an accident. Tsk-tsk. Commuting is weird. I’m just trying to collect my thoughts, eat my bacon and drink my coffee. Don’t make me turn down my Ed Sheeran and other music. I’ve got plenty on my mind without you throwing a mental monkey wrench into my subconscious.

10.) That my lately-not-so-little-guy with Down syndrome would quit ambushing every birthday cake he comes upon and beating the birthday person to the punch by blowing out the candles because he just can’t restrain himself…because he knows what one does with candles on a cake. On second thought, I will let him step up to the plate here on this blog and blow away…and give him, and Him, the glory.

Happy birthday, baby.

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