Behavioral impact is countless

“Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!” Robert Burns

Countless. Our blog challenge for the day. Countless is often defined as being too numerous to count.

Very few things would be countless by my thoughts. If there is an item to count, given the patience and time, those items could be counted. Even the number of a human’s breath. At the time of their death, the breaths could be counted as there was a first breath and a last breath. My thoughts could be counted; again, because I would have a first thought and a last thought.

But the impact of our actions, could indeed be countless. People who have been affected by behavior could pass the resulted impact of that behavior on for generations. From continent to continent. Behaviors vary from cruelty to kindness. From selfishness to sacrifice.

Memorial day is a day to remember those who have passed from us. While those we loved may be gone, we feel their presence by the influence and impact they had on us. Many have lost loved ones to war. Some from hate crimes. Others from illness.

Some of us are who we are today because of some kindness which touched our lives. A person who touches another with an act of kindness may never realize the impact of that one act. There may be a beginning, but as the affect of that action continues, there may not be an end. Therefore, it is countless.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop


By the Light of the Silvery Moon

“For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us.” Richard H. Baker

Full moon

I love to see the full moon. Maybe it is because the moon creates a hole in the blackness. That very idea is inspiring to me. Sometimes life seems very dark. In the dark it is hard to find my way. It is difficult to see what lies ahead. In an effort to hurry through the dark place, I run. Running only leads to tripping. So, I have to be more patient. I have to inch along.

Then the full moon comes out! Things do not seem so dark. I still have to tread carefully, but I can see a step or two ahead of me. It wasn’t my eyes that gave me more sight. It was the universe. The moon reminds me that there is other help. There is more wisdom than I have alone. There is direction to be provided. The universe is bigger than me. It is good to be reminded of that.

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” Lao Tzu

Normal…where is that again?

I have such a strong urge to want life to be normal. For a day to be normal. But, what is ‘normal?’ Who gets to define that? I may want to define it, but in so doing, I could mess up my journey. I might create a beautiful straight, unobstructed path. I guess that could be okay. But I would miss all the adventure and awe of discovering what is around the corner. Of becoming who I am to become.

From time to time, we get to share a part of someone else’s journey. He/she will be the one to trek the entire path, but sometimes we get to walk awhile with them.

Such is my life right now. Walking along with someone I love. Right now, the path is rather dark and hard to see. We are inching along and moving forward. As I try to hold the torch to add illumination, I am inspired by what I see. A life full of courage and determination. A person who does not worry and fret, but who surges on with hope.

“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” Ben Sweetland

Mosaic Marvel

The year was 2006 and the popular book, “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert was on every book shelf. But not mine. I resented her. When she went through her divorce, she spent a year abroad: Italy, India, and Indonesia. She had opportunities to work through her feelings, hurt, and anger. She received teachings from Gurus, Zen Masters and Yogic Sages.

During the same year I lost my father to cancer and my husband of 30 years divorced me because my faith had disintegrated. I wanted to crawl away. Any where. Just somewhere other than where I was. But I couldn’t. I had bills to pay, a job to report to and responsibilities that I could not walk away from. I remember thinking, ‘Well how nice for you. Your heart is broken and you get to receive this -what I believed to be- fabulous support and balm to your broken heart.’

At the same period in my life I was given, “Gift of the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh written in 1955. Anne writes this wonderful book as she stayed by herself at a Florida island cabin. Early in her book, she writes, ‘And then, some morning in the second week…” I had to put the book down. I wrote in the margin, ‘Never have I been able to do this-I have never been anywhere for two weeks for a break. How wonderful it would be, to go somewhere, stay for several weeks, and have time to rest, reflect, revive and restore.’

So the daily blog prompt has now given me permission to ‘study abroad’. It challenged me to select a place to spend one year. I am going to suppose in my fantasy, that all expenses are paid, that the experience will be a time warp so that I can return to my job without penalty of loss. I am dreaming that the year is for my own enjoyment, pleasure and restoration.

My god-what a challenge. I have never been anywhere for very long, and never gone far from the United States. What an assignment. Hence, I could not write this yesterday, I had to dream a little.

My Place- by the ocean side on a bluff. Not that I like to be in the ocean, but I love to hear and watch its soothing rhythmic crash to shore. It would need to be in a community, where I can walk to places of necessity such as the grocery. It would need a fully stocked kitchen, as I love to cook. It would need chairs on the beach to sip my morning coffee or to linger over my evening glass of wine. It would need a fabulous library where I could access many more adventures and insights from others. It would need a typewriter – or paper galore – so I could sort out my thoughts with writing. It would be grand if it was also conveniently situated by public transportation-such as trains-that could take me on one day journeys to broaden my explorations. There would not be a daily schedule to keep while on this year long experience. I could let my body sync with nature.

And I would have my beloved husband with me on this adventure. He is a comfort and encouragement in my life. He hugs my soul. As beautiful as my destiny place would be, it would be hollow if not shared with him. He may need his corner of our paradise to access internet to maintain he love of researching, but that is who he is. He loves to learn.

The final criteria for anyone who lives in my place of paradise is that all the inhabitants accept each other. We help if needed, but don’t interfere. Each is able to pursue their own interests. I would be hopeful that the potential combination of variety would not be a ‘melting pot’ where all are merged into one sameness-but it would create a beautiful mosaic piece of art that we could take home with us and keep as our survivor from this one year oasis.

“I close my eyes, then I drift away, into the magic night I softly say a silent prayer, like dreamers do, then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you.” Roy Orbison

Perspective and Perseverance

While visiting with my son last night, we were remembering his grandparents-my parents. It is such a wonderful thing to pass on new stories and to re-tell the old ones.

No matter the story, two prevalent themes come through when I think of my parents.

Mother-often said “there is good and bad in everything”. It was a very valuable lesson. Daily I encounter an experience that creates an emotional response. The way that I see the situation, frames the way I feel about it. I have the choice of perspective every morning.

“When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.” Harvey Mackay—although it could have been my mother, or myself for that matter.

Father-he was a little less verbal, so my lesson from him came from observation. I saw him slowly lose mom to dementia, and shortly thereafter be diagnosed with esophageal cancer. From diagnosis to passing was 2 short years. During those years, and while he went through surgery, and then chemo/radiation treatment, he continued to work on the log cabin he had started after mom passed away. I knew that he wanted to finish the cabin so that ‘his girls’ would not have to handle that task. He wanted to clear the land, so he continued to chop and saw wood. Every movement that he made brought him pain, yet he persevered to finish a goal.

“Patience and perspective have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” John Quincy Adams

I miss my parents. My spirit hugs theirs and daily I feel their influential presence.

Would Cloning Erase Me?

If I could clone myself, I would have a challenge making a fair decision. I fear that one would have all the responsibilities and the other would have all the fun. How fair is that?

So then I would struggle over my decision as to which clone would I inhabit. I am pretty certain that I would choose the one that had all the fun. Yet how would I grow?

At 23 I delivered my second child.  My daughter was born with a crippling birth defect of spina bifida. She would require 11 surgeries by the time she was 2 years old. I was yanked from a happy go lucky young woman, to a busy responsible mother. Our days at the park, were interchanged with our days at the hospital. Certainly, we enjoyed our time at the park. We could smell the fresh air, feel the ocean mist on our cheeks, and picnic on a blanket.

In the hospital, we saw loneliness, suffering and heartbreak. But the hospital meant doctors and nurses who helped us. The surgeries mended and protected my daughter. Every room had a rocking chair. I would cradle my daughter, hug her against my breast, and sing comfort songs in her ears; all while we rocked in that old wooden rocking chair.

I learned life was precious. I learned how to be patient. I learned how to care. If I gave up those responsibilities would I still have learned those lessons?

Maybe. But they are all experiences that have made me who I am. I still love to rock. I have an old wooden rocking chair in my bedroom today. Perhaps, on some level, as I rock, my soul remembers those precious days and nights of rocking, and singing songs of comfort – for when I sit down and rock, I can feel my heart beat slow to a normal pace, the troubles of my mind soothe out and I discover a calm that I do not find anywhere else.

Perhaps, it is good that we are not yet able to clone ourselves. What we might choose to wipe out, might be the very essence of who we are.

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F Kennedy

Soul Hug

The Post A Day Challenge today was to write a message to someone dear to you, telling that person how much he means to you. However, I could not do that with words. I had to use an object-max of 10 objects- to convey my emotions.

That was not a problem. I only needed one. The object I selected is a painting created by Tomasz Rut entitled: Soul Hug.

soul hug

When I am with Joe, I feel safe, comforted, and embraced. His embrace is not just a physical embrace, but he embraces my soul. The very essence of who I am. He frees me to be me. He makes me feel young and vibrant. He encourages my creativity.

“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than a thousand meaningful words.” Ann Hood