Monday, August 31, 2009

Happiness---well, it just is

Happiness, we do not find it, we make it. Happiness does not depend on what we lack, but how we use what we have. Arnaud Desjardins

K: I like this although if I think about it too long, it takes on a lecture-y tone.

D: Happiness. I tend to think it's elemental, like oxygen. We just need to quit holding our breath.


Friday, August 28, 2009

What do you believe?

In The Third Man Factor George Geiger reports many cases where people, most often in extreme risk, sense a supportive companion who accompanies them. In his review of the book for Wall Street Journal, Michael Ybarra cites a few of these people: mountaineer Herman Buhl, the first person who climbed the Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas; Charles Lindberg on his 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic; Ron DiFrancesco, the last man to leave the collapsing World Trade Center in September 11, 2001. As Ybarra quotes Geiger:

"Over the years," Mr. Geiger writes, "the experience has occurred
again and again, not only to 9/11 survivors, mountaineers, and
divers, but also to polar explorers, prisoners of war, solo sailors,
shipwreck survivors, aviators, and astronauts. All have escaped
traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories of having
experienced the close presence of a companion and helper."

People in isolation, children and even Mr. Geiger himself at seven when he was threatened by a rattlesnake have felt this unseen presence.

I don’t know if it’s the same, but I know of people whom I trust who have reported extraordinary phenomena. My closest friend says his house was plagued by a poltergeist when his mother moved her father in over the father’s protests. The poltergeist remained after the grandfather died. One dying friend talked me about the young man with flowing blond hair who set next to me on the couch as I visited her in her hospital room. Another friend, also dying, told me about the people in her life whom she loved and who had died that came to talk to her when she was awake alone at night.

I’ve never experienced the unseen companion, but I’ve had enough precognitive and ESP experiences to believe we are connected in many ways that can’t be explained logically at this time. Because these experiences cannot be quantified, their veracity is up for grabs. Some people chalk psychic experiences up to coincidence or deluded thinking. Those unseen or only-visible-to-you companions? There are those who feel they are divine intervention and others who think they are hallucinations. Scientists have discovered they can trigger the companion experience by stimulating a certain area of the brain with electricity. That in itself should be enough to discredit a ‘supernatural’ explanation, right?

But what about the wide spread belief held by most people that they can talk to people who are not immediately in their presence? Scientists have studied this phenomenon extensively and have located a certain object among all the objects available to modern life that, in a person’s presence, when stimulated with energy, can reproduce this result. The person thinks the object rings or chimes or makes some signal, and the person can then talk to another person not in the physical vicinity.

When it comes right down to it, no one experiences anything directly. My dog is lying on the couch. So I think. So I believe. But in order to think and believe that, I must use my senses to detect what I’m calling a dog, and those senses flood the synapses that trigger chemical impulses in my brain which my brain interprets as Spunky, my dog on my couch. For me to believe this dog is real, I can only rely on the chemical and electrical activity in my brain. And speaking of chemical and electrical activity? With my sad state of scientific knowledge and know-how, if I am going to believe in them, I’m going to have to take the word of folks who have a lot more rocket-science sense than I do.

We are told by those brainiacs there are many more dimensions than we can not experience in our physical bodies. But if I could catch a whiff of one of these mostly inaccessible dimensions, wouldn’t it just make sense I am going to have to use the tool that I use to discern everything else in my life?

This is when my sly brainiac leaning-toward-Buddhist nonscientist likes to say, “Actually, none of it is real--the unseen companion, the dog, the couch, me, you.” That’s when my mind rolls into a ball like a porcupine, all my mental quills aquiver. And if my very-much-physical companion is feeling especially frisky, he might whisper, “If God is at all, God is all there is.”

That’s when my mental activity comes screeching to a halt. While I like thinking about ESP and precognition, poltergeists, and invisible company, I cannot wrap my thoughts further than that. Instead I focus on happiness, that illusive factor I invite to be my companion on the rest of this journey and beyond…whether anyone can prove it’s 'real' or not.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Big Blow Out

One reason why wearing underpants might be a good idea:

You discover your old, scruffy, soft, baggy around-the-house pants have split in the back from waist band to crotch only after you’ve leisurely strolled your dogs around your Rated-G neighborhood with the day-care center on the far corner.

The upside of going pantiless:

your beloved husband points out big white granny panties might have been a lot more obtusive than your demurely flesh-tinted nether cheeks.

The moral:

If you show your ass, it's good to be lucky in love.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The sky is emptiest the morning after the evening you first notice they are not there. It’s only then you know they're really gone.

After that, the forgetting sets in.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quote Sent by Keetha...did you feel the universe expanding?

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. - Anais Nin

Friday, August 21, 2009

from the notecard archives

The M & M Grocery and Abiding Truth Universal Gospel Church

a sign on a very small building in the middle of the country between Charleston and Coffeeville, MS, maybe 20 years ago.

If you're wondering, I have a garbage bag full of notecards. A black plastic garbage bag...the lawn size.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

found quote

I've always found it is more fun to ride the winds of change than to do battle with them.
Jeanne Marie Laskas, A Garden in Winter

Sunday, August 16, 2009

only a day a-w-a-y

It was June before I planted my tomatoes in large pots. The tomatoes bloomed profusely but never set fruit. My family botonist suggested the summer heat was the culprit. He was right. The temperature has dropped, and now I have four--count them--four--tomatoes. I immediately emailed a friend who had great tomato success last year.

With each little knobbly tomato, my hope was renewed, I told her. I would pot my next tomatoes at the proper time, the Friday before Easter, and I would have vines as lush as hers had been.

My friend had just moved from one state to another. She said her husband had tossed her tomatoes in order to move the pots so she could use them in the future. "Many of them had blossom end rot, anyway," she said, "There's always next year, mantra of sports fans and gardeners everywhere."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another of Life's Teachable Moments

Cousin #1, just prior to exiting the room, explaining why she had left this small town to move to a large city a thousand miles distant: Everybody here knows what you are doing and they talk about your business.

Post exit, Cousin #2 to Cousin #3: If she doesn't want people talking about her, she shouldn't live such an interesting life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Rough Girls in 7th Grade Hisory Class Offered to Meet Me Behind the Keen Freeze and Beat Me Up Because When They Giggled, I Stared

When I took the dogs out for a final potty break before we went to bed, the cop had pulled over a speeder just one house down from my yard. The dogs took their time.

I couldn't help myself. I stared. It's what I do. The red and blue strobe effect was powerful. And my lopsided trifocals didn't help at all.

I told my husband about it the next morning. "I guess that cop was about ready to put up some curtains," I said.

"If they don't want you looking, they shouldn't turn on the lights," he said.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is It All About Me?

My neighbors have a sun room they use as a t.v. room, with deep sofas and a comfy chair, and that big screen television facing the street. Several mornings ago I noted they had covered the street window with heavy, light-proof least the industrial-looking lining seems that way. For the life of me I can not fathom why they would cut themselves off like that. They've lived there for several years, and I walk my dog on the sidewalk next to the house twice a day, and in all these years, though I've looked every time, I'ved never spotted a person in that room even once.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Random Quote

Go on loving your friend, whatever happens...Learn through this to love without expecting anything. To love the Divine you must learn to give everything and ask nothing. With C you can train for this abandon. The heart must break to become large. When the heart is broken open God can put the whole Universe in it.

Hidden Journey, Andrew Harvey