#inspiration

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

 

Love and truth and beauty…we are constantly searching for their signs…

until we learn the subtle art of reading between the lines.

 

In our cribs…lying on our backs is most likely the very first place 

we learn to read between the lines of the smiles on a parent’s face.

 

Reading between the lines of their smiles as they beam down from up above…

we find their beauty…we discover their truth…we experience their love.

 

As we grow a little older eventually there comes a day 

we learn to read between the lines of everything our parents’ do…and say.

 

Between the lines of their smiles, their eyes,  their touch…we begin to read…

how they are trying in this life to give us…everything we need.

 

There comes a time when we’re older, however, when we think what they are telling us is unkind and unfair…

but if we take the time to read between the lines we find their love is waiting there.

 

And If we’re lucky enough to find someone to love…a partner…where our two loves intertwine….

we find joy in spending the rest of our lives reading between each other’s lines.

 

As we grow in age and wisdom…the more and more our planet turns…

the more experiences we have…the more and more we learn

 

how, when we read between the lines of life so much insight is provided…

how between the lines is where… love and truth and beauty…always have resided.

 

And as together we grow old and wrinkled…

when it comes to love and truth and beauty…

we longer need search for signs…

because 

in all our years together…

we have gotten pretty good

at reading between the lines.

 
 
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DAVID AND GOLIATH

 

It seems appropriate that our children visited Michelangelo’s marble statue of David yesterday…(from the hotel where they’re staying…David was just a stone’s throw away.)

 

Everything the Israelites had…the philistines wanted to obtain…it’s a lot like what is happening today…With Russia and Ukraine.

 

But they fought their war a little differently back then…if we are to believe the scriptural writing…each side sent out their strongest warrior…and he would do the fighting.

 

The philistines sent out Goliath…the preeminent warmonger…confident that in all the world…there was no warrior stronger.

 

For 40 days Goliath taunted the Israelites…for he knew…and they knew he was much too strong…until a young boy with a sling and five stones…his name was David…came along.

 

The culmination of the story is certainly well known …David slew Goliath…brought him down with just one stone.

 

David was not supposed to win that battle…everyone, except David, was convinced…giving hope to every underdog whose faced a mightier opponent since.

 

Proving the amount of size and strength a person has…although an important part…is not as important as the size and strength of the courage in one’s heart.

 

My prayers are with you…the people of Ukraine…in the midst of a battle unlike any battle you have ever seen…as you…the modern day David…face off against the stronger Russian philistine.

 

As you come face-to-face with your giant… may the courage in your heart never stray…and just like David may you win your battle in an unusual and surprising way.

 

So one day when my children visit Ukraine…as I have no doubt they will do

they will seek out the landmarks of your great country…

and stand in awe in front of a marble stature 

sculpted to look like you.

 

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OUR BOOK

 

The book of our life opened when we were born…from that moment everything we experience…every adventure we ever take or took…are faithfully transcribed upon the pages of that book.

 

Meaning every day we are alive…every day we age…whether we realize it or not…we’ve written another page.

 

I’ve often wondered if that’s the reason why we fall asleep at night…to give our heart a chance to think our mind a chance do dream…and our brain a chance  to write.

 

Of course it is our parents who begin the writing…until such time we’ve grown…

old enough to pick up the pen…and begin writing on our own.

 

We meet so many different people in our life…literally…everywhere we look…which means we will find them mentioned…in the pages of our book.

 

Some will be a footnote…perhaps in only one sentence they appear…

crossing our path momentarily…and then they disappear.

 

Others will linger in the pages of our book…their influence reaching far…

for not only do they help to write our story…they help determine who we are.

 

Some of our pages will be filled with losses…some…will be filled with wins.

This page may be the end a chapter…while on this page…one begins.

 

Every page we’ve ever written once the ink has dried is there for us to see…as each chapter, each page, each paragraph each sentence…becomes a memory.

 

And though we cannot rewrite the past…we do control the pen

which means each day when we rise…we begin to write again.…

 

Adding another chapter to our story…recording all life’s stages…

Hoping when it’s time to close our book…

we’ll be happy with what we’ve written on its pages.

 

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THE WORLD WE SEE

 

I wonder what kind of world we’d live in if everyone was blind.

I wonder if we lived in total darkness how our world would be defined.

 

It’s true…we could not see the sunrise paint her colors across the sky…we could not see our children’s smile…without the benefit of our eyes…

 

But wouldn’t it be harder to be prejudiced if our sight was kept within…

If we could not see the differences in the colors of our skin?

 

It’s true we could not see the beauty of the rainbow…the vibrant colors of the rose…the kaleidoscope of leaves in Autumn…or the pure white winter snows…

 

But wouldn’t it be harder to go to war…wouldn’t wars be impossible to create…if we could not see the people on the other side…the ones we’re supposed to hate?

 

There would be no need for guns to settle our disputes if we could not see the other person the one we want to shoot.

 

It’s true we would never witness a waterfall…the view from atop a mountain high…we’d never see the vastness of the ocean…or an endless star-filled sky.

 

But without our sight…between our other senses there would be more interplay…and, perhaps, we would listen more to what others have to say.

 

Most of us, however, were not meant to live in a world whose beauty we cannot see…so we’ve learned to live with the hate…the prejudice…the wars and the bigotry…

 

But that doesn’t stop me from wondering if our world would be a little kinder…

if those of us who can see…

were…

perhaps…

a little blinder.

 

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BEST ADVICE

 

The best advice I ever received about growing old…I offer now to you:

It came from an old married couple…She had just turned 80…he was 82

 

You are going to love this couple… before I met them I was told

and that was true as their energy and their love was a wonder to behold.

 

They would drive across the country to see their children and grandchildren for they could think of nothing greater…

The young 80 year old did all the driving while the old man was the navigator.

 

She pictured herself a race car driver…for her…speed was all the rage…

“When I get on the highway,” she’d say, “I like to drive my age.”

 

She was proud of her driving accomplishments…how she was always early…never late…and she bragged how’d she’d gotten a speeding ticket in almost every state.

 

One day they stopped long enough for me to ask, “Hey, you two…what’s your secret…won’t you help me see…the mystery to all your energy…the key to your vitality?”

 

They smiled at one another and immediately I was caught by the way they gave me this advice by finishing each other’s thought.

 

“Life is precious.” He said. “We plan to enjoy it or as long as we can.” 

We figure at our age.” She continued. “If we stop we might not get started again.”

 

Eventually, as Emily Dickinson wrote, (just one of her many gems)

‘Because they would not stop for death…it kindly stopped for them.’

 

But not until they blessed me with the advice I follow every time my two feet meet the road….

given to me by an older couple 

long ago…

who in their many years together…

always loved and never slowed. 

 

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KINTSUGI

 

 

I thought about Kintsugi this morning while looking in the mirror…feeling old…Kintsugi is the art of repairing cracks and breaks in pottery with lacquer dusted in silver, platinum…and gold.

 

The philosophy being those breaks and cracks are to be embraced…something everyone should see…a vital part of that pottery’s essence…its past…its history.

 

It’s a way of celebrating those the flaws and imperfections in an object that occur as it gets old…by filling those flaws and imperfections in silver, or platinum…or gold.

 

Kintsugi is an art form that has helped the Japanese find a way of seeing the beauty in the cracks and breaks…of keeping an item useful…instead of throwing it away.

 

I wonder if the Gods who created our Earth…seeing the breaks and cracks in their creation knew just what to do…they filled those breaks and cracks with water…and painted the water blue.

 

Yes, instead of starting over…they embraced our planets flaws…they saw its worth…and by painting the streams and rivers blue…created Kintsugi on the Earth.

 

I try to remember this when I look in the mirror each morning…I try to smile and embrace every flaw that’s staring back at me…every wrinkle on my face.

 

I try to celebrate my Kintsugi-ness as I have gotten old…

Perhaps, one day, I’ll pick up a brush…and paint my wrinkles gold.

 
 
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HOW DO WE WANT TO FLOAT?

 

 

 

From the moment we are born we begin our journey down the river of time…it’s the same river everyone travels…it’s where all our journey’s blend…however…we don’t control how long we’ll be on the river…or when our journey ends.

 

We are floating solo…on the river of time there is no boat…

what determines the type of journey we will have is how we choose to float

 

If we float with love in our hearts…with kindness, compassion and honesty…with our hearts unburdened we are light up on the water and we float more effortlessly.

 

We float more peacefully this way…how smoothly across the water we glide…we lay back, allowing the current to take us…and there’s a good chance…we enjoy the ride.

 

If we float with anger, hatred and resentment…this burdens our heart…acting like weights…pulling us down…and as we float across the water…there’s a good chance we might drown.

 

Our floating is more labored…more painful….our discomfort we can’t hide…we work to keep our heads above the water and it’s so much harder to enjoy the ride.

 

Knowing our journey on the river of time will one day come to an end…as it does for everyone…there is a question we must ask ourselves before our journey’s done…

 

Since our ride will not last forever…since one day our time on the river will cease…

would we rather float in pain…

or do we prefer to float in peace.

 
 
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I NEVER WALK ALONE

 

Long ago when I began my morning walks I thought I was out there on my own…but, over the years, I’ve come to realize…I never walk alone.

 

There are the animals; the owls, the birds the cats and rabbits that occasionally accompany me…and I’ve had many a conversation with the stars, the clouds….the trees.

 

As I walk I’ve blessed with people who appear and disappear…people I have loved…still love…even though they’re no longer here.

 

They emerge from out of my memory…they show up next to me while I’m walking…most of the time they just smile and listen…while I do all the talking.

 

There’s my mom and dad, who’ve long since passed but periodically walk with me…there’s Deborah’s mom and dad who I’m always happy to see.

 

I’m not crazy (at least I hope not) I know they’re not really here but their presence I can feel, I can see…like this morning when Chrissy, our daughter’s friend from high school, came out to walk with me.

 

I don’t know how to explain it but the feeling of Chrissy was strong…and like all my morning walking buddies…she brought a host of memories along.

 

As I walked I remembered moments…with Chrissy as my guide…I imagine she wanted me to remember more of how she lived…and not the tragic way she died.

 

She left me, as they all do, as quickly as she came…without a trace…and I continued on my walk with a smile on my face.

 

Glad to share a moment with a person I have known…glad to know in the early morning…I’ll never walk alone.

 

 

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RISE UP

 

I have ben fortunate…privileged…given advantages…others may never see…which means rising up each day has always been easy for me. 

 

For most of my life I have known that people are exploited…oppressed but have chosen not to see …and when I’ve risen in the morning…I have risen mostly for me.

 

But my eyes are open now and I’m appalled at what I see…so no longer in the morning shall I ruse up just for me.

 

I’m not sure, yet, exactly what that entails but I vow as each new day begins I shall rise up for anyone no matter who they are…or the color of your skin.

 

I shall rise up for anyone deemed imperfect…who may seem a little odd…for anyone who doesn’t look like me…or prays to a different God.

 

I shall rise up for those who do not think like me…who are not of my same mind…as long as they are accepting and gentle…as long as they are kind.

 

I shall rise up for the Earth and for her animals…every creature large and small…I shall rise up and try to make this world more compassionate…and a safer place for all.

 

Since rising up has been easy for me…I shall rise for people of any color, gender, shape or size…anyone who has been oppressed…and encourage them to rise.

 

Because when I rise up for injustice…and you rise up…and you and you and you…eventually…it is inevitable…the whole world rises too.

 

So to those, like me, who have had it easy..it’s time we open our eyes….

and look at the heights we will be able to reach…when together…we all rise

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