See What Is

See what is.

The tape playing

in the back of our minds

often distracts us from

what is right in front of us.

Taken together,

“see what is”

are three challenging words.

Pausing

several times a day

to check

whether

the tape in my mind

is

related

to

what is right

in front of me

can bring me

into

the present moment.

livinglinesreflections.com

Filling Up With Moments In-Between

Artists know that

negative space

defines

a composition.

Musicians know that

the silence

between

the notes

is as much

a part of the

experience

of the music

as the notes.

Think of

space

and

silence

when you

breathe,

knowing

that

the pause

between

the

in-breath

and the

out-breath

fills you.

Paying attention

to one’s breath

is a

reminder of

how full of life

we are.

Imagine

soothing

oxygen,

filling

your body,

reaching

every cell.

It is a way

to stay

in the moment.

livinglinesreflections.com

Limits

We all need

to learn to

set limits.

Do you live in an

unnaturally

high setting

for normal?

Are you

expecting

too much of

yourself and others?

When is life or

our response to it,

just too much

or just enough?

Can you build in some

flexibility?

What if our lives are

right on

the edge,

and we don’t see

the precipice?

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The Most of the Day

Cold

No snow yet.

The bird feeder

put out

yesterday.

Now a ballet

of swirling birds

discovering

with delight.

A rogue squirrel

discovering

dropped seed.

More birds

than before

a lovely neighbor

offered an array

of feeders and suet.

She moved

before last winter.

Her son said

she had feeders

outside the window

and new birds

feasted.

Before she went

to sleep one evening,

she e-mailed him:

“I made the

best of my day.”

Those were her

last words.

I smile,

remembering her.

Our days

are made of

moments,

each

a little seed

of our twenty-four hours.

Some moments

are sad,

others

happy,

even joyful.

Being in

each moment,

living

the best we can.

Making the

best

of our

day.

Lock Down

Remembering

being

in New York City

on 9/11

where for more than 24 hours,

the bridges and tunnels

shut traffic going

in and out

of Manhattan Island.

Remembering

during

the week

of the

Boston Marathon

 being

“locked down”

at home

for 14 hours,

Hearing France’s borders

being closed

after the

horrific attacks

in Paris,

emotions

cascade.

Fear,

horror,

and

kindness.

Think

of

those who

didn’t run away

but went toward

the wounded

to help.

Flowers, candles

become altars

to express

sorrow

and

community.

We

know

even more clearly now,

we are all

in this together.

Locking down our feelings

doesn’t work

for us.

We are connected

in our humanity.

Near and far

reach out.

Social media

has its place.

We need physical

connection.

Reaching out

in the darkness

helps

to heal

wounds that

don’t go away.

With Amazing Grace

Whatever side of a bridge

each of us stands,

no one

can be

untouched by the events of this week

June, 2015.

Sharp divisions

on civil rights

about race and same-sex marriage

have permeated

hundreds of years of our history.

Shock shook us.

A young white man

entered the historic

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

in Charleston

sat with nine black people

for an hour

of Bible study

and then shot them.

At his court hearing

the families of those slain

forgave him.

Within days, the governor

called for the removal of the Confederate flag,

still held high while

the American flag

honored the dead

at half mast.

On Friday morning,

the Supreme Court

announced its decision

on same-sex marriage.

In Justice Anthony Kennedy’s eloquent words,

“No union is more profound than marriage,

for it embodies the

highest ideals of

love,

fidelity,

devotion,

sacrifice,

and family.

It would misunderstand these

men and women

to say

they disrespect

the idea of marriage.

Their plea is that they do respect it,

respect it so deeply,

that they seek to

find its fulfillment for themselves.

Their hope is

not to be condemned to live

in loneliness,

excluded from one of

civilization’s

oldest institutions.

They ask for

equal dignity

in the eyes of the law.

The Constitution

grants them that right.”

In the afternoon

on the same day,

President Obama

gave an eloquent eulogy

at the funeral of the slain

Pastor Clementa C. Pinckney.

Pausing for a moment,

President Obama began to sing

Amazing Grace,

how sweet the sound.

When he sang

“I once was lost,

 but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see”

6000 people and a 1000 outside

joined him in the

hymn.

Perhaps others like me

joined in.

“Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieve’d;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!

Thro’ many dangers, toils, and snares,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.”

GRACE

GRACIOUS

DIGNITY

For ALL.

PEACE

Revelation, Celebration

“Sunlight fell

upon the wall;

the wall received a borrowed

splendor.

Why set your heart

on a piece of earth,

O simple one?

Seek out the source

which shines forever.”

Rumi, Sufi mystic poet

“The universe unfolds in God,

who fills us

completely.

Hence,

there is a mystical

meaning to be found

in a leaf,

in a mountain trail,

in a dewdrop,

in a poor person’s face.”

Pope Francis in Laudato Si his encyclical on the environment

Praise Be to You

“The initiate

will capture

what is being said

when the wind blows,

the trees sway,

water flows,

flies buzz,

doors creak,

birds sing,

or in the

sound of strings or flutes,

the sighs of the sick,

the groans

of the afflicted.”

Ali-al-Khawas, a 9th century mystical  Sufi Muslim poet