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

Best

Do the best

you can

with what

you have.

Enjoy the ride!

A 90 year old

shares the secret.

If we aren’t

satisfied

doing

our best

with

what

we have,

we won’t enjoy

what

we did

accomplish.

livinglinesreflections.com

Rehearsal Skirt

At this time of the year

when

shorter days of light,

holidays

and holydays

combine,

many people,

maybe most,

wear

a mixed

rainbow of feelings.

Sadness

from past

and

present,

pleasure,

joy

sometimes

collide

with outer

appearances,

sparkling lights,

jingle bells,

and our own selves.

How to reconcile

the different streams?

A dear friend

in the theater

told me

about

preparing for a role.

“Put on a rehearsal skirt.”

This season

as I dress to go out,

I put on

my rehearsal skirt.

I am not

playing a role

other than myself.

I am tuning into the

joy

which lives

in my heart

next to the

sadder feelings.

Each time

I return home,

I realize

the rehearsal skirt

helped me

BE

in the happier self.

I am reminded that

dark

and light

are part of the

seasons

and living

as a human being

in a world

where

living

in each moment

is the gift

of Being.

The Week of Apple

Thinking of

Fall

crisp apples?

Is it a coincidence

that Apple

has a

big product announcement

scheduled for

this time of the year?

Many years

there is a

dazzling

announcement that

a world-changing product

will be available

at the Apple store near You!

That has meant

some Septembers

that there will be

lines outside

as if a rock star is

appearing.

On the web marketplaces,

some people are

selling their older but still good phones

to get a

bigger, better,

this year’s design.

I don’t have

an I-Phone.

How can I live

without one,

you might ask?

I function

very well,

thank you,

with my Jitterbug phone.

A flip phone,

it does what I need it to do.

That is what

technology means for me.

It is to serve me,

not complicate

my life.

I have a  three and a half year old

Mac

which this week

announced that my Safari app

was no longer

being

supported

so I ordered it to

upgrade.

Now I have to hunt for

previously familiar

functions.

I couldn’t find my

e-mail Files.

A flash of insight

came to me in the shower

and

I found where

to make the Files

show by clicking under my name

and the word “show”

appeared.

Click and there they were.

I did not want to spend time on the phone

or responding to the screen
“May we help”

and not have the

question

I needed

show.

I have a four and a half

year old I-Pad which

has Kindle

loaded in it.

Generally
I prefer books in my hand.

Luddite, no!

I did publish

a book

Living Lines

on the Espresso robotic

book-making machine

at The Harvard Book Store.

Now that is amazing!

Savoring

Savor

Senses

Sensual!

Our brains

receive information

from our senses

seeing

hearing

tasting

touching

smelling.

Our brains are particularly

sensitive

and respond

to direct

experience.

This is our

basic

form of  learning.

Virtual

learning

and habit

dull

our senses.

Our brains respond

to new

input.

Routine

Repetition

dulls

our senses.

We are not enjoying

and experiencing

the sensuality.

When we have

fixed ideas

of things

-we miss

so much.

When we encounter them

we want to experience

with new eyes,

real awareness.

Take a strawberry.

Enjoy the redness,

the fresh

green leaf and stem.

Smell the berry.

Feel its shape.

Small

or gigantic?

Skirted with chocolate?

Think of the

earth the plant

grew in.

Feel the rain

needed to

bring

that sweetness.

Feel your saliva

wetting

your mouth

to receive

this beautiful

single strawberry.

Active Awareness

Perhaps

you have heard the expression

“If you want to hear God laugh

tell him your plans!”

Lives spent

multi-tasking,

making calendars for

planning ahead,

electronic devices

tracking our whereabouts

through

satellite GPS,

may call

for some TIMEOUT.

There can be so much

to do

in a day,

a week,

a month,

I realized

I needed

to find a perspective.

This is now

my mantra:

“I no longer

make a plan

for myself,

but respond

to the things in my life

that are part of

a pattern

or a plan

I cannot see.”

On the surface,

these words may sound

passive,

but they remind me

to strive for

active awareness.

While I may not

be

in control of events,

I can be ready

to respond.

Manners, Yes, Etiquette, Old Fashioned

Etiquette

written in books

taught

at home, school

went away

when life

became

more casual,

communication

changed.

Manners

seemed to go

gradually too.

Formulas

about how to act,

who to hold the door for,

which fork to use,

who to stand up for and greet

did offer

formulas for how

to behave.

There was value

in knowing what

guidelines

could  help people

feel more comfortable,

doing the right thing.

Did the baby get thrown out with the bathwater?

Underlying etiquette

is manners.

Manners are not about

formal rules

but

more important

about how to treat

others

with respect,

kindness,

gracefully.

One day last week,

I was crossing a busy

city sidewalk.

A large group

of pre-teen boys,

uniformed with bow ties, shirts

trousers or shorts

moved in a pack around me.

Oblivious.

No stepping to the right,

I was stuck in the middle.

No eye contact,

not even seeing me,

acknowledging

I was there.

High school tuition,

but what are they learning?

Later that day,

the local news

showed

an inner-city class

of boys and girls,

paired somewhat

uncomfortably

in a position of holding

in dance position.

Guided by an unseen voice,

they were learning

MANNERS!

No white gloves

this group.

A girl said,

“oh, this is ok

except his hands are sweaty.”

Gradually they seemed

to become

more comfortable.

Decades ago I remember

going to dance class

at the same age.

Other than the tall boys

choosing the short girls

leaving we tall girls with the short boys,

we learned to dance

and our manners, learned at home and school

were expanded

to other situations.

I will hold open

the door for you

and you for me.

It doesn’t matter

our age, our sex,

our neighborhood.

It is thoughtful courtesy.