Age and Wisdom

I

should be

wiser

than I was.

Memory

composes a story

of shames and amazements.

The shames I closed

inside myself,

but the amazements,

at a sun streaked wall,

at the thrill

of an oriole,

a face,

an iris,

a volume of poems,

a person,

endure and return

in brightness.

Such moments lifted me

above my lameness.

-Czeselaw Milosz , Polish Nobel Laureate in Literature

 I don’t necessarily feel wiser as I age. However, I do remember coming upon similar challenges at earlier times and hoping that what I learned would help me.It is natural to assume that age will confer wisdom. It is really a hope that I will remember-and act on-what I’ve learned from life’s experiences.   Sometimes, I realize that asking “is this mine?”  is the question to ask myself. Often the quiet answer comes and it is “NO”.

Bouquet

Each

friend

represents

a world

in us,

a world

possibly

not born

until

he or she

arrives.

I have a bouquet

of friends,

each one

different.

I find

myself

revealing-

sometimes

discovering-

different

aspects

of myself

with each

of them.

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

Attaching

I feel like

I have

crossed

through

wild winds

into the calm

eye of the storm.

I must face

the wildness again

because the

calm will pass.

Clouds

are sometimes used

as a metaphor.

Watching the sky,

sometimes only

as wisp of white

dabbles

the blue

of the sky.

Clouds may move

with the breeze

or be blown

by the wind.

Today

there are many layers

some dense,

some moving quickly.

The clouds

show confusion,

some static,

occasionally

the sun peaks through.

The clouds

remind me to

practice

not attaching

to a

particular

state of mind,

pleasurable

or painful

or somewhere

in-between.

Each state

will change.

By being

engaged,

conscious of

what is happening,

I try

not to hold

onto

one

particular time.

More Understanding

Soul and body,

I suggest,

react

sympathetically

upon each other;

a change

in the state of the

soul produces

a change

in the shape

of the body,

and conversely:

a change in the

shape of the body

produces

a change in

the state of the soul.

Surprise!

Aristotle,

Physiognomics, c.350 B.C.E.

Aristotle’s theory is

much quoted today.

It is humbling

to think

that the

ancient Greeks

framed questions

that still preoccupy us

more than 23 centuries later.

It is exciting too,

because over the

past two decades,

scientists

have acquired

powerful

new imaging tools

that are

revolutionizing

our understanding

of the connection

between

body and mind.

Turning the Sound Down

When you feel

life is too intense,

imagine it as

a TV soap opera.

Turn the sound down

until it seems manageable

or mute the sound

and read the text.

It reads

differently

than it sounds.

What is

going on

in your life

may seem

less dramatic.

Sometimes

we can’t

eliminate

the drama

in our lives,

but we can

turn the volume down.

Do you have

ways

that help

you ?

Calm

We often

judge

others’ outsides

from our own inside.

or we judge

our own insides

by others’ outsides.

We look

at others

as calm,

in control,

on top of things.

For many people,

it takes a

lot of effort

to put

themselves together

and what you see

is the result

of that effort,

not the

challenge

of getting there.

I am startled

when someone

tells me

that I always

seem”so calm”

especially at moments

when I have

a lot of emotions

going on

inside.

As I grow older,

I am becoming

more willing

to reveal

some of those inner feelings,

that being vulnerable

is a painful experience.

Sometimes,

being open and honest

can be an opportunity

for closer

relationships.

livinglinesreflections.com

Our Best Selves

Pictures remind

Easter finery.

New bonnet,

Spring coat, perhaps

passed down

through

sisters and cousin.

New dress,

polished shoes

or new

patent leather!

Small flower corsage

from Daddy.

Some may still

dress this way

for Easter services,

I may admit to

a little envy.

We looked our best

or so it seemed.

The best outside dress-up

cannot cover up

the violence of

terror or the

insulting language

in the political campaign.

Steady reams of

news

proclaim

more crucifixion

than resurrection.

There are many

moments

of love and caring,

even random

acts of kindness.

What will it take

to dress up

ourselves,

our families and friends,

our neighborhoods

and our world

with sincere conversion

from the inside out.

Real love and kindness

generate

warmth and smiles.

How can we

dress

ourselves

with the

realization

that

we are all

in this world together?

Respect

for

each and every other,

dressed in finery

or clothes unfamiliar.

Garments given away

clothe

those without anything.

Respect

is the best

place

to begin.

We all

can dress ourselves best

caring for

each other.

Amen.

Be Prepared?

Heavy snow forecast,

stores not prepared

with enough

milk, bread, eggs

for each buyer

trying to

be prepared.

Few lingering items.

Schools closed tomorrow.

Warnings change

by the hours.

Course of storm

uncertain.

Shovel,boots, salt

prepared

as well as you can.

Same news hour

predicts

earthquake

in northern Pacific Coast

at least

a hundred years

overdue.

Tsunami would follow.

Buildings too low.

Higher floors

being built over school.

Drills for children and teachers

at first rumble

to climb as high

as stairs go.

No time

to rush out

for milk, bread, eggs.

Are you prepared?

For which possibility?

In life,

are we ever

really

prepared

for what

actually does happen?

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