Playing Back

A friend

needs

the song

in your heart

and can sing

it back

to you

when

you need it.

In some ways,

friends

are

mirrors

to us,

and, at times,

we can be

mirrors to them.

Friends

can know

how

to sing

words of encouragement

and love-

music

to our hearts-

when

we need them.

I think

that one of the signs

of real friendship

is the

reciprocity

of

keeping in touch.

livinglinesreflections.com

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

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 ?

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.

Holy Confusion

I

no longer

make

a plan

for

myself

but

respond to the

things and people

 in my life

that are

part of a

plan or a pattern

I cannot see.

These words

may sound

passive

but remind me

to

strive

for an active

awareness

realizing that

I am

in the midst

of a

“holy confusion”.

Discovering

these two words,

I chuckled

and

remembered

my mantra.

Ann Patchett,

wonderful writer,

reflects,

“Sometimes not having any idea

where we’re going

works out better

than we could

possibly have imagined.”

Illusion

Why do we have

the illusion

that life

should be easy?

Until we can

embrace

the hard times,

the losses,

we will be surprised

when illness,

pain,

loss

and

disappointment

come into our lives.

Sometimes,

all

at the same time.

Centering Prayer

and 

Inner Awakening

offers

a helpful way

to “be” with

difficult

things in life,

even a

painful thought or feeling.

The Welcoming Prayer

can bring

awareness,

giving

the experience

space

to clarify

and not resist.

It may sound

counter-intuitive

but opening

up

to what

is going on,

may

help.

Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Centering Prayer

DATA

Once upon a time

Not so very

long ago,

before the digital revolution,

my data

was on paper.

Bills came through the mail,

checks written,

receipt on bill

kept in a box,

mailed with a stamp.

Snail mail

it is called now.

There were

advantages

to that system.

Letters

were hand written.

Pleasure

as the receiver opened.

Handwritten

usually.

Personal.

Some people

claim

as do some offices

to be

paper-free.

My records,

e-mails

credit card bills,

etc, etc. etc.

are kept in a

hybrid system.

Not everything

gets printed

on paper.

But

anything I believe

to be important

gets

printed.

At this time of the year,

when records

are put in some

order

to prepare

for tax paying

in April,

I attempt

to go through

the files

on my computer

and my

paper files.

Increasingly

the IRS is

encouraging

people

to file their

tax returns

on-line.

I don’t wait

for spring cleaning

to attempt to

weed out my

computer

and paper

files.

Of course,

some paper records

are copies of

digital records.

File by file,

a few at a time,

I look to see

what needs to

be kept

and dispose

or delete

unnecessary

information.

There is just

too much

data.

How much

data is secure?

Credit cards

are hacked.

Today,

a large hospital system

announced that

their electronic records

had been hacked

and they would

notify the patients

effected.

And

on and on.

The amount of time

to manage all of this

has expanded

along with

the advantages

of this digital

revolution.

One health insurer

chose the same

company

the federal government

chose to set up

the Affordable Care Act.

When the new system

failed,

employees

had to learn

to process

applications,

by hand

on paper.

We can’t go back

to the ways things

were.

Is there a

solution

to the

reality

of so much

data

and not having

a choice

about whether

to put your

whole life

on electronic systems?