Life and. . .

Loss

of a loved one,

a family member,

is a stark

reality

of life.

There is

no way out.

Anticipating

a loved one’s death

offers no

preparation.

Expectation,

no matter

how long,

does not

offer

a roadmap.

Once the rituals

whatever they are

have ended,

each of us

are

on our own.

Friends may console,

prayers said,

but in each moment

reminders

present

the harshness

of raw

physical,

emotional,

spiritual

change.

When

tears wet

my eyes

or sobs

move my

body,

it is a relief.

Pent-up

emotions

erupt

on grief’s

own schedule.

There is no

measurement

of the tears, the sadness.

The shadows

linger.

“Are you over it yet?”

a friend was asked

six weeks after her husband died.

There should be

no expectation

or impatience

with someone’s

time of

mourning.

There may be

stages,

but each person

marks their own.

There may be

light

with the shadows.

Sometimes.

A smell,

a glimpse

of someone who

reminds of

the loved one.

The depth and length

of grief

may

reflect the

intensity

of love

between

the

one

who has died

and those

left to mourn.

Life

Death.

Kindness.

Please.

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”.

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

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.

Lost and Found

The word goes out,

the piles appear,

Lost and Found.

It is the end of the season

at a skating rink,

a ski lodge,

the swimming pool,

schools.

Some places keep

perpetual collections.

Looking at the

leavings,

it is amazing

how many

towels,

hats,

gloves,

books,

scarves-

things that you would expect

people,

often children,

would miss

have not been

claimed before.

Archeological

history

could be imagined

if the items

were found many years

later.

My favorites

are the individual

items I see

on my neighborhood walks.

Especially in winter

or now as the season is

tempting us

with warmer weather

to come.

A glove,

a hat,

always

just one.

Some stay

where lost.

Does anyone notice?

Some

do

and put onto a step, a branch

where the items may be more visible.

Yesterday,

I walked part way

to the place I was going

after being

given a ride halfway

to my destination.

Three hours later,

putting on my coat,

I felt for my gloves

expecting to also find

my favorite foldable hat.

Only gloves.

Oh well.

As I started walking home,

I came to the corner

where I had gotten out of the car.

Maybe the hat

fell as I was getting out of the car.

Eureka!

There

just at that corner

someone had

placed my hat

on a bush just at eye level

for my discovery.

It was a cold day,

I welcomed the warmth

of my lost and now found hat.

Horses or Homeless

Politics

in this democracy

rarely

follow

the

values

spelled out

in the U.S. Constitution.

This 2015-2016

Primary Scene

is full of

nightly news,

antics,

outrageous statements

and very little

about human rights.

We, the People,

in Order to form

a more perfect Union.

Is there anyplace

in the

Preamble

and 27 Amendments

 that mentions

Central Park Horses?

New York’s Mayor,

who two years ago

expressed

serious ambitions

about improving society,

especially for

the poor,

recently proposed

a bill

to the City Council.

Recognizing that his early proposal

to eliminate

horses and carriages

from New York

 was politically unwise,

 he now proposes keeping

the horses and carriages

only

IN Central Park.

This feat would be accomplished

by building stables

in the Park

which would cost

an estimated $25 million dollars.

This public housing for the horses,

already warmly stabled,

would divert funds

from providing

shelter and housing

for

the more than 55,000

homeless.

In the wake

of a two foot blizzard,

making

such a proposal,

could draw our attention

to the platforms

in the contest

for our next president.

Is this the best

we can do

in the home of

the free and the brave?

Values and the choices

we make

are

about

Real People.

Some

need our help.

Inside Out, Outside In

We may judge

others’

outsides

from our own

insides.

Do 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.

What you see

is the result

of that effort,

not

the challenge

of

getting there.

When I have been

more willing

to reveal

some of my

inner feelings,

the

result can be

closer

relationships.