Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Passion Party #551 - Taming the Wild Brain

Last week was rough.

I was grinding my teeth at night, sweating.
My workday followed me home each night, demanding that I pour over the days events, the troubles in the world, my fears of money, failure and letting down those I care about.
Then I found this poem by Wendell Berry, 

The Peace Of Wild Things:
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

So this weekend I went walking in nature and saw wild things, and tamed my wild brain.
And this morning I basked in the full moon-set, full and glorious, as the sun announced another day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Passion Party #550 - Prayer

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, or "the big do-over" as I like to call it.

Asking forgiveness for all my sins, conscious and unconscious, known and unknown.  And moving forward into a new year where I hope to spend more time in communication and connection.

A year of "At One-Ment", rather than Atonement.

Here is a most appropriate poem from Marie Howe, "Prayer":
Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage
I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here
among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.
The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?
My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.
Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Passion Party #549 - I Don't Know

Early in my childhood I came to realize I had the ability to sound smart, even when I didn't know what I was talking about.

It wasn't arrogance.  It was the ability to say something with conviction and authority that would cause people to believe it was true.

This seems to be a primarily masculine trait.  More men than women are afflicted with this malady.

Over the years this trait has served me well.  It wasn't until much later I learned that acting like I know everything is not the best way to travel through life.

Some people think the most important three words in the English language are "I love you".  I suggest that the most important words are "I don't know".  This opens you up to learn something new.   It gives you the ability to increase your knowledge.  It allows you to be vulnerable.  It creates a space where it is possible to find the true answer to the question.

So today I will practice "I don't know".

Monday, September 7, 2015

Passion Party #548 - No Labor Day

I learned from my dad that working for an hourly wage is  a losing game.

You may not need to be "The Boss", but you need to be the boss of your own destiny, and to do this you cannot be tied purely to an hourly wage.

I learned that in America we are not paid for our labor.  We are paid for how many people we help and how many people our work touches.

So let's call it what it is.

Today we celebrate all those who are tied to a wage, be it $7.25 an hour, $10.00, $15.00 or otherwise.

And how do we celebrate this? By giving people the day off and a chance to shop for cars, mattresses, clothes and new television sets or appliances.  Because that is the American way:

The one with the most stuff wins, and Uncle Sam always needs the biggest rocket.