Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving: Do People and Others Need it?

Having a special day for giving thanks is, in a way, implying that giving thanks is not an everyday thing. Usually folks think it is about giving God feedback for His/Her blessings.  I don’t think the Deity needs that nearly as much as dogs, people, horses and cats do. I don’t want to jump to conclusions about the Deity, so I plan to give thanks to It too! An idea that comes to mind is that if we say thank you a lot on Thanksgiving Day, then it will give us practice for saying it more often every day.

At any rate, day after tomorrow it is hereby permitted for us to be more open with letting our closest dearest ones, absolute strangers, and everyone in between, know that we are thankful that they are, to whatever degree, in our perspective, even if only by venturing a smile. 

One thing I have noticed, since over the years I have been more inclined to look strangers in the face, is that often the other person is also looking me in the face. Then we both light up at the same time. It is a really big deal to me when that happens. I call it a healthy connection.  My theory is that healthy connections between us lead to healthy connections within us. Many relatively small healthy connections can add up in a day’s time! 

Sometimes just being acknowledged, being appreciated for who I am, even merely for being a creature, not necessarily for doing a good job, is all it takes to make my day; however I don’t want to minimize hearing about it if I have done a good job.

I like to look at myself in the mirror mornings, hair all scraggily, face overloaded with wrinkles yet, and remind myself that I am Holy, Sacred, Precious, Divine, just like everybody else, just like the dogs and cats and Canada Geese. Being a part of something bigger than I am, something that I consider Holy, makes me relish existing, infinitely small might I be! What an intimate early morning encounter!

Thank you for reading this.  Thank you for being in my life. Happy Thanksgiving Day.

On to Alpharetta GA to be with my big family and friends.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Perspective of Hope

This I wrote tonight, not only because  my great nieces are interested  in astronomy, but also because the because the temperature and humidity are becoming just right for getting out my old Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrainian telescope:

There is so much to see and wonder about out there! And superficially and deeply inside the here-and-now and there-and-then! The theologian, Rudolph Otto was blown away with the immense mystery of the "out there." He sophisticated the tremendous mystery by calling it the Mysterium Tremendum! I don't know of more graphic ways to experience this, but by probing the universe at the most extreme limits of dimension: macroscopic, microscopic, telescopic, and so on: from the smallest to the largest, most immediate to the most remote, and everything in between. 

With an ecological perspective I am ever on the alert for what is connected to what, in what ways, and in what most significant and practical ways. Telescope, microscope, electron microscope, animations such as we may experience at xvivo.com and worldwidetelescope.com, can take us right there if we are not averse to awe. What a wonderful ride to have available to take, even more so lately, with the network of connections we have available, and may tote in our pockets and purses.

We are being continually invited to experience wave after wave of discovery, of exhilaration, of uplifting of spirit, of "mojo." So much is staring us in the face that we can't see. How long did it take Pythagoras to discover that a-squared plus b-squared equals c-squared? How many centuries until the mentally ill Sir Isaac Newton took that and ran with it: discovered stuff that a normal person would not be capable of seeing? I was six weeks into my calculus course, with zeros on every weekly exam, before I began to see the light.

Emerson starts his essay, History, "There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent."

I like the idea, "inlet." I also notice that Emerson was to not a small extent "culture-bound," since feminism had yet not been discovered. I might just let him get by with that this time, since there is much to redeem him in this essay.

My main point, my take home message, is that I am exhilarated by the idea that I can think what great men think. They are great because they make sense to people who will carry them on and will not let them die.  In a sense one might say that this heritage of hope is their heaven!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

All Saints

For All the Saints! An inspiring hymn. Today is indeed All Saints Day. I like to think of everyone as having at least a streak of saintliness in ‘em, despite whatever mischief they got into, often by their imagining in retrospect that they were merely “In the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson discovered that punishment and crime spring from the same roots. Poverty fits in there also. At least the poor are less likely to have the slickest attorneys. Then there’s the judge in, believe it or not, Texas, who won’t allow DNA testing on a death row prisoner. In my opinion killing people is murder, whether a person formally labeled criminal is doing or it, or a government.

It is easier for me to grieve the loss of my father when I shine the light on the times he was loving toward me and other people. Sub-carpeting (sweeping under the rug) my memories of his carrying me on his shoulders for the Gasparilla Parade when I was about 2 1/2, feeling the pain of guilt, easily done compared with the pain of loss (I was guilty because I hadn’t convinced him not to smoke) had isolated me from my heart. Maybe I wasn’t able to cry when he died because he had often threatened me when I was a kid by saying that if I didn’t stop crying he was going to give me something to cry about. I don’t think he made that saying up! At any rate, as of this date he is a Saint.

I hope I continue the dream I had a couple of nights ago of his running a long distance race with me.