Last year—as if in a class of one—I learned a lot about these two words: empathy and energy. Each of us, within our lifetime will experience a family member or friend or acquaintance or stranger who shares their voice: “Oh, it was so unexpected.” “I was so scared.” “I thought he/she would die.” “Yes, the loss is hard.” Do you remember how these moments FELT for you?
I earned an A in class when it came to listening to the variety of voices whose goal was to save me so others would not need to share: “It was so sudden!” I invite each of you to truly listen to the voices of others. It is in these moments that we are in the state of empathy: a word that means compassion. And, whether or not you remember who it was that shared their voice with you it is the energy of the moment that will remain for all time!
If the physicists out there panic as to how it is a writer identifies with words like energy and all time; I say “Sorry!” But what I minimally do know is that energy is always conserved meaning it cannot be created or destroyed. Or maybe this portrays it: energy just gets transferred.
Know that the next time a voice shares with you a sanctified moment in their life the state of empathy is now energy that just transferred to the everlastingly!
Gardeners: We’d prepare the ground and plant the seeds at the perfect moment of the right season. Lovingly we would add water and nutrients to encourage our buds to push aside the dirt that still holds us captive. We’d wonder how or if our seedlings would leave the protection beneath to seek the warmth pledged by the rays of the Sun.
We’d constantly be on guard to pull all weeds that command our breathing space. To save from harm those tender plants growing faster than intended by their season. To keep an eye out for the insects that unite the garden and those that intend to destroy it.
To ultimately be content: even proud and pleased that the fruits of our labor can now be shared with others. Like those who may, for the first time, learn the value of a garden. Or those who begin to clear the overgrown weeds to remember what they used to have.
Ultimately we’d observe—with knowing—that the seasons begin to change and soon the gardens of our making will fade away to create space for the beginners.
Dare I Ask: “What if our garden is forever barren just because we chose to never plant that first seed?”
I once took a train trip to Chicago and along the way the train made many stops. At each I observed passengers exit and walk past my window. Some walked slowly: heads down. Others scurried along the station platforms as if life itself was just around the corner. Looking back on that time I see clearly now that my Chicago train trip was a metaphor for my time at Colorado State University (CSU).
For many years I stood on the platform at the CSU Train Station and watched as trains arrived, carrying new colleagues with their prior experiences to now mix with mine. I observed as others boarded different trains when their sojourn at CSU came to a close. I also said good-bye to those who left silently.
When each CSU Train departed the Station I looked about the platform for those who remained—their presence an encouragement to me. And between trains I observed, listened and learned lessons that are forever part of who I am.
Eventually my unexplored borders moved beyond the CSU Train Station as the call went out for “ALL ABOARD.” Soon afterward I pulled away from that well-traveled platform. I waved to each of you and continued to look back at the memories, at the friendships, at the effort and the loss.
After a while I faced forward and looked intently out the window so I would not miss my intended platform as it came into view.
If thought is energy and we know that energy is always conserved—meaning it cannot be created or destroyed—then why do we spend so much time and energy in our thoughts?
My thoughts these days run a gamut of when will I absolutely be beyond last year living with an infection intent on killing me and its afterthoughts now in other parts of my body. I’d never thought about an end-game to illness because I’d never faced IT before. So one of my thoughts is: I’m alive isn’t that enough? My answer: hell no! I want the ME I used to be and that just isn’t going to happen—ever!
That thought brings on the poor me melody and I want so much to yell aloud: “Get out! Just get the hell out of my body and LEAVE me alone. Each of us knows that this type of self-pity takes a lot of energy so thank goodness energy cannot be destroyed or I’d be in real trouble.
I had one life and I now have another that draws me to my purpose of this life. It changes, you know, our direction in life, for any number of reasons. The thoughts of my body demand that I work hard to heal and to rest when tired. Yet that which is energy gives me bursts of power to talk with others about the value of our stories and my novel “The Respite” and my book that asks the question “Postcards from God/How Do Angels Fly” and an essay on energy and a new effort entitled: “The Energy that is Compassion.”
Oh, I just had another thought! Energy is a word that means power, force, vigor and my favorite: get-up-and-go! And I shall!
It was the voice of my Italian grandmother who used to say things like: “…you kids grow too fast. Slow down. Smell my roses; they not last either.” I, of course heard her, but did I listen? No, not really. Her message was imprisoned in my youth. But today, yes the first day of 2015 at around ten at night I heard: “…see, I tell you the truth.”
I wonder what Maria would think of humankind these days—so far removed from the immigrants struggling in the coal mining camps of her day. For Heaven’s sakes we are now searching for answers in the Cosmos and losing sight of our neighbor next door. Don’t get me wrong, I find significance in knowledge. But more, I find hopefulness in the storytelling of those who came before us. The ones who warned us to slow down… “Tomorrow waits for no one.”
2015: Who among you will dare to smell a rose or listen to the laughter of a child or remember the voices of those who came before or hold an aged hand and ask: “What do you mean grandmother that I grow too fast? After all: LIFE IS INTENTION!
HAND is a word that means give or offer or tender or dispense. This knowing caused me to wonder: “What if each time we shake a hand or hold a hand or kiss a hand or pat a hand or reach for a helping hand our LIFE would be—for the moment—unbroken?”
For those of you who know me suspect another question isn’t far behind. Here it is: “Might it be possible that the words we speak—as simple as HAND—are intended to carry out a purpose equally as vital to humankind as breathing?”
Maternal is a word that reveals itself in actions and Tapestry is the interweaving of its consequences. There are women who weave with an artistry that is life itself and others who lose a thread here and there weakening the embroidery over time.
Women of the World—from time itself—entwined in the stillness of their Maternal Tapestry to guide and teach and love and train and pray for those of their womb. Their tapestry sewn tight into the yet unborn and each stitch after birth intended.
Yet, we still have wars and we still hate and we still throb to control and those in the womb must surely feel this energy. And yes, some Maternal Tapestry still exists in the voices allowed to speak; but even they are growing quiet.
My question is this: “If the current voices in the Cosmos of Maternal Tapestry should be silenced by fear or ignorance of its import—who then would become the Maternal Tapestry Storytellers of our future?”
My title (above) flashed quickly by in a television ad at the moment I drained my Cup of Joe. I guess it’s the writer in me that observes a picture in words: like an artist might see a masterpiece in a color palette. In this case my doorway to creating a new blog.
Look Outward: I assume each of us know what it is to LOOK. But to look OUTWARD, well that may require a different state of mind: one willing to see but not judge others or ourselves. A way of thinking that requires empathy. There is woefully every form of opinion in every form of media that calls to us: “Get On Board,” we have your answer. To Look Outward we see the firestorm.
Inquire Within: Ah, here we have the reflection that is our essence. It is here we are liberated to think and wonder and ask and form opinion without outward influences. Humankind’s voice is silent here because it’s threatened by the Outward. Yet, the power that is thought lives at this moment and for all time. Inquire Within and we see the obtainable.
Discern is an old-fashioned word that means to distinguish or become aware of. The roads ahead are those we traverse daily—unaware discernment is required. Perhaps like those roads below.
Is it Road 52-C in rural Iowa covered in rust-red powdery earth that billows from the underside of Farmer Abel’s truck? The corn fields await harvest and Farmer Abel grows old.
Or a paved snowbound road in Bismarck, North Dakota: Closed! January had waited impatiently for that first Canadian cold front to take shape. When it did she blew hard southward.
There is the learning-a-lesson road that can be immediate; painfully long; velvety smooth, or rough with jagged peril.
Some roads wind soothingly, like the steady flow of the Volga River. But on-shore male Russian hawkers display their wares. They sell with their eyes: gentle, pleading and threatening. You are pursued from one wooden stall to another; at least until you say nyet.
The Yellow Brick Road in the Land of Oz is wrought with flying monkeys; the Horse of a Different Color; Wizards; Scarecrow; Tin Man, and Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers. And, lest we forget: the Good and Wicked Witches and the Munchkins. But Dorothy’s toll road taught her it wasn’t her slippers that held the power of place. It was her discernment that led directly home.