Here are a few that come immediately to mind: One Another; Our Thoughts; Our History; Our Beliefs; Our Humanity; Our Purpose; Our Natural World, and Our Stories.
You may ask me why I even ask such a question that has so many distinctive reasons for but even one entry on my list. I do this because whether we know it or not, we each submit to the ultimate carnage.
I have an example; simple yet so complex. It takes place in the Serengeti; an ecosystem in the geographical region in Africa located north of Tanzania that is 12,000 square miles. I bring you here for the elephants; a Keystone Species to the Serengeti. Keystone is a word that means foundation.
Elephants on the Serengeti eat 350 pounds of food a day. If elephants did not drop their digested foodstuff there would be no fertilization for the grasslands to grow. If that were to happen, it would change and ultimately destroy the Serengeti and all its inhabitants as we know it today.
I conclude from this that all FOUNDATIONS on our Earth matter! So I ask again: “What Are We Truthfully Killing?”
The term Greater Good has always fascinated me. Not the term itself, but the intention of those who try to define it; like I am right now.
The word GREATER means: better, superior and bigger. The word GOOD means: blameless, decent and worthy. Some say IT benefits more people than oneself. IT is also defined as that which is better and more correct. These ideals have BIG SHOES to fill as Mother Earth tries to balance our differences.
The words “Greater Good” remind me of the buildup to an orchestra’s crescendo; loud and meaningful and intended. After which humankind go their separate ways, lessening the collective meaning of our shared experience.
So what is the Greater Good? That dear readers, is the intention you give to IT.
TRUTH – the word means fact, reality, honesty and loyalty… Words that live inside me as part of who I was, where I came from, who I loved, why I loved and who I am. Those who came before me set the stage I was to step out on in what is known as LIFE.
But these days I wonder whom to trust with my understanding of Humankind on Mother Earth. The Power Brokers: Governments, Media, Movies, Social Media, Prejudice, Education, Killing Fields etc. all vie for My Voice.
So, I don’t know if I’m right about this for you, but for me, like when the swollen rivers rise, I head for higher ground; a place where I remember the sound of My Own Voice.
Recently—watching the evening news—I wondered where is that sense of place I knew so well as a child. The place of family and shelter and protection until that one day at school we were taught how to hide beneath our wooden desks warning The Russians Are Coming! That did not pan out but it did, for the first time, educate me to know that my sense of place had just changed forever.
Also, in those days, we were convinced that, if we chose to, we could dig our way down and find China. Given I was reading a book about China at the time I was more interested in this effort than my two brothers. Their sense of place at the time was building their forts using old wooden boxes and scrap paraphernalia they found as they played all over the neighborhood. Many years later I was fortunate enough to see China: after a very long plane ride. As the drone of the plane flew on I smiled to myself thinking back to the broken wooden spatula my mother encouraged me to use if I was serious about digging my way to another sense of place.
So I ask: On Our Earth Today is there A SENSE OF PLACE anywhere? Anger and frustration and killing fields and lines not to cross and on and on… I need say no more.
So I pose this: If we have forgotten or don’t think about and don’t care about our sense of place then we Humankind are no longer writing the Life Stories of the Individual or Earth itself.
Maybe we should look to Mother Nature’s trees and the animals and the oceans and the land because they are indeed grounded in A Sense of Place.
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!