The perfect words

I always seem to find just the right book or blog or poet or author or whoever to bring me much needed guidance and support, at just the right time. Today the perfect words came from a new book by Mary Oliver, a poet I have come to love very much. Her poem about a boat as a metaphor for life seems so simply perfect and profound. So in following her use of few words to tell her tale, I’ll dispense with any thoughts I have about her poem and leave it to you, the reader, and see if it sings to you also.

IF I WANTED A BOAT

I would want a boat, if I wanted a

boat, that bounded hard on the waves,

that didn’t know starboard from port

and wouldn’t learn, that welcomed

dolphins and headed straight for the

whales, that, when rocks were close,

would slide in for a touch or two,

that wouldn’t keep land in sight and

went fast, that leaped into the spray.

What kind of life is it always to plan

and do, to promise and finish, to wish

for the near and the safe? Yes, by the

heavens, if I wanted a boat I would want

a boat I couldn’t steer.

                                                                         Mary Oliver

sailboat at South Waterfront

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The spectre of change; turning the beast into beauty

I can see on the horizon that my life of retirement, set in my ways, easy and breezy is about to be upended by changes, and this is how I seem to view what is ahead:

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Pretty frightening, wouldn’t you say? But that is too often how we view change here in our lives, as the ugly monster leering its scary grin, who seems to say “Here I am! And don’t even think about trying to hide from me because I will find you.” And yes, change has found me once more, seemingly not by choice.

But after some deep contemplation about change and how we approach it, I see now that it can really be a beauty, like this:

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Changes in our lives, welcomed or not, chosen or thrust upon us, can provide us with the opportunity to learn some really great lessons. In not having a clear sense of direction about my future I am learning to trust in the power of God and the Universe to help me and guide me, all the while having to surrender completely saying I just don’t know what is best for me right now. I also find that I need to open up to all possibilities on my path, not just that which my conscious mind says are the best for me. And I learn the definition of detaching from the outcome, a concept I never could grasp but now I understand. Whatever comes to pass is the highest good for me, and truly the highest good for all.

So I make friends with change and hope to continue our friendship, working towards smiling a genuine smile of Joy!

More Portland smiles

Pulling the message out of the dream

Dream time lately has become akin to watching a feature film, and more often than not my dreams fit into the genre of science fiction. For the most part I don’t remember any details after I wake up, just a general knowing of crazy dreams that filled my sleep.

But every so often I find myself remembering a scene out of my dreams that just won’t go away. These vignettes that I recall in a waking state are very vivid and stay with me. That’s how I know that there is a message to be heeded or a guidepost or sign along my path.

At first glance I can’t always pull out the message, but I find that as I write it out in my journal I get to the Voila! place where now I understand what the two white dogs meant, or any of the other unique dream messages I have received.

And I also find that each dream message itself is both personal and unique. Usually when I see dogs in a dream it is about intuition for me, but last night’s dog dream was not that at all.

So the key is to stay open minded, do a bit of riddle solving, and take heed to what calls to you in the land of your dreams.

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Changing, shifting, rearranging

Change is one of our greatest conundrums here; such a double edged sword. In order to find a state of genuine peace we are best off to see change as a gift, yet in our humanness we often view it from a fearful perspective. This is a dance that we are destined to dance as long as we are here. But acceptance of the rough side of the sword helps us attend to life much more gracefully, and ultimately we may come to the place where we can even view death as just another change, merely a blissful transition from one world to another.

Sands

The sands of change

Shifting

Rearranging

Grains of sand moving into place

To form the perfect pattern

Of a life

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A grain of salt

It used to be that we could only read words on paper, but now our world has expanded so that via the Internet we can access words in so many different formats. This has allowed a multitude of people to become writers, and as far as spiritual words to read there is a plethora on that subject and then some.

It used to overwhelm me, so much to read, and so much that didn’t really do much for me. Frustration would set in as I took so much of it to heart, trying to follow all the guidance I read.

But now I realize that it is to be taken with a grain of salt, that what is written for the general public is just that, written in a general sense and not meant to necessarily adhere to the reader in a personal way. And that goes for the very words I write, trying to bring my perspective and wisdom to others.

Sometimes it is a long period of trial and error as we try to find the wisdom and guidance that best fits us. But it is out there, so don’t give up the search, and take it all with a grain of salt.

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The easiest gift to give

I love living in the city, for me it is pure joy. But sometimes as I walk the streets I love I come upon those who have lost their joy. It is hard to know how to best help these dear souls, but I have found such an easy gift to give, the gift of a smile. It may not help them in the way that money or material possessions would, but I like to think that maybe, just maybe, the acknowledgment of them with a smile and a simple hello might help them feel not so alone and hopeless. And a smile is something that we can all share so easily with one another.

My Portland smile!

 

A hard word to say

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn in order to find my authentic self is being able to say the word “no” and stand firm in that. This has been a challenge to my c0-dependent, insecure, people pleasing self I used to be. I had to say no recently to someone, and I know full well it caused her disappointment. It’s not so easy giving a truthful no and risking displeasing someone, but even worse is giving a false yes and disappointing myself. I’m so glad I’ve learned to say no, and it is always uttered with much love.

grace