Random Thoughts - January
This holiday season was amazingly beautiful. Family came together in the most delicious ways. I was also reminded that with each greeting of warm, joy filled “hello” came with it, the sad emptiness of “goodbye.”
I asked my readers recently about the concept of Santa. The responses were very interesting. This was an example of the many elegant responses I received.
From my friend, Clayton Cheek.
“As a child, my parents gave me the "Santa Talk." They explained to me that, in the same way the Lionel Train I got for Christmas wasn't a real train, Santa Claus wasn't a real person. They went on to explain that although the toy train looks like a real train with the engine, passenger, and freight cars, and red caboose, and it gives you an idea and helps you understand how a real train works it isn’t actually, a real train. Santa Claus helps us get an idea about and understand what Christmas is about. Santa is telling us Christmas is about love and giving to others. That's the message of Christmas."
A friend recently said that as they see more clearly their internal world, it helps them better navigate their external world. I can relate.
A teacher of mine once suggested that it is impossible to be unhappy and fully present at the same time. I didn’t like hearing that because it implied that if I am unhappy, I am not fully in the moment AND I am responsible for my own degree of happiness. I found myself wanting to believe something else, like outside people, places, things, experiences, etc., are responsible for my happiness, not myself. I have never been able to forget that admonition.
Speaking of happiness, why, of all the different emotions, do we seek to have it dominate? I am pretty sure that permanence, or even relative permanence is not the natural state of any particular emotion. Whether it be happiness, or fear, or anger, or…… I have some thoughts about that question.
I was once asked if I would be willing to participate in an Indigenous Thanksgiving ceremony. I did. As I offered my prayer (never for oneself I was instructed) I had the unexpected and strange feeling that it had been answered as I had offered it up. At the end of the ceremony, the leader told those of us gathered there, “We believe that the moment the prayer if offered, it is answered.” Hmmmm.
I recently had the wondering if when I think of a place or a person, I am visiting that place or that person. I really liked that. It makes me less lonely for that person or that place. I’ve also learned that it is ok to leave a calling card. A text or phone message of “I was just thinking of you.”
A friend asked me about my relationship with my father. I blurted out, “It is what it is, and was what it was.” I had no idea where those words came from, but after I said them I felt peaceful, knowing that I wasn’t longing or wishing for something that wasn’t, and was blessed, for years, being in the “what is” when I was with him. A gift for me and him. He didn’t need to be anything but who he was. I had emotionally relieved him of all his “fatherly” duties and granted him the gold watch of retirement from that job.
I was chatting with a young man, who said, “I know I am not living life the way I am supposed to,” as he spoke of delaying settling down with a partner, getting a house and having a family. I found myself saying that I believe that “shoulds” like this are based on the plans others would make for our lives, assuming there is a “way,” a “what” and a “when” for me, and they know that better than I.
I was chatting with someone who was talking about a relationship that wasn’t working as well as they would like. What we came up with was the question as to what degree was he the cause, and to what degree he is and can be the solution. Great focus I’d say.
My five-year old grandson was running his “obstacle course” at a local park. He was moving from large stone to large stone in his bare feet, trying to stay on top of them without losing his balance.. Occasionally he would reach out for my hand, unashamedly saying “I need your help.” I gave it to him. I treasured each request he made, realizing that in just a few short years he would no longer be asking for or needing such help. In fact, he might be helping me, IF I have his courage to reach my hand out to him and say, “I need your help.” Currently this is not a strong suit of mine. It isn’t so much that I reject it when offered, it’s more like I don’t even think of asking.
Pinnacle is the name of a bank in town. Ironically, it seems to me, none of the many branches and even the huge skyscraper downtown, have one. A pinnacle. I was wondering if that was a conscious decision so that people like me would keep wondering about that every time I thought of, or saw one of their buildings? Maybe even write about it. If so, their campaign is working.