Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Posts tagged ‘hope’

The Flower in the Junkyard

Most times, the thing you think you really want, is elusive.  Sometimes, what you have, doesn’t seem enough, or even exactly right.  Life is a succession of opportunities, challenges, and choices.  It is also hardship, and struggle.  Just when you feel a little comfortable, something, or someone, can come along and blow all that right out of the water.  All the hope, even all of the planning in the world, will only take you so far. Seems like people always want guarantees.  And as I have viewed this world, there are no guarantees.

One time when my little car was limping along on three used tires, and one losing air real fast, I drove it 10 miles on a wing and a prayer, to the only junkyard in the county, in hopes they might have a tire for me, better than I had.  One I might afford.

I pulled in, over to the yard area, where piles of metal junk covered the landscape.  And in between all this rusty twisted metal, were cars, all abandoned, being parted out, in different stages of deconstruction, just like any junkyard.  But something happened in that moment, as I looked out over the strange image before me, like the sun suddenly shined brighter, and everything else was obscured.  Somehow diminished.

A young man came running toward my car.  As he approached, I could see the sweat pouring off his arms.  Summer in Texas is brutal, and this day was no exception.  He came up to my side and and looked in my window, and said, “Hi!  What can I do for you?”  And I said, “Uh….  uh….  Oh!  I just need a tire.  I have a front tire on the other side going flat.”

In life, there are certain defining moments.  And sometimes, there are just moments in time, that happen randomly.  Unexpectedly.  Moments that you will always remember. That change your life.  Beautiful moments, that years later, you never forget.  This moment, was the moment I saw Charlie.

In the midst of all that nasty junk, out in the hottest of suns, with sweat in pools all over his forehead, on his neck, and in his eyes, I was struck.  Like a lightning bolt from above, I was surely struck.  I will never forget his eyes, as long as I live, and probably beyond. He was grinning from ear to ear, just like he won the lottery, and the water from his eyebrows was dripping all down into his eyes, eyes as green as irisdescent emeralds, so green and sparkling, it caught my breath.  And his eyelashes were thick and long, and all completely spiked around those beautiful green eyes, like nothing I had ever seen before, or likely ever will again.  Those spiked lashes, formed from the sweat of his own brow, captured the beauty and intensity of these eyes, and frankly, I have a hard time remembering what happened next, or how I even got back home.

Life is funny like that.  Absolutely no guarantees will you find.  And if you do, they are false.  But it seems that when you least expect it, beauty, simplicity and grace, will show itself, if only you have the eyes to see.  Life is difficult for most of us, if not all.  It can throw you down, and stomp on your heart.  You can feel lost, forgotten, even broken.  But in those unexpected moments, a light from above comes down and strikes your old heart.  Like a jumpstart.  And suddenly you see that flower in the junkyard. You don’t have to have any one set of beliefs, or adhere to a strict guideline of behavior for this to happen.  It is a direct and unshakeable knowing.  A place without fear or doubts.  And like all things, it may be fleeting.  You might wake up one morning with green eyes sleeping beside you, and the next, reading a stark and unembellished obituary.  The beautiful light from those green eyes has been removed, taken away, lost from the view of earthly concerns.  And it will tear you up inside.  It will rock your very being.  And you will walk alone through a world that does not care.  No guarantees.

Maybe we all look for a ray of hope in this crazy world.  We all come from nothing, and that is surely where we return.  But once, maybe even twice, in a lifetime, you see a flower growing in a junkyard.  Amidst all the sharp edges and harsh realities of life, you find an exquisite and perfect blossom, growing each minute, each second, just for the sheer opportunity to reach for the sun.  In this world we find ourselves in today, it’s important to look for flowers, and when we find them, admire and remember all that they give us.  It’s important when we feel broken and so sad, to remember these flowers, and how they had no regrets, not for their struggle, and not for their eventual death. Their life was made for the one tiny instant they brought beauty and joy into this world, and nothing more.  Life is simple like that.

And if you can’t find such a flower, be the flower.  If everything around you seems in ruins, and your health is failing you, and you have more loss than love, you be the flower.  You be the gorgeous delicate blossom, unique and forever innocent.  You be that flower in the junkyard.  And if God does shine down on you, maybe the right person will happen along and notice you, and be forever changed in that moment.

Be a flower in the junkyard.  Just be that!

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Finally… I can breathe again…

It’s impossible to know how your life will turn out. As you go down the road, you can make plans, and choose certain paths… you hope for the best, and you work hard. And when difficult, even terrible things happen, it’s really not at all about the problem, or the obstacle, no matter how dire or hopeless it might seem. It’s all about how you react to it. It’s all about what you do about it. How you do it. How realistic you can be. How flexible and open to new ideas you can be. How willing you are to give and give and then still give some more. That’s what matters.

I haven’t seen two dimes to rub together in longer than I care to think on. I’ve given up all the modern American obsessions years ago, to live a simple, very basic life. I’ve always loved the Earth and gardening, growing things and flowers, I just never had the time to do a good job at it, because I had to work, and work every day very long hours, driving the long commutes back and forth, like so many, to pay for my place, for my dream. I had a great grandfather, but nobody provided for me. When I turned 18 and graduated, it was pretty much Adios Amiga! Good luck and all that…

I didn’t have the brains and the determination to be a true professional, mostly I didn’t have the discipline. A woman I met recently was hell-bent on defining everything in terms of her version of Astrology… or should I say “Ass-trology.” I know that’s very mean… sorry… (like on SNL: “sorry”) haha I believe in the stars and I know they direct and chart our very existence. But I don’t bring up astrology first thing when I meet someone… good grief, it’s 2014, and we’ve progressed somewhat since 1970 I think…

Anyway, for some reason, my fingers have always had an innate connection directly to my brain and whatever I have ever wanted to do, whether for fun or profit, I could do with my hands, or well, my fingers to be specific… I play the piano and I type really fast, without thinking about either one… Typing paid my rent, playing the piano has filled my soul and made this life very special indeed… feels like a gift from God actually…

But my homelife as a kid was never stable or easy, there was always tension in the home, many times abuse of varying degrees, and lots of dysfunction coming from the parents, which translated directly into lots of dysfunction in my brother, bless his heart, who has never recovered from it all… So my one dream as a girl growing up, was to one day have a home, like a small piece of land, with a house on it, that I could own, and love, where there would never be a harsh word, or fear or unhappiness, where animals and people alike could come and share good times and serenity. Live in peace.

Well this year I turned 59. And I think I have all the ducks in a row, after a very huge WAKE-UP call just this past week or so… it was 50/50 lose it all or hope for a miracle… Well, the miracle came, it’s not a windfall by any means, but I earned it, and now I’m sharing it back… one friend I love very much said once when he helped me out in a desperate time, just to pay it forward, that was all he asked. He had faith in me, that one day my life would turn around again, and things would sort themselves out properly. And they did.

This amazing summer of 2014 could be the end of struggling, and the beginning of only good things from now on. So good in fact, that I can start to think about writing on my other blog “In the Life and Mind of an Artist” and maybe even get started on my projects I’ve had to put aside for so long… To the young man who recently said to me, “Sew? Really? You haven’t sewed in years, why would you even want to start that now…” Like it was completely ridiculous to him. Well, son, I hate to tell you, but tell a woman she can’t do something, and she will do it come hell or high water… you’ll learn… Another supposedly “good” friend of mine, although usually being supportive on the surface, was always the one to remind me about “money” when it came to another dream of mine, which is to ride again, to have a horse again. Now I’d like to tell her to her face that it doesn’t take winning the lottery or even getting a huge settlement for an accident that should never have happened… What it takes is planning, financial strategies, a good heart, and a lot of help from upstairs… 🙂

Life is good at the Little Ranch, Summer 2014 Arnie at one year...

Life is good at the Little Ranch, Summer 2014
Arnie at one year…

This summer, after a couple of weeks of 24/7 stress for days, I see light at the end of the tunnel, finally, and I can blog now, and take pics with my great digital camera I love so much now… (took me a while to adjust, cause I’m older–haha) I can play my keyboard, maybe even get something I can use professionally now, and with any luck at all, all the things I’ve dreamed of doing can happen now. I won’t just have my safe home, but I’ll be helping a lot of other people in the bargain… just wait and see… this is my second chance, and I won’t be wasting it!

Meet Marie Taylor

Whenever you embark upon a creative endeavor, it always includes a spiritual aspect. You can never tell where roads will take you, until you make the journey. One of the most beautiful and meaningful facets of human emotion and intellect is inspiration. It is the main driving force for all positive expression and the wellspring of energy and vision. If you ever find yourself at a low spot, dig yourself out and when you are ready, look for that inspiration to move forward.

When I began to formulate my initiative for writing again, I came across this beautiful soul named Marie Taylor, whose artistry and understanding, vision and beauty, became my inspiration to once again find purpose in life. I highly encourage you to explore her website; her art has style and vision far beyond what I can put into words. Thank you, Marie, for sharing yourself with us.

So, in beginning my latest commitment to reach people again, to give hope in this challenging and often frightening world, here is a magnificent and beautiful poem written by Marie, with so much love and understanding, I was compelled to share it with you. I know you will enjoy it.

Say Not Wait
by Marie Taylor

What is life but the splinters
of golden moments drilled and strung
and mounted in a net woven
by old women sitting in high clouds
chanting forgotten songs to dead heroes.

What is love but a white knight
who goes to distant lands in search
of the fair Elaine who carries the cup
whose lips Christ touched
one starry night before the blood came.

What is desire that we should say
‘wait’ or ‘I can not’ or ‘I am not ready’
because when we do, love slips away
into the forests of time leaving not
a trail for birds to follow anywhere.

So how can we say ‘no’ or ‘stop’
or ‘wait’ to the river that flows on
without ceasing. But reaching up,
let us grab the back of a fin and
slide beneath the waves and taste eternity.

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