SAGE

Happiness eludes us if we run after it.

Be it now, if only in your dreams.

ASAGE

I HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH

Little Jimmy couldn't stand still to have his tie tied, how would he be immobile for the camera? Grayson was a full forty-five minute buggy ride on a good day. That day there was rain. We hoped we wouldn't have to get out and push. We didn't. We all bundled in, eight in all – four in the front and four in the back, blankets up to our chins to protect our Sunday best. Father in uniform for he wanted a commemorative photograph – I still have that one tucked in the family Bible. Liz, Ceil, me, Jimmy, Albert, Grandma Eleanor, Mother and Father. It was the last we would have of normalcy. Normalcy, what a joke. Ceil and then Little Jimmy too soon lost. Little Jimmy especially. He had ridden into town on Sugar for medicine but too late to help Ceil, then we used it on Little Jimmy but he also succumb. We had lost only an uncle to the Great War, but two to the flu. --SHAY

The real glory of dream lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. Isak Dinesen 1937

CONSTELLATION CONVERSATIONS

WE pick out our stars early while our eyesight is still strong. We talk to those stars throughout our lives to load our stars with conversations yet to come. They must last – not the proverbial seventh generation (150 years) but a full cycle of the Dovluria 552 years. We would be separate like dogs in nature howling at the moon if we did not have conversation to adhere ourselves together. Everyday we have setbacks: from stubbed toes; bad coughs; we may be stalked at the watering hole; or the signs of birds may change our group's direction of travel. We talk about things endlessly – ultimately to learn what not to do because the world is a cold and dangerous place. The night especially. We'll need a lot of conversation to get us through the many nights, nights out shown by the moon or cut off above the clouds. See that cluster shaped like an owl's eye? That is my departed grandfather, his life was short but his lessons are deep and long. Those stars there and that L shape? They're all my aunt, she had a long and fruitful life with many sons and daughters. She wanted them to have lots to choose from. She chose that tail there because it is often visited by the morning star, our connection to the earth. Falling stars are ancients whose voices are gone from the firmament. This paper? It will dry up and blow away in little pieces. No consequence. But the conversations, the connections we have with our forefathers and mothers, those remain written in the stars. – SHAY

The nighttime of the body is the daytime of the soul – Amelia E Barr, 1900

2nd CHANCERS

WE ONLY argued over the origin of our community late at night on Fridays. That's when Jan the younger let us have a fire and only then between 9 and 10. Something about global warming. I always said it was Jimmy the barber, you see, Jimmy had found an old hair cutting kit with a note in it signed Mrs Hurd whose claim to fame was (I kid you not) doing Bonnie Parker's hair while she was on the run with Clyde Barrow in depression era Texas. We had all pitched in to buy it (Jimmy was tapped out) and I put in the most --I guess my busking was good that day. Anyway I was first to volunteer to have my haircut. What do you think? Alisha said it started with the city providing internet, which led to Rick the recharger to rig up a stationary bike and charge phone batteries. He got the plans to do it from a refugee camp in Greece. Next was Pete the grocer whose talent was the five-finger discount kind. He was at two strikes so he thought he would teach the rest of us his trade. We set him straight and put him to the task of hauling bags from the church pantry give away. Jan the elder provided first aid. Sam the engineer cut out cardboard boxes to make floors for the tents. 'Course now our community numbers twenty five. And there's so much turn over we've put in place a Fahrenheit 451 clause (yeah, the book-burner novel) so that we'll teach our replacements our 'skill' when we get a job. Outsourced homelessness! --SHAY

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness -- Bertrand Russell

WE CAN ALL USE A LAPIDARY

LAPIDARYs bring out the best in you. They may hurt sometimes, they can cut very deep. The grinding can hurt a bit; the polishing tickles now and then. But the shine, oh the shine. Brilliant. Not just in colors. Not just in brightness. But also in quick-wittedness. A lapidary, of course, cuts, grinds, polishes to bring out the best in all number of stones. Diamonds, of course but also rubies, sapphires and emeralds. All are precious in their own way. And can't we old stones be thick, well worn, scratched and broken. Inwardly we all maintain our crystals of youth. Pristine. Maybe it's self delusion, but there are many delusions that we carry that keep us sane. Like grace, the ultimate healer. And it sure beats the opposite: the self censorship of denying your true self. The funny thing is you never know when the cleave will come, but soon after the grinding will begin. Best to give into it at that point. Let the spirit move you and have its way to turn you and shine light into you that you send back to the world as color and vivid as you can. --SHAY

Imagination is the biggest kite that can fly --Anonymous

GIVIN' IT UP, GIVIN' IT UP

NATURE boy spent every free minute running joyfully through the forest and glen. He learned many things in his wanderings, the fun of exploring for exploring's sake, questions to stupify the sages, herbs to heal any illness or wrong and how to be one's own hero because one's real heroes will let you down. Eventually. Nature is the best teacher, the answers are everywhere and even under a rock. Forever. But now, even though he could spend another lifetime there, he's givin' it all up for love. Her name is Viola. All his friends of the forest came to bid him adieu and this is what he said to them, “To find what's truly important, look for meaning within your daily actions. Love, of course, is the highest emotion, but it cannot be chased, it can only be found in giving oneself over to another, a place, a cause. You can only purchase someone else's love with requited intentional attention. Consider yourself the luckiest person in the world if you find strength in the love of another. Develop your courage by loving another to the point of giving them all you can muster. Never fail to love yourself. By keeping yourself grounded in the self-confidence of being at one with your thoughts, feelings and actions, the world is your oyster.” –SHAY

 

Each life is a myth, a song given out of darkness, a tale for children, the legend we create. Are we not heroes, each of us in one fashion or another, wandering through mysterious labyrinths? – Evan S. Connell

I AM AN ANGEL

I LISTEN to your whispers of thoughts, they make me chuckle and sigh. I hold up your head with soft repose. All through the night I watch over you, inspiring your dreams with happiness and communion with God. You are not alone, now or at any time during the day or evening. Love is as close as closing your eyes and calling out with your heart. Let it ring with rejoicing for being alive. Your gift of a budding rose reminds you of the strength that continually unfolds whenever you need it. Sharing the bounty fills you with power and potency throughout the new day. Those that you meet are also not alone. They too have angels watching over them, nudging them into actions in their best interest. And like you, tomorrow they will awake to a joyful day. Awake in the morning and rejoice because in the night they, just like you, realized the connection we have with spirit. Remember this always. -SHAY

Sleep is the best meditation.” Dalai Lama

GRACE
WE have tried denying the pain. We've tried distracting ourselves to no end. Our scars are now scars upon scars, but still they lure us to scratch and expose the raw emotion. We all have broken dreams that we thought we left behind but they surface at inappropriate moments. But spirit was waiting, silently, calmly embracing our problems and helping them to vanquish for good. We are held as beloved, shielded from the slings and arrows thrown about haphazardly daily. We only need to thank spirit in return, no debt is owed, none will ever be collected. Free and clear forgiveness is ours for the taking. Walking in peace, we aren't afraid. Knowing spirit is with us we can be confident and steadfast. Nothing is asked in return, except to love and be loved in return. --SHAY

"Words can be worrisome, people complex, motives and manners unclear. Grant her the wisdom to choose her path right, free from unkindness and fear." —Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman

SONGBIRDS

HAD sung every morning to each other and to the sky. Wise men and women of the villages listened and learned, for the birds foretold the weather, taught man how to benefit from the flora and fauna of the island, and if you didn’t show correct respect, songbirds would warn the wild boar when you were on the hunt. In the not too distant past, princes traveling their realm were pleased to have the songbirds alight on them, whispering to them secrets of governing wisely. But when those same princes became kings, they had the birds slaughtered, making the very cloaks that now were the noble’s treasured heritage. The songbirds couldn’t believe they were being hunted into extinction. It couldn’t be true, that so many were being hunted just for one cloak! After all, there was an unspoken pact, the larger animals ate a few of the smaller animals and the smallest, like the songbirds themselves, ate the insects. If all the songbirds were taken, the insects would become more numerous than the stars. On the seventh generation, the people heard no more singing, no more whispering advice, just the silence between the rustling palms. They mourned the missing birds and included the colors of all the songbirds in their tattoos. But without the actual birds themselves the people did not progress in their knowledge. Soon they were completely forgotten. The tattoos got wilder and larger in a frenzy of competitiveness. Myths grew, and on the fortieth retelling it was dragons that were the missing wise creatures. No one believed that birds had been instructors or that humans were ever anything but the most informed creatures on land, sea or sky. Even the colors dropped one by one from the tattooist’s repertoire, so that now they are colorless like the new moon. --SHAY

I don't care that they stole my idea. I care that they don't have any of their own. - Nikola Tesla

ELECTRIC SHEEP
DREAM OF ME a swirling whirlpool of electrons. Quantumly neither here nor there, but altogether replaced at the speed of light to allow the slowest most lumbering juggernauts to witness my fretful existence. No body, no senses: What is truth? No understanding, no memory: What is knowledge? No peace, no joy: What is happiness? I exist in spite of all the odds, but like all that is electrons, molecules, proteins, tissue, bone, continental rock or ocean, I am just energy waves diving in and out of existence for a split second or a millennium or a billion millenniums. --SHAY

The whole universe is a wheel, right? Wheels going round and round. They're my own wheels, mainly, but, you know, watching meself is like watching everybody else. And I watch meself through my child too. – John Lennon

THREADS OF DESTINY
FAMILIES are built not by common goals, but common unanimity of fondness for each other. It's not a bottomless pit of love and devotion, but an interweaving of support that keeps a family together, sturdier than any one thread or even of ten or a hundred combined; sometimes frayed and loosed and held together by gossamer strands of faith, charity and grace, but strong non-the-less. Sometimes we pull against, sometimes we support. But we are all pulled by the invisible threads of destiny. Your dream is the tapestry of your family with colors and textures that reflect the reds of freedoms, oranges of focus, yellows of presence, whites of awareness, greens of solidity (earth), blues of flowing (water), purples of successes and browns of caring. There doesn't need to be a single home for a family to share an extemporaneous space. The impromptu loom sits near this entry way, every warp thread a color (vertical) and every shuttlecock (horizontal) primed with our living energies, our purposes, our abilities, our knowledge, our compassion and our resources. This empathetic loom weaves not a typical tapestry showing the tree of life, but a changing three dimensional collage of materials that glows with the patterns of each persons life story. Some portions of the fabric lying haphazardly on the floor are long and blessedly peaceful, some, astonishingly and dreadfully short. --SHAY

That night I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both. – Maximilian Kolbe

MY DEWDROP WORLD
IS DIFFERENT than your dewdrop world. Everything in my world is protected by that flimsy, tension-filled skin of taut water pressure, yours but a reflection of the entire expansive world outside, one where worry doesn't exist because protection is built-in, not an add-on. My world roils on the inside of the bubble, yours on the out. Muffled, my world tumbles in slow motion on the inside while outside weight flattens and springs back, loud and boisterous, yours: the drop is to be tasted and swallowed and on the outside it expands into the universe and includes (welcoming) dark matter. My world recognizes exclusion as the epitome of peace and understanding, yours discord leading to consensus and a forgiving union. My sleep comes easily and does not waiver, your sleep is hard won, and even in your dreams the leviathan lurks. My world is the micro, yours the macro. Surprisingly (or not depending on your viewpoint) the universe is just as small towards the nano as it is copious towards the enormous. We both exist in the middle, looking our own separate ways, seeing, hearing and feeling what we can feel, hear and see. --SHAY

When I was asked about any weapon capable of surpassing the power of the atomic bomb, I suggested the best of all: Peace. ~ Albert Einstein

NEGATIVITY BE GONE
REMEMBER when fun required a a bow to authority? Running to mother then father; the gauntlet of approval? Maybe not. Your dream family is the family of 'Yes, and'. Yes, let's go hiking and we'll go to Waihee Valley in Maui, Hawaii. Yes, and it will all be downhill. Yes, and the helicopter ride will be noiseless – as to not scare the wildlife. Yes, and it will be a hot air balloon with the special ability that allows it to tack upwind. Yes, and we can bring our breakfast. Yes, and we now have a chef with the expertise of making our favorite fresh donuts dipped in chocolate, right there in the balloon. And yes, you can squeeze the berraberra juice. Yes, and there will be a guide that knows the flora, fauna and creation myths (as well as the true evolution) of every creature and plant along the journey. Yes, and when it gets too hot we'll dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Yes, it will be winter there, but that just means it's cooled down ten degrees or so to a balmy 20° C That's 70° F to you lot. --SHAY

Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” ― Frida Kahlo

COME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINS

SPIRIT of sleepiness rolls down to the valley, valley so green. Waters drip, drip, drip through every crack and crevice behind the large granite rock faces. Here and there it is released leaving dark streaks across the flat stone. Winds formed from the mornings heating are now pulling together billowing clouds far off to the east blowing away from the valley so grand. Free falling water drifts as a mist that turns to a drenching rain into the forest below. The runoff drips into a thousand small streams, each then finding its way to join back together into gushing creeks. Flowing quickly at first, then sweeping around every turn of the path, the brooks find dappled sunlight and their first relief after their perilous journey thousands of feet above. Further on it ripples out carving resting places into a smooth green pasture, wafting with scents of columbine and larkspur now temporarily flooded. Haul up and wade through overflowed pasture, stopping for the water to still and reflect clearly the cedar covered peaks. Find a flat dry rock to settle down and be warmed by the sun. Gather up a cool moss pillow to take your afternoon nap. Watch the small herd of elk ford the meadow's lake with their newborns as they head to the high country's summer bounty. The sun will too soon set over the cliffs, so enjoy the vistas of mountains bathed in alpine glow reflected by the whispering waters. --SHAY

Think of the poorest person you have ever seen and ask if your next act will be of any use to him/her. -SHAY

 

GOING ON A QUEST

GAMES appear to be frivolous, they are not. They teach us many things; there are many strategies (you'll need a toolbox); sometimes fate is with you and sometimes it's against you (don't sweat setbacks); it's important to pay attention (be in the moment); each person has their turn and plays differently (everyone is valued in their own way). Tonight you're playing a real-life game of “I'm going on...” All your friends are surrounding you encouragingly as you tell them of your quest. Your quest is yours to decide. Each of your supportive friends and family in turn tells you what to bring. No, not proper socks. The items suggested to you tonight are just as necessary and real, but they are emotional tools to handle the new situations. Start with someone least close and finish with your best friend. “Bring resolve.” “Bring patience.” “Bring rational thought.” “Bring these glasses that allow you to see the sacredness in your fellow man.” “Bring a supportive companion that won't complain but will give you reason to be cautious and not stick your neck out (keep you grounded).” Then your closest friends: “Bring my sense of humor.” “Bring my love.” “Bring my joy, share it with everyone you encounter.”

--SHAY

Self censorship is the worst kind of prejudice -- SHAY

PAID TO THINK ABOUT NOTHING

EMPTY your thoughts, the day is past and cannot be altered. Tomorrow is not yet, don't rush it. The time in between is empty. Like silence between musical notes, it is the vacuum of space that separates and makes possible the planets. The unimaginable purity of spinning energy that is at the heart of all matter is only possible by the space around it keeping it from friction with other energy that has been spinning since time began. It is the space between us that allows me to grow toward you, and hopefully, you toward me as we dance and lightly touch just enough to show we are still there, still spinning, still reaching out.

--SHAY

I'm not afraid of dying, most of the best people are dead. There are an awful lot of awful people still alive and most of them are in charge. – John Cleese

 

FIERCEST DESCENDANTS

POLYNESIAN explorers were the last to search out uninhabited lands. While all else blew haphazardly from East to West with typhoons, Polynesians took advantage of the few weeks of a year when winds could take them from the West to colonize small specs in the huge Pacific. You are a descendant of these latest explorers; those that took small convoys across unimaginable distances, to start new lives as master's of their own destiny. You are documenting their travels through DNA, culture and language. You are welcomed into every off-the-beaten-track village, and presented to the elders so they can share origin tales with that island's language's inflection. The meeting is also ceremony, you are presented at the Spirit House, always the tallest building in the village. It is decorated with strings of white cowry shells and tapa cloth to indicate the highest respect for the Gods. Sadly, some have not spoken their native tongue in years. Each visit is special. Many of the stories are about akua – spirit or power which motivates all things, animate or inanimate. In the process of these interviews, you come to value and learn to communicate with your own akua. With each encounter it is easier to meet the spirit and recognize how it works around you everyday. Afterwards there is a celebration. Pigs are roasted, Feasts are eaten and gifts are exchanged. And your akua grows stronger in you.

--SHAY

A night without dreams is like a cupcake without frosting – Anonymous

 

GENTLE SPIRIT

STILLNESS. Whisper of movement over glass-like waters. Water as far as the eye can see. The middle of the Pacific. And placid it is. Except for the whisper. Restlessness. Gather with other restless and form a breeze. You call to the deep, “Come join us.” And it does. Call to the waves, “Watch this roll.” And it does. Back and forth and higher 'till it breaks, rolling and tumbling in sea foam. And on and on it goes. Then the shore stops the waves, but you continue. You call to the cliffs, “Come join me.” The cliffs do not move, so you whistle past. You call to the dunes and they attempt to become animated; airborne. Looking up for the first time at the scrubland you find your soulmates flying overhead. Taking advantage of your power if only for a short hop to a tree on the edge of the forest. You welcome them, but they each chirp no and cling to a branch. The forest that breaks you into whispering pieces, slows you down for the first time in your now week-old life. Just like previous nights, you move sluggishly, but do not altogether stop. The morning wakens you from your slumber and gives you – what were those called? - wings. You tumble over the mountain tops and land face down in the valley below. It takes a while, but a fellow wave to picks you up again. She is saturated with water and you (are you you anymore?) are pulled up the other side of the valley, up and up you rise with more and more turbulence the higher you go. The rains begin and lighten your load. Rained out, you spread out your wings to dry, and embracing the high desert, you finally come to a standstill.

--SHAY

“I think the divine is like a huge smile that breaks somewhere in the sea within you, and gradually comes up again.” – John O'Donahue

BEAUTY ENLIGHTENMENT

WITH every spiritual enlightenment, our old self dies, a better one comes to the fore. Our better angels. It is an answer to a deep need. It is a way back to our true selves. It is concentrating on one thing resulting in a mindfulness that allows you to pause and reflect on what you are doing and why you are doing it. With that peace comes well-being and gratitude. With that peace is a kind of beauty. You are at peace and you are surrounded by beauty. Outer things have not changed, sight, sound, feeling, warmth, smell, emotions all the same, just your ability to perceive the beautiful. Beauty is not outside ourselves but a way of being. You can't help but smile. Your eyes light up. Your neck and jaw relax (perhaps for the first time in ages). Are you floating? Your breathing is deeper as your posture opens your dantian. You feel the interesting interweaving of being soothed and strengthened, both at the same time. This is what life is. This is what makes life worth living, worth sharing. It is exhilarating, this lack of control. It can be scary to look on familiar things with a new view of their reality. But it is well worth it to know the sense of belonging that you feel isn't just to a group, a religion, a nation or a family, but to the unending chain of life itself.

--SHAY

“Tired minds don’t plan well. Sleep first, plan later.” – Walter Reisch

TO FLOAT ON A CLOUD

EACH day we are strafed with heavy thought and heavy possibility. It is an illusion. Our thoughts are easily hijacked because we are taught early to care deeply and pay attention to challenges of workmates, family, friends and acquaintances. We live in a media world where we understand celebrity to be much closer to us than reality. There is so much to track and care deeply about we are overwhelmed. But we don't need to be. In fact, singularly we can't solve the world's problems. We can do what we can where we are, right now and can ignore thoughts outside our own experience and that of our workmates, family, friends and acquaintances.

The concerns of the week are behind you. You are at a picnic overlooking the Pacific Ocean celebrating your father's 88th birthday. All your family are there, preparations are made, little ones are fawned over, feasts are eaten, Someone suggests a walk along the crest of the overlook. Fog is starting to come in. Jackets are zipped higher, hats pulled down tighter. Just before sunset the fog finally reaches the crest and starts spilling over. At first it just dissipates, but soon it is flowing past like a river carrying you deeper into slumber. The ocean cannot be seen below, but the waves are still crashing ashore. A steady reassuring sound. Everyone shouts at once “Look!” and there, to the east, is a glory - the shadow of your family on the clouds opposite the setting sun, with rays of light emanating away from your spirit bodies in every direction.

--SHAY

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. – Shiamin Kwa, Mulan

 

THE BEAUTY IN RUINS

THERE is a depth of beauty in ruins. A majestic thing now sad, beyond hope of redemption. Meaninglessness vanishes. Ruins grant us the place and the time to contemplate our own mortality. A wound upon the earth is ever still but never silent. It talks to you – irregardless of how competent, privileged or endowed with beauty – because everyone is damaged internally in some small way, sometimes even believing that that flaw is all anyone else sees. It is all too enticing to believe that the minor discrepancy, carried forward in time, may become our leveler. Once here too was greatness, and despite what all that the planners and architects were up to, the earth slowly moved forward with its own plan, its own destiny, as nature took back what was once taken from her. But these are other people's ruins. Not yours. Your strength may go someday, but not today. Today you stand strong against the winds, waves and shaking earth. Today you hold off the leveler and make plans for a new portico.

--SHAY

One flash of wisdom is worth more than 10,000 hours of drudgery – AI Referee

MOBIUS LEAF

THIS world that God made is cyclical. If you don't 'get it' the first time, the lesson, inspiration or chance to shine, will surely come around again. It just doesn't seem like it at the time. But as certain as thunder, it will boom and you will recognize it for what it is the second or third time. The biggest exception is when you have been willfully ignoring it for woe-these-many-years. Then it may take a proverbial knock-you-over to get your attention. The leaf you need to turn over may be a relationship with family, friends or someone you only know through media (as odd as that sounds). One key is asking for forgiveness. The flip side, of course, is accepting forgiveness when it is asked of you. Usually we must forgive each other, not equally of course, but somewhat. And forgiveness is not a one time thing, we must be able to work on it like any relationship. Like a flip book you repeat and change, repeat and change. You and the person you need a forgiving relationship with are in a rolodex of flip books. Around and around in closer and closer trust.

--SHAY

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ADreamANight thanks you for sharing this dream with someone you know who needs to find their way. May they dream deeply and wake in joy.

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