Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Prayer!

What is prayer? When I was growing up I thought prayer was asking God for stuff and also asking him to forgive me for all my sins. Which were (I was sure) many. As I got older I saw prayer as an ongoing dialog between me and the Holy Spirit. I was able to find my balance through prayer. I didn't have to pretend to be anybody else or even to bring my "list" of stuff I want. I found that at times prayer was just "being" stillness and even walking and listening. I also found that instead of getting more religious my prayer life allowed me to be more open to the idea that God really was love. Not that God "had" love. God didn't "have" being. God didn't even have gender. I was able to see "God" in hope and in tragedy. I had a radical thought but it came later in life. I still remember reading the "Gadsden Times" that's the paper from the city of my birth. Back in the day when people still read the "paper" to get news and information that they wouldn't otherwise have. Anyway, I was young and I came across an article. It was called "The Wild God." Must have been one of the Sunday religious sections or something that the paper used to have.

Anyway, the Wild God! What did that mean? Could God be wild? I mean I knew that Walnut Park Baptist from Vacation Bible School back in the day. Cherry Street Baptist where I was baptized as a youth. The Church of God of Prophecy where my Grandmother raised me. These places didn't really teach a "Wild God." There was a very proper method for understanding "God" and it involved reading the bible and going to church and asking forgiveness. But, if God could be "wild" then all bets were off. Lets have a little decorum here. Still, that phrase stuck with me.

I found God wasn't a fortune teller or an angry old man. I found that the very source of my being was in a state of rest and motion and living in God. He/She/Holy Spirit wasn't "Out there" or "up there" I was one with my love, my being. There were no "secrets" But there was a sanctuary where only the Holy Spirit had the "right" to be with me. I didn't have to be good or leave my unclean thoughts at the door. I could be myself and only the holy spirit had the authority to enter this sanctuary of my inner being.

I sometime think that we are on an eternal journey of discovering new aspects of God. Maybe that's what eternity is. Not a static place where we know everything. But,, an eternal quest or journey from knowing to knowing as we find more aspects of the one we call "God." I mean, I don't know but it makes as much sense as any other kind of evolution.

Back to my "radical" thought. What if real love wasn't always the hero "rescuing" his/her beloved from danger. What if real love wasn't always the firefighter rushing into the building and dragging somebody out just in time. What if real love was...Well, remember the cross? I know we say things like "Jesus will save us from tribulation or Jesus will keep us from getting sick." But, what did the Devine do? If you are a Christian and I know there are some these days that would question my use of the word. I'm not a very fundamentalist Christian these days. I think gay people have a right to marry if they want too. I think women have the right to choose to be a mother ( a holy choice to be sure, but still their choice.) I don't vote conservative republican and I find most of the conservative agenda to be more "Anti Christ" than Christian. But, back to the  cross. This is where I get my radical thought from.

Maybe, true love is laying down (remember the cross?) one's own safety and power. Maybe true love is going into the building and seeing that you can't just pull the person you love out. Maybe true love is setting down beside the person that you can't pull out and just being with them. Even to the point of giving up life or riches. Even to the point of death.

So, when I go to a funeral or I hear something bad happening to good people. Sure I pray. I pray for justice and balance and hope. But, I don't feel anger at God. Because I know that in the midst of the funeral or the hurting of an innocent that somehow "God" inhabits that. God doesn't balance the books every Thursday at 5:00 PM. But, we will get there. And in the grief and the quiet and the noise if we can just "listen" and "Look" Love will be there.

I honestly do feel that the day I shuffle off this mortal coil and cross that icy stream that I will walk into the sanctuary where only "love" has authority.

Peace,
Steve

Monday, February 24, 2014

People, places and things I like.

Sometime I think about the things and people that have made me laugh or entertained me. I think about what has made my life worth living. Maybe, it's the influence of social media on me, even at my age. You know. The "I'm having cornbread and drinking Pepsi tonight" Then 10 people hit the like button. :-) Well, maybe not in my case. I'm not even that popular in cyber space. But, some people... well you know who you are. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-) But, anyway here is some of what I have "liked" in my journey through this land...

Religion: Surprised? Well, even though I'm skeptical of religion these days. The one size fits all and God'll get ya for that type. I have found great strength in faith through the years. I know the thing to say (I say it a lot) is I"m not religious, I'm spiritual. But, somewhere in my mind I know I'm religious. I'm not dogmatic and I'm not sure of the 'mind of God" but I still think somehow that it matters how I live and what I do...Anyway, if not for religion then I might not have ever thought of being spiritual. So, religion for better or worse gets on my list of things I mostly like.

The Bible: I may not "believe" in the inerrancy of it. But, I have found great strength in passages and hope in verses that have gotten me through and still get me through tough or difficult times.

Rock and Roll: Grew up on it. Lived some of the lyrics of it. I also like Motown. I have told my wife (and I'm not kidding) that I would love to have "Midnight Train to Georgia" playing at my funeral. The original with Gladys Knight and the Pips. Here is a list of my favorites as I grew up:

Eagles: My all time favorite band. Knew every lyric on every album. Certain scenes and certain people would and will always flash across my mind when I hear the songs.

Stevie Nicks: Dreams, Silver Springs, Landslide, Highway Man, Rhiannon.

Linda Ronstadt: Long, Long Time, Faithless Love, Willing (cover of Little Feat)

Styx: Grand Illusion. Nuff said

Queen: New of the World. See above "nuff said."

Doctor Hook
Areosmith
Foghat: Slow Ride!
Pure Prairie League
Poco
Outlaws
Foreigner
Rolling Stones
Beatles
Nazareth
I know I'm leaving out several but this is just a quick list.

Favorite albums:
Rumors: Fleetwood Mac
Hotel California: Eagles
One of These Nights: Eagles
News of the World: Queen
Heart Like a Wheel: Linda Ronstadt
Belladonna: Stevie Nicks
The Grand Illusion: Styx

Alabama Crimson Tide: Born and raised. The sight of the Crimson Jersey is a part of my life. Grew up on Bear Bryant and  the wishbone.

Atlanta Braves: "Our team" I get irritated when I hear some sports person on the radio say "Alabama doesn't have a pro sports team." Hey, bud we aren't out in the middle of nowhere. I grew up in Gadsden, Alabama and we drove over to Atlanta pretty often.

GreenBay Packers: I grew up watching Bart Starr and Paul Horning and became a Packer fan.

Cleveland Indians/Browns: I had some family in Cleveland and some of the first pro teams I thought of were the Indians and the Browns. Also, my mother was pregnant with me in Cleveland so maybe I have a slight connection even in my southern blood.

Country music: I hated it as a child. My mother sang it and my step dad played it and I hated it. But, as I got older I started to really listen. Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash and of course Willie Nelson...Yeah, it's OK at least sometime.

Books: I've often said that I don't see how a person that doesn't read has a worldview at all. But, I've known some smart folks that don't read so who knows. I read comics and I still remember reading the Dick and Jane books from my elementary school. I also loved the scary stories and ghost stories ordered from my Weekly Reader. That being said:

Stephen King: I first read Stephen King when I picked up a copy of Salems Lot in the Gadsden Mall. The clerk said there was this new writer and some people  thought he was going to be pretty good. I always thought the small town Maine and New England of his books were a lot like the small town Alabama and south of my youth. I read and have read many writers and books. Both fiction and non fiction. I would never limit myself to just one author. But, if I had to go to an island and have only one writer I could read it would be Stephen King.

I also like Chocolate, Butter beans, Cornbread and Sweet tea. Ham and eggs and coffee. I like Hawaii and I like Buddhism.  I like Christianity and I like agnostics. I don't like atheism because I think it's a complete lack of hope but I like not being a slave to religion. I like blonde haired women and I like bar b que. I like coke as in Coca Cola, not drug and I like Pepsi. I like Mountain Dew and I like movies.

Movies:
Haunting of Hill House (original 1960's version)
Hang em High
Pale Rider
Good the Bad and the Ugly
The Rose
Good Fellows

T.V.:

X-Files
Seinfeld
Mary Tyler Moore
Bob Newhart (both shows)
Mork and Mindy
NYPD Blue
Hill Street Blues
Ripper Street
Walking Dead
House of Cards
The list could go on and on

Sports or games I would love to see:

See a baseball game at Yankee Stadium
See the Packers at Lambeau Field

This is by no means a list of everything I love or cherish. I thought of so many people that I love, miss and long to see. But, this is a light hearted list of "stuff I like" It's not everything I like but it's a fun list to start with. :-)



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Talking with God.

I've had an inner dialog as long as I can remember. I am the observer. I am. I have been challenged by atheist to "define god." I've been challenged by fundamentalist about how I can pick and choose which bible verses are relevant and which are not. It's all the same book. Well, actually it's not. But, to the first argument. A definition of "god" that would assign gender, emotions, reaction and "waiting" on a decision from another being would not be god with a big G. It would be god with a little g. Superman, as it were.

The best definition of god I have ever heard is in the Old Testament. God answering Moses. Who are you Lord? I AM! That's why religious people were so angry at Christ when he made the same type statement. I am is also a good definition of "me."  Did he just say he was "god." No, I didn't. But, I did say that I am pure being. The dance of Spirit and matter. Consciousness. One aspect of the eternal. As for the other statement of how can I pick and choose out of the "same book." Well, it's not "one book" for one thing. Many people in a search for God and some in a search for reason and even politics wrote many things over the years. Rabbi's passed word of mouth and generations came to hold a community image of who they were/are. The folks with funny hats (the ones that certain fundamentalist call the false church today) met and debated and included and excluded which writings were "inspired" and which were not. Anyway, I didn't do this blog to start a fight or lose life long friends. I simply do this blog to put my thoughts out there and if it resonates with another person then wonderful. If it causes another person to point me to wisdom then that is wonderful. But, I mainly do it to continue my own inner dialog and as a release valve for my own thoughts and questions. I don't do it to make other people mad or attack the faith of my youth or to fight with an atheist.

Anyway, talking with God. We talk about many things and I even manage (though not often) to listen. I have come to a place where I see the divine in all things. The way a mother looks at a child. The way a beggar looks at people passing by on the sidewalk. The way a scientist looks through a telescope and the way a preacher studies scripture and the way a Buddhist meditates. But, I also see "God" in a personal way.

I have a story that goes back to my childhood. I have told it often and maybe even somewhere on other blog post. But, it does illustrate a point in my personal journey:

I grew up in Gadsden, Alabama in the part called Alabama City, in the neighborhood called Walnut Park. There was a church bus that came through the neighborhood from a local church called Cherry Street Baptist in Attalla, Alabama. My sister and I along with other kids would pile on and go to church. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY does youth church like the Southern Baptist. ;-) My mother was raised in the Church of God of Prophecy and my step dad had not real religious affiliation (neither did my mother by this time.) So, we rode the bus. The preacher was a good man with a wonderful family and the following is by no means an indictment of the church, the people or the pastor. It's just the feeling of a 12 to 13 year old child in the late sixties to early seventies in a southern church. Also, I was a rather "serious" kid when it came to God, and I may have been a little too serious but that's another story. This one started me on a life long dialog within my own sanctuary. So, here goes:

 The pastor had talked about sin and redemption and the youth were in attendance. He talked about how forgiving God was through Christ and the importance of prayer and asking for forgiveness of sin. But, he said one thing that my active imagination quickly ran away with. he said that all sin can be forgiven except the sin of blasphemy against the "Holy Ghost." Now remember I said my mother had been raised in the Church of God of Prophecy? Well, my grandmother who helped raise me was a devout member of that church. The Holy Ghost was no joke and no laughing matter to be taken lightly in a pentecostal church. He was a very stern figure that read your mind and knew all the things you did and you didn't want to insult him. So, when the preacher said "Holy Ghost" my ears pricked up at least internally. I was under immediate assault mentally, emotionally and spiritually. After all imagine trying not to think of a pink elephant. What is the first thing you think of? So, you can see my dilemma. I was certainly going to hell because the worst thoughts in the world were going through my little mind.

The above is also why I don't take sanity or mental health for granted. That could have been the start of a life long mental problem and I'm not joking. But, a wonderful thing happened. Now some will say I'm pumping up a natural process of my brain. Some will say I am remembering what I want to  remember. Some will say "God was striving with me but I'm still not  theologically correct and still in danger" All I know for sure is that the very foundation, the very source of my being brought sanity to me and I am lifelong and eternally thankful. Here is how it happened.

I was in my backyard telling the Holy Ghost that I really didn't mean all those bad thoughts. Then a calm thought came to me. "I'm not a fortune teller." "I don't look into your mind from outside and get mad and judge you." "I am your maker, not somebody looking in from outside." Then I saw a room and a couch and a door. I then heard "Sit here and I'll get the door." "They are calling my name and not your name." So, every time you worry or have a thought that is harmful just sit here." I'll get the door."

The one who I dialog with has been getting the door ever since.

Peace.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Life and Death "A Review"

  This is a book review of "Death & Eternal Life" by John Hick (c) 1994

I have been reading ebooks recently. I enjoy being able to adjust the print and the back light and read in the dark. But, for old times sake (The book was out of print and not available in ebook form) I ordered a used copy off Amazon and actually read the physical copy. It brought back memories. The thick binding and the smell of an actual book. I can remember going to the public library in Gadsden, Al and spending times (I'm a nerd) in the stacks. The excitement I would feel as I put the latest Stephen King novel on hold and would rush to the library when it came in and heft it proudly and bury my nose in it.

So, even though this was non fiction and contained no Vampires in Main or haunted cars or aliens in the New England woods or haunted towns that were so familiar that they could have been set in Rural Alabama as easily as Rural Maine I still enjoyed it. The subject matter was after all still pretty fantastic in an age where we are told on one hand that we are just the chemical by product of a temporary brain or that we can't accept scientific fact such as an old earth and the evolution of the species and still be spiritual. So, ya either have to be a stone cold atheist (which I'm not) or a religious fundamentalist (which I'm not) and ignore what your instinct and life experience teach you.  So, here I go with a review of a book by a British writer who now knows more about the subject (he's shuffled off this mortal coil) than he did when he wrote the book. I invite you to google John Hick if you would like to know more about the author. We truly live in a time with more knowledge and facts than wisdom. But, I digress. :-) Still, here goes.

First a little background from me. (Hay, it's my blog.) ;-)
I have always, even from a young age thought about what will happen when I die. I do admit that I think of it a little more personally at 56 than I did at 25 or 19 but still I've always been interested. I have my own thoughts as to what happens at death and reading this book didn't actually change any belief that I already have developed or am currently sympathetic to in my 56th year on the planet. But, I did enjoy and even learned some things during my journey through this tome.

The writer talks about the reasons why we can actually confidently consider the reality of life after or before or before and after death. He does touch on humanism and atheism and the stark and useless nature of being if all we really are is extinguished at death. I have my own thoughts on this and I will say I agree with the writer on this point. He truly does a brilliant job of talking about the different major religious beliefs and a really good job of tying it all up at the end. He discusses Buddhism and Hinduism and the many different schools of thought within each. He discusses Christianity from a protestant and a catholic perspective and the Christian mystics and what a world might look like after we pass from this body.

One of my favorite sections is when he talks briefly about the philosopher HH Price. Price believed that perhaps the afterlife would consist of mental, dream like imagery. The person could draw upon his earthly life and create his environment just as he/she does in the dream world. Only we would be able to interact with each other and create or own heaven or hell or even a more mundane existence. Now, on the surface that might seem a little silly. But, I have had dreams where I could float or fly and I would wake up and honestly not understand why I couldn't actually float. It seemed so real to me. I've also dreamed of future events on rare occasions and even had reason to believe a separate personage (not just created by my own psyche) So, even though I'm not buying into it, I'm also not throwing it away as rubbish either.

The writer also talks at length about Ian Stevenson who was the Chair of the Department of psychiatry at the University of Virginia and went on to do extensive studies on Reincarnation. Dr. Stevenson did not come to an absolute "belief" in reincarnation but did feel that some of the cases he studied strongly suggested it. He was the first person to attempt a scientific study of the subject with really detailed statistics and case studies. He also studied birth defects and past life trauma experiences or I should say "alleged" experiences. Again, google is your friend if you would like to know more about this work and the books and papers of Ian Stevenson. 

The writer also makes short work of the "so called" evidence of Christan reincarnation in the bible. No, it isn't really there although there are some statements that some people take to be referring to it. On the other hand he doesn't find the concept as such to be at odds with the Christian mystics or the Jewish concept of a resurrection. He does go into detail on the different Christian schools of thought and just what Saint Paul might mean as to the resurrection of the body. Really good stuff here.

The writer goes at length about Buddhism and Hinduism and the different schools of reincarnationist thought. It's not as cut and dried as you might think. He also goes into detail about Nirvana and the concept of nonbeing as well as how one might "be" and still be absorbed back into the light or person or being of the creator. 

All in all a journey well worth taking if you would like a none dogmatic and fairly open minded discussion of the possibility of what might happen to all of us as a people or as a person once we leave this short, sweet, kind, cruel, happy, sad world. It's not a quick read and it's not for everybody. I do think it's worth the trip and I do recommend it for people who are seriously asking themselves about the logic and the possibility of the final leg of this journey or the beginning of the next stage. Which is how I look at it.

Peace.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Endings and Beginnnings.

 I'm a Seinfeld fan. I'm a Christmas fan. So, as a fan of comedy and also a Christian (some might dispute this last part, but it is what it is.) I used to both laugh and cringe a little at Festivus  for the Rest of Us. If you are a fan of the show then I don't have to explain it. If not then let's just say "Frank" had a personal take on the holidays that was hilarious. :-)

 Anyway, I have my own little personal New Year's Tradition. It started around the late 70's or early 80's. I would go into the woods with a stick or something to prod the weeds and trail and talk to God. It was my way of ending the old year and giving the hopes and worries of the past year to God and asking for "stuff" I'm American ya know ;-) for the coming year. But, it was also a great time to get quiet and really try to listen to that still small voice within.

My favorite place to do this was Noccalula Falls in River City. River City is my name "sometime sarcastic and sometimes fondly for the city of my birth." Gadsden, Alabama. I didn't always go to the falls but it was a great place to walk along Black Creek and under the falls and really commune with my spirit and talk to my maker. I would start at Jack's and get coffee and a biscuit. Then I would walk over the bridge and toward the campground and find the trail off in the woods down to the creek. Cold and clear and if it was high babbling comfort for my meditations. Also, jumping rocks and plowing through the woods. Anyway, I would then talk about my hopes and my failures and my anxieties and my unlimited future. I was a young man and I was trying to grow up. Anyway, over the years that walk was done in Altoona, Gallant, Gadsden, and all over the area where I could get into the woods. I have even tried it later on the beach in Hawaii but nothing was quiet as peaceful as the area of my raising. Be it in the woods in Gadsden or the woods in Altoona or around Gallant. Noccalula was my favorite spot but not my only spot.

 Anyway, this morning while my family slept I went out to my back yard and walked down the private road a little way. The private road leads to houses that are back in the woods and I have talked to a few of the folks back there so there was no problem with walking a little way down the road. I thought about the past year. It was a mixed year. I thought about the good and bad the right and the wrong of the past year. It wasn't the all day walk of my youth. But, it felt good. It was a release of my spiritual "cache." :-) There's a modern word that I would not have referenced back in 1978 or 1985 for that matter. Anyway, it was short but I enjoyed it and felt better for having done it.

There will be New Year's Resolutions aplenty I'm sure. I more than likely won't make many of them. But, I do hope to manager to listen more this year. To find a sanctuary either at home or work or play to get in touch with my source. I no longer think of prayer as a magic bullet or of God as an angry old man in the sky who reads my mind. But, I treasure and find hope and sanity in my prayers. No, I'm not a church going devout evangelical. I don't think I will ever be that again. But, I have always found hope and guidance in prayer and meditation and sometime just in asking.

So, Festivus for the Rest of us. But, the personal tradition of the New Year's Prayer Walk for me. I hope you are blessed.
Peace!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Life: Past, present and future.

  I had a kind of strange experience the other morning. Now before I start I do want to say this. I understand the concept of the faith "Christianity" which I was raised in. I have said several times that while I have not abandoned the faith of my youth I have certainly had my dogma run over. So, the following account will seem foolish to those who believe that we are nothing but the chemical processes of a organ in our skull. It will seem heretical and even deceitful to those who believe that the bible is the inerrant word of God from on high with no need to know the original language or circumstance or methods in which it has come to us over the centuries. It will seem like wisdom to those who are pie in the sky new age folks that just pull whatever meaning to life they need out of their butts. :-) But, what it is, is: ;-) an honest attempt by a human being on this earth to find the quiet place within and attempt to get in touch with the true nature of my own being. So, if I haven't completely bored you yet, here is what happened.

  I wake up at around 4:30 AM. I don't always wake up unless it's to stumble to the bathroom and try not to completely wake up while actually hitting the target and then going back to bed. :-) Women, (my wife) seem to make a big deal about toilet lids and guys being careful. But, I digress :-)

Anyway, I can't sleep so I get my second favorite gift of this Christmas season ( a recliner being the first.) My new Kindle Fire HDX or whatever it's called. I put in my ear buds and pull up Doctor Brian Weiss on youtube. Now, Dr. Weiss is a very highly trained Psychiatrist who discovered past life regression some years ago. You can find his story by googling his name if you are interested. I am not searching for guru's at my age and I don't claim or mess with people who do claim to have all the answers. But, anyway having an interest in relaxing my mind as well as an interest in the concept of past lives I thought I would at least give the 30 minutes it would take to close my eyes and see where the video would take me.

I got quiet and said a little prayer and prepared the volume. I will give one spoiler here. I did not (and didn't really expect to) discover a past life. I did however go back to my childhood which is of course past life of a sort. This is where it gets a little intense for me.

I listened to the meditation. I felt the tension in my neck and shoulders and relaxed and released it from the soles of my feet to my neck, shoulders and concentrated on my breathing. So far so good. Might not discover I was Joan of Arc's lover from back in the day but I was relaxed. The doctor then said to float above a scene from my childhood. I then thought about a Christmas in Gadsden, Alabama on Chester Street in Walnut Park. I was very young. My grandparents had come by to visit. I don't know why but this was the memory (and I have always had this memory so it wasn't something I had pushed down or lost the memory of.) But, I could see the little boy that morning. It was as if I were looking at him (which was me) from a different perspective.

I was detached but felt intense empathy for him. He was so small and so innocent and I started to weep. I was crying for him (me) as if I were watching a different little being than myself. I guess I may have been crying for the years and the bumps and bruises and betrayals of the innocence that he (I?) had at that moment. I honestly don't know. Anyway, it really touched me and caused me to ponder and kind of go inside myself this week. I think it was Monday morning when this occurred.

The other thing I got was this. I have often thought about my life and some of the patterns of my life. Did I do something in a past life that I have paid for in this one? One of the things I came away with was this. I don't know if there is anything to the concept of past life's. But nothing I am going through today good or bad is the result of something I did in another existence that I have forgotten and am paying for now. My life and the responsibility of my life is  what I do with it now.

Anyway, it was a very intense and personal experience and I just wanted to write it down. I have done that. Thanks for the time and in the words of Bernie Leadon of the Eagles from back in the day. "I wish you peace when the cold winds blow. Warm by the fire's glow.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Journey

"Oh bless thee continuous stutter
Of the word being made into flesh..."

- Leonard Cohen
 
 I think a lot these days about the flesh and the spirit. I look at life gone by like it all happened yesterday. I remember when I was young. I thought when I got old, there would be this long, long corridor of memory. I would sit in my chair and think wow, how long ago and far away it all is. But, it doesn't work that way at all. Not at all. Instead, my childhood and my teenage years and my young adult hood and the present "crows feet" around my eyes all happened just yesterday. 
 
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;...William Butler Yeats.

I still look at life and feel wonder and excitement. I look at it more as one eternal moment than a series of separate moments.  I don't know for sure what comes after this part of the journey or what came before. I'm not one of those who find any comfort in oblivion.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.. Dylan Thomas
I also am not so sure that the light will die.As a matter of fact I don't think it does.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting And cometh from afar; Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home: -William Wordsworth
I knew a girl back in the day. She was not my "true love." But, she was a friend and a soul mate along the journey. She was the true love of a friend of mine though. I had a hard time thinking of her passing. But, we get older and the "Emperor of all Maladies" You know the C word tends to take the body out before it seems the spirit is ready to go. There are other things and circumstances and we don't all get that rocker on the front porch to look back at life from "old age" whatever that is.
I saw her not long after she left this mortal coil. Now don't call the men in white coats just yet. I don't mean I saw her at WalMart.
But, I had a dream and she was smiling. There was a glint of mischievousness in her eyes. She looked young and was moving around with the energy of youth. Just a dream? I don't know but I'll take it and raise a hope that it was more than "just" anything.
I was raised to believe in God and although I call myself a Christian Agnostic on my good days.  I still believe we are more than brain farts.
For all the years that I've traveled some signs still take me home. There's a cross that one of the church groups put up along my route to work. It's a simple looking cross and there is a purple swatch of fabric draped across it. I've had a long year and a really long "October." But, I look for that cross while I go to work. I see that simple sign of my faith. The faith that I don't quite fit into these days. I see that purple cloth and I hear in my head "It is finished." I think about that when I'm down or troubled. Somehow, I know that even any present trouble or anxiety is already finished. The outcome isn't in doubt. Not really.

"And then I saw Him in the crowd
A lot of people had gathered round Him
The beggars shouted the lepers called Him".... Queen
I developed an interest in reincarnation during my journey through life. It started for real sometime in the eighties if memory serves. It didn't develop into a dogma or a religion "Thank God" but it does have a certain resonance with my life experience and my journey. Who knows? I don't, but I suspect.

A dream as the thunder wakes her
And her highwayman disappears
On a life already lived before
In eyes welled with tears ...Stevie Nicks
So, here I am. Not old enough to be elderly and to old to be young. I'm ready for the next part of the eternal moment. After all..

." I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? "..Tom Hanks in Cast A Way.
  I really do think life is an adventure. I also think there are signs along the way that touch us and remind us of something we've forgotten. Some part of our nature.

A gathering of angels appeared above my head,
They sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said,
They said come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me lads,..Styx
One day it will all come together.

Oh Wow!....Reportedly Steve Jobs last words "on earth"

I will make a pillar in the house of my God, and he will go out no more...Revelation 3:12

It's good to have hope. It's what gets me up in the morning and lets me sleep in the night time. 

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key... Eagles
Peace!