The planets and moon are predictable . . . their paths known. Not so we humans who have been given the power to make choices. I hadn’t thought about this as a key part of being human until I read Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. He was in a German Concentration camp and saw that many people died soon after entering. So he asked a long time surviver how he did it. The man told him that one purposes of the camp was to take away the ability to make choices. He said, I have only four choices: On / Off and In / Out. But, I work at exercising those choices!
That story keeps coming to mind when I think about making choices. And, it reminds me that “not making a choice” IS a choice. I realize that most of my choices are within a fairly narrow range. Habits and patterns prescribe most of my days activities. And I LIKE my comfortable range of choices! I like my life as it is!
But when our grandson, Ian, went to a Climate Rally . . . holding a sign that said, I STAND WITH GRETA . . . it called me to make new choices. This afternoon I put away the two loads of clothes that I had hung up to dry indoors. (We are in a townhouse with no outside clothes line.) Cutting down on using the dryer is such a small thing I’m embarrassed to share it. BUT, it was the third time I’d done it. And I realized that it felt easier this time.
I am becoming conscious of the fact that there ARE choices for me to make. And I’m aware that I have to WORK at making them.
And as I do my small acts of hope I think of Vaclav Havel’s quote: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
I love silhouettes! That way I don’t invade people’s privacy. And these folks — either going out or coming back from surfing — caught the JOY of the morning. Then too, there is the BLUE of the water and the sky . . . which I figure must be one of Your favorite colors. It is surely one of mine!
Actually ALL COLORS are favorites of mine. Seeing Moorish Idols fish with their yellow stripes with the black and white stripes brought me joy. Even the black and white Convict Tang were a joy!
My wonderful husband Kit suggested last night that we could go to the beach this morning. I really appreciated that because he is not a “Water Rat” the way I am. So he takes off his shoes and socks and walks around on the sand . . . working on his balance and grounding . . . while I snorkel away.
Our trip to the beach was such a good example of the blessing of being in the NOW. Yes, there are problems and worries . . . and even fears ahead. But, I am learning that RIGHT NOW is almost always wonderful. And I am also learning that my imagination is almost always worse than reality.
Then too, I have been through AWFUL TIMES and YOU were there with me. And I made it through to the other side. Not with out pain and loss and sorrow. But with HOPE.
I guess, God, that believing that You do love us and will not simply abandon us . . . is a VAST COMFORT! Perhaps that was why it was so easy this morning to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the beach. And the joy of being alive!
I’ve been thinking of just what I can do to lower my contributions to Global Warming. My wonderful husband Kit challenged me to Make a List! Then as I was centering the other night — a Brand New Thought for the List entered my head.
BE LESS JUDGMENTAL and ANGRY
Could my indignation and “righteous anger” be contributing to the warming of our planet? Good Heavens! I wanted to argue. But, golly! It felt RIGHT!
Hmm. So, Jesus really meant it when he said, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you [and the planet.]
Fortunately, there were a few other (easier) ideas: 1) give money to Nature Conservancy who are planting a billion trees. 2) try for 2 out of 7 showers to be short each week. 3) batch my Amazon purchases . . . pretend I pay for shipping! 4) batch my errands and trips. 5) maybe have a no car day once in a while? 6) use the clothes hanger I got at least one load a week. 7) batch washing — fewer but bigger loads save energy . 8) turn off all the electronic in my office when I go to bed. 9) turn off lights when ever I can. (I used to resist this as a moth.) 10) more veggies and less meat.
All of this takes HOPE. It take FAITH. It takes EFFORT. It takes believing that everyone matters and that everything matters — no matter how small. Thankfully, You gave us the example of Greta Thunberg to encourage me.
I extracted a image from the video I took of the lightening Monday night. My wonderful husband Kit and I were out for an after dinner walk when we noticed flashes of light in the southern sky. We weren’t sure what it was at first.
It was lightening . . but so far away we heard nothing. Still, we cut our walk short. We mostly only get sheet lightening in Hawaii. I was curious. And waited with anticipation as it slowly grew closer. Although, with a flash every 5 or 10 seconds it seemed more like a THEY not a singular IT.
Later that evening I went outside and saw flashes of horizontal lightening bolts in the northern sky. But, still no real thunder. It was only when we were into Tuesday morning that the storm made its reality KNOWN. Then the flashes were so bright they went through eye patches and around corners. The thunder came and STAYED.
Today I realized that the slow approach of the storm is how my mind absorbs reality. Slowly! Very slowly. The Visceral awareness takes time to arrive. . . .
Visceral awareness — hearing the sonic booms rattle the windows and my bones — is quite different from intellectual awareness. As in yes, global warming. Oh Yes, a problem.
I guess, God, I am hoping that we can all get a visceral awareness of our planet’s peril. And translate that into personal and political action. Well, God, my husband just said: SAY WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO! So, part two is coming.
You have been much on my mind since the 10 hour thunderstorm that we first saw at 8:00 p.m. and saw the last flash shortly after sunrise. All those old stories and myths about the gods deploying thunderbolts suddenly became completely understandable. I have been in thunderstorms as a teenager up in the San Bernardino mountains. And the lightening struck brighter and closer than it did on Monday night. But, it passed quickly!
This was relentless. What started off as silent bursts of light in the southern sky . . . kept on coming. . . slowly. I went out at 11:00 and the lightening was now to our north. Flashes of horizontal lightening. And by then they were close enough for the sound to surround us. A few hours later flashes reached me around corners and the claps of thunder kept reverberating.
My cup overflowed. This was not a hurricane but it was more than I had experienced before. And it is the Overflow Factor that pivotal.
I’m sitting here thinking . . . first that I am overjoyed by the quiet sky of this evening. Secondly, that I have to find ways to buy less, use less, save more. I am only One. But I am the only one I am responsible for. So what will I actually do . . . or not do? Well, I just turned off the only light I had on. And now I will turn off my computer and go to bed!
Well, replenishing is taking longer than I anticipated! And it involves far more than I currently grasp. But, I’d like to share what I “know” so far . . . not so much with You, God, — to whom all is known — as much as with myself.
I shall start with my yellow palm which sits outside our front door. For months I had been semi noticing that it stayed yellow. It was not a vibrant green like my other palms. Finally I googled…Why is my palm yellow? Immediately, the response came back indicating that my palm was lacking magnesium! YIKES! Magnesium!
The palm came first. I mixed up a few tablespoons of epsom salts (magnesium chloride) with a gallon of water and dosed my palm. This is a photo I took 4 or 5 days later in which I could see that a formerly yellow frond was turning green! SO SOON? I had thought it was supposed to take weeks and only work on the new fronds….but…here it was!
And me? I’m finally taking ENOUGH magnesium . . . just like our daughter Suzanne has been urging me. I’m not turning green, but I am sleeping better. Seems magnesium is essential for over 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies. And it also seems most of us don’t get enough in our diet.
So, God, I’m thankful to be replenishing at least one key mineral. And I’m thankful that I am much more aware of the whole huge topic of replenishing . . . I’m going to need lots of help as I work on that.
“Oh! Look UP” my friend said. And there they were . . . these lovely blooms hiding above my head. We really don’t SEE this amazing world around us. Or the equally amazing world within us.
Last week while talking with my beloved spiritual director, I told her that I have come to believe that REALITY is God’s best gift to us. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I was FLOODED with the realization that Reality has multiple Layers and Dimensions that we humans are totally unaware of. Well, maybe the String Scientists that are talking about 11 dimensions have some idea. But, not me!
Actually, this Time and Place that I am in is WAY TOO MUCH for me to grasp. I try. I try to keep up. But, it isn’t just a matter of learning new information. More and more I am having to rebuild or upgrade my mental maps!
Information to be understood and maybe even used has to be seen in its context. I’m slow at that. When our oldest daughter slowly discovered that her assorted health troubles could be traced back to EMF radiation, I was slow to update my mental map. My old map was of us humans as physical, chemical beings. Upgrading to seeing us as BioElectric Beings took time!
But, it is important. Laurence Gonzales has said, “Some people update their mental maps more often than others. They are called survivors.”