Archive for September, 2008

It’s that remembrance of things and times gone by.  That’s how I’ve been
feeling today: nostalgic.

It all began with the news that WAMU collapsed.  It’s the oldest and longest
running Washington based institution.  It’s not that big a deal except that it
was for so long and now it isn’t.  Next, it was waking up to the news that
Paul Newman had died.  I know Abraham says we really need to get over
this death thing but what do they know, they’re already dead :).  Gosh, I just
adored him and I had the opportunity to meet him and get up close and personal.
I was attending an outdoor political rally for a congressional candidate he was
supporting.  I was young but not so young that I wasn’t riveted by his charisma.
And now so it is that another icon of film and really so much more, is gone.

I spent the day poring over vintage things because it’s what I do for a side
business and hobby and it occurred to me that this, too, is a kind of a nostalgia
for days gone by.   While I’m doing this, I’m also listening to a few hours back to
back of just Rosie Thomas.  Rosie’s sweet folksy songs are mostly about, you
guessed it, memories of another time.  Suddenly memories came to me of when
my kids were toddlers and remembering both brought a smile and a tear to my eye.

And that’s how I spent my day in a kind of sweet melancholia.  It wasn’t good or bad
or right or wrong, it just was.

It reminds me of a poem entitled Nostalgia by Billy Collins.  He has a way of making
me smile at myself.  Nothing really serious going on here, you know, I’m just wearing
the flavor of the day: nostalgia.  Because I can.

Love, Bethie

Remember the 1340’s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.

The 1790’s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

~Nostalgia by Billy Collins

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I live in Seattle.  We have a lot of cloudy days here.  I need the
sun.  I asked myself: how can I have sun when there is no sun?  I began
to go away to find some sun.  I would make sure I got a hotel with a
pool so I could sit out by the sun.  Then the hotel was so tall, it
blocked the sun.  :)  What is up with that?

So I asked myself again: how can I have sun where there is no sun?  It
came to me one day, inspired by Neville Goddard’s teachings, I would
go to bed with the sun on my face.  I told my Seattle friend this and
she said: oh, you take a nap in the sun.  I said: no, I go to bed with
the sun on my face.  In other words, there is no sun outside.  I claimed
it inside.  I remember what sun feels like on my face.  I can feel the
brightness of it, I can feel the warmth on my skin.  I do this particularly
at night just before slumber, because it’s fertile non-resistant ground.

This is what I’ve been doing for about 3 weeks now even on sunny days.
The sun shows up outside or it doesn’t.  *I pay no mind* to cloudy days
now.  I pay no mind, literally means I do not give it my attention or focus.

I am suggesting that if you claim a thing from the inside, not to make it happen,
but purely for the sake of your own well being, then it happens.  Eventually life
will outpicture differently, that is a natural unfolding, when you claim it inwardly
for the love of you.

Love, Bethie

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I recently received permission from the founder of The Field Center, Philip Golabuk, to quote one excerpt from his ebook entitled ‘REALITIES’.  Ahhh, there is so much in that book, how to choose.  Yet finally I have chosen that one special quote and I include it now:

“This week, I look for what’s right. If a situation arises that suggests
something is wrong, I note it without conclusions, and consider it part of
a larger unfolding. For one week, I choose to agree with the unconditional
rightness of things.” *

In this book, there are approximately 10 pages of ‘this week…’ meditations.  Everyone of them is a gem in its own right.  I am going to take them one at a time and put them on an index card and make that the theme for my week.

This quote, in particular really speaks to my recent blog post: It All Works Out in the End.  Trusting in that, especially amidst evidence to the contrary, trusting in it anyway.  And noting any evidence to the contrary as just there, it doesn’t have to mean anything about me, unless I make it mean something.

This week, I choose to not make it mean anything.
This week, I agree that I will look for what’s right.
This week, I won’t try to make what looks wrong, right either.
This week, I agree to just observe it without forming opinions about it.

For one week, I won’t insert a period at the end of any experience.
I’ll consider all my experiences to be continually unfolding.

*~excerpted from REALITIES, Philip Golabuk, author
© 2008 by The Field Center. All rights reserved.

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Music of the Night

I went to see Phantom of the Opera at the Paramount in Seattle today.  I think this is my 6th time seeing it since it first came out.  I have not seen it for several years now, my last time was in NYC.  I sort of thought at the time: if I ever saw it again, I would wait till I could see it in London.  Yet it came here and my youngest daughter wanted to see it, too, so I could not pass up the opportunity to see my all time favorite musical once again.  It did not disappoint me.  I had tears in my eyes even at the opening auction scene, as the wind up monkey played the first strains of music.  The chandelier though, it seemed smaller now or was it just that I had somehow grown bigger.

Just kidding!

My favorite song, well actually there are two: Music of the Night and Point of No Return.  Music of the Night is the first song that Phantom sings to Christine as he takes the role of the angel of music, her tutor.  Reading it’s lyrical prose now, it’s almost Neville-esque.  Neville speaks of using the imagination to become or claim a thing inwardly and specifically to use this power of the imagination at night, just before slumber.  I’ll include the lyrics to Music of the Night.  There have been changes to the lyrics and a few versions available; this is the version I heard tonight that I include below.

Finally, I came home with a question in mind.  I thought I had it figured out that Raoul was the wheelchair man in the auction scene but I saw in the program the auction scene was only 30 years in the future.  This was a white haired, white bearded man in a wheelchair bidding on the musical monkey.  It couldn’t be Raoul, he would have only been in his 50’s and not just that, that monkey had meaning for the Phantom not for Raoul.  Suddenly I realized it had to have been the Phantom and that was the true healing of the Phantom.  When the Phantom disappeared, he left his mask behind, meaning he left his deformity behind.  He had been transformed through the receiving of Christine’s love and finally in his own acceptance of it.  It had to be the Phantom in the wheelchair.  And I like that ending a lot.  Alas, I came home and did the research and it was Raoul in the wheelchair.  I like my ending better.  As they say, it is my story and I am sticking to it. :)  And, by the way, this was my favorite Phantom, his name is Tewksbury, he was an alternate Phantom.  The voice and acting were impeccable.   So Mr. Alternate Phantom, you were every bit as good as Michael Crawford.  Bravo to you and as always to Andrew Lloyd Weber for creating this true modern day masterpiece.
Love, Bethie

Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination
Silently the senses abandon their defenses

Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendour
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your face away from cold, unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night

Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before
Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar
And you’ll live as you’ve never lived before

Softly, deftly, music shall caress you
Hear it, feel it, secretly possess you
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind
In this darkness which you know you cannot fight
The darkness of the music of the night

Let your mind start a journey through a strange, new world
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before
Let your soul take you where you long to go
Only then can you belong to me

Floating, falling, sweet intoxication
Touch me, trust me, savour each sensation
Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in
To the harmony which dreams alone can write
The power of the music of the night

You alone can make my song take flight
Help me make the music of the night

Song:  Music of the Night
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Charles Hart

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Haiku Sequoia

I went to a Haiku poetry workshop today and tried my hand
at a couple of haiku poems.  Classic haiku is a very simple,
yet restrained format of 17 syllables total and often broken
into 3 lines.  The first line containing 5 syllables, followed
by 7, ending with 5 again.

This little poem below is to honor Kubota Japanese Gardens
in Seattle.  There, you will find many types of trees and many
weeping varieties that are not commonly seen elsewhere.
I include a picture of the majestic weeping sequoia so you
can get a visual sense of it.

weeping sequoia
lace green curtain hangs
doorway to earth’s soul

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It All Works Out in the End

I had a long weekend and flew down to Dallas last week to get
together with my pal Mary. Mary and I met in an Abraham group
5 or so years ago.  We have been best buddies ever since.

She and I were staying in a hotel.  We each brought reading
material.  Mary is reading Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Takes
Manhattan.  If you have ever read the series, the main character
gets herself in plenty of financial binds because she loves to shop.
It alternates between being hugely funny and a bit too close to the
truth for some of us!

Mary commented to me: “Bethie I don’t think I can finish this book,
it’s almost too painful.”  Because I am already familiar with the books,
I know how it all ends up, I turn to Mary and say, “It’s o.k. Mary because
it all works out in the end”.

Then I had this brilliant idea.  Of course all my ideas are brilliant. :)
I thought – that is such a metaphor for life.  It does all work out in the end.
No matter what panty wad twisting we go through, it all works out.  So
what if we trusted in that – even in the moments where things don’t feel
like they are going the way we want them to.  What if we just rested in
the knowing that it all works out in the end.  It’s sort of like skipping ahead
to the end of the book but in a fun way, in a finding relief kind of way.

So next time you find yourself in the heat of the moment, when it feels like
nothing is going right, remember that you already know the end of this story.
It all works out in the end.

It always does.

The End.

Love, Bethie

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