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heart_lights

How
Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its
Beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its
Being,

Otherwise,
We all remain

Too

Frightened.

~Hafiz~
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz
Translations by Daniel Ladinsky

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Meadow
Come with me now, down this garden path, and sit with me at this stream.  Watch how the water flows by.  See how it flows over and around the rocks.  See how it flows even where there are obstacles; even a dam of rocks, higher than the bed of the stream, cannot stop the flow.  It may hold back the water for a time, but eventually, the water will prevail.  It may rise up and flow over the top of the dam.  It may simply leave the banks of the stream, spread out and go around the dam.  Or it may find the weakness in the dam and through its relentless pressure cause the dam to crumble as the water is let loose to flow freely again.

This water is love, the source of all being.  It is freedom and power, unrelenting, unending.  It overcomes all barriers which lie before it through its unending flow.  But yet its pressure is gentle.  For the rocks over which it flows, it is soothing and purifying.  For that which dwells within it and on the banks along the side, it is a life giver, flowing and gentle.  And yet, when it is thwarted, as with the dam, it prevails through its unrelenting nature.

There is nothing that you can do, nothing you can fail to do, that will keep love from you.  There is no blame you can place upon yourself that will stop the flow of love in your life.  Love is the blood that flows in your veins, the breath that goes in and out of your body.  Love is an essential part of who you are.  It cannot be stopped.  It cannot be overcome.  And even if it is forced underground for a time, still it flows and will again be made visible in your life.

You are blameless before this love.  You are not judged and found wanting.  You, exactly as you are right now, are deeply loved, are a part of love, are made of love eternal.  You breathe and it flows.  You live and it flows.  You are love.

The life-giving source is within you and it is the foundation of your freedom.  The more you allow yourself to become one with the flow of love, the more freedom you will experience in your life.  The more you give it away, the more it will flow in to fill you.  The more you acknowledge its presence within you, the more you will flow and glow with love and freedom, going so deeply into the holy center of love that you finally see and know and feel who you are:  a shining beacon of love and light in human form, as holy and free as anyone who has ever walked the earth and ever will.  You–yes, you–are the ultimate expression of love.

The rocks of fear may pile up around you and in front of you, but you are not those rocks.  You are the flowing stream of love and you will prevail over the barriers and watch them crumble and tumble before you.  Such is your power, the power of love.

~Quado, as channeled by Carrie Hart

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Happy Endings

message-in-bottle

These are a couple of local news stories I very much enjoyed reading today.  The second story has an ending written by me.

Spokane man finds message in a bottle from 1913

By JIM KERSHNER
THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

SPOKANE, Wash. — Darin Winkler was out walking the banks of the Spokane River with his kids last weekend when he saw something that looked…

Well, let me put it this way: After you hear this story, the song “Message in a Bottle” may be stuck in your head for days.

“Spring and high water brings up various kinds of things on shore,” said Winkler, who lives in the River Run subdivision on the Spokane River, just south of Spokane Falls Community College. “We saw an old flattened basketball and a bunch of bottles. Mostly they were whiskey bottles, Mad Dog 20-20 bottles, things like that. But this one stood out.”

It looked like an antique bottle, with an old-fashioned cork stopper.

So Winkler and his kids, Evan and Iris, walked up and took a closer look. That’s when they saw it.

A message in a bottle.

Winkler grabbed the bottle and took it back to his house. He carefully teased the note out of the bottle. The paper was a little damp, flaking in places, but mostly intact. The first thing he saw took his breath away: “March 30, 1913.”

Some parts of the note had deteriorated, but large portions of the pencil-written note remained decipherable.

Here’s what it says, with missing parts noted with ellipses:

March 30, 1913

Dear friend,

Who ever finds this bottle, please write in … at Rockford, within the next two years … and let me know it… Will put it in …Spokane … North East … state of Wa …

Yours truly,

Emmett Presnell

Rockford, Wash.

RFD #1 Box 5

Admittedly, this is not one of those storybook messages in a bottle. No map showed the buried treasure. No damsel in distress wrote it from a desert island. It contained no SOS to the world. Yet this message has its own modest story to tell.

After some sleuthing on the Internet and in the Spokesman-Review archives, Winkler was able to find out plenty about that long-ago bottle-tosser.

Emmett Presnell was born in 1892 in Missouri and came with his parents Edwin and Sarah Presnell to the Lind, Wash., area in 1900, where they homesteaded. They moved to the Rockford area around 1912 and had a farm on Rural Free Delivery Route No. 1, where they raised wheat and cattle.

Emmett then went on to join his brother Karl in a big cattle and wheat operation about eight miles southwest of Cheney. He farmed there for the next 60 years. He never married and never had children of his own. He lived on the farm with his brother’s family, according to nephew Tom Presnell, 86, now retired in Spokane.

When Tom was asked this week to describe his late uncle, he said, “Emmett was a real dependable person. He lived a pretty clean life.”

Emmett would have been about 20 when he got the notion to send out a message in a bottle. We can surmise that he was out tending cattle on the banks of Rock Creek or Hangman Creek when he decided to launch that bottle downstream (those two creeks are feeders of the Spokane River). Or maybe he was having a weekend picnic somewhere on the Spokane River itself.

Winkler’s theory is that the bottle got washed up on a bank or into a tangle of logs, and stayed high and dry for most of the next nine decades, thus explaining its relatively good condition. Recently, possibly even last year, high water may have refloated the bottle and sent it down the river to where Winkler found it, directly across from the old Natatorium Park.

When Emmett died at age 85, on May 13, 1978, in a local nursing home, that bottle was probably still stuck in a riverbank somewhere. We doubt if Emmett would have even remembered launching that bottle.

Yet, on behalf of Winkler and his kids, we would like to send our own message out into the unknown:

Emmett, we finally found your bottle.

…and this sweet story for the romantic die hard, like me…

Elderly Ellensburg couple dies at same time

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — An Ellensburg couple, married for more than 50 years, died within minutes of each other at their home.

The Kittitas County sheriff’s office says deputies and Ellensburg medics responded to the home Wednesday because 78-year-old Charles Elkins was having trouble breathing. While they were trying to revive him 76-year-old Grace Elkins lost consciousness. Both died at the scene.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports Charles Elkins was a retired phone transmission tower worker and Grace Elkins was the former curator of the Kittitas County Historical Museum.

The actual news story ended there but I feel it’s incomplete, so I will add:

The couple’s oldest daughter, Eleanor, was contacted.  She stated that her mother and father were madly in love and inseparable for much of the half century they spent together.  She’s not surprised one bit that they died within minutes of each other.  Although it saddens her to bury both parents at the same time, she said they’ve left her with an abiding legacy of how strong and everlasting their love is.

The End.

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eye_illusion

This is a follow up on my original post
I Take To Be Real.

What one takes to be real is what we believe, what we take to be true in our world.  They are often statements that contain the words: I, I am, me, myself.  These statements reveal what we believe and take to be real and true about the world and ourselves in it.  Seth, Abraham Hicks, Science of Mind, The Field Center and other New Thought thinkers all state that beliefs are creative.  What we take to be real will reproduce as fact in our experience.  I have made a list of what I do take to be real that I am re-affirming and considered keepers.

I take to be real that anything can change in an instant.
I take to be real that empty, open hands are more allowing than closed, holding onto hands.
I take to be real I can be free of anything that I am willing to witness without judgement.
I take to be real I live in a mysterious Universe whose full essence I am willing to let myself be happily lost within.
I take to be real I live in a benevolent Universe.
I take to be real the Universe is absolutely rigged in our favor.
I take to be real this Universe is a friendly and loving place with harmony and balance as it’s basic nature.
I take to be real that Love is the building blocks of the Universe.
I take to be real that everything always works out for me in the end.

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surrealworld1

There is this 21 day challenge I have heard about where you commit
to no complaining for 21 days.  I like the idea but I decided to put a little
spin on it for myself.  I would like to go 21 days or more being mindful of
the consciousness I offer the world and myself.  The concept is – with my
thoughts, beliefs, actions, deeds, decisions to ask if it meets the following
criteria:

1) is it friendly? (to me or to the world)
2) is it beautiful? (yum, love that one)
3) does it lend a sense of peace and harmony (again, for me and others)

With this other 21 day challenge you wear a bracelet as a reminder
to not complain and you switch it to the opposite wrist if you do complain.
I took a sparkly bracelet of mine and I am using that as a touchstone
reminder for the questions: is it Friendly, Beautiful, Peaceful.   I’m not going
to switch it to a different wrist if it didn’t meet the criteria.  I don’t plan on
approaching this like the friendship-beautiful-peaceful police because that
would obviously not be very friendly, beautiful or peaceful for me — yet
what a great practice of mindfulness this could develop into.  Along side
of that is the benefits I will reap with unconditional regard for self and others.
I think this could truly be a life changing process.  I can only imagine how
that would trickle down into a beautiful unfolding of daily life.  The idea of
which is just so lovely to contemplate – to live inside a friendly, beautiful
and peaceful universe of my own making.

[props to The Field Center for inspiring this idea]

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I struggled a bit choosing which piece to bring you today to celebrate
love on this Valentine’s Day.  I finally settled on this simple and beautiful
poem from Mary Oliver.  Dogs are such givers of unconditional love and
if I were to live by Percy’s advice I suspect I would lead a satisfying and
good life.

goldenretrieverpuppy

Love, love, love says Percy.
And run as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.
Then, go to sleep.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
Then, trust.

~Mary Oliver~
Red Bird: Poems by Mary Oliver

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The theme is love.  Starting with yesterday’s blog post
and through February 14th, I will post variations on the
subject of what makes the world go round.

lovemandelbrot

LOVE
as much as you can
from where you are
with what you’ve got.
That’s the best you
can ever do.
It does no good to
search frantically for
peace, to seek
anxiously after love,
joy or freedom.
If you want joy,
be joyful.
If you want peace,
be peaceful.

~Cheri Huber~
American Zen Buddhist

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