Week #14 – Chain of events

(So just as an author’s note – I know our movie reviews are due this week.  I detest anything that smacks of a book report; so far as I’m concerned, it’s nothing more than a way of proving that yes, you actually did do the assignment.  I’ll get it done, no fear.  Thing is, I can actually spot the requisite keys – DMP, PMA, POA, MMA – in just about every movie I see these days; once you’re conscious of the fact those elements exist, you see them everywhere.  But the story below is the important bits of this week.)

I have issues with the concept of ‘give more, get more.’  When interpreted a certain way, the principle seems to suggest that giving is essentially selfish.  If we must give in order to get – and everyone wants to get something – how then are we not being self-serving in giving, knowing we will be given what we desire (so long as it does not take another’s good) in exchange?  It seems to reduce the spiritual choice of giving to a cold, rational equation.  And that, quite frankly, is not why I give my time, my feeling, my thought, and yes, my money, in an effort to find or create gifts other people might like.  And I can’t help thinking that giving  because you can’t get unless and until you give will contaminate whatever the Universe tries to give you.  Intention counts.  Intention always counts.

But.  There is no question that an exchange is taking place.

My buddy Ivan is a great guy; generous, inclusive, supportive.  He’s also quietly imaginative, self-contained, somewhat… hmm… antisocial definitely isn’t the right word; he enjoys being around people who are upbeat, don’t constantly complain, have good senses of humor, but he also very much enjoys solitude – particularly when he’s working on a photography project.  Introverted, maybe… though that doesn’t really ring true, either.

Anyway.  Ivan is the reason I and my brother Ted have a place to go hunting; Ivan invited us both into the hunting group, and his family owns 300+ acres here in southern Minnesota.  Well, Ted found a CD that Ivan has always wanted and gave it to him for Christmas – because he knew Ivan wanted it, and he was grateful for Ivan’s friendship and the long-standing invitation into the hunting group.  Well, like I said last week, Jerry and I (and Ted and Mom and Dad) all went out east to visit family for the holiday; it snowed about six inches while we were gone.  Jerry and I were on our way home, I was fairly sure the township road we live on had been plowed, but I wasn’t looking forward to needing to snowblow the driveway – particularly after nearly a week in seventy-degree temperatures!

But as we turned up the driveway from the township road, I saw that the driveway itself had been plowed, all the way up to the garage.  I was thrilled.  Seriously, there is nothing like that feeling; seeing the cleared area, knowing I won’t have to deal with the snowblower, excitement as I wonder who might have done us such a wonderful kindness!

(Ivan said it was the snowplow fairies.)

Well, as I was shoveling the deck, I was thinking about my folks, still out east until after the 31st.  They live about twenty minutes away, so more than likely their driveway needed doing, too.  I thought about the lovely surprise Jerry and I had been given, and thought, we should give my folks that same gift.

So we took a trip over to their house, only to find their driveway had been plowed out, too!

I’m still going back tomorrow to check the mousetraps, snowblow the sidewalk, and create a path to the propane tank for the LP guy.  Because I like to be kind to the people who deliver the fuel, and if I were them, I’d rather not have to slog through the snow to get to the tank.  And because I know my parents like to have the sidewalks clear and I would rather Dad not have to do it – because he’ll be thinking about needing to do it in ten-to-fifteen degree weather after being out east for a week of seventyish-degree temperatures.

And that is harmony.

Week #13 – Past, present, future

Full moon at Christmas

Not a long post today.  Just kind of a short note.

The whole family is together this year; my sister and brother-in-law are hosting at their new home.  Sixteen of us all under the same roof, and it’s delightful.  There have been many opportunities this week that trigger an MKMMA-related thought, generally regarding the subconscious and its unerring ability to create the exact circumstances that are being focused on.  With so many early birds in the house, I’m trying (with difficulty) to shift my nocturnal schedule.  I need to do that anyway if I’m going to go back to photographing sunrises.

But mostly I’ve been fascinated with my baby nephew Everett, just seven and a half months old.  He is pure potential.  His baby noises make me think of a singer; his wordless prattle brings to mind a public speaker; his constant attention to any and all activity around him suggest he might be a people person, or maybe a scientist examining the world he will live in.  I wonder if he will grow up liking football or hockey, cars or trains, music or art.  When he is yowling with hunger and cuts it off midyell to start saying, “NummMMMmmmm,” as a spoonful of baby food touches his tongue, I wonder if we’re born knowing the syllable for tasty, or if he has just learned it that early.  He fell asleep in my arms today, his ear resting just above my heart.

He’s just about ready to start crawling.  He’ll get up on hands and knees and rock back and forth; he’ll scoot himself along, pulling his belly along the ground with forearms and hands gripping the carpet, toes shoving from behind.   He hasn’t crawled yet with his midsection up in the air.  But, oh, does he already understand the unfairness of letting him army-crawl toward a toy only to move it once he’s almost reached the goal!  His squall of protest is loud and emphatic then!

I wonder what the cement of the world will make of him; I wonder what his light will make of the world.

Looking forward to finding out over the next twenty-thirty years.

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Week #12 – Imagining the future

First of all, since I know you’re going to notice – No, I did not post my Week 11.  You don’t get to see my week eleven.  An honest writing of week eleven (and yes, it would have been a couple days late) turned out far too intensely personal to be allowed into the world at large; and to modify it enough for me to be comfortable sending it into the world would not have been honest.  So some form of compromise was necessary, since this experience is designed to evoke the authentic self.

What I will tell you is that week eleven was spent in various stages of anger.  And I’m okay with that.  Why?  Because once the anger finally burns itself out, it leaves behind clarity.  I welcome clarity.

There is a difference between truth and faith; there is a difference between resisting changing an internal blueprint and denying the authentic self – the key lies in determining where one stops and the other starts – because sometimes the one looks awfully like the other.  Asking questions is critical to figuring out which is which.  And so is listening – sometimes to the most unlikely of sources.

But enough about last week.

This week is not so angry – mostly because of anticipation.  We are heading out to the east coast to visit with family – the whole lot of us (16 people from Mom and Dad all the way down to seven-month Everett!) are getting together for Christmas!

There is a part of me that wonders how well my no opinion, no judgement, no negative thoughts or statements, is going to hold.  Family has a way of knowing the most sensitive buttons to press.  But it is more curiosity than concern, which I reckon up as a good thing.  Seeing as how I have firmly in mind that nobody but me chooses how I feel (even if certain members of the family try to tell me what I’m thinking and feeling in any given moment), I should do just fine.  I shall craft in my head wonderful conversations, beautiful experiences, form them so firmly and thoroughly that the universe cannot help but arrange matters exactly how I imagine them.

The long dark is nearly over – soon the sun rises longer and stronger, day by day!  Each day I create a new low-content journal to publish, each week I rewrite another chapter of my current book; soon I shall be photographing sunrises again!  I have only a year left before we head to South Dakota; and I want those 366 sunrises from the eastern overlook of Barn Bluff!

Week #10 –

“I want to tell you everything, everything all at once.

“I don’t want to be plod-patient, setting it down in sequence:  first the plague, then the cave-in, then the years of Other Business, when everything seemed like a burden to get out of the way before real life could start.  Everyone knows this is real life, it’s all real life, sixty seconds of real life every minute, no one gets less.

“But you can take less.

“…You live through a day, and at the end you grumble, “But I didn’t do anything” …but second by second you did do things, you occupied every second, just as you occupy every second of every day.

“Here’s the thing, the cruicial thing:  your life is full.  And if you don’t realize that… then you’re just like the rest of us, but that’s no excuse.”

-Faye Smallwood

“Vigilant” – James Alan Gardner

What story shall I tell, this week?  Shall I tell of persistence (“I will persist.  I will win.”) and the role it played in winning the NaNoWriMo Challenge (1700 words a day, every day, for thirty days)?  Shall I talk about hunting, and then processing the deer our hunting group took, and how you can find new and unexpected ways to appreciate nature even though it’s an activity that occasionally has people frothing at the mouth over how morally objectionable it all is?  Shall I go further and speak of those differences in philosophy?  Should I relate difficulties, or talk of boredom with the exercises and repetitions and how that very state is yet another example of resistance by the old blueprint?

What story would you like to hear?

Because life is all about stories.  All that life is, really, is stories, each story a crystal drop of memory, shining and glittering, telling you just that little bit more about yourself.  The stories you experience.  The ones you tell yourself, in the silence of your mind.  The ones you collect from other people – because the stories you find appealing or appalling still tell you something about who you are.  The ones you share.

The one you become.

And whether or not we are proud of our story ultimately depends on how closely we come to match the siren call of our true selves – our inner ideal.  The explosive and confident imaginings of a child, tempered by life and inattention of the Guardian at the Gate into vague underpinnings of dissatisfaction and a feeling that something’s just not right.

What is the result when a dynamo is generating electricity, the circuit is cut off and there is no outlet?  The Dynamo stops.

It will be exactly the same with you, if you entertain thoughts which are not in accordance with the Infinite and cannot therefore be polarized…”

Master Key 10:19 and 20 – Charles Haanel

And yet abundance will not simply drop out of the sky – you have to identify what it is you want and then make the application – you have to work for it.

But really, what is the point of drawing imaginary shapes on the wall and manipulating them in orientation and color?  What does that have to do with finding and creating the life you’ve wanted all along?

What’s the point of a child finding shapes in the clouds?  Just random play?

Not likely.  Like the exercise, finding shapes in the clouds sharpens the imagination; sharpening the imagination allows us to more clearly define our vague desires into a whole that is clearly seen, intricately mapped.

And yet it’s an elusive exercise, this one – oh, it’s easy enough to run through the entire thing with eyes closed, seeing the figures with visual internal imagination; but with eyes open?  Seeing with the physical eye as the mind’s eye draws it?

Impossible, you say.  It’s imaginary; how can I possibly see it when it doesn’t exist?

How do you see your future, when it doesn’t yet exist?  How do you see figures in the clouds?  How do you see the imaginary lines that create constellations out of random stars?  For that matter, how do you see intangibles like wisdom, courage, strength, freedom?  Yet you know those exist; as, perhaps, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do not.  But as Terry Pratchett pointed out in the Discworld book Hogfather, we start out by believing in the little lies so as to prepare us to believe in the big ones like freedom, like justice – because you can’t show me an atom of mercy; you can’t sift down the substance of the world and locate a grain of hope.  But you know they exist.

And yet it’s all tricks of the mind.  Just like seeing an imaginary figure with physical eyes.  How sharp will you let your imagination become, in your quest for your future?  How much will you play at seeing shapes in the clouds?  Because that’s a key component to it, too; working hard to force it to come will get you nowhere but frustration – employ the law of relaxation and just play.

I still can’t see the whole figure yet; three adjoining lines is as far as I’ve gotten.  But I will persist.  Like NNoWriMo, it’s just a matter of doing a little a day, every day, until the cumulative effect is felt.