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I joined 100 words. I have a goal to write, to share my thoughts. I am just a guy who has hopes and dreams for my life. I have just cleared two boxes of history. I retired from teaching four years ago and have long held on to papers I deemed important. I have let a lot go. I like the story about not being able to add fresh tea to an already full cup and that is the process which I have begun. I will clear my stuff, my mind to begin anew the adventure that is my life.
Today I am thinking about fear. I have learned about three kinds of basic fear. They are safety, aloneness, and worthiness. After learning about them I thought about how to handle fears. I came up with the following: Feel your fear; Evaluate it; Air, take a deep breath or two; and react to your experience. I thought it was an original approach. As I studied, I discovered that this approach is basically an existential approach to the situation. I am often surprised to learn that my private, original, insightful (to me) thoughts are usually ideas developed and lived by others.
Some days are so perfect that I can feel the tears form in my soul and overflow through my eyes. The very wonder and beauty of all that is around me, overwhelms me. My breath is shallow, gradually deepening so that I no longer feel faint. I am in awe of the majesty that is my life, the gifts that are a part of my existence, and the depth of gratitude that exists in the canyon of my spirit. Who am I to experience all of this? Simply me living, learning, laughing and loving each day the best I can.
I look out the window and see myself looking back, red lights flashing in the distance. The lamp shade shudders and the sweet sounds of Lisa Gerrard are soaking into my being like water to the sponge. I appear old and yet alive as I look and listen. The dog sleeps as I type, dreaming of chasing rabbits round the shrubs. There is peace, a smoothness of experience I enjoy as the cracking of my neck breaks the stillness. I dream of the future. What will it hold? Me looking back from the window, red lights flashing in the distance.
The first drops chill my bare chest as I awake. The thunder shakes. The blue skies turn grey looking like lint from the dryer. The smell of the air is clean and refreshing. What will it bring, this rain? Itís always good for the crops. They say. I wonder. Can anything always be good for another? Can too much rain fall on the crops? Of course. I wonder. Can someone love another too much? How could that happen? My love of the thunder, the rain, my life, my wife, is just right. How could it be any other way?
Where do my thoughts go? I enter my office with purpose and then remember that I entered with purpose and then remember that I canít remember the purpose. Where did it go? Are my thoughts tangible? Can I reach out and grab them as they float into the field of forget. Will the thought appear again as it was or will it, once planted, grow to become something new and amazing only to be lost again in the fertile land that is my mind? Itís good to write so I can remember. Now what was I going to write about?
I strive to be present in my life for just this day. I spend much time thinking about where my life will lead me. I wonder what I miss along the way. When I am able to slow, almost to a stop, in the moment what I experience is a thrill. Today I stopped in my garden and reveled in it as the smell and the texture of it enveloped me in gentle arms. The scent flowed into me and touched my spirit. The rich spring lilacs consumed my thoughts of future and past and there was only the now.
I think I will finally take time to just sit quietly alone in a room. As Pascal suggested and see what happens. Maybe the problems of the world will be solved. Maybe itís time to read that book I checked out from the library two weeks ago itís almost due by now and held such great promise. I have not organized my e-mail folders in forever. Perhaps today is the day. I could work in the garden or comb the dog or just sit quietly alone in a room pondering Pascal. I wonder, when the cable TV will be fixed.
Thanks dad. Today is Memorial Day. You once wore the Air Force uniform with pride and I remember you today. Itís funny how little I really do remember about being a boy yet Iím glad for bike riding, thanks for buying me that cool bike, playing baseball, thanks for being the dad to walk with us to the school grounds to hit for us, and all those great Sunday afternoon meals, between you and Chef Boyardee we somehow made it. I am proud that you were my dad. I am proud to share your values with my daughter and grandsons.
I am tired tonight. Iím thinking about being older. Not old, just older. I can feel small changes growing as the days pass. Tennis shots made still yet the effort so much greater. Thoughts of the future are so much closer than they once were. Time horizons shrinking. I played tennis with a friend who will turn eighty this week. How distant are his horizons? Grandchildren grow and enter new chapters of life. There is so much time for them, so many experiences to live. So many places to go, so many thrills to live. For me too I think.
Is it possible to be too smart for your own good? Can an individual be so astute and insightful that his understanding of the world shifts to another dimension and so his ability to communicate is marred beyond recognition? Can the humor one sees be so discerning and perceptive that his reality is not the reality of those around him? Can a person be so intelligent that his awareness is so complete that he sees more of the world than has ever been seen? Can caring be so strong that reaching out to others happens spontaneously? Iíll let you know.
What does the rain bring? New life to the ground and the garden and the flowers. Rain is a beginning. Yet how can that be in the circle of life? It falls to rise and fall again. Perhaps the rain brings clarity to my life. My actions rise and fall as the energy that is the universe ebbs and flows through me to generations yet unborn and into today. The single rain drop, the first, gently touches me and lets me know that there is more to come. The single chill I feel as today begins heralds so much more.
I hope I will be remembered as a caring person who brought knowledge into the lives of others. I cared for others in small ways. Doing things I noticed and perhaps others did not. Picking up a towel left behind at the health club and returning worms in the alley to the moist soil from which they wandered. I spent many years as a teacher. I never thought I could actually teach anything to anyone, only to help them to learn for themselves their life lessons. My values are shared as I live them each day for all to see.
Who owns a school? If a school boards represents the owners, who do they represent? One source says that the owners are those who can replace the board. If the parents of the children who attend the school are the voters, they are the owners. The board should then represent the best interests of the parents of the children in the school. Can parents really know what is best for their children? Are there experts who perhaps know better? At this point I have way more questions than even the beginnings of answers. I guess it is good to begin.
Iím writing a speech on the subject of leaving a legacy and will be starting with a fictional story about how great it is that my great-grandfather started a tradition of writing ethical wills. I have started writing my ethical will and hope that it can become a family tradition. It would be amazing to have a message from the past. To know the lives and values of others if only in a small way, but mostly to know that somehow they cared enough about and believed in their future to think that their thoughts would actually matter to me.
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