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We are all filled with pain that came to us from our prior life. None of us have made it this far in life without living through bad times and doing bad things. In meditation I asked a higher spirit to free me. To rid myself of the pain I received and the pain I gave to others. I asked to be free of depression and anxiety caused by fear, loneliness, and regret. I continue asking for help to keep these unwanted pains out of my body. Everyday I give thanks for the peace I now have in my life.
My friends: I am home. Yes, I'm back from the Islands, back from the Sun, and back from the Beach. I brought with me a tan, two wine glasses, a few pictures, and lasting memories. Coming home to snow, to the cold, and to life's pressures may seem like an impossible adjustment, but, I want you to know that I am not crying because it is over. No, I am smiling because it happened. Yesterday is over, tomorrow is unknown, but now is the present and I am just happy to be alive. Life is what one makes of it.
We the older must teach this to the younger. If we don't an important tradition will be lost in time. The simple act of a man removing his hat when going inside tells those inside his intentions: He is entering as a friend, and would like to be part of the inside activities. By doing this simple thing, a man sets aside his feelings of an outsider, and is asking to be made welcome by the interior. Some traditions are worth keeping. I hope you agree that this one must not be lost. Go and teach this to the younger.
We know who you are: The Shoulds. You are the ones telling the rest of us what we should do. You tell us what we ought to do as if we cannot find our own way. Does telling others what to do make you feel good? Do you feel in control and so intelligent? Do you think I don't know what needs to be done without you telling me? When you tell someone they should do something chances are they already know that. You just make the person mad. You are calling them stupid for not knowing what they know.
He parked his l985 Dodge pickup in front. One head light was missing, shot out by a l988 Bronco. The gun rack behind the seat held a rusty shotgun, carried just in case the Bronco should reappear. The truck originally was black, now much of the grey undercoating shown through, but he never cared how it looked. A stick shift V8 did him and the dog just fine. Besides, a truck without a muffler bothered no one but the cops. Inside he immediately went to the cue rack Picked one. He then turned towards the group of young sharks. Rackum.
8 Ball is his game. He had beaten all the younguns. With their beer money gone, the young sharks left. The five dollar a game bet broke them With cue stick over his shoulder, like one with carry a shotgun, he waited for another easy five. Outside he saw the l988 Bronco park next to his pickup. Everett's boy got out, walked inside He gave the older man an order. Rackum! He smiled at Sam as he walked outside. Reaching inside he took out his shotgun. With a blast into each of the Bronco's headlights, the score was now even.
What time is it? Some would say it is time to lose weight or to save, or stop excessive spending. The list goes on and on. Some might even say it is 6:30 p.m. A spirit inside us would say it is time is to let go of the past. Pain received in our past, and pain we gave is hanging around much past closing time. The hour hand is at let go, and minute hand is approaching too late. Before the minute hand says you're dead, you can start a new life, free of the pain of the past.
One day a friend said to me "make a list of things you want to do before you die-. Good idea, I thought. No sooner had I opened my journal then ideas started leaping out onto the page. Each requesting first position on my list. Each desperate to get underway. Soon a long line of projects formed. Each crowding, pushing, and pleading for a high place on the list. I heard their chant: "Do it! Do it today. Do it while sun shines. Do it before the darkness. I made a list. It is there in my journal. It's waiting.
When I was young I remember at night looking upwards and seeing nothing but stars? And while looking up I would dream? I would dream about what will become of me in years ahead. Years, like the starts, are many. So much life yet to be live. All the stars, and all of life, are mine for the taking. That is what I thought. Did any of my dreams come true? Many did not. And now an older me is again looks upwards into the stars. What happen to my dream? Are they still waiting for me to live them?
PART 1 OF 3 No one told me. If I tell you, will you listen, will you learn from my experience? Will you believe? This message can help you learn now, what life will teach you later. If you want, don't listen to me. Wait and learn from your own experiences. May the heavens look upon you. It is often a needed experience to be poor when you're young. And later, when you're older, it may be a necessary to do without the excesses. But! And there is always a but; you don't want to be poor when you're older.
PART 2 OF 3 There is no joy to be old and having little money. To be working and struggling beyond your desire to do so is not a wanted way of life. Is it not sad when seeing an older person in need of work just to provide for himself. That will never happen to me, you say. Well, may the heavens be good to you. Stop for a moment and think about this: It is later in your life and all your finances have gone up in smoke. All you have now is a monthly social security check.
PART 3 OF 3 But, if you add to this situation a home, fully paid for, then you can have a life. If you add to this some money that did not go up in smoke, then you are on the way to continue living the American Dream. A home paid for at any age will give you freedom. Without needing to pay rent or a mortgage payment you're free to take a job only if you enjoy it. You can be free to spend your time as you wish. Think about this. Start now planning to be debt free.
In two parts This is a true story. A story never told. Now is the time to speak. The old lady, now dead, had a tongue like a snake. We called her Ma, not grandmother. Ma, my father's mother, was an unusual lady. She never liked my father or mother, but she seemed to adore her grandkids, but always from a distance. She never kissed or touched us. After mass, my sister asked Ma to take her to the bathroom. Me too, I said... Ma asked the man, dressed in black, if he would take me to the boy's room.
PART 2 The man took my hand and we walked away. Afterwards, Quiet!" Ma snapped. I could feel the poison in her words. "If you tell that to anyone God will not like you. " Ma said this while dragging me away, and for years I believed her. I believed what Ma said to her four year old grandson: God will not like me because of what the man in black did. Ma never took her two grandchildren to church again. For nearly 60 years I have told no one else. I told only my Grandmother, who ordered my silence.
You parents are you raising our grandchildren in way we never would do. Why do you give your children play stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, video games, 99 channels of TV, video movies, surround sound, cell phones, personal computers, Internet chat rooms. Don't you see what we know: all this will stop your child from developing imagination, physical fitness, and from experiencing real life. Why aren't kids playing outside, climbing trees, making up games, ridding bikes, or walking. Isn't this better than glued to a TV screen, and eating junk food. Our grandchildren are being pushed by you into obesity and laziness.
What part in the great theater of life are you and I playing? Unsure and distant, yes we are apart and frightened. Will these confine us to act out imaginary roles, never becoming more. Is there not a part in the real world for you and me? It may be that what we are living is a chapter in real life. We are actors, of course, but playing real life on the world stage. Distance and uncertainly we can script out. We can then continue the roles that we write for ourselves. Real or imaginary, which is it?
The desire for union dwells deep in the human soul. I have not had a wife for 15 years. Death due us part is not an order to quickly find another. Single may not be the ideal way for a man to live, but seeing life now through more mature and experience eyes tells me I may be where I choose to be. The gap I see between mismated husbands and wives, their day after day living a life of hopelessness, makes me realize that entering a union now, for a second time, may be worse than some dread disease.
If woman could only be like Kupe. Kupe is my cat. I found her, homeless, scared, and lonely. I took her into my arms, into my house, and into my life. She asks only for affection, food, and protection for the animals that once frightened her, and a soft lap for sleeping. She returns to me much more than I give: loyalty, a quiet purr, cuddling. Often she and I just sit, not talking, not pushing our own self, not wanting, just giving. Kupe will never leave for excitement elsewhere, and I will never want to live without her.
Those born before us became known as the greatest generation. They saved the planet. Later came the baby boomers, known more for what they destroyed than for any accomplishments. In between greatness, and the boomers came us, "The Lucky Ones-, born between l935 and l945. Most of us were too young for the Korean war, and too old to fight in Vietnam War. We did fight a different war, a cold one. The great nuclear standoff had its beginning in these years. The shooting part of the cold war never happened, which our generation can take some credit for preventing.
Harry Truman and General Eisenhower were leaders when the "Lucky Generation"came of age. After high school boys, either found a job, went to college or enlisted in the military. Most girl's ambitions were to marry and have a house in the suburbs. That house all could afford. Houses then were not grand or excessive, just small, white, and comfortable. Most families stayed together. Kids left home at the right age, and did not return. The birth of TV happened, but TV never dominated lives. All the damage that society today inflicts on itself was yet to be thought of.
Advertising today has changed from a medium for honorable merchants to sell products to a tar pit of untruths. Radio, TV and newspapers ads are full of deceit, lies and often fraud. It is destroying our belief in truth and fairness. Are we to believe that everything is sold for a discount? Isn't it really that discounts are an amount added to the selling price then later deducted making a purchaser believe a discount was given. Are we to think that rebates, liquidation sales, cash back, below invoice, free interest, and gimmicks like that really exist? Let's stop buying!
Today I was given a gift: a rainy day. A gift because where I live we have so few. I slept late and meditated to a rain song. Coffee tastes rich and warm as I sit looking out at the approaching day. Rain washed away all my unwanted thoughts. My mind is empty except for the good feelings that one feels on days like this. Soon I will make a short walk to Angelines Bakery. I will drink another cup of coffee, be with friends who, like me, come to smell the freshly baked bread, and to share their feelings.
What is happening? I walk without knowing to where. What I see is unfamiliar. As I continue to walk I am losing my thoughts. My mind is becoming still; I feel only contentment and joy. I see white light, and a long passageway. Sounds come to me as music, a perfect melody from an unknown instrument. I want nothing more than to continue my journey. Then my advancement stops. I feel myself being pulled backwards to where I had been. My mind slowly becomes filed with thought. I see familiar people, and I know were I am. I am disappointment.
Mr. McDonald. So you're building a Big Mac restaurant in our town Let me tell you about Sisters, Or. We are a town of 1200 people. We have no traffic lights, no parking meters, no malls, little crime, and until now no fast food restaurants. We want to retain our character: a unique small western town, built in the mountains of cowboy country. A town with healthy active people. The golden arches will attract more like you. Strip development will follow. We lose our charm, and the country loses part of rural America. And our young people lose their health.
If I could, I would go to the moon. But, it must be a Harvest moon, big, full, and smiling. It must be a moon for lovers. And a moon for barking dogs and screaming wolves. If I could, I would take you with me. There we would walk the moonscape, and again we would fall in love, and our love would be lighted by the glow of the green Earth. If I could, I would bring you back to life, and continue living for more that the 26 years we had together.. . . . If only I could.
She says: come in out of the cold. Come in and free yourself from fear. She goes on: your fear is but a moment of thought, and will pass if you desire it gone. Come in, she says, and you will be free from pain you received in your past, and you will be free from guilt for pain given. Come in out of the cold, she says, and loneliness will dissolve away. You will still be alone but you will be in bliss. Come in and be free from excessive thought, and enjoy the wonder of a still mind.
Dreams! Always they are about my past life. About when I was married, then widowed, then married again, and then divorced. Last night my mind was again filled with this dream. In it I saw a single image, a lady on stage performing for audience of one. Performing for me. So what is so strange about that, you ask? Strange because I am getting the two ladies mixed up! In the dream the two appear as one person. One person with the personality of both. The two ladies I loved are now one. By what name shall I call her?
My friend speaks many words, and listens to only a few. I want to shout "hey, isn't it my turn to talk-. When I am given a turn his thoughts are not on my words. The time is used deciding in his mind what next he will say. I get cut off in mid sentence, and then told what I was going to say. It's like he cannot wait to here me out, so he cuts me off and says what he thinks I will be saying. Friends do not tell friends what they should do. So I just listen.
Where or where has life gone? It passed so unnoticed. I was young, then older, now I'm old. Why did I not notice the wind blowing. Today is a special day as it is now. Yesterday may also have been special, I don't remember. I remember only a few moments out of the thousands of day I have lived. Today may well be one of those days I lived, enjoyed then forever forgotten. Can the speed at which life is passing be slowed? Is there a secret to time that I never learned? Write me if you know an answer.
My old life and my new life are separated by a mountain. The Valley is to the west and the High Desert is east of the Cascade Range. Why did I move to a small town on the East side leaving a life I had lived for 40 years? Friends left behind. Familiarity left behind. Memories left behind. You may also wonder why I seldom return. I left the old, and found a new life. At my age it is difficult to leave all, and create a new. The risk is small; the benefits can be out of this world.
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