Poetry ~ Dutiful Things

Dutiful Things Pic

dutiful things arise
accept them with grace
receive what is offered
and set your own pace

no order is needed
no list long and wide
such dutiful things
in time they abide

glide through the day
with laughter and glee
finish dutiful things
and you are set free

say grace and give thanks
for all the abundance
look around and take note
of all the redundance

blessed is this life
filled with dutiful things
of which to be mindful
for the calming they bring

take leave of your mind
and return to your tasks
such dutiful things
in the moment you bask

now, sleep in the knowing
of all that’s been done
more dutiful things
will arise with the sun

Poetry By Sue

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Monday Musings ~ My Friend the Atheist

Spiritual Atheism framed

It all began at the local coffee bar – two girlfriends pondering the origin of the cosmos over coffee. As introverts, we dispensed with the pleasantries and dive into the deep end of the pool, discussing – parallel universes, aliens, religion versus spirituality and the nature of our suffering. I asked her what she knew of atheism and wondered how atheists deal with suffering and loss.  My friend asked if I’d read Sam Harris. I had not.

And so began my journey into the ethos of atheism and to my surprise, a deep respect, and admiration for my new friend, Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and a self-proclaimed atheist. I know Sam is controversial. I’ve watched many of his debates, listened to his podcasts and read his essays, but as I read his most recent best seller, Waking Up, A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, I discovered we were kindred spirits.

Sam is actually a spiritual atheist and in Waking Up, his spiritual memoir, he details his journey, including several years studying the Indian tradition of Advaita Vedanta, various schools of Buddhism and a year of meditation in silent retreat. As I read his story realized our views on spirituality were closely aligned. I’ve always believed that science is man’s way of discovering the magic and mystical realm of our existence.

“But there is a connection between scientific fact and spiritual wisdom and it is more direct than most people suppose…our conventional self is an illusion…and the way we think directly influences our experiences of the world.”  ~ Sam Harris,Waking Up

Honestly, I was amazed that an atheist would attempt to dabble in the spiritual realm, and further, to bring reason, logic and a scientific perspective along for the ride!

I enjoyed the chapter, The Riddle of the Self as Sam persuades the reader that the self is indeed an illusion. And in his chapter on Meditation, we are given practical instruction on transcending the self, only to find there is no self to transcend (ah, the riddles of the spiritual realm!)

The reader is in for a ride in chapter five with Gurus, Death, Drugs, and Other Puzzles. Here we learn the good, bad and the ugly of spiritual charlatans, near death experiences and the literal highs and lows of tripping on drugs.
Waking Up Sam Harris

*Spoiler Alert*

In conclusion, Sam says, “We need not await any data from the lab to say that self-transcendence is possible….Open your eyes and see.” With that I say, thank you, Sam, for bringing logic, reason and a persuasive argument in support of the mystical experience many of us have encountered on our own spiritual journey.

Although this is not a book review, I would highly recommend, Waking Up, to anyone wanting a different perspective on atheism.

As for me, I don’t consider myself a spiritual atheist – a spiritual mystic would be a more accurate description. I believe we’re part of a higher collective source or consciousness. Or as the great Sufi Mystic, Rumi says,

“You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.” 

Rumi Ocean in a Drop

Back at the coffee bar, my friend said the term, spiritual agnostic, might be the most accurate label for what she believes. As our coffee chat ended, I realized the only label that truly mattered was that of “friend”.

I wish all the world could sit around a coffee bar and chat, without judgment, about their beliefs with the intent to understand, not needing to agree, simply to listen and learn of, and from, one another – and upon leaving, refer to each other as “friend”.

I’m tossing that wish out into the Universe in hopes that one day we will all “wake up” and see our common humanity.

Wishing you all a magical Monday! ~ Namaste

 

 Friday Features ~ “NIGHT” by Elie Wiesel

Elie Viesel

The world lost a great humanitarian this month. Elie Wiesel died on July 2, 2016. He was 87 years old.  He entrusted us with his legacy and we must never forget.

I knew of Eli Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, a survivor of Auschwitz,  author and humanitarian, but I confess I had not read his most notable memoir, Night. I read his book this week, in one sitting. The most recent edition is 120 pages and is a new translation in English by his wife, Marion Wiesel.

I cried through the entire book.  I had to find a box of tissue before I finished the preface, which read in part,

“If in my lifetime I was to write only one book, this would be the one….Did I write it so as not to go mad or, on the contrary, to go mad in order to understand the nature of madness, the immense, terrifying madness that had erupted in history and in the conscious of mankind?” ~ Wiesel

My heart still aches having read of the atrocities he witnessed and endured as a teenager in the concentration camps during World War II. I can’t imagine a world where such things happen, where humans inflict so much suffering on their fellow man. And yet this is our world – humanity’s history.  Night, is Wiesel’s legacy and a reminder to the human race of our potential for great evil, and great good.

“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.” ~ Wiesel

We must all ask ourselves how we can best serve humanity.  Because as Elie so eloquently stated when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize:

“There is so much to be done, there is so much that can be done. One person of integrity can make a difference, a difference of life and death….Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.” ~ Wiesel

After reading Elie Wiesel’s book I was inspired to write this poem, Rise Up in Love.

Rise 3

do you hear the wailing cries of humanity
echoing through time and past atrocities?

have we lost our minds? we must not lose our hearts
when consumed with fear, humanity comes apart

our hearts know our true selves
love is where the heart dwells

we must quiet our minds and be still
and listen to our beloved’s goodwill

hear the call of our beloved proclaim
rise up in love for your neighbor without blame

rise up in service to humanity; we are all one
never forget; there is much to be done!

Poetry By Sue

Poetry ~ A Sonnet for Humanity

As I Believe - Sonnet

May I live as I believe and be free?
A simple life of authenticity,
of what I believe, you need not agree.
I can live with vulnerability.

I know my truth; my lessons learned and sought.
For each seeker, there is a path to reach,
a spiral staircase of wisdom’s thoughts, 
an open heart and open mind they teach.

Yet, until we can see humanity
in all of those we love and revile,
we sleep through this life of insanity
immersed in our nightmare all the while.

We must learn to love and see, within each,
I am you, and you are another me.

Poetry By Sue

Friday Features ~ Digital Deadwalkers

google image

google image

They wander aimlessly in circles and into one another, unable to lift their gaze from the small digital device.  Who are these digital deadwalkers? Is this the Zombie apocalypse– the end times?

Nope.

Welcome to the wireless digitized world of augmented reality (AR). Ok, maybe this is the zombie apocalypse… bwahaha!

I first heard the phrase “digital deadwalkers” in a commercial and laughed out loud. But recently the deadwalkers have amassed a new following. By the thousands, they are flocking to the streets, taking over parks and other public spaces. The deadwalkers are engaged in a new reality. They see things we don’t. They chase things we can’t see and engage in battles with invisible monsters.

Confession. I have joined their ranks.

I have officially become a digital deadwalker, fully immersed in AR and loving it – all in the name of research of course! My new zombie friends are fierce competitors, even if they’re only 12 years old!

If you’re still living in the analog world, or under a rock, you may have missed it, but look around your neighborhood and tell me what you see. Remember all those kids slumped over on the couch playing video games until the wee hours of the morning?  Yeah, those kids – pasty white, zombiesque from lack of sun – those kids are outside walking in search of …. wait for it….. drum roll ….. Pokémon!

You heard me right folks – what’s old is new again – welcome to POKEMON GO ! Free on both Android and iPhone. I hit level two on my first outing…just down the street from my house at the cemetery – spooky right?  Take two minutes and watch this video – mindblowing stuff – I kid you not!

I know many are skeptical of this new Pokémon phenomenon, but kids are getting up and moving. I’m all for a game that gets kids outside exploring their neighborhood with friends.  Something tells me our digital deadwalkers are gonna need sunscreen! Maybe there will be a new meme: digital healthwalkers!

It’s FRIDAY peeps – escape your cubicle and get outside!

(Warning: yes, this game sucks your battery and yes, it collects data…oh well)

Monday Musings ~ A Journey with Fear

FEAR EYES framed

I took a journey with my old friend “Fear” last week. A few other friends came along for the ride. Allow me to share a short excerpt from my travel journal. Oh, and I brought you back a souvenir! I’ll share it at the end.

Warning: It got a little heated on this trip because my old friend, “Fear” was livid and decided to wear her favorite mask – Anger.

~~Travel Journal Entry~~

“I’m fired up! I’m gonna combust any moment!” my old friend Fear shrieks as I take a deep breath and grip the steering wheel.

“Breathe everyone. Let’s practice what we preach,” Spirit Guide cheers as she fastens her seatbelt.

“Shut up!” Fear screams, reaching her foot over and stepping on the accelerator as we speed toward the valley below.

“Oh no, this isn’t going to end well,” cries Inner Child as she cowers in the back seat next to the slumbering Artist.

“Calm down Fear, let’s all breathe through this,” instructs Spirit Guide as we approach the valley floor.

“I can’t breathe! I’m so angry I could spit fire!” Fear yells as we begin to slow and pull off the road near the river. “I need to get this out,” Fear demands. “Give me my sword!

“Ah, but the pen is mightier than the sword,” Spirit Guide replies, grinning.

“Whatever! Hand over your pen and parchment!” Fear demands as I rummage through the glove compartment. Fear is so melodramatic, I stifle a giggle as I hand over pen and paper.

“May I have pen and paper too,” Spirit Guide asks calmly.

“Me too, me too!” shouts Inner Child from the back seat. I watch as they scribble frantically and the Artist slumbers.

“There, I’m feeling better now,” Spirit Guide declares as she sets down her pen.

“Oh no! There’s more! Can’t you feel it?” Fear moans and scribbles a barrage of conflicting thoughts on the page. “There! That should do it!” Fear says gleefully and  slaps her pen down on the page.

Inner Child finishes doodling and cheerfully holds up her scribble for all to see.

The slumbering Artist awakens.  “Let me have a look ,” she says as she gathers the pages, sifting through the scrambled rant of words. “Ah, we may have something here.”

“Of course we have something!” Fear boasts.

“Shut up fear. I’m busy here!” Artist shouts. “It’s a mess, a tangled mess, but maybe … just maybe….,” she trails off and begins to work her magic.

~~End of Travel Log Entry~~

Alas, I survived another journey with Fear and Friends and arrived safely in the Valley of Creativity. Let me share a souvenir from our journey together –  a rant, or a poem, of sorts.

Defiance Poewm

use more red, try more blue
can’t you find a better hue?

write it this way, make a choice
search within and find your voice!

remain humble, a step behind
assert yourself and use your mind!

mind your prose, that will not do
the words don’t flow, they don’t ring true!

know the box and learn the rules
stray beyond and join the fools!

hear me speak, don’t look away
watch me act, not what I say!

NO!

I will not stop or be made still
my magic flows from brush to quill

I’ll paint my world, I’ll fill the pages
I’ll seek my truth among the sages

and deep within, creativity brews
the inner artist ignites the fuse

and there you have it, my story be told
defiant and grand, no box can it hold!

Poetry By Sue

Friday Features ~ TRUST

Trust Pic

trust the universe, it knows your name
the world sees all and creates the game

trust your talents, accept with grace
the gifts you’re given and take your place

trust your words, they know their power
they make their way from seed to flower

trust your heart, forgo reflection
create with passion and dismiss rejection 

trust the potential that flows within
break free of the box, let your journey begin

trust in the magic of a world yet explored
embrace curiosity, each discovery a reward 

trust in the winds, the stars, and the moon
they guide the tides and sway your moods

trust your sight, the seer seeks
upon which path to reach the peaks 

trust in the knowing that this too shall pass
free of the illusion, you are free at last

Poetry By Sue

Monday Musings ~ Founding Fathers

Adams & Jefferson Framed

Did you know that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day?

July 4, 1826

Amazingly, they each took their last breath on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the

Declaration of Independence.

John Adams, the country’s second president was 90 years old when he uttered his last words, “Jefferson survives.” There was no way for him to know that the country’s third president, Jefferson, 82, had passed away five hours earlier at his home in Monticello.

As we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the birth of this great nation I’d like to think Adams and Jefferson would be proud and astounded at our progress. And lest you think they’d be disappointed in our political discourse – just look back at their respective political campaigns! Can you imagine if they’d had Twitter!

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY 4th  MY FELLOW AMERICANS!

Happy 4th

 

Friday Features – Stories of Lore

Stories of Lore

they arrived in earnest
late one night
from whence they came
I have no sight

yet from my pen
they filled the pages
stories of lore
throughout the ages

stories of angst
love and betrayal
pain and misery
the phantoms wail

verse after verse
each story alive
the spirits spoke
my task to transcribe

my mind bewitched
tears filled my eyes
my heart ached with sorrow
from tales of demise

I search for meaning
in the stories portrayed
each demands a hearing
I dare not disobey

and so I relent
letting go of the reigns
aware that the spirits
compose in quatrains

but the hour is late
and so I protest
enough is enough
I must get my rest!

and now I lament
over stories yet told
but await the return
and the haunting of souls

tired and weary
I fall to the floor
as dawn makes approach
ending stories of lore

Poetry By Sue