A Thousand Words!

In these times of limited movement due to the pandemic, it was so refreshing to see this lone boat out on Lake Michigan.  This picture gave me a sense of renewal and a reminder of what we perceive as snippets of our normalcy.

I chose to send it to a couple of friends who do not currently have access to the lakefront.  I knew that they both would enjoy it because we all have a shared history with this calm, beautiful body of water.

Each responded positively and immediately while expressing an appreciation for this early morning snapshot.  One friend called right away and wanted to know if I was still out by the lake.  I told her that I was, and we talked about a variety of things.

The other e-mailed me with a one-worder simply saying, “Beautiful!” as she wrote all the way from the Pacific Northwest.  The picture inspired her to write about her memories of spending time on the lake and the things she is currently doing to remain calm during these times.  She later added that seeing this picture inspired her to drive and sit by a local waterfront close to her home.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words and the sharing of this one picture opened the door to so many thoughts and personal stories.  One of these friends had just lost a loved one and the sky in the picture comforted her and helped her decide that that departed soul was at peace and now up there with the angels.

When we give what we can during these trying times, we help others feel less constricted and confined to smaller spaces.  We can open up and talk about our former experiences as we cling to those special memories from times gone by.  If a quick click of the phone can capture an image that makes others recall the footsteps on their journeys, then, that is indeed a good thing. Clinging to savored times help us lift our heads up out of the seeming darkness as we happily continue on!

Lynn M.

August 8, 2020

Brighter!

I drove back to my old job the other day and revisited that area some seven years later. I had not returned simply because I was too busy moving forward. So, I paused and took a few pictures while enjoying moments of nostalgia. I had given what I had to give there, and I had abundantly received in return.

After speaking to a former co-worker who had shared that work history with me, I could really see how much I had gained from being there. Emerson wrote in Compensation, “If I lose any good, I gain some other…The world looks like a multiplication table which, turn it how you will, it balances itself.”

As I gently moved on from that closed door, I was able to see the heaps of valuable experience that I had gained but like a pair of beloved shoes, I had outgrown that place. I left armed with superfluous gifts. I was being graciously prepared for bigger shoes to fill further up the road.

Hindsight is indeed 20-20 and it all makes sense in time. I now see that the parting was for the best. Since then, I have been thrust into a new environment, meeting new colleagues, in new surroundings and using new energy with my head anointed with oil. The Scriptures remind me to, “Behold, I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19).

Thus, I am still growing and still going. As Mary Baker Eddy’s poem called Christ My Refuge says,

I kiss the cross, and wake to know
A world more bright.

Lynn M.
August 1, 2020

Free-flowing!

When helping those dear friends,
And regardless of their sins.

Real or imagined affronts,
Causing sleepless nights and grunts.

I give what I have to thee.
And no. You don’t owe me!

A farthing nor one red cent,
For all my wisdom is lent,

You don’t owe me anything,
For my blessings He will bring.

The empty well will refill,
As I reflect and be still!

Lynn M.
July 25, 2020

Cane by Jean Toomer

I first read Cane by Jean Toomer in college many years ago and I chose to revisit it after its title came up in a conversation.  Maya Angelou wrote:  “A breakthrough in prose and poetical writing …. This book should be on all readersand writers’ desks and in their minds.”   Those are her profound words about this collection of prose, poems, and brief vignettes

I am still enjoying Toomer’s book but I paused to write these words about Cane.  “This work is very lyrical.  It should be sung or at least read aloud as the spoken word to fully capture the rhythm and rapture of these moving stories and tales.”

He tells stories of people that he has either observed or met.  He truly sees them and hears their hearts whether their stories end happily or unhappily. There is an underlying beat like the hooves of feet on pavement as his characters flow through their lives.

This is such a re-gift for me during this summer’s readings because it has even greater meaning.  The words are like vintage wine that have increased in value over time.  I have matured and I can better see the depth of this writer’s craft. He was able to truly replicate life on a printed canvas.

I strongly agree with Dr. Maya and I think every writer should have a copy of Cane on the desk and in the personal library.  Jean Toomer, a writer from the Harlem Renaissance Era, has successfully put stories in multiple forms as he pours his words in a bottle to be kept as an eternal capsule in time!

Lynn M.

July 18, 2020

Candide in 2020!

The other day, I was surprised to see that Candide by Voltaire was trending in 2020 on Twitter.  It was written in 1759 and I read it many years ago, but I chose to revisit it to see why it is currently quite the rave.  I finished it in a couple of days and took copious notes to make sure that I did not miss a beat. 

Candide is a young man who is put out of his dwelling after he is caught exchanging kisses behind a screen with Cunégonde, the master’s daughter.   He is turned out and his mentor-philosopher Pangloss travels with him as they embark upon many adventures.  Though he cannot understand why these things are happening to him, Pangloss constantly assures him that, “All is for best.”

They travel far and wide and Pangloss also tells him that “All effects have a cause.”  He sees so many horrors along the way and hears that Cunégonde and her family have been slaughtered.  As he carries on, he discovers that she did indeed survive, and his entire goal is to be reunited with his beloved.

Everywhere Candide goes, he witnesses the cruelty that men inflict upon each another.  He is baffled when he sees that some of them pray regularly while still being mean and insensitive to his fellow man.  He talks to those who have been tortured, lost body parts, enslaved and brought low by life’s circumstances.

He continually looks for the silver lining as he listens to others’ stories.  He even meets former kings, princes and sultans who have lost their positions and fortunes.  He is shocked by one prominent man who has everything but finds no pleasure in anything nor anyone.

Candide travels from France through Europe and even makes it to South America where he finally finds Cunégonde alive and still beautiful; but before they can reunite, he has to run from the authorities for a murder he had committed along the way.  They are separated again and he vows to make it back to her though she is being hotly pursued by a wealthy Argentinian.

Finally, things begin to come full circle and Candide is reunited with other loved ones that he thought had perished.  Miracles continue to happen and he again finds his beloved Cunégonde, who is no longer beautiful. Woe! 

Yet, life has altered him and his viewpoints and he has learned that, “All is for best.”  He has seen through his winding journey that the greatest evils are, “Weariness, vice and want.”  He knows that he should not sit idly by, but stay busy. He moves on as he and his new wife cultivate their own garden together!

Lynn M.

July 11, 2020

Refill!

Have you ever felt depleted or as if you just could not go on?  Did your cup fill empty with no reserve fuel in the tank?  Well, breathe and know that whatever appears to be exhausted can be refilled and refueled, so to speak.

It is like getting a free soft drink refill at a fast food place. You too can simply announce to “fill ‘er up!” Push the RE button and watch the words spew out and float all around in the air. You can be replenished, renewed, reinvigorated, and mostly reawakened to the real you.

If you had the substance to achieve it once, you can do it again.  Whatever stuff you had inside to get the other job, home, transportation, family, friends, spouse or whatever you feel you have lost, you can attract it all again. This time it will come in better and higher forms because this is the improved you that is rebuilding those dreams!

Thomas Edison reminds us, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  So, while reinvesting in your hopes and dreams, remain inspired and know that you can do it!

As you reinvent yourself and reconfigure your outlook and ultimately your life, there will be no more moping.  Simply start coping with things as they are and before you know it, your cup will once again runneth’ over and be filled to the brim!

Lynn M.                                             July 4, 2020

Growing!

The other day I was watching the movie, The Yearling with the iconic stars, Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman.  Their only son returned home after getting lost and his father noted that he came back changed.  That is what harrowing life experiences do for us.  They alter us and adjust our viewpoints.  The son understood why his father made him kill his pet deer that had grown and become a menace after eating the family crops.

We too are growing day by day and this pandemic has forced many of us to see things in another way.  Several have matured through solving problems moment by moment.  It may be new for some to chug away at arising dilemmas all day, but others have known nothing but struggle and strife.

We may wonder why some people seem so unmoved by upheavals and others run around in a frantic fluster.  Those that appear calm know deep down inside that this too shall truly pass, for they have earned higher levels of maturity.  Like the irritations that go on inside the clam as it creates a pearl, the seemingly laidback person can sigh, “Been there. Done that.”

They know that no amount of screaming, crying, walking the floor, staying up all night nor wearing down their friends with endless tales of woe will change anything.  Sometimes others can bail us out and sometimes they simply cannot.  Some situations come to be confronted, endured, and handled. If we do not handle those problems, then they will handle us.

Over time, we will find that everything has an answer but like the boy in The Yearling, oftentimes, the change must come from within.  Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, things change.”  Once we alter our outlooks, we can live freer and less infringed upon by circumstances. 

At the end of Indiana, a French novel written by George Sand, I heard her message loud and clear.  I say her because Madame Dupin was the real authoress.  The protagonist had been disappointed in love but as time went on, all the bad feelings evaporated as she moved on and loved the one who was loving her.  She matured and stopped pouting about what might have been and lived life.

Maturing takes work.  It requires constant prayer, and hours of quiet reflection as we do deep soul-searching.  It takes admitting when we have been wrong in our actions or in our opinions and mostly, it takes a willingness to change.  If we can do that, then we will operate as calmer, more seasoned, mature beings who can handle whatever comes along.

Lynn M.                                       June 27, 2020

Living Again!

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I recall George Bailey’s plea, “I want to live again,” towards the end of the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life.  As I look out and see people walking, smiling and enjoying the sun, this line rings so true!

After being locked inside for over three months due to the current pandemic, people are truly living again!  They have felt stymied by the protests, looting and massive losses of lives and jobs, but they are now exhaling.

They are vibrantly living again and remembering to take no thing nor person for granted.  They better understand the meaning of the phrase, “Here today. Gone tomorrow.”  They are letting out the staleness from pent-up, cabin fever and taking in huge, happy, fresh breaths of air.

Hope is being renewed and futures are looking brighter than they have for quite some time.  Some are wearing masks and some are practicing social distancing though others are not being as vigilant.  Either way, people are moving forward and affirming “We shall remain, “as the Native Americans vowed to do.

Lynn M.                                                   June 20, 2020

When the Lion Roars!

lion a

We often see pictures of lions that are lazily sleeping or taking a seemingly calm stroll on his turf. But when he is pushed or agitated to the limits, he lets out a mighty and earth-shaking roar.  Everyone knows that he is not only awake but disturbed and ready to take some type of action.

I recently read that a lion’s roar can be heard as many as five miles away.  This is comparable to the current unrest that we are feeling around the world.  When a cave  has been closed for a long time, its opening releases a brisk rush of newly-stirred and powerful energy.

So, here we are.  The old, eerie quiet and silence have ended.  We are hearing the loud roars and uproars of the people from all walks of life. The noise is so loud and deafening that it cannot and will not be ignored any longer.

Our greatest hope is that the lion will again take his lackadaisical snooze but that is unlikely to happen until he finds his justice and then his peace.  As stated in the Book of Isaiah, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 65:25)

Lynn M.                                                   June 13, 2020

 

Reopening!

Grand reopening

 

 

We have been closed for oh, so long,
Our stores, shops reopen with song.

Humming work songs as we awake,
Though George Floyd’s death made us all shake.

Brandishing, bustling, we lunge through,
Wiping tears, we speak things more true.

So good to get back in the swing,
Altered, we advance with a zing!

Lynn M.                                                    June 6, 2020