Aesthetic Enjoyment

Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is the recognition of the pattern. Alfred North Whitehead

The world abounds with interweaving patterns of energy and light. As we wander through our days, the subtle, smooth slipping of the elements from one state to another creates countless curves, swirls, eddies and whorls. Our whirling planet overflows with inspiration.

The contours of the land are draped in wind-driven specks of once towering mountains and ancient lands long crushed to dust. Here and there atop the dunes hardy grasses cling to their patch. The flow of living energy is revealed in the topological patterns of drifting sand. What the ancient Chinese called Qi, or Chi, is renewed by the transitional flowing between opposites: light to dark, soft to hard, wet to dry – life to death

In the end it all things return to the great cosmic sea – the transmuting void towards which we offer our prayers, wishes and hopes. There beyond the realm of our complete understanding we can find comfort or dread. The art of truly living is in finding the aesthetic enjoyment in the journey. Base existence is the primed canvas on which we paint our masterpiece -unassailable truths are the brushes – actions and deeds are the paints.

Recognize the positive flowing energy all around. Seize the chance to define the art of happiness for yourself. Treasure life. Stand in a positive light and smile.

The Repose of Nature

There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature. Henry David Thoreau

Setting forth into nature, anxieties slowly melt away. As my footsteps spread out across the sand, elements of the natural world begin to replace the artificial reality which sustains me. Wild rhythms liberate my mind.

The ever changing water’s edge defies set boundaries between the aquatic and the terrestrial. While the glorious birds of prey whose beach this truly is hold sway over all dominions.

Empty of thoughts and to-do lists I amble along like I did as a boy. Searching for colorful rocks or oddly shaped driftwood, their is no goal other than to simply BE.

Refusing to carry any step measuring devices, or watch, I let my twice injured knees tell me where the halfway point is on my morning journeys. Before me and behind me there are seldom people. Solitary wandering strengthens the soul and encourages the muse. Writing and the arts are my mediums of expression, but my frequent smiles define me now more than anything.

Returning home I often walk up the beach past the compacted sand up to where only king tides and storm surges reach. The sand is softer there and harder to plow through, so I slow down. There in the dry grains the winds reveal gravel beds and shattered fossils. The driftwood is lighter in color and less interesting overall. I resist filling my pockets with “treasure” for I have more than enough artistic materials to last for a year or more.

The body heat builds up and I open my coat, letting the morning breeze cool me down. I linger in nature’s repose for as long as I can; always stopping before slogging through the dunes towards home. All that I ever was comes back together to form who I am now – standing atop the final dune.

Chuckling at the scattering seagulls and retreating crows, I admire the grandeur of the eagles’ flight. My heart is calm. I return home, but a part of me stays behind and frolics a while longer.

Blue Space

The sound of water says what I think Zhuangzi

I have been reading about a concept called Blue Space. Scientists have been studying the effects on people who live near oceans or other bodies of water. Spending time near water offers a myriad of benefits to overall health and general well-being. For me spending time wandering the beach has given me a new perspective on my place in the universe.

The constant movement of water and soothing sounds of the surf bring me great peace of mind. The water speaks of our primal birthplace. My pulse synchronizes with the tide – my blood ebbing and flowing throughout every pore of my being. All life is interconnected across innumerable eons.

Stepping onto the beach is like stepping into a vast, wall-less temple. Joyous hymns soar over the distant horizon accompanied by the deep resonating thrumming of the rolling waves. There is an endless array of organic treasures strewn across the sands every day – offerings from the sea to the land and the land to the sea. An array of seabirds and wee creatures find sustenance sorting through the ever-changing menu.

The brilliant reflecting sands like colossal polished mirrors display wondrous tapestries of light and life. Upon reaching the water’s edge, I empty my mind and pray the water speaks my thoughts.

Be Grateful for Who You Are

A man must find time for himself. Time is what we spend our lives with. If we are not careful we find others spending it for us…. It is necessary, now and then, for a man to go away and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and ask himself, ‘Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?’… If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one’s time – the stuff of life. Carl Sandburg

Time is what we spend our lives with. That line hit me like a thunderbolt. I hear so many people say, I am just too busy, I don’t have time, I wish I could… YOU CAN! YOU DO HAVE TIME! I want to shout at them. I want to take them by the hand and lead them to a quiet place so they can spend time in self-reflection. It is critical to your happiness to look inward – alone.

Words have multiple meanings depending upon the context. The word lonely is just such a double-edged sword. The most common meanings have to do with depression and are tinted with sadness. But lonely can simply mean being alone. That in itself should not hold negative connotations. It is glorious to wander alone, lost in your own thoughts. Empty your head of the nattering worries and chattering crumbs of conversation and be alone with yourself.

Take time to release the adopted personas we all carry with us. Reclaim time from your busy schedule for your own self-care. By drifting along in your own mind-stream you recharge your spirit. Shelter for a while in the potent depths of your subconscious mind. Meander alone and simply BE YOURSELF.

Find joy in the little things you discover. Feel fortunate as you take note of the finer details of your marvelous soul Be with your true self today. Don’t wait. Do not allow diversions to eat up all your precious time – the stuff of life.

Believe Life Will Improve and It Will

Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without words – and never stops at all. Emily Dickinson

One must find hope. Life cannot prosper without hope. Hope sings to our souls with lovely celestial tones. There are trying times in everyone’s life. Times that strike at ones very core. To survive, one must find the will to hope.

Finding hope within stagnation and rot takes courage. Just around the next corner, the sunbeams will shine again. Life is built upon death. For example this young rain-forest tree is growing atop the decaying “nurse” tree. And we, in our lives, must cultivate our connections to past generations in order to prosper. We must learn from the tales of those who came before in order to aspire to make a better life for ourselves and those we love.

Unforeseen beauty gives me hope. Finding an inspirational scene in an unexpected place stirs a primal appreciation for balance. When our lives are out of balance we doubt and fear. The seeds of distrust and despair flourish in imbalanced times. To defeat the fears, the hatreds and all the negative forces scurrying about the darkness – Find Hope!

Hope can be a bridge over the darkness that falls over us all at times. Hope does not have to center on waiting for grand divine deliverance. Believe life will improve and start making daily improvements. Create a perch in your soul for that thing with feathers so that hope can begin to sing throughout your days.

Find more positive inspiration in my novel, available on Amazon

Live in the Here and Now

Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life. – William Blake

Life springs forth from the energy we create. Taking responsibility for your life grants you control over your present and future. Accept the thoughts you have and shine your glorious light into the shadows. In time you will increase your power to stand strong in the face of adversity. Stop blaming others. Do not allow negative experiences to restrain you. Learn from the hurt and rise above the pain.

Sometimes storms wash away our carefully constructed routes forward. Don’t take it personally. Issues arise that are beyond your control. Disagreements do not have to be about you. Do your best to remain calm and remove your ego from the equation.

Live in the Here/Now and make yourself happy. Do not rely on others for your happiness. Shine that glorious light of self-care onto your heart and allow that inner peace to be reflected in your smiling face. As Emily Dickinson wrote, Life is composed of nows. Do not lay waste to your eternal now with unhappiness. Be purposeful in your choices.

Confidently shape the moments ahead. See the shining positives of those around you. Gain patience through self reflection. Take responsibility through self-fulfillment in order to delight in your life-journey. Start today!

Read my new novel on Amazon, available for the Kindle and in paperback

Being Grateful for Your Life

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. Oscar Wilde

There should be times in each and every day when you simply appreciate the colors of your life. Stop and take note of the colors around you. Do not try to analyze or categorize the spectrum, just bask in the vibrant glory. Let the euphoric tints soak into your soul.

Be dazzled to the point of silence. Do not utter a sound. Channel the stunning sights into an infusing cascade across your mind. Release your conscious mind and set your soul adrift upon a sparkling sea.

Cast your eyes skyward and drift towards the life-giving sunshine. Float on the gentle winds. Feel your soul meld with the primal elements from which it was born. The ever-present universe blazes with light; that light is life itself. You are the child of the light. You are a glittering atom connected to all things.

When you finish reading this, take the time to nurture yourself. Seek a colorful scene. Clear away the clouds. Open your eyes wide and let your soul dance in the light.

Read my novel on Amazon, available for the Kindle and in paperback

Sharing Joy

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed. Ernest Hemingway

Beauty speaks to us in a language as ancient as humankind. The beautiful summons deep subconscious connections to nature. All around us is living proof of the divine spark. Life holds tightly to the spark no matter its tenuousness situation. This incredible tree has been named the Tree of Life due to its amazing resistance to destruction. We all have this capacity, and it manifests in so many different ways.

Human courage is miraculous. No matter ones station in life, when motivated an individual can rise from the depths and follow flashes of inspiration into the light. Courage resides within us all. Endurance is the hallmark of the courageous. Each day we endure blockades and barriers, but each day we continue to move forward.

Along the way we must be disciplined enough to tell the truth and be willing to sacrifice for unbreakable principles. If we are fortunate, the path ahead leads to others who can share in our joyous celebration of life. Shared joy shields our vulnerabilities and lessens the blows encountered on our journey.

The many wounds we suffer can take their toll, but we must find a way to appreciate the beauty of life. Find the time to step out into the wondrous natural world, either alone or with someone for whom you care. Take in the beauty, heal your wounds and recharge your soul. Listen to the arias of life. Be well.

My most recent novel is now available on Amazon

Express Your Creativity

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. It takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.

Wordsworth

Our lives exhale poetry every day. The gentle gaze of a parent upon their child’s face as she turns to walk into school. The subtle tenderness of friends acknowledging one another’s vulnerabilities. Each night, we all experience mortality garnish our sleep with a morbid echo of doubt about whether or not we will wake.

Day by day we draw transient emotions across our faces in response to external experiences. The surges of regrets, recompense and rejuvenation occupy our conscious thoughts, but beneath it all our indestructible bonds to the boundless universe ceaselessly churn the infinite.

Our minds are the realm of our own. Look inward to conjure the tranquility which comes from self-reflection. Silence the mundane and the profane which are the side-effects and preoccupations of modern life. Calm your spirit and listen to the hush that falls over the intimate landscape. Artists draw from that fathomless wellspring great buckets of inspiration, as can we all.

When I taught a university poetry appreciation class, I would have my students practice releasing their logical thoughts and straddle their unbridled subconscious. Our true self roams beneath the surface of our public persona. Creation is the connection between the multiple realms of existence.

Today, and every day you can – express the spontaneous overflow of emotions in a few lines of verse, work of art or other creative outlet. Let your handiwork span the aching hollowness of doubt. Create the path on which you wish to walk.

My recent novel is available on Amazon for the Kindle and in paperback

Shine from Within

Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.

Maya Angelou

Never let degrading words pierce your deep inner self. There are endless numbers of people who try to snatch joy from those around them. Some people can not be satisfied with what they have, and so they look for someone to harm or injure. This inflicting of pain does not bring them happiness but it somehow numbs their own pain a little.

We need people around us who can fortify our defenses against life’s trials and tribulations. Caring souls magnify the positive and shrink the negative. Humans are social creatures, but in order for you to support those closest to you, you must strengthen your own resolve to be happy. No one can be happy all the time, just as no one will be miserable all the time. Brighten your heart, so your kindness can light the shadows for others.

To find peace, it is normal to seek solitude from time to time. All of us need time alone with our thoughts. But we do not need to hide away from life in order discover illumination. Time spent in contemplation energizes the soul. The soul’s glow spontaneously burns off residual gloom.

During this most wondrous autumn season, before the coming winter, brighten the days of those you love. Enjoy their company and bask in the shared happiness of simply being together. Shine together. Nothing can dim the lights of those who shine from within.

My most recent book is available on Amazon