The Connections that Come from Sharing

It occurs to me that if I hadn’t agreed to sing at that wedding back in December 1982 I never would have met Scotty. If I’d never gathered my courage and published my first book I never would have stumbled into the Amazon forum and met all those amazing hooligans who have since become such an important part of my life. If I’d never put my photos out there I never would have connected with my fellow photography buffs. If I’d never shared my stories about my drives with Dad I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with the dear people who have entered my life in the last year because of those stories. And If I’d never started this blog I wouldn’t have met YOU. Even if nothing more comes from my creative endeavors than these connections with others, my life has been made so much richer because people opened their hearts and let me share with them. And my life is so much richer because YOU all have had the courage to share your gifts with me!

Thank you! ❤

***

More about the Humoristian hooligans –
So back in 2007 I was checking my first book out on Amazon and at the bottom of the book page I saw this list of Amazon discussion forums it was suggested I might be interested in. I thought I’d take a peek and see what was going on there. I stuck my toe in one of the forums – the “Christianity” forum – and my toe almost got bitten off right away – there was indignation and huffing and puffing and sermonizing and talk of hell and… yeah… so I pulled my toe out of there and tried out the “Religion” forum – and that is where I found my home – a wild and wonderful mix of atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, pantheists, and all flavors of Christian – Mormons, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, and at least one Christian Scientist – and what these people all had in common was the ability to laugh at themselves and get along with each other. They weren’t afraid of talking about their beliefs and debating them – they weren’t easily offended if people questioned them, and they could talk about stuff in a way that was straightforward and genuine – and they were willing to listen to what other people had to say, too – It was like a micro United Nations.

I started my own religion on there: Humoristianity. Here are the tenets:

1) You must be able to laugh at yourself.

2) You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others.

3) You must want nothing but good for everyone, everywhere in the universe.

4) You must have a natural aversion to meetings, committees, and scheduled events (as we will be having none of those).

5) You must enjoy the humor of… (here we had some internal conflict within the faith – but if you’re a Jerry Lewis kind of guy, you might want to think about starting your own religion – although we wish you nothing but good).

I met some of the most amazing people on there – and I still consider these people my dear friends – they got to know me, and my beliefs and thoughts, in a way that a lot of folks in my off-line life weren’t able to do – I mean, how often do you talk about religious beliefs with your co-workers and neighbors, right? All of them were writers, too, and together we wrote a book, The Humoristian Chronicles.

And some of my Humoristian friends I’ve actually been able to meet in the person! I shall include a collage below… along with the cover from my latest book, and a picture of the evening sky from last week. My offerings for today…

 

Advertisements

To the Cottonwood Tree

To the cottonwood tree near my work:
I listened to your brothers and sisters
as their leaves sang in the breeze by a river .
I met your cousins in the Grand Canyon –
they gave me shade on a blistering day.
I know your kin well. They are my friends.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Recognizing Our Kinship

Walking through the waking waiting area
at Pittsburgh’s airport – a kaleidoscope
of faces zooming in, zooming out – a mix
of colors – cedar, cinnamon, and taupe,
peach, pink, carob, caramel, and coffee –
his face stands out – he looks like Ram Dass
in The Little Princess – and he’s looking at me
We smile towards each other as we pass –
recognizing our kinship in the mass
of humming, hustling, hurrying humanity
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Perception and Connection

One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Went for a walk along the dike yesterday, and came upon this sign that said, “Keep Out”. On the other side of the sign was a wheat field, and beyond the wheat field was a road, and beyond the road were hills, and rising above the hills – all majestic and beautiful – was Mount Baker. And I was obedient to the sign, I did not bring my body beyond it. But my eyes went beyond the sign and the sign wasn’t really separating me from the glory of Mount Baker. And then it hit me – no sign could stop me from bringing that image of the mountain into my conscousness. In fact, even if I never saw that mountain again, it would still be a part of me, living in my consciousness. All that I’ve perceived in my life is part of me, isn’t it? Not outside me, separated from me by my skin, or by time or space – but connected to me, and carried around within me. And that includes every book I ever loved, every sunset and rainbow I ever saw, every song that ever touched my soul, and you!

perception

– photo of Mount Shuksan taken by Karen Molenaar Terrell

Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life nor your own identity. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird  which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight.
Mary Baker Eddy

…remember Jesus’ words, “The kingdom of God is within you.” This spiritual consciousness is therefore a present possibility.
 – Mary Baker Eddy

“Kinship with All Life”

I went out to my garden and the bunny was there again… I was really close to him… he sprang up and looked like he was ready to race away, but I started singing to him and after a moment or two he got himself comfortable and stayed until I was finished singing. I love that bunny…

??????????

 

I just finished reading Kinship with All Life, by J. Allen Boone, and I so enjoyed it….

J. Allen Boone relates how he was able to open communication with all manner of creatures – starting with Strongheart, the great movie star dog, and then moving on to ants, a family of skunks, and Freddie the fly. In essence, what he tells us is that he had to learn to get rid of his stereotypes and prejudice about his fellow creatures, stop looking on them as inferior beings, and start talking to them “horizontally” rather than down.

Boone writes: “I had to discard my eyeballs as reliable reporting factors… and to begin using my thinking to see with… our five organs of sense give us a kind of ‘feel’ of the universe and the various things that it contains, but they do not help us to experience things as they really are… The great spiritual explorers who have searched for the real facts behind all appearances have told us that the universe is faultless in its conceptions, faultless in its purpose, and faultless in its operation.” Boone continues…”… behind every object which the senses can identify, whether the object be human, animal, tree, plant or anything else, and right where the object seems to be, is the mental and spiritual fact functioning in all its completeness and perfection.”

Boone talks about the difference between an animal trainer and an animal educator. A trainer uses the “make ’em or break ’em technique” – employing a reward-and-punishment process with the animal. But the educator is entirely different. Boone writes:”The animal educator does just the reverse of all this. Moving into the situation with insight and intuition, he places full emphasis on the mental rather than on the physical part of the animal. He treats it as an intelligent fellow being whose capacity for development and expression he refuses to limit in any direction.” Writing about Larry Timble’s technique in transforming Strongheart into the star he became, Boone writes: “Trimble discovered that deep within the big combat dog, but solidly imprisoned there, was a wealth of magnificent character qualities. Those talents and graces, buried beneath the dog’s tough physical exterior, did not need to be developed but liberated. That is what Trimble proceeded to do.”

Boone talks about the important lesson he learned from a fly he named Freddie: “Before Freddie the Fly came to live with me, my decreeing about flies had been supplying me with a continuous harvest of disagreeable and troublesome results. I expected flies to be unfriendly, and they were. I expected them to annoy me, and they did. I expected them to bite me, and they accommodated me in that manner too. With the accuracy and precision of an echo, I had been getting back in ourward experience just what I had been mentally and vocally decreeing and expecting… Freddie was nothing more or less than the state of my own consciousness about him being made manifest in an outward experience”

There are some really valuable lessons there, I think.

I had an epiphany one morning. I think it’s something that a lot of people recognize on some level and it’s nothing new I’m going to say, but I am going to say it anyway. 🙂

You know how when you look up at the stars at night you get the feeling that you’re a part of something really amazing and awesome? And, for me, it feels like I’m part of some big purpose, too. 

So when I had my epiphany I was sitting on a boulder on a beach on the Puget Sound – I had the beach entirely to myself – and as I looked out at the water, and watched the little sea creatures in the tidal pool next to me, I got that same feeling – that I’m part of something awesome, and that I’m part of some universal purpose. And it came to me that the purpose of everything, the purpose of the universe, is to love. And everything else – the mistakes we make, and the struggles we have – if those things lead us to understand love better, and lead us to love more – then that’s all that matters, really. 

And right after my epiphany, this family came around the corner, and their dog came barreling straight for me and leaped on me and licked my face and just showered his slobbery love on me… it was great!

Those times when I’ve encountered and connected with expressions of life on its own turf, beach, and limb have been magic for me – as cool as meeting and communing with aliens from another planet…

 

All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible. – Mary Baker Eddy