Tag Archives: big picture

Serenity in motion

10 Feb

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I spent an evening at a couple of casinos at Tunica, Miss. I’ve never been a fan of casinos — the energy is wrong.

Tension that pierces the nerves like glass needles, over-the-top emotions, desperation, despair … that even more than the gloomy haze of cigarette smoke tightens my chest and steals my calm, my breath. And I just know some of the glassy-eyed people slumped at the slot machines had slipped way, their spirits lost in some soulless triple-line exchange. Made me wonder if there was a body detail lurking behind some door, waiting to slip in and scoop up the dead losers while the ones still breathing were distracted by a frantically wild craps shoot.

Many might consider the drive back to Little Rock through the winter-bare Delta to be a bleaker experience, but that’s where the beauty lives, the energy feels right, I’m able to focus and breathe, recapture calm.

Setting things right were sweet moments of serenity in motion like this on Hwy. 70 near Brinkley, where we happened upon a flock of geese resting in a flooded field.

What casinos?

Catching a breath

Serenity in motion

Do you believe in magic?

23 Nov

I wish I still believed in Santa. When I was a child, I barely slept on Christmas Eve, which made it difficult for my parents to get all the presents under the tree without me knowing they, not Santa, were the gift-bringers.

After fighting sleep for hours, my excitement growing with each little real or imagined noise in or outside the house, I drifted off for two or three hours. When I awakened, usually about 5:30 a.m., I would run down the hallway to the living room to find toys and wrapped gifts arranged carefully under the tree. One year, there was a little round table and chairs. Another time, a red tricycle. There were Barbie dolls, red cowgirl boots, storybooks and baby Thumbelina.

Magic. Pure, blow-your-mind magic. Every year. But the gifts weren’t the magic — it was the fact that they were there, that they had appeared while I slept, that they came from someplace I could only imagine.

Believing was so easy then. Now it’s harder. Even after I found out there was no Santa, I still believed in magic, in things unseen and unknown. I still do, but I find the belief hardest to hold on to during the time of year when it would seem to be most present.

Here it is the day before Thanksgiving and all I feel is dread for the coming six weeks. I’m not a grinch and it’s not even that I dislike Christmas or the holiday season. But there’s much too much expectation, too much frantic merrymaking, too much food, too much shopping, too much noise, too many versions of “Silent Night” blaring from speakers everywhere I go. Too much, too much, too much. The magic is lost in the cacophony of the season.

Last week, a friend asked me what I want for Christmas. I didn’t know what to say at the time. I stumbled around and said I’d think about it. So I did.

What I want for Christmas is more security and less stress, more time with family and friends, more time to enjoy the old and new things in my life. I would like to live the moment without having to remind myself to do so.

I want some silence and peace and good will. I want people to slow down, see the beauty in their lives, feel gratitude and be mindful of the gifts that can’t be found in any store. Why is everyone in such a rush?

I want simplicity. And magic. Pure magic.

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Today’s resolution: A consideration of ethics

7 Nov

A note for those involved in determining the resolution of our nation’s financial situation:

“Manners and moral codes may alter, but not the structures that underlie. Ethics are the invisible scaffolding upon which our actions are built and without which life would be insupportable. Ethical conduct follows an unwritten law that runs in every part of the world, forming a path for all action. Becoming sensitive to its dictates is like acquiring taste, poise, or insight. Its invisible lines run laser-straight from our soul to the object of our consideration.  … Ethics upholds the rights, privileges and identity of every living soul …” — Caitlin Matthews, The Celtic Spirit

This old feed store was set up as a bank during Frontier Days at Plainview, Arkansas (2011/RO)

Today’s resolution: The task at hand

27 Sep

“We should do every task for its own sake as time and place demand and not with an eye on the result. Then each task turns out well, and anything we undertake succeeds.” — I Ching 25, Wu Wang/Innocence (The Unexpected)

My plan today? Surprise myself by not worrying about the future and results; instead I’ll focus on the task at hand.

 

Lovely surprises such as this are alternately known as Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, Naked Lady and Lycoris squamigera. (2011/RO)

Today’s resolution: Adjust my hat for the best angle

23 Sep

“Not every man has an obligation to mingle in the affairs of the world. There are some who are developed to such a degree that they are justified in letting the world go its own way and in refusing to enter public life with a view to reforming it. But this does not imply a right to remain idle or sit back and merely criticize. Such withdrawal is justified only when we strive to realize in ourselves the higher aims of mankind.

“For although the sage remains distant from the turmoil of daily life, he creates incomparable human values for the future.” — I Ching, 18, Ku/Work on what has been spoiled

Left hanging at Two Rivers Bridge (2011/RO)

Today’s resolution, by Simone: Let go of the need to understand

2 Sep

‘Sometimes you just gotta go with it. It doesn’t matter if you sit, stay or down, there’s bound to be a treat or some happy talk involved. All good.” — Simone

Pondering the big issues... or not