Non-Specific Specificity or Something…

“Be more specific…”

That’s how the saying goes.

But words aren’t always specific. Not in English anyway.

Take ‘love’.

I love my wife. But I also love my children. My love for them is not the same, though.

Neither is my love for good wine the same as my love for my wife, or for my children.

Is the word ‘read’ in past or present tense when you see the word just hanging out there all by itself?

Words are confusing. They aren’t always specific, and if you add cultural meanings then they can become even less specific (more non-specific?).

When the Egyptian Christian that I worshipped with refers to G-d as “Allah” is her “Allah” the same as the Muslim “Allah”? Depends on to whom you ask the question.

What does marriage mean? is it something established by G-d and institutionalized by the Community of Faith? Or is it a contract between two individuals with associated benefits and responsibilities? In some faith communities marriage is both.

Not trying to get political, just thinking about how words are loaded with meaning that can muddy the waters of specificity.

dic

via Daily Prompt: Specific

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Floating 

Paddle boarding in Okinawa
Before I give the impression that I frequently partake of the Stand Up Paddle Board adventure, let me point out that the Dude is kneeling while navigating the coral. 

Other photos would reveal the Dude kneeling while navigating the non-coral bits of the water, too. 

I am less of a stand up paddle boarder than I am a paddle board kneeler. 

But I was reminded, in my paddle board adventure, of the peaceful glory of flushing on the water, board between you legs and just existing. 

I can’t wait to get a beater long board and just paddle out and sit, floating, watching the swells as the grow into waves. 

That was one of my favorite things. 

I haven’t surfed in over 20 years, and I may just be satisfied by the floating out there, feeling the movement of the ocean, smelling the salt. 

Because floating is peace. 

Daily Post — Tempted

Is it possible that we are tempted by not being fully in the present and not satisfied with the enough that is here now?

I don’t think temptation is a bad thing; it’s most likely a very natural thing born if wanting more than the present moment. 

Would mindfulness in the now limit the power of temptation (or even the temptation of seeking power?)

Crossing

Crossing people

Crossing lines

Crossing out

Crossing tracks

Crossing thresholds

Crossing paths

Crossing myself

Crossing is one of those words that could take you anywhere.

Like the good Theodore Geisel says, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”

 

via Daily Prompt: Crossing

Gone

I do a lot of talking to people. It’s aprofessional hazard, you might say.  One of the things I notice in those conversations is that many of us are still tethered to points in the past.

 It’s not that we have memories. Memories are good. What I find is that we’re still being defined by moments and decisions that we can’t change. 

As much as we might want to do some things differently, life can be easier if we accept that those moments, those decisions, are fixed points and cannot be changed. There are many things in my past that, if I could do things differently, I might. Might. 

But part of my hesitance is tied up in that whole “don’t mess with the timeline” thing. If you mess with the timeline a lot of things that we love today might be different. You might not just change the stuff that sucks. 

The only things we can change are things happening now. Today. Our outlook.  Our goals. Our dreams. 

You’re alive today. Make the best of it. Be kind to yourself. 

Interior Design

via Daily Prompt: Interior

We lived in Japan until October of 2016. Of the many things I loved about Japan, one of my favorite was the shrines and temples; places where, except for New Year’s Eve and Day, a weary traveller could be embraced by silence and beauty.

Which is not to say that silence is not beautiful.

I understand the importance of interior work–of getting into ourselves and taking a good and “fearless moral inventory” as they say. It’s through interior work that we really get to know ourselves.

Right now, I’m pondering some of the writings on our interior selves by Henri Nouwen.  He is one of my favorite writers. A book of his that is highly formative for me is Life of the Beloved.  He says we have to first “be beloved” before we can “become beloved.” Or something like that.

In short, we have to accept that we are worthy of goodness (more than goodness, really) before we can live into goodness.

Maybe the challenge for some of us is that we struggle with what the mirror shows us, or what the negative color commentary of our life has said about us, that we can’t see that we’re worthy of goodness, worthy of being loved.

So before we can live a life of loving others, before we can become beloved people living in the beloved community, we probably ought to embrace that we are Beloved.

Can we recognize that in our Interior Design?

Or as Mama Ru says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the Hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen!”

Daily Prompt: Year

Resolutions. Goals. Dreams.

“Today is the first day of a book with 365 blank pages, do something amazing with it!”

Or some such thing.

Here’s what I want from 2017.

More kindness to myself.

Sounds funny. Sounds selfish. Sounds self-absorbed.

But in reality, I spend so much of my day to day being kind to others that it’s not always good for me and there are times when my self-loathing and self-doubt is really deep and really dark.

So I have nothing lofty for 2017 except to be a little more kind.

(Now I have that lyric from “Uncle John’s Band” in my head — Oh oh what I want to know, is are you kind?)

I have no idea what it’s going to look like except that it won’t be kindness to myself at the expense of being kind to other.  The world doesn’t need anymore of that.

But maybe:

I’ll read a little more for pleasure.

I’ll take a little more time off to rest.

I’ll learn to dance to the Dead again.

And maybe then, I’ll get that creative spark kindled again.

via Daily Prompt: Year