Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Tales Of Ten Men

The Hermit’s Tale

I went to see the hermit on the mountain.

“It must be time to work that garden. It’s past mid-April.”

“April?” he looked at me quizzically.

It was then I realized he had no calendar.
In searching the walls and nooks I saw he also had no clock.

“Do you want a clock?” I asked casually as he sat oiling a tarpaulin.
“I have a lot of them.” I continued, “And maybe a calendar?”

He looked at me again, in utter consternation.

As if, like at Babel, our languages were suddenly one different from the other.

“No thanks.” he finally answered. He tapped his breast bone.
“This is my clock.”

He looked out through the open doorway by which he labored and said “This is my calendar.”

Slainte,

Paz

Tales Of Ten Men

The Warrior’s Tale

A ninja, I moved
stealthily through my world.
sometimes in fluid and undetectable ways,
sometimes stock still,
camouflaged.

Hidden.

Now the
rhetoric of the politic
has passed.

Here the
clear campaign
rises before me,
and I don armor.

Shield raised and sword held high,
I am samurai.

Slainte,

Paz

Home

Is it this house?
Is it these walls?
Is it these old familiar rooms and airy halls?

The Sparrow nigh?
This Mourning Dove?
Each day some new treasure here to love?

No. It’s not of timber.
No. It’s not of stone.
It’s a warm and whole belonging.
I’m Home.

Did I choose?
Has it been known
By all the stars forever I’d call this my own?

How can it be
These ancient trees
And fragrant lawns could be all the world to me?

Here, this simple man,
In this humble glen I can
Feel Home.

Snow will fall.
Winds will blow.
I don’t claim it’s always Paradise, y’know.

Through chilling cold,
Each tempest thrown,
Through everything that cuts me to the bone,

Here, the storms may test me.
Here, no ill can best me.
The surest place I’ve ever known
Is Home.

If you’re adrift
Out on the sea
Amidst the raging storms of this mortality,

Or slashed and burned,
Or beat to hell,
Or lost to us at the bottom of your well,

If you need a rescue,
A place where you can run to,
I have a place for you,
There’s always room
At Home.

Pray for peace.

Paz

Roads – #1

You can do all the planning and decision-making in the best interests.

You can be raised well, educated properly; you can pursue your career and lay foundations, maximizing opportunities, weathering storms and holding course.

Each day you wake, however,
each decision you make
takes you down the road to your destination.

There are, mind you, tens of thousands of possible routes you may take.
Bear in mind, too, that the destination itself may not exist by the time you get there.

Sometimes, along the way, if fortunate, we find our destinations changing.

Newfound clarities, shifting sands, the grace of years to digest or dispel.

We may end up bound for places we never would have dreamed of,
and our destinations have become
our destiny.

Paz

Roads -#105

Remember, there are two kinds of people in the world, and you’re one of them.

Paz

This Christmas

This post first appeared in 2013. Since that time, my dad has passed. My wife, too. The baby in the photo is now an effervescent 9-year-old with a 7-year-old brother. The son is living with me while the parties of the wedding in the photo sort out their divorce. Last year, Christmas came just 11 days after my wife died.

This Christmas, I am supremely grateful for every day I live, and every day I have lived prior. I feel I’ve had an easy time of it, these 62 years, and have been blessed with something of a charmed life. Perhaps it’s just an average one, or maybe below average.
It is the only life I have ever known.
Simply knowing a life puts me ahead of some people already.

“When you wake in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.”

  • Chief Tecumseh

Joy to the world. Joy to you, my friends.
-Paz

Four Generations

Four Generations

I had in mind to write a post called “Last Christmas”, and (not unlike some previous posts) talk about how we’d feel if we found that this had been our last Christmas.  If we got the news in January or February or May, that we would not be likely to see another Christmas. Would we be pleased at the way we spent our days?

The post, however, is about This Christmas. Really, this philosophy is always about “this”. This day, this month, this anniversary, this birthday, this autumn, this season. It’s not so much the old “living-in-the-now” as much as it’s carpe diem, seize the day, make your life, in this moment and the next, the life you imagined for yourself.

This Christmas bears the most special and wonderful gifts for me. More than I deserve, I am humbled.

The photo above is taken at my son’s wedding in October. That’s Ryan at the left. Next is me, beside my Dad, and this year’s Christmas gift, my new granddaughter Ellie.

It’s a rare fortune for families to be able to gather four generations together. Turning 83 in January, every Christmas with my Dad is precious, invaluable.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So, about this “Last Christmas” thing.

I’m not trying to be particularly Dickensian or dramatic, but must reveal something I usually keep to myself.

Whenever I am recounting joys and fortunes, sadnesses and hardships, there is a bar, a benchmark, that is never out of my consciousness.

For me, no matter what occurs I compare the situation. We don’t like to talk about it, but we are patrons, “Partners In Hope” they’re called, of St.Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Here, children stricken with life-threatening cancers are cared for, and research is ongoing to combat this deadly foe. Families of these children are never asked for a penny in payment. Don’t we think they have enough to deal with without monstrous medical bills?

My heart and spirit are tied with strings of tears to these children, and their families. Some of them are just babies.

I can’t single-handedly save the whole world so I searched for a place I could do my best work. What could be more important than helping to save the lives of children?

I will listen to your troubles and woes. I will console, cajole and support anyone that comes to me. I will offer opinions colored as advice if you ask.

I will feed you, I will offer you a bed in my home. I will sit silently and hold your hand.

When it comes to an assessment of our troubles—yours, mine, the next guy’s—you will be given perspective.

You see, in Memphis, I have a lot of kids. We’re not hoping they get “what they want” for Christmas.

Every day, throughout this rolling year, our hope for them is simple.

We hope they live to see This Christmas.

May the peace of the season reign in hearts everywhere, and last throughout the year.

Paz

Spirit Of Frosty

This post originally appeared in 2015. -Paz

Our Holiday Greetings

Our Holiday Greetings

It occurred to me just how much I admire Frosty The Snowman, and his philosophy on life. Well, life as it is to an inanimate object, or in this case a fictional character who is also an inanimate object. This is personification at it’s best, I suppose.

If you’re not familiar with the children’s tale, here are the Cliff’s notes:

Kids build a snowman and find a silk top hat to put on his head. The top hat has some magic in it, and this animates the Snowman, whom the kids have named Frosty. He springs to life exclaiming “Happy Birthday!”. Yes, it’s a Christmas-season tale, but it is Frosty’s birthday, after all.

Frosty plays and has fun with the kids until he begins to melt. The story is based on the song, I think, and the animated cartoon special picks up the story where the lyrics left off.

In the song, Frosty waves goodbye as he melts, says “Don’t you cry!” to the kids, and “I’ll be back again someday.”.

In the TV special, one of the children is heartbroken at the thought of Frosty’s departure, and adventure ensues as the little girl tries to get a six-foot snowman to the North Pole before he melts.

In the song, the lyrics state “Frosty the snowman knew the sun was hot that day. So he said ‘Let’s run and have some fun now, before I melt away.'”

Now there’s the spirit I admire. Frosty has this little window of life, knows he’s terminal, and instead of spending all his time worrying about how he can be cured and prolong his life, he decides to enjoy it before it’s gone.

 

The cartoon special takes it further, as the little girl becomes obsessed with “rescuing” the snowman from his natural demise. He’s fine until the human tries to “save him”. Only when pitted against or seen from the human girl’s perspective does Frosty’s limited existence become viewed as problematic. They spend their last days together in agony. Problems getting transportation, a magician trailing them, trying to steal the hat, the girl starts suffering from hypothermia following the snowman into the arctic. Ultimately, circumstances conspire and the girl is forced to watch Frosty’s destruction before her very eyes. *

I’m adopting Frosty’s original spirit. Life will come and go whether it’s on a snowman’s timeline or a human man’s time line.

I say let’s run and have some fun!

Before I melt away.

Seek Peace,

 

Paz

 

* Calm down. The girl isn’t real, she’s in a cartoon. And Frosty is magic. Before the kid stops crying, a freezing wind blows Frosty back together and he comes back to life, exclaiming “Happy Birthday!” once again. Happy ending, although it does prove the fruitlessness of the child’s work and worry.

Roads – #116

So much has been stolen from us by this evolution into our techno-monetary society.

I have but moments to view this beautiful morning through glass, passing at sixty-five miles per hour.

How I envy the rat and raven, free to consume the entire day, one sacred Now at a time.

Slainte,

Paz

Roads – #8

In A Christmas Story, Randy’s mom does not make him come out of the cupboard beneath the sink.

She brings him a glass of milk, pats his head, and closes the curtain on his hiding place.

Loved and fed and in his safe place.

The essence of Mother.

Slainte,

Paz

Roads – #26

Choose something, consciously and early on, to be notoriously incapable of.

Something, despite your great agility and impressive strength and massive brainpower, your positive outlook and can-do attitude, that you are just bad at. Just cannot get the hang of. Inexplicable.

If you get that out of the way then you can excel at everything else.

Slainte,

Paz

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