grandfather-mountain

Grandfather Mountain 2016 09 – Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

Money requires a place to put it
and something to buy with it.
Money isn’t everything.
Everything hangs by a thin thread.
Everything depends on
such a few things–
Mutual Respect,
Honesty,
Self-transparency,
Compassion,
Mindfulness,
Integrity…
Integrity is living in ways
that are integral
with who we are,
with what is
deepest,
best,
and truest
about us.
Money cannot buy integrity,
but it does,
just about every time.

Grandfather Mountain 2016 14 – Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

Our contradictions,
our ambivalence,
our dichotomies
are all doorways
to integrity,
oneness
and wholeness.
We come together
in sharp focus
through the contemplation
of our opposites,
of our polarities.
Instead of engaging in
self-condemnation
and recrimination,
we extend olive branches
to ourselves
in a “This, too! This, too!”
kind of way.
Compassion and grace
heal the divisions within
(and without),
and open the way
to peace and goodwill.
The ground of our solidarity
is the acceptance–
the celebration–
of our different-ness.
As we accept ourselves
as we are,
and as we also are,
we lay the foundation
for treating others
with the same benevolent regard–
and the shift is felt world-wide.

10

I brought three disposable cameras on the trip we took in July to Banner Elk, North Carolina. Here’s how a few turned out.

Banner Elk, North Carolina - July, 2014

Grandfather Mountain 2016 15 – Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

Being okay in a situation that is not okay
positions us to swing the situation toward
being more okay than it would be without us.
It is the turning point,
the pivot point,
the fulcrum,
“the still point of the turning world”
(T.S. Eliot).
From there, things are possible
that would not be possible
from any other place.
The key to being there
is having no investment in any outcome;
is not having to have anything happen;
is to be able to not-strive for
an idea of how things ought to be–
to not-serve an ideology–
to not push/shove/force our way–
to not have a way
in a “Thy will, not mine be done” kind of way,
with “Thy” being the will–
the good–
of the moment,
of the situation,
of the time that is at hand.
It is to be of service to the moment,
to the need of the moment,
to what needs to happen in the moment,
without thought of gain,
or profit,
or benefit,
or advantage.
What is being called for?
What is missing?
What is crying out to be seen,
heard,
done,
said?
Listen!
Look!
See!
Hear!
With the eyes and ears of your heart.
And trust yourself to the urgency
arising from knowing what you know.

Grandfather Mountain 2016 18 – Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

Let’s say you hate black people,
and women,
and immigrants,
and Muslims,
and LGBTQ’s,
and Latinos,
and poor people,
and people with disabilities–
and even if you say
you don’t hate anyone,
but they can’t tell the difference
by the way you treat them,
or, you vote for somone
who does hate them,
you may as well hate them,
and you are only kidding yourself
in saying that you don’t.
Or if you hate the people
who hate all these people…
Where are you going to go
to exorcise your hatred?
How are you going
to cure your hatred?
How are you going
to be free of hatred?
What are you going to do
about your hatred?
No one can do
anything about your hatred
but you.
If you are waiting
for all the people you hate
to disappear,
you will die hating
all of the people
who haven’t disappeared.
Your hatred is up to you.
What are you going to do
about it?