hatteras national seashore

The Moon, Venus, and a Great Blue Heron 2008 – Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, NC, October 2008

If reality doesn’t wake you up, you can’t be awakened.

The problem is, the stories we tell ourselves about reality, expand to take facts to the contrary into account.

It’s called denial.

Or stupidity.

Take your pick.

There is no antidote for either.

But reality is persistent, and has time on its side,

So, your children may wake up, even if you don’t.

Pamlico Sky – Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, NC, October 2006

We have this idea that if everything would just go our way, we would be fine.

Our way never includes anything that would require us to grow up.

Or change our mind.

Or see things differently.

We can be wrong about every single thing and still be “fine” with everything going our way.

And everybody thinks that way.

Which means we are always running into people who have a different idea about the way things should go.

It’s a hot item these days just to kill those people.

It isn’t as though you are actually killing someone.

They are all Nobodies with ways like theirs!

It doesn’t hurt to kill people like that.

The world would be better off without them in it.

OUR world would be, anyway.

So we X them out.

That’s the CIA Solution.

Except that in the Kremlin it has a different name.

And it’s called the ISIS Solution in the Middle East.

It’s been around for a long time,

And it doesn’t work, but everyone believes in it.

Just kill the people who aren’t doing it your way,

And soon, only your way will remain.

I’m here to talk you into stepping back from your way.

I’m here to talk you into seeing how Not Your Way

Is trying to get you to see, hear, think, BE different.

It isn’t like you have always thought it is.

Wake up.

Change your ways.

Accommodate yourself to your life.

Waking up means growing up.

It means being friends with the opposition.

So that no one is X-ed out,

And everyone enjoys the company of everyone.

And everyone is waking up,

And growing up.

And loving being alive.

Atlantic Storm 05 – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, NC, October 2008

The National Park Service motto, “Your safety is your responsibility” applies across the board, around the table.

Your life is your responsibility.

That could be an AA motto.

We are on our own with the problem of finding and living our life.

Nobody can do it for us.

Nobody can tell us how to do it.

All the coaching and instruction in the wold can’t tell us what we need to know in order to do what is ours to do.

The group, the community, can encourage us, and can lead by example, doing its own work, living their own life, but.

In the darkness at 2 AM, it’s just me and my life and the question of what am I going to do. What now? What next? Now what? I alone answer those questions.

And the group, the community, encourages me to trust myself to find my own way to the life that is mine alone to live. They cheer me on. We cheer each other on.

But, we do the work alone.

The books on mindfulness don’t enable us to be mindful. We take up the practice, we do the work, on our own.

The books on meditation don’t enable us to meditate…

The books on sobriety don’t enable us to be, and remain, sober…

The books on Spiritual Practice don’t enable us to reflect on our experience to the point of new realizations, or follow a healthy diet, or exercise regularly, or become transparent to ourselves…

We do the work on our own.

Talking about doing the work is not doing the work.

Reading another book about doing the work is not doing the work.

Are we doing the work is the only question.

If not, why not is the other only question

Hatteras Sunset – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 2004

We are at war with life,

And can’t make up out minds

Whether we want to live it as it could be lived or not.

We settle too easily for less than life could be,

Which is just above death,

Just enough alive to not be declared dead,

And buried.

But fighting life–the life that could be lived–all the way.

We don’t exercise,

We don’t follow a healthy diet,

We smoke,

Drink too much alcohol,

Do drugs–prescription, over the counter, illegal.

And we fall into some easy enough routine

That allows us to pay the bills and get by.

What?

We don’t pursue the gift.

Why not?

Why do we not live in the service of the gift?

Dead things float with the current.

Go with the flow.

It doesn’t matter to them where they end up.

Why do we forsake the gift?

We are burning daylight.

There is less time each day.

Why renounce and abandon the gift?

Oregon Inlet Sunset – Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Nags Head, NC, October 24, 2010

Life is motion. When living things are still, it’s because they are waiting for something, watching for something, like dinner.

A cat, for instance, can be very still with a bird in sight.

They can be still when they are sleeping.

A dog, for instance, can be still for hours.

Otherwise, they are in motion.

We think the idea is to freeze our life in place–

To get things just like we like them, and yell, “FREEZE!!!”

We like things nice and rigid.

The more inflexible and unbending, the better.

We want it done the way it has always been done.

We want it done the way God wants it done.

We put up the Ten Commandments all around town.

Get everybody in line and freeze them in place.

That’s our idea of really living.

No worries, no pain.

So what if we are mostly dead?

Life calls us away from the comfort of safety and security,

And knowing what you are supposed to do in every single moment of your life.

“Wing it, Baby!”

Like a bird in the air.

All your life long.

A still bird is dinner for the cat.