Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lake Lesson Two

Sitting on the shore of a mountain lake, I felt the same breeze that rippled the water. Rocks rose out of the water like a Japanese garden.

I felt only tranquility. Asked no questions. Barely thought. But thought enough to take a photograph. 

Aware of beauty. Aware of serenity. I think I was hoping to capture the peace. But peace cannot be captured. It just falls upon you like mist or rises up in internal stillness.

It was one of those moments when I realized that I was the rocks and the lake and the sky and the clouds. The breeze and the ripples. The wet and the dry. The permanent and the transitory. It is all the same. Somehow.

Within the rhythmic cycles of creation, everything is a complexity within a complexity. And yet—and yet—all things are simply components of a wholeness in which each of us is a component. And this is a truth beyond comprehension… perhaps beyond expression. But expression is worth a try.

So I try.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Lake Lesson

When this little girl arrived at Cataract Lake (near Silverthorne, Colorado) she went through a panoply of emotions. First, she was curious and a little envious as her older brother waded in the lake. She struggled in her mother’s arms, trying to reach the water and protested mightily when momentarily prevented (so mom could remove her socks and shoes). Once these impediments were removed, she was lowered gently onto the sandy shore. When her feet touched the grainy surface, she retracted her legs as fast as a thought. Then her mom held her over the water and lowered her enough to feel the liquid. Again, legs were retracted and held above the lake . . . until mom lowered her again. This time, the legs came down. And stayed down. Mom removed some of her clothes and let her walk … first on the now accepted sand and then into the water. Her smile was radiant. Her step, initially tentative, grew more assured. She discovered her ability to splash. Her joy was complete.

That’s one of the great things about kids. They discover things – water, lakes, sand. They delight in discovery. And, if we pay attention, we can learn from them … and we too can see the wondrous-ness of a mountain lake.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cat-astrophy Addendum

I ended a recent post with these words:

Petting purring cats is
the closest
Humans come
to symbiosis

I wouldn't pet a cactus
even if it purred.

To these pearls of wisdom I here add the following

It is not good practice
To pet a cactus
It has no fur
And cannot purr

I wouldn't pet a cactus
even if it purred.

That's all folks!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Various disasters greeted me when I came downstairs this morning.

Guinness (the cat) had opened the cupboard under the sink and knocked over the wastebasket, which in turn had knocked over the ‘Comet’, which in turn had spilled onto the rug. In the dining area, flowers had been pulled from the table arrangement. Three leaves had been vomited onto three different areas of the carpet.

Why do I put up with this?

Over the now nearly 13 years that I have had Guinness and Herbie I’ve recorded various vignettes about my cats – the broken living room lamp, the shredded toilet paper, the cat vomit, the toppled Christmas tree.

Why do I put up with them?

… because they put up with me.

When they aren’t sleeping, they supervise me. When I’m working at my computer, they lie in the drawer by the keyboard or on the pillow at the corner of the desk.

Their antics make me laugh. Their postures make me smile. They seem to know when I need comfort and they cuddle and purr until I feel better. We have routines that make all three of us feel better. Ways to play and ways to snuggle.

I found something I wrote a while ago.

     Petting purring cats is
     the closest
     humans come
     to symbiosis.

     I wouldn’t pet a cactus
     even if it purred.

It’s still true.