Tag Archives: Nature

Spiritual Tribe: A 93 Million Mile Perspective

river view after rainThe question before my two co-workers and myself  was: what music shall we next play via the bluetooth speakers displayed at our technology shop.   We had maxed out “best hits of the 70’s” and “folk instrumentals”.    Classical got six thumbs down.

“Try Jason Mraz,” my 20 something sales rep suggested.  Having no better idea, I found the album “Love is a Four Letter Word” on Amazon Prime and pressed play.   Upbeat.  Pleasant.   The work day went on. The lyrics of progressive songs faded into the background.

Until 93 Million Miles.

93 Million Miles: the distance from the Sun to the Earth.

From that perspective, can the human family appear anything other than a  whole, a single tribe, infused with the Natural colors and tones of our planet?

Walk on Earth, however, and polarizing ideologies and vocal viewpoints (at least here in the United States) can overwhelm the senses, fracturing and isolating us from each other, even if we’re just meters or inches apart from each other.  All this has long left me with questions more difficult to answer than which is the next album to be played.

“Is it possible to talk with a stranger about anything other than the weather without stirring discomfort or igniting a firestorm?”  “What can help a sense of common ground emerge?”   “What type of everyday interactions can nourish, if not a 93 million mile perspective, at least an inkling of togetherness and a feeling of person to person real-ness?”

What answers do you have?

One approach I’ve been trying out on some of my customers is to invite conversation about cherished places, during lulls in the technology sales process (seems like we’re always waiting for some data to back up or download or some email password to be reset). It’s an easy transition from generic weather comments or “how was your weekend” to “On summer evenings after the rain, I love looking out over the river . . . ” which can easily evoke “I know a place like that . . . ”

Seems that nearly everyone has some landscape, vacation spot, back yard, or secret hideaway that stirs the Heart and imagination.   In these memories, I see a coherent mosaic and hear the notes of an earth-love song that I’ll sing and play any day.  Here. 93 million miles from the sun.

 

 

Sound and Silence: Amidst a wordy week

buckeye.jpg

The week has been full of necessary words – read, spoken, heard, written, thought.  Personal.  Professional.    And it’s only Tuesday.

More than ever silent interludes are claiming my gratitude and replenishing my equilibrium and passion for life.   I linger over teeth brushing.   Relish dishwashing’s contemplation.   Treat myself to meditation under the stars at night and on the exercise bike in the morning.

Slipping into silence reminds me of the spring buckeye poised to unfurl; both being ripe with potential and unfolding beauty.  Both of sacred design.  Both so enticing and pleasing during these busy days of spring.

What do you enjoy most about inner or outer silence?  Or both? And how do you cultivate silence in your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity: Balancing Curves and Squares

ChicagoI traveled by plane to Chicago recently on my way to a family reunion in Michigan.  The city’s skyline boasts the famous Willis Tower (long known as the Sears Tower) and the John Hancock Center which houses the fastest elevator in the Western Hemisphere. Impressive.

Yet even more striking than the skyscrapers and the stories behind them is the vast grid of city streets from which they rise.  Square after square after square.  Block after block.  A pattern of hard edged metal and concrete  “landscapes” enclosed by predictable, repeatable boundaries, offering a little flourish (such as a speedy elevator) here and there.  A symbol of our rational mindset and creative prowess over the last century.  A testament to our human power to say “yes, we can build this” and to make it happen.

In contrast to our many “squared” human constructions, Nature’s creations flow with curves, pleasing symmetry and complementary shapes. These configurations soften the eyes, stir playfulness, and open the heart, while sparking awe and igniting wholeness in the imagination . .  . feelings and qualities that say “yes, we can build something that heals and inspires.”

circles and squaresSome spiritual texts denote the square as a symbol for the personality, that part of us which navigates life’s literal and metaphoric streets and gets things done.  On the one hand a perfect fit for our modern outwardly demanding, efficiency driven society.  On the other hand, a creative potentiality of mind, passion, vitality, and physical action that can serve the spiraling inspirations of the Heart  A potentiality waiting to be claimed.

I find that communing with Nature and observing Her Creative Ways (even in a small urban garden of which there are many in Chicago’s neighborhoods) serves as an essential counterweight to the omnipresent pull into cut and dried efficiency and established routines.  It balances the valuable assets of the square with the curves of the heart, yielding the best of both:  real-world savvy and embracing quality; effective action and healing, meaningful inspiration.