Friday, May 21, 2010

Who am I at my.......

....core? A post by Lua Fowles on her blog  sparked this idea, and for that I'm truly grateful. After reading her thoughtful words, I decided to share exactly what keeps this Old Indian farm kid grounded, a concept I was introduced to by my Group Leader when I was a wet-behind-the-ears 20-something who was trying to find out who I really was deep inside. He and a very good selection of instructors over the decades have shown me the way. But, even to this day, peeling away all the layers of who I am at any given time to reach the true inner being is not an easy task, although it gets easier every time it's done. As with any endeavor so complicated, it's well worth the effort, especially if you're like me and like who you find there at the center. 
    Although I've worn many hats & titles through my life, when they all get stripped away, what's left is myself at the simplest, purest, time in which I remember actually being acutely aware of my needing to find where I fit in the world. It was a time when I was not untouched by horror, fear, and pain; but also missing was that deep sense of love a stable home gives the fortunate among us. Having recently arrived to live on the adjoining farms of my Uncles 'R' and 'F', I felt out of place and awkward and the only up side I saw at first was the absence of pain and insecurity. But this new security came at the price of whatever labor I could do to earn my keep. Eventually my adoptive Dad would re-introduce me to my biological family, but even then they were unable to assume responsibility for even one more tiny mouth to feed. So there I was, wanted yet rejected, through no real fault of anyone. I think this is when I began to develop a true sense of who I was and where I fit in. Although I never gave it much thought until much later, even without being aware it was occurring, I was molding myself to belong to the world I found, and most of the molding was designed to fit with nature.
    As young as age 7 I'd already developed the knack for withdrawing from the world, mostly out of a need to survive as told in my early posts. When I went to the farms it opened my eyes and ears to a whole new world full of life rather than darkness. Soon it became clear that my biological family was unable to take me in and I resigned my young self to life on the farms where, when doing even the most repulsive and mundane tasks, a world of wonder was there if you looked for it. Some of the life forms weren't particularly nice in any way other than as a curiosity. Maggots in the manure piles come to mind. They did become more attractive after Uncle 'F' showed me how to convert the ugly into bait for tasty trout dinners.
   As that first year on the farms unfolded I discovered that being extremely quiet and motionless could result in various wild animals venturing very close. At first I thought they didn't know anyone was there, that notion was abandoned pretty early when the deer, squirrels, and other critters apparently decided that the small human in their home posed no threat. Eventually the perfect 'me' spot was discovered in a small clearing with the small brook that fed our pond running across its northwest corner. As it was close to a crude road we used year around for various activities such as logging, maple tree sap gathering, and the other things done on a working farm, it was easily accessible. 'My' clearing was a short way from the road through pretty thick, boggy, swampy woods. This pretty much assured me that nobody would bother me there. I did take the liberty of moving some old dead-falls to make an easily traversed path in, but one that was fairly 'invisible' to nosy adults.
    Soon the animals started to reveal their traits, some of which were nearly identical to their domesticated fellow critters. Every evening that I could, between supper and starting chores, I went to my lair for an hour or so. Nobody ever questioned my absences either, which made it all the more secretive in my mind. No visit there passed without discovery of something new or the progress of construction projects run by ants, bees, etc. Being the curious type, I found it simple to remain quietly rapt by such things. It soon became apparent that 'my' clearing was a favorite 'wintering over' area for a wide variety of life forms, all of which had pretty much decided to ignore my presence as if I was on the 'list' of approved visitors. To this day I seem to enjoy a closeness with animals not common among my friends. Perhaps it's simply that I saw and remember what attracts, calms, and frightens them. And so, at this later point along my life's adventure, I find myself slipping into and out of that inner consciousness and peace that I found so young. It's been a trusty refuge from life's trials and where I go to savor the memories of the many joys I've had. Could be that it's become such a familiar and welcoming journey to that inner, non-existent, yet very real realm deep within us all that I look forward to my forays. I think of it as my 'temple', within which to commune with that which I find omnipotent and 'all encompassing'. Rather like joining an unseen stream of existence and energy that's timeless.
    Each time I venture there, which is more often as time goes by, I find that I'm still amazed by all the layers of my 'life onion' that fall away to enable me to pass through to who I am at my core, a simple, observant, Indian, country boy who's in love with what he remembers as that which first loved him back, nature. So it is, and perhaps that's as it should be, as it seems mankind is continually fighting his environment rather than developing a symbiotic union that would benefit all of earth's inhabitants, from the cold rocks to the sweetest newborn of any species.
    Until next time, stay safe and be well. Remember too, that the roses and their many beautiful qualities will still grow long after we're gone, so enjoy them while you're still able.[and no, the photos aren't even from Maine. Top is Two Medicine Peak in Glacier Park, Montana from George & Linda Allen via the Park WebCam net; and the beautiful critters below are in Anan Wildlife Observatory, Alaska by an unknown photographer. Both are special to me for personal reasons, Mike]

Monday, May 03, 2010

A really good poem that....

.....should be shared. Therefore, here it is:

Nothing Twice

Wislawa Szymborska

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with exactly the same kisses

One day, perhaps, some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we’re different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.
We now return you to our regular programming. Until next time, take care, stay well, and CARPE DIEM!!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Seems I've Done It.......

.....once again. I've let my ambitions, which still think I'm a 25 year old, run the show. This obviously ignores the fact that I'm a somewhat decrepit 'Older Fellah'. This should have been driven home to my dull thinking apparatus by now, especially as my latest 'reminder' arrived last week in the form of a 'Power Chair' to attempt to prevent my nearly regular tendency to fail to remain vertical when walking.
   Despite all indicators pointing to my having slowed down a tad, new projects are tackled with great vigor, in my mind. The reality is that my 'Honey-do' list, along with every other 'list', is growing in the 'back-log' area. This blog is another example. I finally decided the new style format and edit program was a great idea. Thus, the new look. Thus also what their phrase 'some information loss' when transitioning became VERY clear as evidenced by the lack of many 'Old Template' features, like almost ALL of them!!!
   So now, 'blog items' to do on my personal 'gotta do' list has grown lengthy. To complicate matters, I had a number of items collected in my e-mail inbox to post here. Yesterday, at zero-dark-thirty hours EDT, my mail program decided to 'burp' and erased my inbox contents! Numerous attempts by myself and my mail provider using every trick we knew failed to resurrect said info.
   I've got plenty of other material, on disks waiting to be reinstalled on my 'not so recently' repaired and now brainless PC. So, this is my apology to myself for failing to post items more frequently on here. MORE 'to-do' items!!! Also, I've resolved to apply myself more diligently to all 'lists' and try to get the estimated 'last current item completion date' moved from the 22nd century back to at least the latter years of the 21st century.
  Until then, I'll just relieve the stress by 'scooting around' in here on my new transporter in hopes of moving the speed control from complete 'turtle' to 'very slow turtle' before I finish 'adjusting' all the furniture, doorways, and kitty tails beyond repair. That would make the 'lists' to grow anew.
Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and definitely stay outta the path of my 'scooter'!!!!!