reality/illusions…truths/facts/fiction and mysteries of life.

Let it go - Let it beDrawings, photos, artwork and imagery, words, politics, fake news, real news, family matters, eclipses – it’s all part of an ever changing bombastic world which feels pretty out of balance these days. This unevenness-this unbalance-has brought me back continually to the thoughts of a few articles I have recently read and enjoyed. The basic premise is-“Let it be” and/or “Just be”….

And so that’s the topic of this post.

“We need to learn how to let go because trying to hold onto anything is like trying to nail jello to a wall: Nothing sticks, nothing stays. When David Chadwick asked Suzuki Roshi** to express the heart of Buddhism in just a few words, Roshi replied “Everything changes.” … We can’t hold onto a world that’s constantly changing and transforming—we can’t make the world stop being the world….”

To hold on is to cling, to ask questions (which is just often just another mode of clinging- masked as searching) as we look for the answers is NOT an act of “let it be”… the goal is to be INDEPENDENT, not DEPENDENT in our worlds, our loves, and our lives. If we are independent, we can let ourselves, and the ones we love “just be” whom ever they are. A young child craves and clings to their parent, but as they grow they gain independence and they return with love and joy (hopefully.) “Affection, love, care, and concern are the very essence of enlightened life.”  Those words can be for pretty much anything we encounter in our modern world. We cling all too often to what we suppose it all to be, what we hope it all to be…maybe it’s our jobs, our goals, our families, our expectations, our friendships, our relationships, our possessions-you get the idea….If we “let it go” and step back a bit, accept it as comes our way, breath in and breath deep, we allow ourselves and others to “just be”-to accept it/them as it/they are. After all, in reality, much of the time we can’t really do much to change it. If we can learn to flow with it, even if it has pain and suffering, and try not to fight it, then maybe, if we are lucky, we can learn to “just be” with it. To let it unfold. To let life takes its natural course. By the way, this doesn’t mean we give up, or that we lose all control, or that we stop making our best efforts to improve ourselves and our circumstances-it just means we understand that sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Failure is only not to keep trying.

“To let something be requires much more strength than just letting go, because we’re learning to sit with the ambiguity that life often creates from those moments that we could never have conceived of…..

It’s a choice to let a situation remain unresolved, let the loose ends dangle, and allow the options to remain. Letting it be means giving up deadlines, timelines, and ultimatums—because life doesn’t figure itself out when we want it to, but rather when it’s meant to.

And until that moment happens, we can laugh, smile, grow, and experience life, all the while knowing that we didn’t let go of something that wasn’t meant to be let go of. We simply made the choice to sit with the situation as is, without trying to control the outcome.

Time may not heal all wounds, but it does have a way of clearing even the murkiest of waters—if we just let it be.”

Ideas and quotes draw from the articles of: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/07/letting-go-what-it-means-how-to-do-it/

and

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/07/fck-letting-it-go-instead-just-let-it-be/

** David Chadwick (born 1945) grew up in Texas and moved to California to study Zen as a student of Shunryu Suzuki in 1966. Chadwick was ordained as a Buddhist priest in 1971, shortly before Suzuki’s death. He assisted in the operation of the San Francisco Zen Center for a number of years. Chadwick has two children and has married and remarried. He has written several books and continues to “dabble in Buddhism and related matters”.


 

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Can you fly?

Always loved this song – rumored to be sung to me as a kid – maybe that’s part of the reason it resonates with me.  Regardless….Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is beautiful in this YouTube piece.
“One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky…”

The big questions are –
❓Are your wings spreading out…
❓Are you trying to fly…
❓Are you singing…

I’ve been thinking a lot of late about taking chances, i.e., spreading one’s wings. In chatting with friends, we often comment on how some people, particularly younger ones, are willing to just throw something up, whether it be on Social Media, in life, in business, or even just an idea.  It’s pretty much an anything goes and let’s see what sticks attitude. As an “older” person I often feel like I have to know something about what’s going on before I do ‘X, Y or Z’ for BBB3 (Botanical Beauties and Beasties.) The curiosity is that in many other parts of my ‘creative life’ I seem to be able to throw the spaghetti up and see if it sticks. I even enjoy doing that. For instance, I have just started playing with acrylic paints. I know NOTHING about them, and for that matter, I know virtually nothing about painting. And yet, when it comes to this I only have smiles-I have no shame, little fear, and I just allow myself to play and paint knowing that ‘something’ will turn out on that small canvas lying in front of me. I am so sure of my fun play that I bought a package deal of 14 little blank canvases-Chutzpah!!! So there I am, having a grand time, mixing paints and mediums, using paint brushes, cotton sticks, whatever, with a minimal idea as to the outcome. I have only a vague concept if I am playing within the lines or the rules, and couldn’t care less. It’s exciting and fun to just be like a kid again-just DOING WHATEVER. Surprisingly the painting(s) are not too bad. One I like quite a lot (see below)- as do some of my friends.

So…why is it that sometimes a level of laze fare and ‘confidence’ exudes, while other times fear and one’s mind stop us? What it is that lets one throw caution to the wind and just try things out?  I think it may have something to do with private verse public? What are your thoughts?

And with much hesitation – Izzy shares my first painting! Izabella and Blue Painting

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Travel is fatal to prejudice

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain.

Summertime arrives, and many of us travel near and far, and that’s great.  As our world gets smaller and smaller, and seemingly crazier, an escape, an adventure, a mind opening experience, a new path, all seem appropriate.

Picnic table image
Find a new table in a new spot
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

The journey might be five minutes away or 5,000 miles-both count and both matter.

Spread your wings, fly, walk, run, ride (whatever is your pleasure) and discover your destination.

(Note-background is from the series of illustration backgrounds that I am creating for Book #2 – Working Title of Garden Bud – stay tuned!)

 

Imagination Makes the World a Better Place.

If you don’t use your imagination, does it mean you don’t dream of what’s to be? Do you have passion for your dreams? Passion drives the energy and focus for us to keep on trucking forward. Without that drive (passion) then what’s really up, i.e., what happens? If imagination is the act of thinking/dreaming stuff up then is creativity is the act of putting it in place? Is ‘in-place’ an action, a plan, a drawing, a poem, a song, a whatever? I have been pondering for this a while now. What do YOU think the difference is of imagination and creativity? Please leave your thoughts on this in comments!

Apparently, Albert Einstein said –“Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life’s coming attractions.” That’s excellent. In my mind, that translates into dream it up, work on it (probably with all the strength you can muster) and make it happen. Much easier said than done but that’s ok too. Which of course brings up the ever present famous Gandhi quote:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

My Version of this is below. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty darn good mantra to live by.

SO…

What are you thinking about?
What are your dreams?
What’s in your imagination?

Dreams to Imagination

Huffington Post says imagination is better than reality! (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lamisha-serfwalls/5-reasons-imagination-is-_b_6096368.html_ )