53. Wisdom For Our Times

September 10, 2021

This writing has been shamelessly borrowed from a post on one of my oldest friends’  facebook page. I’m not sure who to credit for it, and I think it was borrowed by my friend as well. But it is so beautiful, so true, and so urgently needed, that I had to share it here with you.

Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle commented a few days ago on the current situation:

′′ This moment humanity is experiencing can be seen as a door or a hole. The decision to fall in the hole or walk through the door is up to you. If you consume the news 24 hours a day, with negative energy, constantly nervous, with pessimism, you will fall into this hole.

But if you take the opportunity to look at yourself, to rethink life and death, to take care of yourself and others, then you will walk through the portal.

Take care of your home, take care of your body. Connect with your spiritual home. When you take care of yourself, you take care of everyone at the same time.

Do not underestimate the spiritual dimension of this crisis. Take the perspective of an eagle that sees everything from above with a broader view. There is a social question in this crisis, but also a spiritual question. The two go hand in hand.

Without the social dimension we fall into fanaticism. Without the spiritual dimension, we fall into pessimism and futility.

Are you ready to face this crisis. Grab your toolbox and use all the tools at your disposal.

Learn resistance from the example of Indian and African peoples: we have been and are exterminated. But we never stopped singing, dancing, lighting a fire and rejoicing.

Don’t feel guilty for feeling blessed in these troubled times. Being sad or angry doesn’t help at all. Resistance is resistance through joy!

You have the right to be strong and positive. And there’s no other way to do it than to maintain a beautiful, happy, bright posture.

Has nothing to do with alienation (ignorance of the world). It’s a resistance strategy.

When we cross the threshold, we have a new worldview because we faced our fears and difficulties. This is all you can do now:

– Serenity in the storm
– Keep calm, pray everyday
– Make a habit of meeting the sacred everyday.
– Show resistance through art, joy, trust and love.”

Chief White Eagle

52. oops:

August 16, 2021

If your email invitation to this post failed to open the PDF book link, Victory Is My Name Book-1,
use this corrected link:

http://w2w.victoriachames.com/beta/beta-V1m.pdf

Click or copy-paste the whole URL into your browser. Sorry about the glitch. V.

52. Take My Love and Shove It…

August 15, 2021

People let me down sometimes, even people I love. Ever happen to you? Mostly in things that don’t seem like a big thing to them, but they are to you? Me too. Not much we can do about it but try again. I do get weary of trying again though. I get angry at people, though they meant well, probably.

I’m sending this link with an email to a few good friends and some people who have been friends but have changed as I have changed. After all, the whole nexus of life is change. This is a web-link to the first book of my memoir trilogy, Victory Is My Name, Book One: The Burning-Barrel.

The response from earlier invitations has been a bit sad and disappointing. They start and then they stop. That may be a failing in my craft as a writer, or partly the reality that most people now don’t read. It’s just not a thing they do. Most people don’t talk either, they text or tweet. But the people in the out-there world who do read, talk, think and wonder about life are reading and writing more than ever.

A tweet is brief and momentary. A book is a solid object in space that may hang around for 100 years or more, if it has value in it. So it can be accessed more than once, and farther into time. It doesn’t vanish into the void of cyberspace. Even so, cyberspace is useful. I’m using it now to share these words with you.

The grandfather of all storybooks of course is the Bible. I’m not a concentrated student of it myself, and yet I have read some of it, and learned more of it from sources in my environment. I don’t expect to understand the amazing and inscrutable being, Jesus. That may be beyond my capacity to comprehend. But I have learned some very useful and effective life-tips from him. Like “turn the other cheek.” This actually baffles your enemies, and they usually back off feeling confused and guilty. Another one is double-edged: “Seek and you shall find.” This is true. If you look for the best in people and things, you will find it. If you look for the worst in people and things you will find it. What you/we hold most often in thought will play out in our physical material lives. “Be careful what you wish for” without realizing you are doing that with where your habitual thoughts are.

Here’s my book, Victory Is My Name, Part-1, The Burning-Barrel. You can read it or not. You can buy it of course, or download the e-book here, now, for free. I won’t know who did or didn’t read it, unless you choose to tell me. Your comments are welcome but not required and/or can be anonymous if you want.

So here’s my truth, my real self, the one you didn’t know. Here’s my love, take it or leave it.

To download or read on screen:  
As a .PDF file http://w2w.victoriachames.com/beta/beta-V1m.pdf
*(if any trouble downloading from this link, copy and paste into your browser. It will download to wherever your downloads usually go.)

51. Forever Is Forever

July 1, 2021

I found this old piece of writing today, and I share it again for no other reason than to reach out comforting arms to the people who have lost or will lose beautiful ones they love in the tragedy of Surfside Florida.
Remembering my best friend Lynn, whom I lost in January, 2017.

My best friend for more than 40 years has passed from this earth, and this morning I got the news. Always an outdoorswoman and a trailblazer, once again she has left us behind her on the trail, striking out into new unmapped territory. We always used to say “Happy trails”  to each other, each time we parted again, many times through our long friendship.  Lynn, you take my love with you.

Lynn’s life-partner Chad has stayed by her side through it all, through the good times and bad. He has truly been the man she knew he was, loyal and loving and steady as a rock, and I am personally so very grateful to him.

Last night before I went to bed, I was feeling sad. I have been for all the years of her illness, but this was different somehow. I felt like I needed to give myself some time to cry, not only for this, but for life itself and how complicated and confusing it is, and how we human beings are always trying to understand it. Lynn didn’t do so much of that, she mostly just focused on the joy, and ran full speed through it, like a child running through a summer rain. I learned so much from her.

So I turned off the lights and sat in the dark and let the tears come. There was something rising up in me that needed to be released, and I had to let it go. In the silence and the dark, I spoke to Lynn. I had never done that before, and I don’t know why I did it, and it was not like she answered me or anything like that, but anyway, I said goodbye and told her it was okay.

Then this morning I got the news from Chad. When I went to his facebook page, what he wrote was so very beautiful and so true, I asked him if it would be all right for me to put the poem he posted on my page too.

The truth is, every ending is a beginning, and so it is, for all of us, especially Lynn. There she goes, trailblazing again, like always. As I write my book I am realizing that this too is a part of the journey, the letting go. And always the seeking but not quite finding the meaning of it all. When you write, you have to look back at the events and milestones, wins and losses, bright and dark places in life, and see how they played out into the future no one could see yet at the time. Now I can see clearly that even some things I was devastated by, eventually I was able to be grateful for the experience itself, because of what I learned and how I grew as a person and a soul.

There have been a few people, just a few who, whether they knew it or not, have been great spiritual teachers in my life. Lynn has been one of those.

All my love to you, my flown-away BFF Lynn. Forever means forever. No matter where we have been over the the years, and no matter where we will ever travel, the connection is unbroken.

The poem Chad posted:

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints in the snow,

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn’s rain.

When you awake in morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds circled in flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry

I am not there, I did not die.

-Mary Elizabeth Frye

50. Learning From The Pandemic Year

March 20, 2021

The thing that stands out most, is that most things are not as much fun to do by yourself. Without other people, nothing really matters much. We are herding-animals at our most basic level, and we don’t do well alone, apart from our pack, our herd, our flock, our tribe. Even those of us who enjoy our private time, need a dose of some together time too.

I worked in ER for 20 years, shoulder to shoulder with brilliant people who were dedicated and compassionate caregivers. We got to help people, which felt good for us. When I retired in 2010, I lost that, and I had to learn to manage with a much smaller “family” of friends. Then the coronavirus came, and suddenly without warning, it separated millions of us from each other, all over the world.

If there is one simple and truly profound thing I’ve learned from this, and I think many of us have learned, it’s about the value being together with other human beings. People who never really thought about it before, now are really wanting so much just to hug their Dad, their Mom, or their Gramma. Or go to a bar or a bowling alley, and just be immersed in the sights and sounds and fascinating life of our species.

Even though it’s probably true that the most common causes of all our conflicts and problems is each other, it’s also true that we are life’s most precious gift to each other. Without each other, we are amoeba floating in a cosmic petri dish. Things don’t matter much. We are static, inert, unable to grow. We don’t care.

This worldwide tragedy has forced us to notice the value of each other. And the unaccustomed solitude, when the ground as we knew it dropped out from under us, has given us not only the opportunity but the necessity to turn within, and think some thoughts about life itself, that we never needed to slow down for, before. To think about what really matters to us. Now, every human being has been stopped and slowed down by an inescapable terrifying danger: the possibility that life might actually suddenly end for us, or for some people we care about. And so the primary issues come up with a new urgency, along with the ancient questions.

Who am really? And why am I here? Why are any of us here? The universe is so huge, and this planet Earth is so incredibly tiny in it, how can we even matter at all? And who or what do we matter to? Is there a God we can talk to? Or is there a judging grandfather in the sky? Or is God really just an unimaginably immense Great Consciousness who knows how to do all the math to create all of this, and us? 

Those of us who are here now will probably not find the answers in his lifetime. And if we as a species don’t change our direction and commitment to honest concern and respect for each other and the planet, there there may not be many more generations to learn how. The plague years will finally pass someday, as others have done, and when we are together again, I hope we will talk about some things, seek to know what really matters, put aside what really doesn’t, and ask these questions together.

_______________________________________

If you are finding some questions drifting around in your mind, you may find Barbara Marx Hubbard’s work in Conscious Evolution fascinating, illuminating, and rather reassuring. Author, speaker, co-founder and president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, Hubbard posits that humanity is on the threshold of a quantum leap, if emerging humanity chooses to integrate the scientific, social, and spiritual capacities we now have, to address global crises.