Monday, June 30, 2014

The Dreamer or the Dream?

 The Dreamer or the Dream?

As a figure in a dream I am at the mercy of the dreamer.  As the main character or supporting cast in a dream, I am ignorant and unaware that I have been created at the behest and whim of the dreamer. Whatever senseless meanderings her mind chooses to follow will sweep me along with the undercurrent.
Dorothy in Oz? Alice in Wonderland? They were encased in a seemingly impenetrable illusion. But, everything they perceived appeared real: people, animals, plants and trees, rainbows, tornadoes, rabbit holes.  Yet, each symbol was merely an apparition, a figment of Dorothy and Alice’s imaginations, their dreams. Why should my life, all of our lives be any different?
As the dreamer I have control.  As the dreamer I make decisions.  As the dreamer I am able to banish the banal and the outlandish, the upsetting and even the glorious. It’s all my choice.
As the dreamer I am aware of the dream and the characters.  I can choose to awaken.  Though the hangover from a mind-bending plot may leave me wheeling and off-center, I can still look back and remind myself, “It was just a dream.  No harm done.” And even if the pictures in my mind delight and exhilarate, I must still remind myself, “Darn, it was just a dream.”
With an appeal to my Source I can take back my mind from the eccentricities of the ego and place it lovingly and safely into the nurturing Hands of the Holy Spirit who will remind me,  “You are the dreamer, Precious One. Awaken.”
Photos by Barb Adams (c)

Friday, June 27, 2014

DON'T SMILE



DON’T SMILE




Can’t help it.  When I look at people, places and things, my very active mind frames them into a composition and I feel a surging need to snap a pic.  Given the opportunity, I’d walk around with my smart phone or even better, a 35mm camera attached to my body. 


I’m not sure when this began.  Maybe it was when my Aunt Dinah and Uncle Chinny gave me my first plastic Brownie camera.  I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. Or when my parents bought me a silver and black Instamatic with the innovative flashcube.  No, I can’t trace the bug back to then, but those incidents certainly sowed a seed.



It might have been when Carl gave me my first 35mm camera one Christmas. I’m sure that our kids rue that day.  I don’t have exact figures, but I’m guessing that I snapped close to a hundred pictures (each) of their proms.  “Enough, Mom!” came the words of gratitude from my ball-gowned, beautifully coiffed daughter.  And a couple of years down the road, some similar admonishment from her brother, the tuxedo clad, handsome young man.



I can’t help it!  I see in picture frames.  My grandchildren are now the targets of my lens.  I know the various poses and app-edited Kodak Moments number in the many hundreds.  So sue me!  Somebody’s gotta record every breath they take!  Right?



Nature grabs me, as well.  Out the back window, along the paths of my walks, on a retreat, a planned visit to the park, the butterfly that posed just for me.  I’m sure she was happy that I asked a total stranger to quickly step aside so that I could capture her various poses on the flower that beckoned Her Highness.  At least she didn’t yell for me to stop.  That beautiful monarch is now eternally enshrined in my ever-growing gallery.  “You’re welcome, m’Lady.”



Among the pics that I have, or will post on my blog, you can count on the biggest percentage being those that I snapped.  Thanks to my cousin Ray, who developed the Jazz photo app, I’ve been able to edit with ease and produce some exciting compositions. 

The few that are not part of my blog portfolio are those that depict both my grandchildren and few scenes of lightening or the sun.  (I must credit Clip Art for those.)  If my children grant me permission, and they don’t yell for me to put the blasted camera/phone down, I’ll share a few special moments with our little ones along with the thought of the day that has captured my attention.




Until then, DON’T smile.  I want to grab your image when you least expect to be snapped. Most often that’s when I catch the real you.


Photos by Barb Adams (c)




Thursday, June 26, 2014

For My Grandchildren

For My Grandchildren

Why Do I Love You?
I love you more than you could ever imagine, but
I want you to know 
that…

I love you not because of how you look.

I love you not because of how you sound, smell or feel.

I love you not because of what you know, or

what you might someday do for me.

I love you not because of what you have accomplished,

what you say, or

what you might become.

I love you not because of where you came from, or

who you may come to know.

I love you not because you love me.


So simple yet so profoundly stated:
I love you because you are Love,
and so am I.

Love is drawn to Itself.

So, we are drawn to each other.


And there is nothing you could ever do

that would cause me to stop loving you.



Your Nonna will love you, forever,
because 

Love Is
 and 
Always Shall Be.




Sunday, June 22, 2014

What is a Miracle?



“What is a miracle?” you ask.  I can only tell you what a miracle is according to A Course in Miracles, which I have been studying now for over three years. And, I can tell you that ACIM has had a profound, positive change on my life. 

Rather than attempt to paraphrase the Course, allow me to share a series of quotes from the Workbook section of the book. Interestingly, when I randomly opened the ACIM book prior to writing this, the title at the top of page 473, Part II asked, “What Is a Miracle?”  That’s how things happen in my life now.  Synchronicity abounds!

I’m going to offer some excerpts that, if you’re not a student of the Course, might make sense.


What is a Miracle? W-PII.13


A miracle is a correction.  It does not create, nor really change at all.  It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false.  1.1-3



A miracle contains the gift of grace, for it is given and received as one.  2.1



Forgiveness is the home of miracles. The eyes of Christ deliver them to all they look upon in mercy and in love.  3.1-2



The miracle is taken first on faith, because it implies and does not understand.  Yet faith will bring its witnesses to show that what it rested on is really there.  And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it, and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before; a world redeemed from what you thought was there. 4.1-3



Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die.  Now they have water.  Now the world is green.  And everywhere the signs of life spring up, to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality.  5.1-4



And the passage that caught my eye today that I also want to share with you:


Each lily of forgiveness offers all the world 
the silent miracle of love.  
W-PII.13.3.4

Photos by Barb Adams (c)


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Gift of Music



My father played guitar.  He had his own black and brown well worn six-string that he loved to strum and sing along with.  But, bowing to the demands of running his own business and raising a family in mid-twentieth century, the beloved instrument found itself stored in the beat up case that had housed it since he was a young man. 



I was in high school when folk music introduced itself to me, and I pulled Dad’s vintage guitar out his closet and started running my fingers down its out-of-tune strings. I had no idea how to make it sing, but felt somewhat fulfilled that I could rhythmically strum it.



In the mid-sixties, at the height of the folk music movement, I was a sophomore in college.  Housed on a dorm floor with like-minded friends, I delighted in hearing so many of them play the guitar and sing group harmony.  I was blown away. I had to learn to play.  It was then that a very dear friend bought me a baritone ukulele.  The beauty of this model of uke is that the four strings are tuned the same as the bottom four of a six-string guitar.  This made it much easier for me to learn the basic chords of most folk and early rock songs: G, Em, C, D7, and then move on more easily to a guitar.  From this family of chords in the key of G, I could join in just about any hootenanny or rock fest.  Add to that the fact that I sang, and still sing in the key of G, I was simpatico with my new wooden, finely constructed friend.  I reveled in finding some of the missing pieces of my personal puzzle: playing and singing music!



Late into many nights I pressed on the nylon strings and strummed, developing the necessary calluses on the tips of my fingers and memorizing the finger placement. By the time our little dorm group got together for the next songfest, I felt that I was right in the mix.



Playing guitar and singing have come to be stay-cations for my mind.  No matter where or when I pick up my guitar, I feel transported to a place of peace and joy.  I’m forever grateful to my dad for his gift of music.  It was yet another way for him to express his love.  And too, I am so thankful that I lived on Reynolds III with the most amazingly loving and giving women who shared what they knew and celebrated what each of us learned and contributed. 



Forty-five years later we gathered to celebrate, play and sing. We laughed. We harmonized.  We continued to teach each other about playing guitar and about what love truly means.



Life is good!

Top photo of Barb taken by Jeanie Berry (c)
Middle photo of Robbie and Barb taken by Sue Gavron (c)
Bottom picture of JH taken by Barb Adams (c)










Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Dreamed a Dream



I dreamed a dream that there was sin, attack, crucifixion and pain.

And my insides hurt.

I dreamed a dream where I was less-than, not-as-good-as, not accepted.

And my insides hurt.

I dreamed a dream where my brothers and sisters were separate from myself.

And my insides hurt.

I dreamed a dream where I judged them and they judged me.

And my insides hurt.



Then, I awoke.

I forgot the dream,

Remembered that my insides didn’t exist,

And that I…the true I could not be attacked.

I saw my brothers and sisters as myself, and I as them.

We experienced the mushrooming of Light 
vibrating in harmony with our Source.

And the essence of Love, Peace, and Joy pervaded our Unity.

Photo by Barb Adams (c)







Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Know You're Here



I know You’re here, so why do I look there?

I know You have all of the Answers, then why do I try to go it alone?

I know You will always reply, so why don’t I ask?

Too often I look to the magician of illusions

who extols in glee when I take that wrong turn.

Drat!

I know I should know.

I know because You know.

And because we are One.

I know.

Photo by Barb Adams (c)

Monday, June 9, 2014

"I AM, I said."


“I Am,” I said.

Title borrowed from the Neil Diamond song of the same name.






Master: “The Truth will set you free”. John 8:32

Student: “What is Truth?”

Master: “Truth is the Eternal Existence of God, or if you prefer to use the symbol, Source; Oneness with All that Is; Divine Love; Light, Abundance, Joy, and Grace. Truth is Now, the Reality that time and space, illusions of the mind, do not exist.

Student: “OK.  So, the Truth will set me free from what?”

Master: “Fear.”

Student: And what is fear?

Master: Fear is a reaction to forgetting our Truth.  

Student: When we forget our Truth we become fearful? I’m not quite sure I understand.

Master: Fear is the illusion that the Truth of our identity is not Love. Fear is the attempt to move forward in the darkness while losing sight of Truth. Fear shows itself as an attack on oneself or others, on that which does not exist.

Student: That’s pretty heavy. So, what is darkness?

Master: Darkness is the illusion of the absence of Light. Darkness is being in a state of forgetfulness of Truth.

Student: You seem to speak in riddles, Master.  Please tell me, what is Light?

Master: Light is an aspect of Truth. Or, Truth is an aspect of Light. It is an Expression of the Eternal Existence of God, our Source. Light reflects the Oneness of All that Is through Divine Love. Abundance, Joy, and Grace are Rays of the Light of Truth. Light exists in Reality, not in the illusion of time and space.

Student: Ah, I think I’m starting to get it.  So, I guess the biggest question of all is, what is God?

Master: My student, as you study and apply the teachings, you will return to provide me with your definition of God. For now, I can give you only the abridged version of that which you ask. This is because attempting to define God, our Source would take more Knowledge than even the Masters comprehend. For now, I offer you this:

God, or our Source is Eternal Existence, the Creator and the Expression of Oneness with All that Is. God is Divine Love, Light, Abundance, Joy, and Grace. In the Reality of Now, God Exists in all Creations and all Creations Exist in God. To recognize God is to recognize Truth.

GOD IS

YOU ARE

I AM

ONE

Updated: October 23, 2017



Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Miracle at Twenty-Two Thousand Feet


A Miracle at Twenty-Two Thousand Feet

Written June 6, 2013




Yesterday, as I was boarding a very small commercial plane (one seat on my side of the aisle and two seats on the other side) for my return trip from Long Island, a woman with her two five year-old girls boarded right after me.  The mom sat next to one of her little girls diagonally behind my seat and the other little girl sat directly behind me.

The mom spoke unusually loud and aggressively to her little girls. “Yes, I know you’re tired and I’m tired too, so just sit there and be quiet!  No, you can’t eat now!” were among the many harsh statements to her girls. 

My initial reaction was that I was angry at how this mom spoke to those precious little ones and my impulse was to turn around and tell her so.  Then, her daughter behind me started kicking my seat and slamming on her tray table. I jumped as I was startled by these actions. Again I felt anger, but I didn’t turn around.

Enter the Course:  I closed my eyes and said to myself, “Nothing real can be threatened. (The love within this woman and her girls thrives within them as it does in me.) Nothing unreal exists. (These statements by the mom and the kicking of my seat do not exist) Herein lies the Peace of God.” I repeated this statement over and over again as I visualized the light within each of them and myself. 

Following the repetition of this initial Course statement, and with my eyes still closed visualizing the four of us I said to myself, “Rest in peace,” and “We are love.”

When I was done, I turned around and in a soft voice and a smile said to the mom, “You and your girls must be very tired.”

“Yes,” she replied.  “We’ve been up since 4:00 AM and we’ll still have an hour ride to my sister’s after we land in Rochester.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said.  “I hope that you’ll be able to get some rest now.”

What happened next is the miracle.  I no longer felt angry.  The little girl sitting next to her mom fell asleep.  The mom began talking more softly and gently to the little girl behind me who soon fell asleep.  And the mom then sat there for the remainder of the flight quietly reading.