Tuesday, September 8, 2009

For Terri

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the Master calls a butterfly."
Richard Bach

I started thinking about the Joni Mitchell song, Both Sides Now, when I read today's "Cloud" post over at Honor Yourself. Terri often writes about her morning walks. Before I'm even thinking about starting my day, Ter is up and moving. I'm not sure how far she walks but I'm guessing it's a lot further than my legs would be willing to take me on a regular basis. Terri isn't just a speedy, let's-get-this-thing-over-with kind of walker. Along her well-worn path, she stops to talk to her neighbors, check on construction workers, and commune with nature. When she gets to the half-way point, what she calls her "good morning world" spot, she turns around and heads back for home. But not before standing there, on the edge of a busy street and taking in the beauty of each day. Rain or shine this imaginative woman can somehow convince herself that she is "in Vermont, and the car sounds can be a river" by just looking up at the trees and sky.

Last week, as Hurricane Danny churned by our coastline, there were some pretty heavy storms around Jacksonville. The skies were alive with lightening shows and thunderous booms. The dark clouds looked like something out of a 1950's monster movie. I'm not sure why, but it always seemed to be storming when the lab-made creatures come to life. I guess things are just scarier on a dark, rainy day.

The fun thing about having a new car with a sun roof is I've got something cool to look at when I'm stopped at a red light. Dark and ominous or light and airy I've seen some pretty remarkable cloud formations. In honor of Terri and her ability to see beyond the clouds here are some photos that give meaning to the song. Can't you just hear Judy Collins singing in the background?

"Rows and flows of angel hair,
And ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere,
I've looked at clouds that way."

But now they only block the Sun,
They rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done,
But clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow,
It's cloud illusions I recall,
I really don't know clouds, at all. *

As I read it instead of sing it, the words are actually kind of depressing, aren't they. But I'm reminded of one of Sweetie's favorite books which isn't depressing at all. In fact it's kind of free floating letting you make of it what you will. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach is a book that I have to admit is a little over my head. I like my philosophy spoon fed, a little at a time. Illusions premise is that all reality is nothing more than an illusion we create for our own learning. Our realities are based on our perceptions.

Hmmm. Am I sitting on this couch typing or do I just think I am? Hmmm? You can see why I'm easily distracted and go straight to picking my cuticles when people begin to discuss topics like this. I'm pretty simple minded. If you can touch it, it's real. If you make it up, it's illusion.

That said, one of the neat things about Illusions is the accompanying Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul. To garner the great knowledge from the pint-sized book all you have to do is open it to any page and there you'll find all the information you'll need. "Hold a question in your mind," instructions Bach. "Now close your eyes, open the handbook at random and pick left page or right." *

Like Terri at her "good morning world spot," Sweetie used to start every day by opening up the handbook. Is it coincidence, or reality or illusion, that two people I love, know how and when to stop and open themselves up to the beauty and intelligence of the day. Then, prepared for what comes their way, they put one foot in front of the other doing what they have to do to make their world - our world - a better place?

Before I end this post, I think I'll try it. I've got my question (what do I need to learn today?) in mind. My eyes are closed. Hold on while I search the handbook for my answer.

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."

Now that's food for thought!

Wishing for you a day filled with puffy clouds, silver linings and no limitations,
Merry ME

* Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell, Clouds album, Elektra Records, 1969

*Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul, by Richard Bach, 2004, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., Inc.

1 comment:

terri said...

aww man this is soooo cool!
i JUST now saw it! and of all days!
i had to skip my walk this morning, but think i'd better get out there this afteroon!!!!

i loved this! THANK YOU, mary!!!!!