A Crisis of Napoleon and an Aging Coffee Pot


What do Napoleon, maple syrup, and an aging coffee pot have in common? According to my tangled dendrites, they have crises!

Some years ago, I read a book pondering the “what-ifs” of history. Among them was the odd occurrence of early winter falling upon Napoleon’s naval fleet. The author claimed that–had the frozen waters of the French port not immobilized his ships–America would be French instead of English. Crisis! (Understandably, Europeans probably have a much different version of this tale.)

And then there was our aging coffee pot staring weakly at me this morning, daring me to make one last cup of lukewarm coffee. Crisis! Instead, I opted for black tea with honey and lime–something I was first served on a houseboat off the coast of Kerala. Accompanied by a toaster waffle with real syrup and butter, it made for a happy breakfast. (My husband and I have decided that life is too short not to enjoy real food.)

The Greeks coined the term crisis to describe moments of decision, while just yesterday I had quoted President Kennedy’s observation that the Chinese character for crisis juxtaposed danger with opportunity. Today, I’m going to try embracing my crises in hopes of discovering what wonders might lie ahead.

What wonders have crises created for you?

Love, ❤




Erase the irrational thinking


No doubt this post will be rather controversial, and if it gets very few likes, so be it.

In my experience, the so-called rational mind can get us tangled into a convoluted mess of he-said, she-said, and difficult-to-verify understandings. It seems that the more we try to think our way out, the greater the problems become. All politics aside, one candidate has a little mantra that does seem rather rational: “If you make it a practice to always be honest, you don’t have to remember as much.” My next thought went to wondering what the corollary statement would be–something like the more you add to the story, the less truth can be identified. (I’m sure there are a gazillion other possible versions!)

My first exposure to the field of psychology was in high school. The more I heard in this elective class, the more I was appalled to think that the reasons I was who I was–or thought the way I did–were no different from the ways a dog was conditioned to think. It scared the crap out of me! My conclusion was that I could trust myself no more than I could trust the people who tried to teach me. The idea that there might be no moral or ethical compass that could be trusted felt like the ultimate darkness.

Have the fields of psychology and sociology served us well? It seems to me that in the end, all of our doubt, hypotheses, testing, and theory-making tend to validate the original idea that love is the human activity that prevails above all. If we could ever figure this out, the learning, the information, the governments, the protections might become a moot point.

Perhaps the best way to affect a breakthrough to a world beyond the “isms” is to simply stop thinking about them. Stop talking about them. Erase them. Get busy and work to take care of ourselves and each other.  That sounds a lot like forgiveness.

(I’m going to go clean out my closet now.)



Gracefully weathering the tides of change


Fact checking: real, or not?

With so many sources of information available these days, how do we determine what we allow into our lives? Who is to say what is real? Reality is a different experience for each of us. When do we walk on by, allowing tidal forces to wash and renew?

Despite the voices proclaiming fear and ruin, cities are reinventing themselves. Industrial towns like Pittsburgh and Detroit are reawakening and allowing the tides of natural decay to take their course, choosing to learn how to stay in the present, learning to live in individual realities. Churches are re-centering: the third largest denomination in the United States (per the 2010 Census) is NON-denominational. They seem to be focusing on helping us deal with our individual realities. (You can tap on the link for details.)

Enlightenment: real, or not? Nearly every self-help source, religion, healer, and wizened person recommends the practice of meditation. This is a world-wide trend, friends. It is finding our higher selves, becoming part of something much bigger: enlightenment. And it is growing. We are allowing it because “it” works.  “It” weathers all tides.

Meditation, like our very existence, can put us into a tailspin if we try to make sense of it. Some people know it as understanding grace. If we can just stop and learn how to live from a foundation of mediation (learning how to be), the puzzle of life solves itself. We, ourselves, can’t do it. Our energy, our peace, our meaning, flows from a source we can’t define. When we can accept our “nothing-ness” alongside our “something-ness” we connect with ourselves, with creation, with our Creator–even if we have no concept of what that means. We just accept.

Allowing the tides…

I love the metaphor of Jesus words (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV):

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

My father rode the changing tide of farming. By the time he retired, he was harvesting with huge machines that did all the work he remembered once doing by hand. Fortunately, he had taken time to tell me stories of farming with horses: how he and his father and brothers took care to choose compatible teams, how one horse became a leader and would nip encouragement to the other when it wasn’t pulling its own share, and how, if a horse strained to go ahead, the result could become painful and destructive.

Meditation allows us to settle into our yoke and harness for the day. If we strain beyond, our futile efforts become painful. If we ignore the gentle tug of the reins, we antagonize our driver and our team.  Jesus told his disciples to go into privacy and close the door to pray. He said words were unnecessary. When we stop and open ourselves to possibility– when we cease trying to be, we learn to be as we were intended.

As always, your views, experiences an comments are always welcome and encouraged!







You are just wrong! (Uh…you’re not?)

Evil means UPPITY.

I was raised to believe there was an absolute distinction between right and wrong-good and evil: I was told, unequivocally, to choose, and choose correctly. I’ve thought for a long time that there was a little glitch in that line of thinking-it seemed like everyone had a different version of what was right and what was wrong.

Shocker alert: the original meaning of EVIL is–get this–uppity! Uh oh. So whenever I make a decision of what is right over what is wrong, that means that I’m making a judgement for right, and everyone else is wrong??? Doesn’t that mean that when I am thinking that I am better, for having chosen correctly, I am actually being uppity? Uh oh. I am the evil one???

My head is in whiplash mode! duel

Reprogramming My Judgmental World View

My spaghetti-brain started stirring itself into quite a knot. Here I am in all of my knotty-ness. Uhhhh….naughty-ness?

  • The old Adam and Eve story was simply people deciding they were better than someone?
  • So…when I start thinking other people might be bad–that’s why I suddenly feel like hiding–because I might be bad? (Hello SHAME. I need some clothes.)
  • Now I’m ashamed and I can’t look people straight in the eye. I don’t trust them. They probably don’t trust me. (Hello prejudice and bigotry. And loneliness.)

Entertaining the Possibility of a World Without Judgment

Continue reading “You are just wrong! (Uh…you’re not?)”

Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making (or Don’t Judge the Judge)

via Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making

Disclaimer: my spaghetti-brain thoughts will probably work best if you can find a good colander, i.e. “water go, noodle no”)
– -Requoted from my son’s personal collection of HyVee-aisle inqueries


My notes to self to note:

  1. Don’t judge the Judge.
  2. If I judge the Judge, the task will take me to task.
  3. The task of an unfiltered result will most certainly result in an insult.
  4. Then, the insults might feed the feed.
  5. Although the Twitter Feed could stand taking a new stand,
  6. I can’t be sure– but what if the stands of followers record the record?
  7. Oh,  The Record! That change could change everything!
  8. Umm, on the other hand, such a change might have too much might.
  9. So, I just might mind having to change my mind.
  10. Yeah, I’d better not judge the Judge.

On the other hand, I probably owe you an explanation…

I’ve been sidelined trying to get a handle on judgement. Maybe you can help? Promise: all responses welcome–seriously, no judgement here–other than reasonable courtesy, of course. As a blogging newbie, I’m gathering that you will have to take the extra step to to visit my blog to reply–so–my apologies.    Continue reading “Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making (or Don’t Judge the Judge)”