Staying in the Now

Saturday I visited one of my elderly clients at his facility. He was on his bed with his eyes closed. I sat next to him and waited. He opened up his eyes and smiled. He doesn’t know who I am. He has dementia. However, he never questions who I may be. He never asks. He is forever present.

This man continues to be a teacher. I refer to him as Yoda. A few months ago, when the state appointed him to us to be his guardian representative, I went to his house to get a few things before everything would be disbursed and sold. He had already been placed in a facility. So I went to his apartment and gathered personal items.
There were no signs of a past life. He is a minimalist and everything was very neat. He was a photographer by profession and had many cameras but no personal pictures. He never married or had children. He has no one. Leaving his place puzzled me. It was as if he rented space in his life. He lived in the present moment.
And…he continues to live presently. When I sit with him he never shares of his past, as if he had none. He doesn’t ask of his future, as if it’s irrelevant. We talk about the weather or food. Every so often I ask about photography and I am reminded he is still taking mental pictures of the present moment. He is available to see light and a world only seen through a small lens. He doesn’t care what’s beyond the view.
I brought him a box of chocolates for Christmas. He opened it up and stared at it, carefully observing the shapes. He was grateful but I was more grateful in noticing the moments of his discovery. His beautiful green eyes lit up with each bite.
I want that. I want more of what he embodies. I want to stay present without questioning the future. I want to stay here without reliving my personal stories. Through his gentleness I am recharged. I am given hope that we can all stay in the now.
We get to decide how we show up. We willingly get to participate on this journey however we feel we must. So, I must show up like that…completely immerse in what is happening this moment without rushing it. It’s like taking a photograph and capturing that second forever. Now!

A Divine Present


It comes,
like a tornado
with words crashing
my brain.

There is no safety.
No net.
No prelude.
No warning.

Every aspect of my spirit
gets poured
onto a page with
a surprise of knowledge,
a magical gift —

from somewhere else,
some mystical wisdom.

And I let it flow,
taking forward everything in its path,
with dry rain
of words,
of me,
of an incomplete life…

wrapped in divinity.

The Need to Find Home


“Wisdom tells me I am nothing.  Love tells me I am everything.  And between the two my life flows.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj

I have been self-absorbed lately, so much to the point of trying to find purpose on a life I’ve created from love, faith and the awareness of lessons. Ever since I was a child I have always known what I wanted from life. I’ve never been without goals. Except now I am looking for “home” through the internal maze of consciousness. I am not depressed.  I have bouts of sadness at times because of loss, changes, and those who have come and gone, leaving me to question my humanity. I am left to question my character and how I have been part of others and their drama. But, I am aware that we all live through this because it sums the total of our lives. Without reflection and deep introspect we are nothing.

I was driving back from town early this morning and out of the blue, tears began to flow. I was overcome with joy, giddiness and something else. I know there is no such thing as “out of the blue” because inside of each one of us we know the answer to every moment, feeling, and choice. Our psyche will form false illusions through ego, but we all have the answers. I pulled to the side of the road shaking off “the whatever issue” that was strangulating me. Even though it felt good it also felt sad. It is that “whatever” attitude that brought me into releasing the tears. I was admiring the scenery coming up the mountain as the sun was casting minimal light through the fog making the bright colored leaves even more magnificent. I began to say the word, “home,” out loud.

I am home. At this moment I look back at a some very difficult years. I’ve had to re-establish my sense of identity and my purpose as things have evolved. Every change and challenge has pushed me to question my sanity, beliefs, and connections. I’ve made plans and now have had to deviate from many of them. However, the new journey has been delicious because it has shown me other parts of myself. But, at times thoughts transpire and I recognize them as small hiccups that push the internal needs to frustration.

The Divine has reshaped the map to the future with some humorous points. At times I see the irony and humor in the childish idea that I have control of my life. The joke is on me! I realize what home is now. I see it through the faces of loved ones, the places I’ve lived and the memories collected throughout my days. Home is deeper than a place of residence. It is something in me that remembers and settles with ease. This could be through anything. Home is the essence of who I am.

Something happened when I had the near-death experience almost three years ago. Something significant came back with me deleting all sense of fear. Normal problems now seem ridiculously dramatic circumstances trying to push my higher evolution to learn quicker. In this state of awkwardness I let things fall too easily at times, while at other times they grab a hold of me and suck the air out leaving a vast emptiness with answers to no questions. I don’t understand the struggle here on earth. I don’t comprehend the suffering. Where I went in those moments of leaving my physical body I was at peace.  I was engulfed by a light of love. Nothing compares to that. And this morning as I witnessing the reds, oranges and yellows on the mountains, I recognized that sense of awesomeness that must be experienced as I let go. I keep surrendering with constant clarity that whatever is ahead is rigged in my favor.

I want to live fully. I want to live to the highest desire of my authentic soul. I want to live with passion even when I have no clue to what is ahead. I want to watch sunrises and sunsets as often as I can. I want to see my children grow old, experiencing the magnificence of life. I want my friends around me through the tough and easy times. I want to drink wine, slack off, chase fairies at night, have fun, and still be responsible to know better. I want to keep waking up every morning to the smell of this body aging, growing, and expanding. I want my mate to hold me, touch me gently, wipe my cares and tell me that we will be together until we are not. I want to be guided my synchronicity and serendipity. I want to live a life that is meaningful to that light I witnessed as snow was falling outside of the hospital. I want to continue to hear autumn leaves wrestling while mimicking the sound of rain. I want to experience the changing of four seasons for sixty-something more years. I want to look in the mirror and see the best of me that no other person will ever see. I want to meet strangers and give them a smile to take with them. I want to continue to want things that money can’t buy. I want to stop the urgency of hurt in others and let them know that they are not alone.

Life is truly a bitch at times, but we get this incredible opportunity to make it whatever we want. This is our home. This is my home. Mass consciousness carries energy and it’s time to alter the negative vibes and make them positive ones.

I have become little in my “knowing” while constantly being bombarded by my guides and the remnants of passing souls on a day-to-day basis. It’s not easy to live among the living and still have a foot firmly planted through the veils of reality. I returned from that other dimension with a keen awareness of the miracle of consciousness. There is no description that can do justice to the world outside of this physical one.

Even all these years later I try to make sense of my need to go home when I see beauty unfolding as I did this morning. I continue to struggle with fitting in my body while feeling comfortable in my skin and those around me. I have this achy feeling of not belonging in this reality where the complaints outweigh the contentment in humanity. I haven’t a clue of what I want, as I used to, for so long in my life. There is no grounding until we wake up as spiritual beings. I feel that clearly nudging at me through meditation. There are people truly battling the claws of death through illnesses and they are holding on to life with passion (sometimes through fear). I am blessed to have a chance to stay here and breathe one more day.

We, in this human form, waste so much precious time expecting others to make us happy, tell us what we need and should do, and give us a reason to wake every morning. We live with constant stress of perfection that doesn’t exist. We want to know without having to walk the path. There’s no way! It’s better to live with the wisdom of experience, the open heart of love and the in-between world of accepting that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. It’s okay. It is in that world that, I guess, I find home time and time again. The sadness comes and goes. Joy and grace visit just as often. I will continue to move through this world holding tightly to what I do know is true for me.

As I type this I am witnessing the essence of earth dancing outside. This is the quietude of presence that assures me that what’s to come is beyond anything I could imagine. It’s in that anticipation that the willingness to continue spoils me and brings me joy. Won’t you meet me there? Grab a hold of your truth and let it evolve into the best you there will ever be. Your thoughts are ripples in the waves of mass consciousness. Together we will make this place home!

The Experiment of Time


experiment of time

Some years are pretty uneventful with life changes. You go through the daily routines, family issues, keeping the same jobs, everyone is healthy, same friends, and life is pleasantly stable. But, there are some years that come in like a massive tornado storming through everything and twisting your life around. This year has been such a year. Truth be told, the past two years have changed everything in me…drastically.

In a year’s time I’ve lost loved ones to misunderstandings and family gossip/issues. I’ve cleared up my friends’ list and stuck with deleting those who didn’t really show me the utmost love and respect. I got married, still in the process of finalizing the adoption of my granddaughter, closed down a business that was running for over 5 years, moved to a sweet mountain cottage, returned to work for others after having had my own businesses for over 20 years, began writing professionally as well, and awakened to many different possibilities that continue to appear every day. I have seen dearest of friends endure difficult life transformations; my children make painful choices; dealt with major stresses involving mental illness and destruction in loved ones; and realized how much I have enabled many around me with my mother-hen personality. Things have changed with all the awareness. A year has brought me closer to many whom I wouldn’t have been closed to before. I have met amazing souls.  Most importantly I have made peace with me. I’ve forgiven myself for a lifetime of self-deceit. I have had to really take a look at how I participated in all those experiences. This has been an experiment of time and how reality has been molded by my awareness. I had to be honest with my spirit and sometimes that’s not a pretty sight.

I have had several other things happen this year: personal ones that have deepened my faith, spirituality and belief system. I have entered into the wise years of midlife with some acceptance that I KNOW NOTHING of what I was able to articulate for most of my life. I know zero…zip…nada!  I’m okay with that. It’s actually quite perfect. I am learning to keep my mouth shut to those around me of things I feel, but my ears opened to the things I can share. In essence, I have molded my higher wisdom with my sarcastic soul. I am no longer afraid to reach out to a friend or stranger to give a message from a loved one who has passed on. I don’t shun my gifts like I used to.  But, in spite of all these amazing awareness, my heart has been broken beyond words, betrayed, healed and enlarged because of such acceptance, conviction and awareness. This has been a year of transformations.

I am empowered by a few things: the surrendering of pain, the consenting of change, and the reward of letting go. It isn’t easy! I am still very human and learning is a constant complex forte. I think if anything the lessons have continued to show themselves about letting go, but I am consciously aware of them. I continue to be selfish with my time, even now that it seems to move quicker with a little one in tow, and the solitary moments of having Divinity visit every morning. I require time alone to feel the union of nature, divinity, and my spirit. I am trying to find balance where there seems to be a disproportion. But, it is all a matter of perception. I have always wanted this moment and this life. I feel gratitude embracing me when I step back to realize I have received everything I’ve manifested in my dreams.

A year in a life can make a huge impact. Anniversaries of hurt and betrayal stay for a while. The year is over. The mourning has subsided. I have so much more to enjoy ahead of this journey. All hours work with the days whether we accept them or not. Each day works beautifully within the weeks. Each week flatters the consecutive junction of months. And, each month gathers in triumph as the sum of a year. It is nothing in the scope of reality. Everything is an illusion of how we choose to live our lives. Every lesson this year has been inspired with surrendering, love, compassion and most of all connection of self and spirit. The greatest exercise has been in loving the tenderness of time. Holding my two year old and feeling her joy, sadness, love, and spirit has been the icing on the cake this year. Writing and expressing myself has been the most powerful awakening experience. What better way to begin a new chapter?  May your painful endings connect to wonderful new beginnings…always!

Spiritual Deprivation

magical morning

When asked about the common subjects people talk to me about I always say “Love and Spirit.” People will share their love and stories without filter. It’s a given! They will unload information in a heart beat. The second subject is always along the lines of spiritual deprivation. Folks are in need of magic, mysticism, miracles, and faith. They want to know that there are others out there with the same curiosity and open-conscious level of understanding. They want to know that this is just not all of it…you know, the concept of living just to pay bills. Because, frankly, it’s not!

I am blessed to know (and my list continues to grow) hundreds of spiritual people. They are from all walks of life: Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and even non-denominational. I also know many religious folks who come across as spiritual but in truth they are all mind and no heart. To me spirituality is having a compassionate heart tied to a faith in something greater than ourselves that is non-violent and non-judgmental. If you are judging, criticizing and point all sorts of fingers to another while reciting God’s name, well darling, you aren’t spiritual. You are something else. Unfortunately there are a lot of religions based on the mastery of manipulation and the heart has to be taken out of the equation. You cannot love and hate at the same time. Impossible!

A few friends showed up this weekend from Florida and Georgia. Ah…the beauty of entertaining like-minded souls is in the allowance. We were able to openly discuss so many subjects of the conscious mind. And the thing that kept coming up was spiritual deprivation and starvation. We are not connecting one on one with others. I know they are millions feeling this massive shift of awareness, however, due to the overwhelming negativity of the pointing-fingers syndrome, no one discusses their faith with anyone. No one wants to be ridiculed. No one wants to die. The deprivation grows larger and before you know we are all scattered and left to fend for ourselves and spirit.

Spirituality is a lonely path. My steps cannot be walked by you and vice versa. We can, however, compare the paths. We can discuss the different ways we come into prayer, contemplation and meditation. We can share experiences that are beyond this realm. We can go deep into conversations about stars, planets, and cosmic energy. We can trust in each other when someone says, “Yeah, I was back there talking to the fairies and then Stevie, the unicorn, brought me out of the forest.” Just because you haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I haven’t experienced homelessness but I sure believe in it. I haven’t experienced war but I now it’s there. So, these are folks that want more. They crave for spiritual knowledge. They eat, sleep, watch and read all sorts of information trying to rationalize or enrich their faith. For centuries religions have done this. It’s part of our DNA, we must grow into the unknown. It’s pretty sad that in today’s world we can still be deprived by the simplest forms of human needs: mind, body and spirit.

I don’t have answers on how to find more spiritual connections. I really haven’t a clue. At least ten times a week I get a message from someone asking for spiritual retreats, meet-ups, or just comments on wanting connections with Spirit. I can only tell you that at times what you are looking into others is right inside of you if you just sit long enough to listen. There are some rough days I get up at 3AM angry as a hungry bear. Anger is not an emotion that suits me. It actually lowers every part of my cellular composition so I try real hard to just avoid the emotion. But, when it grabs a hold of me in the middle of the night, shaking me violently I know I must get to the nearest dark room, sit my butt down and disconnect from it. I am determined to raise my vibration to the highest form of love and dispel that emotion. I need to quiet the ego bitchiness and center myself to what matters. It’s in those moments that Spirit visits me. It’s in those precious minutes that the universe cradles me with unbelievable forms of awareness through love. And, it’s also in those times that forgiveness arrives and I can let go of all that is causing me such turmoil and chaos. I walk away feeling like me. I am still a spiritual being having a human experience. I am choosing to make it less dense with emotional baggage.

You have the answers to all your spiritual questions. You carry with you the spiritual knowledge to change and feed and enhance your life through divine guidance. You are all there is. Sure it’s awesome to share with others. Heck yeah! It’s comforting to know you aren’t bat-ass crazy and the looney farm has a room with your name on it waiting for you to check yourself in. That’s always wonderful to acknowledge. Likes attract likes. If you want more spiritually grounded individuals in your life you have to become one yourself without the fear of being scrutinized. You also have to look around your circle and realize when you have to let go of toxic energy. You have to put yourself in the arms of respect and self-worth. What good will it do you to find spiritual folks and then return to a place that destroys the yummy energy? Go love you. Go believe in yourself. Go be spiritual through the forest, by the shoreline, over the desert, on a mountain top. Just BE! You got this!

Captivating Bodhi

Sun reclaiming sky

I opened my eyes

to the darkness

of solitude.

Compassion walked in,

Truth followed,

and together they laid

warming my chill,

embracing the vastness of silence.

I began whispering to Love,

awakening my spirit

to this bewitching freedom.

They engulfed me with light,

without questions,

welcoming the morning hours

as the sun reclaimed the sky.

Finally, I breathed with ease…

this is the life

I dreamed about a zillion moments


in an older version of myself.

I am home…

I am.

Cut yourself some slack!


Many years ago I had a spiritual teacher who said to me that whenever I was spinning out of control with my emotions to think of the word JOY and focus on it.  She said, “When you truly focus on the word, especially out loud, you cannot help but smile.”  It’s true! To this day when I think of joy I do smile.  It brings me into a momentary state of euphoria.  On the same token I have found that there are other words that bring up images when I think of them.  One of them is “chaos.”  Just the thought of that word brings an image of a tornado and I can feel my emotions caught up in destruction.  This holiday season has been full of moments that fit the image of the word chaos.

Now, in the midst of beginning anew, I am trying to recollect my sensitiveness.  It’s been a hell of a few weeks with some lovely moments as well.  Things have come up and out in more ways than I care to rationalize.  Folks have been hurt in my presence, sometimes because of my own stupid and careless behavior, when chaos has been around. Other times just because the cosmic energy has shifted and negativity has visited from elsewhere.  I take full responsibility for my ego stepping in at times.  Self preservation is not necessarily a timing friend, especially when I should be reciting the word JOY over and over in those moments.  I forget to do it through the heat of uncomfortable situations.

But, this is the thing about being human: we make mistakes.  We all get caught in the tornado of emotions, mostly with things that don’t pertain to the present moment.  The holidays, because they are full of expectations and high energy events involving food, drinking, and company, can add to the topsy-turvy of emotional disorder.  Things are magnified in ways that make no sense.  It’s in those times that perhaps my hippie ways should take others by the hand and start singing “KUMBAYA” or chanting “Om…Namaste!”  I seem to forget that as well.

I sit now in the middle of the night trying to gather my thoughts with the word JOY!  A smile appears on my face but my heart isn’t really feeling it.  I have been running on empty for weeks now.  I have to admit that I will not do this again next year…not like this.   I cannot blame this on anyone but myself.  And, for this I do apologize to those around me.   In order for me to feel the word JOY I must find the right circumstances and events that pertain to it.

In the name of chaos I can only think that stress gathers in moments of presumption, expectancy and misunderstandings.  What is it about the holidays that make people react in such hyper and sensitive ways?  I have heard from others that this particular year has been truly a challenging one.  I have my own preconceptions about the season and had hoped to skip it altogether.  I vow next year to do just that because a tropical island isolated from the world will be the best cure for holiday blues.

I leave this small reflection upon a page:  “I am responsible for myself.  I am accountable for my behavior.  I am fully conscious of my actions and reactions.  I promise to treat each person, including myself, with sacredness, compassionate love, recognition and understanding through the open heart of Divinity.”

To all of you who have been stressed or hurt this past season, cut yourself some slack.  It’s the holidays. Make your own mantra of truth and forgive yourself and those who have come into your spaces.  It’s a new day, a new year, and the best time to make amends with your spirit.  We are all humans taking each other home through mistakes, lessons, and stumbles. We can try to erase the chaos and focus on the joy.  No one said it was easy….but it’s sure worth the journey.  Mucho love to you!

Sacred Sunday


Sundays are sacred.  Even though it is usually the busiest day here at our retreat center, it is still a day of holiness, reflection, and serenity. I feel it when I wake.  There’s a great amount of mysticism attached to this day.  It is a day that allows me to presently partake in the week’s lessons. This has been quite a week.  I have had many friends contact me for prayer, help, and answers.  The only thing I can do is to listen.  The only way I can help is to have an open heart to the stories, concerns, obstacles and events.  I cannot tell anyone what to do when it comes to their life’s journey.  It doesn’t matter what their guides are saying, what I am feeling, how I see the events unfolding, I will not intervene in the gift of self-knowledge.  I find that just listening to another brings them the awareness they need to find answers.  What good is me telling you what needs to be done? I know nothing of how you are truly feeling. I am here for support.  That’s all I can do.  And, whenever I do say something of divine intelligence, believe me, it isn’t from me. I take no responsibility for those moments that there is no filtering. I am not a prophet. I am not psychic.  I am not a therapist.  I am not a medium. I don’t have direct connection to Spirit.  I am just like you. Everything that’s in me you also have in you.  The only difference is that I truly listen at this point in my life.  Call it being disciplined because I don’t like the alternative of feeling like “bad luck” is on my side.  I follow my gut.

I light candles.  My friends hear this all the time.  “I will light a candle for you.”  I literally have a huge drawer with tea candles and when someone close to me needs direction I get one and light it.  I believe light casts out darkness allowing the flow of clarity.  I say a prayer for this person.  I have a small ritual of sending faith, support and love.  I recite the prayer of protection and keep the candle lit until it burns out.  This week my table has been lit like a catholic church.  And, with each individual candle I ask for divine wisdom, patience, clarity, faith and God’s hands to take the best possible action for their situation.  I also ask for the gift of knowledge.  You always know what needs to be done.  Sometimes you just need that extra soul to reassure you that you got this!

YOU GOT THIS!  You ALWAYS have the answers. If you feel that you don’t it is because you are not listening.  Stop what you are doing. Let go of the fear (false evidence appearing real).  Let go of the anxiety. Allow your thoughts to align with God.  You cannot control a single thing.  But, you can allow for God, the Universe, the Sacredness, the Divine, Jesus, Buddha, (whatever and however you call the higher wisdom) to do what must be done.  We aren’t magicians when it comes to getting rid of problems.  It’s not a one-two-three-hocus-pocus trick.  You have to continue to keep your energy at the highest of pulsation and frequencies.  We manifest through positive vibration and thoughts.

Loss, health issues, marriage problems, finances, desperation and a million other challenges come and go in our lives.  We participate on this on-going experiment called life. Each one of us has a duty to ourselves and others around us to connect, love, empathize, pray and unite.  I am humbled and honored to be part of your life.  I will continue to light my candles for clarity, openness, acceptance and wisdom.  We are not here alone.  We are never alone.  Have a blessed day!

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Knowledge from the TMNT


I am always asked by those who meet me and learn of my fanatic attraction to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, “Why, Millie?  What is up with a grown-ass woman and this insane allure to these turtles? How do they play into your spiritual ways?”

I believe the fascination stems from the time my children (first two boys) were little.  I was in my early twenties and they loved them.  I grew up with their attraction and the movies.  These little green dudes take me back to a time when it was just me and them (the three musketeers).  We did everything together.  As I have evolved into “later years” I have also noticed that the enchantment with these four characters goes way deeper.  The four of them symbolize four types of personalities.  We have them all or maybe a few. Nonetheless, they are four distinctive personas of our psyches.  Let me share in case you have been under a rock and do not know about these magical ninjas. I have learned to see many folks in relations to these fantastic creatures:

Raphael, the red turtle is the quiet one.  At first he seems grumpy, shy, overly assertive, and ridiculously intense.  I’ve always had issues with this one!  Don’t know exactly why but his artistic ways flaunt the quality of many creative people: internal, seclusion, and withdrawal mind.  He seems to suffer from a social disorder but he doesn’t.  His silence makes us think of him as the narcissist of the group.  He is the thinker, the loner who finds that wallowing and contemplating could get things done.  Raphael seems to always be struggling because he doesn’t know how to let things go.  Spiritually he is the one who cannot move from the past into the future because he can’t find forgiveness.  This guy needs an ego-buster!

Then there is Leonardo, the blue turtle.  This is the go-getter.  He is the ambitious, charismatic and responsible persona.  As a leader and “A” type personality some would consider him the royal pain.  I can relate to this guy.  He is the over-achiever striving for perfection.  He would be a great parent and/or guardian.  OCD would probably be part of his personality.  If you want to get something done, Leo is your guy.  His logical mind solves projects ASAP.  Whatever he puts his mind to do he gets it done with gusto!  I bet Congress could use someone like Leo right about now.

The purple one is Donatello.  This is the analytical mathematical genius.  If TMNT meets the Big Bang Theory this guy would totally relate to Sheldon!  Don is the geeky nerd who knows it all in theory and also knows how to bring it to practical modalities from philosophy to science. Everyone needs a techie guy like this.  He has a way of solving the most complicated puzzles.  He would probably struggle with spirituality due to his need for concrete answers.  This guy could work as an analyst for NASA.

Ah, and then there is my favorite orange dude: Michelangelo!  This guy walks into any room and everyone loves him.  He knows no strangers.  He will talk to a tree and make the weeds laugh under it.  He loves the outdoors, hiking, playing and being among others.  If anything I could see Mikey owning an adventure-tour company, a retreat center, performing in the arts, or anything that brings people together.  He is the prankster, the comedian and the one you would go to get a huge laugh.  He is spiritually connected to joy! This guy, well, I can truly relate to him.  He fits right into the hippie scene in Asheville. I want to be more like Michelangelo in the second half of my life.

I believe that we all have one or more qualities of the TMNT.  Just like other superheroes (although I have been in some heated discussions with real comic-know-it-all’s that say these aren’t superheroes) I can get lost in their Cowabunga tactics.

I have learned to let go and enjoy the process while watching their take on many situations.  Yes, they are teenagers with some rambunctious behavioral issues and that’s why Splinter (the rat) is guiding them into adulthood.  But, the reality is that if we could all carry just a little bit from each persona life would be sweeter.  It’s a rare moment that doesn’t bring me to laughter when I see something with a TMNT.  I step into a fantasy world and ask myself, “What would Michelangelo do under these circumstances?”  Then I realize that pizza always fixes everything…!

Passing of Knowledge

Yesterday I went to my favorite used-bookstore to replenish a book I lent to someone and was never returned.  I love books.  I am very careful to who I lend them to, because I get very attached to them.  I highlight them, make notes, doggie-ear them, and truly put them through use.  I give a new life to them once they are in my possession.  A good book is like entering another realm of imagination through knowledge.

In my previous life and home I had a two-story library made in beautiful wood panels with a spiral staircase to get to the second level.  It came with the house.  It was the reason I bought the house.  I loved that library.  I always felt like Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  It was an extraordinary room.  When it was time to move out of that house in Orlando I had no problem parting from everything.  I sold things quickly but when it came to my books, well I had a minor meltdown.  For the six years I lived in that house I filled two floors of books.  Everything was shelved by authors, subjects, and favorites.  It was a book-lover’s dream.

When I donated the majority of the books I had chest palpitations, cold sweats and a sadness that only a mother knows when she’s leaving her children at school for the first time.  I brought lots of boxes with me to North Carolina and eventually had to purge a lot more due to the lack of space.  I left opened boxes with many novels in the office of our retreat center during the first summer so people could just take them.  As each book got a new owner I felt better.  These little gems found others to enjoy them.  Whatever was left I took to the used bookstore for credit and those rejected I donated to charity.

And so, now, when I enter a used bookstore I marvel at the shelves.  I pick up books, open them up, check to see if the previous owner left notes.  Those that have highlights or markings, I am immediately drawn to them.  As I read them I also think of what the previous owner thought as important.  Why highlight this part?  What’s this note for?  Wow, (s)he had an Aha Moment here.  My mind doesn’t just enjoy the words, it is enjoying their past.  In pages emotions can be brought to life: tears, laughter, anger, compassion, and so on.  You can travel into places beyond the world. A book is one of the most patient inspirations and creations.

There’s beauty in the passing knowledge.  Someone held that book, dove into it with interest, took the time to read and mark what touched them spiritually, psychologically and emotionally.  They took the writer’s words and divulge their energy and love into studying them.  It’s an intimate expression of learning and wisdom.  The greatest compliment anyone can hold is to be shown interest in what they have to say.  Books are an extension of that beauty. “A book does not make bad jokes, drink too much or eat more than you can afford to pay for.” – Kenneth Turan.  A book welcomes you to enter a world, stay for a while and leave with a little more than when you started.   It has a voice but never forces you to be like it.

For the thousands of books I’ve read I feel each time that I enter someone’s world where mind and spirit join.  The written word is beautiful and that’s what brings me joy.   It is a gift that can be opened time and time again.

“A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.”  Henry Ward Beecher