The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


Prison or Prism

“Two men looked out from prison bars. One saw the mud, the other saw stars.” (I’ve seen it attributed to Frederick Langbridge and Dale Carnegie)

 

As this article is taking shape, the late afternoon into early evening sunlight is slanting through the half dome window in my living room, causing what since childhood, I have thought of as angel sliding boards. Dust specks dancing in the sunbeams that seem magical and not just evidence that I need to do more serious cleaning. I know that Spirit takes all kinds of forms and I welcome it into my life on a daily basis.

This morning, I was sitting in the midst of a standing room only gathering to say farewell for the second time in a week to my friend Bob Goodwin who joined the cosmic crew at 91. A photo sat on the table that also was draped with his minister’s stole with interfaith symbols embroidered on it, as well as a butterfly that one of the members of our community had found on the path while he was walking to church this morning. The butterfly is the logo for Circle of Miracles. To look at the picture, you would never know that this vibrant man had entered into the 9th decade of life. He was colorful, funny, alert, deeply spiritual, questioning everything, except love. And love is what was swirling around the room.

His wife, Hannelore is the minister of our interfaith community and although I imagine she was immersed in a whirlwind of emotion, she was ever the leader who used both humor and humility to share her message with us today. Vulnerability was evident as she told the tale of the journey that led her to that moment. She spoke on the topic….”If It Hadn’t Been For…” which called forth the idea that experiences; as painful as they might be, wind inexorably to where we are now. I loved the imagery she evoked, of prison vs. prism. We can keep ourselves locked behind imaginary cold, hard, impenetrable steel doors of fear and regret, reinforced with the belief that things will never improve OR we can view the events through a prism, which allows us to see reflections and multi-facets. Confinement or creative possibility? What if the very things we are experiencing are part of a grander plan?

As I look back on my own life, I can wholeheartedly agree that even the most tumultuous relationships, the deepest losses, the perceived rejections, the crises have been exercise equipment that made me stronger and more resilient. Still not convinced that everything is pre-planned and I do believe in free will, but I have a sense that there are soul agreements we make and God/Goddess/All That Is, has some kind of divine design in the works. Things are too cosmically coincidental not to be made of that stuff. Do I wish things had been easier at times?  Absolutely. I do know that every seemingly closed door allowed for the opening of a portal into another opportunity that I might have otherwise missed.

I would much prefer the rainbow hued dancing light that allows me to see infinite possibility than the darkness of imprisonment with the fear of a life sentence.

 



  • kimkrauseberg

    My first time hearing Rev. Hannalore speak, and her honesty, humor, grace and leadership, and absolute composure, are things I will remember forever. What an example! Her use of the prism as the prop was perfect. I thought often of my sister, who runs a program for women at a prison, who are heroin addicts and suffer from other things. It would be interesting to explore people, like her, who bring the prism into prisons and what they learn and see.

Previous Posts

Where I Am
  How often do you ask yourself  'what if and if only'  questions?  "What if I had chosen a different path, partner, career, home?  Bet I'd be happier if I had," is the frequent litany for many. We get fidgety staying still. We kvetch about how things aren't the way we want them to be, a

posted 7:55:55pm Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

On Wings
  Four years ago, at this moment, an event was in the process of taking place that would change my life as I knew it. My mother was in the 'birth canal' on her way to her new life. A few months earlier while she was on hospice, we would have the most extraordinary conversations about what t

posted 6:39:45pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Allowing Others To Effect Their Own Destinies
Most Sundays find me at Circle of Miracles, which is an interfaith spiritual community created 19 years ago by Rev. Hannelore Goodwin. It is where I, and many who attend the ecumenical services, find family of choice, inspiration, community and healing. The room is a warm and welcoming place where D

posted 10:52:04am Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

The Only Life You Can Save
One of my favorite wise woman poets is Mary Oliver whose words touch my heart in ways that few others can; as if they could have come through me as well; so personal they are. Today, while visiting my former place of employment, one of my co-workers pulled out an anthology consisting of the works of

posted 8:40:05pm Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Abby's Light
  When a light comes into the world, we hope that it will last indefinitely, knowing that eventually it will fade. When a child is born, a parent doesn't expect that his or her light will diminish before it has a chance to fully express itself...and yet, sadly it happens.  Abby Schumer was

posted 8:32:41am Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.