The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

If You Build It

 

                                                                       

Was watching another of my favorite movies last night that goes ways beyond simple entertainment, although it can be viewed in that way. More than a baseball film,  more than a showcase for the talents of  Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan. Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster,  it is chock full of so many spiritual messages that it is a shoo-in (or in this case…’shoe in’, since the motion pic is an homage to “Shoe-less Joe Jackson” and the Chicago White Sox/Black Sox who were accused of throwing the World Series when they played the Cinncinati Reds) for a Bliss Blog entry.  I have seen it at least a dozen times since it debuted in 1989, and caught many of the concepts, but not until just yesterday, did they come trumpeting out at me, waving pennants, scattering popcorn and peanuts.

For those who have never seen it, the plot line is thus:  An Iowa corn farmer and his family are living quite happily on their land, enjoying the bounty and the simple life, when one night, whilst standing in his field, the main character; Ray Kinsella hears a distinct voice telling him “If you build it, he will come.”  Huh?  Ray scratches his head in bewilderment. “If you build WHAT, WHO will come?”  That statement sends Ray on a hero’s journey to discover the meaning of that declarative statement that is really an instruction.  The back story is that he has some unhealed places with regard to his relationship with his father John Kinsella who had a love of the game, but was never able to hit a symbolic home run with his son, so they parted ways and his father died before he could see Ray marry and have a child of his own; his daughter Karin, played with precocious wisdom by Gaby Hoffman.  

Ray follows the guidance and figures that The Voice is telling him to plow under his crops and build a baseball field. Once he does that, the magic begins and the teams appear from the beyond to play once again. He is astounded as the messages keep on a’comin’ ” Ease his pain.” is the next one…little knowing that the pain to be eased was in himself and “Go the distance”, while sitting in the stands with 60′s icon Terrence Mann played with cantankerous charm by (Darth Vader) James Earl Jones.

On the outside chance you have not watched this baseball bliss, I won’t spoil the ending, but this quote that Jones/Mann utters gives me goosebumps each time:

“Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come. ”

 The messages  come through as loud and clear as The Voice which I have come to trust in my own life, as it has led me to the relationship with my husband, to create and publish a magazine, to enter the seminary when Michael subsequently died in 1998, to write a book, to meet certain people and have extraordinary experiences…. My choice ALWAYS is whether to listen and heed the guidance or wear symbolic earplugs. I prefer to listen, because when I do, I become an All-Star.

 

Some of the silverscreen sagacity:

Fear/’reason’ vs. love/truth: what might seem rational, logical or reasonable may be cloaking fear. The habitual ways that we live may limit and constrain us, while listening to our highest truth is garbed in love, and we need to take that internal guidance as such.

Leaps of faith: trusting that we will be safely held and caught as we ‘go the distance’ to live our passion and purpose full out. Going that distance and refusing to give up our dreams in the face of opposition and feeling reined in by others’ contagious fear. That being said, recklessness and irresponsibility is not the same thing as acting on the messages we receive. In the end, as I have heard attributed to Ram Dass “You still have to remember your zip code.”

Seeing what others may not be able to (yet) envision. Viewing the world through miracle eyes and imagining what could be, even before it is apparent to anyone else.

Be a team player. Working together for a common purpose yields powerful results.

Listening to the gentle or insistent internal guidance; call it The Voice, God, Spirit….. takes you on a wild ride that will have you doing the ‘wave’.

Inviting others to play with you as you have fun…the more, the merrier.

When you come to end of the 9th inning, you will be able to answer the question: “Is this heaven?”  and the response won’t just be “It’s Iowa.”

What is YOUR field of dreams?

Take Me Out To The Ballgame http://youtu.be/qscED3psy_U 

Centerfield by John Fogerty http://youtu.be/JyMXKWNGz7g

Go and love some more

                                            I Love You Graphic

 

One of my favorite  movies is called Harold and Maude. A classic made in 1971, it features a quirky relationship between a young man named Harold played by Bud Cort who is obsessed with suicide and 79 year old Maude played by Ruth Gordon who loves life.  They meet at a funeral of someone that neither of them know, since it is a hobby they both have. They become friends and more.  Together they have outrageously fun and deeply exploratory adventures that have him question the meaning of life and love.  The film is filled to the brim with memorable quotes.  One leaps out during the scene in which Maude is playing pinball surrounded by young people who are laughing and smiling at her antics.  As he comments to Maude,  “You’re so good with people.”, her delighted response is “They’re my species.”  As the story winds down, and Maude is facing the end of her life and being ferried away by ambulance,  he calls out “Don’t leave me Maude, I love you.” and her poignant and powerful answer is “Oh Harold, that’s wonderful. Go and love some more. ”   Go and love some more. What would it be like if, despite pain and disenchantment, we could keep our hearts open to let love flow? I visualize the cardiac muscle that keeps our bodies alive.  If there is a blockage in any part of it…intake or outflow, life can’t be sustained.  In that same way, if our emotions are blocked, we die a bit as well.

I was speaking with someone recently who expressed feeling deep depression; indicating that everyone he loved was dead. I acknowledged his losses and then asked him if he believed that these were the only people he would ever love. He looked at me as if I was communicating in a completely foreign language. I reminded him that the world was filled to the brim with people to love. All he need do was reach out and let them in. So often, people limit themselves as to who they are willing to love. I remind folks all the time that everyone they now know and love were once strangers. A few years ago, a friend posed the question:  “Can you love whoever God sends?”  My response was “Of course.” and I endeavor to do just that. I have learned too that love is never wasted, regardless of the form, content or duration of that experience. 

In your life, where do you limit love?

What surprises have arisen when you have let love in?

Are you willing to ‘go and love some more.’? 

 

Two of my favorite Cat Stevens songs are highlights of the movie.

http://youtu.be/6ycjX3rLzyE  Don’t Be Shy

http://youtu.be/WFSjxkGOFZw  If You Want To Sing Out

Ahh And Awe

                                      I LOVE YOU sign

 

 

When the world is too much with me and I want a reminder that it is all an illusion, I call up my friend Peter Moses. A teacher by profession and inclination, he seems to channel wisdom effortlessly.  Not sure if he was born with an understanding that there really is no duality; that all is One, or if he learned it in the process of life itself. All I know is that I am ever so grateful that on a Saturday night in the Spring of 2001, our paths crossed on the front porch of our mutual friend Linda Hutchings.  My life has not been the same since.  There seemed to be an instantaneous recognition; a kindred spirit connection. A kid at heart; he remains joyfilled as the father of 5, ranging in age from nearly  1  1/2 to 30. He is the founder of The Music Experience For Young Children which takes the lyrical and rhythmic into schools and day care centers.  He also performs in concert  and for an organization that we both love and for which I have volunteered as well, called Rubye’s Kids. A recording artist, he has written songs for chronological children as well as kids in grownup bodies. His adult recordings touch on the spiritual concepts that serve as gateways to divine delight.

 He is called “Mr. Pete” by his students and ‘groupies’; that I joke are usually under 4 feet tall and under 4 years old. His enthusiasm and passion for life is contagious. He refers to me as “Edie Sweetie” which melts me each time. Over the years, we have offered workshops together, but as we are both busy with life, it has been quite awhile. His busy-ness in the past year and some months has been raising his wondrous son Shane, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time this past Sunday. I pulled in front of the suburban home that he and his wife Jackie and son share. The two of them stood in the carport waving to greet me and I swear that I was looking at a mirror image of Peter as I gazed at Shane (a wee bit of a ‘mini me’ with the same tossled, curly dark hair, but with Jackie’s blue eyes taking in the world and this new person in his life, looking back at him adoringly).

He is one of the most bubbling -over -with -effervescence- children that I have ever met. He laughs easily and they are teaching him sign language; he has mastered a few thus far, including the sign for ‘more’ and ‘love’.  I was impressed by one that he created which Peter and Jackie refer to as ‘fists of joy’.  It involves clenching his tiny hands tightly and scrinching up his face and smiling brightly. Talk about contagious bliss!  I couldn’t help but do it along with him. I invite you take a moment to do it right now! Shane had just indulged in one of his favorite treats; a standard for most tots…portable, gummable for one with few teeth yet and easy to grasp…the one and only Cheerios! They were the appetizer that preceded his babyfood mixed veggies entree, that then led to nap time. When Jackie ferried him upstairs, he blew kisses.

As the afternoon wore on, I found myself engaged in conversation with his marvelous mom and dad about ‘life, the Universe and everything’; including friendship, serendipity, spirituality, baby yoga, music, family, and even death.  Peter was sharing about the moment between wakefulness and sleep when we are not quite sure which is the ‘dream’ and which is what we would call ‘waking reality’. What if it is all a dream?, he mused.  Another concept that he loves to talk about is the onamotopoetic word  ‘ahhhh’ which could easily be ‘awe’…the feeling we get when gazing upward at the night sky with its expanse of stars cascading throughout. 

When I left their home to move on to my next activity, I felt warmed from the inside by being in the presence of  ‘lightened up beings’, since I don’t think they would consider themselves ‘enlightened.’

So, I ask you: What are some of your awe moments?  What is your deepest dream and are you willing to embrace it as your reality?

http://youtu.be/Yam5uK6e-bQ  Dreams by The Cranberries~

www.petermoses.com

www.rubyeskids.org

Spiritual Flat Tire

          

                                                                                 Flat Fender Willys Jeep

Years ago, I recall Dr. Bernie Siegel referring to the concept of a ‘spiritual flat tire’ as those bumps in the road that may delay us but need not stop us completely.  The exact quote:  “Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires – disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.” Not only have I found dis-ease to fall into that category, but  life happenstance that could take the form of job challenges, relationship conflicts, financial issues, death of loved ones OR just like today, an actual puncture in the round, rubber object that keeps my Jeep in motion. A day ago, the warning light came on that told me that one of the tires had low pressure. Taking immediate action, I pulled into the parking lot of my friendly local mechanic named Donny.  He filled all 4 of them with air and reminded me that if the light went back on, it needed to be handled further. That night, I went to visit a friend in the hospital and on the way out, sure enough the tire was sagging again. After refilling the tire enough to get me back home, when I awoke this morning,  it had dimished one more time. I called AAA who sent out an angel named John, with a Nike t-shirt which had the swoosh logo and Just Do It imprinted on the back,  to take off the flat and replace it with the donut spare. Unfortunately, when he left, he misplaced the special wheel lock key for the tire, which I didn’t know about until after he had left my home.  

Taking the tire back to the repair shop, Donny informed me that it needed to be replaced since the sidewall had been damaged. After going to the dealership from which I had purchased the car and being told that they didn’t have the one I needed in stock, I found a Goodyear store and they were able to replace it. Unfortunately because  it was as a result of hitting something sharp on the road, I would have to pay for it. I did have the foresight this time to purchase insurance for the life of the tires in case the same thing should happen again.

At this moment, I am waiting for the AAA repair man to somehow locate a substitute for the wheel lock, while my shiny new tire is leaning against the car, sun bathing. While all this was happening today, I kept asking myself the purpose, the lesson, the message in all of this. I had planned to get together with my friends Peter and Jackie  and meet their year and a half year old son Shane. My son Adam had baked all kinds of goodies to bring there, since that is his passion. And here I sit, tapping and typing away.

A few lessons in all of this:

1. Freedom from frazzle. Patience is a virtue.  It does me no good to get myself worked up over something for  which I have no control.

2. Worrying is a waste of imagination. Lately I have been concerned about money, even though I have a full time job and many consulting jobs that support me in increasingly abundant ways and I have ALWAYS been taken care of by the Universe.  I have taken note that when worry-wart-itis kicks in, unexpected  expenses have a way of creeping up. Last week, I discovered that  a company whose service had been cancelled, was still debiting my account. Putting in a dispute with my bank, I await that remedy as well.  AND for those who have been following my escapades in the Bliss Blog, I spoke about roof problems over the winter that I thought had been remediated. In a torrential storm yesterday, after my son had replaced the drywall that had been damaged earlier, we found that it was no longer dry, since the roof was once again leaking. A roofer friend is coming out to take a look at it. My prayer is that it be before the next heavenly shower.

3. When in doubt, pray it out.  For me, prayer isn’t always about petitioning for something to be different, although I admit to doing that at times. It is more often a way of acknowledging what is already so. I knew on some level that this situation would work out. And it did. Although the missing tire lock key was  not found, the mechanic had a way of getting the lug nut off the tire and I purchased a new one for a nominal fee.

 

I am back on the road, physical flat tire replaced with a shiny new one that will help get me from point A to point B in perfect timing. As for the spiritual flat tire, I sense it was just Spirit’s way of getting me to see that even though my day went nothing like I had planned, there was still fun to be had. I got some writing done while waiting for the mechanic, I got to exercise both patience and my body. Found time to go to the gym that I would not have, had I been with my friends. While there, I watched the last hour of the Da Vinci Code and especially appreciated the line that Tom Hanks’ character named Robert Langdon uttered at the end of the film:  “Why is it divine or human?  Can’t human be divine?”  

Offering you a musical reminder, that at then end of the line…”It’s alright.”  http://youtu.be/cwqhdRs4jyA   It’s Alright by The Traveling Wilburys

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