Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen

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Type Casting


As I type this, pictures of my daughters, grandchildren and friends make up both my audience and my life and I say a prayer.  It is just a small meditation into the universe, gratitude for what we have shared and what I hope is still to come. There isn’t any religious overture or doctrine; it is just my heart speaking the love that lives there and all that has come before this moment.

I also sigh as I write, because of how the written Word is blamed for most of the wrong in our world.  It is misquoted by the misguided, used to prove points by otherwise dull brains, and worst of all used as an example for living by people I wouldn’t want to even sit next to, let alone live by.  If you haven’t guessed by now, yes I am talking about the Bible.

After the horrific winds calmed down in Oklahoma this week and lives were changed there, as well as across the world forever,  it was time once again for those with nothing useful in their own lives to start talking.  When people have nothing to say they usually go after The Word, and by God they use it.  “So why are you praying now because people are safe? If there was a God wouldn’t he have already made them safe – little late don’t you think? What great being kills for fun?”

These comments and others like them twittered across the face of our social media circus, quick bursts of hot air during an emotional and painful time for mankind.  No different sadly, than the conspiracy folk who recently proclaimed there were  actors at the deadly Boston Marathon, so a terrorist plot could be staged making our government look effective.  Indeed, it is so easy to speak out when you’ve done nothing that matters, so easy to capitalize and criticize the plight of others when they are down.  To quote a rapper – WORD.

The Bible and our faith or lack thereof, have been the central ingredient for such simmering, stewing, and spewing for as long as people have walked the Earth, and just like a melting pot of soup if you look and taste long enough you can place any flavor you want into the blending.  This is particularly obvious to me, since I have people in my life who are free spirited, religious and gay – yup, there I said it, the big H,  so double hockey stick me to Hell right now.  What gets overlooked in the words behind Seek and ye shall find is that is was never meant to be a literal blueprint for faith, innocently resting between yellowing pages waiting to be preached by misguided individual interpretation.

Life is quite simply an individual journey with maps known only to our souls, and none of us can be certain where they will lead. It is however, through our actions and faith that we are able to take new steps each day, even if unknowingly for some they will be the last ones taken.  It is up to us alone to make a life that will matter, leaving behind something of ourselves to help another knowing that the Bible  is not an instruction manual with an answer key in the back.  It  is however, a tool of faith for anyone  needing comfort and hope or  guidence when we are unsure.  It is also a great read if you like mystery, drama, violence, sex, poetry, love and humor – but again, that is all in how you read it and of course, depending where your Lot in life might be at the moment.

If I were to find myself at the scene of a deadly automobile accident, the furthest thing from my mind would be to pull out the owner’s manual of the car and find fault with the driver, because he or she obviously did not follow page 6, which clearly explained the fault in over correcting a turn.  So why is it during times of human suffering God and the Bible are blamed for not having the right answer, or in the case of happiness in a gay relationship it has the only right answer – well as extremely right as possible, which is which is very wrong.

We read to enrich our lives, and through written words find comfort and satisfaction.  We learn there are pearls of a great price, love that is patient, spiders that spin webs to save friends and others that do unto one another as they would want done to them.  Maybe however if we took a little more time to live the words instead of just reading them, there would be a little more right than write in the social media that surrounds us.

My heart aches for the lost families suffering in Oklahoma, and also those in other cities where phone calls and police visits will deliver news every bit as devastating that won’t make any wire service. Individuals who unknowingly walk their last steps, do so for a reason and it is up to us to see past the event and look for their legacy.  There will never be an all powerful hand  dramatically reaching down from the skies to take a stand and make things good, that part is up to us.  We are the voice needing to be heard above the storm, the winds of change and the ever-changing climate, which of late is far too political.

There isn’t a rule book for life, we can’t second guess why we are here or why some of us leave in the way we do.  However, what we can do is listen to our hearts, before our mouth has a chance to repeat or speak words from pages never intended for the moment at hand.  We are one, we are mankind and it is time to act upon that kindness, and time to stop judging covers or wanting to guess the ending simply because we have a book in our hand.


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Right in front of their eyes

lcaI love hindsight, the privilege of being able to look back and be right, as well as to see what we didn’t know at the time.  I‘m waiting for a creative someone to develop an App that will eventually fix those I told you so times, making everything right before we leave the room.  However, until it happens we have innocent eyes, photographs and of course video.

Recently my large dog downgraded my 2 terabyte hard drive to the floor, sending roughly ten years of work, memories and stupidity into oblivion.  Recreating what I could, I found myself again transferring VHS to AVI, letting the past live on laptop, heart and cloud.  While watching old family films I did more than listen while my daughters chased people with our 6 pound handicam, I really saw what they filmed in those now long gone moments.  As if falling through a looking glass of half full reality, for the first time I looked into the faces of people I knew, this time without the assumption of their emotions I once had.  This time around I saw how they really felt and acted.

Taking life for granted is something we all do and that includes those we assume to know, understand or figure out.  In the heat of the moment, the rush or the celebration much is missed because we are too busy with our own agenda, assuming everyone else feels the same way we do.  However, years later when time opens these healed and scared hearts and emotions, it is an eye opener to see what really was going on.  It has been said seeing life through the eyes of a child is priceless; it is even truer if they have a video camera.

Because life is a journey of events we must live to gain knowledge and growth, we continually see it on our own terms, including even the most magnanimous of us.  It seems unconscionable that we would think someone didn’t want to be at our wedding, celebrate a child’s first over the top birthday or delight as an aging relative laughing on what would be their last moment.  It does however become painfully apparent in Dolby VHS-C rewind if we miss it the first time that those are first and foremost our moments, and even when we bring others along they don’t always enjoy the experience, or possibly they even have an ulterior motive we miss altogether.

Sipping tea while eating my humble pie, I opened my eyes to that level of that innocence and realized again the world is more than just the space I occupy and my heart takes care of.  Just because I delight in my family and moments others will never know, doesn’t mean they want to share them, possibly they want to even ruin them.  That brought me back to the script life has been directing and looking past the fake and façade, I located those who were smiling and laughing, happy to be included in my production.  Sadly as the years passed my cast of characters changed as well, many no longer alive, divorces, relocations, and others simply disappearing.  However, those who have kept my life in their eyes are still here, even though tape was no longer rolling.

Hindsight may give us knowledge, but those special faces making up their lines in our lives are what give us character, strength and acceptance.  It is ironic really, since they are the same ones taken for granted as stand ins and extras as we film our productions, because we assume they will always be there and know they belong in the film – talk about needing a rewrite!

Next time I hit the movie icon on my camera or cell phone preparing to keep an unscripted moment forever, I’m going to ask myself if everyone included in the viewfinder would buy a ticket. Then looking at the cast, I will fully appreciate the understudies who know the lines of my face and words on my heart.  Directing my attention to that obvious cast, just as in any successful movie it will be easy to see they are the ones carrying the plot and adding the emotion needed to make it worthy of an award, even if they’ll rarely see one.  It will be worth it to take time weeding out the extras that there just for my show and their tell, allowing me to see life through the eyes of those wanting to included.  The result will truly be a celebration for everyone, especially when the camera stops filming and many of them leave to take their place with the real stars, because I will forever hold them close in an encore.