Thursday, April 20, 2006

Looking for The Answers to Life

Most of my life has been spent living near the ocean. I love the way the air feels by the sea and the way the waves sound crashing on the rocks or rolling onto the sand. The way your skin feels in the damp air when fog is all around you. It is as though the earth is encapsulating you when the fog is thick and shuts out all the diversions to life and you can think, really think.
Last night I wanted so badly to smell the salt air, to feel that aloneness of being at the ocean at night, when the sky goes on forever in front of you.
It was a longing, deep inside me. There is no substitute for this need. I remember so many times, finding the answers to life while sitting on the rocks or even the retaining walls along the oceans edge.
Last time I was in Maine I spent time alone at the edge of the world as I like to think of the ocean side.
I would walk the vast sandy beach at night when the tide was out. Pitch black sky, stars sprinkled like diamonds across the sky. Tiny birds playing tag with the gentle waves. My footprints fading in the sand.
Or I would get up just before the sun and run like the wind along the water. Only a few local people with dogs were out at that time. No summer vacationers got up that early. The beach was almost deserted. I could think or not think, have an empty mind for an hour or so which with me is rare and delightful. I so often strive to have no thoughts, emptiness in pure meditation. Its so hard for me to shut out the world for a mere 5 minutes.
Here in Texas, so far from the call of the salty sea, the air became heavy and damp last night. Almost like the heavy mist and fog that I love so well. Thunder rolled above me, making me remember being told as a child, that the angels are bowling and when big clap of thunder was heard, you could be sure an angel got a strike.
Wind came in with a fury, high straight line winds, sometimes they frighten me but last night, it felt empowering and I longed to run outside and open wide my arms and embrace its power. I didn't. It was late and I didn't do it. Missed moment. Regret... maybe. Life is full of missed moments.
Now in the morning light, the air still has that damp, heavy feel to it, and the scent of wet soil fills me. I like that smell, it smells clean to me. I would rather smell the salty old air of the sea though.
Today, it is though God gave me a bit of my ocean feel right here, in this land locked town of ours. The sky, that dark gray color that seems to go on forever. I can think a bit. If only a seagull would fly over head with his lonely cry. Instead a crow calls. It makes me laugh. I have raised a few crows and they always make me laugh now, when they call out to one another.
Its the perfect day to watch the movie, " The Secret of Roan Inish" my all time favorite movie. I wore out my first copy of it and I know most of the dialog by heart.

Introspect is a wonderful tool for defining and redefining what we hold dear. Some folks never question life or their beliefs and that is sad. Accepting things in an almost robotic state of mind. Last night when I was missing the freedom of the ocean, I read some of Mahatma Gandhi again. If you have never read his writings, you are missing so much. Brilliant compassionate mind. Full of statements that push us to look at our own beliefs. To look beyond our own humdrum existence. To look beyond our selves and our own wants and needs. To see there is more value in our words and deeds than what we own.
Here are a few quotes for the day to think on.....

Mahatma Gandhi ...
There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being.

The moment there is suspicion about a person's motives, everything he does becomes tainted.

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. I refuse to live in other people's houses as an interloper, a beggar or a slave.

Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.
When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.

One's own religion is after all a matter between oneself and one's Maker and no one else's.

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.

It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.

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.

Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions. For God alone reads our hearts.

We do not need to proselytize either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study.

photo.... York Maine, 2004 and such a moment in time as I am longing for right now.


martha in ny said...

Good Morning, I live on the edge of the world and I love it. Thanks for the Ghandi notes.I was struck especially by the one on intolerance.
I am glad you claimed your freedom. The phoenix does rise from the ashes.
I vote for a chartuese backing on your tie dye quilt(s)

Jeanne said...

Two phrases jump out at me here this morning.

"Life is full of missed moments."

"One's own religion is after all a matter between oneself and one's Maker and no one else's."

I always find much to think about in your writings, Patty.

Hugs, Jeanne :)

Melzie said...

This is one of the most beautiful blog posts I have read. Thank you for blessing my heart with it. (dropped by via Jeanne's link I think :) xoxo melzie

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