the Arts express our Hearts

the Arts express our Hearts.

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On “Occupying my Being … ”

Being present to and “occupying” the mystical in each moment within the miracle of life, is so deeply rewarding that I always get tingles down my spine when I pause to reflect on the gift of the in-dwellling spirit that inhabits my soul. Why we pronounce the “American Dream” as something more, another reality, one that is never achievable, is beyond me.

MLK Jr.’s “I have a dream ..” speech is so much more than we know it to be on the surface as it represents a yearning to occupy the personal practice, or to inhabit a way of life, not an achievement to be attained at the end point of one’s life. This is the true aspiration of what to me, occupy being means. Knowing the living of life within oneself so that as it unfolds we are conscious of its vast field of potentialities and can pick out that instant when the options the Universe parades before us are there for the choosing.  Ahh, the pure essence of the Oneness of all kindred life forms, these wildly unique and diverse entities wherein I cannot find myself but yet sense my connectedness in the totality of “Being” alive to the wide, wild world of wonder that swirls around, through, within, and without my consciousness!

I am so “in-synchronicity” with the energy that I am – the flow of life never-ends as it integrates and channels vibrations, permeating the very molecules of which I am constantly constructed and deconstructed from and to the adjacent diverse dimensions that harmonize with each other continuously, orchestrated into the Grand Plan for the Cosmos. What Joy to know that I am reborn anew every year as I exchange not only resonance but chemical reactions and electric flux. They wax and wane like the ebbing and flowing tide which attunes with the heavenly bodies I coexist with, acting upon my density and my elasticity.  What can I do but glory in this uniqueness that I share with every other sentient being and celebrate our shared Divinity here with Gaia, dear Mother Earth, and the stardust of the galaxies from whence we came?!

Thank you, Life, for occupying my being, I thank you!

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Family in Small Towns of Idaho & Nova Scotia

For two weeks this past summer I was both rejuvenated and inspired in the foothills of the Palouse.  The very air seems to be more invigorating in northern Idaho and the cool evenings are so refreshing in contrast to Salt Lake City.  The rolling hill views and beautiful trees uplift my spirit in a wonderful way, energizing me with vitality.  We also were fortunate to visit several maritime communities in Nova Scotia, Canada, where we enjoyed the salt air and moist climates of waterfronts along the South Shore and searching for shells in the tidal pools of Blomidon Beach.

The other reason for my sense of joy is that as Linda and I walked, we bonded once more with the places of our respective youth. Our roots together began in Moscow, Idaho, where Linda mostly grew up. We first met there some years ago due to the opportunities both her Dad and I had of working at the University of Idaho. So, being there together, surrounded by the warmth and embrace of Linda’s family, gives us respite.   In Nova Scotia, my brother, sisters and folks still live in small towns of the Annapolis Valley, less than two hours from where my best high school chum and his mother and sister now reside in the town of Lunenburg, along the South Shore.

As I write these words, Linda is once again among the Palouse hills, enjoying her family and vice versa, a brief interlude of joy where she can truly be in the moment with her Mom and Dad and they with her. Yes, it’s much colder there now, and winter’s mantle of snow there is deeper than here, but the warmth of her familial connectedness is apparent as I hear her voice affirm her peace of mind. She is home and all is well in her world. While I cannot go back to the Valley at Christmas to be with my folks, or to Lunenburg to visit with my friend and his family, I know they are together and in my heart I am in their midst.

I am thankful for the bonds of love that our parents have for us and the reciprocity of that wondrous gift. Linda emulates her Mom, as well as he Mom’s mother to a T as she and I pass on the legacy of love through the generations to our beautiful daughters.  Love is a gift to be shared, and regardless of who we are and where we come from, each of us is being called to embrace those around us, whether we live in a big city or a small town.

There’s a lesson in this that speaks to my mind, heart, and soul – we can all be family by choosing to tear down the walls of ego that separate us and instead fashion the nest to nurture each other. The beauty of our unity is in acknowledging our commonality and connectedness even though we are unique and different from each other (including our big city or small town backgrounds).

What I cherish and value about Moscow, Idaho, and Berwick, Nova Scotia, is that is where, among our own families, the caring for us runs deep.  Their flow of life is centered on relationships with your child, your family, your faith community – those with whom you celebrate and relate on a daily basis as you go from moment to precious moment. My thanks to both these communities and to our families for the peace, joy, and serenity we find in coming home.

It is my hope and wish that you be blessed and loved this season (wherever you are and in whatever place you call home)!

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“whom are ‘We’?”

In an earlier blog post I queried, “Whom am I?”  Well, I also wonder why, if I can be so bold or brash to define myself (as unrefined and elemental as I am) I should not attempt at least identifying one piece of the answer to “Whom are We?”  My challenge for you (should you wish to accept it!) is to consider, contemplate, ponder, and then provoke me back with your respective, and I am sure, perceptive response, okay?

Truth be known, I probably should be the last person on this good Earth to foray into such an inquiry, however, I at least believe I know myself better than most (although my Mum can see right through me even today and Linda, my beautiful life-mate, can plumb the depths of my being with one soulful gaze). But yet, I have within me a yen, hmm, no a burning need to place myself within the stream of humanity that came before, those who live today, and those who will live the tomorrows that I will never see or feel  (at least with these specific eyes and with this particular heart).

So, you ask, how will I define and place myself into this “otherness” in a way that might refine your perspective of you within our shared we? This ain’t easy, is it?

So, do you believe, like I, that nothing in the universe can be truly created or destroyed, just transforms from one form of energy into another, such as matter into light?  If not, I suppose I must thank you for bearing with me thus far and apologize for taking up your time/energy since I evidently am off my rocker (yep, I’ve been around for a few moon rises than many).  Really, I don’t blame you, I experience life differently (remember, ‘may diversity reign forevermore’) or, as Frank would sing, “I did it my way.”

So, for me, this larger entity of “We” cannot imply separateness – thus, it is at least interconnectedness.  The contextual media that bind us together are found within what I call the human-enabled experiential realms, namely: Light (i.e., conscientious empathetic sensory perception), Life (i.e., conscious positive expanding energy), and Love (i.e., intentionally reciprocated belongingness).

The opportunity for each of us to become more, to engage ourselves beyond our “normal” senses affirms the grand scheme of the cosmos which is not ever-expanding, but self reflecting and self renewing.  The greatest challenge facing Humanity is not to explore, learn, understand, and accept what is outside of us but to explore, learn, understand, and accept who we are and what lies within us and what we can be and do because of who we are.

I am truly committed to plumbing the depths of my own reality, seeking to grow myself and uncover the tendrils reaching out to embrace Light, Life, and Love (or engage and embrace the “We” in me).  Please join me in this quest so our “We” can be what we wish to see and do on and with this wide world of wonders and miracles we inhabit together.

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HUCC Music Man Makes Magic Happen

For the past several years my life has been enriched weekly by the gifts of a talented musician and conductor.  Fred Lucies is a person of deep resonance and joy whose orchestrations with voice, strings, and reed have brought me good vibrations as I listen to the strains of harmony he produces and nurtures in those with whom he creates music.

Simultaneously, since I ventured forth in the past four or five months to express my own talent, I have found my voice anew, a creation long unused. I have since begun to align my talent with others those of similar expressiveness with whom Fred creates wondrous gifts for those willing to listen and discern the mysticism of our melodies.

What a transcendent experience it is to be one among the many who find themselves in the moment with HUCC’s Music Man, making the magic of Fred’s music happen.  Weaving syncopated strains of sounds, it is a true blessing to rhythmically rouse my heart, my soul and my voice to new heights of exultation through the synchronization of sweet sounds.

My thanks to fearless Fred, for his special desire to bring the magic of music to HUCC, to engage, challenge, and grow each of us in the ensemble musicale, and for his never-ending joie de vivre.  We will miss you – please know that we will keep the spirit of the music man alive at HUCC through your legacy and our love for you.

Your unabashed fan,

Dana, a tenacious tenor

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The Power of One … Can Be The Power of Many

Today I helped finish packing a shipping container destined for Uganda, which leaves with my heart’s wishes and my soul’s prayers to make its way to those who I hope will need the contents and will know that others care for them, their individual and collective well-being.

John Shavers is a quiet, unassuming man, quite tall with a warm, welcoming smile that starts with a spark in his dark brown eyes that transforms into a face full of promise.  His passion overwhelms me even now as he steadily labors in love for Africa in all that he does.  John is tireless, he is perpetually in motion, he is quick to seize the moment and slow to release its magic which showers those of us around him with a desire to give more ourselves.

The thing about John is that his dedication to those in need in Africa, particularly Ugandans, is contagious!  I think I have (gladly) caught the bug and am eagerly sharing the vision and trying to model his example (albeit at a much smaller scale).  He calls me on the phone to tell me of the next lead, excited about the opportunities that abound.  He meets with his disciples monthly, sharing his progress in expanding his network for achieving on-the-ground compassionate plantings that seem to bear so much more fruit than the typical yield and even out of season!  His groupies (I am one of them) meet to re-fire their energies often, but he is the epitome of inexhaustible resources and we never doubt that his deep well of servant leadership will not dwindle.

How can just one individual accomplish so much?  Why, I now know why… he is the essence of inspiration, a spirit of “can do” in a world of “won’t” or “don’t give a da_ _.”  He is a shooting star that others seek who enables us to see beyond ourselves into our potential dimensions heretofore unknown.

My faith is restored, not solely because of the power of one, but how it can affect the release of the power of many and the resulting synergy is sending out its tendrils into receptive minds just waiting to be called to their true purpose. Then the humanity in those who listen and connect to the strands of life revealed emerges into the Light once more – a rainbow of beauty that bows in humility at the love turned loose on the world!

My thanks to John for guiding me to the power within so I too may share my Light! Shine on, brother, shine on!

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and may diversity reign, forevermore

Our collective and individual strengths lie in our differences – the unique attributes and characteristics which define us as us, you as you, and me as me.  These three conceptual frameworks comprise the whole of human experience, but moreover, they embody our integrity as a species and our self-worth as well.

Whom are”we?” Whom are “you?” “Whom am I?”

I respect the right for each of us to express our opinions, yet my own world view of these questions spans the entire continuum of living things.  I believe that to be fully human means I also recognize the essence of my origin, namely the universe, specifically this solar system, i.e., the Sun and this Earth.

I am because of my mother(s) and my father(s), because I am a part of (not apart from) Mama Gaia.  This contextual connectedness gives me life, allows me my individuality – in fact requests me to acknowledge my uniqueness while also respecting all life forms who inhabit this world with me and revel as well as celebrate their existence as well as our brother and sisterhood!

May Diversity Reign, Forevermore!

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