Connect Me

It seems to me that our lives are lead by what we think is important. Would you agree? We can say many things, but at any given moment our lives are driven by what we want. That seems to be true from the superficial level all the way down to our core. And what is down there driving us at our core? I read a book many years ago that said absolutely everything we do is a response to either love or fear. I would agree with that and I think everything has a healthy and an unhealthy component to it, kind of likeĀ our enneagram numbers.

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This morning I saw a story on a Canadian photographer that has a series on, at first glance, would seem like twins. Except the people are not related at all. He gets tons of emails from people asking him to find their “twin”. Once Asian girl asking so she wouldn’t feel all alone. There it was. The primary motivator for us. Being connected. Don’t we all want to feel connected and in turn be understood? To find our people? Our place?

We are and always have been connecting. Religious groups. Armed Forces, Tribal, Gay/Straight, Cowboy, Surfer, Artist.. Whatever, we are circling around and around trying to connect. As a traditional Navajo belief maintains, everything, absolutely everything is connected. The breeze moving on the wing of a bird, brings scents to a wolf that invokes him to take a path, etc, etc…The circle is never broken.

As I enter into a season of life that is setting up to bring the big changes that aging brings, it makes me think of those connections and what peace comes from them. In my daily prayers, I really try to not ask for anything, but to just feel that connection. That brief breath across my face of the Big Mystery. The Master of Breath. The Presence. The Lakota would say “Mitakuye Oyasin”.. We are all related, connected. And if this is so, why aren’t we treating each other better. Why do Fergusons happen after Selma’s? If we could see how we are all connected and dependent, I .can’t understand how we keep acting the same.

In the photograph, each stone touches the one next to it, to make the circle. If any of the stones are disturbed the entire circle is broken. When the circle is broken , harmony is out of balance. Connectedness is lost, and we feel the effects in our hearts.

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So Long Mayberry

I’m puttering around my little office room. It’s late in the evening, and I’m attempting to organize the ever growing stacks of papers that contain my family’s heritage. Folders, Binders, Family groups, Census reports, well they just seem to grow and multiply.

Anyway, Jack Johnson was singing thru my ipod, and the line I’ve heard a thousand times kind of hit me…”There were so fewer questions when stars were still just the holes to heaven”. This thought has been rummaging around in my mind for years now I assume. Maybe since I was a child. It seems those of us that are questioners have been that way forever. I want to try and shake out just a little of that in this post.

I can’t seem to embrace my Grandparents beliefs. Some I can but there is a larger part that I can’t. I try and believe me I have a deep respect for the way their faith governed their lives. I have a deep respect for anyone who is trying to live their lives connecting and honoring the Big Mystery. I don’t think I’m deeper or smarter, I’m simply asking the questions that live in my soul. My deepest belief is probably that the Creator honors that humble journey.

It doesn’t matter if your Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or Native American, there are folks that are geared to follow the traditions of their faith, some to the letter. Now if I’m being honest here, I’d have to say that yes, I believe some are lazy. They just take whatever answer that was handed down and adapt it as their own. There’s a world of difference, if they’ve taken what was handed, looked at it, run it through their own personal filters, lived it and still stayed there. To me that’s an honest, honoring faith.

But then there is the rest of us, the agitators ! Then ones who may never find that peace. Oh we may get the sweet hint of a taste from time to time, but we may never rest in it as we keep up the process of examining and questioning. It’s not a choice, it’s just our nature. Always seeking, always peeling yet another layer.

Since I was little, I have been a huge Andy Griffith fan. The characters and spirit of that T.V. show surely shaped my outlook on life. Everything was simple and people were generally good. Those are two things I follow, simplicity and the belief that people are good. Then comes 911. Innocence lost, a new view. A new way of being in the world. A sadness and the inability to go back. Mayberry was lost. I couldn’t watch it for a long time, I couldn’t find that peace in my spirit to open up to it’s simplicity and love.

So it may be with my journey. Once you question and once those answers no longer hold the water they once did, there is simply no going back. When people smile that smile when hearing that some Native cultures believe that the earth came from the rising of the Turtles back, well do they smile the same smile when they hear about Noah’s Ark? That fable told to teach, seems as hard to believe to me.

But it’s all gonna be Ok. The journey of life spirals closer to God, then further, then closer again. I still have wonder as I sprial closer to this Creation. Sometimes I think we have to say so long to Mayberry to be able to say hello again down the line ! I think I am better off when I’m just sitting in the unknowing, not trying to have the answers, honoring this Big Mystery, by just being and by knowing I’m loved perfectly. That should be enough and tonight as I close, it is .