Yesterday walking up the moist front steps Tammy sniffed some mineral earthy air that her memory associated with the white quartz.
‘Let’s rent a car. Take the day off.’ Tammy offers Malik to agree with her fresh idea as she walks in the front door.
Malik stands up straight from his work desk, takes in a big breath and looks her dead in the eyes.
‘Tammy ..?’ His voice, simply saying her name, went through a 2 – part process of getting her attention with a strong ’T’ and dipping at the end trying to bring her back to earth. Her spontaneous whims always threw him for a loop. What’s wrong with planning? He says with his eyes.
‘Malik ..?’A It’s-all-part-of-the-package look was how she responded to his need for a plan.
After a two hour drive out of town the next morning they set off on a five km hike into the forest following the curving river lined with attentive cedar and spruce. On the riverbank the cedars’ gnarly roots suction themselves to the iron infused sedimentary rock that frames the river. On the forest side of the river bank tree roots delve quickly into the forest floor littered with spongy, green rock cap moss.
It’s a good 5 degrees cooler under all the verdant trees where the river quickly narrows and drops four feet through the effervescent rapids. Just past the brief rapids as the river widens again slightly is a massive white quartz. Although radiant and striking, it is so ensconced in the place it can be confusingly easy to miss. Tammy can’t remember how they found out about it. Malik remembers and relishes holding the mystery.
A mystery that the quartz holds is its size. The carpet of bright green moss acts like a receding hairline on the top and also grows on one side hiding where the quartz meets the riverbank rock. The outlines of the massive white boulder hinted that the beautiful crystal extended some metres beyond what was visible. In his enthusiasm to find out how far it reached Malik confused it with the pockets of snow clinging to winter under the tree skirts; playing hide and seek with the invigorating rays of the spring sun.
They came to dwell with the quartz, to remain in its presence, seeking to be transported deeper within and higher up. The quartz made you wonder. Wonder with confidence. Wonder up. The massive cool fresh quartz engages you as if you were on time and up to speed on your life trajectory. It draws your truth out of you.
They agreed to eat lunch in an hour and served themselves some steaming tea. They sat cross-legged on their yoga mats 10 metres apart on the river bank. Once settled in, breathing and clear of mind Malik found his faculties subtly intrigued. He was being pulled to grasp what was going on: it was the rapids. As the rapids bounced the water all over the place, they were challenging the river, asking the river how important the flow of water was to it. The river, regaining its composure a few metres downriver, always answered the same: I may bend but I will never break.
Tammy didn’t like a sudden burst of her bubble of connection when they were in nature. Malik knew that. But the words just popped out.
‘I don’t think nature…,’ Proposed Malik, impacted by the electrical wash of the huge quartz. ‘… knows the concept of: in the meantime.’ Hearing himself speak he realised he had broken the connection bubble but for him this was a pretty deep thought so he just kept going. ‘Nature is always in the here and now…never waiting… endlessly passionate.’ Malik liked how his poetic kites floated into the early afternoon cool air. Soaking up the moment with his sense of transcendence he sought, Malik breathed in deeply.
Tammy, chill, aware and reflective in the robust, rewarding afternoon was shaken by Malik’s declarations. Hearing him utter in the meantime jolted her out of her cozy emotional vacation and dropped her into an unsettling mental state. Tammy went from cupping the thermos cup of green tea to strangling it.
In six year old Tammy’s mind meantime was what she called the episodes of her parents arguing. She instinctively recoiled under her bed in her and Shelly (her half-sister’s) room. Her bookshelf was empty. Her story books were in piles under her bed. Tammy lay among the dust bunnies and socks turning pages until the yelling and screaming stopped. She found a corporeal focus that completely blocked out life in the meantime. Fifteen year old Shelly wasn’t around so much so Tammy ended up being the flag bearer of her own safety. It seemed her parents first had to be mean to each other before they could approach her smiling saying:‘Don’t worry sweetie, come out from under there. Everything is going to be ok. Mommy is happy.’ Nine months and two police visits later there was no more meantime.
Gord was comfortable in his coffin. Snugly packed in with the intentions of his family.
Anyways, that is how he sees himself.
The steam from their mugs was curling and unfurling in the cloudy light of an early Saturday November afternoon. It’s because Gord kept his house on the cool side that steam was so obvious. And perhaps that is why he had so few visitors. Perhaps that was his plan.
Placing a mug of hot green tea on the kitchen table in front of Cedar, his grand-daughter, he slid into the chair opposite her.
‘Mmm, thanks GG’. GG is grandpa Gord.
You could smell the crisp green tea distinct, but not in opposition, to the history of the house. Gord had arrived here in this house as a newlywed, became a father, businessman and grandfather. And now he has become a widower in this house.
How can you call something that is three years old brand new? But that is how it felt every morning when Gord would wake up surprised to be alone. Gord hated the play on words but it was so apropos: Linda’s sickness was just like her – short and sweet.
To create space on the table he neatly stacked off to one side his library books that were making the place look a little disheveled. On top of the books he tossed his toque that a different granddaughter gave him last Christmas. He had been outside on the small front porch fiddling with the Christmas lights when Cedar arrived. Cedar didn’t arrive late but he just became too anxious and couldn’t wait for her inside. It wasn’t weird that GG had asked her to come over but it wasn’t a random invitation in the flow of things either.
Gord wanted to take a sip of his tea so as not to appear he was jumping straight into his story without being social with small talk. But by the feel of the mug in his palm he could tell it was still too hot to drink.
‘Cedar, how have you been, school and all?’ Gord manufactured conversation.
‘Pretty good. Ya, school is busy with exams around the corner.’
It was getting awkward pretty fast so Gord just launched in.
‘I realized that something was missing. I don’t know if I felt it was missing in me or in them to some degree, but for some reason I wasn’t able to provoke some sense of vision in life in my 3 children when I was …, in my role as their father.’
He didn’t want there to be unclarity. Or any sense of guilt for his children. For them to get their medium-sized inheritance. His children’s inheritance for Gord validated all the time he spent making money and not making connections with them. But he did have one condition that he hoped would be fulfilling for everyone involved. At this point he really couldn’t see them falling into a fight over his money. At the same time something told him they wouldn’t follow through with his wish if he wasn’t proactive. That is why Cedar was sitting in front of him now.
According to Gord, what he wanted wasn’t complicated or demanding.
Before the butterfly can fly it was first born as something very different: a leaf munching caterpillar. Although they are the same creature they show very different natures. The caterpillar is pedestrian and the butterfly graceful. The caterpillar cocooned itself with the genetic knowing it will be reborn into a colourful butterfly. The beautiful butterfly is reliant upon the survival of the slow caterpillar. All three stages (caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly) are equally and uniquely valid.
As we grow our lives are layered with the residue of our experiences. Each of the three names can accrue a greater potency as we learn which of those experiences direct us in the direction we want to go. As we grow we discover how best to work in the world, refine what we want and how to live accordingly.
When you seem to have an unclarity of what you want or how to get it, that is a good time to reflect on your resources. Or if there is a feeling of having lost direction or connection it is time to pause. It is very useful to review the role of each life within you that each of the three names represent. As you grow so does the pertinence of your history. As a child life decisions were made for you. Now as an adult you make them. This updating process highlights the value of your attitude and vision to extract meaning from your past and apply it to your development.
This process of updating helps to find purpose in the daily striving and the life long journey. It can take a load off of you in the moment to see the continuity of your life and harvest the life lessons and crystalize emotion of your experiences. There is healing available in case we need to reframe a difficult childhood. With a view to update your youth that now supports a development journey we can convert that difficult childhood from a wound into a strength. It can become the forging of a knowing that no matter the situation you find yourself in you bring unique value to the moment.
In the wake of peace from 15 minutes of meditation or walking in nature consider the following:
Foundation Name – The function of your family growing up, companionship in school and playing/sports/trips, learning new skills. – Breathe in the reality that those experiences support your growth now.
Synthesis Name – The importance of your unique way of upholding the human experience including: your style, sense of humour, attention to detail. Know that this is your fingerprint on the energy of life that you attract by the fact of your initiative and your human pedigree.
Mystery Name – Being creative with ways to stay curious about the pathways of energy: in the mind, of your high emotions, of the planet Earth and beyond. This elevates into clarity of what is happening in the moment as it is unto itself (as opposed to things are happening to you). This means you can load your elder life with your desire to be of service to your communities
In the updating process we will likely have many memories that make us happy, sad, angry and long for days gone by. We can take advantage of the awesome attribute of the mind called memory. It causes us to picture and feel our life history. We can generate appreciation for those times and make them into the strength of our foundation for what we as an adult and elder want to do and be. We can be grateful for the functioning of the body and its faculties for their accuracy of functioning in constant support of our life.
I think my parents were going to name me Catherine if I was a girl. If their child had been born a girl or had been given a different name, the same fundamental process of life still awaited the baby. The name we use to identify ourselves is a label more for the other people in life than for oneself.
Your name might resonate with you, as it fits your personality. Your name might be the same as your dad and implying you are the junior version of him. This is looking at names from a management or cultural view point.
Thinking about names from a viewpoint that humans are on a development journey that requires us to respond to many influences from the planet, people and unseen sources of energy. These unseen sources include the energetic changes that are associated with each new stage in life. We are quite possibly a very different person within a few years of having passed the threshold of youth into adulthood.
Some cultures have their elders provide a ‘sacred name’ to the child to be a reminder and guide throughout their life. Along those lines below are ideas for taking charge of your own name and thus your life.
The name you are given —
Child – What you are called – the name your parents gave you. Recognize and appreciate the foundation that resides in that name that provides the leverage for your growth as a man. This is your Foundation Name. It encapsulates your birth, your hunger for learning, your child’s love of life and the awkwardness of growing into your body and identity. This name stays with you through all of life’s stages. It is like a fresh mountain stream that is the clean source of your memories. It is the holding name for your initial connection with your life’s trajectory and your authenticity with that signal.
The name you choose —
Adult – What you want – the name that you decide reflects your synthesis of the inner and outer experiences, feelings and sensations. This is your Synthesis Name. You are a nexus of so many currents and threads, stages and lives, directions and levels, needs and wants. All of this is happening while you are tasked with being an integral member of many communities that include your marriage, family, neighbourhood, manhood, soulhood and a passenger on planet earth. Synthesising is you thriving in the moment of the current life stage you are living so that you derive satisfaction from how you live everyday life. That way your wife does not become responsible for your lack of satisfaction you feel because you were too busy with paternal/family/professional responsibilities. Then, as an elder you have a sense of accomplishment and of having contributed to the learning, growth and development of your communities.
The name that chooses you —
Elder – What you represent – to the continuance of the human story, to your communities, to the planet, to your soul accompanying your spirit into the universe. Your significance to the planet may be difficult to know while you are in the middle of striving in daily life to make a living and find meaning. So that name can be elusive. And that is why it is called the Mystery Name. Even if we don’t know what is always happening it is important to highlight the ideas and qualities that you feel resonate with your Mystery Name. This sensitivity to recognize what fits with this next stage of life is a real challenge that can be frustrating and seemingly have no progress. As you encounter success, challenges and failures in all stages of life you are in an ongoing process of consciously sowing the seeds of your eldership.
To highlight the reality of the ongoing stupidity of hazings that still occur in university fraternities and sororities there is a new TV program just released.
Dying to Belong is the name of the program. And it hits the nail on the head. We all want to belong but humiliating people and endangering their lives to generate a sense of exclusivity is juvenile.
Hazing is defined as the imposition of strenuous, often humiliating, tasks as part of a program of rigorous physical training and initiation. So the greater the humiliation then the club you are being initiated into should be that much more exclusive. Or provide a transcendent feeling of belonging. I am not sure that university frats get to that level of, well fraternity. Basically it is supposed to earn you a loyalty towards you when you need it. And your loyalty to your fraternity will be asked for when it is needed. In the meantime you have the status of saying you belong to this or that frat.
The thing is people die in these hazings that new recruits or pledges are submitted to. Why? Why does it have to dip to a level of life threatening humiliation?
To belong to the Jeep driver’s club all you need is to make a down payment of a few thousand dollars to buy your Jeep Wrangler and then keep up with your monthly payments. And as a result every time another Jeep drives in the opposite direction you get a cool and subtle wave as you drive by each other in your Jeeps. It’s silly. But it provides a sense of inclusion/acceptance/belonging in and among all the random traffic. And it is warming not demoralizing. It is simple not nefarious.
Initiation is the process of crossing the threshold into the next stage of life. And in some cultures they can be extremely demanding rite of passage like a vision quest. Or it can be a celebration like a bar mitzvah.
The idea of initiation is to create a mark that a person is entering into a new possibility in their life. Witness it. Make the ceremony and the person being initiated important. Generate in them the concept of upholding their dignity as they pass from child to young adult; or from adult to elder. So when we cross the threshold of death, from elder to ether, we have had practice knowing how to cross into the next realm and what is of value there.
While initiation helps the same person elevate in their development trajectory a distinct aspect of their life is being accessed in this new platform for life that encourages curiosity and perception.
If you are not religious then recognition of the next life stage might not be so ceremonious. It can be conversations to show appreciation of the person for what they have become up to now based on their challenges and opportunities. Appreciation coupled with respect for their version of responsibility as they grow. Reminding them to harvest from their past the milestones won by the vigour of their youth. Merging these lessons with the awareness being petitioned of each person to grow into the unknown.
Are you afraid of aging or is something else involved? A rich exploration into aging well.Unveiling :: Thoughts of aging have you tied in knots? — STEPHANIE NOBLE
Halloween in the haunted woodWhat We See In The Woods — Shuckleigh Chronicles
There is a well known adage that perhaps was coined by Confucoius or is alluded to in the Bible. Either way it goes like this:
‘Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.’
It would appear to hold true. This is very much the Rich Dad/Poor Dad juxtaposition.
Perhaps, in hindsight, there is a line missing:
Forget to demand respect for the planet from the man and he will destroy fish stocks and end up giving his children farmed fish full of chemicals.
Let’s look at the adage through the lens of: Advice, Guidance and Wisdom.
At the level of advice is ‘give a man a fish’
At the level of guidance is ‘teach him to fish’
At the level of wisdom is ‘demand respect, from yourself and others, on behalf of the planet’
Is for guys
Application is to work life, guy life, ego buoyancy, for not looking stupid, to the now
Forms of Advice – tips, sayings, phrases, guyisms, answers, encouragement
Advice provides timely ideas for someone to make decisions to get results.
Advice for any person, at any age in any stage in life. It is useful to daily life and can stand the test of time.
Provenance – brain
Relevance – bridging the moment with what you want
Guidance is for men.
Application – Guidance is a resource for learning to deal with fear, for growing awareness, for understanding others, for facing the future.
Forms of Guidance – story, map, the legend on a map, questions, challenges
Guidance hints at the man you become if you listen to it and let it impact your life
Provenance – heart
Relevance – love, the need to love and be loved
Is for The New You,
Application is for participation in service to something bigger than you, curiosity and reflection
Forms of Wisdom – crystalized, dense yet light in its transmission, mysterious and confusing and settling
Wisdom is the language of the instinct talking about finding meaning and integrating it into life
Provenance – soul
Relevance – magnetizing to the truth and electrifying to action
Practice all 3 (Advice – Guidance – Wisdom): Know the difference so advice doesn’t get passed off as guidance; and wisdom doesn’t get reduced to guidance.
Demand advice from your peers, guidance from your parents and wisdom from your elders.
In the northern hemisphere we will soon be entering a quarter of harvests and waning light, starting with Lughnasadh/Lammas. In the south there will be the energy of rising light and growth. In the manner of the yin/yang symbol. a taste of that energy is present here too. As I approach Lughnasadh/Lammas this year, I […]TOWARDS THE SEASON OF HARVESTS: 2021 — contemplativeinquiry
“Each day brings a new surprise – another songbird’s voice, new buds emerge, and, finally, wildflowers. Marsh marigolds first, then violets. The … Season 3 Episode 30: Julie Riso on Awakening to Nature Rebecca Budd, some of you know her as “Clanmother”, was one of the first bloggers I met on WP. This is going […]Season 3 Episode 30: Julie Riso on Awakening to Nature — Wish I Were Here
Aerial photos reveal groups of Japanese cedar trees swelling toward the sky, creating two forest circles. According to a 1973 document from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, researchers had embarked on a project designed to examine tree spacing and its effect on growth. According to Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, the height difference between the […]Experimental Forestry in Japan results to amazing Tree ‘Crop Circles’ half a century later — e MORFES
Yet we are scared of getting old. And petrified of dying. Finding the value in the moment can keep these fears from impacting our view of life. Better yet bringing the value that highlights the moment injects your unique synthetic ability into the day. Synthesis here meaning you are the nexus between yesterday and tomorrow; between the devotional and the daily; between man and gentleman. It is actually a very organic process – applying your unique synthetic ability. In our day and age synthetic can invite connotations of manufactured and fake. Here synthetic is almost alchemic in the moment as you weave your qualities and abilities with what you want to cause. All of this generating an event that has never happened before.
Breath comes slow and easy as light begins to filter through, gently breaking up the night. Breathing yet with the earth, calm pervades, questions … breathe with the earthbreathe with the earth — Mystical Strings
What in the world do Nature Spirits have to do with the education of a man so he is a totem pole of warmth and protection for his spouse?
Nature Spirits are always and everywhere connected to their nature and the moment and their purpose. Imagine if a man could say the same.
How does a man connect with his nature, elevate in the moment, adhere to their purpose?
A few thoughts …
What are Nature Spirits. Nature Spirits are the religious life of planet Earth. The spirits of the wilderness are the abundant energy that resonates from the spinning earth. They are natural and are integral in your well being in various ways. In every life. If you have a soul you are an anchor for nature spirits. That makes you important to nature. That means you are appreciated by nature. Nature being planet Earth. Your home. Your power source.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a soul. Or you as a soul bearing being – that’s ok.
Read these words slowly. Know that you have a soul; that you inhabit a planetary soul. That your soul registers the energy of nature spirits. When at peace anyone can sense this energy. When we get stuff done in our day we generate Satisfaction. Satisfaction is the foundation for peace. So the homework of connecting with nature is being good at your Satisfaction to be able to offer to others and nature a man at peace.
What the Nature Spirits need to know is the real you. They can mesh with the you of now. Not the Ego based needy version of some guy. What they seek is the you that loves responding to the call for a man. To do and to be. Not that the man knows everything. Far from it. They love the imperfect man that wants to grow. That accepts his faults because his human qualities are a better reflection of who he is. Highlighting his strengths is a better investment than correcting his faults.
It is crucial that a man understand he is wanted. Wanted by his family. Wanted by the powers of religion. Moved by religion. Animated by a relevant power to push into the world. To surge into the day. The amazing matrix with which a man can do all this everyday is the soul.
The soul is the amplifier of your passion, your emotion, your belief. Yours. No one else’s.
It simply cannot provide soul service to another body. Because you and your soul are intricately, beautifully and fatality intertwined. No body can decide for you the relationship you as an adult have with your soul.
Without a doubt you have programming from your childhood that impacts your decision making whether they are good habits or traumatizing events. Now you are an adult and you decide your habits, routines and rituals. Let’s say habits are more for the Ego, routines for your Best
Ego and Rituals for your Devotional life – the Higher Soul.
All three of these use your history that lives in your blood and your resonance from your bones as a source of power. Power to connect with nature and higher perception. Power to project rejuvenating energy to someone else. Power to keep learning how to use your Best Ego to help get your Satisfaction that generates peace to welcome healing Nature Spirits into your life.
Connect, Elevate, Adhere.
Go Man Go.