Monday, 18 June 2018

Getting Lost.

Yesterday I got lost, now this is nothing new it has happened to me many times in the past. It happened most often when I was a runner. I would arrive at a new site and head off out for a run. I would know how far I hoped to run, usually around about ten miles, but I was not always so keyed into the direction of travel. I remember one day ending up completely lost and to make matters worse my French was terrible and even if it had been better I could not remember the name of the site I was on. Two or more hours later I found my way back.

Another occasion that is well imprinted on my brain was the day I had noticed a cycle route. My wife and son were going to join me they cycling me running. All seemed to be going well until I noticed a crossing I had been over before. Lost without a paddle as they say. That day I ran forty miles and not only did I run the cycle route but the other four routes also.

Having had that experience I began to take greater attention of my surroundings while running and walking. I also kept in my head the turns I was taking, two lefts and a right, giving me an idea of where in respect of my site I might be. So it was with great surprise that yesterday I managed to lose my way and my bearings.

Fortunately knowing the time and seeing the sun I was able to find my way back to the beach and after two miles walking along it, I began to recognise my surroundings.

Being lost on a journey is not the only kind of lostness we may suffer. In life, we determine our goals and set out on the path we believe will get us to the goal. But knowing where we are heading and having set our goals the future is always uncertain. This is why it is important to continually evaluate where we are on our journey of life and even more so if we are on a spiritual journey.

When confronted with pivotal decisions it is good to stop and take stock. How much more do we wish to do, will staying the course bring us to the desired goal. Never be afraid to change path even though to do so will upset routines. If we never know where we are in life we can never expect to find the happiness we seek. it is never easy to change course but it is frequently a worthy exercise.

Have a marvellous day and beware of losing track or course on the journey to your goals. of course we have to have set the goals or the journey is pointless.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Just a little dream

When you are young your life is full of dreams of what the future might hold for you. Most of us dream of being the master of our fate and the captain of our soul. As age catches up with us we often settle for being the master of our weight and the captain of the dominoes team. Such is the way of life and the dreams of youth.

I have spent a great deal of my life dreaming of the hopes of what I might accomplish at the same time aware that the great sages of life tell me that this world and life is but a dream. I have spent some time today thinking about just this.

When we arise on a foggy morning, or in Scotland a morning covered with sea haar, the hills obscured the trees and buildings appear as diaphanous apparitions, we might be tempted to agree with the sages of old that all life is but a dream.

The memories of the past and the dreams of today blend and turn into some kind of fantasy.

While here in France I frequently awake to this wonderful dream that I cannot escape from.

But in the midst of the dream, the bee-eater bird is still calling out loud and clear. Never does the singing and calling stop. When everything else seems to be frozen in a moment, in the chapel of the dawn, this little bird continues to call. Maybe he/she is in the same dream but protests loudly that life is a reality.

In the midst of all of this is the inner reality of being alive and the clock of time has just awakened us to a new day. Life for each of us might often seem a dream but day by day we awake to a new reality of wondrous expectation. Why dream when we can experience the joys of life and friendship.

Oh to be a daydreamer again, but real life beckons. Have a marvellous day.

My painting was painted immediately after a very early morning walk. There is a world of wonder that is not a dream.

I have just noticed this is blog 800 of a continuous series of writing, I am wondering if this is a good point at which to stop boring people?

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Have you ever felt you were always wrong?

There are those days when it seems that everything you do is just wrong. Everything you say. Every action all just seem to be wrong. 

I am just hoping that for the sake of the owner of this lovely little dog I have at least got this correct.

There are some people in life who do make big mistakes that almost brand them and haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The weatherman in the UK who said that there was no need to fear the predicted bad weather was not going to happen only to see the worst weather in years within the next few hours. To this day his name is associated with wrong weather predictions.

The recording company who turned down the Beatles said this, "We don't think the Beatles will do anything in their market. Guitar groups are on their way out." They got that well wrong and probably regretted it for many years.

Then. this one that has gone down in history. A bishop of a century ago pronounced from his pulpit and in the periodical he edited that, "Heavier-than-air flight was both impossible and contrary to the will of God." 

Oh, the irony that Bishop Wright had two sons, Orville and Wilbur! Wright was wrong. Sure of himself, but wrong. 

The chairman of the board of the company IBM said this, "I think there is a world market for about five computers." He most certainly got that wrong.

Lee de Forest the inventor of the cathode ray tube said this, "Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility, a development which we should waste little time dreaming about. 

So I ask again have you ever had a day where everything went wrong? According to those around me yesterday I most certainly did.

But rejoice, with those exceptions like some of those above, it is so often the case that it is only in the opinion of others that everything you say and do is wrong and it is only their opinion. I am still very reluctant to agree with them.

As an old friend said to his closest friend, "If I agree with you then we will both be wrong."

Have a marvellous day.


Friday, 15 June 2018

Those important moments.

So the world cup got underway yesterday. My wife, Irene, made a comment to me that it was the date of her mother and fathers wedding anniversary. She very quickly went on to recite a list of other important dates that had made an impression on her mind. It is true that certain dates seem to make a lasting impression.

Getting back to the world cup, there are a number of people on pitches around about me who seem to have a certain date firmly embodied in their minds. If I tell you the date is 1966 you will instantly know which nationality I am speaking of. it seems that a certain football team won the world cup in that year.

My friend has a birthday coming up, his 84th, he was asking me how we were going to get all those candles on a cake? Seems he has forgotten that after a certain age you get one candle. The hidden message is, "Go on see if you can blow that one out."

Dates are not my strongest point and my excuse is that if you live by the Taoist principle of going with the flow then dates do not really matter in the ongoing continuum.

So with these thoughts in my mind, I asked myself. How old am I?  Then I asked, "Have I made a life I can look back on with some sense of satisfaction?" The first question I may not always get a correct answer for but the second is a resounding yes.

Can I look back on my inner and spiritual growth and see an unbroken progress?  I am feeling that I am progressing and still on the road.

Has the world progressed along a path I feel happy with? No.

How much have a done since I last sat here in Agde in France? Happy to say I feel I have continued to move onward.

Each day is a milestone on a path. If you are still at the beginning of that wonderful journey then look forward to that day when you may look back and hope that like me today you look back with a sense of achievement.

Thoe who have found a path they are happy to travel tend not to count days or years, or mark the calendar of success, they are more like hikers who wander, not worrying or fretting about the path, not concerned by distance or time they are just content to still be on the journey.

I am aware that for those who in the past have made a dramatic decision in life to change the path they travel and find it good to mark the milestones as a way of encouraging themselves to make the most of the day, one day at a time.

For those who today is a meaningful day, I wish you well. For those looking for a repeat of a bygone momentous moment, I wish them good hope. Is that a lump on my face or is it my tongue in my cheek? I am smiling, please smile with me and make this a good day for us all.

Have a good one.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Call it what it is.

There are some people who have a habit of putting their tongues into action without first engaging their brains. I, probably like most of us, have heard a few such people. I even remember some of the things I have heard them saying, never meaning to insult, but doing it very successfully.

"There are two kinds of people in this world, I do not like either of them." Sadly those who thought like this were not very likeable people themselves.

"I am really very sorry if I offended you when I called you stupid, I honestly thought you already knew." The person the said that was not the brightest pea in the pod.

"If I agreed with you then we would both be wrong." Some people just think they know everything.

This made me begin to wonder, as I cycled one of my favourite routes in this part of the world. Along the seashore through some villages and a nudist village and then on to go through a wildlife reserve. it made me wonder what kind of person I was and what kind of person I hoped others saw.

I really would like to be the kind of person who:-

Who cannot be bought, either with money or flattery?

My word is my bond and can be relied upon. 

That I would always put character above wealth, or gain.

I was always larger than their title my occupation gave me.

That I never hesitate to take chances, not only for myself but for my friends.

That I would never lose my individuality in a crowd just to be at one with everybody else.

That I am as honest in small things as in great things.

That I never make a compromise with wrong.

That my ambitions are not confined to my own selfish desires.
That I am true to my friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity.

And a final two thoughts that came to me as I sat here writing.

That I do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success.

That I am Never  ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular and can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes." 

What do you think? What if any of those would you consider important for yourself?

Have a thought filled day.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

A Learning Experience.

Robert and his young grandson, Bob were out fishing one lovely summer day.  Bob turned to his grandfather and asked. "Grandad, how does this boat float?" Robert thought for a moment and replied, "I have no idea."

A little bit later, Bob again asked his grandad a question, "Grandad how do fish swim underwater?"
Again he was given the same answer, "I have no idea."

"Grandad why is the sky blue?" Again the same reply. "I have no idea son."

A little while later, "Grandad, do you mind me asking you all those questions?" Robert replied, "Of course not lad.  If you do not ask questions  you will never learn anything."

Learning is the fountain of youth and no matter how old we are we must never stop learning. As long as we continue to learn and engage in doing things and welcoming new ideas, and expanding our minds then we are engaged in the creativity of the self.

If you look closely at the seniors around us those who are ongoing and vital. Those who seem to enjoy participating in life, you will notice that the one thing they have in common is the desire to keep on learning. These are the ones who are brimming with vitality because day after day they are still engaged and finding new ways to do things.

As we enter each new phase of our lives, things change.

I watched some people running along the beach paths yesterday and remembered how I used to love the feeling of such movement and energy.  I can no longer do this to the same extent as I once did. I have however found new ways to give me this same inner buzz of life. I have revamped myself according to my present situation. This is the secret of staying young, of continuing to find life interesting and challenging. The way to overcome the boredom of another day that sadly so many of my contemporaries complain about.

Be positive and see each day as another wonderful challenge.

On the thought of older age, an old lady who had reached her hundredth birthday was asked by a group of reporters, "What is the secret of being a hundred?" She replied, "I guess it is down to being born so long ago."

Have a great day.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Lets see things as they are!

Four men were playing a round of golf together. A Fairly regular event and the way the conversation went was also fairly standard.

After a few holes, one of the players complained that the golf course had far too many hills, "Can they not do something about them he asked?"

Two holes later another of the players protested. " The bunkers on this course are way far too deep."

Very soon after this, the third of the foursome complained, "The only thing wrong with this course is the holes we have to putt into they are far too small."

The fourth player looked at them and said, "Be grateful we are on the right side of the grass."  Meaning they could be at least six foot under the golf course and playing no golf.

When you admire a painting do not look too closely at the paint.
When you meet an artist do not look too closely at the brushes.

If you really wish to find the meaning and purpose of life you waste time if you spend all your life looking at the small things of life. To fully appreciate the beauty of a painting you do not look at the brushstroke of the paint.

Why seek the genius of an artist by looking at the brushes the artist uses? It is the mind and thinking of the artist where the real beauty lies.

If you are seeking the meaning and the beauty of the universe you have to look beyond the physics, the mechanics and the forces of nature. You have to try and experience the essence of the moment.

Too often we become mesmerised by life's details that we cannot comprehend the whole.

The essence of life will never be known to the human as long as he seeks to observe like somebody outside of it.

The true beauty of nature and the essentials of life can only ever be experienced by fully becoming at one with nature.  Going with the flow and seeing life as more than the moment.

Today's painting was my morning walk, dark ominous clouds that later led to a thunderstorm. But a few moments later the sun and warmth came through and the flowers opened.

To appreciate the artist forget the brushes.

It is never the little niggles that measure your life but the overall beauty of the day.

Have a marvellous day my friends. Behind the storms lies beauty.