Be Kind

 

Young child playing at ease in a squatting pos...

My religion is very simple.
My religion is kindness.

 Dalai Lama

The Phoenix Fire Department motto is “Be Nice.”  I’ve always liked that.  Two words conveying a way of being.

Sometimes the hardest things to grasp are  the most simple. The gift of a flower. A pat on the back. A compliment to a stranger.

And yet, if we believe the Dalai Lama, what we give out comes back to us, full circle.

So if we are mindful, fully in the present moment, what we may need and crave is someone to notice us, to approve of our struggles in this world, to be kind.

And If we are able to give what we need, the world will mirror back our intentions in so many ways.

Be kind.

 

Writer’s Block

 

water reflections

I’d been having a miserable writer’s block.

Nothing seemed to help.

I sang, I danced, I walked around the block, I called my sister. Nada.

Then I set the alarm for 4:45 am and changed where I wrote. Instead of at my regular desk I cleaned out a vacant studio and set up a temporary table for my laptop.

I banished the cat.

I turned off my radio. I opened a patio door and watched the sunshine on the red rocks. And listened to the early morning quail and blue jays chattering in the apricot tree.

And I waited.

Got up and did some stretches. Sat down again. Nothing.

Turned off the Internet. Listened to the painted towhee in the Russian sage.

Watched a rabbit getting a drink of water.

Observed a lizard skittering across the summer-hot rocks.

And listened.

And was patient.

And finally the words started to flow.

Ah, home, at last!

Downton Abbey: Up close and personal

Highclere Castle van de Carnarvon-familie, gel...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out the fascination of Downton Abbey. Certainly the clothes. How marvelous! And the interweaving of the upper class with those who care for them. But one of the biggest draws for me was watching the vehicles change.

They lived in the Age of Transportation, going from horse carriage to rail to automobile to airplane.  How exciting to see all of these for the very first time. Can you imagine, having been limited to the speed a brace of horses would go, to all of a sudden be catapulted into the 20th century with a ride in a brand new automobile!
I’ve been reading a memoir of an extraordinary person, whose life parallels the folks at the Abbey. In many ways her life was as exciting as theirs. The author? Agatha Christie. I was first introduced to Dame Christie by watching reruns of M.A.S.H. There is a wonderful episode where Hawkeye and B.J. are reading her newest mystery, only to find the last page missing. The story follows their efforts to find out exactly what happened.

Agatha had always been a story-teller. As a young only child, she invented a group of Kittens, and told elaborate stories of their adventures. Later on, of course, she became famous for her wonderful series of mysteries involving both Hercule Perot (who bears an amazing resemblance to her second husband) and Miss Marple.

In a way she was like Conan Doyle in that both characters were old when she invented them, with little chance to grow and change. She tried several times to shift into other venues, but her publishers kept pulling her back. They knew what the readers wanted!

She traveled with her first husband around the world. Followed her second husband to archeological digs all over the middle east. Lived through both world wars. An amazing lady!