New Civilization News: Three Graces    
 Three Graces5 comments
picture25 Jan 2005 @ 05:24, by John Ashbaugh

I keep in mind the thought that I’d like to come up with something for ncn. Yet I’m passing through a time that I guess can be described as the doldrums. Not exactly depression or anything quite so deep. More of a sense of emptiness, and a sense of directionlessness akin to looking down a trail which leads into the fog.
A very dear friend who lives near Boulder, Colorado fell asleep on a heating pad three weeks ago, and woke up with a third degree burn on her back about the size of a videocassetee, so I talked with her quite frequently over the phone during the excruciating time she went through as she began to heal. She got her skin graft and is home now in the care of her mother and sister. The rest of the world disappears when you are thinking about things like that.
My mother’s cat died about a week after new years. This was a cat she raised from a kitten, and he was her companion at home she could look after, especially since my father died five years ago. My mother is a good one for always taking care of living creatures. She takes a walk out in her back yard every day to leave some bread and perhaps some fruit for the birds and bunnies and squirrels. So here again, a loss, some sorrow, and pain have touched someone close to my heart.
Then there was all that news of the tsunami, and my thoughts about its striking the place where I once lived.
And then there is all of this neverending news about the evil and corruption that pervades the economic and political world, and I follow many of those insightful observations on ncn about all of this, and I feel empty.
There are alternative places to live in Australia, just as there are on this continent, and maybe my time will come to be a part of one of those. Maybe my time will come to relocate, and maybe I will be washed away by the next tsunami. We thought we were on the verge of changing something in the late 60’s and early 70’s. In retrospect, how naive we were. The voices are there. I read them on ncn, and I read them all over the web, and in various print publications and books, and I think I would like to say something about all of this, but that is not my role, although I do get some points across and do make some of my students at school think in ways slightly different from what they are used to. So that is my contribution in that arena. Otherwise, I want to look beyond the suffering and the death and the madness, for it is coming upon us in ever increasing waves, and there is little to say that is going to change that. The only questions are when and how, and there are a hundred thousand pages on the web that will give you whatever prediction you might be partial to.
I want to live with the hope for how things can be better. I want to live with the healing that we are all going to have to go through, those of us who live into the times of the next generation. I want to bury the dead with the sense of eternal spirit. I want to hope that the waves of destruction can in some sense provide a cleansing for the spirit of our human life.
I like to take walks along canyon trails, through damp and misty forests, and along riverbanks at sunset, and snap a few photos along the way, picking out some little arrangement of the natural world, and fixing it, a frozen moment in time, that surely will melt, but for now, but for now, I can enjoy it for just a few more fleeting moments.
May tomorrow bring a moment or two or three of joy to your heart, may whatever wounds you bear continue their healing, may the spirits you have laid to rest stay warm in your heart, and may all of your days find you with someone to care for.

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25 Jan 2005 @ 06:01 by ov : Grace
is that place and state of mind where we can experience what we came here for. Hang in there John it won't be that much longer now, just an eyeblink in comparison to how long it has taken to get this far. When things start to visiably fall apart the person that can act with composure will be able to anchor an entire community. You don't have to change anything around you, just keep standing strong and your words will be remembered when the time comes for them to have value.  

25 Jan 2005 @ 06:13 by astrid : That is
so beautiful ov, as beautiful as John's sad essay. You are both two very beautiful men!  

25 Jan 2005 @ 18:00 by swan : Sending blessings to you, John,
at a time when the lows seem deep and the highs far and few between. Remember when we were up in the mountain and that little patch of snow by the tree that contained the shrine to someone. For some reason it carried a sense of hope to me, even though I know it was probably a shrine to a sad event. It reminded me of the crocus coming up through the snow and the hard ground as a sign that Spring was not far behind. Life ebbs and flows and hope springs eternal. And grace lets us know that there is something greater than this beyond what we are seeing and experiencing.  

26 Jan 2005 @ 14:19 by martha : Lots of predictions John
as you say are on the web and depending on one's mood, one can find both heaven and hell in the words.
Many of us feel weighted down by the activities of this world. As Swan says life does ebb and flow. In times of ebb I am reflective and in times of flow the beauty in life reminds me why we are here.
Go find a beauty object John and meditate on it. You have the choice each moment to lift your spirit. And rejoice in the fact that your mom's cat brought her much joy and love which far out weighs the passing.  

26 Jan 2005 @ 18:13 by koravya : Thanks and Blessings
Yes ov,
That is a very nice way of expressing a thought that we can all keep to heart. Each of us has our place and our voice, and there is a time and place for each of us to express what we see and know as our vision of how things are and how they will evolve.
Some of us are artists and poets and musicians, and some of us know how to wade through the complexities of economic and political rhetoric in search of truth, and others of us have psychological and spiritual insight that we can share in our quests for truth and light. Together, each in turn, we can make our world a better place.
Thanks for the recollection Swan, of that little shrine in the snow. On our little tour, I showed you some places that I had been to, that you had never seen before, and you showed me things in those places that I had never seen before. May our mutual insights and revelations continue.
Thank you Astrid. You see the beauty in others, because you have that beauty in your own heart.
Thank you Martha, for your reminder that our times of reflections are a necessary part of the flow we move with. And thanks for your thought for my mother. Her heart is at once tender in caring, wise in understanding, and strong with insight.  

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