The Call

In the words of Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Work of Art: Mink River by Brian Doyle

 Mink River

This is one of the most wondorous and beautifully written books we have ever read. Brian Doyle breaks every rule and creates a work of art ...... painting pictures with his prose. He ignores every grammatical rule and we love his naughty punctuation. This is a must read for every word lover. Enjoy this breathtaking journey. Larry & Charlotte Bacon

Here is a short excerpt from Mink River:

"The river thinks, too, you know. Did you think that rivers did not think? The Mink is thinking. Salmon and steelhead and cutthroat trout, it thinks. Fir needles. Salmonberries dropping suddenly and being snapped up by trout who think them orange insects. Alder and spruce roots drinking me always their eager thin little rude roots poking at me. Rocks and pebbles and grains of stone and splinters of stone and huge stones and slabs and beaver and mink and crawdads and feces from the effluent treatment plant upriver. Rain and mist and fog and gale and drizzle and howl and owl. Asters and arrow-grass. Finger creeks feeder creeks streams ditches seeps and springs. Rowboats and rafts. Canoes and chicory. Men and women and children. Dead and alive. Willows and beer bottles and blackberry and ducklings and wood sorrell and rubber boots and foxglove and buttercup and rushes and slugs and snails and velvetgrass and wild cucumber and orbweaver spiders and that woman singing with her feet in me singing..........

"Brian Doyle's stunning fiction debut brings a town to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people. In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. There's a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer and berries. An expedition is mounted, a crime committed, and there's an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field. Babies are born. A car is cut in half with a saw. A river confesses what it's thinking. . . It's the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice, and readers will close the book more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world." David james Duncan, author of The River .

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Good Coffee Morning

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back in Sutherlin after a little Tuckaway retreat. Good coffee! We are cutting back on coffee and opting for tea most mornings. It sure makes that cup of coffee good! Had a pretty good night of sleep..... after it cooled off. Had a splendid time at Tuckaway yesterday. Coffee on the porch in the sun (see photo at left) and then coffee at the pond. We harvested cherry tomatoes, beans and cukes, windfall apples and pears and hiked up the hill for more blackberries. I can't believe how much I enjoyed picking blackberries! It is relaxing, calming, pleasurable. The same was true for the cherry tomatoes. Good morning God, angels, guides... good morning Sherry.

I have finally located my "idea book" but I don't want to get caught up in a "to do" list. I have enjoyed the feeling of daily freedom - freedom to choose day to day,  moment to moment. I know how locked in my dictator can get - locked into that "To Do" list.... making me feel good if I get it done - making me feel bad if I don't.

Martha Beck has really opened my eyes to the dictator. I think I have experienced a dramatic shift of some kind. I seem to be enjoying life on a whole new level.... a deeper level. I am more present in the moment. Is it detoxing on Fat Flush? Is it the Chakra clearing exercises? Is it you, Sherry? Was it being in the country at Tuckaway?

I am grateful for the joy I am experiencing. Thank you God.

We couldn't help but notice the contrast between being on the front porch here in Sutherlin and being on the front porch at Tuckaway. They both have good views. We look across a valley full of people coming and going here in Sutherlin. At Tuckaway we look across a valley filled with cows and llamas. Tuckaway is quiet except for the occassional cow, coyote, birds and bees. The valley in Sutherlin is seldom quiet. It is filled with the noise of children playing, barking dogs, traffic noise and guns - at least last evening.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good Morning Dear Sweet Sister

Sunday, August 14, 2011
Good morning dear Sherry,
I am missing you so. You are on my mind and in my heart each and every day. The tears are near the surface although I know you would tell me not to cry for you. Your life was too short..... you left us too soon. I found myself awake in the night pondering the bigger questions - why are we here?!?! Why are we here on this earth and why did you leave? Why are Larry & I here in San Clemente? I know that your passing has had a huge impact on me in ways that I cannot even know yet. You are with me still and for that I am grateful. Without me realizing it  at the time, you were one of my greatest teachers and continue to teach me on a daily basis. You are one of my true heroes for so many reasons. I'll tell you about that one of these days.

Back to the question, "Why are we here?" It makes me think of a song Larry wrote about not long ago, "What's it all about, Alfie?" Now that's a song from our youth. Remember, we used to think it was sad?

What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there's something much more,
Something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie
would you tell me what's it all about?
what's it all about? Alfie, Alfie, Alfie.
What's it all about? Whats this all about?
what's it all about Alfie?

 It seems we are all looking for ways to fill our time with activities that make us feel good. Always searching for things that make us feel good. Since most of us are needing to make money to live, or so we think, we are looking for an endeavor that makes us feel good. We exchange the money for goods, shelter, creature comforts, clothing and "stuff" - stuff that makes us feel good..... toys, trinkets, trivia - unbelievable! Trading time for money - trading our lives for money - selling our souls for a dollar, if we are not conscious. I don't think that was the drummer you were marching to..... I think you had more faith than we have about being taken care of. We go through life spending our time - the minutes, hours, days, weeks, years - our bank account of time - much of it in a state of unconsciousness - filling up the minutes and hours with activities that make money - even when it may make us miserable - trying to buy our way to happiness - to freedom - the freedom to choose, but choose what? Many of us settling for far less that what we really long for or think we want. Why? Because we don't think we can have it or deserve it?

Most of us searching for the compromise - some endeavor that won't make us totally miserable - something that will make us feel good sometimes. It often seems to be activity that feeds the ego - makes the ego feel good but in the bigger picture does any of that matter? The degrees, awards, praise, acceptance? In the work-a-day world it matters. It gets us the promotions, more money - makes life easier but who are we selling out to? and what is it really costing us? You didn't seem to function in that world. Your world was much simpler but far more difficult. I wish you could tell me what you thought of all of that.

Up until now, who has been driving my bus? I think I was allowing myself to be addicted to the Internet for a long time..... information overload ..... because it was feeding the ego.... it felt productive in some way.... useful and I think it is a huge escape? I was so distracted by my efforts to feel good that I never stopped to think about who was driving my bus? I was so busy trying to stay on the path or find the path, that I never stopped long enough to think about where I was or where I was headed until my close encounter with your spirit. Maybe I was more lost than I realized or maybe I was just going in circles - like riding the carousel. I kept changing animals but I was still going around in the same circle or maybe I was exactly where I was meant to be. I think most of the time, whether consciously or more than likely, unconsciously, I am being driven by fear. How do I get to the truth - the guts of the matter - the master mechanism driving everything else? They say the truth will set you free. I guess I am looking for my truth. Since that last week I spent with you so much of what I spend my time "doing" seems very meaningless. I think I must find a way to spend more time "being".

Fear is a powerful force - the most powerful force used by the ego. I get so caught up in the activities, the business end of life that I forget to ask why - I forget that I need to stop and check in from time to time - and ask why? and then ask again, and again..... until I get to the truth.

I sometimes feel like Adam's little chinchillas - running on a wheel that goes nowhere - trapped in a box and running on the wheel..... because it feels good or because I don't know what else to do?
I don't want to run on that wheel any longer. I don't want to go through life asleep and unconscious any more - making small talk to be part of the tribe. I don't want to be on the bus going nowhere and not realizing it. Maybe I need to get off and rest for awhile.... just be still. I am craving stillness.

My life - my minutes and hours are more precious than that. I think I have been so caught up in this way of getting through each day, I don't even remember who I am. I have been on auto pilot in so many ways. Sometimes I am aware of being on auto pilot when I relate to people. It's a way of not sharing my true self and feelings.... and sometimes the folks I am interacting with are special to me, like you. I regret that when we talked each day during that last 9 months that so often I was on auto pilot.... not really listening to you and not really sharing myself. You deserved better than that and so did I. I wish that we had had less small talk and more meaningful conversations. I know that we did have some wonderful exchanges but I had so many questions and things I wanted to talk about and I put them off for someday.... for June when we'd all be together. I am so sorry for that.  I want to become a gifted listener and keen observer. I don't want to miss any of life going on around  me. I want to learn to be totally present in the moment - get the most from each day on a conscious, spiritual level - BE HERE NOW.

I am realizing this could be the last time I will see our family in Texas..... because who knows how much time any of us have. Did you know how much time you had left on this earth? We have a lot of history with those folks, with that place. I keep going back time and time again. I must be looking for something. Will I ever find what it is I am searching for? I want to honor you with this pilgrimage. I want to get all I can out of being in that place with those people for both of our sakes. I want to be present each day with myself and not be shut off from feelings I may be avoiding. I want to be present with the people, the plants, the animals, the clouds, the stars, the air I breathe and you. I want to be present with all of the senses that I possess in this physical body.... and the deeper and more subtle energies of the universe. They take ever more stillness and attention, I think.

What now? I don't know about anything anymore but perhaps living in the moment means not knowing - perhaps being in the present is all about following the thread.... looking for the breadcrumbs..... watching for the clues, the signs and wonders, the bent twig, the broken leaf, the footprint in the soft earth. Perhaps getting off of the "wheel", the treadmill of life, means stopping often to rest; being still and listening for that small voice more often. Perhaps I have forgotten how to be really quiet and still and listen but I have faith that I can learn again.

Larry & I used to go to the beach and we'd say "we're going to sit here and watch the waves until we know something". We never did have that big aha moment. We discovered or rather remembered some small details that seemed important to life but we never "knew something big" Perhaps that is what we are searching for ..... the small and precious moments, like the ones I felt but could not express in words, as I sat with you dear Sherry, as you passed out of your physcal body and into pure energy. Thank you for sharing life with me. You have left me with many questions to ponder but I know it is a good thing. I hope, dear sweet Sherry, that you know you have touched many lives and continue to do so. I pray that you are at peace.... at last.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Morning Contemplation

Our last full day at Tuckaway. We spent yesterday mowing, raking and weed eating - looks good. Sitting on the front porch in the early morning sun over coffee. Breathe in, breathe out, life is good. Gold panning ocean beaches??? How weird is that? I must find out more about that story! Have been doing some research and talking to folks about Oregon prospecting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuckaway Morning

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Tuckaway Farm
Yoncalla Oregon

There is fog in the valley this morning. We are spending a few days at Tuckaway. Our time here has been idyllic. I am sitting in the kitchen looking out the window at the barn and meadow. The other window is a kaleidoscope of birds at the feeder. A good bed, good food, good company, Good God! We have been busy planning our scutcher for next week. Bullard's Bar Beach is our first stop and then we are headed down to the Sixes River for some gold prospecting. We'll get down to Tofte Ranch around the 25th.

"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

John Muir (1838 - 1914)

Larry: What Do We Really Know About Each Other???

I was thinking of this just a few weeks ago as I was writing in my morning journal.......
The Brevity of Life.... my life span of 70+ years and counting are complete in my memory with the exceptions of the first couple of years and a few fragments since then. So looking back I can see the long trail that tells my story. On the other hand, my children didn't know me until they were born so there's a 22 year chunk of my life missing in their awareness, not to mention the 30+ years since they left home and began their own lives. So in their memories, my life spans about 20 years and even those years are incomplete because of my working hours and sleep.

Now I realize that is all normal but what struck me last night when we were reminiscing about Sherry's life (Sherry is Charlotte's younger sister that just passed on) was how little we are able to claim of her time on earth, how much of her story was missing for us. Then I backed it up a generation or two and realized that over time, our time on earth disappears. So that begs the question, what is left? "What's it all about, Alphie?" I believe we are incarnated to learn and create. Our interactions with others is part of that learning process; we learn from each other, they learn from us. The lessons are what lasts - the impact we have on each other, both "good or bad". So.... I'm comforted by the knowledge that our time is well spent and valuable, even when outward appearances don't seem to indicate that.

Friday, April 01, 2011

The Awesomeness of Being

As many of you know we journal almost every day. I thought this entry worthy of sharing.......And now a few words from Larry. Love, Charlotte

Every once in a while, I need a wake-up call, a call to pay closer attention. Too easily do I slide back into mediocrity, drifting along on the stream of life without putting my oars in the water. That call came to me recently from an unlikely source - from a novel that I was reading. In it, the protagonist was utterly convinced by the antagonists that his wife, whom he dearly loved, had been brutally murdered. He lived with the agony of that knowledge for a day or so before he discovered that it had been a cruel hoax, he had found her alive and unharmed. He was so overcome with joy and gratitude at the sight of her that he couldn't seem to get enough of her - the feel of his palm on her cheek, the smell of her hair, the little smile wrinkles at the corners of her eyes, the sound of her voice.

Would that we react that way every time we see a loved one, keeping in mind that they could be taken away in an instant. Oh, I know, we can't live our lives with that kind of dread but we can dwell a little longer over a cup of coffee with our loved one, listen to them more attentively, look at them with "seeing" eyes in order to imprint their image on our brain. Maybe turn off the TV and simply "be" with them.

What about the other side of the coin - What if you left this earthly plane today? Do you still have your "music" in you? Have you said everything you want to say to a loved one? Told them how important they are in your life? Have you apologized for a harsh word, perhaps asked for forgiveness? Just as meaningful, when's the last time you touched a baby, smelled their sweet baby smell, dwelled at the sight of a bed of flowers, noticed the smell of the rain on hot pavement, watched puffy clouds drift by or savored the taste of a freshly picked tomato? When's the last time that you looked at yourself in the mirror and said, "I love you"?

I'm present God. I'm listening. I'm seeing. I am Being.