Bird Droppings May 24, 2011
Listening with the heart
So often in life we tend to hear words we rationalize those utterances and develop an opinion and then logically state a response. Sitting discussing existentialism with my grand daughter last night as she coos and babbles trying her best to formulate words her emotions however are conveyed. It was only a few weeks back when she would be upset she would cry and you would know her diaper was wet or she was hungry now that has become more sophisticated and she whimpers her distaste at being held a certain way or that she wants to go for a walk or grand dad stop the infernal conversation on existentialism and lets go read The grumpy caterpillar again. We hear with our heads it is those vibrations from another persons vocal cords transmitted through the air that strike the inner workings of our ears and we in our thought processes put meaning to that sound.
When I see or hear the word dog I immediately visualize a four legged barking life form and it literally pops in my mind. Far too often we let the dictionary do our thinking we simply respond to the word contained on a page and how that definition has been explained to us or that has been taught to us. We do not hear with the heart. Although a grand baby teaches you quick otherwise. Occasionally a tear or smile will give away from where words are coming and good listeners will understand and hear the inner workings of the words not just the definitions.
“Look at every path closely and deliberately, we should then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.” Carlos Castaneda
It has been a number of years since I first read the meanderings of Carlos Castaneda and his journey as an apprentice medicine man in the mountains of Mexico. Many writers and scientists consider his books to simply be fiction a very intricate fabrication as he developed his doctorial dissertation. I find myself however fascinated with his stories of a Yaqui holy man who took him in and taught this college educated man the old ways. While the possibility of fiction is there for me it is the story line which is depicted in the statement above. Far too often we modern day people far too often choose a path of logic of definition, one of clear concise rational thought. We forget the aspect of heart. We hear words that in Webster’s Dictionary, or when looking up online when reviewed and analyzed have a specific meaning and soon we leave behind what was being said. People speak not in clear and concise words but in emotions and feelings, we speak from the heart.
Many years ago a great story teller spoke of becoming like children and his follower’s immediate response was we can not be reborn, physically. The author of this story was speaking of listening with the heart as do children. They haven’t learned all the words and still do not know the definitions so heart is all they have and you know what they generally get it right. As I watched my grand daughter last night grip her upper lip in her two new bottom teeth making faces at us while sitting in her grand mothers lap she knew the response she would get and a whimper her and there and people were jumping getting toys a clean diaper. There were no words spoken simply communication direct from the heart. Please keep all n harms way on your mind and most of all in your heart.
Bird Droppings March 24, 2011
All in a name
On February 3, 2003 I officially started titling my daily emailing and blogging, Bird Droppings. I went back in my files and pulled up a few old thoughts and ideas. As I was reading the local paper today a street poll was included asking locals about gas prices. In a morning of memories I recalled an email from my mother about starting a gas war. It was a forward from my uncle to my mother. A simple concept we as consumers stop buying gas from the two biggest gas companies and only buy from smaller ones which will drive pricing down. Idea was emailing to 30 people this idea which gets mailed to 30 more, sort of pyramid gas war tactics.
I t was in 2001 roughly I started using the name Bird Droppings and put out several issues of newsletters under that name and sitting here this morning with my tea mug in hand actually it is sitting on the desk at school beside me typing an email out. I thought at the time “Bird Droppings” a good title and subject. Looking back to that day in 2003 much was occurring around the nation as NASA tried to pick up pieces of a space shuttle and sort out the disaster that happened over east Texas. These explorers chose their profession and knew the risks one crew member being remembered by a cousin said she would prefer to die in space doing what she loved. Space was a passion for each member of the crew; it was about the searching and inquiry.
I can remember the Challenger accident nearly 22 years ago before some of you were even born. It was a shock just as this tragedy was. But as a brother of a Challenger crew member said the morning “after their work continues”. Often events in our lives make no sense at that point of happening and later clarify as we go further into the journey. There is really no solace to a family when a loved one is lost even when you knew the risks they were involved in. It is the thoughts and assurances of friends and family that can make the pain bearable.
A number of years ago my brother died during the night in his sleep. When I received the call at work I was in shock and hurried to my parent’s home. Within moments calls and emails and faxes began to arrive from around the world from my parent’s friends and family. That support made that moment so much easier to bear. Back in 2007 with the death of my father in-law and my won father the support of friends and family eased the pain and passing. I recall that day in February 2003 and was running a bit late that morning as I listened to the news and watching a nation morn seven heroes.
Today I found a quote that for some may not apply and for others who knows, as I do each day. Many years ago I read a series of books written by an anthropologist about his studies of herbal medicine among the Yaqui Indians of Mexico. Being a hobbyist botanist and student of medicinal plants and herbs I have always been fascinated with his writings. He eventually found his way to a medicine man that used the Anglo name of Don Juan. After a number of trips and many years Castaneda became an apprentice to Don Juan in his efforts to become a Yaqui Medicine man. Carlos Castaneda wrote of the trials and tribulations of his adventure and studies and his books are used in many classes as case studies still today even though his research has been shown to be fiction in many instances.
“We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.”
One of the simple truths he found in his studies under Don Juan was how much we ourselves are directly involved in our own situation. That sounds simple but so often we blame the world around us for our plight. A student of life can only blame themselves for all choices made they are ours and no one else’s to make. So in effect we make ourselves happy or sad and only we can redirect the pathway. Those heroic astronauts who gave their lives they could have chosen another path a simpler path and less risky path, but they wanted and chose the direction and they were on and where they were to be. We now can choose how to continue their journey ending in a crash or building upon that and going beyond the stars. Remember the families of those brave men and women who died and keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts and always seek peace.