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Friday, February 10, 2012

Generations Past and Yet to Come

Yesterday I met my newest great grandchild, only a few hours after his arrival. His name is Jack. Emotions run high at a time like that. Jenny, my granddaughter, and the mother of this wee lad, had given birth for the first time and I knew exactly how she felt. How can such a natural every-day affair set a new mother on such a high pinnacle? "Baby and mother doing fine!" cannot possibly describe it. Then, with family gathered around to complete the picture, another new and precious life begins. My prayer for him is two-fold, that he will always know he is blessed of the Father-Mother of us all, and that he will fulfill the promise by which he is blessed and can bless others.

In this generation I, as his great grandmother, must share the pride and joy with seven other great grandmothers. Glad to do it, though I think I may be the only one on the scene and, as such, am counting my blessings. To be near my children at a time like this is wonderful. To be near them all year around is more than wonderful! Beholding a baby's development and his discovery of this new world brings back a primal feeling impossible to describe. Certainly not in words.

But this is a world of words and in about a year's time baby Jack will know some words. Little will he know how many words he'll eventually know, since his daddy will speak to him in Spanish and his mommy in English! With an American-Spanish ancestry, his name, Jack Carlo Murcia, he will navigate through a world of schools, and then choices of his own. God make those choices good!

At weddings we remember our own. At birth times we think of our own. And we contemplate what our own lives have brought forth. Will we be able to come back again and do it over better? Will we retain the good only from this lifetime and let that be our starting line? The innocence and purity of a newborn would certainly indicate that. I've never quite resolved in my own mind if, or if not, I'll come back as an infant somewhere, somehow. Re-incarnation is a mystery to me, especially since I don't whole-heartedly believe in it. What I really believe, (but cannot prove to anyone,) is that we go on from the experience of death, (so-called,) in a probationary state, working out the problem of being until we get it right. Then, I believe, we rise to a higher state of consciousness wherein we see God and Heaven as our eternal truth, from which we've strayed, only in belief.

This earthly lifetime, (again I believe,) is a dream-state, which, like the night dream, convinces us it is real while we're in it. In fact, it is only a schoolroom experience where we learn the workings of God's law by His light that is shining in the darkness. As that light illumines us and we learn the joy and harmony it bestows, we reflect it more clearly and become the ever-unfolding blessing of God in manifesting His light. With such light we head out into the Universe to discover Infinity. We discover the joy of "Love's divine adventure to be All-in-all!" (Mary Baker Eddy)

Now it is time to stop talking and start doing today's work. Is is wrong to approach that work as play? I think not. And so, to one baby girl on the way, our new baby Jack, baby Kingston, toddler Max, and Sammie, the first of my great-grand-babies who is now five, I say, "Let's play!" There's excitement and fun and great glory in every waking moment, especially when we're fully awake! And generations past and yet to come? I think we'll all meet someday. What a family reunion THAT will be!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

That Is None Of My Business!

I may have told this before but it's worth re-telling. A well-known Christian Science lecturer had finished his talk and was greeting some who came up to see him afterwards. One woman said to him, "Oh, I have loved listening to your talks ever since I was a little girl, and, as you can see, I'm no spring chicken now. Mr. ..., I know I shouldn't ask you this but could you tell me exactly how old you are?" His answer: "Why, Madam, THAT is none of MY business!"

I've thought about this often and the choice of a subject for my blog, Getting Older Is Getting Better, was not an easy one because I don't subscribe to revealing my age either, or even that I am of an older generation. Still, I'd like to know that I am helping others of any age not to give the number of years they've lived in this span of conscious being any power to diminish their capabilities on account of being "old." My religion is my science and it teaches that we are each a child of God, not a child of man (or woman.) Radical? Unbelievable? Not when we understand that all there is, substantially, to each one of us is measured in conscious thought. Those who are bent on claiming that the human, material body is the sum total of their identity will take issue with this. But even they, if with a mind open to the possibility that there is more to man than a fleshly body, will see what I mean.

Scientists today claim that we are made of stardust. Were we to trace our origins back that far, what might we find? I suspect we'd find that even stars have no beginning in the strictest sense since nothing comes from nothing. One of these scientists, (I can't remember his name,) gave a talk at UCI. His topic was Science and Religion. I'll never forget his opening remarks. They went something like this: "Here we are, together on this Ship of Life. It seems there are two major groups among us, the scientists and the religionists. Now the religionists go to the bow of the ship and peer out with their binoculars to see where we are headed. Then they go to the stern and look to see where we came from. They can only see so far with the limited visibility they have, so they study what others have found and seek knowledge within themselves where they suspect dwells the seed of truth for everyone. They keep looking, both outwardly and inwardly.

The scientists, on the other hand, go to the bow of the ship, take out their binoculars and say, "We can't see anything out there." Then they go to the stern and look. So they say, "We can't see anything out there either. Then they turn to their shipmates and say, "Let's examine the walls of this ship!"

Now, I ask, which of these seekers has the better solution to working out the problem of being? And I answer, both. We need to seek answers in both visible and invisible ways. Each of these can be credible if we are sincere and open minded. The answers often come from out of the box of either religion or science. We need to be aware of that and open. In this sense each of us has an equal opportunity to find the truth.

My "truth" tells me that I am more than a lump of clay, though that lump, uniquely designed, represents me for the time being. If you've ever lost a loved one you know that if his or her fleshly body should reappear without the mind and spirit by which you identified him or her before, that bodily presence would be a stranger, no matter how familiar it looked. My truth tells me that I am not just this perishable flower of a person I appear to be to myself and others. I'm not even the branch or stem I grew on. Nor am I the main trunk reaching down into the ground. Should I trace my beginnings back to the stars, I could not find the real essence of my being. The visible me changes but the invisible me remains intact. The IDEA of me, what others will remember most of me, even that may fade away in time. So, my business is not in the length of time I remain on this earth or stay visible to others, it is that of seeking Truth wherever I find it and living it. I may accept false beliefs for a while but sincerity will lead me past these as long as I approach each day with an attitude of gratitude and a willingness to learn more of the reality of being.

It's one grand adventure, this life we know. Discovery is what it's all about. And it doesn't matter one iota to me how many times I've moved around our beautiful sun. That, is none of MY business either!

Friday, February 3, 2012

When I Grow Too Old To Dream

♪  “When I grow too old to dream, I’ll have you to remember, and when I grow too old to dream your love will live in my heart.” ♪ The words from this song haunted me even when I was a small child. I’d play the record on our wind-up phonograph player in the upstairs hallway. Over and over and over. And I’d cry. Every time. It seemed the song was about me. I’d sit cross-legged on the floor and see myself in a rocking chair, white hair, frail body, and blue eyes looking at a scene and some invisible one, remembering.

Music and memory go hand in hand. Mother used to sing a lullaby to us when we children were tucked in bed. “All Through the Night.” So sweet, her voice, as the words penetrated the dim light. ♪“Rest, my love, and peace attend thee, all through the night. Guardian angels God will lend thee, all through the night.”♪ Like one of those guardian angels she stood at the foot of our bed.

Then, in junior high school, there were other songs, like♪“Some day he’ll come along, the man I love...”♪  And movies. One I knew would never become less than my lifetime favorite: Maytime, with Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy. My first tragic love. I can hear that rich male voice even now,                 ♪“Sweetheart, sweetheart, sweetheart, will you love me ever? Will you remember the day when we
 were happy in May, my dearest one?”♪

In a high school production I heard for the first time “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and my heart nearly died. Of course there were many other songs during World War II of lovers waiting for the war to end. And there was one song called Skylark sung by some lovely young spirit on the radio that played on a screened-in upper porch surrounded by trees. That was my first taste of summer camp. Somehow I always remember where I heard a song for the first time.

When I was at my first summer job I stood in the darkened movie theater where I was the balcony usher in a snappy uniform. Before the doors had opened I heard for the first time Billy Rose’s rendition of Holiday For Strings wafting out from the rich red curtains down below. It transported me into some world called the future, beyond imagination. Youth was never wasted on me. I had music in my heart. It gave me dreams. It helped me to believe in love and romance and tenderness and happiness ever after. It was always there to carry me on.

My life has been good, but that is not to say there weren’t times when the record’s needle got off track and its sweet music got lost in terrible screeches and discords. I watch my children and grandchildren and remember myself at their ages. Now I am that old woman I seemed to see as a child. I have white hair but I’m not in a rocking chair. I sit at my computer and click on that little icon called I-Tunes. Miraculously I see the old familiar titles. I sample them and buy a few of my favorites, but it’s hard to choose. Clear as the day I hear them again as if for for the first time. I’m in the hallways of the past. My dreams of yesteryear are blurred in reality’s wavy mirror. My life has not been wasted. I have loved and been loved, but now I feel a threshold beneath my feet. Will I be beyond this door another me? Will I hear some new song for the first time? Somehow I find that old song about being too old to dream is not true. I know I shall never be too old to dream. I feel like that little girl on the upper hallway floor, transfixed by a song and a vision.