Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Than Words Can Say

Some days words speak to me. They already know what they are going to say. They come like a well rehearsed play giving a perfect performance. But most of the time the words are like old grade B movies. The film is worn, the picture faded. I get lost in the wording. I’m in a trance spinning reality into useless web. I forget to look, to notice. The film occupies my mind; there’s no light..It’s just a thought bath.

I like it when words are soft, when they bring sweetness and ring out truth. Often they turn into well-loved songs. What grace, such peace. Why not? Why not now? Why not get a peace of the stillness? What words bring laughter and hum me to sleep? What words give rest to the tired and a sense of sufficiency to the poor? What words harm and hurt?

Who am I in the midst of all this mental movement? Can I even be present when so many words speed by? Do I want to wisely choose my words or should I let them bubble through? What should I do?

When choosing words I’ll take the words “fortunate, lucky, grace, wonder, curious, infinite and possible.” These words I love. They expand me. Me to me thoughts, but what words do I avoid? Is it really the words or is it the intent from which they flow? I don’t like harsh words. Sarcastic words, cruel words, name-calling. I don’t like hour after hour of someone else’s TV words . I get lost in TV words. They have too much power. I become a dying soul not a sole survivor. – a numbed out fa├žade of a person- a compilation of other’s thoughts.

There’s more, something deeper. There’s a wordless place that means more than all I seek to control and know. It’s a mindless state – not a space of ignorance but the space where my mind lets go of strongholds and melts into a deeper source.

It’s big this space. The admission - mental surrender. The place is inside and out there too. I catch myself wanting it – really deeply longing for the infinite mind. A mind that works in ways my limited mind can’t imagine. Can that mind, all I call me, understand how limited it is or does it take a touch from infinite mind to look back at its limits and know that it is here? I want to talk about “It,” the greatness of everything. I get bored with just the exchange of history – of lists of things to do – of worn out stories and ancient hatreds. I tire of surface chatter all those things that just don’t matter.

I light up with kind words. I come alive when heartfelt words find their way home. I love heart to heart – I love brilliant conversation even if it is mental and lends itself to “latte drinking liberals.” I love the eye to eye silent words that only we understand.

And I love you – you who come in many faces – you who graces plants and animals and fish – you the mountains and the seas. I love you – you that is me. I and you, not really two. Different forms – same source. I love you and that’s enough.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Rewrite

It was the day before Christmas and all through the center
Anticipation was growing for all those who entered.
Our consciousness was raised to an all time high,
‘Cause we knew that the Christ mind would soon be nigh.
Our hearts’ lights were shining, our faces were cheery,
No room in the mind for thoughts that were dreary,

And all of the sudden there arose the mind chatter,
That said we were stupid and that we didn’t matter.
The voice of the ego had popped up again,
And said we were guilty and all born in sin.
It ranted and raved and caused such a fuss,
That we doubted our Christ minds to the point that we cussed.

On guilty, on sleazy, on dummy, on lazy,
The ego drove our minds till we felt sort of crazy.
Then depressed and deflated we sat in a heap,
With all our enlightened thoughts going to sleep.

We started to pray, we started to ask,
For a different perception, for freedom at last.
Forgiveness was offered and innocence too
And before we all knew it our Christ minds renewed.
In one holy instant our knowingness came
And we felt the presence of Christmas again.

1984 Anne Sermons Gillis Excerpt Offbeat Prayers for the Modern Mystic
published by Easy Times Press

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Have Green Christmas

We stand in the midst of holiday season. Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa are around the corner. It's odd how that corner gets closer every year. This means more time to celebrate and enjoy the festivities. Are you willing to take small steps to make it a greener Christmas? Regardless of whether you've been green for a few months or taken ecological care for years, there's always the next step we can take in our commitment to conserve our resources and respect our planet.

Green holiday ideas:

  • Buy energy-saving "LED" holiday lights. Now you can decorate your house with LED lights that use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights, and can save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season! LED lights are available at many major retailers, including Target, CostCo, and Ace Hardware. * Source the Sierra Club
  • Make your own wrapping paper from items in your home - maybe some old fabric.
  • Wrap gifts with a gift such as scarves, handkerchiefs or bandannas. Wrap with old posters and maps or pages from a child's coloring book taped together (especially nice for relatives who would enjoy the artwork). Use old sheet music, home-sewn cloth bags or wallpaper scraps.
  • Give gifts to charities rather than to your spouse. My husband and I give a donation to a cause on holidays, anniversaries and birthdays, usually in lieu of a personal gift. We already have too much stuff and if either of us needs anything we just buy it as needed.
  • Buy fair trade items. This assures the people involved in the production were not harmed, the earth was not harmed and the people who manufactured or crafted the item received fair wages.
  • Buy eco friendly gifts such as things made of bamboo or recycled glass. Give cloth napkins.
  • Pack gifts in popcorn with a note inside asking the recipient to feed it to the birds.
Let's be creative about being green. It's fun to get on the bandwagon and feel as if we're making a difference.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 2009 Montgomery County Democratic Party Newsletter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Letter to President Against the Troop Escalation in Afghanistan

Dear Mr President,

I want to thank you for all the hard work you are doing to reverse the damages of the previous administration.

Today I write you on the gravest policy decision you will ever make - the decision to escalate a senseless war or to put an end to this madness.

I am sure you realize that everyone who has perpetrated war in or on Afghanistan has miserably failed. Why would we be different? We stand on the edge of financial and environmental collapse. Are you going to place us into moral collapse? The casualties of American soldiers and innocent civilians must weigh heavily on your soul. Please do not let the military force you sell your soul.

Kennedy stood up against the generals in Viet Nam controversy. We would not have gone into that war had he lived. Now is the time for your courage. McChrystal is not our leader - you are.

As long as we kill others, we are not free. Freedom exists when we can stop looking over our shoulders because we know that we have created more friends than enemies. The more we fight, the more enemies we have. Let's end this cycle. Let's become a country built on real jobs, not military dollars. Let's give up the need for war and oil as the foundation of our economy.

Mr. President, please serve the people not the military.

I worked long hours to support you and to get you elected. Now I expect you to work long hours to support the American people and myself.

Respectfully, Anne Sermons Gillis