Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Inconsequential and The Sacred

It's a strange word, and probably calls to mind a woodwind instrument of fleeting description and hard to recognize sound, which is really an Oboe. Obos is actually a Japanese term referring to a pile of rocks, for lack of a more eloquent description, and in English they are often referred to as Cairns. A stacking of stones, one atop the other and often only 3, they mean nothing to almost everyone who sees them but have a deep and resonating meaning to the one who builds them. Why? Because they create a focal point, even if placed amongst thousands of similar stones on a windy beach shoreline, they are something that comes from someone's hands, a flourish of imagination that says "I was here".

Obos can be built anywhere from an abundance of natural resources just lying about: stones, rocks, pebbles, boulders, I've even seen them made with broken concrete blocks and old bricks. Placed on top of each other they become more than just 3 or 4 or 10 rocks in a shaky pillar, they become a sanctuary for our thoughts and our minds, sometimes only for a few minutes until we move on. Beside a ramshackle house, along a garden path, in a meditation labyrinth on someone's desk, next to a gutter on a busy Manhattan Street, riding the crest of a craggy mountain trail, there they are: shrines to the indelible human spirit of imagination and individuality. The insignificant is elevated to a different level, a tribute to something higher, a deep need to create.

Obos may be used to commemorate an event, like reaching the end of a long hike, or marking a particular patch of ground for it's importance in one's life. Perhaps they are simple homages in reverence to something grander in the natural world surrounding them or just a playful gesture without seeming thought, a doodling with rocks. But we are builders, we work with our hands and our minds, consciously or not, and what we build is sacred if only for us, privately, for a fleeting second. Obos, by their very nature, are towers of serenity even if only 2 inches tall. They give one pause, whether in their building or the contemplative eye upon them. They lend respite from the cluttered world and stand as an affirmation to the value of our personal efforts and our individual dreams.

3 small stones, found nearly everywhere.
Inconsequential parts in nature, lovingly placed one on top of the other by our builder's hands, given life by our visions and transformed into a unique, beautiful and sacred whole.
Art that leaves no footprint.
"I was here."

The incredibly powerful Beach Stone Cairn Pendant seen above was created by Sue Davis who has a wondrous Shop on Etsy: www.suedavisjewelry.etsy.com ...Thank You!
I wish you all an amazing week. Perhaps we should all take a few moments and build an Obos, reflect on what it means to create and say "We were here."
My love to you all...

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Gift of Time

"Every moment in Time is a Gift and a Blessing, not a Threat."

I don't know about you but I am my own worst enemy when it comes to time. What I mean by this is that I am forever treating it like it's the traitor in my life, when in reality it is really all I have, and how much I have is a mystery. Perhaps that is why it is so easy to not live in the present time, but in the past or in the future. I read that 90% of our brain space is spent everywhere but in the "now", eclipsed by nagging feelings of regret and fears, resentments and questions, and the words "WHY" and "IF" are major contributors in this story called Time:
"If only I had done this instead of......."
"Why did this happen..........."
"If she would change, then I ......"
"Why can't I......."
"If I just had a little more time...."

WHY this.
IF that.
The 2 words that were put in people's vocabulary to drive them insane. These 2 words alone are enough to keep me out of the present tense of my life for decades. Those 2 words were paramount in the vocabulary of my thoughts until somewhat recently when they were banished, for the most part, by a lot of positive Present action on my own behalf.

The number one reason I needed to outlaw those words from my inner lexicon was not the obvious acumen of too much living in the past and the future, although that certainly was a part of it. The main impetus to remove these 2 words was part of a greater picture of how I was living in my Present time. These 2 words were indicators that I was spending a whole lot of wasted moments in the cacophony of trying to change things and asking questions about circumstances of which I had no control over. My head was a constant ticker tape parade of everything but myself, everything that was outside of me, and a veritable world full of people and situations in which I had no dominion. Of course the crowning achievement of all of this was that I would get upset at myself because I had wasted so much time........

Where are my feet?
Right Here.
Right Now.
One Step at a time. This is how I learned to stop the endless noise in my mind, look around and be present in my life. When I'm here in Today, I am most happy. The dark chanting of the "Why's" and the "If's" is no longer clouding my life with things that are none of my business. I can walk through my days with the sunshine of the spirit that is all of our positive energies and be in silence and not feel alone. And Time, once my enemy, has become my Best Friend.

I have come to believe that it is a blessing to be present on this earth and that every moment, every day, no matter how good or even how bad, is essential to everything that makes up who I am....who WE are. Interacting and contributing, laughing and loving, wide awake in the Now and receiving the invaluable Gift of Time, now that's what I call Living!