Guest Post: Sonnet 176 “The Gravity of Peace” by David Stanley

Funny thing, you can find connection and inspiration pretty much anywhere; you just have to be open to it. Case in point?

A few “dad connections” I’ve made on social media. And this guy in particular, a connection originally through a mutual friend (who I knew long before social media) — this guy Dave Stanley, who happens to be nearly on the other side of country; who happens to be a teacher; who also happens to be a writer and a dad.

I posted something last week about early morning solace…and he shared this one with me — so I asked him if I could share it here on the blog — he graciously agreed.

I gotta say, though I still love to sleep, the early morning silence well, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s magic for the taking, if only you seek it.

Enjoy the read, and see Dave’s twitter handle after the piece.

Dave Stanley’s Twitter Handle: @DStan58

Dave’s about me site: https://about.me/dstan58

Thus the day begins, better with silence…

Big Thanks, Dave, for letting me post this lovely sonnet, and timeless insight~~~

Not Your Typical Sunday Motivator

Generally in recent times, I’ve mostly posted on Sundays around the theme of something spiritual, uplifting for the soul, etc. At least, that’s been the intent.

But this particular Sunday, it’s football playoffs — also considered spiritual and soulful by some — and though I’m not so much of that ilk, I am particularly fired up for the NFC Final —

The Los Angeles Rams versus the San Francisco Forty Niners. Oh BABY.

I’m a life-long Niner fan, having lived pretty well the whole of my life in the bay area.

And this particular game well, it takes me back decades to when the Rams and Niners were primary rivals, and I was a kid, and my grandpa cheered for the Rams (since he was originally from L.A.), and well,

…those were just simpler times it seemed. And Jack Reynolds, who’d played for the Rams for many years had gone to the Niners as the San Francisco club was on the rise — the Niners won two Super Bowls while he played for them —

And linebackers wore numbers in the 60’s (unlike today, mostly 50’s in the NFL) — and you know, those teams went to WAR. Lot’s of passion, overcoming adversity, playing hurt, dealing with pain, in the quest for sporting glory…

I guess some things never change : overcoming adversity, striving for glory, the basic life lessons of sport.

GO NINERS !!!

Pause, Unravel, Reset

What does that look like? Long day, long week, long first month,

Friday Night, solo,

Dishes piled on the sink can wait,

Micro-waved left-overs dinner on the couch,

A four hour wander on YouTube on the smart TV,

RUSH

NPR interviews

Side-bar: toast with butter and salt

Hamilton

Jon Stewart and Steve Kerr

RUSH cover songs,

And my mind slows,

My nerves unravel,

Reset to the weekend,

Reset to the weekend.

GOOD.

Sweet Spot

I think I heard this term first related to tennis rackets; that spot on the webbing where the ball will respond the truest off the surface when it makes contact,

Probably true for golf club faces and baseball bats too…

Concept applied otherwise,

Enough pressure, expectation, but not *too* much so.

Applicable across so many topics, I think.

“Loose but disciplined”, Steve Kerr talking about the flow state the GS Warriors try to create in basketball games, at their best,

Fleeting, but not so, mindset meets moment, properly prepared,

Seeking to create that flow state, smack dab in the middle of the sweet spot, ready, responding, living fully in the moment, right where you want to be.

Lyrics Post: “Alone Again”

This from long ago…

Many feelings…

The hard rock sound, beat, thick energy, heavy, soulful, especially for an adolescent (which I’m not anymore…)

And the lyric, the rock-stain angst…

Still speaks truth, at least to me,

How I should have been, how I wish it’d been…but I can’t, because it wasn’t…

I’d like to see you in the morning light
I like to feel you when it comes to night
Now I’m here and I’m all alone
Still I know how it feels, I’m alone again

Tried so hard to make you see
But I couldn’t find the words
Now the tears, they fall like rain
I’m alone again without you
Alone again without you
Alone again without you

I said stay, but you turned away
Tried to say that it was me
Now I’m here and I’ve lost my way
Now I know how it feels, I’m alone again

Tried so hard to make you see
But I couldn’t find the words
Now the tears, they fall like rain
I’m alone again without you
Alone again without you
Alone again without you
Alone again without you

I tried so hard to make you see
But I couldn’t find the words
Now the tears, they fall like rain
I’m alone again without you
Alone again without you
Alone again
Alone again
Alone again without you

Writer(s): Dokken Don, Pilson Jeff

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

I heard an interview recently with a evangelical church pastor somewhere in Tennessee or otherwise in that region of the United States of America…

This particular person was of the ilk that the United States of America is a Christian nation… That this particular is part of its foundation, it’s fabric…

And although I am a Christian, I wholeheartedly reject this perspective that America is a “Christian nation“…

This is at the crux of at least part of the fundamental conflicts in this country, and our people…

Confusion about who was here at the beginning, as opposed to what the ideals were by which we found it, and have fought for this country‘s existence for 200+ years…

The United States of America is for ALL people, THAT is the ideal, the forever, fundamental ethos of what America is,

At least for me.

Amen AMEN.

Mindset? Mindfulness

Nearly two years now, approaching two,

World upside down, more than one way,

Crisis demanding response,

Many ways, we might say,

Stark circumstances, consequences, what to do, how to play,

New early morning routines, lots of thoughts in the dark,

How to go forward, next steps, each day?

Pit of stomach holds me back most days, many anyway,

What to do, how to handle,

A different approach, a master’s approach,

Get me there,

We’ll see…

“Breathing in, I calm my body,

Breathing out, I smile,

Dwelling in the present moment,

I know this is a wonderful moment.”

SAL’s Other View

Learned a lot from this guy in a short amount of time.

Doer, for sure.

After grinding for decades in his work, refreshed, more balanced perspective.

As mentioned previous,

He’s a supply chain guy, but also a musician, and commercial fisherman.

He’s a no BS, get it done sorta dude. He’s got some sorta magic; I want what he’s got. Quiet contentment.

Good sense of where “work” fits into life. Not a guy to shy away, but also not one to be consumed,

Fun to find this unexpected example of good work — skills, ethic, attitude,

Good to have SAL around, real good,

Easy to see why the water calls him…he’s like the ocean,

Sure, straight forward, those traits aren’t timeless.

Thankful for SAL~~~

Just a Bit: Living Buddha, Living Christ; and RIP Thich Nhat Hanh

As one raised in a Christian tradition, but seemingly forever also looking beyond to connect with all of humanity, I was, am delighted to have this book as a reference, guide to some of the universal truths…

…and I’m the next breath, a little tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Zen Master, who died this weekend.

An excerpt from this amazing book, linking East and West…his words live on…

“…The living teaching expressed by the lives of the Buddha and Jesus should always be the models for our practice.

The sutras are not the living teachings of the Buddha. To receive the true teaching, we must emulate the life and work of the Buddha himself. The same is true of Christianity.

The Gospels in their written or even oral form are not the living teaching of Jesus. The teachings must be practiced as they were lived by Jesus.

“The church is the vehicle that allows us to realize those teachings. The church is the hope of Jesus, just as the Sangha is the hope of the Buddha. It is through the practice of the church and the Sangha that the teachings come alive.

Communities of practice, with all their shortcomings, are the best way to make the teachings available to people. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit need the church in order to be manifested. (“Whenever two or three are gathered in My Name, there I am.”)

People can touch the Father and the Son through the church. That is why we say that the church is the mystical body of Christ. Jesus was very clear about the need to practice the teaching and to do so in community. He told His disciples to be the light of the world. For a Buddhist, that means mindfulness.

The Buddha said that we must each be our own torch.

Jesus also told His disciples to be the salt of the world, to be real salt. His teaching was clear and strong. If the church practices well the teachings of Jesus, the Trinity will always be present and have a healing power to transform all that it touches.”

BBQ Revisited

Last weekend…Monday only actually, a holiday…was a double-dose of BBQ.

Good eats for sure, but something more besides. As oft the case, a little back-story,

A college buddy, one of several I’m blessed to still be I touch with,

He inspired me not only to BBQ more, but consider the time more holistically too.

Food Time, Family Time, Soul Time, all equals, more GOOD.

Gonna be pork ribs this weekend, on my mind, on the grill. Mmm, mmm, yep yep, GOOD.