"If you choose a time,
then I'll catch the moon,
I'll see you there.
From wherever I am,
Wherever you are,
We'll find somewhere.
I see the same stars in the same sky.
Shining down on you.
I'll be looking up from wherever I am
And it's you I'll see,
If you're looking, too.
Are you looking at the same moon?"
~ Phil Collins, "The Same Moon"
I guess it just kind of occurred to me that for as vast as this planet can sometimes feel, it's entirely wonderful that even across tons of miles and several time zones, we can share the same view, albeit a few hours apart, perhaps. I'm willing to bet it looked pretty beautiful in France as well. What says you, Michel? Were you "looking at the same moon", along with the rest of us? What a cool sense of connectedness courtesy of an awe-inspiring "la bella luna".
Connectivity. Whether it's via the portal of the moon, the sun, the stars or the water, its such a caveat of our existence, isn't it? It's completely free, dependable - save for a few clouds sometimes, but even when clouds obscure the light and you're suddenly pitched into darkness, you still know the light is up there and that, after a few hours or days or maybe even a week sometimes, the wind clouds will push away and the light will shine through just as it always has. That's such a comforting thought and knowledge and belief of the return of light after darkness, gets us through squirrelly patches we run into from time to time. I guess the seeds of Faith are borne and nurtured when it's dark and cloudy, and I've found that if I listen close, I hear a clear and steady voice telling me the light is still really there and won't be obscured indefinitely. Sometimes, believe is all you can do.
Sometimes, it's enough.
A bigger sense of connectivity comes when I think of friends and family. What a dazzling connection - talk about powerful.
"I took a walk alone last night,
I looked up at the stars,
To try and find an answer to my life.
I chose a star for me.
I chose a star for him.
I chose two stars for my kids, and one star for my wife.
Something made me smile.
Something seemed to ease the pain.
Something about the universe and how it's all connected..." ~ Sting
Of course Sting gets it. I'm starting to get it too, but with nothing close to his eloquence. He is, after all, STING! But still, haven't you done that? Gone outside and looked up at the stars and sort of toss a question out to the deep void of space, "What is
Hey, I've done it a lot of times in my life. I hope I'm around to do it many more times in the future. Even though it may seem like a futile exercise or maybe just a good excuse to go outside and star-gaze, I really do sometimes feel closer to some answer and maybe I am just a tiny speck in the galaxy, but I love staking out a tiny claim. I love my fellow specks, too. Well, most of them. :-)
The moon is such a stunning source of planetary interconnectivity, but even more compelling, is the connectivity of relationships - all of them. Do you ever stop and think how many relationships you have? What those people mean to you and what you may mean to those people? Friends, family, and of course, the animals we're "owned" by. I can't imagine my life without my animals and certainly not without my friends and family. I have connections with people I'll probably only know through exchanging e-mails. I can tell instantly when I "connect" with the author of a book that comes to mean so much to me and touches me in a way nothing else could. What about a song that resonates and you find yourself playing it over and over and over again until other members of your household beg and plead with you to give it a rest? Happens all the time at my house - just ask Justin. Lately I've practically worn out, "I Was Brought to My Senses". No question about it, I'm strung out on Sting and his lovely British accent.
As humans, we appear to be in possession not only of Connective Tissue which set us all up perfectly for "Connective Issues". Doesn't anything come without "issues"???? Hey, it's not always simple and easy-to-understand, but it's generally worth further investigation, this connectivity predisposition that can sometimes feel like a curse, but is overwhelmingly a blessing.
Having said that, there are a few connections where it's just best to disconnect. Hang-up. Cut the line. And who hasn't had a few of those? I've had a handful I should have passed on, but I guess they served the purpose of those darn hard-won lessons. Hanging up is an option I should probably practice more than I do, but curiosity often gets the better of me. I eventually hang-up though not hanging up earlier is probably, well, one of my hang-ups. Did I mention I'm not perfect? I'm sure I didn't have to - I bet you picked up on that something close to instantly.
But for the love of God, Country and everything holy, hang up on pirates. Just do yourself a favor. Skip the cruise and pass on all "Jolly Roger" types, unless it's the sour apple flavor of the hard candy. Sooner or later that pirate is going down. Skip those types of connections. Paste a post-it note on your forehead if you must, but remember the mantra. [Geoff, I loved your word scramble - it really was garbage!]
While a few connections should be avoided at all cost, there's always the risk of swinging too far on the scale which, I think, would be tantamount to "no dialtone", i.e., being "out of order", and rendering one unable to connect at all. This would set one up for a period of isolation and I don't even like the sound of that word, much less the concept it represents. It's just not natural, unless you're a gene in a petri dish, sitting in agar awaiting some brilliant, skilled scientist to isolate you and cite you as a culprit responsible for some devastating disease process. Personally, isolation is one of the MANY things I'm happy to be hopelessly inept at doing well. I think it's a completely uninteresting and terribly boring. Connections are definitely the better choice, I suspect. Over-correcting a course is probably just as silly as steering in the wrong direction - either way, you're not headed in the right direction and it's finding the right direction that we're all supposed to be about, or so I'm told.
I love this one particular clip from "Feast of Love" and no, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I've worn out the clips on the website. (Click here to watch Morgan Freeman give Greg Kinnear some fine advice..."Jump, jump - next time with your eyes open!"
I didn't go kayaking this past Sunday Night. I went to dinner, instead. Kayaking didn't get canceled, it simply got postponed. Friday night, according to one expert source, the waves weren't right for surfing but they were optimal for kayaking, so I had my first sunset kayak experience. I wasn't sure about the whole thing, having never been before, but of course, I fell in love with it. It was quiet, like sailing in a way, but the view was almost the same as being 'one with the water' and, in a way, that's how it felt. My first kayak adventure was in a two-person kayak and I was in "first class" which meant, I got to have beverage service (Jasmine tea), but I paddled as well - and it was a lot of fun.
Mike and I "connected" this past summer when he signed my guest book with an aside about sailing. At the time of his signing, I was "forbidden" by Capt'. H(ook) to respond but, of course, I did send a thank you to the man who signed my blog, but at the time, that was all I did. It wasn't worth the fight. A couple of months later, Sgt. Mike read about my car accident and e-mailed me good wishes and a gift card for some tea. This was about a week after the car crash and a couple of days after I became "disengaged". At last, it was safe to write. He's proven himself to be a great cheerleader and has a kind spirit. I know his family must be so proud of him and I'm sure they can't wait for him to return home. We're all praying for that, Mike!
There is one important thing that I want to touch on that happened back in May. My Dad, as I've written many times, is a diarist. He's one of the finest writers I've ever been privileged to read. For my 47 plus years as his daughter, he's kept a daily diary. That's a lot of diary entries! I'm sure he could tell me exactly how many because he's got a calculator for a brain and he's driven by statistics but his motivation and power come from his heart and his heart, as anyone will attest, must have been one that God used as a proto-type in terms of function and design and the power to love. (Photo: Harry Burke & Barbe Cook, May 16, 2007.)
Both of my parents are very special and not just to me - but to many people. In fact, many of my friends have "adopted" these two fine people and when I was drearily considering the insensibility of moving to Raleigh this past summer, I got a keen sense that many of my friends were more concerned that my parents stay in Wilmington, regardless of where I went off to. I heard a lot of "Whew's", when I'd share that they had no plans to relocate North - they were much too bright to even consider the ridiculousness of such a notion.
A few days before Katie, Justin, Billie and I took off for the Outer Banks, as I drove to Fayetteville to pick Katie up from the Amtrack Station, my parents were privileged and oh-so-pleased to welcome unexpected company to our home. Excitement was at a high-pitch level! A gentleman who was CFO with the parent company that owned the coal company my father worked for before he retired, had retired 18 months before my Dad. Mr. Harry Burke worked in Chicago and was known, around our house, as the "big brass", but more importantly, the relationship that developed between my Dad and Mr. Burke segued into a friendship and has carried on long past retirement.
Though they have corresponded and visited via telephone, they had not seen each other in over 22 years. On 16 May of this year, as I was driving to pick up my lovely daughter, my Dad and Mom enthusiastically welcomed Mr. Burke, his companion Marsha and his sister Janet, who lives in the area. These two "old" friends had quite a wonderful reunion. My parents were so happy to see all of them and have the chance to visit in person. Oh how I wish I could have been here for it, but I am told it was a wonderful thing. I know it will go down as one of the highlights of this year in the best way possible.