Where the Wild Blooms Begin

English: Tree in winter. Part of a sequence of...

Childhood gave me a gift more valuable than I ever realized. Growing up in my childhood religion, people joined the church, “got saved” and many around saw their outward changes and cheered.

They saw old habits drop and lives healed. We talked about the life-giving flow of the Spirit. It was exciting.

Soon people forgot about the flow of the spirit. Many became fixated on the changes. The bad words not said or the clothing the converts wore.

Sunday morning came, and we preached about the clothing and the drinking, forgetting about the life force that caused the changes.

Lies, Illusion, Truth

I am thankful for the gift, sight. I crave truth. I’m meaning the ability to see past illusions. In a book I read, Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft, Veronica Cummer called it Sooth, after the old Forest tradition. Seeing through illusions in practical life has been important.

When a person says something with their words, but their actions are speaking the opposite, know the truth. It’s easy to change your clothes to impress another.

It’s easy to pretend to be kind and gentle. We’ve all seen people that lie with actions and words, but something leaves you uneasy. Underneath, the lie, the discord, is screaming.

Behind the Picture Screen

A picture formed in my mind as I was reading this book. For me, it clarified what I’ve seen but didn’t always understand. Hopefully, I can describe so others can understand.

I remember the Viewfinders I played with as a child. I’d insert the round plastic disk, pull the handle and a new image was there. I could play for hours.

Take the Viewfinder image and underlay another big whole picture. I call this picture underneath “Truth” and it doesn’t turn. Pretend the picture underneath is a picture of life and love. Maybe even a tree of life. It’s unchanging.

Each pull of the Viewfinder’s handle brings a new picture on top of the tree. A cross appears. A statue of Mary. A man is sitting cross-legged in quietness. The tree remains underneath. It continues the seasons of its life.

Springtime blooming, summer brings full green vitality, autumn colors, and winter with its bare bones. Turn the handle, change the religious face, and you can choose where to look.

What do you see? Do you see the statue of Mary with the colors of Autumn and worry that your religion is dying? Or do you see the tree with its season turning and know true religion with its love and life never ends.

Life expresses itself

When a person came to our church and become saved, they flipped a switch to allow life to flow into them. They felt the vitality flow into them and wanted to adapt to the contemporary expression of religion.

I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and, Nearly Dead. Two men changed their physical lives, and you saw their charisma return, and their will to live restored. These were two sick men.

800px-klimt_tree_of_life_1909It was the most inspirational film I’ve seen in a while, and there was no praying involved. No chanting, no symbolism, no bowing. I was in awe because there in front of me was lifeforce in action. Sooth. Truth. The tree of life is under the pictures flashing in front of our societies’ Viewfinder.

The truth is there, and once you see it, you will hardly notice anything else.

It’s almost spring here in Oklahoma. The squirrels are active and the birds are noisy. The Dogwood trees have put out their blossoms. And of course, the people are sneezing. The chatter of spring has arrived. I love this time of the year. Beginnings are fun. The thunderstorms and the smell of Petrichor.

How To Save Your Life

The thing about life is that we usually troll along our merry way thinking that everyone lives or thinks the same way. It’s just that some people have all the good luck, right? They win the lottery or their rich great-uncle-three-times-removed dies and leaves them a fortune. But you on the other hand are just out of luck. You got the rotten job, the car that breaks down, the felony boyfriend and every time you get a little money someone needs it more than you, so you get stuck with nothing.

Well that’s the way it seems because all we know is who we are, what we’ve experienced, and what we think. Have you ever met someone that thinks totally different than you? The same situation that you were in, but they handled it like it was nothing. That’s what I want you to see. Just a few different actions, just a few different responses will change your life.

Decide what you want
I’m not talking about “I want to be a millionaire” or “I want to win the lottery”. I’m thinking along the lines of handling your money wiser, making good choices, not blowing your top the first time someone makes you mad, or making more friends.

Change what you remember
If your childhood seems like one misfortune after another, that’s what you are thinking of and that will define who you are today. Think of one memory that is along the same thinking as your wants. If you want to make wiser choices, remember a time when you did. Even just one memory. If you want to make friends and have fun with them remember a time that you did, even if it was just one time and it only lasted a week, remember it. The surprising thing is how you will get more memories to back up the first. It works that way.

Act like it is true
If I want to be successful in something, I start by first, deciding I want to be successful at it. Second, I remember a time or times when I was successful. Third, I begin acting or pretending that I will again be successful. If I don’t act like it, I’m falling back on the old beliefs. And beliefs are like muscles, the more you use them the stronger they become in your life. The less you use them and ignore them then the weaker they become while the new beliefs are growing stronger.

So change your life by deciding what you want, remembering the memories and feelings that reinforce you wants, then act like it is so. It may take some practice and it will probably feel a bit fake at first, but keep at it. You’ll come out on top.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

In a small town, not far away, lived a boy who could only paint. He could not chop wood, the ax was too heavy and it fell out of his hands. When he gardened, the plants always died. The cows ran from him and afterwards would only give spoiled milk. He could not weave or spin. The yarn would always tangle around his fingers.

So his family and the people of the town decided to leave him alone to do what he really liked to do.
The boy who could only paint loved to paint. He would often paint pictures of children playing and pictures of parents smiling while watching their children. He would paint with blues and greens, browns and pinks too. There would be kites in his paintings with blazing colors as they soared high in the bright blue sky. There were balloons and parades and fairs with dancing and fun everywhere.

In the middle of the town there was a wall that had a picture on it. A picture of destruction, war and gloom. A prophet had come through the town one day and predicted war, destruction and a sad end for the town and its people. The town’s people believed the prophet – he was a very wise man. They trusted this man who spoke great wonders and painted them on their wall. Believing the prophet’s tale, they busied themselves working hard to secure their town from unknown horrors. Walls were built, towers for storage and other strong fortresses for safety were made. The town stored food and clothing for such a dire day ahead. Not knowing when or how that sad day would come they worked harder so all their hard work wouldn’t be lost.

Now on a very normal day, as the people ran and busied themselves with their work, the young boy took his paint and brushes, looking for something to paint. His family had finally quit trying to make him useful, so he was alone. He walked into the town, looked around and spotted his next place to paint. First he took out blue, a nice soft blue. He covered that sad picture on the old wall. Green was next. His trees were green and they were strong. Brown was for the trunks and the roots that grew into the ground. He painted a sun and some birds and a boy with a wide smile.

One by one the town’s people stopped what they were doing. The man with a wagon load of corn, the lady with her milk cows, even the girl with a basket, full of eggs, stopped to see what the boy had done. As the crowd gathered around, they didn’t know what to think. Should they be angry with the boy who could only paint? He’d destroyed the prophet’s work. But no one could quite remember, what had been on the wall before. One gentleman thought it had been a building. A young girl remembered a crow. Out of all the people no one remembered the prophet’s message.

One lone man walked towards the boy, took the paintbrush from the boy’s hand and grabbed the small can of paint. With tears in his eyes, he walked towards the wall of doom and destruction, dipped the brush into the blue paint, then added his paint to the newly painted wall. One by one the people came forward and painted a spot onto the wall while the boy who could only paint now could only watch.

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms…Muriel Rukeyser. What is your story?