Thursday, December 27, 2018

Time


 Rolling so smoothly and every once in a while folding back on himself. This was Grandfather Time’s experience. Mostly, when he folded back it was a pleasant wave of energy and feeling but occasionally it didn’t feel so good. He wondered if it had something to do with that little world.

 Most of the peoples and worlds that he provided with time were happy with these opportunities to repeat their happiness and joys from the past but there was one world he was concerned about.

 This was a world that had unhappiness and misery besides happiness and joy and so, when the moment would come where he would fold back on himself and happiness and joy was repeated on most of the worlds, this one world would sometimes have all kinds of unhappiness and misery that had happened before, happen all over again. 

 He didn’t know what to do about that. He had to continue to fold back on himself because the other worlds were enjoying the experience so much. He wondered if there wasn’t something he could do to resolve the situation on that one world - such a beautiful little world from space, blue and white, very pretty. He wondered again, what can I do so they don’t repeat their unhappiness from the past. 

 “I know, I have an idea and why,” he chuckled to himself, “why in the world, so to speak, didn’t I think of this before?” In that moment he called out to his friend and mate who was in another part of the universe and doing things differently.

 Soon after, Grandmother Time was preparing for her trip to help her old friend. She asked her daughter to carry on for her. Her daughter, Mother Time, said, “I will Momma.”

 Almost immediately upon Grandmother Time’s arrival Grandfather Time asked her, “What can I do about this beautiful little world?” Grandmother Time looked at it. “It is beautiful,” she said.

She thought for a moment and then said, “I know what we could do but we will have to join for a long time and this means you will have to stretch to where I am in my part of the universe and I will have to stretch to where you are in your part of the universe and we can, if we move back and forth slowly like that, I think, create a calming. It will still be beautiful for all the other peoples and worlds as it has been but this way we can create something more gentle that will be more like a ripple instead of a wave.”

 “Ah I see,” Grandfather Time said. “So instead of a sudden wave that can happen when I fold back, things will be calmer and softer. Do you think that maybe the peoples on that world can sort out their problems then?” “I think it’s worth a try,” Grandmother Time said.


 And that’s what they did and they’re working on it now so maybe we can sort out our problems. Let’s give it a try. Happy 2019 and beyond.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Stairway


When I was growing up we lived in a very old house. It had this rickety stairway that led downstairs from the bedrooms. It had a bannister but it was shaky. Every time you walked on the stairs you felt like they were going to fall down but carpenters and other builders said that the stairs were meant to be free swinging. 

They said that they were actually very sturdy and that each stair supported the other not unlike a rope bridge over a canyon that just had ropes and boards. They said it really was very safe but it would be shaky. 

That’s what they said anyway but I remember having to go down that stairway, especially at night when we had to go downstairs to the bathroom, because the stairway was dark. We had a nightlight upstairs and a small one at the bottom but there wasn’t any way to light the stairway. 

When I was very young I remember several times going down that stairway very slowly at night when I was really frightened but making it all the way down and all the way back up. On the way back up I ran up to the brighter light upstairs. It was always a relief to get there.

One day something happened that was really marvelous. I remember it so well. As I was about to step on the stairs there was a little light there. I didn’t know where it came from but I looked down and there was a light slightly above the stairs just floating there. 

I walked towards it and it seemed kind of friendly, thats the only way I can describe it. So I started walking down the stairs and wonder of wonders, the light kept moving before me and lighting up the stairway. That happened all the way down to the bottom of the stairs. 

When I came back to the staircase I didn’t know whether the light would be there for me but just as I was reaching my foot towards the first stair, there it was and from that day forward going up and down the stairs at night that light was there. 

Everyone in my family saw it too. My sister saw it, my mom saw it and my dad saw it when they went down and back up the stairs.

My little sister always called it Genie because it was like a magical genie to her. Soon we all called it that.
  
All throughout my childhood from that point on Genie was there. I remember once my dad said, “We all love Genie but maybe we ought to rebuild the stairway …,” and that’s as far as he got. All the rest of us said, “No, no, Genie might go away!”

So to this day, even though I’m now all grown up and not as frightened as I used to be as a child and am getting on in years, I still live in that house.

My sister got married and moved away and my folks passed on years ago but when I got married we raised our children in this house. The children got to know Genie on the stairway at night. Its been a magical place that way and we all feel that Genie loves us and we love Genie too.

There’s something special that I’ve learned from Genie and thats that it’s possible to do small things that are really needed and just be yourself when you’re doing them. In this way you can give of yourself while still being who you are. 

I’ve tried to live my life that way doing small things for others as well as doing larger things when needed and to be gracious in giving and receiving.

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May you all have a most pleasant holiday season.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Minor Changes on My Blogs

Laws have changed in the European Union that have to do with some elements on my blogs, so I’ve removed those elements to comply. I hope these removals haven’t inconvenienced you. Do know that I welcome you all to read these blogs. Goodlife

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Question


Todd got out of bed. He looked in the mirror, shook his head. “How could I have gotten this way”, he thought to himself. “I used to be… well I used to be younger, that’s true,” he thought to himself, “…but now? Oh dear, I look like an unmade bed.”

He went to the bathroom, took a shower - a nice long one because it was his day off and he decided he would get dressed up in his best clothes. It had been a very long time since he got dressed up although when he looked at his wardrobe he was concerned that he wouldn’t fit into any of his nicer clothes anymore.

“Well,” he thought, “that’s what elastic waists are for.” He took out some of his old pants that didn’t have much wear because he bought them when he had put on weight and then he took it all off but in recent years he put back some of it - he was pretty sure he didn’t put it all back on. He tried on the elastic pants and wonder of wonders, they were loose! “This is wonderful,” he thought. And he tried on the next smaller size - still loose - and the next size.

You see, Todd is the sort of person who gains weight and looses weight and gains it again and looses it again. Some of you might know someone like that. Some of you might even resemble that but that’s alright, it’s part of life.

After a while, Todd found the size that fit him. It was somewhere between his biggest and his smallest so he didn’t feel too bad about it. Okay, it did have an elastic waist but not the whole waist, just at the sides. “So, that’s okay,” he thought with a smile.

He looked at his shirts and discovered that he did have several shirts that still fit him comfortably. He thought, “I can look nice today. I don’t have to be all rumply as I normally am in my old clothes.”

You see, Todd didn’t have to get all fancied up to do his work because his work was as a woodcarver. As a woodcarver - and he was a very good one - he didn’t have to look fancy but today was a special day. Today was the day he was going to ask his friend, whom he had known all his life - he was going to ask her out on a date. He was a shy person and never had the nerve to do that before but today was the day!

“She won’t be expecting me to look this nice”, he thought. “Normally I just look like, well, that unmade bed.”

So, he got his shoes out and polished them and brushed them to a bright shine. He thought, “It’s probably silly going to the repair shop but still…” nervously mumbling to himself getting ready but adding, “…gotta try, gotta try.”

He drove over to Crumple Repair, excited and nervous, to ask Shelly out on a real date. Everyone at the auto body repair shop knew him and called out to him as he was walking up the driveway.

Slim said, “Here comes Rumply!” “Hi Rumply,” others said and waved. Jack, who’d worked there the longest and worked for Shelly’s dad when he’d started the place, called to Shelly by her nickname at the shop, “Crumply! Rumply’s here only he looks different. Wonder what’s up?”

Shelly looked up from the dent she was pounding out, gave Todd a big smile and said to him, “You look great! What’s the occasion?”

Todd said, “I’ve known you all my life. Your my best friend in the world but your more than that to me.” Nervously, he continued, “You’re much more than that to me. Would you come out on a date with me? A real date, not just hanging out?”

Shelly got up slowly from the car she had been working on and walked up to Todd. She spread her arms out and they hugged each other. “Oh Shelly, I don’t want to complicate our friendship but I’ve loved you for a long time and just didn’t know how to say it.”

Shelly laughed and said, “I’ve loved you for years but I thought you didn’t feel that way so I made do with friendship. I love you too.”

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Valentine’s Day is a time to be reminded of the value of love. Hope you have a most benevolent and lovely day. Goodlife


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(photo: Photo is © B. Kim Barnes, used with permission and can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kimbar/38102978064/)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Rainbow Rising






Charlie looked out across the open plane. He could see as far as he needed to but he was waiting because in the canyon that was just past the plane, every day about this time it would have a rain shower and he would enjoy watching that even though it didn’t come, most of the time, to where he lived.

He liked to watch it because at this time of day the rainbow would rise. “Oh what a glorious sight that is,” he thought as he relived it in his mind, “It literally starts as light very bright on the ground and then if you don’t know what it is you’re fascinated.”

The first time he saw it he literally ran towards it until he realized it was a rainbow! And up it came and it lasted for as long as the rain shower lasted which is usually about 10 minutes.

“What a beautiful thing, “ he thought, “Mother Earth is such a wonderful mother because even though she provides things that can be challenging and even daunting she also is generous with her gifts.”

“Thank you Mother Earth,” he thought. He looked down as he said that and then he crouched down and touched her dirt and said almost reverently, “Thank you for all your kind gifts you give me.”
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May you also have gifts from Mother Earth and a benevolent 2018. Goodlife

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Feather


She was a special little duck, not too big as ducks go. She had plain but nice and smooth and shiny feathers but there was one thing unusual about her and that’s that on her back, she could reach it so she could clean it and keep it shiny, was a small single red feather. 

Bright red feathers don’t usually show up in a ducks body there, at least not for her nor her relatives and it stuck up, sort of popped up out of the rest of her feathers so it looked a little funny when she was walking around or swimming. Of course when she was flying with friends or family, not many people could see it. It wasn’t a big feather so it didn’t interfere with the way she would fly but she could feel it in the breeze.

She liked to visit the park with her friends and family. A lot of her friends and family would eat the bread or other things that people would throw but she didn’t like to do that. She held back, she knew she was there for a reason but she wasn’t sure what it was. One day the reason showed up and that explained why she had that red feather.

“Over the vista and through the woods. Now, how did that song go?” 
“Grandpa, it’s not over the vista, it’s over the river and through the woods,” Andie said.
“Is that it,” Andie’s Grandpa Jeff asked.
“Yes,” Andie answered.

“Oh well, it’s good I have you around Andie, isn’t it because you can help me to remember the things I used to know and - there was a time when I taught you that song.”
“That’s right Grandpa. Sorry, I shouldn’t have made such a fuss,” Andie said apologizing.
“That’s alright, sweetie. Don’t you worry about it. What do you want to do today,” Grandpa asked.

“Well”, she said, “I was thinking, maybe we could walk down to the park - you know the place you like to go and sit on the bench by the ducks, because that duck I was looking for - you know the one the other day?”

“Yes, the one with the funny feather,” Grandpa answered. “That’s right. I was wondering if that duck came back,” Andie responded.
“Well, lets go,” Grandpa said.
“Okay,” Andie answered.

So they put on their jackets. Grandpa Jeff used his extra warm scarf and Andie put on her warm sweater vest. They left the house and walked towards the park. It was only two blocks away but it was a nice walk because on the way, there were several people who had friendly dogs and Andie would say hello to all the dogs and they’d come up wagging their tails. 

One place, Grandpa Jeff said hello to his neighbor Jocelyn who was always very happy to see him and they would linger for a little bit. Andie would smile shyly and look at the ground and hope that someday her grandfather and this sweet lady Jocelyn would get together. “They’d make a sweet couple,” Andi thought to herself.

They got to the park and settled down on their favorite bench. Not too many other people were around, just the regulars that came there every day. They waved cheerfully to all the regulars and the regulars waved back and they settled in and waited for the ducks to come.

The ducks always came at the same time of day. Andie figured that they probably had other places they wanted to visit. Grandpa figured that they had other places where they could get goodies and they would go on tour to various places where they could get some foods they liked. 

Andie and her grandfather would always bring special food that they got at the pet store that was just for ducks. It gave them all of the nutrients they needed to be healthy. So they felt good about feeding the ducks and knowing that they were helping them too.

Soon the ducks showed up and lo and behold there was the duck with the different feather.

“What do you think that means, grandpa?” “Well you know, it is funny. You wouldn’t expect a red feather to be sticking out of a duck in that place. It’s just a mystery, isn’t it”, Grandpa responded to Andie. “It sure is,” Andie answered. Grandpa continued, “I don’t know what that red feather means but I wonder.”

Soon the ducks came out of the water towards them because they knew that they were going to get their good food. Several of them came over including the little duck with the red feather. 

Andie’s grandpa Jeff and Andie spread out the food for them and most of the ducks started eating except the little duck with the red feather who walked right up to Andie, turned around and pecked at the feather and pulled it out. She dropped it right at Andie’s feet.

Grandpa looked over at Andie and looked at the little duck and said, “I think that’s meant as a gift for you.” Andie responded quietly, “I think so too. Should I reach right down and pick it up now?” “I would,” Grandpa answered.

Andie slowly reached down and got the feather and watched the little duck and noticed that the duck watched her all the way and when she picked up the feather she held it for a moment and little duck kept watching her.

“You know…,” said Grandpa, “…I think she wants you to do something with it.” Andie answered, “I know this sounds silly but I feel like putting it in my hair.” Grandpa responded, “Go ahead.”

She stuck it in her hair and the little duck looked at Andie and then at grandpa Jeff. She looked back at Andie one more time and nodded her head and turned around and went back in the water.

“What does it mean, grandpa?”
“I’m not sure what it means…,” Grandpa said, “…but I think it must mean something good.”

Well, they went home after that and they talked it over that night - what could it mean - but they didn’t know so they each went to bed and had a good nights sleep and looked forward to going to the park again the next day.

Sure enough, the next day they looked at each other and smiled. Andie was wearing the red feather. She had dusted it off and found a way to put it in her hair so it wouldn’t blow away.

“Oh, that looks nice,” Grandpa said. “Thank you. I’m not sure if it’ll stay there but I have it sort of connected to a scrunchy and I think it might,” Andie replied.

“It’s a beautiful gift and not a bad looking gift giver,” Grandpa said with a smile.“Not bad looking at all,” Andie said cheerfully.

They walked on towards the park and Andie said hello to the friendly dogs and then they got to the house where Jocelyn lived but she wasn’t sitting out on the porch as usual. Andie noticed that her grandfather looked disappointed but they walked on. 

A half a block away from the park they saw Jocelyn at a distance walking towards them from a side street. As she got closer she said, “How do you like my new Christmas hat?”

Grandpa Jeff and Andie glanced at each other, then looked at Jocelyn. Grandpa Jeff said, “My, that’s a beautiful big red feather on your hat.” Jocelyn answered, “Thank you, and what a nice red feather in your hair, Andie.”

“We really want to tell you all about what happened at the park yesterday,” Jeff said. And soon they were talking and laughing like old friends.

Soaring in the sky a little ways overhead, little duck smiled and knew that the little girl and the old man would soon be happy with the lady.

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Happy Holidays to you all as well. 

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Photo is © B. Kim Barnes, used with permission, and can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kimbar/30687841335/in/album-72157656268292266/

Monday, November 20, 2017

Beyond the Edges


Bill looked over the edge. He was always afraid to do that because when he looked over the edge he could see all his dreams and it just made him nervous. 

On the one hand he was excited and happy when he saw his good dreams but on the other hand, sometimes he would see those scary dreams and it just made him nervous. 

He’d always been able to look over the edge before he fell asleep but he’d never been able to stop himself from falling asleep just at the point where he could look over the edge. 

He called it looking over the edge because it was that point between being awake or being asleep. There was that midpoint where he could feel himself sinking into sleep and he called that the edge. 

One morning he woke up and he’d had a good dream and he felt relaxed and happy and he just enjoyed those feelings for a while. Then he heard a voice in his head saying, “There is a way you can experience only good dreams.” Bill said, “Who’s that?” And the voice said, “I’m your conscience, I’m also your soul and I have a gift for you.” 

“Really?” Bill thought wonderingly to himself though it felt like part of a conversation. “Yes, really…”, Bill’s conscience replied, “…this is what to do when you’re looking over the edge. You’ve noticed how in the past when you look at your happy dreams they’re always on the right side and when you look at your unhappy dreams they’re always on the left side.” 

“Yes, now that you mention it,” Bill answered. Bill’s conscience continued, “Well, this is what to do. From now on when you look over the edge, look only at the right side and then while you look at the right side, drag it across so that it’s on the left side too.” 

“Is that possible,” Bill asked. 

“Yes, try it tonight when you’re looking over the edge.” 
That night when he laid down for sleep, he didn’t know whether he could even fall asleep because he was excited to try the new way but sure enough when he started sinking into sleep he looked over the edge and he saw his good dreams on the right side and the scary ones on the left side. 

So he concentrated and looked really hard at his good dreams on the right side and he dragged them over to the left side. He was concerned that that would mean that his bad dreams were on the right side but they weren’t there anymore. His good dreams just filled out the whole panorama of his dreams and everything felt happy. He didn’t know what to think but he was sinking and then he was asleep. 

Bill woke up and he was in his dream. It was a happy dream, the one he loved where he’s climbing to the top of the mountain and it was so easy and he got to the top and he could look around in all the directions - he loved that dream. 

He woke up and he remembered that he’d woken up in the dream too. He’d never woken up in a dream. He was awake, he felt, when he was in the dream, he really felt himself doing that. He wondered if there was a message there. He thought about it and he thought about his life.

He was born with one leg slightly shorter then the other and it had been difficult getting around. It wasn’t a big difference but it was enough of a difference so that if he wore regular shoes that his back or his shoulders or his legs would hurt and so he always wore a special shoe which made it feel better. 

He had to be careful to keep his balance though so he never really climbed up any steep hills or even the trail that went up a mesa near where he lived. Doctors told him that it might be risky or it might be possible, they weren’t sure and so, playing it safe he’d never tried. 

Since it was saturday, the day when he went out and did things or saw friends, he decided that he’d take up a friend’s offer and go on that trail and see if he could make it to the top like in his dream. 

He called his friend, Millie, and he told her that today was the day he was going to try the trail with her and she was excited and said she’d bring everything that they needed - water and food - for a picnic on top and that she would either go first or walk behind him, what ever he wanted. He wanted to walk behind her so he could see how she walked and where she put her feet. 

Millie also brought walking sticks for him so he had something to lean on if he needed it. Well, they started out and the first part was very slightly uphill but he leaned on the walking sticks and it was fine. As time went on and the trail switched back and forth as it often does going on a hike, he needed to lean on the walking sticks more and he had to stop and rest a few times. 

Millie said it would be alright and that they didn’t have to go the whole distance if he didn’t want to but Bill said, “I think I have to try to go the whole distance.” She smiled and said, “Okay.” 

They made it all the way to the top. Bill looked around at the top of the mesa and he could see in all directions and for a moment he felt like he was in his dream again and then he looked at Millie, his good friend and she looked at him and warmth and love spread between them. 

They both knew in that moment that their long friendship was finally going to turn into something closer and certainly, it happened. 

Years later Bill realized that the whole purpose of his climbing the mountain dream, was to learn that some risks are okay to take and the whole purpose of him climbing the trail to the top of the mesa with his closest friend Millie and being there with her and looking in all directions - that being there with her in that moment that he could take the risk and go past friendship and that they could be married and live together and dare he say it - yes - to live happily ever after as they have been doing.

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Sometimes you can go beyond your limits and live happily ever after. Happy Thanksgiving and goodlife to you all.