Monday, October 28, 2019

It Was the Wrong Road but the Right Potato



She drove down the highway looking for the sign Rudy said was the landmark for the road. She was beginning to regret driving all this way to find an office picnic that may not even be here. She started grumbling out loud now, “Rudy’s always been a prankster. Why did I believe him this time. Look for a potato! That’s what Rudy said!”  

And suddenly there it was! A brightly colored small billboard with a picture of a potato. Thats all, no words. She turned onto the road happily now looking forward to the picnic. She’d made her special raspberry jam just for this event.

She noticed up ahead an old man walking slowly. He looks tired, she thought. She pulled up next to him, “Would you like a ride,” she said. The man looked relieved and got in the car with a sigh.

As she pulled away she glanced at him noticing that he was younger than she had thought. “If you’re thirsty there’s an extra bottle of water there,” she pointed to a bag on the floor. He reached for it and drank it all. He sighed again and leaned back for a moment.

“You’re very kind,” he said. “I’ve made this walk once a week for many years to check on the billboard and you are the first person ever who has stopped and helped.”

She asked, “Are you going to the picnic?” He looked puzzled for a moment and then said, “Oh, I heard about that but that is a few miles up the highway, I think.” 

“I heard,” he continued, “that they were going to use a sign like mine to mark their place but I asked them not to because it took my grandparents years to create this particular purple potato we raise. We distribute it to only a few places since it is so special.”

Fascinated by what he was saying and forgetting the picnic for the moment, she had pulled over and stopped as they continued to talk. She asked, “Does it have a special taste?” “Yes,” he answered, “but that’s not all. It has a unique quality. If you like, I have a small sample here in the form of a cookie. Would you like to share it with me?” He hurried on to say, “I assure you, it is completely safe.”

A comfortable feeling came over her. She felt she could trust him. “Okay, I’ll try it,” she said. He pulled out the cookie and she noticed that it seemed to have a purple glow. He broke it neatly in half and with a whimsical tap of cookie halves they ate it at the same time.

Almost immediately she felt the change. All of her old aches and pains were suddenly gone and she felt like she was 20 years old again.She smiled and looked over at him. He now looked about the same age as she felt. She glanced at her reflection in the rear view mirror and she looked 20! “Is it real?” she asked.

“Yes,” he simply said. “How long does it last?” she asked quietly. “As long as you want,” he answered. He tentatively reached out and gently touched the back of her hand. She felt wonderful with his gentle touch. Almost whispering she said, “Are you my other half?” “Yes,” he said quietly, “It’s our time now.”

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Halloween can be happy. May yours be so.
Goodlife

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Detail of photo: Photo is ©️B. Kim Barnes, used with permission and can be found at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kimbar/21330395353/in/album-72157653171573963/

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Zeus and the Cat Doctor



 It had been a lonely life lately for Zeus. He’d been walking around on the streets - it seemed like forever but he knew it wasn’t that long. He looked in all the old familiar places but he couldn’t find what he was looking for. He knew that what he was looking for wasn’t here anymore but he had hope. He wanted to find some of the smells to remind him of the old days with the old man. It was a good trip to make every day. 
 Some people wondered why he kept doing that. Others thought it was love or loneliness or that he was just old. It was all those things but it was more then that. After almost his whole life of living with the old man who was also old when they got together, it was normal for him. It was what he did with his life now. 
 He continued on his walk down the path to the old wood shop where the old man had worked. He walked up to the front door and stared at it. It was locked. He so very much wanted to go inside but there wasn’t anybody to let him in so he walked around the outside. 
 There were still a few lingering smells from those old days. The old man used to like to sit out in back sometimes on an old wood box behind the wood shop and smoke his pipe. Zeus walked over there and sat down next to it. 
 He could still sniff some of those old tobacco smells and they were a comfort to him. Doing that always made him feel better. He would sit there for an hour or so and then he’d walk on home. 
 The old man’s daughter, Susie, still lived there and she took care of him and that was a comfort too but she had a busy life. She often went off with her friends - he didn’t know where - so he’d be a bit lonely and he would go on his walk every day to remember the good times with the old man.  
 Everybody in the neighborhood knew him. Sometimes the children would call to him and if he really liked them he would stop for a short visit but this didn’t happen every day, just some days. 
 He was almost home when Jeremy came running out from the alley and bumped right into him. Jeremy was getting a little older now and he fell over. Zeus stopped and stayed with him. 
 Jeremy was a cat and was almost completely blind, he was born that way, and they had become friends. Zeus remained with his friend while Jeremy figured out how to get up. 
 Jeremy had only 3 legs so getting up was sometimes awkward for him. He was born that way, almost blind and with 3 legs but the people he lived with next door loved him just the way he was. 
 Jeremy got up and the 2 of them leaned together which is a way that dogs, cats and some others will hug each other sometimes. They walked together and since they were almost home they got back within a minute or two. 
 Susie and her friends were there. They saw Zeus and Jeremy coming up the sidewalk and they stopped what they were doing. Susie looked at the pair and she thought, “What an odd mixed match they are but they are very precious.” 
 Many of her friends were taking pictures of them and it always made her uncomfortable when that happened because she felt somehow it was invading Zeus’s and Jeremy’s friendship but she noticed the dog and cat didn’t seem to mind at all. 
 The two came up to where everybody was and her friends all sat or crouched down to visit with them. They knew that Zeus and Jeremy were not young so they were gentle and petted them and said sweet and friendly things to them. Zeus and Jeremy sat down and enjoyed their friendliness.  
 After a few minutes Jeremy got up and walked over to Richard who was sitting by himself and feeling kind of grumpy because he had broken his toe and it was really hurting. He was wearing a walking cast and since he loved nothing better then to go skateboarding he was a bit grumpy.
 Jeremy jumped up into Richard’s lap. Richard didn’t know what to do because he didn’t have a cat but Jeremy settled down and Richard just started gently petting him. 
 He noticed as he was petting Jeremy that he felt better and his toe had stopped hurting so much. He didn’t know why but he appreciated it and pretty soon he was smiling and laughing with the rest of his friends. 
 Susie and her best friend and neighbor Joni looked at each other and smiled. Joni quietly said  that Jeremy was working his special magic again. They agreed that Jeremy was a cat doctor. He could cheer anybody up and he could help them to feel better no matter what. He just had that special way about him.
 Zeus smiled to himself. He walked up on the porch and got up on the old man’s wooden deck chair that Susie kept there for him. He looked around sleepily as he started to relax. It’s not a bad life even though the old man was gone - it’s a good life in a lot of ways. Maybe I’ll stop making that walk and hang out more with my friend Jeremy. I might pick up some pointers and someday perhaps I can be a dog doctor. On that note he settled in for his afternoon snooze.

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Photo is ©️B. Kim Barnes, used with permission and can be found at:


Saturday, July 06, 2019

Jon’s World



Jon rolled over in bed. “Have to go to work,” he said in a tired miserable way. “I don’t know why, what’s all this big fuss about the South Pole. Every year we have to trek down to the exact South Pole,” Jon grumbled to himself. “Well…,” he muttered, “…I’m not in this alone so no point in fussing any more about it.” 
 Jon was a member of a crew that walked down to the exact South Pole every year. Scientists would be there of course and they would take their usual measurements and Astrophysicists would study the sky - everybody would do what their speciality was. 
 Jon worked with the sled dogs to keep them safe and secure and well fed and to some extent controlled because sometimes they would get overexcited. 
 His job was to bring back-up supplies on the sled just in case. You never knew about the weather there so even though the scientists all rode in an old snow cat, which Jon also maintained and filled with supplies, he and the dogs went with the sled. 
 It was only a group of 8 to 10 every time and this time the group was 9. It took about 2 to 3 hours to get to the area and mark the South Pole as precisely as possible.
 Jon had the sled packed with everything and would mush the sled, that was his job and so they were off. After about 2 hours, the general area where they were going was just ahead. The scientists in the snow cat were using their knowledge and instruments to find the location. 
 A little ways before they got to the pinpoint location the dogs stopped and they absolutely refused to go any further. Jon did everything he could to coax them but the lead scientist, Mr. Jeffers said, “We have to go on.” Jon replied, “Well it’s, it’s not very far.” They could all see it. 
 It was about 100 yards away (91.44 meters) and Mr. Jeffers said, “Well Jon, you come along when you can and we’ll see you there.” Mr. Jeffers and the rest of them in the snow cat drove off towards the area. 
 Jon walked over to the dogs. He knew them all very well and he sat down in front of the lead dog. He patted the lead dog a little bit which always meant to the other dogs that they could sit down, so they did and then while the lead dog was sitting Jon said, “I know that you know something.” 
 The lead dog gave him that warm loving look that dogs do that people who live with dogs know about and Jon said, “We’ll stay here.” And so they did. 
 After about a half an hour one of the scientists, Mr. Royce, walked back and said, “Are you coming?” Jon answered, “Well you know, they just don’t want to go any further and I don’t want to leave them.” Mr. Royce said, “Okay, okay,” and he walked back. 
 About 20 minutes after that Jon had a funny feeling and the dogs had it too. The dogs got up without Jon saying anything or giving any order. The dogs looked at each other, they looked at Jon who also stood up - and things seemed to be different. Jon noticed there were colors swirling in the air around them and the dogs seemed to like it though they weren’t getting excited - they were just happy. 
 Jon felt a sense of ease coming over him and the next thing he knew his eyes were closed. He knew he was still standing but he felt like he was in a deep sleep. After a little while he started feeling very warm and then actually hot. He wondered what that was about because he was going to have to take off his parka. 
 He opened his eyes and he looked - he was in some kind of a - was it a desert? No, he could see trees in the distance. He looked towards where the sled had been but it wasn’t there. The dogs weren’t either. He looked all around and off in the distance he saw the dogs frisking around by the trees and they were splashing in what looked like a pool. 
 Jon suddenly realized how hot he was so he took off his parka and his boots. He thought this must be a dream - of course, it’s a dream. Everything will be alright so he walked over to the dogs and the dogs ran up to him and they were all happy.
 The lead dog came up to him and gave him that look that Jon knew. So he sat down and he looked at the lead dog. 
 Suddenly Jon felt himself going through an odd sensation. Pretty soon he felt kind of like he was a dog and pretty soon after that he felt like he really is a dog. He looked around at himself and he had 4 legs and he was wagging his tail and he was thinking to himself, “but I’m a man, I’m not a dog,” 
 The lead dog looked at him and Jon felt freer than he had ever felt in his life and he thought, “what a wonderful dream!” He ran into the pond and splashed around and all the dogs splashed around in the pond with him. 
 He came out refreshed and looked again at his friend, the lead dog. Lead dog brushed up against him and Jon could hear something. He wasn’t sure what it was until he realized it was a song. It was some sort of tune without words. The music was beautiful and then he started hearing the words and the words were, home - I’m home. 
 He didn’t know what that meant. He was starting to get a bit nervous and then the lead dog came over and leaned against him and he leaned back with his dog self and soon he was completely relaxed and sleeping some place. Then, as he awoke he heard it. 
 It was the most loving voice he’d ever heard and it said, “You’ve been playing at being a man but now you’re home. This is the place where dogs live and where they come from and now you’re home again.” 
 He wanted to wake up from his dream and his dream sleep but then he realized - why fight it - I’ve never been so happy and comfortable in my life.

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Detail of photo: Photo is ©️B. Kim Barnes, used with permission and can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kimbar/21544139049/in/album-72157657309351200/

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Silver Sail



 The old man woke up. He’d had that strange dream again. All he could ever remember was that there was a very flat and calm lake. It had a sort of gleam to it and in the distance there was a sailboat. 
 He liked that boat very much. He’d always wanted to have a boat of his own but the distinctive feature of the boat is that it had a silver sail. The sail was so bright that the sun would reflect from it and at the moment of the flash of the sun reflecting off of it he would wake up. This happened every time. In the past it had bothered him because he wanted to know what happened next. 
 He had been a story teller his whole life and like any story teller, there has to be a good finish and it’s also good to have a nice start - and it’s even better for it to be a good story all the way through.
 So on the one hand it bothered him and on the other hand he really liked the image of the calm water, the sailboat and the silver sail. “Anyway,” he thought to himself, “…how many times have I had that thought.” 
 He rolled out of bed and Q rolled with him. Q was his dog. Well actually, to be perfectly honest, Q was his families dog who had taken a shine to him. 
 They called him Quintus Rex and he thought that was a silly name for a dog but he didn’t say so to the family because they thought it was a funny name and he didn’t want to rain on their parade, so to speak. He was kind of an unusual looking dog and so every time they’d say his name they would laugh looking at him. 
 The old man felt that Q, as he called him, was a fine looking dog - he was just different. “And so,” he thought, “ well, just because he’s got big floppy ears and one of the ears is much shorter than the other doesn’t mean that he should just be continually laughed at. Dogs like it when people are happy but if they’re the butt of the joke eventually they don’t like it too much, just like human beings.” 
 So the old man treated Q different and he didn’t call him Quintus Rex even in front of the family, he always called him Q. 
 Later in the day after a nice family breakfast, he looked at Q and said, “Want to go for a stroll boy?” Q always wanted to go for a stroll with the old man because it was fun and so of course he looked happy and wagged his tail.
 They lived in a neighborhood where, if you had a well-behaved dog, that you didn’t have to use a leash and so they both left the house - no leash. 
 Q looked up happily at the old man as they walked along. The old man liked to say, “Heel,” and of course Q would do that but he looked up at the old man with happiness because the old man could understand and recognize that he was happy just to be with the old man. 
 They walked down that slow slope towards the lake. It was a nice lake. It was fairly big. You could see the other side but it was at a distance. 
 When the old man was younger he used to be able to walk around the lake but now that he was older he was happy just to walk down there, think his thoughts of his life and have his good friend Q with him.
 The old man sat on the bench that was closest to the lake. Most of the benches were behind the path so that you could have chats with people walking by. The old man, when he was younger, used to sit on those benches for his Sunday walk but now that he was in his advanced years he liked to sit near the lake because most of his friends whom he used to see there had already passed over. 
 So he sat near the lake and Q sat on the ground near him. The old man would usually look at Q and say, “Do you want to go play, boy?” When he would do that Q would go off and play with the other dogs or sometimes splash a bit in the water. This time the old man didn’t say that. He looked kind of sleepy and Q thought - maybe I’d better stay. 
 Q looked out at something that caught his eye on the lake. He wasn’t sure what it was and he glanced back at the old man. He wanted to see if the old man had seen it but the old man had shifted on the bench. He wasn’t sitting up any more. 
 He had in fact leaned over to the side and now he sort of slowly descended to the rest of the bench and looked kind of like he was sleeping but Q knew what it was. To be sure, Q put a  paw up on the old man and he knew. Dogs have a way of knowing these things. 
 Q looked at the old man but again something caught his eye. It was a flash of light from the direction of the lake. He turned around and looked directly at the lake. 
 He saw another flash of light and there out on the lake was a sailboat. It was a nice one. Not too big, just a nice size, and it had a silver sail.
 Q was happy. The old man had told him about his dream several times. Again he looked at the old man laying on the bench but somehow he knew the old man wasn’t really there any more and Q got happier and excited. 
 He wondered whether the old man’s dream had come true and he looked at the boat with the silver sail. He saw something. He had good vision like dogs do. 
 The old man was on the boat! He was waving at Q. Q hopped up in the air with joy and when he landed the boat was gone. The silver sail was gone and the old man on the boat was gone but dogs can accept these things and he knew that the old man was happy and Q was happy for him.
 He looked back at the bench. A couple of people had come over and he looked at them. One of them said, “It was his time,” and glanced at Q and Q nodded - it was his time but Q knew that it was the next time for the old man.

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We all will have next times, I believe. Goodlife to you all.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Morning of the Sun



The morning became her as she shone brightly in the sky. She laughed merrily to herself as she did every morning when she thought about some peoples calling her Father Sun. Mother Sun was closer to the way she thought of herself as she gave freely of her light and warmth to encourage all life. 
When waking she always looked at all the planets that she had managed to accumulate over time. Some planets were not originally planets at all but were moons of other planets. 
Still, she managed to move things around a bit and over time they became planets and this was good. 
She enjoyed her array of life giving objects and she smiled upon the peoples who insisted on saying Father Sun and Sister Moon when in fact it was closer to the other way around. “Still, a small thing,” she thought. 
She loved the peoples of all forms. She did think it was strange that some of the peoples didn’t understand that the other peoples, including the four leggeds that lived with them very often, were the same status. 
She thought, “Well, they are young as a people and they will grow and realize that all beings are the same in the heart, mind and body because they are all made of the same thing.” 
“They communicate differently at this time but most are telepathic, even human beings - they just don’t remember. But”, she smiled again to herself, “they’ll begin to wake up and they will remember how to speak from the heart without using words out loud and this way,” she thought warmly, “this way there would be no more misunderstandings and that would be good.” 
She relaxed and got on with her day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Tower



Beryl looked towards the sky as she did every day at this time. The clouds were moving by as always and they would take the form in this part of the cloud or that part of the cloud of the spirits that always lived there. 

Sometimes the forms would be of animals and other times clearly of people and still other times shapes that she didn’t recognize but were not a shape of a normal cloud so it must have been something she didn’t know about. 

It was a special time of the day when she would have her tea. Sometimes her friend Millie would come over and they would both look at the sky and have their tea together. 

They had been friends for as long as she could remember and now they were both elderly and looking forward to having more time off since their children had grown up and were enjoying good lives. Beryl and Millie felt very good about that. 

They both lived in separate little apartment-like places, sometimes called in-law apartments, in their children’s homes and so they were comfortable and within easy walking distance of each other.

Beryl looked up into the sky again and she wondered when they were going to finish the tower. She and Millie had discussed this so many times but as the tower was being built over the years, and her grandmother and even her great grandmother had mentioned it to her, that it would always either fall down or it would be blown over by a strong wind. 

Over the years people learned how to build it better and now her young ones and Millies young ones as well had all discovered how to build it so it was stronger and more durable and the tower didn’t fall over any more. It didn’t blow over even when strong winds would come and it was getting higher and higher. 

She noticed, the last time she looked, that it was almost touching where the clouds would be. She thought for a moment about the old stories and how the old ones said if they could only fly up to the clouds and be with the spirits that were there, that the clouds showed every day, that they would be happy and feel wonderful. And so came the project of the tower. 

Millie looked at her friend. She knew exactly what Beryl was thinking because Beryl spoke about these matters every day. Millie’s life was different. She had her boyfriend, as she called him although she was too old to be called a girl and he was too old to be called a boy but they liked to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend just for fun. 

Millie loved her friend Beryl, and she wanted Beryl to be happy too but Beryl’s children, especially Johan, had made the tower their lives work and so of course it was very important to Beryl.

Beryl spoke all of a sudden, “Look, they’re moving that piece into place. I don’t see how they can move it up like that but they have their ways, these engineers eh?” Millie said, “Mmm, yes.” 

And then after a last bit of struggle the final piece went into place and soon the clouds encased it and were moving through and all around the tower. For those who were present there, a great shout of happiness and joy was made. People hugged each other and were even weeping because this was something they had worked so long for - generations of people had tried to do this and now it was going to be possible to visit the spirits in their home. 

Millie and Beryl were having the same thoughts and looked at each other and reached over and patted each other’s hands. This was a momentous occasion. 

The people who were below the top of the tower looked up at those who had placed the last piece. They could see them climbing up that last piece to be with the spirits and visit them in their home. Soon everyone below the top of the tower could see that their favorite spirit was defined by the clouds and it was that wonderful smiling face that they all loved so much. 

High up in the tower Johan was there. He was thrilled to have been part of the group who placed the last piece and he had climbed up with the rest of them. He saw a bit of the smile and knew this must be the smiling face he’d seen so often from the ground. He felt what he could only describe as ecstasy. It was the greatest joy and yet there was an unusual silence. His friends were around him and nearby in other parts of the tower but he felt totally at peace, quiet and still. 

In a moment he heard the voice and the Voice said to him, “You have done well to come and visit us in our home. We welcome you and so we will give each of you a gift. You can come only once but we will give everyone their own gift and it will be a story. The stories are meant to encourage life, to support love and to provide a welcoming for all life between you and all life - and between life and all of you. In this way these stories will support the re-blossoming of the best and most benevolent life for all beings.” 

Johan was overwhelmed by his feeling of pure love that he felt from the voice. He felt tears of joy streaming down his face and knew that it was time to leave. He started climbing back down. 

When he got to the plateau level where others were waiting but still a ways up on the tower, people saw the tears streaming down his face and they knew he must have had a marvelous experience because even though the tears were coming he was smiling and looked joyous. 

He climbed back down to the bottom and others hugged him and he hugged them in return. Johan shared what the voice had said and from that day forward people were able to gather stories from the spirits in the sky. 

Soon the people all had stories and they told their stories at gatherings. No matter what disputes or arguments had preceded their gatherings, after the stories were told all was forgiven. Love prevailed and a better life was had for all beings.

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Happy Valentine's Day to you all. Goodlife 

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.