I’ve been thinking…

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Houston, I think we have a problem.

Imagine a human standing in front of you asking you a question.  It is not the easiest question for you to answer.  In fact, you would rather turn, run in the opposite direction and dive into a hole filled with fat,slimy earthworms than answer the question.  But this person is in front of you. Face to face.  Eye to eye.  Nose to nose.  So you dig down deep inside of you and you find the courage to answer the question to the best of your ability.  Phew. That was hard, but you did it, and it may not have been the perfect answer, but you faced the question and you did not run away. I say good for you.

Texting.  It’s a bit crazy to me how this technology has severely wounded the sensitivity and even common sensical part of human nature: we speak. we listen. we respond.

Curiously, with a cellular device in our hand we transcend humanity and become the all-powerful, fearless immortal.  We kick aside three of the four Buddhist virtues: compassion, empathetic joy, and loving-kindness. Suddenly, a person writes things that they would never say in person or they avoid completely questions that they do not want to answer.As far as practicing non-reaction?  You just  hit that send button and shoot of something that has the power to ruin someone’s day.  You don’t have to look at that person and see the damage your writing may have done. Worst even, maybe you don’t even care.

I like human voices.  I like to see smiles and hear laughter. One of the things that I deepened my understanding in through yoga is the power of touch. Humans!  We need to work on this.  We need to teach others to do this.  I believe it will increase happiness in ourselves, our homes, our communities, and maybe even someday in the world.

Remember this.  Those great memories that you have were not from reading a screen, they were made from hearing words or doing things with others, or maybe with the help and support of others.  People give hope to one another with the power of eye to eye contact, and the intonation of our voices.

Lifting each other up, cheering each other on…are not products of technology. Let’s be mindful with our writing.

I was just thinking about that.

Dear Dad,

Dear Dad,

You knew that I did not intend on going there last night.  You saw me struggling, and you told me to go, and so I went.  I thank you for letting me sit a while and listen, with you by my side.

You sent me the a card a few years ago.  I can’t remember exactly when. The front says, “Before you were born ~ I knew you.”  I loved it, and I called you in tears after I read your words.  You were so special, and I knew I was lucky to have you.

The cover of the card  has an illustration of a mother hugging her daughter.  I chuckled to myself, figuring that you didn’t realize it was meant for a mother to buy.  Over the past few months when I have looked at the card, I have thought to myself, “He knew it was a mother.  He just didn’t care because he liked the words.  He was like that.”

Last night I found out the truth because you led me to a place where I could listen.  I could listen and understand.  At Hope’s faith formation class (which Hope could not even be at,) you spoke to me.  Of course you did.  That’s so you.

You spoke to me through a young youth minister named Brett.  He was talking about being of God’s world, and not of this world.  There are so many things in this world that pull us away from God’s world.  Our own thoughts do this sometimes. Thoughts like:

I am not strong enough.

My shot isn’t good enough.

I am not smart enough.

I am not fast enough.

I am not pretty enough.

I am not popular enough.

These are all ideas of this world.  There are not of God’s world, because he loves each of us as we are.  In His eye’s, we are perfect, each of us.  It is not that I hadn’t heard you speak those words while you were here in body.  Over and over again I  heard you say those things.  It’s just that I have not heard your voice for such a long time that perhaps I let your message slip to the back of my mind.  It is also that I have never heard you speak to me through someone else before.

I’m surprised that a huge light bulb did not appear in the air above my head when Brett quoted Jeremiah:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.  Jeremiah 1:5

You chose that card for me because those were words written first by a prophet.  You were a Deacon.  You studied the Bible.  You KNEW.  Those words are not meant specifically for a man or a woman.  They are meant for all of us.  You knew what you were doing when you chose my card.  You loved me like God loves me and everyone else.  Unconditionally.

You were a wise man, Dad.  You believed in striving to be more “Christlike.”  You believed that the only reason we are here is to learn how to love.  I’m working on it.  I miss you. I love you.  Thank you for sitting with me last night.  I heard you.

To quote you…”There is no such thing as a coincidence.”  Right?

Love,

Carolyn

 

six smiles.

Largely responsible for keeping me smiling this week is the man named Charlie Chaplin.  Our family took a trip to New York City for a “once in a lifetime” experience.  We attended the opening of Chaplin, the Musical at the Barrymore Theatre.  Seeing a theatre show on Broadway is exciting in itself, but when a member of your family has created the show, well – it’s just plain  magnificent.  My husband’s first cousin, Chris Curtis, introduced us to the music he was developing for Chaplin in the Wayside Inn in Chatham, MA about 20 years ago.  Chris’ dream came true September 10, 2012, the opening night of Chaplin, the Musical.  The Barrymore was full, the crowds were loud (especially me,) and the red carpet studded with celebrities!  We could not be more proud of Chris and his achievement.  He co-wrote the book, and solely wrote the music and lyrics to this incredible show.  The life of Charlie Chaplin – who knew that it would be making me smile so many years later!  Bravo, Chris!!

At the Wayside Inn on Cape Cod – before I was married, and way before 4 children!  Chris’ dad, Alan (far left,) has since passed away, but was enjoying his son’s music as he always did!

…and 20 or so years later we all stand with Chris outside the Barrymore Theatre after the show!

The billboard in Times Square

The gorgeous Gotham Hall, where we enjoyed the after party – made even more special by the name, as my 9-year-old is a Batman super fan!

some of my gang with Rob McClure, who was brilliant in the role of Charlie Chaplin.

Waiting to get into the theatre…

If Chaplin, the Musical comes to a city near you, be sure to go!

 Tell them I sent you!

(that won’t really get you anywhere, I just wanted to write it.)