Tag Archives: life

The September Maples

To embrace the experience of living is to reap bounties of all sorts. Thinking deliberately can be such, if one is up to the task. Sometimes, though, lessons present themselves in sudden realization of what was always there. How one accounts for such events is a matter of faith, but certainly lessons unseen if unsought can be presented anywhere.

So it was in the morning taken by ordering the yard surrounding the Perimeter. A glazed pot has sat outside in the bay for the dumpsters since we arrived. In Texas it held a lilac, cultivated by the Editress from a cutting at her mother’s. Potted plants do less well in the frozen north than in the Lone Star State. Being we arrived here in at the start of winter, the tall, slender plant which bloomed for her only a single time—in the summer prior to our leaving—is gone. It sat the first year in the hopes it could recover, but it will not, and its branches turned to sticks in the way of life passed away.

The trees around are largely maples. Each spring showers the property with the seed pods of the silver maples to our south, some of which spiral down to land on seemingly every inch of our yard. They land in the pot where the lilac flourished, too, and spout as they do to be tended only by the sun and the rain. In the pot, though, they stand unmolested.

So I noticed them this morning, with their leaves as broad as any on the mature trees from which they originated, though the largest shoots are perhaps eighteen inches high. They, like the lilac, will be gone after the first killing frost. But for now they are here, and alive, and as it struck me this morning, beautiful standing in such time as they have.

It is a truism that each living thing holds the beauty of life if nothing else. Elizabeth Goudge, an English author of novels, short stories, and children’s books, observed rightly in her novel Green Dolphin Street “Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life ….”

We live in a world where life must at times be cut short. We take in sustenance to live and fund the slow combustion of living with the fuel of our diet. Plants are harvested and animals as well. It’s proper that the grace preceding each meal acknowledges the fact that, as in the spiritual realm, death is necessary for one to receive the gift of life.

With animals, we observe necessity as involving one of the Four Ds. The creature must be dangerous, diseased, destructive … or delicious. With our fellow man, the doctrine here is that he who sets aside his humanity loses the consideration of civilized folk. In no case, however, is the taking of life held lightly. It is God’s portfolio, and each instance is set to His purpose.

In writing political fiction, adventures of all sorts are presented, of course. Homicides  predatory, tragic, and righteous populate the pages of my work. There too, nothing can be taken lightly. In the case of the antagonist, karma waits patiently. But even for my protagonists there is a price paid for doing their duty, and it does not pass without the toll. I write my characters as they are given me, and it has become clear as their stories go on that the burdens of even justifiable homicides build. I write about people as they are, in what my life and my teachers have taught me, and I’ve come to realize that Ms. Goudge was correct.

So, this morning as I began my work, I carefully trimmed away the remnants of the Lilac that had blessed the Editress for years. She has another now, deeply rooted and mature, in the backyard of this iteration of the Perimeter. I left only enough stalk enough to support the young maples whose days are short, so that they can have their time in the sun. It’s as much as any of us can ask. I hope to see their successors in the spring of next year, if we are so graced, because they will also be alive, and beautiful, and welcome here.

Choose to Love, -DA

maple-253097_640

OLSJ_225x337DSIn production news, Boone’s third, One Last Scent of Jasmine, is 24% complete in primary editing, and remains likely for this winter, God willing. Her debut, Absinthe and Chocolate, is currently on sale everywhere pending a feature for the ebook on Pixel of Ink as slated for Monday, September 14. If you’ve not availed yourself of a great read, there is no better time to start.

Advertisements

Love, baby, that’s where it’s at

Inspiration can be found in the oddest places … including a snippet from the lyrics of the B-52s’ Love Shack. Love, celebrated in this season on St. Valentine’s Day, is an essential emotion and one that marks the boundary between life and death in a multiplicity of ways.

Love is a victory of clarity. To adopt it from the tripartite choice we have in aligning our souls (which is the love, hate or indifference of my character Jon Anthony’s soliloquy in The Anvil of the Craftsman) is a choice, and one that is most telling.

Love, which we define as the appreciation for the beauty in and the hope for the abundance of life, should be the singular pursuit of the living. To adopt an orientation toward hate, or to simply not care one way or the other, are in either case the choice of a little death.

You can see a person’s life in their eyes. It dances in the light that gleams there when they are alive inside. You can see darkness just as well, in the deep and dark pools of nothingness of those who are lost.

Love—the appreciation of the beauty in and the wish and hope for the abundance of life—is a connection to the prime motivation of the Craftsman in creating those who would choose to willingly return the sentiment. It gives from within itself the opportunity for adoption, and the same chance to pass itself on in a continual cycle of love and life.

The seed of love is stronger than the fire of hate or the drought of indifference, in that it is the only one of the three able to sustain itself. Hate may spread death for a time, but the worst conflagration eventually runs out of fuel for its flames. In the ashes of what it leaves behind, the seeds of life that outlast any circumstance can begin again. Love and life are reflections of the motivation and labor of an eternal God, and so—unlike the works of His enemy in hate and death—they will never fail utterly.

Somewhere in the cascade of pink ribbons and chocolate and card stock that seems to have taken over the commemoration of St. Valentine’s legacy, I hope that you have time to reflect and make your foundationary choice if it has never yet occurred to you. You are alive, and are therefore meant to live. Once you understand, it is only a single step backward into the arms of your Creator.

Choose to Love, -DA

The Ellipse

Your life and mine began under a point of brilliant light. All else that we perceive had the same genesis. You life is not an accident of nature. It has a purpose, and that purpose is within the plan of a loving God.

Most living things know this intuitively. They grow and beget, and when the end comes, the natural creatures accept it with peace. What is, is. What has passed ahead is waiting. Existence need not be more complicated than that.

Complication arises from denial. Opposing a process that will occur in any event only wastes energy any creature could more productively harness. Denial is one such opposition, and the realization of this has led to my image of the Ellipse.

Anything that exists in the physical plane does so for a finite amount of time. It begins under the Right Hand and the Eye of the Craftsman and proceeds from the Light. It will return, as that is the engineered purpose in being. We are works in motion, while the Craftsman is eternal. To be separate and apart from Him is a temporary condition. We travel an elliptical path, cast on our way. We reach apogee and begin our return. Every created work will do the same.

The Ellipse has an inside and an outside. One can face the Light traveling his circle, or face away. One can look forward to the journey ahead, or peer backward trying to regain that which has fallen irretrievably behind. It is not difficult to perceive the more beneficial attitude.

Why turn away? All you will see is a shadow. A starkly defined silhouette against a temporal foreground is a poor image to keep of what you actually are. Facing away from the Light, you deny yourself all warmth, comfort, and hope. You can pretend that the Light is not there, but it is a reality, and your not believing will not make it go away.

Turn yourself to the inside of the Ellipse, toward your Source. Reach out your arms in gratitude and praise. Feel the light on your face, the Glory so rich that you cannot see anything beyond. Let the warmth of that love hit you head-on, penetrate you, and justify your existence. Keep it in front of you all through the journey of your circle, and you too, like all natural creatures, will have no fear of closing the arc.

When it is over you will be complete. Your time will be done, and your eternity will begin. The Light need not come as a surprise when the outside of the circle turns to face it in any event at the end of days. The Craftsman was and always will be there. It is our greatest comfort as works in His portfolio.

Choose to Love, -DA