Category Archives: Experiential Memo

Retroactive memo

50+ year old finger painting of a yellow sun in a blue field. Retroactive memo

Sorting, scanning, shredding documents and photos from my parents house, I came across one lonely little piece of artwork that apparent hails from my kindergarten days. More than 50 years ago, I was apparently in love with both the sun and the color combo of yellow and blue.

Some themes are lifelong. We don’t necessarily know what they mean – I certainly had no clue as a five year old! We may NEVER know what they mean. But they are a constant in our lives, if only we have ears to hear and eyes to see.

Make a difference

Make a difference“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. – Leo Buscaglia”

In the last two days, I have encountered two women who are significantly older than I am – in the neighborhood of my own mother’s age – who seemed to require something from me. One of them needed to be comforted about thoughts of death; she is not sick, but believes that it’s coming soon, simply because she is old. The other had just been through chemo and was slowly getting her hair back. She seemed to require some encouragement about not allowing cancer to become her way of life, to dominate her survival.

In both cases, I found words pouring out of my mouth/keyboard that seemed to be almost on auto-pilot. These words seemed to have made them a little more peaceful, a beautiful example of when one person’s truth can actually help another person. At least, I hope that I am not totally full of shit and that’s what really happened – they were helped. What I said to each of them kind of defined my outlook on life of late, namely that I’m not going to think about the past or the future, and I’m only going to dwell in the NOW.

Sadness is what happens when you think about something unpleasant that has already happened, that’s already over. Worry is what happens when you think about something unpleasant that has not yet happened. Why borrow unhappiness from the past or the future? Why not stay here, now?

We’ve covered this before – in both cases, it’s raining in your mind. It’s not real unless it is NOW. If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s not real. If it’s over and done with, it’s not real. And right now, this very second, nothing sucks.

It’s kind of neat when ordinary experiences turn out to be teachers, reinforcers of some of the life lessons that we have learned. There is so much we can teach each other, and there are so many ways in which we can help one another. It really is a good, good life 🙂