On My 76th Birthday

Art work for Leona the Part-Time Fairy – M L S Baisch

As I sit here thinking about what is important and what is not, especially in terms of what is being and has been written, I think there is too much unthoughtful thinking going on in the world. It seems that everyone beats a drum and most of the drums are being tuned by mechanical tuners, the sort that tend to tune imperfectly. Not thoughtful in that a desired outcome is grasped before the thinking has even begun: the intellectual get of a sort of modernity of a world of wishers who have forgotten how to think.

And so I remember, though I had to look for it, this quote: “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” G K Chesterton

I do love fairy tales Not the strange, modern sort that are more political than otherwise, and that serve more to divide than to unite and never manage to conquer anything at all. I love the old-fashioned fairy tales with old-fashioned fairies and dragons and elves. In other words, I love the tales which metaphorically serve as a bridge to most everything that is really important.

M L S Baisch
December 27, 2017
My birthday reminder to myself

From Darkness into Light

The world has once again begun its journey from darkness into light. Like most journeys, it is an incremental process. Some journeys are measured in miles. Others in steps. Some are measured in years or decades, and some in lifetimes.

We think of almost all journeys as undertakings we choose to make, but the journey through time is ours to take whether we chose it or not. The journey we all take through the span of our life is a repetitive journey from darkness into light and back again—over and over. It’s not the way we think of our time on earth—season by season. We think of our time in terms of memorable events with ourselves at the center of our universe when, in fact, none of us is the center of any universe. The natural world goes on and on—it was there before we were born, and it will go on after we die. The cycles of the natural world occur peripheral to our awareness—we know they happen, but they aren’t important, really, in the scheme of our lives. What’s important, we think, is what we drive, or wear, or who we see or don’t see; where we go and what we have or want to have. What we do or what we want to do.

In fact, the natural world is the very thing called life. And life is a state of being: it simply is. Yes, it exists in time, but in a relative sort of time.

Whatever else life is for humans, it is a journey. A journey through time that is less relative than the universal time we call nature. For people, nature’s seasons remind that our time time on earth doesn’t last forever. I can’t imagine living where there are not four seasons to remind me what life is about.

Christmas is coming. We have been living in darkness, but we have already begun to leave it. Few of us live by the seasons any longer; few of us live close to the earth; few of us have stopped to think about what it means for the earth to be leaving the darkness. Christmas has many meanings—Biblical and metaphorical. Now on the other side of the winter solstice, with Christmas approaching, the earth celebrates the journey back to light. We begin to leave the heart-stopping edge of death. We are reminded that one thing follows another: light follows darkness; spring follows winter. It is a light that follows a darkness that occurs in the measurement of time that we understand: calendar time.

In the natural world there is a reason for darkness. A reason for nature to go inside itself where it’s warm. A reason to slow down, to pause. To wait.

Every winter eventually gives way to spring. While we wait in the cold and the dark for winter to segue into spring, there’s also a reason for us all to go inside ourselves where it’s warm, because not everything that happens, happens in the continuum of time, and not everything can be measured in time. There is a trinity of being: spiritual and emotional as well as physical.

Every long, dark winter is a return to the light. A return to spring. Every spring is a new beginning—new growth, new light. Every spring reminds us that we’re alive and free to choose new directions, or simply to continue on our familiar paths with new energy.

Merry Christmas!

M L S Baisch | December 23, 2017

When Life Takes a Hairpin Turn

Unknown Artist

Life rarely goes straight forward. Generally speaking, I’d like it to. I’m a planner and I really don’t care to have my plans interrupted. By this time, you’d think I’d know that thing about life: it just isn’t linear–at least not in a straight forward sort of way.

Life enjoys the twists and turns, sometimes gentle curves, mostly gentle curves; but every now and then life throws in a hairpin curve. A dramatic change of direction. Maybe just for fun–that life force called by different names obviously has a sense of humor. Or maybe just to keep us from becoming complacent.
I suppose those hairpin turns can be seen as challenges, even opportunities. At the time, however, a hairpin curve is an obstacle, a difficulty, a disappointment.
It could be that a sharp turn of events really does mean that something is over and something else has begun. Or it could mean that it’s time to reassess and realign: to rethink; to incorporate the new into the old in creative ways.
For certain, a real hairpin turn demands a change of direction, demands some change of plans. And it demands walking on, trusting to the future, holding on to strands that can be collected and reaching for the wispy new strands that float by.
M L S Baisch © 12/2017
Photo: unknown artist – Think of this cat as a cat turning from one of its 9 lives to another.