No Greater Blessing


True friends are rare. They are are the family we choose and those who choose us. There is no blessing greater than a true friend.

My Best Friend! by Jana C. Souder

I can’t give solutions to all of life’s problems, doubts,
or fears. But I can listen to you, and together we will
search for answers.

I can’t change your past with all its heartache and pain,
nor the future with its untold stories.
But I can be there now when you need me to care.

I can’t keep your feet from stumbling.
I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it and not fall.

Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happiness are not mine;
Yet I can share in your laughter.

Your decisions in life are not mine to make, nor to judge;
I can only support you, encourage you,
and help you when you ask.

I can’t prevent you from falling away from friendship,
from your values, from me.
I can only pray for you, talk to you and wait for you.

I can’t give you boundaries which I have determined for you,
But I can give you the room to change, room to grow,
room to be yourself.

I can’t keep your heart from breaking and hurting,
But I can cry with you and help you pick up the pieces
and put them back in place.

I can’t tell you who you are.
I can only love you and be your friend.

For the true friends who came and went, I thank you. For the true friends who came and stayed, I thank you ever more.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
Henri J.M. Nouwen

Wisdom Is NOT a Product of Thought


Most people spend their entire life imprisoned within the confines of their own thoughts. They never go beyond a narrow, mind-made, personalized sense of self that is conditioned by the past.

In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are.

How easy it is for people to become trapped in their conceptual prisons.

The human mind, in its desire to know, understand, and control, mistakes its opinions and viewpoints for the truth. It says: this is how it is. You have to be larger than thought to realize that however you interpret “your life” or someone else’s life or behavior, however you judge the situation, it is not more than a viewpoint, one of many possible perspectives. It is not more than a bundle of thoughts.

Wisdom is NOT a product of thought. The deep knowing that is wisdom arises through the simple act of giving someone or something your full attention. Attention is primordial intelligence, consciousness itself. From the book “Stillness Speaks” by Elkhart Tolle

Want less,
live more.
Benny Bellamacina

Experiencing Without Attachment


From article someone posted today on Facebook.
Full article here: link

Accept the moment for what it is.

Don’t try to turn it into yesterday; that moment’s gone. Don’t plot about how you can make the moment last forever. Just seep into the moment and enjoy it, because it will eventually pass. Nothing is permanent. Fighting that reality will only cause you pain.

Believe now is enough.

It’s true—tomorrow may not look the same as today, no matter how much you try to control it. A relationship might end. You might have to move. You’ll deal with those moments when they come. All you need right now is to appreciate and enjoy what you have. It’s enough.

Call yourself out.

Learn what it looks like to grasp at people, things, or circumstances so you can redirect your thoughts when they veer toward attachment—when you dwell on keeping, controlling, manipulating, or losing something instead of simply experiencing it.

Define yourself in fluid terms.

We are all constantly evolving and growing. Define yourself in terms that can withstand change. Defining yourself by possessions, roles, and relationships breeds attachment, because loss entails losing not just what you have, but also who you are.

Enjoy now fully.

No matter how much time you have in an experience or with someone you love, it will never feel like enough. So don’t think about it in terms of quantity; aim for quality instead. Attach to the idea of living well from moment to moment. That’s an attachment that can do you no harm.

I have learned that if you must leave a place
that you have lived in and loved
and where all your yesteryears are buried deep,
leave it any way except a slow way,
leave it the fastest way you can.
Never turn back and never believe
that an hour you remember is a better hour
because it is dead.
Beryl Markham

I’m Stepping Through the Door…


We passed upon the stair,
we spoke of was and when
Although I wasn’t there,
he said I was his friend,
which came as some surprise
I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone
a long long time ago…
The Man Who Sold the World

I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man,
just a mortal with potential of a superman.
I’m living on.

I’m stepping through the door,
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way.
And the stars look very different today.
Space Oddity

I don’t know where I’m going from here,
but I know it won’t be boring.
comment on stage 1998 Madison Sq. Garden

I didn’t know the man, but I knew his art well. I was not a fan of everything he did, but have great respect for the spirit he did it with. Bowie’s work was innovative, creative, unusual and imaginative. He never stopped pushing the envelope. So rare…

Rest in peace David… thank you for all you gave us of yourself.



bowie images (1)

david-bowie-star (1)



The Greatest Blessings of Mankind are Within


True happiness is to enjoy the present,
without anxious dependence upon the future,
not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears
but to rest satisfied with what we have,
which is sufficient,
for he that is so wants nothing.
The greatest blessings of mankind are within us
and within our reach.
A wise man is content with his lot,
whatever it may be,
without wishing for what he has not.

A Heart Most Longing

19The problem when you are a strong, capable, self-confident person, is that more often than not, people think that you don’t really need things like comfort, reassurance, loyalty and guidance. People are more likely to look at you and say, “She (He) doesn’t need this”, “She (He) doesn’t need that”, “She’s (He’s) already all of this and all of that”. But then the truth is that most probably, you are a strong, capable, self-confident person because you built yourself brick-by-brick into that person; because you HAD to BECOME that person; because you had determination enough to make yourself into the image that you knew you needed to become. At the heart of many strong, confident people, is a heart most longing of the things that most others simply take for granted. C. Joybell C.

The Fault Lies Within Yourself

something to be thankful for

If you look at your life and compare it to most others, you would find it hard to even begin to complain. I live by the will-it-matter-in-five-years rule. When something happens that makes you upset, ask yourself that question, and you will find that most of the time the answer is no. I think that a lot of people give themselves way too many things to worry about when half of those worries really shouldn’t matter at all. Sometimes, the answer will be yes, and this helps you to understand that whatever it is you’re upset about is clearly important and deserves to be well thought through. Yes, we get upset, but taking a step back and looking at a problem on a bigger scale can help you realize that there are only a few things that really do matter. From an article by Shelby Doherty

When you rise in the morning,
give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food
and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.

A Walk To Remember


Writer and film producer Nicholas lost his sister to cancer and events in her life inspired him to write “A Walk To Remember”. The book was made into a movie I have not seen. However, the book touched this old hapless romantic’s heart.

“Do you love me?’ I asked her. She smiled. ‘Yes.’

‘Do you want me to be happy?’ as I asked her this I felt my heart beginning to race. ‘Of course I do.’

‘Will you do something for me then?’ She looked away, sadness crossing her features. ‘I don’t know if I can anymore.’ she said. ‘but if you could, would you?’

I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I’d never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment.

As I returned her gaze, this simple realization made me wish for the millionth time that I could make all this go away. Had it been possible, I would have traded my life for hers. I wanted to tell her my thoughts, but the sound of her voice suddenly silenced the emotions inside me.

‘Yes’ she finally said, her voice weak yet somehow still full of promise. ‘I would.’

Finally getting control of myself I kissed her again, then brought my hand to her face, gently running my fingers over her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin, the gentleness I saw in her eyes. even now she was perfect. My throat began to tighten again, but as I said, I knew what I had to do.

Since I had to accept that it was not within my power to cure her, what I wanted to do was give her something that she’d wanted. It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along. Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I’d been searching for, the answer my heart needed to find.

She’d told me outside Mr. Jenkins office, the night we’d asked him about doing the play. I smiled softly, and she returned my affection with a slight squeeze of my hand, as if trusting me in what I was about to do.

Encouraged, I leaned closer and took a deep breath. When I exhaled, these were the words that flowed with my breath. ‘Will you marry me?” From “A Walk To Remember” by Nicholas Sparks

For a soul that is open enough to accept big love; for a heart that is strong enough to love with every fiber; and a mind that can get out of the way and let love soar… I am deeply grateful.

Love is like the wind,
you can’t see it
but you can feel it.
Nicholas Sparks

Memories of a Dear Friend

From “A Wish” by Victorian poet William Winter
Think of me as your friend, I pray,
And call me by a tender name:
I will not care what others say,
If only you remain the same?
I will not care how dark the night,
I will not care how wild the storm:
Your love will fill my heart with light,
And shield me close and keep me warm.


You’ve been gone almost four years and I still miss you “Banger” .
The following blog was originally posted on August 20, 2011

This morning I woke up thinking of a dear friend of 30 years who passed away last year about this time. Ultimately not taking care of himself combined with bad habits and the unmanaged stress of a challenging life did him in. If he cared about someone he would do just about anything for them. Like the photo above suggests, he was great fun to be around.

His nickname, “Banger”, began in reference to his first car which was a “beater” and did not fire on all cylinders consistently. Hearing the car nearby back firing, his friends would say “here comes the banger” which over time became adapted to be his nick name.

I met Bill at a radio station where he came to work as an Account Executive. He was good at selling, even selling himself. A funny story about getting the job was the listing on his resume of spending a year and a half on the road as a wholesale ceramics sales person. That is a true statement, but lacks the detail to show that job was for a ceramic company that made bongs he peddled wholesale to head shops in the Midwest. What makes this even more ironic is Bill never used a bong or anything of the sort in his whole life!

Within less than a year of meeting ”Banger” I was at his bachelor party. He and his future wife had been living together and now that she was expecting he deemed it time to get married. That was the night he introduced me to something called “purple Jesus”. I remember clearly him showing me a good-sized new plastic trashcan about a third filled with red liquid with sliced fruit floating in it. I asked why the name “purple Jesus” and Bill said, “drink enough of this and you’ll go see Jesus”. After a half a glass of the stuff put me into orbit, I stopped short of going forward to test his prediction. What was it? A concoction of red Hawaiian punch and grain alcohol with sliced oranges and limes floating in it.

Bill would never say exactly, but I have always wondered in what measure was love his motivation to marry as compared to a sense of doing what he thought was right. I do know he had a high sense of honor and he loved both his children. By the time he had two sons a few years into elementary school he was divorced. He never remarried.

The heart wrenching part of Bill’s life was when his youngest son was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. The boy was six or seven years old when the doctors made the determination. Clearly I recall over time watching the disease progress. One scene vivid in memory was when Bill came to visit one afternoon and both his boys were playing with my son. All three had gone up stairs which the son with MD negotiated with some difficulty going up, but to get down my friend had to carry him. Soon the boy was in a wheel chair.

Within a year or so Bill was the parent the boys lived with full-time. He took good care of them as best he knew how and was especially devoted to the younger one bound to a wheel chair whose disease progressed slowly but steadily. The young man was smart and always quick to smile. He had a bunch of friends, of which one or two were there just about always when I dropped by. He shook hands with two presidents and was a “poster child” for MD twice. What he told his Father consistently was when things got to where he could not breathe unless hooked to a machine; he wanted Bill to let him go. That time came when the younger son was around 20 and in the hospital only able to breathe with mechanical aid. He told his Dad it was time and within two days the young man was gone.

Bill had always been a drinker and as his boy’s illness grew worse, Bill’s intake grew. He was not someone who got sloshed in public and got into trouble. Instead he did it quietly mostly in the evening, often after the boys were asleep. ”Banger” smoked and did not watch his weight and became heavier and heavier as the years passed. By the time he accepted his health was in trouble it was too late except to buy a little time. Quitting smoking and drinking did extend his life a while, but living with 10% liver function did not present a lot of hope. Bill was on a transplant list, but was never healthy enough for the surgery.

For over a decade my friend and I lived hundreds of miles apart, but stayed in close touch mostly with frequent phone calls and I visited him about once a year. He drove out to see me twice. The last year of his life hospital visits were frequent, but he always came through . Some of us close to him swear it was on pure stubbornness!

Bill passed away on a Tuesday and late the week before my mobile phone rang and answering I heard a soft and weary voice say “how you doing boy?” I told him I was doing well and he replied “I just needed to hear your voice Brother”. I asked how he was doing. His said he was struggling and that even getting up to get to the bathroom was a major chore. Bill did not give me a chance to say much more. He said he was very tired and had to go. Then again he told me he called to just hear my voice. Some of his very last words to me were “I love you Brother” to which I replied “I love you too “Banger”. Then with a couple of “talk to you later’s” the less than 60 second call was over. I know now what Bill did, but probably didn’t consciously know himself; he called to tell me goodbye. My gratitude that he did exceeds my ability to express it.

He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need:
If thou sorrow, he will weep;
If you wake, he cannot sleep;
Thus of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part.
Richard Barnfield