Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Love Tree October 13, 2013

Normally I don’t care much for those things they call Smartphones. They draw attention away from where it belongs (i.e. the company we keep, namely me). They distract people on car rides. And I don’t think they are really all that smart.

But today I witnessed firsthand what I suppose would be the one silver lining within these things called Smartphones. Randomness. This may come as a surprise given my open belief that everything happens for a reason, but it is a concept I can appreciate (and even find some humor in) within the right context. Today, for example, the context made for a pretty special moment of randomness even I could appreciate.Who do you love?

“I love you.” That was it. That’s all the text message contained. And (to be honest) that’s all it needed to say. Mom received that message from her little sister Morgan this afternoon and I’m pretty sure it made her day. Which made my day. Which got me to thinking (of course) about this people theory of randomness.

As I basked in the warmth of another unusually warm fall day, I took note of the tree (my favorite in my backyard paradise) above me. I looked up at the branches, each reaching out to the next. Connecting.

It reminded me of the random bit of love mom received from Morgan. Morgan shared love with mom, who shared it with me, and now I’m sharing it with you. Random? I’m not so sure. But love needs no explanation. And each bit of random love is like a branch, reaching to the next. Connecting.

“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit,” Lebanese thinker Khalil Gibran suggested. Well then (I thought to myself as I drifted away into the fabulous dreamland of my second afternoon nap) we must do all we can to share random moments of love with those around us. Heaven forbid anyone experience a life without love.

Morgan shared it with mom, mom shared it with me, and now I share it with you. Please consider reaching out to someone sometime soon. Connecting. Whether in person, on the phone or (gasp) even in a text on one of those Smartphones. Tell them they are loved. Because as ancient Greek theologian Saint Basil proposed, “a tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”

 

Finding Freedom in Flangipropping February 1, 2013

Susan G. Wooldridge is one wise wordsmith. It has been a while since I picked up my copy of her book Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, but today I felt inspired to take a wordy walk down memory lane. As always, my walk with Wooldridge’s words did not disappoint. The beautiful scenery she paints for this “outlaw on a poem walk” bring poetry to life all around me.

“Poems arrive,” she writes in the introduction. “They hide in feelings and images, in weeds and delivery vans, daring us to notice them and give them form with our words. They take us to an invisible world where light and dark, inside and outside meet.”

The notes in the margins and the (admittedly) threadbare pages bear witness to the role this book has played in my life as a lover of words. Sometimes I think it takes a little crazy to see the world as Wooldridge does, but once you adopt her playfully poetic outlook on life its hard to turn back.

In honor of the cleverly creative cadence in her book, today I shall call the poetic philosophy it inspires flangipropping.

Flangiprop (verb): to find magic in an ordinary moment.

Whether we actively seek these moments out or they knock us over the head, poetry has the ability to form itself into life right before our eyes if we let it.

Again the words of Henry David Thoreau come to mind as he pointed out that “the question is not what you look at but what you see.” What a simply complex thought to consider on this, a day when Sarah Ban Breathnach challenges us to make time in our lives for creative excursions in Simple Abundance.

“In the beginning of any intimate relationship the best gift you can offer another person is the investment of quality time together,” Breathnach writes. “So it is with your authentic self.”

My authentic (word-loving) self invested time today in thought and reflection about how I can proactively welcome more poetry in my life. I’m no stranger to the concept, but it has been a while since flangipropping was a part of my daily life.

Those days are gone now that I’ve been reminded that when it comes to words, sometimes a little crazy sets us free.Flangipropping