What more can I say??? CJ is my roommate, my friend, my little buddy and I love him.
As of yesterday I am now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This past year has been quite the journey. The one lesson that stands foremost in my mind is how overwhelmingly stupid the people of this country are (United States)...self-entitled, stupid, white people. However, I also give 110% credit for those people are there such as Dr. Fauci who are fighting the good fight for the well being all of us...as well as the nurses that stand with us in line as we get our vaccines. To these good people I give my heartfelt appreciation.
Finally, on this Good Friday, I want to share one of my favorite Jame Dillet Freeman poems:
I AM THERE
Do you need Me ?
I am there.
You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.
I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.
I am at work, though you do not understand My works.
I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.
Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me
as I AM, and then but as a feeling and a faith.
Yet I am here. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.
When you need ME, I am there.
Even if you deny Me, I am there.
Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
Even in your fears, I am there.
Even in your pain, I am there.
I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.
I am in you, and you are in Me.
Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for
only in your mind are the mists of "yours" and "mine".
Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.
Empty your heart of empty fears.
When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.
You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.
And I AM in all.
Though you may not see the good, good is there, for
I am there. I am there because I have to be, because I AM.
Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of ME does the world go forward.
I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.
I am the love that is the law's fulfilling. I am assurance.
I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by.
I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance.
I am your peace. I am ONE with you. I am.
Though you fail to find ME, I do not fail you.
Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never
wavers, because I know you, because I love you.
Beloved, I AM there.
~James Dillet Freeman
This past Sunday it snowed. CJ and I spent the afternoon watching movies in front of a warm fireplace. Well, let my quantify that statement, I watched the movies and he napped.
Sadly, though, Covid-19 marches on. We are fortunate in that #DiaperDonnie is now gone and is history (hopefully) and we have an adult that is President. I believe and I have read that Americans have reason to now be cautiously optimistic that life will return to some semblance of "normal" this year. I've had my first vaccine (Moderna) and the second one is scheduled for early April.
Here are the unnecessarily sad statistics...that cover the period of 3/1/2020 - 3/1/2021:
March, 2020 - 89 cases, 2 deaths
March, 2021 - 28,614,504 cases, 513,393 deaths
These cases and deaths are the sole responsibility of the depraved indifference of #DiaperDonnie and his #republican party. May they rot in hell.
Somehow we have made it through this past year and are now somewhere around the anniversary date of the pandemic. Here in the United States 500,000 people are now dead due to the prior administration mismanagement. The number is tragic and it was and is so unnecessary. I truly am scared about the future of this country.
However, on a brighter note, I am not in line to be scheduled for the first vaccine. This past Thursday I was "on-call" but also told that if not called in, I would be scheduled for March 3, 2021. So this is promising news.
And...meanwhile CJ is oblivious as he basks in the sun...
“A cat doesn’t care if you are smart or dumb, give him your heart and he will give you his.”
My little buddy will be 12 years old this summer. We both have grown a little slower as we have aged...as well as mellower. Daily I am thankful for our comfortable companionship. Life if filled with many wonderful blessing great and small...and CJ is one of those blessings.
So here we are on this day with nearly 500,000 people dead from Covid-19. Thankfully the horror of the #republican administration and #Trump are no longer in control of the national dialogue...and we are seeing true leadership. Vaccines are limited and it is like being in a lottery...one that I seem to be losing at this moment in time.
So masks continue and isolation largely continues. Are there times when I am bored? Most definitely. However, on a daily basis I practice an attitude of gratitude for a warm and comfortable home...and for my little buddy (pictured above).
Because I know and appreciate my cat's companionship during these days, I shall now stop writing and leave with this wonderful quote:
“A meow massages the heart.” ~Stuart McMillan
When nightly temperatures hover around -30 (F) and daytime high temperatures that do not get above 0 (F), it's a good time to hibernate in front of the fireplace. While CJ watched the fire that was burning, I caught up on the latest episode of "The Expanse" (Amazon Prime Video). What better way to spend a cold winter afternoon, eh?
“You can’t ever be a cat owner; in the best of cases it allows you to be their companion.” ~Harry Swanson
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ~Jean Cocteau
Whom My Soul Loveth
By James Dillet Freeman
“I will give rise now, and go about the city; in the streets and in the broadways I will seek him whom my soul loveth.”
I have sought God in the streets of the world, in people, and in my own soul. Have I seen God?
I have seen snow falling, the spring green pushing upward, the summer flowers standing tall, the grain yellow lingering on in the autumn fields, the fruit burdening the orchards. I have felt the glory of the Sun. I have heard the feet of the rain running among the leaves. I have listened to the conversation of ancient trees. Night after night I have watched the steadfast stars and ever-changing Moon. The redbird has wakened me, and I have fallen asleep to the crickets' tune. The majesty of mountains, the wonder of the sea, the stretch of valleys, the flight of the sky—all these I have seen.
Are these God? No, but they are the garments of God.
I have felt the wonder of life; its patient experimenting; its outward, upward striving; its eternal unfoldment. I have heard the laughter of children. I have seen the look in a mother's eyes. I have watched lovers strolling hand in hand and heart in heart. I have known men brave enough to die for one another and selfless enough to live for one another. I have felt what a wonderful thing it is to be a human being.
Is this God? No, but it is the personality of God.
I have been alone under the sky when suddenly I was one with all the beauty and wonder and glory of the world. The sky was not high enough to hold my heart. I reached out through all the galaxies and nebulae, the infinite stretches of space, and I knew that they were in me and of me.
I have walked down a street crowded with strangers when suddenly they were not strangers and I felt myself expand and take them in. I felt their loneliest longings, their loftiest aspirations, their hopes and fears, their love and faith and joy. I was the self that transcends self, the larger Self that is not bound by space and time, the Self that knows it is one with the reality in all people.
I have gone into a quiet room, shut the doors of the senses, turned within, and found the peace that passes understanding, the stillness that is the very heart of stillness, the place where there is nothing at all; yet I am one with all that is.
Is this God? No, but it is the presence of God.
Where is God?
Search for God through the crowded city streets. Seek God in the peaceful countryside. Penetrate the nucleus of the atom. Follow the curve of emptiness. Go to the end of time. God will be there. Wherever you are, God is.
Know, you who seek God, that He seeks you more steadfastly. God seeks you. God loves you. God will not leave you alone. You could not walk alone, not for a moment, not in the darkest night. Though you stretched not out your hand, yet your hand would be in God's. Though you held not out your heart, yet God's heart would infold you.
… God is the infinite livingness of life that is in all and through all and under all, ever seeking to express itself.
Some seek to catch God in a net of words, but God is more than word. God is more than any thought that a man's mind can hold, yet God is the least thought that springs there. God is the first cry uttered by a newborn child, yet God is more than all the utterances of all the theologians.
God is more than all thought, all feeling, and all vision. God is the life that reveals that there is no death. God is the love that transforms hate into constructive energy. God is the intelligence that lifts ignorance into an understanding of Himself, of human beings, and of the universe.
O child of God, God is the truth of your own being!
In the forest, high up on the steep shore, and not far from the open seacoast, stood a very old oak-tree. It was just three hundred and sixty-five years old, but that long time was to the tree as the same number of days might be to us; we wake by day and sleep by night, and then we have our dreams. It is different with the tree; it is obliged to keep awake through three seasons of the year, and does not get any sleep till winter comes. Winter is its time for rest; its night after the long day of spring, summer, and autumn. On many a warm summer, the Ephemera, the flies that exist for only a day, had fluttered about the old oak, enjoyed life and felt happy and if, for a moment, one of the tiny creatures rested on one of his large fresh leaves, the tree would always say, “Poor little creature! your whole life consists only of a single day. How very short. It must be quite melancholy.”
“Melancholy! what do you mean?” the little creature would always reply. “Everything around me is so wonderfully bright and warm, and beautiful, that it makes me joyous.”
“But only for one day, and then it is all over.”
“Over!” repeated the fly; “what is the meaning of all over? Are you all over too?”
“No; I shall very likely live for thousands of your days, and my day is whole seasons long; indeed it is so long that you could never reckon it out.”
“No? then I don’t understand you. You may have thousands of my days, but I have thousands of moments in which I can be merry and happy. Does all the beauty of the world cease when you die?”
“No,” replied the tree; “it will certainly last much longer,— infinitely longer than I can even think of.” “Well, then,” said the little fly, “we have the same time to live; only we reckon differently.” And the little creature danced and floated in the air, rejoicing in her delicate wings of gauze and velvet, rejoicing in the balmy breezes, laden with the fragrance of clover-fields and wild roses, elder-blossoms and honeysuckle, from the garden hedges, wild thyme, primroses, and mint, and the scent of all these was so strong that the perfume almost intoxicated the little fly. The long and beautiful day had been so full of joy and sweet delights, that when the sun sank low it felt tired of all its happiness and enjoyment. Its wings could sustain it no longer, and gently and slowly it glided down upon the soft waving blades of grass, nodded its little head as well as it could nod, and slept peacefully and sweetly. The fly was dead.
“Poor little Ephemera!” said the oak; “what a terribly short life!” And so, on every summer day the dance was repeated, the same questions asked, and the same answers given. The same thing was continued through many generations of Ephemera; all of them felt equally merry and equally happy.
The oak remained awake through the morning of spring, the noon of summer, and the evening of autumn; its time of rest, its night drew nigh—winter was coming. Already the storms were singing, “Good-night, good-night.” Here fell a leaf and there fell a leaf. “We will rock you and lull you. Go to sleep, go to sleep. We will sing you to sleep, and shake you to sleep, and it will do your old twigs good; they will even crackle with pleasure. Sleep sweetly, sleep sweetly, it is your three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth night. Correctly speaking, you are but a youngster in the world. Sleep sweetly, the clouds will drop snow upon you, which will be quite a cover-lid, warm and sheltering to your feet. Sweet sleep to you, and pleasant dreams.” And there stood the oak, stripped of all its leaves, left to rest during the whole of a long winter, and to dream many dreams of events that had happened in its life, as in the dreams of men. The great tree had once been small; indeed, in its cradle it had been an acorn. According to human computation, it was now in the fourth century of its existence. It was the largest and best tree in the forest. Its summit towered above all the other trees, and could be seen far out at sea, so that it served as a landmark to the sailors. It had no idea how many eyes looked eagerly for it. In its topmost branches the wood-pigeon built her nest, and the cuckoo carried out his usual vocal performances, and his well-known notes echoed amid the boughs; and in autumn, when the leaves looked like beaten copper plates, the birds of passage would come and rest upon the branches before taking their flight across the sea. But now it was winter, the tree stood leafless, so that every one could see how crooked and bent were the branches that sprang forth from the trunk. Crows and rooks came by turns and sat on them, and talked of the hard times which were beginning, and how difficult it was in winter to obtain food.
It was just about holy Christmas time that the tree dreamed a dream. The tree had, doubtless, a kind of feeling that the festive time had arrived, and in his dream fancied he heard the bells ringing from all the churches round, and yet it seemed to him to be a beautiful summer’s day, mild and warm. His mighty summits was crowned with spreading fresh green foliage; the sunbeams played among the leaves and branches, and the air was full of fragrance from herb and blossom; painted butterflies chased each other; the summer flies danced around him, as if the world had been created merely for them to dance and be merry in. All that had happened to the tree during every year of his life seemed to pass before him, as in a festive procession. He saw the knights of olden times and noble ladies ride by through the wood on their gallant steeds, with plumes waving in their hats, and falcons on their wrists. The hunting horn sounded, and the dogs barked. He saw hostile warriors, in colored dresses and glittering armor, with spear and halberd, pitching their tents, and anon striking them. The watchfires again blazed, and men sang and slept under the hospitable shelter of the tree. He saw lovers meet in quiet happiness near him in the moonshine, and carve the initials of their names in the grayish-green bark on his trunk. Once, but long years had intervened since then, guitars and Eolian harps had been hung on his boughs by merry travellers; now they seemed to hang there again, and he could hear their marvellous tones. The wood-pigeons cooed as if to explain the feelings of the tree, and the cuckoo called out to tell him how many summer days he had yet to live. Then it seemed as if new life was thrilling through every fibre of root and stem and leaf, rising even to the highest branches. The tree felt itself stretching and spreading out, while through the root beneath the earth ran the warm vigor of life. As he grew higher and still higher, with increased strength, his topmost boughs became broader and fuller; and in proportion to his growth, so was his self-satisfaction increased, and with it arose a joyous longing to grow higher and higher, to reach even to the warm, bright sun itself. Already had his topmost branches pierced the clouds, which floated beneath them like troops of birds of passage, or large white swans; every leaf seemed gifted with sight, as if it possessed eyes to see. The stars became visible in broad daylight, large and sparkling, like clear and gentle eyes. They recalled to the memory the well-known look in the eyes of a child, or in the eyes of lovers who had once met beneath the branches of the old oak. These were wonderful and happy moments for the old tree, full of peace and joy; and yet, amidst all this happiness, the tree felt a yearning, longing desire that all the other trees, bushes, herbs, and flowers beneath him, might be able also to rise higher, as he had done, and to see all this splendor, and experience the same happiness. The grand, majestic oak could not be quite happy in the midst of his enjoyment, while all the rest, both great and small, were not with him. And this feeling of yearning trembled through every branch, through every leaf, as warmly and fervently as if they had been the fibres of a human heart. The summit of the tree waved to and fro, and bent downwards as if in his silent longing he sought for something. Then there came to him the fragrance of thyme, followed by the more powerful scent of honeysuckle and violets; and he fancied he heard the note of the cuckoo. At length his longing was satisfied. Up through the clouds came the green summits of the forest trees, and beneath him, the oak saw them rising, and growing higher and higher. Bush and herb shot upward, and some even tore themselves up by the roots to rise more quickly. The birch-tree was the quickest of all. Like a lightning flash the slender stem shot upwards in a zigzag line, the branches spreading around it like green gauze and banners. Every native of the wood, even to the brown and feathery rushes, grew with the rest, while the birds ascended with the melody of song. On a blade of grass, that fluttered in the air like a long, green ribbon, sat a grasshopper, cleaning his wings with his legs. May beetles hummed, the bees murmured, the birds sang, each in his own way; the air was filled with the sounds of song and gladness.
“But where is the little blue flower that grows by the water?” asked the oak, “and the purple bell-flower, and the daisy?” You see the oak wanted to have them all with him.
“Here we are, we are here,” sounded in voice and song.
“But the beautiful thyme of last summer, where is that? and the lilies-of-the-valley, which last year covered the earth with their bloom? and the wild apple-tree with its lovely blossoms, and all the glory of the wood, which has flourished year after year? even what may have but now sprouted forth could be with us here.”
“We are here, we are here,” sounded voices higher in the air, as if they had flown there beforehand.
“Why this is beautiful, too beautiful to be believed,” said the oak in a joyful tone. “I have them all here, both great and small; not one has been forgotten. Can such happiness be imagined?” It seemed almost impossible.
“In heaven with the Eternal God, it can be imagined, and it is possible,” sounded the reply through the air.
And the old tree, as it still grew upwards and onwards, felt that his roots were loosening themselves from the earth.
“It is right so, it is best,” said the tree, “no fetters hold me now. I can fly up to the very highest point in light and glory. And all I love are with me, both small and great. All—all are here.”
Such was the dream of the old oak: and while he dreamed, a mighty storm came rushing over land and sea, at the holy Christmas time. The sea rolled in great billows towards the shore. There was a cracking and crushing heard in the tree. The root was torn from the ground just at the moment when in his dream he fancied it was being loosened from the earth. He fell—his three hundred and sixty-five years were passed as the single day of the Ephemera. On the morning of Christmas-day, when the sun rose, the storm had ceased. From all the churches sounded the festive bells, and from every hearth, even of the smallest hut, rose the smoke into the blue sky, like the smoke from the festive thank-offerings on the Druids’ altars. The sea gradually became calm, and on board a great ship that had withstood the tempest during the night, all the flags were displayed, as a token of joy and festivity. “The tree is down! The old oak,—our landmark on the coast!” exclaimed the sailors. “It must have fallen in the storm of last night. Who can replace it? Alas! no one.” This was a funeral oration over the old tree; short, but well-meant. There it lay stretched on the snow-covered shore, and over it sounded the notes of a song from the ship—a song of Christmas joy, and of the redemption of the soul of man, and of eternal life through Christ’s atoning blood.
“Sing aloud on the happy morn,
All is fulfilled, for Christ is born;
With songs of joy let us loudly sing,
‘Hallelujahs to Christ our King.’”
Thus sounded the old Christmas carol, and every one on board the ship felt his thoughts elevated, through the song and the prayer, even as the old tree had felt lifted up in its last, its beautiful dream on that Christmas morn.
Family, friends and home are the treasures that bring me the most pleasure. Through my blog, I wish to share part of my life and heart with readers.