Over the last few days I have been reading several things that have thrust me into deep thought and quiet meditation. On some level, we think about the world, the wars, our government and take in all the sound bytes that infiltrate our daily lives. But we don’t often consider the history that leads up to where we are now.
This history is an integral part of understanding who we are and why we are here, in this time, under these conditions. There is so much to know about us and this world. As we are painfully aware, we cannot know everything. But I think if we make some small attempt at making ourselves aware, we can bridge the gap in many areas, allowing us to more effectively co-exist.
There is more to read and more to meditate on. And there is certainly more to say.
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Joy can be an elusive thing. So when we see it, we should grab it and hold on for dear life. The last thing we want is to let it slip away. There are many pleasures in life, but sometimes only available to an elite few. I have learned how to tap into the joy that spills from the universe.
Over the years I have experienced a whirlwind of emotions, each one teaching me something new about myself, and the world around me. Each time, I was drawn one step closer to understanding how to attain true peace in my life. Now, after a not so short time, I have settled into a relative state of peace. This is not to say that there are never times of tension. But these moments are now far and few between.
I’ve also realized that we are the masters of what changes our mood. There are times when it seems almost expected that we should act a certain way under certain conditions. But I have come to learn that no matter what is expected or is our right to exercise, doesn’t always equal the right thing to do. Further, it doesn’t always produce the long-term effect we so desperately need. Opting to seek joy far outweighs the temporary pleasure of exercising anger.
When I meet various people, one of the things they say is that I look happy, almost glowing. That is mostly because I have opted for joy and peace, and have decided that I will seek it and hold on to it by any means necessary. My emotional destiny is in my hands. I will steer it down the road that is most scenic. And as I travel, the after glow of my joy will light my way.
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We stepped from our vehicle in front of the weather worn metal stairs. The ground was wet from the rain that had fallen only a few minutes before. Tiny droplets fell from the trees. It felt like it was still drizzling. I paused to look down and realized there was little necessity for the orange and red rusted entrance beyond nostalgia. The tiny walk up, which leads to the life of those who had been forgotten for decades, is more of a formal preamble to what is unknown family history, history that only meticulous research would later uncover, just as time has uncovered this once beautiful entranceway. Even still, the resting place could easily have been entered with a simple concrete path.
I was first introduced to Marie Tillman, wife of Herbert Rhodes, who was born on August 6th, 1882, died December 15, 1904 and Mr. Rhodes, born June 6th, 1883, died May 27, 1904. I imagine they loved each other so deeply that for Marie to live another year without her mate was too much to endure. Seven months later she followed her husband into the afterlife. Not far from her stood another, more than a century old, engraved marble tombstone with the brief statistics of John Tillman, born April 4, 1885, died August 6th, 1899 and a Mrs. Charlie Gaulden Tillman, born April 7th, 1847, died March 2nd, 1925. I observed at least three generations of Tillmans situated near the entrance of the Westend Cemetery, which housed more than 200 years of life and history in the small town of Quitman, Georgia, a mere 80 miles on the outskirts of Tallahassee, Florida.
The graves were all simple, yet dilapidated. It sometimes took pains to make out what was carved on some of the tombstones. In many places the… Continue reading