A Lilly and a Loaf of Bread/Living in the NOW/Die before you Die

first iris may 16When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

– Chinese Proverb

more tomatos on steps“Consider how I fed the children of Israel with manna from Heaven…Always remember it was their daily needs I met. Therefore never hoard anything. Whatever you have, use it as a gift from Me and know there is plenty more from where it came from. My gifts are unending for all is mine. Whenever you attempt to put something away for a rainy day, remember this and you will cease looking ahead, you will cease looking behind and you will live to the full now. As your needs are met, give constant thanks.”

-Eileen Caddy from The Findhorn Garden Story

chard may 16.jpgDoes anyone really live this way….THANK YOU GOD MIRRORNot hoarding but rather sharing, living in the now, having the faith that they will be be provided for? Honestly, do you know anyone who does?peaches and hydrangeas 2

Of course it’s in the Bible:“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns — and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?”

apple:plum:egg still lifeAnd there are probably lots of sermons about this and those who hear these words say “Isn’t that beautiful, what a wonderful way to live!” They “Love Jesus” and his teachings on Sunday but on Monday, many of them, as well as the preacher, go right back to their lives of so called security: life insurance, pensions, stocks, gated communities; everything all taken care of or so they imagine.

With some exceptions, these are not the people who will likely share with the poor or who will look with compassion at a homeless person and think “that could be me”*Actually it is the poor who share with the poor. I’ve experienced this so many times in the community I live in.

lilacs.jpgDIE BEFORE YOU DIE

Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.”― Eckhart Tolle

In the last 6 months or so, 4 people who I was very close at some time in my life, have died. With some, their deaths were expected in a way but nevertheless, they’re gone now.. forever..

Last week I went again to visit my friend, Taos artist extraordinaire, Anita Rodriguez. Before going to Anita’s, I went to a feed store and on the front door was a poster of a woman who had been missing for over a week.holly missing She looked familiar and when I read the poster, I realized that not long ago, I had worked with her very briefly on a screening eventmovie poster final copy that I put on at Taos Center for the Arts.

She had disappeared one evening, her car had been found, her phone and purse but as I write this, she still has not been found.

It shocked me..I remembered emailing her, talking to her…and she’s gone.

I sat down in Anita’s magic home studio and Anita began talking about when you reach a certain age, you have to focus, make the most of your time because there’s not much time left.

ANITA KICK IMAGE

Anita Rodriguez

She said that she felt that she needed to live now by intuition alone.

 

I had been coming to this same conclusion.

2 altars nightCease trying to work everything out with your minds.
It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration
and let your whole life be Revelation.

-Eileen Caddy

I have, for much of my life, worked with dying people and as I experienced death early in my life, I learned at a very young age that nothing lasts or is permanent, however death was always in the future. Now it’s much closer..

big orange flowers:tomatosLiving in the Now with No Resistance

“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

— Eckhart Tolle

So as everything in terms of any financial security has recently been been taken away from me, when I look at a future for myself, I can’t see one.

And because I’ll go crazy if I don’t, I’ve been learning to live in the NOW where we’re all supposed to live anyway  if this  so called ‘civilization’ is to survive.

zuchini container-may '16.jpgI do wonder, sometimes with fear, sometimes with sadness, sometimes with bitterness…. why at this time in my life has so much been taken from me, what all the work I’ve done was for…. but then I remember some things…..

I remember something Elisabeth Kubler-Ross often said: “You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, if people bring you beautiful food, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.” 

And I think about my stepmother who I was never close to until toward the end of her life. Her whole life and she lived to be 91, she sat in a beautiful garden with people bringing her beautiful food…..literally

Hip Grandma

Anne Lewis David, my stepmother- age 91

And then at the end of her life, she often said to me: I’m so proud of you, you’ve done so much and I’ve done nothing.”

MOTHER GRANDPON:EXHIBIT

Anne David, my stepmother at my photo/oral history exhibit, Between Now & Forever Christ Church Cathedral Houston, Texas

I think too of a terminally ill woman who experienced the death of her 2 year old son, her 34 year old husband and 28 year old her brother, all in a period of 4 years. File_01 gerriThere is a quote from her in our film, Turning Toward the Morning which I never forget:

“If I could relive my life and choose a completely normal life with no illness or death, I would still choose my life today without a doubt. The understanding I have gained far outweighs the option of living a normal life.”

-Gerri Briggs 

So really my whole effort now, what I really want is to learn, is to live in the NOW, to say every morning, as the old man did in the Milagro Beanfield War “Thank you God for letting me have another day”…. and to Die before I Die which means:

Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.”― Eckhart Tolle