New Year’s Eve is for creating…

New Year’s Eve:  In which I muse about a long awaited change of venue…

If transformation is the norm, then spiritual transformation falls into place as an extension of where life has been going all along. While still remaining who you are, you can bring about a quantum leap in your awareness, and the sign that the leap is real will be some emergent property you never experienced in the past.

~Deepak Chopra

Carolina Wren 1
A Carolina Wren I carved some years ago.  The base is from an oak tree my great-great grandmother planted at our home in Pembroke, Massachusetts.  I became a full-time wood carver while living in California in the late 1970s.

Most every New Year’s Eve here is spent in a similar manner — me sitting at home with dogs, working on something creative, thinking of the coming year as if it were a fresh canvas, just about quivering with  potential to become a masterpiece.

This evening is no different — Elf the Corgi is sprawled beside me, while Opus the Dachs-Terr snoozes in his crate,  wrapped snug in his favorite thick towel.  Now and then he raises his head and snorts at us.  We shared some popcorn earlier.

I’m here with the blog, preoccupied with inspirations.

On New Year’s Eve I’m done with reflecting over what’s been done in the past and on to themes for what’s ahead.

In 2015 things happened to me far more often than I went out and seized the day.  I got tired of being retired, weary of fussing with Medicare, fed up with feeling chained to my pretty, cozy little home that I foolishly bought at the end of 2009 for twice what I can get if I sell it tomorrow.  The problem with it. for me,  is that, though in a neat little city in a part of the country I love, it is far from my daughter — who thinks that renting an expensive apartment in  the Silicon Valley with a few roommates is a better way of life.  For her, it certainly has been.

These things would be simpler if she weren’t my sole close living relative.  Her looking after me from a thousand miles away is an awkward business…  What, me, needing to be looked after?!!

Sigh.  There are some nasty falls, some days when I can’t get myself into the truck to go places and such.

And then — oh, heck, it’s just more fun to have somebody else to do crazy things with.

There’s a lot more going on there than there is here, she observes.  Undoubtedly, I think, with little green licks of envy running around in my head.  For one thing that is important to both of us, there is a much larger Baha’i community.

So this is the year when we try once again to sell the house and find out if I can join her in the Bay Area.  That would save her a world of worrying about Dear Old Mom, along with a lot of airfare.  For my part I want to share the roads with driverless Google cars  — you can trust them, right? — and ogle Apple’s doughnut building now under construction in Cupertino.

Is there good reason to anticipate many, many years more of svelt iMacs, sleek tablets and iPhones?  Enough good years ahead for this futuristic circle of a building to fund an ever bigger fruity empire?

Perhaps Google autos will be driverless Alphabet cars soon?  I, along with the multitudes, am waiting to find out what Google’s new holding company is going to make of itself.

It would be pleasant to be done with cold winters and occasional snow shoveling.  I could go admire the white rocky mountains of Yosemite.

Hello, earthquakes…

Greetings, drought…

How’ve you been, higher prices?

Actually, I love California.  In the late 1970s and early ‘80s I spent a few years in the Central Coast area, where I refined the art of carving birds and animals enough to pay some bills.  It was a lot of work mixed with twice as much fun, and I miss that.  Times change, nonetheless, and the effect of polio on my arms and hands since then means my carving days are over.   Living on Social Security has a definite crunching effect on the bank account.

Still, life is what you make it, yes?

We’ll come up with something.  Stay tuned.  Meanwhile:

Never give up no matter what is going on

Never give up

Develop the heart

Too much energy in your country is spent

Developing the mind instead of the heart.

Be compassionate not just to your friends but to everyone

Be compassionate.

Work for peace in your heart and in the world.

Work for peace and I say again

Never give up.

No matter what is happening,

No matter what is going on around you, 

Never give up.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Becker St with frozen fog
Becker Street in Belén yesterday morning.  We had frozen fog, which turned the large juniper all white,  between the pub and Judy Chicago’s feminist art building.  The old brick structure used to be the Belén Hotel.  Whipped cream clouds drape the distant Manzano Mountains.

Author: Rising Over the Smoke

Rising Over the Smoke is me looking for larger patterns, hidden meanings in what goes on all around us. The world gets more conflicted and confused from one year to the next, or so it seems. Some days life feels fresh, open, energized, connected, others more nuanced, confused, distanced, lethargic. To me writing is a way of exploring my place, and perhaps that of others. I am Baha’i, thus my thoughts are affected by my faith. Beliefs include independent investigation of truth, equality of men and women, the essential harmony between science and religion, that there is one God from whom all the world’s religions spring, that we diverse humans are all of one family. The Baha’i Faith is unlike other existing world religions as it does not claim to be the only “true” path or religion. The Baha’i Faith acknowledges all sacred traditions and religions as equal.

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