Reflections: Communication

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Sometimes the lines of communication between people get blurred. In reflection we can find many reasons for communication to become blurred, but in soul-searching, we weed through those reasons and ask ourselves the questions of why and what forms our reasoning in how we feel about and relate to other people.

Cat Tail Reflection ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

Cat Tail Reflection ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

It is there in the reflection that we begin to see things clearly, if we take the time to listen to heart and remove judgment from our mind. It can be easy to judge others, however, learning to accept others for who they are, may not always come so easily to some of us.

Many years ago when I began to study A Course In Miracles, I learned one of the greatest lessons in my life… How a person shows up in my life, who they are in my world, it was matters most. Anything peripheral to that, is not for me to judge.

Reflections: Changing Tides

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I’ve always been partial to the low tide at the beach, for when the ocean recedes for a few hours twice daily for the low tide exposes an expansive beach that becomes a playground of earthly and aquatic delights. The landscape changes, tidal pools form, and a treasure trove of shells, stones, beach glass worn smooth, drift wood, sea weed and other offerings from the ocean appear on the sand, waiting patiently to be claimed once again by the sea, or to be pocketed by a beachcomber who will revere that object with special memories for a long time to come.

Sandy Point at Low Tide ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

Sandy Point at Low Tide ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

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Reflections: The Solitary Swan

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The solitary swan glides across the azure pool of water, alone. There is no mate at its side. The life of the solitary person is much like the life of the solitary swan, fending and faring for itself, not relying on another in times of need. Sometimes the person, like the swan longs for the support of a mate, but adept at caring for oneself, the solitary person learns that to survive in the world, they must go it alone, against the odds, no matter what.

Solitary Mute Swan ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

Solitary Mute Swan ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

In solitude, we learn our mettle and our weaknesses. Yet, we gather our strengths the storms that rattle our lives and move through with grace, like the solitary swan. These are the lessons of nature…

A Little Night Music: Compared to What

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Every Sunday morning, I listen to Lisa Garvey’s show A-Train on UMass Boston’s PBR station WUMB. Every now and then Lisa will play Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ Compared to What. It’s one of my all time favorite jazz and protest songs. From Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ seminal 1969 live performance album Swiss Movement, recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival with trumpeter Benny Bailey:

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Compared to What“, was a huge Billboard pop chart topper crossing into pop from the soul/jazz genre. The lyrics criticised both President Nixon and the Vietnam War. Written by Atlantic composer/artist Eugene McDaniels, the song first recorded by soul vocalist Roberta Flack, on her debut release, First Take (1969).

Lyrics: Compared to What

I love the lie and lie the love
 A-Hangin‘ on, with push and shove
Possession is the motivation
 that is hangin‘ up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
 Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby!

Slaughterhouse is killin‘ hogs
 Twisted children killin‘ frogs
 Poor dumb rednecks rollin‘ logs
 Tired old lady kissin‘ dogs
I hate the human, love that stinking mutt (I can’t use it!)
 Try to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby now!

The President, he’s got his war
Folks don’t know just what it’s for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
 Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)

Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
 Tryin‘ to duck the wrath of God
 Preacher’s fillin‘ us with fright
 They all tryin‘ to teach us what they think is right
They really got to be some kind of nut (I can’t use it!)
 Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what?

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey?
Where’s my God and where’s my money?
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol’ young King Tut (He did it now)
Tried to make it real — compared to what?!

(Music break)

Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what?

Reflections: Refuge

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No place is more sacred to me than the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge along the northern coast of Massachusetts. It is there in the diverse coastal estuary lands that are part of the Great Marsh, that I find inner peace, happiness and sometimes solace. The ever-changing landscape of the Refuge is woven into the tapestry of my life since childhood, when my entire family, including aunts, uncles and cousins would gather to camp at the southern tip of the Refuge known as Sandy Point.

Salt Pannes at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

Salt Pannes at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge ~ c. Pamela J. Leavey 2014

Throughout the decades of my life, which include two decades of living in Los Angeles, I never ceased to long for Refuge that was part and parcel of the fabric of my existence. It is there I celebrate the abundance that exists in nature and in life. It is there I revel in the colorful palette of water, land and sky and witness the delicate balance of the cycle of life.

In times of trouble in my life, no place has ever filled me with so much comfort as my beloved Refuge, for it is there that I find the answers to the questions in my heart that fail to be answered in any way other than by immersing myself in nature. I may arrive at the refuge sometimes with a heavy heart, but I never leave the Refuge not filled with joy. It is my greatest source of inspiration and it fills my heart with the greatest sense of gratitude imaginable.