Unfathomable Wealth

What it would be like to live with such wealth, that you could create, or have created for you, a home that had it all and even more? This past weekend, my youngest and I visited the grand home of James J. Hill, on Saint Paul, Minnesota’s historic Cathedral Hill.

The Man
The Man

We embarked upon an informative and educational venture into the dream home of one of Minnesota’s most important citizens. He founded the Great Northern Railwaycon49

He was a tireless “workaholic” and created a vast fortune that is evident throughout the state. More information can be found here Minnesota Historic Society  The rest of my entry will be photos and commentary of impressions I left with.

The grand stairway, with its gorgeous woodwork took my breath away. Photos do not do the grandeur of this spectacle justice. the entire house has carved woodwork that was carved by and artist that left his likeness in certain pieces.Carver

The home had the latest technology of the time, mainly electricity, with a gas backup and a central heating system that still works today. The lighting is designed to give one the feel of what it would have been like living in the home at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. Large windows provided natural light, which is evident where applicable.

The Man was involved in nearly all of the industries that experienced growth during the industrial revolution. I am still processing the entire event. I will return again in the spring the get more from the exterior and the view of the Mississippi River Valley from the Home. Until then

May your moments be all the are meant to be.

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Demolition precedes Renovation

I am reflecting on this year. I started writing here about this time last year. My eyes and being have been subject to a wonderous eco-system of artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and downright hilarious expressionists. All here to get out what can no longer be contained within.

Mine is a journey of ongoing and perpetual self-discovery and, hopefully, growth. None of which occur when things are going according to my particular sensitivities. I have found that before I have exhausted all of my self-determined solutions and am in complete despair I am unable to surrender.

inside
Demolition

Upon the occasion of surrender and acceptance of my inability to do anything of my self. That part of me must be demolished in order for a renovation to begin. Recovery does not take a linear path. There are pauses and serious faults found along the way where construction is halted, the architect is consulted and a diversion in the path is found suitable. The result, though is spectacular. An ever increasing gratitude and willingness to embrace the mystery of this mortal sentence is uncovered.

 

I am so blessed to be alive, willing and able to feel and express how lucky I am to be here. I wanted to be different than I was. I surrendered, asked for help performed the demolition, evaluated what was of any use, repaired the fractures in my relationships and am growing up.

Merry Christmas the wait is nearly over and All you have needed and will ever need is inside you right now. If only for the obstructions built by self-will. Ask for and accept help…Cry Out! Help is only too ready to assist.

XIX

I am reflecting on receiving my 19-year medallion this past Saturday’s monthly sobriety recognition and speaker meeting. Ther was an Al-Anon speaker and an AA speaker. It very enlightening to hear the perspective of the emotions of the loved ones of addicts and alcoholics. The AA speaker was very good as well.

I am struck recently that, there is no more original thought. It has all been thought, proclaimed and disseminated throughout time. The thoughts and writings merely seem to be presented in a slightly different way and offered to a new generation.

Of course, this is all only a matter of opinion and I am most certainly wrong.

Here are a couple examples, where I feel as though I have felt these things all my life and are somewhat eternally true.

Heraclitus

Heraclitus or Heracleitos was a pre-Socratic Greek Philosopher he lived from c. 535 – c. 475 BC her is some of his writing

“The majority of men think they see and do not. They believe they listen but they do not hear. They are absent when present, because in the act of seeing and hearing they substitute the familiar cliches of familiar prejudice for the new and unexpected truth that is being offered to them. They complacently imagine they are receiving a new light, but in the very moment of apprehension they renew their obsession with the old darkness, which is so familiar that it and it alone, appears to be light to them.”

Sound familiar? It does to me. I cant say why or where, but it seems universal.

thomas-merton-150x150

And the next is an excerpt from The Literary Essays of Thomas Merton

(pp. 367)

“Since there is no genuine creativity apart from God, the man who attempts to be a “creator” outside of God and independent of him is forced to fall back on magic. The sin of the wizard is not so much that he usurps and exercises a real preternatural power, but that his postures travesty the divine by degrading man’s freedom in absurd and servile manipulations of reality.”

rose

Any of that ring a bell? Seems, to me we are surrounded by those that tell us down is up and black is white and bad is good. I’m happy to be on a quest toward emptiness.

God Bless You-Namaste

 

How could I?

I like to think that I have a strong faith in God. Yet I have recently had occasion to doubt.

DOUBT

transitive verb

  1. archaic a: fear b: suspect
  2. to call into question the truth of : to be uncertain or in doubt about
  3. a: to lack confidence in-Distrust b: to consider unlikely.

I had been thinking it unlikely that I would be able to accept a job offer due to having prior commitments, I had worried that I would have to tell customers that I would not be able to provide service due to traveling. I wasn’t sure I would have time to complete commitments after a scheduled orientation meeting today.

I was tossing last night doing my best to let Him have my cares and to forgive my faithlessness. All of my prayers were answered. I felt a warm sense of ease. I knew it would all work out. I could not comprehend how, based on the information I had at the time, I just knew.

  1. It didn’t snow while I was away no need to let customers down.
  2. My offer to work for the biggest online retailer as a seasonal delivery station associate came after Thanksgiving
  3. The shifts I will work will allow me to continue to work during daylight hours.
  4. the orientation lasted 2 1/2 hours instead of the 4 I had expected. Allowing me to complete jobs I had committed to, and better yet, the last job was much easier to get done than I had expected.

I had to stop and Thank and praise Him and was in tears as I knew I had doubted that it was all going to go better than I could have dreamed. It always does

The most valuable thing

It was slightly more than 20 years ago. A delightful summer afternoon, ironically this memory includes me mowing the lawn. Ironic because I because I mow lawns for a living in the summer. My friend John is walking by. I stop what I’m doing to visit. He tells me about a new type of treatment program that is solely based on the spiritual principles found in the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous.  At this point, having a little more than 2 years of continuous sobriety/clean time. I thought, boy I sure wish I could go there.

Well little did I know at that time, what the mighty Jester of the Cosmos had written in the book of my life. On November 16th, 1998 I entered the program at The Retreat.

The first thing that hit me was, during a Big Book study with Roger B. He says. “I hope you’re DONE and not just here to take a break.” Woah, just woah. Yes, I’m so done. The next thing was again Roger B. “Are you willing to believe in the possibility?” That a Higher Power could restore me to sanity. Yes! That would be the beginning of an intention to improve my conscious contact with God “as I understand God” which is impossible to comprehend. The basis of which is how I am willing to carry on without chemicals.

Fast forward to today. I have discovered the enlightened self-interest of, and the key to staying sober is helping others to recover. Wait, how can I help? What do I have to offer? Well as it turns out I have my experience. Which through sharing that, I am able to stay in recovery from addiction. I have found something else even more valuable than my experience. It is worth more than any material or financial commodity. It costs nothing but requires an immense amount of energy if offered with intention.

The most valuable thing is My Attention

Giving freely of my attention is the most generous thing I can do. With attention I discover understanding and that is what I get in return.

Faith in the Love that surrounds me

I can’t see it, touch it, smell it or hear it. I do know, however, that it is there. I can feel it if I am open and attentive to it. Love is infinite, unbounded and beyond description. I must, if I am to pass it on to those I encounter practice faith in it. Devote my entire being to it continually, perpetually. From that Love comes Forgiveness, Gratitude, Hope and Generosity

My Frailty

frail·ty ˈfrā(ə)ltē

noun

the condition of being weak and delicate.

“the increasing frailty of old age”

weakness in character or morals.
plural noun: frailties
“all drama begins with human frailty”
I have all my needs provided for or acquired. I find myself craving more. As the result of paying close attention to my desires and potential drives behind them. I have found that I can never really have what I am hoping to possess in some way. I have yet to figure out why I become obsessed with what I can really never have in the way I imagine.
I am in fact sure that if I did get it, I would no longer want it with the same passion that I wanted for it in the first place. What is it about me that I contort my principles to appeal another that I might be found in their favor, while at the same time the reaction to me is one of ambivalence or perhaps even indifference. It leaves me wanting it even more
apathy-i-dont-care-405x405
image source Google images

While all along there are those that are available, yet there is only mild interest on my part.

I think I am afraid to make authentic connections and receive the Love an appreciation that I’m not sure I deserve but should.