January 01, 2011

Daisy Hickman on The Way We Live

Daisy Hickman, poet, blogger, wise soul writes here as my guest. She writes on “living.”

The philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre asserts in After Virtue, his examination of the history of philosophy and the importance of the Aristotelian virtues, that “...a human life is understood as a progress through harms and dangers, moral and physical, which someone may encounter and overcome in better and worse ways and with a greater or lesser measure of success …” The examination of existence is central to how we live if we agree that the journey matters: for one swallow does not make a summer.

Daisy worked 20 years as consultant and staff with nonprofit organizations, devotes her life and work to all the meanings that the word philanthropy evoke: in her word and her deeds. She lives now in eastern South Dakota, a small college town—before that: Indianapolis and St. Louis—Midwest girl meets the prairie that she writes about in her book Where the Heart Resides: Timeless Wisdom of the American PrairieWilliam Morrow 1999 and where one year ago she launched a blog that is extraordinary for its following: Because Daisy, as I have written here, defines generosity.

I give you Daisy Hickman:

Caring for Life
by Daisy A. Hickman

“The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.”–Pablo Picasso

I’ve given this guest post for Mary a great deal of thought – detecting a number of viable paths to reflect on writing, her memoir, and life, in general.  But let me back peddle for a brief moment.

o   I’m not yet 60, nor am I writing about “sex after sixty.”

o   I met Mary L. Tabor via various social networks and found her honest approach to life compelling, so when reading her memoir, was not surprised by her “open heart.” Nor was I bothered by her book’s content. Frank in places, yes, but since (Re)Making Love: A Sex after Sixty Story is about a critical life passage, whatever is relevant is relevant.  

o   I launched a site February 1, 2010, called SunnyRoomStudio with a primary goal of providing a sunny, creative space for kindred spirits. This has not only offered a wonderful opportunity to connect with kindred spirits, but the site is also a great venue for others to share ideas, literary and artistic talents, inspiration. 

o   Since my first Studio Guest had to be a special one, I invited Mary Tabor to write about her memoir and her path to writing. Graciously, she agreed. So, now, it is my distinct pleasure to share a few thoughts on Mary’s blog and have decided to write about a subject that is of vital importance these days: caring for life.

But why on this cold, blustery winter day would I choose this topic—what does it have to do with anything, right? A couple of reasons come to mind, but first and foremost, the need to “care for life” explains so many things we do. Things that others may not “get” without a bit of thought and reflection.

For instance, we almost lost our beloved schnauzer, Noah, recently, and Mary L. Tabor recently published a memoir about a difficult transition in her life—one of lost love, one of found love. But what do these experiences have in common? Everything.
  •          By caring for others, including our pets, we care for life.
In going to great lengths to get help for Noah, we honored the life force within him (and within each of us). And, Mary, in going to great lengths to share an extremely personal story that rocked her to the bone, is caring for life.

You see, the illusion of separateness that is still at work in the world can prevent us from
seeing and understanding that our primary mission on Earth is simply to: care for life.

Whether it is towering evergreens, a family pet, the planet, a cause you believe in deeply, or a relationship that is most meaningful—caring for life is at the core. Obviously, caring for ourselves is part of the equation.

The beauty of this approach is that life makes sense from this perspective. Everything is an expression of a divine light, and by honoring that glorious light, whenever or wherever it shines, we honor our spiritual essence and extend our creative hearts into the realm of the universe itself.

Mary sets such a great example with her book and her life journey, one she willing shares with the world. And bravely so, I might add.

In caring for life through literary achievements that capture what it means to struggle, to endure, and to eventually arrive in a better place, Mary is living proof that caring for life is what makes us human—it is the very heart of the matter.

So let us remember to honor the life force that abounds around us on implicit and explicit levels, always taking time to appreciate the depth of wonder life provokes in us. Behold: the magnificence of life in all its many variations.

Even a crooked tree points to something more.

As Eckhart Tolle writes in Stillness Speaks:

“The interconnectedness of all things: Buddhists have always known it, and physicists now confirm it. Nothing that happens is an isolated event; it only appears to be. The more we judge and label it, the more we isolate it. The wholeness of life becomes fragmented through our thinking. Yet the totality of life has brought this event about. It is part of the web of interconnectedness that is the cosmos.”

Ah, yes.

“This means: whatever is could not be otherwise.”

Of course!

“In most cases, we cannot begin to understand what role a seemingly senseless event may have within the totality of the cosmos, but recognizing its inevitability within the vastness of the whole can be the beginning of an inner acceptance of what is and thus a realignment with the wholeness of life.”

·      So when you feel the need to question your purpose in life or its overall direction, remember to care for life in whatever way tugs at your heartstrings–it’s all good. 

Best wishes from SunnyRoomStudio for the year 2011—
may it bring you wisdom and spiritual joys beyond measure.