BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

Forgiveness….oooooh Jesus! April 27, 2010

My mom was a winner, in all respects! I spent a long weekend in my hometown of Lancaster, PA, at a highschool reunion, visiting with friends from LOOOOONG ago, relishing the fertile, brown soil (really) of my home turf. Truly one of the most beautiful farmlands anywhere and I’ve seen a few here, there and about.

Though my mom died nearly 12 years ago, I feel her presence everywhere when I visit ‘home’.

I was chatting with a friend this afternoon. She was telling me how 23 years ago at 5:05pm, (the very time we were speaking), she was getting married in a little chapel in Las Vegas, ‘The Little Church of the West!’ We were recalling good times with friends, with lovers, husbands. We reminded one another that whether things ended badly or not, the good times were just that and ALWAYS will be….not to be negated one iota with a sour event. Why should they be?

Life is an illusion of sorts. It is. Think about it. You see what you see because you want to see it that way. In time it might change, but, you see it how you see it.

As she was telling me this story, (turns out years later she learned her groom was already married….oops…a technicality). Just as we were sharing our stories, deciding to hold folks we have loved, (and possibly still do), in the light, she passed a church sign which read,

Forgive Everyone, Forgive Everything…Always and Forever!

We broke out in riotous gaffaws!

It reminded me of a story I wrote awhile back…

Mama Loves Jesus
My mother was raised Presbyterian though was more of a spiritual person than a religious one. Not a regular church goer, she instead communed with God while in nature or in the ordinary business of her life. I do remember however her disdain at the proselytizing folks in our community who rather pushed their brand of religion on their kindly neighbors. My favorite memory was when she’d picked me up at my best girlfriends home after a Saturday night sleepover.

My best friend Liz lived in town and I was the country mouse. Unable yet to drive, Mom was my chaffeaur. As we drove out of town toward home one Sunday morning, I remember stopping at a traffic light. Ahead of us was a family, two adults and two children. They were no doubt on their way back from church. We both noticed at the same time that they had a bumper sticker which read, ‘Honk if you love Jesus.’

Before we could comment I saw that devilish spark in her eye. Hang oooon I thought. Without a moments notice, she laaaiiiid on the the horn of her aqua Thunderbird, ‘HOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNK!!!!” Everyone in the car turned and scowled the ugliest of scowls toward my mother and me. She beamed her characteristic BIG smile and waved happily, while it took the family in front of us a good 10 seconds to regain their composure, realizing that she was honking for her love of Jesus. On to the next light, dang if she didn’t do it again. Ohhhh, my mama loved Jesus.

BB Webb

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Don’t be afraid to rally… April 3, 2010

For whatever cause which you feel needs rallying.

I’ve quite a few frankly.

Yet another problem caused by deforestation!

Though my dogs have plenty of trees to occupy them where we live,
I’ve got another bee or two in my bonnet, demanding I take action.

Consider, how do you work to evolve the world into a place and space where you’d most like to live?

I like trees, I like clean air, the freedom to create and fair laws to allow me to pursue business pursuits which create jobs and services to help others.

My government has sadly let me down…so, it’s time to initiate some positive change.

If I don’t, who will?

Don’t be afraid to create a scene, just be sure your intent is clear and that it’s a cause worth fighting.

Moving from a few years of crashing train wrecks and nose dives, I can better decifer where I need to rally verus merely step away. Knowing when to respectfully move away and shift your focus is as important as knowing when to rally forth to initiate positive change.

While expressing gratitude for EVERY experience which comes your way, consider how you might discern for yourself where your attention is best spent, who is contributing positively to your life and certainly, where further action is called for….and march on my friend, rally forth when needed.

And should your cause capture my rally-bone as well, I’ll gladly march by your side.

Don’t sit there, rise up from the dead if you feel so called! Be your OWN champion!!

And oh, speaking of which, Happy Easter if that shoe fits!

BB Webb

 

All Structures are Unstable March 23, 2010

Eckhart Tolle is kicking my butt….and I like it. I like to see things with fresh eyes. From his, ‘A New Earth’.

‘The ego always wants something from other people or situations. There is always a hidden agenda, always a sense of ‘not enough yet,’ of insufficiency and lack that needs to be filled. It uses people and situations to get what it wants, and even when it succeeds, it is never satisfied for long. Often it is thwarted in its aims, and for the most part the gap between ‘I want’ and ‘what is’ becomes a constant source of upset and anguish.

The famous and now classic pop song, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,’ is the song of the ego. The underlying emotion that governs all the activity of the ego is fear. The fear of being nobody, the fear of nonexistence, the fear of death. All its activities are ultimately designed to eliminate this fear, but the most the ego can ever do is to cover it up temporarily with an intimate relationship, a new possession, or winning at this or that. Illusion will never satisfy you. Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.’

Why fear? Because the ego arises by identification with form, and deep down it knows that no forms are permanent, that they are all fleeting. So there is always a sense of insecurity around the ego even if on the outside it appears confident.’

And later on….

‘Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you. This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it ‘eternal life.’

Back to the need to make things what they ARE, so you might change them. All in an effort for finding home, peace perhaps, an ever changing what is and what is and what is.

Illusion will never satisfy you nor seeking that forever hungry ghost!

If we only, only, only knew our absolute perfection within….we’d no doubt take a breath and vanish as there’d perhaps be no more need to tarry upon the earth.

I (no doubt my ego here….sigh….) aspire to being an angel one day.

Just thinking….

BB Webb

 

The ‘Religion’ Thing… September 17, 2009

jesus-1Religion and politics can rile even the most mild mannered citizen. Much as pets and children can ‘steal the show’, heated debates around the aforementioned topics can reek havoc on relationships as to me, what I hear most is a fervent need to ‘be right’.

I am intrigued after reading my business coach’s blog, The Unsinkable Brian Cork. His blog is read by some 30,000 folks a day. His topics are diverse and he loves to ‘stir the pot’, something I too am drawn to in my own, probably for now, quieter way.

So, in commenting on the righteousness felt by some, or as Brian states, the folks who claim to ‘tip their toes’ into religion through stating they are instead ‘spiritual’, (I loved that), it was fun to watch my own reactions.

I’m sure he has received scores of responses….some of which he makes available for others to read and some not. My response was as follows:

Thank you for stirring the ‘religion’ pot Brian. I enjoy witnessing my own reactions as it shines a useful spotlight on where I am or where I’m not.

I’m not sure why I’m not a joiner, but I’m not, (well, unless there is a discounted price on something involved)! When I think of most religions I’ve experienced, in perhaps my limited way, I am reminded of my daily decision to either be ‘right’ or to be ‘loving’. (That brings up the gnarly hairball of controversy over the meaning behind being ‘loving’). Isn’t this fun! And besides, I’m enthralled with expansion, unlike what I feel is a rigidity of thought within many religions. buddah

Nevertheless, I do consider this earth sojourn as certainly the ‘spiritual’ part of ‘me’ having a human experience, fraught with all the limitations of ego (fear). Be that as it may, as I watch scores of devotees and the intelligensia, clammering with their astuteness and bravado, debating over ‘their’ God, summoning false security or claiming to KNOW one thing or another, it is then that I am more enamoured to thinkers like Osho and Tom Robbins. Consider this if you will from Mr. Osho…

‘don’t try to become anything- patient, loving, nonviolent, peaceful. Don’t try. If you try, you will force yourself and you will become a hypocrite. That’s how the whole of religion has turned into hypocrisy…..Basically you are totally free to choose, but once you choose, your very choice becomes a limitation. If you want to remain totally free, then don’t choose.’

That statement alone has kept me up into the wee hours with an attempt to ‘understand’. Ahhh, we mortals. To me, the magic is in the moment, the place of unknowing and the illusive, undefinable force within, which well, I call ‘Godforce’, but I made that up. Because I can. Viva la difference… in the end, naught matters as back to the ether go we. I’d say listen to the wisdom within your heart and let IT be the master of your mind. or….not! That’s okay….I won’t take it personally.

But that’s just me. Today.

And I’m sure, you have your own favorite views. So chime in…. he (or I) would love the debate. The mystery of it all and the passion behind each person’s views are what intrigue me the most.

In the meantime, enjoy yourself if you can….no one really does KNOW much of anything, for sure, now do they.

BB Webb

 

Chocolate Jesus July 2, 2009

While in high school I took a part time job at a near by nursing home, (what is the politically correct term now, something or other care facility)??  WhatEVER they’re now called, this placed was filled with really old people.  I worked with a group of rather merciless seasoned nursing care folks who would test me with the most difficult tasks and residents.  I administered enemas, washed private parts, emptied bed pans and suffered the pinches of old men you’d think too old to lift an arm.  From one day to the next someone you’d just gotten to know might die, another resident might be caught walking down the hall with a bed pan attached to their rear, or I’d witness a resident’s lonely isolation or a family’s reaction to the loss of an elderly loved one.  I learned a LOT about human behavior, not just from the residents, but the nurses as well.

On my second day as a nurses aid, I was approached by a very large Mennonite woman, Sadie Miller, who while showing me how to wash a nearly emaciated, naked old man, (she nearly rubbed his skin off), not missing a wink, she looked directly into my young hazel eyes and bellowed loudly, ‘Have you been saved?’

I was taken aback.  I thought quickly, remembering the summer when Ann Murray, my best friend nearly drown me in Mrs. Smuck’s back yard pool.  Her elder son, Graham, had to pull me out of the pool, drenched in clorinated water looking like a skinny drowned chiuaua.  HE had saved me.  A moment later I realized she meant, ‘SAVED,’ as in ‘Jesus’ saved. 

I felt on trial.  Her stare was imminent.  I stammered a moment and then with a bright lilt to my voice bellowed forth, ‘why YES, I have.’  I knew I was lying.  I was an intermittent church goer at best, liking only the candlelit Christmas eve services at the Moravian Church that was attached to the girls’ school I attended.

Though I did remember the fascinating stories my roommate Ruthie told me about her father, the Moravian minister, who on occasion would shake up the congregation by walking in on his hands up to the alter. I never seemed to attend during those spectacles but would have liked to. I might have attended church more often had he performed a more regular circus act.

It’s funny how memories can crash into your brain in a moment when engaged by a question. I immediately remembered also being chosen as 3rd grade President of the Sunday school class, begging and pleading with my mother to never go back after my election.  After my successful win of the coveted Presidential role, I’d had the misfortune of playing, ‘Bluebird, bluebird in and out the window’ where 12 young children gathering in a circle while one child danced in and out of the arms of the players, while we in the circle moved and flailed our appendages singing robustly to this cheery song.  Much to my dismay, my left hand swung too close to the face of my adjacent partner and my finger accidently went up Cindy Metzger’s nose.  I was mortified.  There was no WAY I could return, President or not.

But back to Sadie the menacing nurse/Mennonite recuiter.  I learned early in life how to play the ‘game’ to folks persistent on me joining, most ANYTHING really. I learned to avoid being exposed for my rather personal beliefs, (even though they were just budding and not conscious then).  It was my early developmental stage in ‘selective transparency’.

So here I am, living an hour outside of Atlanta in the ‘Bible belt’.  When I first moved here, the owner of the local cleaners asked me, ‘Do you have a church family.’ I hadn’t practiced my skill in being polite yet evasive and certainly didn’t want to insult this neighborly recruiter any more than I wanted to engage Sadie the Mennonite.  I’m not sure what came over me but I just looked him dead in the eye and said, ‘I’m not a Christian.’ I didn’t even feel I needed to follow up with a qualifier, ‘but I’m a good person,’ or, ‘though I have my own spiritual beliefs,’ better yet, ‘but my old roommate’s Dad was a cool, ACROBATIC minister.’ I just felt solid telling the truth, picked up my dry cleaning and went home.

I’m not sure what I am.  I don’t like to define such things, they are too mysterious to me and well, personal, evolving.  Labeling is confining and I’m all about expansion. And, people get threatened, I’ve found, if you’re not in agreement, they want to recruit.  I’d rather someone follow me throughout the day or week and they can assess who or what they think I am if it’s that important.  They’ll find no doubt that I, (like you I’ll bet), are a mix-match of many things.  At the end of the day I hope I was more loving than not.  And if I did my best, well, to quote a playwright friend of mine, Kay Butler,

‘all you can do is all you can do and all you can do is enough.’

I’ve been resonating with that quote a lot lately.

Tom Waits, (a favorite poet and artist of mine) says it well, I feel, in his performance of what I might call the ‘post ecumenical movement’.  But that’s just me.   Freedom of thought, freedom of expression, of belief…..horrah for the seekers, the voyagers, the Magellans of the earth.  It’s all good.  And clearly horrah for Jesus! Might we all be more like him!

And for fun, a little song I wrote on religion…

I Found Religion

I found religion and it ain’t in a church,
I found religion and it’s on my back porch,
I found religion for the quick and the slow,
I found religion and ya’ll be happy to know,

All are invited Catholic and Jew,
Muslim and Buddist, Agnostic too,
I found religion now don’t push and don’t shove,
It ain’t a big mystery, It’s all about love,

So put down yer brimstone, yer fire and rules,
Let’s keep it simple and let’s change all the schools,
I found religion and the blessings abound,
It’s all about lovin and living right now!

I found religion and it ain’t in a church,
I found religion and it’s on my back porch,
I found religion for the quick and the slow,
I found religion for every Sally an Joe!

Here’s to love!

BB Webb