The Compassion of Strangers – Updated

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Author: Chautauqua


“This handful of people are teaching us all that compassion & unconditional love are not just for those we personally know and have come to care for.  By their actions, and generosity these people are as trailblazers; showing us all that unconditional love and unity are not just heady new age abstractions; but indeed, are the very energies that can lead the tribe of man homeward, if we will but pay attention, and try it on for size ourselves.”

– Chautauqua

The Compassion of Strangers

My writers garret boasts a bay window overlooking a stand of California Redwoods, and a segment of the Russian river in the valley below, which has inspired more than one to nickname my place “Ewok Village.”  Just the other morning I saw a deer calmly strolling down the road, as if this expressway through the forest had been made exclusively for her.  They are around all the time, but just the same I hold it as special whenever I manage to catch sight of one.

The lower left corner of this bay window is the favored spot for one of the smarter local spiders to construct his web.  He has figured out that since I write at night a lot of times there is never a shortage of moths hanging about, drawn in by the light. On any given morning there are at least a couple moth corpses hanging in his gossamer net.  Working at the computer this morning, going thru emails, I couldn’t help but notice the spider happily having his breakfast, as I was also enjoying mine.

A few minutes passed when suddenly my peripheral vision caught a very quick flash of movement right in that lower left corner of the window…turning my head I was puzzled to see the web bouncing a bit with a moth carcass dangling in the breeze…but no spider.  I just stared at the sight in a minor case of cognitive dissonance as I tried to figure out what had just transpired…when a blue jay flew up from the ground and snatched the moth…exactly as it had just snatched Mr. Spider.

It seems as my lamp is feeding quite a few mouths out there…beyond the glass.  The point of it all being … it’s becoming harder and harder to make a go of things out there, if you’re resorting to spiders & dead moths.

Being something of a retired hermit, (which I suppose makes me a recluse these days;) I’ve been watching the descent into madness gradually devolve to the current state of affairs we collectively find ourselves in*.

From the looks of things in general I’d have to say that it is also getting harder & harder to make a go of things in the world out there beyond the confines of my Redwood hideaway.  I see the signs of it more frequently as do we all but mostly I see it in the faces of the people I meet.  Increasingly I see what we vets call the thousand yard stare on the faces of so many in the general public.  It’s a kind of psychic numbing which allows one to function while being traumatized by the conditions they find themselves in. These are not easy times to be sure.

We see people hoarding survival supplies, even as the government in many places has made it a crime to collect rainwater!  With each new assault against the soul of humanity, it gets harder still to retain one’s sanity while navigating the daily grind and trying to prepare for a most uncertain future which some days seems so close we can smell it’s foul breath on the nape of our neck.

I tend not to write much about myself, firstly because I’m so familiar with the subject it tends to be boring and second, well that isn’t what this blog is all about.  Regular readers of my work will know that I am a Vietnam veteran and that I lived in Alaska for many years.  Partially by design and partly by luck of the draw, I have enjoyed an uncommon life, which among other things includes having wolves living in my home as equals for over 30 years.  But that will have to be a story for another day.

What this blog strives to be about, is spirituality, the human condition, and trying to live our lives according to the spiritual principles we embrace.  This can be quite a struggle, especially in these troubling times.  You see; it’s relatively easy to live according to spiritual principles when everything is clicking right along nice & shiny.  The more chaos, confusion and fear that is pumped into the equation, the harder it sometimes seems to be to stay centered on that spiritual path.

Things tend to pull us to one side or another, and when stuff gets really nasty we tend to circle the wagons and pack our spirituality in the closet, lest it get dirty from all the conflict…we often forget that we become spiritual beings expressly to make getting through tough times with our sanity intact, a bit easier.  For the first fifty years of this incarnation I’ve been blessed with extraordinarily good health, which at times (many years ago) had me thinking I was indestructible.

Over the course of the last decade or so I’ve seen just how foolish that notion was; as a growing list of conditions and diseases have caught up to, and are playing merry hob with me.  With patience and attention to detail, one can find a balance point with such health issues; and that is where I thought I was Just a year ago this month when things went from bad to worse, and atherosclerosis first began threatening to take my left leg from me.  The onset incident was a nightmare of unrelenting, agonizing pain; and for as bad as it was, having to deal with the quagmire of incompetence that is the VA medical system for this past year has been a far greater nightmare and risk to my health in every regard.

Read More: Here

Note from Zen Gardner:

“If anyone feels moved to chip in something to help Chautauqua during this trying time, his paypal account is I’m sure it would be greatly appreciated. He did not write this to raise funds nor ever request help, but this beautiful article is so moving I know some of you may want to do a little something as well. A few bucks here and there add up fast. At the least we can all send some prayers, loving vibes and healing spirit his way. Much love, Zen.

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