Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyworld, Grandpa Story 12

Grandpa Story 12

DISNEYLAND, KNOTTS BERRY FARM AND DISNEYWORLD

Ed Turpin was his name. He was a dedicated, loyal, introverted church trustee at St. Mark’s Methodist Church who fixed our broken parsonage toilet more than once. Every day, in the wee hours of the morning after the last parent and child had left, he swept the parking lots in Disneyland with his huge industrial sweeper. So, guess what? Back in those days we had paper tickets, A, B, C…all the way to J. A was for the Matterhorn ride, and J was for bumper cars and Tea Cup rides!! Ed salvaged tickets strewn around the parking lot, and he gave us a big bunch once or twice every year. Needless to say, there were many more J-tickets left on the parking lot than A’s!!

We lived in Buena Park at the time, in the 60’s, close enough to hear the train whistle at Knotts Berry Farm, and less than five miles from world-famous Disneyland.

Disneyland opened its doors in July of 1955. Six thousand people received special tickets to this gala opening. Unfortunately, twenty-two thousand additional people came with counterfeit tickets. The next day, open to the public, it cost $1.00 to get inside. The plumbing didn’t work; it was a very hot summer day. Women’s high heels sunk in the new asphalt. Thanks to his contracts with movies and TV, Disney made enough money to finance and complete his first dream park. The rest is history.

I remember vividly, December of 1966, when Walt Disney died. Flags flew at half-mast. Tears flowed. One man who shared stories and gave us songs about a duck and a mouse disappeared overnight. Even today at this keyboard little warm tears still hold that moment in memory. And yet, as I walked along Main Street last week and watched the fascinated faces of little children and happy parents, I knew that the soul and vision of that one man was still very much alive…spilling over on all of us.

Living in Southern California was like living in a perpetual vacationland. Countless tandem rides with our young children to and from Knotts Berry Farm, always including the country store with cherry liquorish; plus climbing rocks along the seashore at Laguna Beach; Tinker Bell, Tiki Tiki Room, and Mickey Mouse; sitting among the swallows at San Juan Capistrano Mission; fishing for albacore in the Pacific, visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood, snowball fights two hours up in the mountains, visits to San Diego Zoo and picking deliciously fresh oranges off the trees in Don and Jean Dornan’s orchard. And there were individuals whose lives deeply influenced us.

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ALL I ONCE DESPISED

ALL I ONCE DESPISED

All that I contrived

and despised

in you,

Hal Edwards,

all I sought to

erase or fortify

I irrevocably embrace,

I now concede

to the Greater Gods

who gather all of me,

my light and my darkness,

into

Soul-saving

Reunion.

Yes, you have

sampled Eden’s

forbidden

fruit;

You

have experienced

the intensities of

passion

and soared with

enchanted

wings of grace.

You have groveled through

dark dangerous caverns,

clung from

precarious precipices,

always restless,

searching and yearning

for more depth,

more meaning,

more life-giving purpose.

With your compelling,

all-consuming

passion

for excellence,

you neglected

restfulness and play;

you abandoned

your very soul

while seeking

to save

yourself

through your busyness.

Yes, yes, yes,

I embrace you,

Hal Lamar Edwards, Jr.,

I embrace you,

I forgive you,

I love you

the way you are.

Your divine wound

wears well now.

You limp

with ancient Jacob,

having wrestled

through the long nights

with

your dark angel.

Oh, the list of grievances

goes on and on—

your naïve hopefulness,

your acculturated religiosity,

your narcissistic introspections,

your intellectual snobbery,

your hierarchy of illusions,

your distended self identity,

your positioning for approval,

your ego-centered goodness,

your unconscious arrogance—

Yes, yes, yes.

“Dr.” Hal Lamar Edwards, Jr.,

I did not overlook

your shadowed footprints.

Alas,

good brother,

finally

they lie all spent,

awaiting their

redeeming moment.

Like fermented compost,

the metamorphosis

is well underway.

Well done,

imperfect and faithful

servant.

Welcome.

Your Eucharist awaits you.

Limp gracefully

into the

kingdom

where

Original Goodness

reigns for all.

-Hal Edwards

Wauconda

March 30, 2015

THE INVISIBLE WHOLE

Yellows pinks and purples,

Crocuses, tulips, daffodils,

Ah,

your time has come!

Springtime reawakens

something deep,

breathing quietly from

your invisible roots of darkness,

beyond sight and touch–

until now.

How do you do this?

How do stars

turn to mud, and stems

and blossoms

into color and perfume?

My words want to

retreat,

frightened at my

attempts to explain.

I am doomed to eternal and

inadequate expression

as I search through finite words

within my poor attempts

to explain

the mystery of the Infinite,

Sfully alive,

within

my Self.

Whatever I am,

Wherever I come from,

Wherever I am going,

there is

an inalienable Self,

a Divine human essence,

transcending all

and

permeating everything.

Something surely exists–

an Absolute Reality

before time and space,

before my creation

before all physical creation–

before, during and beyond

chronology’s brief stint.

As the oak wombs within the acorn,

As salt permeates the sea,

As the eagle soars above the clouds—

I embrace my resolve

Under the sun.

-Hal Edwards

once upon a time

in Wauconda

 

 

COURAGE TO LIVE, COURAGE TO DIE

COURAGE TO LIVE
COURAGE TO DIE

Which
calls forth more
courage
in me?

Living or Dying?

Courage calls me
to die daily.
That is what
meditation
invites.

Courage calls me
to live fully
here, now.
That is why
I meditate
every day.

Are living and dying
the Two infallible Faces
of
creation’s existence?

Will living and dying
expand and perfect
my essence and my
destiny?

For me,
to live is
to realize
my own Inner Christ,
my own cosmic
perfection
of Spirit and Matter.

For me to live
is to embody
my human/divine
nature,
suffering and reconciling
all opposites
within my body
and psyche.

For me,
to die is to let go
of every attachment,
of every external dependence,
and
to surrender to the
Unborn Tomorrows
of unlimited
growth and glory.

For me, to live is Christ,
and to die is to gain
more of
my True Self.

May 31, 2014
Wauconda
Hal Edwards

PEEING AND POOTING – Love in Action

PEEING AND POOTING

Love in Action

Peeing and Pooting

Are not interruptions

Into our busy lives.

They are quiet and glorious miracles

Taken for granted,

Absolutely necessary
and actually

quite necessary.

In the middle of my

Morning meditation

I had to pee.

Somehow, for the first time,

I instantly realized

That peeing

Is actually

Another act

Of prayer.

I felt my body

Praying as I peed

And peeing as I prayed.

I experienced the

Magical and mystical

Dynamic

Of my own body

In sync

With the inexplicable

And natural

Act of

Peeing.

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MORNING PAPER PRAYERS

MORNING PAPER PRAYERS

Morning prayers begin
With two solitary acts.
First, I inhale gratitude

and say Thanks!

For the gift of another day.

And then
I walk out on my driveway
And pick up
My New York Times.

A fresh hot cup of
Homemade mocha
In hand,
I sit in my
Meditation chair,
Today’s magical paper in hand,
And I breathe it all in.

Page after page,
I observe,
I witness.
I encounter
Images and stories
About my
Global family.

I stroll into
Each
Poignant, prestigious
Page.
I bi-locate into the pictures,
I imagine myself
Being with the people,
With the animals,
Amidst picturesque scenes and
Swallowed by tragedy.

Day after day,
As I sit with my paper,
I always feel
Something…
Behind and beyond
All the
fashion,
The
absurdities,
The
Wins and losses,
Oppressors and oppressed—
Greed and generosity,
Hidden and obvious
On every page—
My inner eyes
bi-locate me to
Another Horizon.

I sense a divine-human drama
Choreographed by
Truth and Trickster.
I enter into
Spectacular scenes of
Glory, faithfulness, Tragedy,
Raw and rare courage.

I see
Foreign and familiar
Smiles and surprises;
I see
Complete foolishness
And insatiable clamoring;
I observe the
News and views
And clues
Of my
Global family.

Everyday
Vivid scenes change,
One after another.

Middle East updates,
Washington’s latest plight,
Lifting a soldier
Out of harms way,
another murder, another fire;
Duke wins, Duke loses,
Conservative right, Liberal left,
Wall-Mart and Wall Street,
The dance continues,
Obscurities and clarity…
Turn the page.

Race horsing and
NFL concussions…
Enslaved children
And starving refugees…
Instantly out of sight and
Out of mind…
Turn the page.

Its all in
My morning paper—
with anorexic models…
Sumptuous mansions…
Exquisitely tasteful recipes…
Musicals and plays…
Horoscopes, movies and puzzles…
Today’s weather…
and the Dow—
All trumpeting their latest whims
For
Us, the world’s wealthy few.

Day in and day out,
our
Wall Street Journals
and New York Times,
Offer partial perspectives
Of our global village.

I put my paper down,
Breathe it all in…
And surrender
Into Silent Stillness
And meditation,
Where I wait
For Wisdom’s compassion
And the grace
To sort
And serve
From my little place
In God’s World.

Wauconda
June 4, 2014

GRANDPA STORY 10, The Power of Thanksgiving and Gratitude

GRANDPA STORY 10

The Power of Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Never neglect every genuine opportunity to say, “Thank you very much.”

Never neglect to learn and to outgrow everything, and finally say, “I am grateful.”

Check it out. How many times a day are you conscious of feeling and saying these words? “Thank you very much.” “I am grateful.” When something or someone gives you something or says something that means a lot to you, do you know the importance of expressing words of thanks, feeling your gratitude?

First of all, please don’t go around saying these words in a careless way. These words are not to be dutiful or casual; these words, when truly spoken from a conscious mind and heart, carry tremendous energy fields!!

Did you know that you can express thanks and gratitude just about anywhere anytime about any 1) mundane, 2) negative, 3) positive or 4) gigantic experience that you experience? (I use that phrase, “experience your experience” because so often, as a child and adult, I HAD experiences without “being consciously present,” without EXPERIENCING that experience in a reflective way. I was there physically but I had no idea I could choose to think about what I was doing or feeling or thinking at the time. So I missed out on what I could have learned from that experience.)

Let’s consider examples of mundane, negative, positive or gigantic experiences that led me to gratitude and thanksgiving.

1) Mundane experience- I turn my head to the left just now and look out through a clear glass window. I realize that I don’t know how to make clear glass! Somebody somewhere else made it, and I get to enjoy my snow-blown backyard with all the birds congregating around our bird feeders. Whoever you are, glass-maker, I thank you for making this glass and for the comfort of staying warm inside while I look through the glass window and enjoy my backyard. Ordinary? Yes. Mundane? Yes. Continue reading

COURAGE TO LIVE, COURAGE TO DIE

COURAGE TO LIVE, COURAGE TO DIE

Which

calls forth more

                                                                 courage

in me?

Living or Dying?

Courage calls me

to die daily.

That is what

meditation

does.

Courage calls me

to live fully now.

That is why

I meditate

every day.

Are living and dying

the Two Faces

of

creation’s existence?

Will living and dying

expand and perfect

my essence and my

destiny?

For me,

to live is Christ,

this cosmic

perfection

of Spirit and Matter,

this incarnation

of human/divine

suffering and reconciling

within my body

and psyche.

For me,

to die is to let go

of every attachment,

of every external dependence,

and

to surrender to the

Unborn Tomorrows

of unlimited

growth and glory.

For me to live is Christ

and to die is to gain

more of

my True Self.

May 31, 2014

Wauconda

Hal Edwards

DOING TONGLEN

DOING TONGLEN

I inhale,

I take in

the torment, the agony,

the illusions, the fear.

I gulp into my Soul

every snake and dragon

and mosquito

of the moment

and do Tonglen.

With open heartedness

and Spiritual Awareness

I invite

these strangers

into my Living Room.

I sit close

to the hearth fires

of purification

and

exhale Presence

while

Invisible Angels

turn all

the lights on

again.

Hal Edwards

Wauconda

May 31, 2014

THANK YOU, BROTHER FEAR

THANK YOU, BROTHER FEAR

Oh dear, Brother Fear!
What would I ever
become
without you?

Without You,
There would be
no trust,
no risk,
no friction,
no opposites,
no opportunities
to break through
the barriers
and obstacles
that thrust and trust
my journey
into
Conscious Compassion!

Thank you,
devouring fearful One;
Thank you
for paving my Way
through
not-yet-refined
capacities
awaiting me
on the other side
of your thin curtain.

Through your obscure doors
I do prefer to
crawl and stumble,
walk and dance
my Way
into myriads
of inexpressible echelons
of awareness and delight.

I too choose to
taste the fruit
from
Eden’s magical
tree.

Wauconda
May 31, 2014
Hal Edwards