Excerpts from Jimmie's Journals

This page will hold all the past journal entries that first appear on the home page of the Wracklineblog. Each will have the date on which they appeared on the blog, as well as the original date on which I made the entry in the journals.

Little contacts

Blog date: 11/16/2017    Journal Entry: 11/10/2017

I was waiting outside of the dressing room (while my wife was trying on clothes). The saleslady, who I would guess to be in her 50s, passed by me, saying “I remember you two from other visits”. She touched my arm with two outstretched fingers - just a simple little contact as she glided by - and I caught a glimpse of her slender fingers with tendons stretched under soft flesh.
 Perhaps the background music playing was quiet for once, and I found myself deeply moved by this simple act, gently imagining how the bare bones of the hand would look after the passage of time and flesh. Old men do this, sometimes, being a bit more aware of mortality and time's passage.
 My vision failed a bit as the force of the thoughts continued to move me. “You should take note of all those little touches, boy”, I sermonized to myself. “They should be acknowledged, if only in a small way, for this is how we give Life to each other during our days on Earth.” (Usually, if I have enough warning, I will clasp my hand over the hand which touches me – flesh upon flesh – but the saleslady crossed me up – she was too quick for me.)
 The words continued: “This is how we support each other, one Compassion touching the other Compassion, and these are the things that somehow abide, drifting over the Earth and among the stars, beyond the time of the flesh on the bones.”

It is the spirit that quickens   John 6:63

The "Teepee Dreams" tea and the music

Blog date: 11/20/2017    Journal Entry: 11/23/2008

I am sitting in my chair listening to Deuter’s exquisite music just before going to bed. But there is a nagging desire for some “Teepee Dreams” tea, which put me in a trance the night before. (Author's Note: "Teepee Dreams" tea was available back then, and contained chamomile, valerian, and other calming herbs. It was similiar to Celestial Seasonings "Sleepytime Extra".)
 “Don’t want to become dependent on it”, I said to myself.
 “I’m just about ready go to bed”.
 But the cells are insistent. They demand the tea – “No” won’t do for an answer – for they apparently wish to float again, to have another waking dream.
 So I go brew a mug of the tea and sit back down to take in the tea and the music. The music drips from the ceiling in little tinkling drops that are felt as well as heard. I am reminded of T.S. Eliot’s words, “You are the music while the music lasts”.
 Surely I am sitting not in my chair but by the shore of a quiet winter lake and each note from the various instruments is as a wave lapping on the shore, each wave a word spoken by a vastly articulate existence. The cells float out over the waves and into the sky toward the stars, where they mingle with the Quiet One.

More floating (this time after a Michelob “Bourbon Cask” beer)

Blog date: 11/20/2017    Journal Entry: 12/13/2008

Time stops while the music is playing.
 There was time before the music, with the passing of events – I heated dinner, ate the dinner, put up the dishes, got my beer and turned on the computer. All these events can only go in one direction – I can’t unwash the dishes or reconstitute the food in its original form (it is already becoming “me”), and it is this forward direction that is time. The quiet ticking of the bedroom clock only goes along for the ride.
 But as I sit in the chair, and as the music drips from the ceiling and dissolves the day’s thoughts and concerns – time-related concerns about what was done and what will be done – the shoulders drop, the cells float again and I become the music, and the clock stops ticking.
 So there was the time before the music and there was the time after the music, but while the music plays, time stops.

Wind over the Water and in the Trees

Blog date: 12/1/2017    Journal Entry: 1/5/1975

The wind wanders over the earth and meets the water and sifts itself through the trees in its travels. There are no strangers to the wind - all are its friends.
 The wind spins the water and weaves the leaves, and both the sea and the leaves reply to the wind in the same language, so that the wind over the waves and the wind in the trees is the same sound.
 He who hears the wind know this. He who walks in the forest hears the sea, and he who stands on the shores of seas hears the leaves in the trees. For he is no stranger to either, having memories from earlier lives in the water and in the forests.

The Seasons, Earth, Air, and the Tree

Blog date: 12/1/2017    Journal Entry: 3/1975

There are not 4 seasons. There are only 2: the season of the Earth and the season of the Air.
 The season of Earth is Spring and Summer. During this time the Earth is predominant. It is alive and you can hear its riotous life out in the fields - the raucous insect party buzz.
 During the season of Air, the air is alive, blowing cold over the land, sometimes covering it with a soft white blanket - as if in apology. Air is the quiet season.
 Air, during its season, removes the leaves from the trees and gently gives them to Earth, later to become its food. During the season of Earth, the leaves on the trees give the air the gases it needs.
 So the mediator between Earth and Air, then, is the Tree.
And in the Winter you can see the trees for what they are - blood vessels of the air.
 We are of Earth and Air. The part of us that is of the air thinks, dreams, and occasionally soars. But the part of us that is of the earth understands...

Rain, Air, Clouds, and Words

Blog date: 12/6/2017    Journal Entry: 9/1980

It has just rained heavily, and the air is opulent with rich moisture and the heady fragrance of damp grass. The air seems renewed - having caressed the Earth and the trees with its gift of life-giving water - and now is free to clear off after several days of cloudiness.
 But did the rain come only because of the air - or was it because the earth demanded the rain; all the plants and trees and insects and animals, and we who live in parched climates, desired the rain - insisting that the air bring the water. Are not the earth and the air one?
 Or is the air perhaps part of the ocean? Go down to the seashore and hear the roar of the waves and then go up into the mountains and hear the roar of the wind - they are the same sound. The air brings the water up to the landlocked land and all its inhabitants who have moved too far away from the sea.
 So the air is alive then, and the clouds are the air’s breath.
What are the clouds if they are not the air breathing into the sky?

 Do we who sense the Life speak these words, or are they demanded of us, like the earth demands the rain? Existence is alive, and it draws the words out and demands that they be said...


Christmas Prayers

Blog date: 12/18/2017     Journal Entry: 12/25/2008

Thank You, Spirit, for your visit - and how did You experience time while you were here?
 Thank You for having visited us and having participated in our time and space on this bright green planet you created, and thank you for your incarnation at the time you visited us.
 And yet if we say You are the Timeless Formless One, then perhaps our words should not be 'You experienced time in the past', but that 'You are experiencing time right now',
We should not say 'this is planet you created', but that 'this is the planet you are creating',
And not that 'You experienced incarnation at the time You visited us' but instead that 'we are the incarnation'.
 Each of us, then, is Christmas.

Believing in the Visit

Blog date: 1/4/2018     Journal Entry: 12/12/2009

A recent (2009) National Geographic article “Are We Alone” describes the increasing possibility of other Earths – other planets that could sustain life. “More than 370 planets outside our solar system have already been discovered…. our Milky Way gleams with more than 100 billion stars – and billions of those are likely to possess planetary systems of their own.”
 So the first – and logical – reaction is to wonder “Was there a Christmas on each of these? Did Spirit become incarnate at some time on these countless planets during some period of their evolution? How can this be?”
 Reason prompts us to disbelieve.
 But then we get a prod from the Other Side, saying “Well but this is, after all, Spirit – the Timeless and Spaceless One. This is the same Spirit whose consciousness dreams about all those stars and created, no – is creating – them. So maybe all those other bright green rocks with their sensuous waters have – in their time – evolved to the point where they needed a Sign, and were blessed with a symbolic Incarnation.
 It’s sort of like the Santa Claus business.
 “Do you believe in Santa Claus?”
 “No. Of course not, silly. I mean get real. How can one being bring gifts to 1 billion children in 24 hours? That’s 1 microsecond or less per house.”
 And yet each of us did believe in Santa Claus before we learned how to reason.

Driving to Beaver's Bend

Blog date: 1/11/2018    Journal Entry: 1994 and 1997

(While living in Dallas, Texas, our family took many memorable trips to an Oklahome State Park called "Beaver's Bend". Here are some reveries that came to mind while driving along the country roads to the park.)
 10/29/1994:
  We drive at sunset through the countryside. The trees and the grasses are brilliantly lit by the setting sun. The plants and trees grow quietly and slowly. They await the change of seasons just as other plants and trees have here for thousands of years. Existence shows the infinite patience of its Creator.
 For one who is out of Time, the whole thing is just a blink, I suppose.
 Our passage through the fields is not noticed. We are just noise in the quiet modulation and rhythms of existence.
 Are our lives that way too?
 The loveliest time of the day is at its beginning and its end. Why is that? Are we that way as well?
 It is said that the prettiest fall colors occur when it has been dry. When the trees are satiated with plenty of water through the summer, they do not produce the best colors of the fall. Also, it is said that pine trees produce more pine cones when they are stressed. Is it true that some of the brightest and most lively of things are produced when life is under stress?
And yet the quartz is produced by quiet, patient sifting...

7/14/1997:
 The mist rises out of the ground, as if the Spirit of Earth was sifting itself through the grains of the soil, to be seen perhaps only by those whose eyes see magic. The Earth and the Spirit of Earth have been doing these kind of things for time utterly beyond our comprehension of time. Earth presents itself for us to view during our brief blink of existence.
 We see these things and take them in; we internalize them, and in so doing become Earth.

Of Fires and Time

Blog date: 1/16/2018     Journal Entry: 2/25/2011

(This came to me during our last trip to Beaver's Bend, the Oklahome state park. We were about to leave the Dallas, Texas area and move to Oregon.)
 I had been warming myself by my small campfire for some time that morning, fiddling with twigs, breaking small branches on my knee, scrounging around for some more small tinder, fanning the fire to keep it from checking out on me.
 It occurred to me to reflect that fires are not automatic – they are not like a thermostatically controlled heater that can be set with the twirl of a knob and then forgotten. Thermostats are a modern contrivance, one of many that allow us to easily adjust our environment so that we can pursue our other tasks.
 No, fires prompt us to sit down and simply observe time itself, rather than have time be a forgotten background process while we are busy with our projects.
 Observe time itself? How so?
 I am talking about the time that is nothing but the forward progression of events.
 The logs slowly melt to soft white ashes.
 The fish breaks the surface of the water in the distance, seeking its meal for the day.
 The clouds slide past, marking the end of an atmospheric system and the beginning of the next.
 The plane droning in the distance makes its way from its departure to its destination.
 We never get to savor time as simply the forward movement of events because we are always trying to stuff events into an arbitrary slice of time.

No Big Signs

Blog date: 2/2/2018     Journal Entry: 2/12/2011

We keep looking for "big" signs from the Great Spirit, the Sovereign of the Universe.
 In an earlier journal entry, I describe what I call the "return to life" after a period of profound absence of feeling.

(9/1972): There is no experience - no experience - more wild than to participate in the life of the world around you with all of the feeling that you see others participate in it. If you feel something and say what you feel, and say all the words that you feel and omit not one, then you are alive. Where life is there is speech, and the words are one with the life.
There is no more absurdity if you have lived the deepest absurdity - if you have died - for every event thereafter, every event, has meaning.
The whole business is a gift, and if it is, there must be a Giver of gifts.

So we do have some signs of the existence of some sort of Formless One, some Spirit who created and is creating Life. There just aren’t any “big” signs.
 Sometimes we imagine ourselves wanting to say “Could you give us just one ‘proof’? Throw us a Belief Bone, Spirit Guy. Take a cue from Hollywood. Watch some of our movies. You’ll get the idea.
 OK. so You have already gotten the Idea, but You know what I mean.”
 And the imagined answer might be:
 “Now you know that’s not going to happen. That’s what Life is all about. Hello. That’s why it’s called ‘Belief’
 “Oh, right.”

In a subsequent journal entry (2/23/2011):
Maybe it's because Spirit - the Great Oneness - can't Communicate.
 From the Brihad Upanishad: “He who is One speaks without speaking, for there is nothing separate from him, hears without hearing, for there is nothing separate from him, sees without seeing, for there is nothing separate from him. . .
. . .Where there is separateness, one speaks to another, hears another, sees another. . .
 So is this the reason there are no “obvious” signs?
 We keep wanting the Great Spirit to give us signs. “Show us some proof, Spirit. Throw us a Belief bone or something.” (We overlook all the miracles that happen all around us – the plant arising out of a tiny pot of soil which could not possibly hold all that raw material, the leaves of a fern unfolding out of a circular coil that can’t possibly hold all that mass.)
 We want a “Hollywood sign”. “Come on, Spirit, if Industrial Light and Magic can do it, You certainly could."
 But perhaps Spirit is stuck with that Oneness problem. The Great Oneness can’t communicate to others, because there are no “others” to communicate with – no separateness.
Perhaps the reason Spirit can’t give us a sign is that we ourselves are the sign.

Prayer, Time, and Spirit

Blog date: 2/6/2018    Journal Entry: 3/28/1997 and 3/9/2001

It occurred to me (during meditation) that I was experiencing a morning of calm. My back soreness was gone, and I was in a state of peace. I had asked for calm and received it. This is the usual protocol of our dealings with Spirit. We ask for something and then there is the expectation of receiving it at some future time.
 So it's the time business. We are Beings-in-Time. We arise, have breakfast, go to work, call someone and make a request, and then later the person responds. All of these things take time.
 Yet in prayer we are dealing with a Being-Not-in-Time. We recall the saying "Put yourself in another person’s shoes”. Spirit is not in time. There is no before and after for the Timeless One. We often thank Spirit for something we received in the past, and yet in a sense it seems just as appropriate to thank Spirit for something in the future.
 So we thank the Universe instead of making requests to It. Why? Because we have been given all the things we were given from time immemorial. We have a disease and then we have remission from the disease.
But the remission was granted billions of years ago...

Copyright © 2018 J.A.