Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Onward - ( a reflection inspired by the movie "Youth" )

"Contained in Everything I Do
There's a love I feel for you
Proclaimed in everything I write
You're the light, burning brightly
Onward through the night
Onward through the night of my life."
 - Onward , "Yes', C. Squire

 “We were talking, about the love that's gone so cold and the people, 

Who gain the world and lose their soul  Then you may find, peace of mind, is waiting there  And the time will come when you see we're all one, 
And life flows on within and without you”
       - Within Without You, G. Harrison

"You say that emotions are overrated.Emotions are all we've got."
               - Mick, "Youth"

Someone once suggested that that light at the end of this long meandering up and down tunnel doesn’t get any smaller with the passage of time. At what point did that original innocence fade from view behind us? What is it that tries and sometimes succeeds to dampen that once holy flame of enthusiasm? Where did that trusted lifelong companion go? Was there a specific voice that encouraged or tempted me to take that one specific path and he another? How is it that some continue to hold the hands of a loved one while others feel they need to traverse every step alone? Are we quick to forget the power of touch? Are we quick to forget the simple songs? Were not the simple songs all we have? Can we keep our heads up and hearts opened as we move onward through the night of our lives?

No thing lasts forever does it? Some trees fall more quickly than others. Broken barren branches, remnants of a glory that once was, are now strewn across the field and is fuel for the next pilgrim along the way eventually becoming ashes to nurture the earth where that roaming fire had burned through the days and nights. Some giving-trees seem to continue to grow strong and grand with seasonal rebirth. Others are cut down in their prime becoming trunks of rest for tired worn out pilgrims. Still, other trees perpetuate constant leaves as shade source of freedom for launching for Frost boys swinging as they lean towards heaven. He prayed that he could be one of those branches on a tree of Merton.

His meditation “There is no fear for my own last day but the heart trembles with the slightest consideration of the passing of the one’s I love and for the last breath of those who may have loved me. “

The purest innocence of babies and youth at honest play; the intoxicating freedom discovered in boundless music; the presence of love, and the egoless carefree resilience of an uncorrupted authenticity are what we need to keep spirits alive while making way in our time worn weathered vessels. Listen to the larger voices calling and suddenly consideration that all this is just coincidence and strictly chance -  is proven to be na├»ve.



When I see birches bend to left and right 
Across the lines of straighter darker trees, 
I like to think some boy's been swinging them. 
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay 
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them 
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning 
After a rain. They click upon themselves 
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored 
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. 
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells 
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— 
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away 
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen. 
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, 
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed 
So low for long, they never right themselves: 
You may see their trunks arching in the woods 
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground 
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair 
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun. 
But I was going to say when Truth broke in 
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm 
I should prefer to have some boy bend them 
As he went out and in to fetch the cows— 
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, 
Whose only play was what he found himself, 
Summer or winter, and could play alone. 
One by one he subdued his father's trees 
By riding them down over and over again 
Until he took the stiffness out of them, 
And not one but hung limp, not one was left 
For him to conquer. He learned all there was 
To learn about not launching out too soon 
And so not carrying the tree away 
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise 
To the top branches, climbing carefully 
With the same pains you use to fill a cup 
Up to the brim, and even above the brim. 
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish, 
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground. 
So was I once myself a swinger of birches. 
And so I dream of going back to be. 
It's when I'm weary of considerations, 
And life is too much like a pathless wood 
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs 
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping 
From a twig's having lashed across it open. 
I'd like to get away from earth awhile 
And then come back to it and begin over. 
May no fate willfully misunderstand me 
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away 
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love: 
I don't know where it's likely to go better. 
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, 
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk 
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, 
But dipped its top and set me down again. 
That would be good both going and coming back. 
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. 
    - Robert Frost

You Got the love ( Intro scene to the movie “Youth”)

Onward - Mark Kozelek , (Youth)

Just  - D. Lang (Youth)

Simple Song #3 – D. Lang (Youth)

Youth – The Movie Trailer

For a member of the band….

“One day I will find the right words and they will be simple”
        - Jack Kerouac

“The only truth is music”
       - Jack Kerouac


Copyright All Rights Reserved 2017 JF Sobecki LLC 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Welcome Mighty Quinn

“Don’t push a river, it flows by itself.”
        - Fritz Perls

“Like a stone on the surface of a still river
Driving the ripples on forever
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe”
     - Cry of a Tiny Babe, Bruce Cockburn

"Some people say faith is a childish game
Play on, children, like it's Christmas day
Sing me a song, sing me a melody
Sing out loud, you're a symphony"
            - Liver Forever, Drew Holcombe

 "Everybody's building the big ships and boats

Some are building monuments, others jotting down notes
Everybody's in despair, every girl and boy
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here everybody's gonna jump for joy"
            - The Mighty Quinn, Bob Dylan

On April 20, 2017 Hal Crowson Rich V, aka –“Quinn” was born to Hal and Leigh Rich
Well, it is said, “You can’t push a river, it flows by itself.” We were waiting and trusting, and then the miracle happened. Welcome, Quinn, Welcome! It was a wonder filling surprise that the love that we were waiting to give to you upon your arrival was in fact the most magnificent unconditional love that blessed all who welcomed you.

Upon your arrival your mother and father knew that they were holding pure love in their arms. They experienced the sacred gift of your presence that was sourced by the love of a divine spark that makes your life a true sacrament. GG believes that you and your cousin Caroline are proof that angels do exist.

I wonder about the reason for your crying. Do you hunger for food of this world or the nourishment of the love that brought you into this side of paradise? Your secret smiles tell me that you are aware of some great mystical answer that we will all return to when the river delivers us into that ocean of mercy. But somehow you also know that there is specialness in the present as you rest against your mother’s heart and hear her song while sensing the gentle power of your father’s hands.

I am not sure if there is much that I can share with you about the world you have entered. I have tried to explain to your mother and your Zia Lindsay but I am not sure how successful I have been. So, here are a few lessons I have learned that might be useful. I hope you find it worthwhile.

There is a lot of goodness in this world. Sometimes all you need to do is open your heart to find the goodness. It helps to associate with good people who are like your mom and dad. Good always overcomes evil. Being present and mindful with gratitude to the present moment will get you closer to the sacred in this world. Spending time in nature will immerse you in that peace that you knew before you were born. Long walks in the woods and sitting on the beach witnessing sunrises and sunsets are serene up-lifting moments. Storms happen but remember storms end - so keep the faith.

Every so often you might make a mistake but that is just proving that you are human. It is said,  “ If a problem can be solved…why worry and if problem is unsolvable, worrying will not help.”
Be authentic and honest and always show compassion and mercy. You will be remembered by how you live and love and not by how much you have or have not accumulated. It really doesn’t matter as to how you “make” a living as long as you live well, live with love, integrity and truth. The secrets to success are to use your talents as they have been given to you for a reason. Follow your bliss.

No one should be taken for granted as God creates us all. Remember there are those who are less fortunate and need your help. Look at the values and careers of your mom and dad. Don’t forget that you are loved and that loving yourself and others is what life is really all about. My own father used to say “ Do the right thing because it is the right thing and not because you desire some reward.”

Sing, dance, laugh and help others do the same. Play- set your spirit free. If you play sports or play music play with all your heart and energy. If you love to write, paint or solve scientific or mathematical problems immerse yourself completely in whatever you do.

Read everything you can .You can find wisdom in good books and find the soul of the divine in poetry. If you love to write, never stop as “writing is knowing” and you will find yourself and the secret to tranquility.

It make take a while to realize this, but God is in all things all ways and prayer works! Trust your intuition. Be amazed by life and know you will amaze others.

Flourish all ways.
Te voglio bene assai, bene assai.



Mighty Quinn

Live Forever

Forever Young

I hope you dance

Remember Me


Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved JF Sobecki LLC

Saturday, April 1, 2017

An April Fool’s Lament 2017

So there he was   
On his way to find out

“When will I be a butterfly?
Who has that secret map leading to the treasure of treasures?
What books need to be read? What poems have the great insight? Who has possession of that great book of illumination? If I read it will I becoming any closer to knowing the answer? What songs should be sung ? When what songs are played do I to stop anything I am doing and dance when I hear them? Where is that great hermitage and what meditations and prayers will connect me to the source of everything? Is it the real truth that peace and love were the intentions of the universe? Does the existence of silence mean that there is nothing other than what we see or is it that the silence is the source great ineffable consolation?
See the geese returning from their winter retreat. What do they know that we don’t? Hear the sweet song of the chimes? Where and who is the source of that sacred wind that causes the chimes to console the ever-wandering spirit? Isn’t music proof of the sacred? Do tea ceremonies really work? Do religious ceremonies and spiritual exercises of any kind fuel anything? Is it true that the Book of Wisdom was written by a woman or is it that woman is the essence of wisdom? Is it really evil that feeds desires and invents those attachments that keep us from knowing the truth? It is the commencement of April and Eliot is wrong. It is National Poetry Month, right? It is not just resurrection but birth and the joy of life we are waiting to celebrate. That long cold lonely winter is over.”

Paradise was never lost it was within just waiting for him to stop asking questions and live it.

He Thought,,"It ain't over yet!"

On the Road to Find Out – Cat Stevens

It ain’t over – Rodney Crowell

Cousin Caterpillar

If you want to sing out – Cat Stevens

 Here Comes the Sun - ( G. Harrison) Performed by JF Sobecki and Friends

The Layers

Related Poem Content Details

I have walked through many lives, 
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.


“One day I will find the right words and they will be simple”
        - Jack Kerouac

“The only truth is music”
       - Jack Kerouac


Copyright JF Sobecki LLC 2017 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Zen of Baseball

“The game of (base) ball is glorious”
                         – Walt Whitman.             
Ted Williams with Red Ormsby the Umpire

“…Baseball is a lot like religion.
Its followers put their faith and hope in uncontrollable forces in search of fulfillment and inner joy….

Baseball is about coming home. The whole point of the game is to finish where you begin – home plate – and once you are home you are finally safe."
 - James Penrice, The Spiritual Lessons of    

“In my beginning is my end…
Home is where one starts from…
In my end is my beginning.”
               -T. S. Eliot, “East Coker”

“Your grandfather once told me it was ok to think about what you want to do until it was time to start doing what you were meant to do.”
                 - The Rookie

So where does one get the authentic sense of purpose and identity? What event during one’s younger years sparks that flame to burn and cast a true light as to where one should be headed. Who created that spark? What was the point of this spark in the first place? Why does this flame make everything crystal clear and yet still muddy the waters of one’s own desires and notions about what and where one should be? Could there be more than one flame or more than one source? Would another flame appear if one burned out? Is there any end to the sparks?

Was that youth recreation baseball coach some angelic spirit in human disguise? How did he get here? What was his purpose? Why did he busy himself with encouraging his young charges to be authentic, free to be one’s self, joyful and be in the moment? How did time become no time? Seizing the day, the moment never seemed to be so real did it? How did winning and losing evaporate and get carried away by some sacred breeze?

Who would have thought that the smell of linseed oil on leather would replace that of incense? Who would have believed that the 108 stitches on a baseball would coincidentally be the same number as Buddhist prayer beads or two mysteries of the Catholic Rosary?

Was this the great lesson that could not be taught or understood in school and churches? Were the players who were selected identified by some greater spirit as needing to learn the lesson of unconditional love for self and others, truth, authenticity, faith and integrity by playing this game for this coach ?

And by the way when did the last two words of the National Anthem become “Play Ball?”
Can I hear an "Amen?"

                                         Game is called - Grantland Rice


Game Called

Game Called. Across the field of play

the dusk has come, the hour is late.

The fight is done and lost or won,

the player files out through the gate.

The tumult dies, the cheer is hushed,

the stands are bare, the park is still.

But through the night there shines the light,

home beyond the silent hill.

Game Called. Where in the golden light

the bugle rolled the reveille.

The shadows creep where night falls deep,

and taps has called the end of play.
he game is done, the score is in,

the final cheer and jeer have passed.
But in the night, beyond the fight,

the player finds his rest at last.

Game Called. Upon the field of life

the darkness gathers far and wide,

the dream is done, the score is spun

that stands forever in the guide.
Nor victory, nor yet defeat

is chalked against the players name.
But down the roll, the final scroll,
shows only how he played the game
 - Grantland Rice
                                         People will come – Field of Dreams


                                         Docs Dream- Field of Dreams


                                          Farewell Moonlight – Fields of Dreams


                                        Hey Dad Wanna Catch? – Field of Dreams


                                         For the love of the game-  Just Throw

                                       The Natural - Ending



( Dedicated to Coach B who taught me to let go , be present and be myself - to live , work and play with joy and love. I still have my youth baseball glove at hand to help me remember to remember.
I always loved having a catch with my daughters. You ladies are the best! Get out your gloves for our next get together.)

Copyright all Rights Reserved JF Sobecki LLC 2017