Tag: love

A Promise Kept

A Promise Cherished

Photo by Denis Agati on Unsplash

There are promises.

I promise I will be good today.
I promise to pick you up on time.
I promise to finish the laundry.
I promise to quit smoking.
I promise I will always be your best friend.

And then there are PROMISES.
December 18, 1976. On that cold December day in a suburb of Chicago, a young man and woman were just beginning to understand the most sacred of promises. To love honor and cherish till death do you part.

Yes. That promise. The “I do” promise. Not the easiest to keep. It takes work. More importantly, it requires deep, unconditional love to have any hope of keeping it.

How do I know this? Was it something I read in a book? Or an article like this?

No. I have lived it nearly all my adult life. I was that young man. A young man who made the most significant promise anyone can ever make.

How many promises have you made in your life that completely altered your life? Unselfish promises that while the benefits for yourself would be great, the promise made was for the benefit of another?

The opportunity for such a thing rarely happens in an average lifespan. Marriage and parenthood lead to many such promises. Some are broken. Some should never have been spoken.

The instant I said “I do” I felt the most significant change I have ever felt in my life before or after that moment. In a moment, one frozen in time, I was overcome with love that I could not have imagined at that point in my life.

A singular moment that will be shared for eternity. That and a mile-wide smile on my face when I think about it.

JUST ONE PROMISE…LOVE ME FOREVER
That is the promise we made to each other. No conditions. No limits. My advice to whoever may read this is simple. Love. Love like your life depends on it. Love like your lover’s life depends on it. It does.

Originally published on Medium.com

A Lover’s Fairytale

Image from Stock Nation Royalty free

He was in no hurry. On a beautiful day such as this, every moment was one to cherish. The breeze was rustling through the palms ever so gently as the white willow wisps of clouds painted ghostly shadows on the gently rolling hills.

It had been a long time, lifetimes to Paul since he strolled through the narrow cobblestone streets of this tiny seaside fishing village. The villagers were just now beginning to start their day. The women could be heard in the houses trying to stir their families into action. Most of the men were already out to sea, hoping for a good catch to bring to market.

Paul left the road, taking his time strolling out towards the hillside that overlooked the azure waters. He stopped on the hilltop to enjoy the ocean breeze in his face and the gulls frolicking overhead that instilled a feeling of great inner peace and oneness with creation within him. He had forgotten how good it was to relax and not take the world so personally. After all, I’m just a traveler at a rest stop, not the conqueror of empires.

The laughter of the children playing on the beach that spread out below him snapped Paul from his revelry. What greater joy could be found than in a child’s laughter. And then he saw her. From this distance, it was hard to tell if she was one of the children. Round and round she raced with the kids, laughing and splashing in the surf that caressed the white sand beach. “I do believe this merits investigation,” he said to himself. Without further hesitation, he ripped off his shoes and ran down to the beach.

Paul was stunned. She was drop-dead gorgeous. She had a timeless beauty that would have been stunning in any century. Her long blonde hair and soft pastel dress lent an air of radiance about her. As she approached him her large green eyes and marvelously sculptured lips broke into an irresistible smile that could melt the polar ice cap. The web was already cast, and Paul was the contented victim.

“Hi, there. A beautiful day is it not?” said a voice that could make angels jealous. While Paul tried to find his voice all he could do is shake his head in the affirmative and grin stupidly. “Would you like to play tag with us? Oh, I’m sorry, let me introduce myself. I’m Keeri, and you are?”

“P-Paul,” he managed to stutter over a still handicapped tongue.

Keeri had a questioning look in her eyes, thinking to herself that Paul must be new around here for she could not remember seeing him before. And she would most definitely remember that event. As she studied him more closely she came to the conclusion he was attractive, h-m-m, extremely attractive, she thought. He stood about six inches taller than her, she being five foot nine. His body was, well, perfect. He had deep-set blue eyes that exuded a penetrating strength but a sense of serenity at the same time. His chin was strong with a sexy cleft, his nose slightly bigger than ideal, and his brown hair looked as if it hadn’t been cut for some time. But it was his smile and lips that caught her attention as she found herself wanting to kiss them a few thousand times at this very moment.

“Sure”, said Paul. I’d love to play with you, and, uh, the kids.”

As they played and laughed and shared their love of children their admiration for each other grew. Their glances grew longer until they could no longer keep their eyes from one another. No longer did they hear the water lapping on the shore or the gulls screeching overhead. They became a world unto themselves, living for the moment, afraid to ask questions better left unanswered.

Never had either of them felt such a powerful connection before. It was as if there was no beginning or end to this crazy love, it was simply waiting for fulfillment.

Keeri took Paul to one of her favorite secluded spots along the shore. With the sound of the water breaking on the shore, they spent what was left of the morning making love and making friends. Keeri then suggested they grab a morsel of food and some homemade wine.

As they wound their way through the mostly deserted, narrow village streets Kari asked, “Where are you from Paul?”

Paul stifled a laugh and replied, “Well to tell you the truth I’ve never lived in one place long enough to call home. If I had to pick one I guess it would be Chicago.”

“How about family, friends, or maybe a wife?” laughed Keeri with a mischievous gleam in her eye.
“No family alive. A few friends scattered all over the globe. Negative on the wife.”
“Sorry about your family. I never did catch your last name.”

“Winter, what’s yours?”

“Sorenson.”

“Have you lived here all your life?” asked Paul.

“Since I was three. We moved from Minnesota. My parents have been dead for some time now. My older brother and sister got me through my teen years. And, they have the scars to prove it. My sister married and followed her husband to St. John’s and my brother John went back to the States. It gets lonely sometimes but there are always stray sailors coming ashore to entertain me” joked Keeri. “Here’s the place I call home.”

It was a small but quaint bungalow with colorful red bricks that matched the cobblestone road that led to it. “Come on in and take a load off,” said Keeri. Paul had other ideas and swept her into his arms and carried her through the small living area into the bedroom. Several hours later as Keeri was throwing some dinner together she asked Paul, “Have you been on the island long?”

“Just got in yesterday,” was Paul’s brief customary reply.

“What do you do that requires so much traveling?” she asked.

“I’m a writer.”

“I didn’t know writers traveled so much. I know, you’re a travel writer, right?”

Trying hard to suppress a laugh Paul said, “No-oo. I was a news journalist for many years. It was a very exciting job at first, but it became limiting in the sense that the media considers all the negative aspects of life as news. It was becoming harder and harder for me to smile and laugh. So I quit, bought a sailboat, and set out looking for fairy tales to write.”

Keeri just sat staring into his deep blue eyes which reflected a certain ageless quality while trying to figure out just what she was getting herself into. “You’re a strange man Paul Winter. I’ve known you for less than a day and I love you like I’ve known you for lifetimes. I feel like a giddy school girl.”

Paul’s typical blunt response, “Hey, let’s eat and head out to catch the sunset with some of that wicked wine of yours.”

“Sounds good to me.”

They both ate in silence, consumed with the notion that something very special was happening. Paul had never known love such as this could exist for him. God, she’s beautiful. She is so alive. I’m the firewood and she’s the match.

On the other side of the table for two Keeri was bubbling over with wonder over this whole crazy affair. Nothing like this had ever remotely entered her mind. Never had she met a man with such quiet strength and at the same time such an easy laugh. He had a contagious laugh that was irresistible. And the eyes, so mysterious, as if there were so many secrets he could share if only…

“Dinner was awesome. What fish was that?”

“Mahi Mahi, with coconut rice and my homemade mango salsa,” smiled a proud Keeri while she twirled like a schoolgirl.

“Wow! That was so amazing. She can cook too!’ exclaimed Paul with a laugh. “Come on. We’re going to miss that sunset. Grab the wine and let’s head for hills.”

It was an idyllic evening. A warm tropical breeze toyed with Keeri’s hair, which seemed on fire, reflecting the crimson hues that were painting the sky with reds and oranges. Not to be outdone, the thin, wispy clouds were mirrors reflecting the beautiful colors.

“It’s as if God has painted a picture for us tonight,” said Keeri. They sat there on the hilltop in silence, awed by the spectacle surrounding them.

Paul, lying on his back, began to write something in the air with his finger. Wondering what weird thing he was up to Keeri could not hold back her curiosity. “Now what are doing?”

“I’m writing our initials in the sky,” said a very serious Paul who may have been feeling the effects of the wine.

“A little tipsy Paul?” laughed Keeri.

“No, really, come here and I’ll show you,” stated the still serious Paul. With Keeri lying next to him cheek to cheek Paul pointed to a cloud in the sky and said, “there, you see it? Plain as day, K.S. and P.W.”

“No,” said a suspicious Keeri who was beginning to wonder if she fell for a madman.

“Watch, I’ll trace it for you.” He took Keeri’s hand, pointed her finger, and began to trace their initials. Now it seemed to Keeri, lying there in total wonderment, that their initials were forming in the clouds. “Yes, yes I can see them now!” exclaimed Keeri.

Paul rolled over, giving her a big kiss, looked deeply into her eyes, and said with a snicker in his voice, “Who’s feeling a little tipsy now?” With that he slapped her fanny, leaped up, and began to run down the hill laughing, not forgetting to grab the wine on the way.

Keeri followed screaming, “I’ll get you for that!” When they were both exhausted they fell on the beach laughing in between gasps for air.

When she was finally able to squelch the giggles Keeri asked, “Please take me to your boat. I’d like to see where the famous Paul Winter, spinner of yarns, makes his home.”

They took their time getting to the pier where Paul’s boat was docked. “What’s her name?” she asked as they mounted the deck.

“The Winds of Mer Kailesh.” “Where’s Mer Kailesh?” asked Keeri. Paul responded with a glimmer in his eye, “That’s another fairytale. Come on, I’ll show you around.” After a brief tour and some moonlight skinny-dipping, they sat on the deck finishing the wine while being lulled by the gentle waves caressing the boat.

“Stargazing is lovely for a while, but let’s go to bed,” whispered Keeri seductively. “Yeah, I’m really tired,” laughed Paul.

Keeri rose along with the sun. She had not slept all night thinking about this strange and wonderful man. She found some paper and a pen and began to write.

Dearest Paul,
Never have I known love could reach such heights. My time spent with you was like heaven on earth. It is funny, but I was afraid I would fall in love with you and be crushed when you left. But I’m aglow and blushing with a radiance I’ve never felt before. My love for you will never end — I think you know that. See you when I see you.
Love Keeri
PS Write about us. It will make a great fairytale. She walked down the small pier feeling silly, laughing out loud. Besides, I get seasick. And I did see those initials.

Paul’s effort to open his eyes was like a drawbridge struggling to raise its heavy load. For someone who rarely drank alcohol, the wine had certainly taken its toll. “Hello, anybody home?” There was no response. Maybe she went for a swim. He saw the note Keeri left sitting on the deck chair and began to read it. Amazing. I’m sitting here for this great depression to descend upon me, and all I can do is sit here with this silly smile on my face.

Paul dove into the crystal blue waters for a swim, thinking all the while of the love that had blossomed in him. The perfect lady on a perfect day. He dried himself off and picked up the note and read once again. PS Write about us, it will make a great fairytale. “Yes it would,” he said to the seagull gliding overhead, sure it was Jonathan. He picked up his pen and wrote.

Lover’s Poem

When we meet
We shall touch the stars
The little children will laugh at us
And to each we shall teach love

And we’ll float on the soft summer breeze
I’ll carve our initials in the clouds
And in a fleeting moment
That which is not tangible shall succumb

And our love will become inimitable

Will explore the silver moon
And search for the silver man
And we’ll mix the colors on the palette
And paint the world

Then we’ll say our goodbyes
And no regrets will there be
Only happy memories we share
And our initials in the clouds

Dedicated to a Golden Lady with eternal love
Paul Winter

Originally published on Medium.com

Loving Her

Just some stranger I met through a friend
Who had too much to drink
She sat on my lap, gave me hug
Didn’t know who she was, but I was in love

Thought about her for a few days after
Decided to return to look for her
Found her sober, had a few laughs
She gave me hug, still in love

Chorus
Loving her is the best thing
Loving her makes my soul sing
Giving her that wedding ring
Guaranteed what love brings

Took some time before we dated
Knew on our first kiss I lost the fight
Wanted to stay for the rest of the day
Ended up staying all through the night

Come home from work and she’s still there waiting
Seventeen years of loving stronger
Growing inside, beside as souls
Looking towards what all the future holds

Chorus

Life Is Love

My Wife Circa 1974
I had learned the easy things
how to laugh, and cry
how to work and play
but what a miraculous day
it was...

when I first laid eyes on you
and my mind abandoned me
went bounding light and fancy free
any sanity escaping me
it was...

the singular greatest event in my life
which as till now and forever shall remain
the miracle of you, my wife
the holy grail of my life
and so...

these words seem empty compared
to feelings so beyond explaining
all the blessings that you've brought to me
the greatest being that
life is...love

as this great adventure continues
and news horizons await beyond
windows filled with mystical vistas
you and I will step through the thresholds
unfettered by doubt, anchored by love

and so, my love, hand in hand
off we go to Adventureland
engulfed in crazy puppy love
still, after all these years
and so...let's go




HAPPENSTANCE

All I want to be
Is the first thing you see
As you open your eyes
When you can't disguise
That feeling inside

As a smile creeps into your eyes
As if somehow you're surprised
Of a new romance and 
I've just appeared by happenstance

Each day finds a new way
You hold the world at bay
As I lay in your arms
Kidnapped by your charms

Just To Let You Know

This poem’s just to let you know

How much my love grows

Everyday I’m with you

Every day I look in your eyes

I see the sunrise

Where does the time go

Slips away, never shows its face

Around our place

But the smiles last awhile

Anyway-any day

All the questions

In the caverns of your mind

Some day you will find

That love is the answer

To your dreams

To all your crazy schemes

That you tell me in the morning

That you sell me in the evening

With your kiss…with your kiss

MAKE A LIFE

Image by StockNation

What determines the value of a life? Is it the size of one’s bank account? Or, is it the quality of life one leads that determine this value? Sadly, it seems the former is becoming more of a reality with each passing generation. Let us take a trip back in time when this was not the case.

Let’s revisit America the last time it suffered from a catastrophic pandemic in 1917–8. America was a country experiencing a great transformation. Like many countries across the globe, America was still adjusting to the great changes the Industrial Revolution created.

Rural Americans, by the millions, left the only way of life they knew. They left a slower-paced life often determined by the ebbs and flows of nature. They never punched a time clock or were late getting to work. The word weekend was not in their vocabulary. Many left this life out of desperation rather than choice. They gained new opportunities for themselves and their children. But, they had to make a significant adaptation, spending less time with the people they love the most.

They chased a dream of a better life and future for themselves and their families. Many women joined the workforce for the first time. The great cities of the country were exploding with newfound energy. Each new day brought an evolution of inventions and new possibilities.

This is not unlike the world Millenials have experienced being the first generation to live their entire lives during the insane explosion of today’s technology. Many Baby Boomers, just like the farmers of a century ago, had to adapt to these changes as well. But it was their children that had to learn to thrive in a completely new and ever-changing world without being swallowed whole. How many households now have both parents employed?

In both these scenarios, the driving factor was adaptation. How to adapt to a world that is forcing one to change or be left behind to suffer economic consequences. But, more importantly, how to find or make the time to not just make a living, but to make a life.

H-mm. Make a life. Just how exactly does one describe “a life” worth living? I have recently had serious revelations regarding this issue brought forth due to the death of my wife. This year would have been our 45 anniversary. Needless to say, between feeling intense loss and grieving I have had revelatory moments of clarity.

Of all these revelations the one that stands out over all others is this. How many people in your life have you had a truly positive effect on? Those that will be forever grateful just for the fact that you were in their life. Be it for a moment. Or a lifetime.

On a personal note, it would take volumes to list those my wife affected this way. Always, her first instinct was to help others. It took decades of her dragging me by the hand for me to realize that chasing money or fame can’t compete against the benefits one gains by helping others achieve a meaningful life. This does not mean one cannot enjoy financial wealth as well. But it should not be the driving force that blinds one to the true treasures life has to offer.

Whether you are 16, 36, or 66 ask yourself one question. Then ponder the answer. Search your soul. Which will you cherish more towards the end of your life? Your bank account or all the lives you touched? Don’t sell yourself short. The simplest of gestures; kindness, advice, a hug, can be forever cherished when given unselfishly in a time of need.

What determines the value of a life? Is it the size of one’s bank account? Or, is it the quality of life one leads that determine this value? Sadly, it seems the former is becoming more of a reality with each passing generation. Let us take a trip back in time when this was not the case.

Let’s revisit America the last time it suffered from a catastrophic pandemic in 1917–8. America was a country experiencing a great transformation. Like many countries across the globe, America was still adjusting to the great changes the Industrial Revolution created.

Rural Americans, by the millions, left the only way of life they knew. They left a slower-paced life often determined by the ebbs and flows of nature. They never punched a time clock or were late getting to work. The word weekend was not in their vocabulary. Many left this life out of desperation rather than choice. They gained new opportunities for themselves and their children. But, they had to make a significant adaptation, spending less time with the people they love the most.

They chased a dream of a better life and future for themselves and their families. Many women joined the workforce for the first time. The great cities of the country were exploding with newfound energy. Each new day brought an evolution of inventions and new possibilities.

Not unlike the world Millenials have experienced being the first generation to live their entire lives during the insane explosion of today’s technology. Many Baby Boomers, just like the farmers of a century ago, had to adapt to these changes as well. But it was their children that had to learn to thrive in a completely new and ever-changing world without being swallowed whole. How many households now have both parents employed?

In both these scenarios, the driving factor was adaptation. How to adapt to a world that is forcing one to change or be left behind to suffer economic consequences. But, more importantly, how to find or make the time to not just make a living, but to make a life.

H-mm. Make a life. Just how exactly does one describe “a life” worth living? I have recently had serious revelations regarding this issue brought forth due to the death of my wife. This year would have been our 45 anniversary. Needless to say, between feeling intense loss and grieving I have had revelatory moments of clarity.

Of all these revelations the one that stands out over all others is this. How many people in your life have you had a truly positive effect on? Those that will be forever grateful just for the fact that you were in their life. Be it for a moment. Or a lifetime.

On a personal note, it would take volumes to list those my wife affected this way. Always, her first instinct was to help others. It took decades of her dragging me by the hand for me to realize that chasing money or fame can’t compete against the benefits one gains by helping others achieve a meaningful life. This does not mean one cannot enjoy financial wealth as well. But it should not be the driving force that blinds one to the true treasures life has to offer.

Whether you are 16, 36, or 66 ask yourself one question. Then ponder the answer. Search your soul. Which will you cherish more towards the end of your life? Your bank account or all the lives you touched? Don’t sell yourself short. The simplest of gestures; kindness, advice, a hug, can be forever cherished when given unselfishly in a time of need.

Practice it until you become a master. Then you will have lived a life of immeasurable value.

It’s Only An Illusion – And You Created It

Image by Vasilli Pixaby

What makes for a great illusion? One that is so convincing you have no doubt it is real. Any master illusionist who has mastered the art the illusion will tell you that confidence and attitude will help sell the illusion. It is easy to sell the trick to an audience that is a willing participant. But the illusion itself is what stands the test of time.

This is not unlike what we as souls create for ourselves time and time again. We, souls, are a fun-loving, playful, experimental bunch. Not unlike a child. As beings that have eternity to entertain ourselves, we must create our own entertainment.

Children role-play to experience both sides of their imaginations. One day a group of young boys could be playing cops and robbers and they will experience what it is like to be the robber being shot and killed and the next day being the cop doing the killing. And they are highly creative and have fun with both roles. They go home as friends, having had a great time “just playing”.

Then, sadly, they grow to be adults, and most will lose their playful self to the illusion they themselves created…their grownup lives. All of us without exception create the world we live in. It is simply an illusion that seems so real we find ourselves trapped within it. Only with the help of good friends we have known through countless incarnations can we eventually break free.

Now, what I mean by good friends is this. We as souls attract like-minded beings to play with. These souls are often good friends and family members in your physical incarnations because you all like to play the “cops and robbers” game. One of your best friends may be the one that murders you in this lifetime because that was the experience you both wished to have this time around.

I know what I am proposing may seem blasphemous to many. So be it. Every spiritual master that has walked this earth has been considered a blasphemer in his/her lifetime. Not that I am proposing I am one. I, like you, am no different than them. They simply are more evolved souls trying to tell us to break through the greatest of illusions, that being that we are fatal creatures that die. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are eternal, loving entities on a journey to God-realization.

Having gotten that out of the way the question that remains is how do we go about our daily lives once this realization dawns upon us? This is the tricky part. We are so utterly consumed by this great illusion that all of us will need help from one that has seen behind the curtain.

No, I am not referring to some religious figure. I am talking about a real person or persons in your life that through their example they take you by the hand and expose the illusion for what it is. One that is close to you and demonstrates a love that rises above the pettiness that often shows its ugly face in human encounters. A divine love that touches everyone around them.

If you think hard, I am sure all of you have met someone in your life that fits the bill. A person who rarely has anything bad to say. Easily forgives. Smiles so bright it hurts your eyes. Seems never to be controversial. Makes you grateful just to be in their presence.

I have been fortunate enough to have known several such souls in my life. But none more than the woman I married. For 47 years we spent a wonderful life together until she chose her end to this particular illusion of hers by creatively using dementia as her excuse. Like she did for me every day in our shared world we created she is most likely lighting the way for me towards our next adventure. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for me.

Needless to say, this scenario crushed me. Tore at my very existence. For two weeks I could barely breathe. No, I did not want to breathe. And then, on that fourteenth day, and no doubt with her assistance, I had an awakening. This is MY illusion. This is the role I created. This is what in my make-believe play world I wanted to experience. Now, we can laugh together again at how much fun this adventure has been for us.

Faster than a hummingbird’s wingbeat speaking cosmically, we will again be together, planning our next adventure. But I will insist on perhaps both of us dying together in a crash while flying a glider over the Grand Canyon at sunset. Doesn’t that sound like fun? I know we would both be laughing our asses off.

Lover’s Poem

Image by Pixaby
 When we meet 
 We shall touch the stars
 The little children will laugh at us
 And to each we shall teach love 

 And we’ll float on the soft summer breeze
 I’ll carve our initials in the clouds
 And in a fleeting moment
 That which not tangible shall succumb 

 And our love will become inimitable 

 We’ll explore the silver sum
 And search for the silver man
 And will mix the colors on the palette
 And paint the world 

 Then we’ll say our good-byes
 And no regrets will there be
 Only happy memories we share 
 And our initials in the clouds 

I Never Thought To Ask

Mom and Dad, there are so many things
I never thought to ask
I was busy then trying to answer who am I
Not wondering about the past

Now I find myself in my twilight years
Wishing once again you were still here
Just to come back to the feeling of home
That I’ve missed now for so many years

Time and space seem meaningless in moments
So clear to me now upon reflection
It’s not just your wisdom I yearn for again
It’s your hugs and kisses I shared so many times with you

Dad, I would ask if you were still here with me
What got you through each day while away
In World War II, never having met your newborn boy yet
And how badly you missed mom, the love of your life

And how you managed to glide through life
No matter what came along the way
With an easy grace and a smile on your face
Handshakes and hugs that lit the way

And Mom, I would ask of you
How you got through each day
With dad so far and in harm’s way
While raising your baby boy alone

These and so many things
I never thought to ask
I was busy then creating a life
Not wondering about the past

Both of you set the stage
For me to be the star in a life filled with love
For this my gratitude is limitless
Forever will you be in my heart

I understand that the two you
Were the building blocks that formed
Just who I am, the man I’ve become
It won’t be long now before we meet again