No More Religion: A Journey of Spirit

No More Religion: A Journey of Spirit

by Deb Speer Claire

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504347846
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 02/26/2016
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.73(d)

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No More Religion

A Journey of Spirit


By Deb Speer Claire

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2016 Deb Speer Claire
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5043-4784-6


CHAPTER 1

Awakening: A New Beginning


    Laying here listening,

    this time
    to the slow rhythm
    of the Atlantic.
    The tide comes in.
    The tide goes out.
    The soft fog of dawn and night
    is burned away
    as the warmth of the sun sparkles
    on the ever-moving water.
    The waves are moving circles
    that are spirals.
    I remember why
    the woman likes to play
    in the water —
    that's where life is,
    and it can be so good.
    I'm on the beach,
    and the warmth of the sun
    feels good
    on my skin,
    in my eyes,
    in my heart,
    and it's real.
    Thank you, God.


    First

    there was a soft gray
    that you could almost see through.
    I saw the ghost image of a crane
    fly past,
    just off shore.
    Then —
    there was hazy light
    coming through space
    from just one direction.
    The small circle of light
    shimmered gently in the sky
    as little shimmers
    danced tenderly
    on the water.
    Blue became apparent
    as bright silver slivers of light
    sparkled and danced
    upon ever-moving gray-blue,
    taupe, and white foamy breakers.
    Looking out into the horizon
    is like looking into the future.
    I wonder what's out there.
    It looks so empty,
    but in truth, it is so full.
    Time is endless
    on the water.
    The rhythm of the tide
    is slow, and steady, and strong.
    I can breathe here
    with the sun on my face
    and the wind in my hair.
    The quiet I seek
    is away from the noise and chaos
    of people.
    The sounds here
    are peace sounds,
    and life-giving and beckoning sounds.
    The sounds there
    are destruction, fear, and hate.
    There are people who give
    and people who take.
    Why can't we all be people
    who live together and share,
    people who care?
    I came here to just be,
    and I am.


    Think pink,

    soft pink,
    a gentle blush of pink,
    pretty pink,
    pink lemonade.
    Pink is for girls?
    My pink ballet slippers,
    Pink Floyd,
    pink, misty moonlight,
    pink flamingoes,
    hot pink.


    I guess I'll have to go

    back out
    into the water
    to play.
    I go to the shore
    to look and see. I
    sit on the beach
    and look out
    at the sea
    Looking out at the horizon
    is like looking out the window
    as other people live,
    and I just wait.
    Time to jump in, my dear.
    Get your feet wet
    again,
    swim free and strong,
    feel, and live.
    Let the wind blow,
    and the sun shine,
    and the storm rage.
    I'll live
    as the rhythm of the breakers
    goes on,
    and night becomes day,
    and days become years,
    and years stretch on forever.
    Where is God?
    Right here
    with me.


    I wish I could paint this,

    but no one can paint what God made
    without limiting it.
    I can only take it in
    to my heart
    into my memory.
    I can only feel it
    and marvel over it.
    I can only breathe it in
    and look further into
    its magnificent beauty.
    I can only let it become
    part of me
    and join it
    in its pulse and time,
    in its journey.
    I am.
    It is.
    We are.
    I will always be
    a part of it.
    It will always be
    a part of me.


    I am a woman

    who sits and looks
    at life
    and waits.
    Dawn is breaking.
    The light is soft.
    The air is gentle.
    The surf is constant.
    The color is quietly integrated.
    The tide comes in and in.
    The light comes closer and stronger,
    revealing more of the beauty,
    more of the dance of the sea
    as it moves,
    driven by the heartbeat
    of the earth.
    Sand and sea,
    water and light,
    wind and fire,
    rain and sunshine —
    the fragrance of living things.
    How beautiful to see it.
    How shall I take it in?
    How shall I be with it?


    The surf isn't foamy

    It's frothy.
    It's frothy and foamy.
    It's peaked and flat.
    It's gray and blue,
    and green and taupe.
    Silver light splatters across it,
    floating and reflecting.
    The sand receives it,
    acquiring the shell gifts it brings,
    along with the driftwood and trash.
    Even the trash
    takes on the identity of the sea
    — salted and sun-kissed,
    bleached and sanded,
    softened,
    gray and pink,
    black and white
    and taupe and rust.
    A gull cries.
    The wind smiles.
    The beach fills with water
    up to the cliffs.
    It's safe on the steps,
    watching,
    but I wonder
    what it would feel like
    to be carried along by the sea,
    floating and swimming,
    playing
    again.


    Swaying to the rhythm

    of the music
    that isn't heard
    but felt,
    Joining in the spiral
    of the tides,
    listening
    as the stillness and the roar
    intertwine and sing
    within me,
    dancing with the sea
    and flying with the gulls,
    taking time
    to be and see life
    around me, life
    within me
    becoming still
    — alive
    within
    as well as
    without.


    And soft Naples yellow

    I never saw it
    until this moment
    — pink and
    lavender,
    neutrals of gray, and taupe,
    and every hue.
    Grays
    that become fragrant, soft blue.
    Grays that become pink,
    scarlet, and orange.
    Grays that become aqua
    and deep sea green,
    taupe and brown, and black
    that deepen in value and form
    when the water joins them.
    A porpoise peaked
    above the crest of a wave
    close to shore.
    I shouted, "Hello!"
    He stayed a moment,
    as if to speak.
    I saw his fin
    awhile later,
    further out to sea
    but still close by.
    A gull came
    to watch me
    eat my turkey sandwich.
    I gave him a bite of bread.
    His friends joined in,
    and they ate the whole loaf
    in the air.
    They didn't even take a seat
    or stay awhile —
    just ate,
    and crapped,
    and left.
    The dawn greeted me
    with a new day
    — and Naples
    yellow and other
    surprises.


    The sea

    is coming in
    to greet me
    and bring me pretty shells
    and stones,
    and driftwood.
    The sun
    is coming out
    to warm me
    and give me a reason
    to smile.
    The smell of the water
    reminds me
    of the days when I was free,
    and strong,
    and young.
    My God — help.
    I've reduced myself
    to adolescence
    again.
    I want.
    I want.
    I want.
    I want to see dawn
    and walk on the beach
    and collect shells.
    I want
    to watch the tide
    come in,
    and I want
    to see it go back out
    and then
    collect shells
    again.
    I want
    a warm cup of coffee,
    and the sun to shine,
    and the soft breeze to blow.
    I want to touch the sand
    with my bare feet,
    and smoke a cigar,
    and paint.
    I want to laugh
    with a friend
    and smile inside
    — all through
    my being.
    I want
    to go fishing
    and swim.
    I want to play!


    I ate chocolate chip cookies

    for breakfast,
    and watched the sun
    come up,
    and listened
    to the peace,
    and the strength,
    and the enduring forever
    of being.


    High tide

    comes in a long way.
    People really mean it
    when they say "high."
    I wonder
    if it will cover the steps
    I'm sitting on.
    If I won't come out
    and play
    when invited,
    the water will come to me
    and insist.


    Okay, so the surf is foamy

    in places.
    It foams.
    It froths
    and sprays.
    It rolls, and trickles,
    and splashes.
    It slithers, and slips,
    and ripples.
    Lines of white march and stroll.
    Waves just keep on coming,
    and coming,
    and coming,
    in
    to embrace the shore.
    They parallel, and arc,
    and overlap.
    They juxtapose themselves
    in never-ending patterns
    and designs
    that even Picasso would take joy in.
    Mark Rothko,
    why didn't you paint
    the sunrise or morning
    of the Atlantic?
    Agnes Martin,
    where is your canvas
    filled with lines
    and planes of color?
    Deb, get busy.
    You may not replicate what is here,
    but you will create
    what it has inspired.
    Paint,
    and be full,
    and remember.


    First

    I thought,
    Oh my
    God! Here it
    comes.
Next,
    I noticed
    how beautiful,
    how wonderful it was.
    Then
    I let go
    and enjoyed the vastness,
    the immenseness,
    of it.
    It had its own pace,
    a life of its own,
    as it came closer and closer.
    At first,
    I was afraid of it,
    and then I was fascinated by it.
    At last, I embraced
    and invited it to me.
    And now I want it to hurry
    and get here.


    Surf's up!

    And I stand strong
    to greet it
    as it rushes in.
    Tall waves gather
    in number
    and in strength,
    swirling past me
    and underneath me
    as I stand
    on the steps
    and marvel, and smile,
    and wait
    expectantly
    for the next
    wonderful surprise.


    I saw a ship

    far out at sea.
    I saw the ship,
    but it didn't see me.
    I'm just a part
    of the bigger picture.
    The ship is big,
    and I am small,
    but I am here,
    whether the ship noticed
    at all.
    I don't need
    the ship
    to see me,
    but it was nice
    for me
    to see
    the ship.


    Where is God

    in all of this
    beauty and grandeur,
    power and light?
    Howard always wants to know,
    Where is God?
    The answer is this
    —
    God is
    reflected
    in every atom,
    in every sense,
    in every sparkle,
    in every movement,
    and in every moment.
    Where is God?
    Where is God not?
    The earth is God's heart,
    embracing us.
    Love is God's grace,
    inviting us
    to live.
    The sea is God's joy,
    entreating us
    to play.
    The light reveals the beauty
    that is within
    everything
    God created.
    The wind touches us.
    It comforts
    and expresses
    the great power
    of God,
    which can be
    so gentle.
    God is present,
    and there is peace.
    How can there be
    such peace
    in the midst of this roar
    of ocean waves
    and wind?
    But there is.
    I must take it
    with me —
    this silence,
    this calm,
    this wholeness,
    and this sense of being
    part of God's beauty.
    I can see it
    because I am
    immersed within it.
    I am part of it,
    surrounded by it,
    and touched within
    by its grandeur.
    Would it still be
    if I weren't here
    to see?
    Yes,
    but I am here
    and so is God
    and so is
    this wonderful peace.


    It's clean here,

    and the sun is shining
    even when it's overcast.
    I can see
    to walk
    through the house
    at night
    without a light on.
    The sun must be shining
    even at night.
    How can that be
    that the sun could shine
    at night?
    It must be
    that the sun has begun to shine
    within me
    and leaks out.


    I'm going to get wet,

    I just know it.
    The surf comes right up to me,
    shouting, "Come on and play!"
    "I can't," I reply.
    "It's too cold!
    A fish might eat me!
    I might not be strong enough
    to swim
    anymore.
    I'll ruin my pink sweater." The
    surf comes right up to me,
    shouting, "Come and play!
    Remember?
    Aren't you the woman
    who likes to play
    in the water?"
    It's true.
    I am,
    but it's too cold.
    I'll wait
    until it's safe,
    and then I'll play
    "I'm coming, surf.
    Soon!
    Be patient.
    See?
    I'm wet already!"


    Where the hell is a man

    to share this with,
    to walk with,
    to lie naked beside
    in the afternoon?
    When Adam looked around
    at all the wonderfulness of creation,
    he was alone.
    Alone with God
    is a wonderful place
    to be.
    Alone with a mate
    is a wonderful way
    to be.
    That space in me
    is empty
    because I closed the door,
    but now I see
    that the empty place in me
    yearns to be
    filled
    with life and love.
    I want to share my life
    — who I am
    and what I feel —
    with another human being
    who's part of me.
    Did Adam look at you, Lord,
    and ask,
    "Where's the other part of me?"
    And then the day came
    that I understood
    that the other part of me
    wasn't someone else.
    The other part of me was me,
    and I knew
    that I could be
    whole
    and that I could be at peace
    in my soul
    and then
    share the life I have
    — the me I am
    —
    with others.


    Think

    Ponder.
    Imagine.
    Reflect.
    Relax.
    Live. Breathe.
    There's room.
    It's safe.
    Feel the smile?
    Do you?
    It's there.
    Relax —
    breathe deep.
    All you really have to do
    is breathe,
    and you do that
    anyway
    without writing it down
    in your appointment book.
    There it is —
    Naples yellow,
    gray and white,
    rolling over soft taupe,
    a whisper of blue,
    and the call of a gull.
    Feel the smile?
    Do you?
    It's there.
    Relax —
    breathe deep
    enjoy it.


    A full-throated laugh

    is a curious thing.
    It springs
    from your ankles
    and gathers up steam
    as it zooms
    past your stomach
    and fills your lungs,
    breaks forth
    into cackle
    that ignites fun.
    It comes from within —
    a marvelous thing.
    It tremors the being
    and touches the wind.
    It echoes
    and, most times,
    accompanies a shiver
    of pure delight.
    A full-throated laugh
    is a song
    of praise.


    It's late.

    The bed is warm,
    and I am tired.
    It's a good tired.
    The day was filled
    with laughter
    and fun,
    sharing and quiet.
    I watched day dawn
    and the tide come in.
    I wore my favorite pink sweater
    and ate shrimp.
    I wrote, and painted,
    and read.
    There was a sad movie on TV.
    The sunset was red,
    orange, and lavender,
    and the night sky
    is now filled
    with stars.
    It was an ordinary day,
    but not for me;
    for me, it was
    a wonderful day!


    The sun is Naples yellow

    and silver —
    warm,
    embracing,
    comforting,
    soothing my skin
    and underneath.
    Baking in life,
    somehow,
    as the warmth outside
    comes in,
    cuddles up,
    and stays.
    The oil helps
    to soothe and comfort.
    Rest,
    true rest,
    comes to me
    as sun, and oil, and time
    combine
    to soothe and soften
    the harshness
    of the world,
    as body
    returns to earth
    and earth
    becomes part of the body.
    My muscles relax.
    Surf rocks the shore.
    There is a wrinkle in time,
    and I am at rest
    among sun, and wind,
    and water,
    the smell of seaweed,
    and sun's bleach.
    Time is endless —
    no alarm
    or ticking
    —
    only the steady rhythm
    of now.


    It's the same moon

    here —
    the same wind,
    the same sky,
    the same me,
    the same why —
    but
    the why
    has grown smaller,
    and the me
    has grown calm,
    a new way
    to see
    and remember.
    There's always beauty
    and splendor
    if the eye of the beholder
    is able
    to detect it.
    The same moon is here —
    the same sky
    and wind,
    the same me —
    no matter where I am.
    Are beginnings
    always so empty
    and quiet?
    I'm going on,
    but I haven't stopped
    being a mom
    or the young woman
    who hoped
    for something
    better
    for myself —
    for a family
    to love
    and be in love with.
    This beginning is sad
    because it marks the end
    of the life that was,
    and I wanted it
    so much —
    and now,
    a vacation I'd hoped for,
    yearned for,
    planned,
    and finally
    took!
    Four wonderful days
    in the sun
    on the shore —
    a breath of spring
    in the midst of winter,
    a gift!

CHAPTER 2

    Growing Places

    Tired


    weighs heavy
    on my frame,
    pressing down
    slowing my synapses,
    dulling my senses,
    corroding my thoughts, and
    robbing my heart
    of compassion.
    The inner critic
    gives voice
    to the old recordings
    and old lies
    that I thought
    had been replaced
    permanently
    with truth.
    They still try.
    Interesting.
    Truth prevails,
    and the lies
    are silenced
    with no power to
    drag me down
    into the dark abyss.
    Weariness of body and mind
    grays my vision
    and slows my pace.
    My parts are quiet
    and at rest,
    still safe
    from any harm.
    I will not ignore my needs
    and go on.
    I will plod ahead
    and finish my list
    with grace and patience
    for my body
    and my being.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from No More Religion by Deb Speer Claire. Copyright © 2016 Deb Speer Claire. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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No More Religion: A Journey of Spirit 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Inspiration and beautiful imagery