# 42 The Energy of Love

We may be getting older and losing some of our energy. But there is something about the energy of love we need to remember. Let me tell you a story about my friend Bob from several years ago.

There is no practical rationalization of Bob and his provision of firewood to me. There are many people in life that we may know that are acquaintances. But there are precious few that are truly friends.

Over a period of ten years both Bob and I were in financial difficulty, each for our own circumstances. At that time I was living on Quaker Hill, upstate New York. Knowing that I was continually short of hard cash, Bob took on the assignment to gather cut, split, deliver and stack up firewood for me to use in my wood stove. He did this as a gift to me. The firewood saved me megabucks in fuel oil. I do not know how I would have avoided possible bankruptcy without his gift of firewood.

But Bob was an old geezer like me. He could not move too swiftly anymore, especially on the very physical tasks of dragging logs out of the woods and making firewood. There were a lot of young bucks in our area that had all sorts of equipment and lots of energy and make a living providing economical firewood for country folk like us. Even so, I would not have been able to afford their prices. On the other hand, Bob took about four times as long to deliver a cord of wood, and the effort he put into it was almost certainly ten times that of a commercial woodman.

What’s the wood worth that Bob gave me?

What’s it worth? The wood is nothing! Sure, I appreciated the wood, but it was the loving kindness of his gift that mattered. He struggled day after day to get the wood to me. That is something nobody can pay for! It came from his heart. It is priceless!

Now, what did I have after I burned up the wood? Not just ashes. There was something else remaining from Bob’s loving kindness. Something that did not burn up with the wood.  You can’t see it or touch it.

There is a quotation from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery where the Fox tells the Prince, “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Bob’s thoughts of loving kindness began somewhere, were in our here and now for a moment, and then went somewhere that has no space or time. They are forever. The thoughts have in fact been multiplied. They were good when he had these thoughts, but when I received the gift of them and the wood, they were multiplied. I had thoughts of loving kindness myself.

And now I pass them on to you, my Biddies and Geezers. By your deeds you can pass them on. Multiplied.

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

 

 

# 43 The Silent Zone

Just barely audible from this sanctuary of silence I am in is the tolling of the bell of the venerable old United First Parish Church United, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Quincy, Massachusetts established in 1639. It was the church of the presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

My silent sanctuary is housed in an architecturally delightful annex of the Thomas Crane Library. It’s an awesome space and today is peopled only by me and three other studious souls plus a mousy librarian. At present she is the only source of sound as she sorts a few catalogue cards as silently as she can.

It’s not that the regular space of the library is noisy. It’s busy but not noisy. The entire library is a respite from the cacophony of the modern world. But the strictly enforced silence of this sanctuary allows for the whisper of the soul of the universe to be heard by enquiring minds … and put on paper or quietly typed into a laptop. I write these thoughts intercepted from that whisper into my black-marbled composition book longhand. My scribbling is barely audible and does not disturb the few other great thinkers in this cavernous room.

Having set the scene for you and wondering with great anticipation what Great Revolutionary Thought the universe will send me to copy into my composition book … and eventually publish on-line to an eager world on Amazon to the wonder, amazement, and praise of readers around the world?

But as the hour approaches noon, my body inquires of my musing mind, “What shall I do for lunch?”

Leaving the greater question for a moment my attention considers the options. There are a few restaurants reasonably close to the library as well as “Billy’s Café in the library itself. Or I could pack it all in and take a bus to my apartment and enjoy left-over shepherd’s pie with a glass of red wine.

For a few moments, aided by the silence of my surroundings, I wonder if there is a decision strategy to assist me in this important selection of the path of my immediate future. This must be a query that others face regularly and would benefit from the wisdom that could be whispered to me from the silent universe accessed by this Silent Zone. I could just quickly scribble it in my composition book and publish it after I have slaked the inconvenient hunger of my body.

For a moment I interrupt this train of thought. A profound realization overwhelms my mind. It is only in such a silent sanctuary as I currently inhabit could I contemplate, with seriousness, the consequences of the decision of where to eat. And, oh yes, “when”; this was the additional question my bodily instincts were sending to my brain in an almost audible stream of consciousness.

And then, whispered out of the sacred silence, and sorted from the medley of choices, was the refreshing fact, The Townsend Café’ was the closest place where I could get a glass of red wine with my lunch.

And so, I close my composition book. I give thanks for the Silent Zone where such vital life decisions may be made.

I’m out to lunch.

 

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

 

 

 

# 41 Unconditional Love

Hey Biddies and Geezers, practice unconditional love and you can fix your life and be part of fixing the entire world. Really!

14 years ago as a 72 year old geezer I wrote “Welcome’s Today: a tale of unconditional love and quantum physics.” I just read it again and I am amazed how much of it is coming true. Part of the story is how unconditional love will transform the middle east by the power of God’s love.

But also … how God’s Love is explained by science, especially the science of quantum physics.

And all of this is cast in the relationship of a guy and his remarkable cat.

Like cats? Like science? Wonder about love? And Life? Spend a little time and read my book. It’s available on Amazon Kindle as an ebook and an audiobook. Click the link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006FKS4ES

# 40 God Laughs

God laughs!

Didn’t anyone tell you? He laughed. He will laugh and he is laughing now. He laughs victoriously because he always wins. It’s a joy!

Who told you that God is angry? Did that person want something from you? Could they get God to smile on you?

The time has come to spread the Good News. God laughs and wants you to laugh and be in joy with Him. (With Him in you.) For that reason I have begun writing a new book, “God Laughs: God in Us.” It will take about a year to write it. Maybe I will post some completed chapters on this blog during the year.

Some may remember the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept.” How could that be when “God Laughs?” watch this space for my blogs and you will get the simple answer.

Also check Kindle online for my books. Click on:

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

# 34 Anger

Anger! ‘

My friend Pam was suddenly bedeviled several days with Anger. She had no idea what caused it. Or what she was angry about. She just was. So she called me on her phone just to vent. That was healthy. She is a Biddy and she lives alone. But she works and was so upset that she seriously considered calling in sick for a couple of days because of her distress.

After we talked for a while she suggested that I write a blog about anger that sometimes affects us Biddies and Geezers. So here we go.

Actually there is a lot of anger going on in all age levels of our society right now. Not good. Anger can cripple the physical and mental health of people no matter their age. Strong emotions stir up hormones and can be devastating to our well-being. So … what to do about it? What about me?

I must be doing something right because I am not (at the moment) infected with fear or anger or anxiety.

Typical “First Aid” remedies for people fending off the attacks of these emotions are comfort food, booze, or maybe a joint. But these are destructive in the long term. Pam’s reaction of venting to a non-judgmental friend was a healthier solution. (Although I suspect Pam enjoyed a glass of wine after she talked with me. There are people who are pushing for spirits to have a warning label: Warning: consuming two or three glasses of this beverage increases your risk of not giving a shit.)

I confess that I have momentary bouts of anger, or anxiety. But I have come to believe there are two practices that prevent chronic damage. I spend about 40 minutes exercising each day. This has a cleansing effect on my body and my mind. And the second? I try to do some good deed for another person every day. This can be as simple as giving someone my seat on the bus or subway. But it gives me a good feeling. It is healing for me.

Will there ideas work for you? I guarantee it! If they don’t I will cheerfully refund your misery.

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page:

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

 

 

#35 Starting Over: The Decision

In the wee hours of the morning I made the decision. I’m going to start my life over. Reboot. Seems to help my computer and has helped me before.

Start over at 85?  Shouldn’t I just concentrate on putting my affairs in order and just die? No way!

“Putting my Affairs in order?” In order for what? I’ll tell you what I need to do. Change what is not working and start over. Another part of my  Decision is to write some of these things down and pass them along to you, my reader. Hey, some day you may decide not to accept where your life is heading. So this is a log (blog?) of what is working for me. So here we go!

I’m sitting on a pillow thrown over a folding chair in front of my sliding glass doors. I have a view of the Boston skyline and Fore River. I’m writing in a black marble composition book propped on a high wooden stool. Writing with a blue Bic pen. Simple.

And I have closed down my mind to only the thoughts and sensations of the very moment. Unplugged from the past or the future. The future waits for my command. I say, “I’m happy!”

And my mind sends signals that send happy juices throughout my body. Healing has begun.

Now I stimulate myself with a cuppa coffee. Instan with milk and sugar.and I think, “Doug … something must be wrong with you that you want to start life over.” And you may wonder if I am going to tell you.

Not going to happen. But I will say this. Back in the day, many years ago, I worked for a few years at Guideposts, founded by Norman Vincent Peale. Norman changed the world. Transformed the lives of many people from sadness and misery to joy and fulfilment. Norman wrote a book and taught many sermons on “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

Change your thinking and change your life.  Like the old song says:

You gotta accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
An’ latch on
To the affirmative
Don’t mess with mister in-between!

You gotta spread joy up to the maximum,
Bring gloom down to the minimum,
An’ have faith (amen!)
Or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene.

Listen to the once famous Bing Crosby sing it:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=sfp-yff17&p=accentuate+the+positive+lyrics#id=3&vid=9b5ebe50a0c345464e6ca07462af4312&action=click

So … that’s my decision. And I will tell you more of the adventures in the following blogs.

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 See my little piece on living in the moment:

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=B075RCXVVY&index=default

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#33 My Lobster Roll Lament

I was about to write a blog critical of the viral outbreaks of ANGER  that are sweeping across our culture. I wanted to warn Biddies and Geezers that it is totally unhealthy and will shorten your life to let your organs be subjected to the bad juices that are generated by anger. For some cause.

Then it happened to me. Tell me. Is this a just cause to inflame the world and have demonstrations? It goes like this.

There are two classic ways to make lobster rolls: the Maine way with mayonnaise and the Connecticut way with lemon and melted butter. Either way, the locally caught lobster is always be the star. In a sit-down restaurant $20 is about what you would pay for this bit of New England gastronomic pleasure. I love them.

One or two years ago McD’s put them on the menu for just under $9. And they were delish. But they were only on the menu for a few weeks around the 4th of July. Several times last year I trekked from my Quincy apartment to Boston South Station to enjoy a lobster roll. On the Internet this year I read they had them again, so I took the T to South Station to get one.

Bummer. Not on menu any more only a few days after the 4th of July. Now, here is my question to you! Give me feed-back. Comment!

Is this a cause worthy to go viral with demonstrations? Regardless of the damage the anger does to our bodies? Is this cause any less worthy than others being demonstrated?

You decide.

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

#2 Measure Twice

Good Morning my Biddie and Geezer friends and followers. Sometimes the best thing to do is to do NOTHING!

I successfully managed to do nothing on an issue. I am very pleased with myself. For many years of my life, before I became a Geezer, my discipline was, “Just Do It!” And much of my life got done effectively … sometimes at a cost.

Now that I’m a Geezer, I need a different philosophy. Carpenters and dressmakers often quote the slogan, “Measure twice; cut once!” With the help of my friend Pam, I applied that to one of my relationships.

COUPLE ON BEACH #2

Something occurred in one of my relationships. You don’t need to know exactly except it was a bit traumatic for me. I was ready to “do something.” Fortunately, I decided to tell my friend Pam about the situation. Her advice? DO NOTHING. She said, “Do nothing and in a few days it will be as if it never happened. And your relationship will go on.”

So … repressing my life-long discipline of fixing everything RIGHT NOW by JUST DOING SOMETHING, I decided to wait. Acting right away would be like cutting a board after measuring only once. Maybe an irreversible error. I did nothing.

Two weeks later I discovered that not only was my “measurement” of the situation completely incorrect, but the board did not need cutting at all. My first measurement was completely wrong.

Now, there is one more ingredient to the story. Where I got it right. During the two weeks I lived my life “In the Moment” without thoughts of the situation that prompted me to want to “cut the board.” Thank you Pam.

So this is a blog about second chances … but giving yourself a second chance before you screw up. There is a story I wrote about a second chance after you screw up It’s Pentimento: A Second Chance at Love

pentimento ,noun,

Painting, the presence, or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.

Read it at:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0725FTXGB

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https://www.amazon.com/Doug%20Olsen/e/B006QUVNC2/ref=la_B006QUVNC2_pg_2?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_82%3AB006QUVNC2&page=2&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&ie=UTF8&qid=1459797571

 

 

 

 

 

# 29 Living Simply

Living simply is essential for my creativity to flourish. My 1 bedroom apartment in Quincy is as bare as a cave. I have learned that for me … Clutter is the Killer of Creativity. My friend Lynette lives in a “nest” filled with “things.”

I just returned from a visit to my friend Lynette. She lives in a 1 bedroom apartment is Riverside, Rhode Island. It’s near Providence. The plan was for me to come down on the train that arrived about noon. She would collect me at the Providence station. We would drive to her place, have a simple meal, and I would catch a late-afternoon train back to Boston and then the MBTA, (we call it the “T”), back home. Didn’t happen.

Here’s what went down:

We started out great. Just as I emerged from the station lobby, Lynette drove up. I climbed in the car, gave her a kiss and we drove off to Riverside, about 15 minutes away. Then, within minutes, we were savoring complex gastronomic pleasures from earthy food and wine. Simply prepared but knowledgeably selected. Lynette does THAT simple well.

The food? Steamer clams boiled in a broth of beer, garlic, onions, and celery. Also a pasta salad made with mayo, celery, and onions. And hot dogs on buns with mustard and sauerkraut or chili peppers. And then a white wine, an Italian Pinto Grigio that complemented all the flavors and crowned the simple feast as a meal for royalty. Simple, inexpensive, yet superlative.

Lynette and I each shared our recent events. It was healing for both of us. Then it was time for me to begin my return journey. Lynette checked the radio for the traffic report. Bummer! The highway was a parking lot. Trying to get me back to the train would destroy all of the good feeling our simple visit had generated.

“Why not stay the night?” she asked, “I’ll take you to the train on my way to work at 10 am tomorrow. There will be no traffic.” I agreed, intending to write in the living room while Lynette watched her soaps and slept in her bedroom. Didn’t work. The sound of the TV soaps drifted out of the bedroom and my eye roamed around viewing the clutter of her nest. No creative thoughts. I finally lay my head down on the couch and slept until it was time to get up and return to Quincy.

Back in my clutterless cave I am writing up a storm. Again. But I realize this because of my visit to Lynette. During our simple meal, the clutter of my mind had been cleared and swept clean. Creativity flourished.

Thank you, Lynette.

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

# 26 How to Change the World

I was feeling a little down. I write my little books and stories hoping they will bring some enjoyment to the readers. Make their day a little brighter. And I have gotten some good comments back from some readers. But I wish a lot more of the world would read them. Was feeling a little blue … but then I remembered a hymn we used to sing … with enthusiasm … in my Sunday School. It was written by Ina D. Ogden in 1913. Ear­ly in her life, Og­don had hoped to preach on the Chau­tau­qua cir­cuit. How­ev­er, her fa­ther’s ill­ness forced her to aban­don her plans for an evan­gel­is­tic ca­reer, in or­der to care for him at home. She wrote these en­cour­ag­ing words show­ing how one can serve the Lord in ma­ny dif­fer­ent ways and cir­cum­stanc­es. In other words, make the best of where you find your­self.

Here are the lyrics:

  1. Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar;
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

    • Refrain:
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
      Brighten the corner where you are!
  2. Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
    Let not narrow self your way debar;
    Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
  3. Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

Now the facts. That little song has been recorded and sung by Ela Fitzgerald, Burl Ives, and other famous groups and changed the world of many people. And the idea is still true.

Don’t fret the many, many people who are trying to change the world by making other people miserable with violent demonstration. You and I can with a kind wor or a small act Brighten the Corner Where We Are and the brightness can spread around the world.

You are important. A little piece I wrote about how important you are is It’s All About you: :

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789RYLJR

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

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