Our world is full of incongruities.  The good and the evil, love and hate, benevolent and malevolent, wonderful and mundane... exist side by side.  So much so that it seems the natural order of things.  Philosophers have built philosophies around it (Yin/Yang).  I have heard people say you have to know pain in order to appreciate pleasure.  But is it really the natural order of things? This idea that good and bad create a natural balance to life.  I don't agree.  I'm not saying that good and bad don't exists side by side in our world, like a schizophrenic patient.  I'm saying it's not natural.  It is incongruous with higher thought.  Who (let's use the expression) in their "right" mind wants to be beaten or raped, robbed or slandered?  Who wants their house destroyed by earthquake, flood or hurricane?  Who wants raw sewerage or petro-chemicals dumped into their drinking water?  Who wants their neighbor's dog to poop on their lawn?  Who in their right mind?

The poem: Here I Sit is just me in a moment of sensing the incongruity of our existence.  A moment that happens often to me while enjoying peace and quiet reflection--that itself is perhaps an incongruity. The poem also captures that all-to-prevalent feeling that there is nothing to be done about it.

As humans we have an obligation to act in harmony with our ability to love, to care, to feel and to think.  There are things we can do, things we can change as individuals and as like-minded groups of individuals.  But I believe this incongruity that shapes our current world is the result of a breach with the Higher Power that designed and built our universe.  While we can and should act in harmony with our abilities as humans, the natural order of things that we crave (peace, love, harmony, security), can only be restored by that Higher Power (we call him by many names, God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah).  The only question is when.

Here's the poem:

Here I sit
In my red leather chair
With matching ottoman
My feet up, resting
At ease, my stomach full
Looking out my sunroom windows
At springtime
Life blossoming
The lilacs are putting out leaves
The forsythia glorious in yellow
The azaleas resplendent in purple
The tulips flowering
The two lips kissing (me and June)

Here I sit
Surrounded by all this beauty
Immersed in all this pleasure
And yet, I know of pain
Of suffering
Of people living:
With prejudice
With hatred, for and against
With discrimination
With decease
With sorrow
With anxiety
With poverty
With loneliness
With fear
Two worlds that overlap
In stark incongruity

It hurts me
It bothers me
It shouldn’t be this way
And yet,
Here I sit.

The Power of Imagery

My wife and I recently spent a week in Barbados W.I. on vacation. We stayed in an Airbnb up on a hill overlooking the Caribbean.  We were a five minute walk to the beach.  Just a great location.  We spent plenty of time on the beach and enjoying the warm, clear waters off the west coast of Barbados.

We rented a car for the week as I wanted to self-tour the island. One of our stops was right in the middle of the island, a tropical garden called Hunte's Gardens.  It's a privately owned estate lovingly cared for by its owner Anthony Hunte.  You walk through carefully (artfully really) crafted walk ways that wind their way through the gardens.  Each little section of the gardens has a sitting area with a unique perspective on some part of the gardens.  It was well worth the entrance fee.  If you're ever in Barbados, make a point of touring the gardens, you won't be disappointed.

The day we were there was partly cloudy with occasional periods of rain and sun.  Made for a steamy experience I'll tell you.  The gardens has dozens of huge stately queen palms.  In one section there was a cluster of several where I stood, looked up at the grey sky above through the palm fronds and took the picture you seen below.  As usual, the picture doesn't do the sight justice.

While at the gardens, I wrote a Haiku to memorialize the visit and shared it with Anthony while visiting with him in his open-air home (which is part of the experience for visitors).  You can get a local beer or sample some finely aged rum (it is Barbados after all).

Shortly after we returned home, I was looking at the pictures we took on vacation and came across this shot of the palms.  It inspired this poem called Palms and Psalms:

There is something soothing about palms.
They bend in the wind, but rarely break.
They decorate the sky with their fronds.
They were laid on the ground for Jesus' sake.
I read in the bible, in the Psalms:
the righteous will flourish like a palm tree
I now understand what the Psalmist means,
For today I looked up, and simply felt free.


Hunte's Gardens Barbados W.I.