God's joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box. - Rumi
"I got rhythm! Who could ask for anything more?" I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night." "All you need is love, ra-ta-da-ta-da..." "All I ever need is you." "Love is all we need." And on and on...
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nice thoughts," you say, "when you're feeling inspired or romantic. Sweet sentiments when things are sailing your way. Pleasant outlook when you're feeling happy and carefree. But what about when you're hungry? Or out of work? Or sick? Or just went through - or are facing - the death of a loved one? Then, is love really all we need?"
Poets, philosophers, theologians, scriptures and singer-songwriters are not always so Pollyanna as to imply that love, all by itself, will see you through - will take care of all your needs. These artists and guides are clear that pain is real and suffering cannot be denied. But the feeling still shines through again and again from these teachers, that, somehow, love can lead the way to whatever it is that we need.
Maybe our gig on this planet has less to do with getting all we need from life and more to do with receiving and giving what life offers us. Maybe our days might be better spent as a chalice: always being filled and pouring out - rather than as a sports car: always gassing up, trying to get somewhere and look as good as possible in the process.
Not that we can sit on our sweet butts and expect life to carry us through; but there's something to be said for enjoying the rhythm, the sun in the morning, the moon at night and whatever love comes your way.
Howard lives in a Living Cooperative with 13 other folks in Asheville, North Carolina. They live in a 130 year-old Victorian mansion. Each one has his/her own room, but bathrooms, common areas and kitchen are all shared. 2-3 times a week they have dinner together and at each dinner, anyone can offer a "Table Question." It's a great way to involve everyone at the dinner with everyone else. The questions range from, "What did you learn from your last relationship?" to "Which fictional character would you like to meet in person?" to "What movie star would you like to have as a sibling?" The conversations can get pretty excited and often raunchy depending on how much wine is flowing and there is inevitably lots of laughter. Though he admits it's not for everyone, Howard loves Coop Living and is pretty convinced that it can be a life-changer for many.