Soul Music

Soul Music

Copyright 2017 Don Ray
While watching an amazing piano concerto performance by John Nakamatsu.
As I watch the extreme facial and body language and contortions, and marvel at the physical training and skills of these artists, it strikes me how ridiculous the whole thing is. To train the human body to this extreme level, to concoct such bizarre contraptions of wood and string and metal, all in the effort to communicate from one soul to another…….this scene and countless others like it through the ages give powerful testimony to a profound and fundamental truth. Continue reading “Soul Music”


Our Actions: Coerced, compelled, and chosen

Our Actions: Coerced; Compelled; Chosen

Copyright 2017 Don Ray
The answers are all right before us. The structure of existence, the nature of our being, the summary of purpose and meaning, it is all right before us.
Look just a little deeper, just a little deeper.

Gently peel away the worldly façade and recognize what is really transpiring in most of our human endeavors.

Everything we do falls into a few categories. 1) We do that which we think facilitates our survival-security-and comfort. 2) We do that which connects us to something or someone. 3) We do that which is irrationally loving. Continue reading “Our Actions: Coerced, compelled, and chosen”

Bridges of Sound and Light

Bridges of Sound and Light

Copyright 2017 Don Ray

Sound and light, this stuff that serves as the tenuous connection among souls, this flimsy bridge we struggle to refine and craft and carve and polish, then call it “art”.

Sound and light, fleeting and gone in the very moment we perceive them, but imparting some miniscule fraction of another’s soul into our consciousness, thereby making us conscious of our own soul.

The composers and musicians and painters and poets are the spiritual corps of engineers, fabricating their structures to bridge the void between our souls.

Music can shine a light, paintings can stir rhythms, and we are left more human by their touch.

The palette of notes and the chords of colors hover before our consciousness, inviting us to awareness, momentarily filling the void between us, revealing visions and dreams and aspirations shared, their fading echoes and receding glow leaving us a little less alone.      Copyright 2017 Don Ray…….share


The Scrum of Our Beliefs

Copyright 2017 Don Ray

Inter-human interactions…..

no experience comes closer to knowing God.

No experience can so promptly and radically drive us away from all that is holy.

We may see God in those interactions if we have already made God’s acquaintance. 

We may in those inter-human interactions see the reason for hell. 

There, in the grip of the handshake or the blow of the fist, we will feel whatever of God is within us and will sense the Void only God can fill.

In our interactions with and responses to our fellow humanity we will experience the breadth of goodness and the depths of evil. 

It is there, there in the interactions with our fellow children of God, that the questions of the ages will arise and the contradictory answers will be lost.

There, there in the confusion and conflict of the scrum of our beliefs, we find our redemption and salvation in the ample opportunities for compassion and forgiveness.

Copyright 2017 Don Ray

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The Death of Personal Growth

Copyright 2017 Don Ray

Prodding people to personal growth.  Now there is a thankless task!…and often as not a hopeless task.

Yet the growth happens, by confluence of pain and shock and disruption, somehow the personal growth happens.

We survive.  We go on, blindly of course.  And somehow personal growth happens.

Not for everyone, not smoothly, not predictably, and certainly not voluntarily.

How simple it should be!  Simply be open to wisdom, seek and absorb all the wisdom you can, objectively weigh conflicting claims, and ferret out the wheat from the chaff. 

Expose one’s self to challenges and new circumstances.  Invite criticism.  Learn at every opportunity.  Think critically.  Personal growth should be so easy! Continue reading “The Death of Personal Growth”

Unlocked Door of our Solitary Confinement

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Where am I in all this writing?  I fear I am at the center.

How does one take the little self out of the center of one’s thoughts? 

Obviously one must fill the consciousness with something else.

Consciousness will role on, will incessantly fill the mind, thoughts and ideas and perspectives and imaginations and dreams and views will flow and fill and overflow. Continue reading “Unlocked Door of our Solitary Confinement”


Copyright 2016 Don Ray


person to person,


oft unseen.


Do not pretend you have no role.

Do not pretend every word does not matter.


The speeches and grandiose proclamations may not matter,

for they are of the world, for the world, in the world.


But a word, a gesture, an attitude, an expression,

the countless ways that your soul is nakedly revealed,

there is the influence.


Persona and policies are transient and ephemeral.

But the touch cold or warm,

the word cruel or caring,

there your life loudly echoes through eternity.


Your influence,

seen in a little child’s eyes

made brighter or dimmer

in the wake of your passing.


Copyright 2016 Don Ray

If touched or inspired, please pass it on.