Running Away Was Not an Option

Miller and Debbie Harrell, Running Away Was Not an Option

MAD Hippies Life, Memories, Running Away Was Not an OptionKeepsakes, Family Photos, PolaroidsDid we both want to run at first sight? You bet ya! But it was too late. We both agree that we would have rather never met one another than be given a chance to walk away. Simply put, running away was not an option.

A recent conversation revealed another common feeling both of us had many years ago when we first met. Though perhaps somewhat counter to the way we were really feeling about each other then, and now, it spells out how deeply both of us feel for one another. Funny how we’ve been together 35 years and still keep learning new things about each other. A feeling we both share was that running away was not an option!

Was it love at first sight? Yes, and no. While we would both tell you, when we first met there was an immediate chemistry, we would also tell you it was the last thing on our minds.

Prior to our meeting we both felt a longing for something, yet unaware of what that something was but have come to realize it was a piece of one another’s soul. The honest side of the story that has come to the surface of late, neither one of us wanted to be in a relationship, nor were we looking for one. We were content to be alone, not wanting to partake in the often awkward human practice of dating or wanting to engage in the vulnerability of getting into a relationship.

As it were, and by a chance meeting, we did find one another and so began the history of us, MAD.

Did we both want to run at first sight? You bet ya! But it was too late. We both agree that we would have rather never met one another than be given a chance to walk away. Simply put, running away was not an option!

Over the years we have come to understand more fully what took place and how it would shape both of our lives, rather, shape our life together. You see, if either one of us were asked to talk about our fondest memory it would always contain “us” rather than a separate event apart from the other. It has always been us and will always be us when it comes to memories, time, togetherness, life.

Perhaps not for everyone, but given the chance, we would spend every breathing moment together. Unfortunately the bills have to be paid, and thus time is “stolen” from us during the work week. Needless to say a good data package with our smartphone provider is a must!

We do not need personal space. We don’t want separation in any form. Our memories, experiences and life together encompass all things from the mundane to the life altering. We would not want it any other way.

Looking back it has always been us. Looking forward it will always be us. When we are gone, our children, their childen and beyond will speak about us. The bottom line and truth about us from the beginning has been, MAD. Running away was not an option!

Peace,

MAD

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Between the Lines

Between the LinesHave you ever just sat back and considered the detail of your life? Have you ever tried to read between the lines? No doubt if you have you’ve seen many coincidences that have made you think about your life all the more.

There’s no secret that we tend to filter everything through the mystical, hence we tend to read between the lines. Though we’re not overtly religious, and would probably be deemed irreligious, there’s more to the story than face value. Yes, there is a G-d. Yes, there is an intelligent design to the cosmos. No, we don’t feel a four-walled organized religion is the way to go [for us].

There are many aspects to all religions that seem to have the fingerprint of a moral compass, and that’s a good thing, they also seem to have man driven ideologies that can equally impact in a negative way. We listen, observe and consider, from a distance. For us it’s the mystical observations found in between the lines.

Of late we have been looking at patterns, physically and spiritually, that would give us further insight into our relationship. Why, you ask? Well, if we had to explain it would come in the notion that we do accept that our relationship is almost too good to be true. Not that we’re complaining. But, it just doesn’t seem to be the norm. Allow us to explain through our observations from a somewhat eclectic approach.

Spirituality, mysticism, astrology, kabbalism and numerology all seem to get a bad rap from the naysayers. Relating them all in the same mind set on the other hand can be quite a mouthful full of complexities that take time to evaluate, understand and even accept. That being said, pull up a chair and be patient.

In Judaism there is a practice of reading through the Torah [Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers] each year, the cycle repeating each year thereafter. In a nut shell, each day of the entire year has a corresponding assigned portion to read. As well, the Psalms are also read alongside in like fashion. If one approached this from a rote mentality there would be a likelihood of missing out on a deep spiritual impact.

Here is where we get off the religious wagon and walk down the path less traveled. We have approached this same reading schedule with an interesting question. Is there something between the lines here, something that somehow corresponds to us, say a major life event as the day we were born or were married? We think so. For the purpose of this writing we’ll focus on our marriage.

We were married on March 27, 1984, that being the Gregorian calendar. On the Jewish calendar, Adar ll 23, 5744. It was a waning moon, three days before the new moon. The Torah portion for the day we were married was Par Tazria, or Leviticus 13:18 – 13:23. At first glance this just seems like some Jewish religious practice. And while that is true, there’s more to it. Just reading those  passages alone probably won’t tell you much either, unless you’re into leprosy and how it was dealt with in the Torah. Not a popular topic to say the least.

However, once we begin to read between the lines, a rather interesting pattern begins to emerge that has much more to say than dealing with a disease. Looking at the letters, words and phrases, in the Hebrew alphabet, has enough to chew on for several lifetimes. Hell, the numerology, or gematria, itself is perplexing. To simplify, if that were so, we’ll focus on the “hidden” content.

A bit of history about us. When we first me, even before that, and soon thereafter, we were already questioning everything. We trusted no one. Sure, we were fragile teenagers dealing with our own issues. A relationship is not something we wanted or were looking for. But it happened. It wasn’t long before we figured out we were both in the same boat and that we both felt familiar to each other. We both wanted away from the world and to be left alone. We needed a fresh start from the norm.

Back to the Torah portion. Examining the afflicted person, “The Kohen shall look at it, and behold – the affliction has changed to white, the Kohen shall declare the affliction pure; it is pure.” (Leviticus 13:17). The color white has long been understood as meaning, clean and pure. Even in cultural memes, white is used in many ways to designate something good, holy and undefiled. The idea of becoming pure, clean, moreover, the moment just before becoming pure and clean occurs, is a notion found in between the lines in that this would be the time the Messiah would come, at the climax of the greatest intensity. This would be the unveiling moment when destiny is revealed.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a) describes the Messiah as coming only after the governments of the world become totally heretical, come to a climax. Again in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a), it speaks of the generation when the Messiah will come, “a totally deserving, or totally guilty” generation. A generation at its climax.

Our point being, we were at a climax in our lives. The intrigue is that the Torah portion is associated with the day of our marriage when we were at the apex of change and went a whole new direction in our lives with the energy of change, the same energy the Torah speaks of. Thirty-four (at the time of this writing) years later we are still moving forward in that energy, still connected to each other, if not more, than ever before. There is something to be said about destiny, connectivity and the energy that binds it together. Understanding such evidence is not necessarily vital, but sure does help us understand just what our lives are about and how our unique relationship has had an impact on us.

If that were not enough, interestingly, on the day of both of our births the Torah portions for those days also describe new beginnings, receptively fitting to both our own personalities at that. Debbie being the role of sacrifice, offering and teaching future generations (Leviticus 1:1-13). Mine being yet another beginning, another apex if you will, where man was moved from the Garden of Eden to work the soil of the earth as he strives forward to go back, knowing both good and evil (Genesis 3:22-4:18).  Coincidence? The references don’t end here, are certainly not tied only to religious content and have become overwhelmingly too numerous to put in this one writing.

Are you curious about the patterns in your own life? Start researching and be amazed! Need help? Drop us a line and we’ll try to share some resources with you.

Peace,

MAD

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Love is in the Air

Love is in the air

Love is in the airOn Valentine’s Day love is in the air, Letters Say Words Too Honest To Be Spoken. “In their senior year, the young couple eloped — then came back to school to finish the year. Letters, they say, help express feelings that can be difficult to say out loud.”

We were interviewed on CPR by Michael de Yoanna for a Valentine’s Day piece on the radio show Colorado Matters. Indeed, love is in the air! He asked us to share our story and some memories for the show. You can listen to the interview and read excerpts from the show here, Letters Say Words Too Honest To Be Spoken

Peace,

MAD

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Divine Destiny or Happenstance

Macro Photography

Divine destiny or Happenstance

Was it divine destiny or happenstance? Could it have been just a chance meeting of two young kids who found solace in each other’s presence?

OK, so here we go again. Valentines Day is back and it’s time to tell that special someone how much they mean to you. Sure, it’s a silly money making campaign that millions indulge in every year. But hey, why not, winter is slowly exiting, spring is around the bend and we could all use a little fire in our hearts, right? Hell, it helps the economy too, and who doesn’t love a good economic stronghold!

Not that we ever go out of our way to celebrate this love-fest, as certainly everyone should be telling the love of their lives on any given day how much they love them. Besides, this might just be the right moment you’ve been looking for to take that relationship to the next level. Go for it!

For us, after 34ish years, the fire still burns hot. It’s crazy, every day, month and year that passes, we just seem to grow, better yet, meld together all the more. The picture above is of our wedding bands, the lettering is in Hebrew, “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” which in English states, I am My Beloved’s and My Beloved is Mine.

That being said, this year for Valentines Day we’ll be honoring each other not with candy, flowers or even a good strong Russian Imperial Stout, but by looking back at all the little details of our lives together.

It’s quite strange once you put your mind to it, but there really are a plethora of tiny little intricacies that got us to where we are today. Take any one of them away and things could be quite different around here. Scary thought!

Was it divine destiny or happenstance? Could it have been just a chance meeting of two young kids who found solace in each other’s presence?

That’s where the details come in. The details of divine destiny, happenstance and chance meetings all woven together to bring two love-struck teenagers into one place at the same time where lives would be altered, love would explode and the energy of it all would catapult us into the future to arrive at such a place as this.

Who really knows how it happens. We’re just glad it did. Maybe we read too much into it, maybe not. We’ve certainly experienced the following.

  1. It is said of twin flames and soul mates that they find that time just seems to stand still. That goes two ways, when we’re together it’s just us, the world disappears and we get lost in each other. When we’re apart, we cannot wait to be together again.
  2. When we first met, it was odd, we didn’t have those uncomfortable feelings and awkward moments new couples go through, it just felt normal and comfortable like we’d done this before.
  3. We share everything in common. It is as if both of us could just switch places and be comfortable in the other’s place.
  4. Our experiences and values were seemingly the same. We wonder at times how we didn’t meet sooner.
  5. We accepted each other at face value, day one and continue to do so to this day.
  6. To that point, and mostly because of that point, we helped each other mature and grow over the years. Complementing each other’s weaknesses and strengths.
  7. Lastly [to keep the list short], no matter what we’ve come up against in life, struggles inside and out of our relationship, we continue to desire to be together to the nth degree.

Taking this to an even deeper level, as we tend to enjoy reading about the more mysterious and mystical side of life, we found many intriguing details of our personal selves that complement each other in some fascinating ways. From a metaphysical, kabbalistic, religious, numerological, physical, astrological, physiological, logical and illogical standpoint, there are many signs that we have discovered over the years that tell us we are indeed meant to be together.

Was it divine destiny or happenstance? Yes, and perhaps a few other things. One thing is for sure, we both agree we found our other half and became one.

Peace,

MAD

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Know the Rest of the Story

Know the Rest of the Story

Know the Rest of the StoryPeople don’t bother to know the rest of the story. They don’t care about the details. The impact. The loss. The pain. The very reason why we are who we are. The reason we find ourselves in the places we are in and how we got there.

When we were young, much younger, teenagers at that, we often would sit together on the weekend and listen to Paul Harvey. Most kids at the time were still asleep, and, for all practical purposes, would not have bothered to sit in the quiet of the early morning, hands knotted together, leg over leg, to listen to Paul Harvey and just be together in the moment.

What a wonderful time it was. Not ever wanting to be apart, ever. We were content to just be together, there needn’t be an activity nor an event. We were happy just sitting there listening to a radio show about real stories, about life, about substance, about waiting for that one line, “and now you know the rest of the story, good day.”

That memory we both cherish so much has resonated with us throughout our marriage. We were both so young, so damaged, and yet together, we were free. We both brought our own baggage to the table and accepted each other openly. Everyone has a story, and those stories need to be heard.

Are you looking at the outward appearance of a man? If so, what do you see?

Are you looking at him with your eyes, your mind or your soul? Are you looking at him with your criticism, your arrogance, your religion and your ignorance?

Have you bothered to know him? Do you care about his story? Do you know where he came from and how he got there? Is he just filth attracting flies in your manicured life?

What would it be to you to reach out your hand and let him know you’re both human? Are you him in someone else’s eyes?

Is your G-d you?

Who grants authority? Who has the right of empowerment over men to enslave them in their own thinking?

This is nothing short of the marrow of man’s spiritual self, not religious self, spiritual self. What is real in a world full of illusion?

People don’t bother to know the rest of the story. They don’t care about the details. The impact. The loss. The pain. The very reason why we are who we are. The reason we find ourselves in the places we are in and how we got there.

How do you want to be treated? How do you want to be seen? We’re all involved in this thing called life, it is the fabric of time and energy. It is the essence of each soul. It is the emotional soup that we float in each day as we strive to open our minds to what was, what is and what will be.

Know the rest of the story and you will not only discover the reality of someone else’s life, but your own.

Peace,

MAD

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Watching Time Watch Us Watch Time

Love is in the air

MAD Hippies Life, Watching Time watch Us Watch Time, Love, Life, Experience

How do you get two people to be in the same place, hell just the same general geographical proximity, at the same time that they would be caught up in a silent explosion in the cosmos that sets off a chain reaction where time, space, life and love will continue to exist in perpetual motion and the resulting memories, experiences and emotions are shared well beyond their own lives?

OK, so maybe that is just a fancy way of asking how two people meet and their history begins. Still, the question begs to be asked, what possibilities exist that they will emerge from such a chance meeting and continue to surge forward in the energy of it all as if it were indeed planned from the beginning of time?

And yet here we are, sitting among our memories watching time watch us watch time.

How is one supposed to consider the mind-numbing statistics that exist in bringing two people together? You know the kind of equation that would keep Einstein awake at night as his variables become demons and solutions are nothing more than dreams. Does such a thing even need to be asked?

Though we will just tell you, it is real and not just some fairy tale.

Life can throw you curve balls every now and again. At one moment you can feel as if everything is spinning out of control, barely allowing for a minute to sit and catch your breath. And, at other times, it seems as if time stands still while everything just passes you by. Perhaps it is just one of those things, the natural movement of time if you will, the unexplained but necessary parts of being human where we wonder if we are watching time watch us watch time.

Strange, it is not as if we can control it, much less make any demands, but indeed time itself seems to watch us watch it, pulsing in one way or another, that we might catch up, slow down or just take in the moment, perhaps if for nothing else but to make necessary alignments in the grand scheme of things.

When we were first married it almost seemed as if time stood still. Sure, when we were dating we could not wait to be together again, and time certainly was our nemesis, but when it comes to time standing still, we refer to the notion that nothing mattered. It was us, just us, and that is all we ever wanted. We were caught in the middle of our own dream state and became oblivious to the outside world.

As parents some of that seemed to change a little, though not in a bad way. We would gather our glances and catch those special moments on the move as time was moving much faster. Minutes, hours and days flew by turning into years. We were busy taking care of the day in and day out activities, going through the motions and doing what we did to watch over our nest. We came to love those quiet dull moments as gifts to take a breath, look around and at each other if for just a moment and realize we are still here and it is still us. Our beautiful wonderful girls were growing, carefree and absorbing life and we were there guiding them one step at a time.

Don’t blink though, you will soon realize that the years have blazed by in a whirlwind of parenthood and those children have become adults and are beginning their own process of creating as we did in perpetual motion.

Alas, the clock stops again, silence.

We sit looking through all the special pictures we have taken and recount the memories of it all, smile a little, cry a little and perhaps laugh as much. The dust is settling, our breath is returning as we regress back to those days of being just us again. Dare we stop and think what just happened, or even consider that we are intact and still the same free willed and spirited teenagers we were so many years ago. The deafening quiet then becomes less noisy and peace settles in, we are still head over heels in love, though more refined in our still free spirited ways.

Just like the pictures we sat among spread all around us in all directions, so too does the energy continue on through our children, their children and on and on. It is all so beautiful, serene and utterly mind blowing to witness and experience, much less the understanding that it all started with us.

Peace,

MAD

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Love and Trust

Love and Trust

Love and Trust

I am incapable of loving or trusting someone whose memories are not my own.

There’s a lot in that statement, perhaps more than one would care to ponder. Needless to say, it raw, it’s real and quite frankly, honest.

My head is full of conspiracy theories and my confidence in the human race is almost nonexistent. I trust few and love even less. Love and trust do not come easy, if at all, and are only come by over time through constant interaction and shared experiences, good, bad or indifferent.

When I do love, I love hard.

My trust in someone is always on trial as my mind is in constant surveillance looking to protect my heart. Though I don’t need to love, much less trust, when I do, it’s forever.

My love and trust are hauntingly curious, always in perpetual need of being in the presence of those it’s attached to. They seek not necessarily just the mind or heart, but the soul, the compilation of true existence where energy, emotion and spirituality combine in the true essence of being.

To love is one thing, to trust is another, but to love and trust [completely] is an entirely different challenge that few can rise to. A journey of a lifetime perhaps, a moment in time worth capturing and holding onto to no end, a chance meeting that cannot be planned for or imagined, it just is.

I have found but one. And while I sought none, there can be no other, indeed it just is.

Did we set it in motion in another time? Did we choose this life? Did life choose us? An inconsequential point, for where there is a beginning there will be an end, but where there is no beginning, there can be no end. Our love and trust is not of this world, though reunited in it, it bares the notion of endless time, memories only of the present, but love eternal. This too shall be a tale of human endeavor in the hereafter.

My heart, mind and soul collided with itself and we became one. Our strengths complement our weaknesses and make us better together than apart. We were lost, never content with the human experience, yet constantly yearning for the unexplained need of our [then] fragmented souls. Once reunited it was obvious, magical, completely surreal and otherworldly. From then on the emptiness expired and fulfillment was set ablaze with open eyes and the unending future of love, trust and experience together, something never anticipated.

A favorite quote that speaks volumes:

“From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven, and when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.” – Baal Shem Tov

Peace,

MAD

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Is Love Even Real?

Is Love Real

MAD Hippies Life Dream Lake Rocky Mountain National ParkWhat the hell is love anyway? How does one find their soul mate? Is love even real?

I’ve seen, read and heard those questions over and over throughout the years and quite honestly have never thought about them myself. I guess I just don’t get it. It’s as if we have turned love into a science instead of the art form that it should be. And, in that case, I’d have to say love is a dying art.

Perhaps people just try too hard to make it happen, when, if you ask me, love is one of those things that just happens. It’s as natural as the human existence.

Debbie and I weren’t looking for love when we met in April of ’82, and, as a matter of fact, weren’t even interested in love, much less a relationship. We were just floating day to day trying to get through some, well, rather interesting times. Needless to say, the day we did meet was a complete shock, we both just wanted to run from each other for fear that what we were feeling would soon take over… and it did.

Not long ago I reminded her how I felt that day,

“You were hauntingly familiar to me when we met. The closer we became the more I felt the sensation that this was not the first time. You were exotic, cosmic and strange, though somehow familiar as your soul, my soul, our soul, was reunited.”

So what is love? Good question. Perhaps it’s an emotional and spiritual collision of body, mind and spirit!

What I do know is that we would die for each other. We’d wipe each other’s butts if needed. We’d live under a bridge to stay together. Love is a connection that solidifies what could be understood as an irrational behavior about decisions to do the right thing at all costs. Love is staying awake all night to take care of your spouse. Love is a safe heart and mind. Love is once and for all.

But don’t ask me, I’ve never loved anyone but Debbie. I didn’t understand it, much less think about it until we met. You could have hit me with a dump truck and I wouldn’t have noticed.

I just knew. Love wasn’t gradual, it didn’t take time to develop, it was and is a natural response waiting to happen when the other half of your soul stands in your presence.

What is love to you?

Peace 🙂

MAD

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Living in the Moment Where Memories are Made

Living in the Moment When Memories are Made

Living in the Moment When Memories are Made Living in the Moment Where Memories are Made

OK, maybe I didn’t have some earth shattering headline news event, but around here life happens, it unfolds minute by minute, and every memory is precious to us. Those silly little moments we have that don’t really mean much to most people, if at all, become our greatest life events. Why? Because it’s life, it’s our relationship unfolding one minute at a time, our memories being held close to our hearts about events that only matter to us.

Events that we can look back on years later and still laugh, still smile at one another, still feel the emotion of the moment all over again and continue living in the moment when memories are made, our memories.

Being mindful of our experiences within our relationship is paramount.

Perhaps this is the reason we live day to day, moment by moment, embracing everything as if today were all that we get. Life is short and fragile, take hold of each moment and keep it close. Indeed, all of the [stuff] that you’re supposed to do to make the technicalities of living day to day won’t matter, but all of those memories that we made, embraced and lived in will.

Every day we get up is another opportunity to run head on into living in the moment when memories are made. Without even knowing it, you sit back, soak in the precious space in time, laugh a little, smile a little and embrace a soul warming moment that you know will stick with you forever.

That being said, I had a few realizations this morning that will stick with me, with us, forever. I know it happened, it was real. I felt it. Then I shared it with Debbie and I saw the same reaction in her.

What a precious time for us both to live in the moment when memories are made.

1) Debbie thanked me for watching Anne [with an “E”] of Green Gables, I’m not sure why, I realized I love watching it [and all of the so called romantic comedies that we’ve seen over the years, and now own].

2) I had to laugh at myself when I realized [after questioning Debbie] that it was me that put the toilet paper roll on backwards. Sure, it’s subjective…our tissue rolls over the top!

3) Debbie and I have really been together for 33ish years! We were putting together a photo/video thing of us through the years and it just hit me, again.

Enjoy life! Laugh, love and live in the moment when memories are made.

Peace,

Miller

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Why We Are MAD – Our Keepsake Story

Miller and Debbie Harrell, Running Away Was Not an Option

Miller and Debbie HarrellThis is our story, the story that made us MAD. It is very special to us, and we feel honored to have Project Keepsake share it, please read Why Are They MAD? A Keepsake Story.