Higher Love by Bodhi Smith

"higher love" a brand new impression and blog from me...(and please remember all those who lost their lives on this day 19 years ago, 09-11-01)
 
"when you believe in something and know beyond any doubt that it's real, it goes beyond faith and becomes the most beautiful truth, it's a higher love you can embrace and never let go, for always and forever" ― bodhinku, higher love 
   
"think about it, there must be higher love, down in the heart, or hidden in the stars above. without it, life is wasted time, look inside your heart, i'll look inside mine..." ― steve winwood, higher love  
 
 "i will not live without a higher love" ― vincent van gogh 
 
"a higher love is born from understanding" ― gautama siddhartha buddha, sayings of buddha 
 
"you don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. practice takes you higher. practice creates higher love" ― don miguel ruiz, the four agreements   
 
"you will discover, just as the ballads and novels promise, that a higher love really is forever. it is only the time you have together that is not" ― beau taplin 

"can you take me higher? to the place where blind me see....so let's go there, let's make our escape, come on, let's go there, let's ask: can we stay?" 
― scott stapp (creed lead singer), higher
 
"this impression yields yet another universal sign, one for me to follow in life while i discover new and lovely sights, combined with beautiful souls, all sprinkled with stardust and magically unexplainable things along my path these days" ― bodhinku, sprinkled with stardust
 
this song is not only perfect because it had the same exact title as the name of my impression here before you, but it is truly one of my very favorite tunes from the 1980's because it is such a positive song about living and love, and rising up above everything for something bigger than yourself... it's the perfect accompaniment to connect music with the meaning of my impression and blog today...and it has my all-time favorite percussion lead-in for any song ever laid down on vinyl: "higher love" by steve winwood ...(just click on any of the words in the blue links to listen to the musical selection)....
 
and as an extra, if you prefer, or just like the variety: here is another version of steve winwood's original "higher love"...this is a cover done by whitney houston many years ago, but just recently remixed and released by the dj, kygo, to give it a modern sound..."higher love" by the whitney houston (mixed by kygo) ...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)...    

"think about it, there must be higher love, down in the heart, or hidden in the stars above. without it, life is wasted time, look inside your heart, i'll look inside mine...things look so bad everywhere. in this whole world, what is fair? we walk blind and we try to see, falling behind in what could be. bring me a higher love, bring me a higher love, bring me a higher love, where's that higher love i keep thinking of?...worlds are turning and we're just hanging on, facing our fear and standing out there alone. a yearning, and it's real to me, there must be someone who's feeling for me...things look so bad everywhere, in this whole world, what is fair? we walk blind and we try to see, falling behind in what could be. bring me a higher love, bring me a higher love, bring me a higher love, where's that higher love i keep thinking of?...bring me a higher love...i could rise above on a higher love. i will wait for it. i'm not too late for it, until then, i'll sing my song to cheer the night along (bring it)...i could light the night up with my soul on fire. i could make the sun shine from pure desire. let me feel that love come over me. let me feel how strong it could be...bring me a higher love, bring me a higher love, bring me a higher love, where's that higher love i keep thinking of?...bring me a higher love...there's that love, bring me higher love, bring me a higher love (higher, high, higher), bring me a higher love..." 
― steve winwood, higher love  
 
"if we surrendered to earth's intelligence, we could rise higher and higher up, but rooted, like trees" rainer maria rilke, love poems to god     
 
"i dream of a love in which two people share a passion to search together for some higher truth. perhaps i should call it higher love. perhaps it's real name is friendship" ― irvin d. yalom
 
"the perception you need something only creates a fear of losing this something. you are supported by the spirit of the universe, and the light. when we gain a perception where there are no exceptions or needs then there is no perception of lack or created fear when we no longer have it. operate through spirit at all times and let go of the things you perceive you need. and then you are truly operating through full faith, hope and grace that the universe is supporting your life path and soul mission for your highest good, and therefore the highest love of the collective consciousness. live and let go of all which no longer serves as a being of unconditional love which is your birthright"― natalie jones, awaken the higher self
 
"salvation and heaven are not future events. why would you wait for anyone to come when you are already here?" ― keith anthony blanchard, homecoming   
   
"everything
turns,
rotates,
spins,
circles,
loops,
pulsates,
resonates,
and
repeats.
circles
of life,
born from
pulses
of light,
vibrate
higher, higher and higher
to breathe,
while
spiraling
outwards
for
infinity
through
the lens
of time,
and into
a sea
of stars
and
lucid
dreams" ― 
suzy kassem, rise up and salute the sun   
 
"when we love, we always strive to become better than we are. when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too" ― paulo coelho, the alchemist  
 
"if you like her, if she makes you happy, and if you feel like you know her, then don't let her go" ― nicholas sparks, message in a bottle   
 
"love is like a virus. it can happen to anybody at any time" ― maya angelou  
 
"i don't condemn, i don't convert, this is a calling have you heard? bring all the lovers to the fold, 'cause no one is gonna lose their soul...love is my religion...hey you can take it or leave it, and you don't have to believe it" ― ziggy marley, love is my religion   
 
"sometimes you just have to have faith in something bigger than yourself, and believe unconditionally in a higher love, and a beautiful magic will find you no matter what..." ― bodhinku, believe in a higher love
----------------------
 
MEANING
"honestly, anything that is connecting the celestial to the terrestrial is going to capture my attention...i love the fact this giant cross is rooted in the earth, yet reaches for, and touches the heavens with a meaning that gives me goosebumps" ― 
bodhinku, celestial to terrestrial 
 
the idea of a higher love can have so many different meanings for so many different people...for some it might mean finding a higher love in another special person just like them. for others, it might be finding a higher love in a god or a higher power. and yet for others, it is finding a higher love when they hold their infant girl in their arms, and still for many others, a higher love is giving yourself unconditionally to something bigger than yourself, a higher meaning...
 
when i captured this image, the feeling of a higher love overcame me so strongly that i already knew exactly what its title would be...i had goosebumps as i was filled with warming thoughts of a higher love...
 
with this being a picture of a giant cross you will have the right impression about how this picture makes you feel...however, you probably will get the wrong impression for what it means to me, because my definition of a higher love is much different than most other people...
 
obviously a cross is the symbol and meaning of christianity...and although i'm a buddhist and not of the christian faith, i still respect and honor the values and universal life lessons of christianity...some ideals are just good suggestions on how to live a peaceful, giving, and loving life with others that transcends all religions...
 
even if you do not believe in something, it does not mean that you still cannot find beauty and wonder in spite of it all...and this cross symbolizes something i do not believe...however, it does stand for universal values of love and kindness, and teaches ethics which i hold true....and further, i find beauty in, and respect those true practitioners of what this cross truly represents...
 
so, i  see this cross as reaching for a higher love, sprinkled with stardust, beaming with rays of love, while still grounded to the earth, but touching the sky at the same time...no other title came to mind except the name, "higher love" as i heard the song's chords and lyrics echo through my brain while i was capturing this image under a post sunset sky..."bring me a higher love, where's that higher love i keep thinking of?"
 
well, the answer would find me only a short week later after capturing this image...i know where my higher love is now, and i'm thoroughly enjoying every moment i have, making every moment possible count...
 
"i drove for a bit to meet her for the first time, and i pulled up alongside her toyota...as i shut off my jeep, the feed from my ipod was pumping into the car stereo, and steve winwood was singing "bring me a higher love, where's that higher love i keep thinking of?"... i got out, and there she was, it was her, though i did not know it yet...later on that evening after a perfect night of sharing and talking, we hugged and parted ways for the night. and when i started my vehicle, and the same song was still playing, except now i knew where that higher love was that i was always thinking of... " ― bodhinku, bring me a higher love  
 
and just as beautiful, aside from all of the other meanings to me, the pure beauty mixed with the deep symbolism of this image is elevating to my soul...honestly, anything that is connecting the celestial (heavens) to the terrestrial (earth) is going to capture my attention...i love the fact this giant cross is rooted in the earth, yet reaches for, and touches the heavens with a meaning that gives me goosebumps...
 
and clearly this impression yields yet another universal sign, one for me to follow in life while i discover new and lovely sights, combined with beautiful souls, all sprinkled with stardust and magically unexplainable things along my path these days ...sometimes you just have to have faith in something bigger than yourself, and believe unconditionally in a higher love, and a beautiful magic will find you no matter what...
 
when you believe in something and know beyond any doubt that it's real, it goes beyond faith and becomes the most beautiful truth, it's a higher love you can embrace and never let go, for always and forever...
 
"we will not always be here, you and i...these bodies are not forever, and yet we swallow so much thinking we have all the time in the world to do as we wish. we clutch our feelings close to us, trying to obscure them against the very skin that yearns for the touch of them. we have few precious breaths on this planet, a finite number of days in which to weave our beautiful stories through the tapestry of time. so let’s take a vow to plunge ourselves head first into the very world that we are here to experience. are you ready? will you make every moment count and live life to the fullest with me, rise higher and higher in love together with me? let's go" ― c. ara campbell
 
"i ask her, can you take me higher? she answers with a slow blink of her eyes, yes" ― bodhinku, higher
 
and here is a powerfully eloquent song that goes along absolutely perfectly with my impression and meaning today, plus this tune is sung by the favorite band of someone special in my world now, a person who has been taking me higher and higher lately..."higher" by creed ...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)...

"when dreaming, i'm guided to another world. time and time again at sunrise i fight to stay asleep because i don't want to leave the comfort of this place. because there's a hunger, a longing to escape from the life i live when i'm awake, so let's go there. let's make our escape. come on, let's go there, let's ask: can we stay?... can you take me higher, to the place where blind men see? can you take me higher, to the place with golden streets?...although i would like our world to change, it helps me to appreciate those nights and those dreams. but, my friend, i'd sacrifice all those nights if i could make the earth and my dreams the same. the only difference is to let love replace all our hate. so let's go there. let's make our escape. come on, let's go there. let's ask: can we stay?...can you take me higher. to the place where blind men see? can you take me higher, to the place with golden streets? so let's go there. so let's go there. come on, let's go there, let's ask: can we stay?...up high, i feel like i'm alive for the very first time. set up high i'm strong enough to take these dreams and make them mine. set up high, i'm strong enough to take these dreams and make them mine...can you take me higher, to the place where blind men see? can you take me higher, to the place with golden streets? can you take me higher?"
― creed, higher 
 
and now here are a few more quotes from bodhinku from past blogs to help add to the deeper meaning of this blog today...
 
"you can see how i am grateful, fortunate, and blessed...truly "lucky" to have what i have, live the way i do, and be alive " ― bodhinku, fortunate    
 
"with every breath that we take, sometimes we forget how lucky we are to just be alive...everything else is secondary...sometimes we must stop in the middle of everything and just breathe, and be thankful for that breath of life. wrap our heads around the understanding that our health is all that really matters, sometimes we all need to be reminded and truly remember that living is a gift and should be cherished" ― bodhinku, how lucky we are   
 
"i was "lucky" on so many levels on the day that this photograph was taken...but what i consider to be the most fortunate part of everything is probably different from what people might think at first glance" ― bodhinku, not the lucky you think  
 
"some will think that the photo gods gave me a fortunate birthday gift and i was crazy lucky to be "in the right place at the right time"...but the true birthday gift was the realization of what a birthday really means. it's the day we were born and were given the gift of life. on that day, i was given the chance to breathe and live a life, and i'm so thankful for that gift" ― bodhinku, grateful
 
"after the bolt of lightning struck, i was thankful i'm still alive, that is the truest birthday gift...i'm lucky to still be able to take my next breath" ― bodhinku, truest birthday gift    
 
"the fact i was lucky to have captured the lightning in an impression is nice, but that's secondary to the deeper meaning of what "lucky" means to me on my birthday...lucky that i was born, and lucky that i am still alive and breathing" ― bodhinku, nothing 
  
"you are
in every
single
moment i
ever want
to be in" ― 
bodhinku, every single moment
 
"i know you, i've always known you...i believe that...known your eyes whenever i looked up to the night sky, and saw the stars twinkle and glow...all those nights of years before we met, spent obsessing with the heavens all through the night, i was already looking at you, photographing you, knowing you" ― bodhinku, i've always known you  
 
"i really need to be illuminated daily by things that are inspiring to me, things than make me smile, giggle, and glow from my deepest depths...illuminating my inner shadows, those hidden dark parts of me, personal secrets that make me who i am, even if i am not proud of them" ― bodhinku, illuminated
    
"whenever sadness is in front of you, just remember that joy is right there too, just turn around and i am right there behind you, i am always right here behind you, no matter what, with all the love and support you will ever need" ― bodhinku, right behind you    
 
"i lived a lifetime of happiness in one just night...all night long just being, just breathing and just letting go...truly living and experiencing life, so unexpected, just letting moments take my breath away" ― bodhinku, just 
 
"life seems random sometimes, things just happen and it might be hard to understand why...but love is the opposite, when it happens, we understand nothing is random about this life, there is just love" ― bodhinku, love is not random   
 
"there we were, her and i, lost alone in our universe of no noise, no distractions, just the focus of holding each other tight under the stars all through the night, the colors of all those heavenly bodies above faintly washing all over our skin...our hearts tingle, feeling that hungry touch and delightful warming inside and out as our eyes lock into each other, connecting, illuminating our souls with visions so obvious that enlightenment is a mere afterthought" ― bodhinku, our universe  
  
"under the stars i have all the light i need, all night long they illuminate my world. bringing me out of my darkness. i can see all i need to see, as i embrace this fairytale in my arms all through the night. and until it ends, there is no end..." ― bodhinku, all through the night   
 
"buddha is famous for saying, "embrace nothing, nothing is worth holding on to", and even though i am a buddhist, after the other night, i emphatically disagree with this statement after what happened to me that night...sometimes, the universe sends you a sign in the form of an angel, a soul worth holding on to"― bodhinku, embrace your angel
 
"when i looked at her glowing before me, i knew nothing else in the world mattered, or ever would" ― bodhinku, her glow  
 
"i have a dream, it is you"― bodhinku, i have a dream 
----------------------
 
STORY BEHIND THIS IMPRESSION
here is another song i would like you to give an honest listen to...and by the way, i almost named this new impression "love is my religion" after the meaning of this song, instead of "higher love"...this reggae classic by bob marley's eldest son, ziggy marley is my all-time favorite reggae tune, and one with a deep message about how honoring and valuing love is the highest faith in the universe, transcending all beings and all religions..."love is my religion" by ziggy marley ...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)... 
 
"love is my religion, love is my religion, love is my religion, i'll take you to the temple tonight. all my days i've been searching to find out what this life is worth. through the books and bibles of time, i've made up my mind. i don't condemn, i don't convert, this is a calling have you heard? bring all the lovers to the fold, 'cau"se no one is gonna lose their soul...love is my religion, love is my religion, love is my religion...hey you can take it or leave it, and you don't have to believe it. i don't want to fight, hey let's go fly a kite. there's nothing that we can't cure, and i'll keep you in my arms for sure. so don't let nobody stop us, free spirits have to soar. with you i share the gift, the gift that we now know oh oh oh. love is my religion, love is my religion, love is my religion...hey you can take it or leave it, and you don't have to believe it. well i'm done searching now, i found out what this life is worth. not in the books that i find, but by searching my mind. i don't condemn, i don't convert. this is the calling have you heard, bring all the lovers to the fold, no one is gonna lose their soul...love is my religion, love is my religion, love is my religion...hey you can take it or leave it, and you don't have to believe it...love is my religion, love is my religion, love is my religion...hey you can take it or leave it, now that you believe" ― ziggy marley, love is my religion    
 
"life should be all about positive living and love, rising up higher above everything for something bigger than yourself" ― bodhinku, positive living
  
i had noticed this gigantic cross a couple times while journeying along the 1-40 freeway (old historic route 66) from california to oklahoma and push-pin marked it as a photo spot of the future in my google maps...you literally cannot miss it, for at some point it will catch your attention, especially since you can see it for nearly 20 miles (32 km) since the texas panhandle is so flat...
 
so while i was driving past in early august 2020 on my way back to california from visiting my family in eastern oklahoma, i stopped with my pup, besos, to explore the area and take images of this gigantic 19 story cross with my two nikon cameras, progrey filters, and dolica tripods...
 
i knew i wanted to capture the stars, and originally wanted to get the colorful core of the milky way over top of the cross...however, this was not possible in august at this location, as the cross faces east-west, and in the west are the lights of amarillo, tx, blowing out the sky with light pollution...but honestly, i truly love the image that found me instead...
this impression truly has a mystical aura to it...and btw, the ethereal skyward shooting beams of light in this image were just sheer luck, not planned, or hoped for, these rays just happened to magically appear about half an hour after i started to take portraits of the cross during a texas sunset...  
 
"stardust makes the night come alive, so have a night filled with starlight" ― bodhinku, stardust
 
"as we rise higher and higher together, the level of noise keeps falling lower and lower" ― bodhinku, higher and higher      
---------------------
 
HISTORY   
"just because you are not of the same religious faith, does not mean that you cannot believe in the same universal values, morals, ethics, ideals, and expressions of love" ― bodhinku, just because
 
“...this is the reality of being human, that we have the capacity to love people...family, friends, and strangers...even if we profoundly disagree with them" ― vivek h. murthy, together 
 
this minimalist and inspirational roadside landmark stands over 58 meters tall (190 ft) and can be seen for miles and miles around as you drive along the i-40 across texas...
 
the i-40 follows the path of old historic route 66. the mother road's legacy of rope-'em-in salesmanship wasn't lost on the texas millionaire who bankrolled the cross. it's more than just a 2.5-million-pound steel hallelujah--it's also a heaven-scraping billboard, luring travelers to other christian shrines arrayed within its long shadow.
 
rumor has it that the millionaire responsible built the cross as a direct ethical contrast to all of the billboards along the same stretch of the 1-40 freeway that disgusted him, numerous signs advertizing xxx pornography, debautchery, strip joints, and adult sex toy stores...
 
at the site of the giant cross, there's a distinct roman catholic/lutheran visual skew to the ancillary attractions at the cross. one example can be spotted even as you drive in on the access road: a line of bronze bent figures at the foot of the cross lugging other crosses in a never-ending circle. these are the 14 stations of the cross, rendered life-size. jesus is condemned by a scowling pontius pilate, meets his sad mom, collapses several times...the last one face down on the concrete...he is stripped of his clothes by a guard wearing a ridiculous feathered helmet, and then has nails pounded through his bronze flesh with a hammer.
 
to one side, and off-topic, a statue of saint michael the archangel tramples satan...
 
a bronze last supper features jesus breaking bread facing the cross, sitting on the ground at an earthen table surrounded by his twelve disciples. behind him, stairs ascend a man-made cavalry hill, with the trinity at the top, where a sign reveals that you are now 3,333 feet above sea level (many christians believe that jesus was 33 years old when he was crucified).
 
next to this is the empty tomb (and underneath), reproduced in all its rocky glory just west of the cross. statues of two custom-made angels augment the scene, one staring at his outstretched palms as if to say, "where'd jesus go?"
 
and beyond that a small building that displays a full-size replica of the shroud of turin on a wall. it's one of only seven in the world, according to another sign.
 
the gift shop and restrooms were built around the divine mercy fountain, a beautiful rocky setting with yet another christ statue; its plaque celebrates, "the blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of jesus." off to the east side of the cross stands an anti-abortion memorial shaped like a tombstone; a bronze jesus kneels, dejected, in front of it with a tiny fetus cupped in his hands, just below his spike-punctured wrists...
 
according to the cross's promotional literature, it was inspired by another giant (but smaller) cross in texas, and in turn inspired an even more gigantic cross in effingham, illinois. the land surrounding the cross was donated by a different texas millionaire than the one who built it; this second millionaire built the leaning water tower down route 66 that's the only other attraction in town.
 
the cross and calvary are dramatically floodlit at night, and its boosters want travelers to know that the attraction is free, has clean restrooms (available during gift shop hours), is open 24/7, and has ample parking for rv's and big rigs.
 
very cool and inspirational place to stop, meditate, and hang out...lots of cool history, neato bronze statues full of amazing details...all surrounded by a deep air of peacefulness...great for everyone, not just christians...
 
"be silent now. say fewer and fewer words. let yourself become living poetry" ― jalaluddin rumi, hush don't say anything to god
 
"travel brings power and love back into your life" ― jalaluddin rumi, a bridge to the soul 
 
"be the love you want to see in other people's eyes" ― bodhinku, love you want
---------------------
 
MORE QUOTES FOR EXTRA MEANING
the following song by the late john denver is truly one of the prettiest and most heartwarming songs ever written...it's about a man professing his higher love for a lady...he is describing how she makes all his five senses come alive in the same way that nature awakens all his senses, and how all he wants to do is love her if she will let him: "annie's song" by john denver ...this tune easily is my all-time favorite love song...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the musical selection)....
  
"you fill up my senses, like a night in a forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean. you fill up my senses, come fill me again...come let me love you, let me give my life to you, let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms, let me lay down beside you, let me always be with you. come let me love you, come love me again...you fill up my senses, like a night in a forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean. you fill up my senses, come fill me again"  john denver, annie's song  
 
"a man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless, then he is in truth called wise" ― gautama siddhartha buddha, sayings of buddha 
 
"in the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you" ― gautama siddhartha buddha, sayings of buddha 
 
"fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the arts" ― confucius
  
"kindness in words creates confidence. kindness in thinking creates profoundness. kindness in giving creates love" ― lao tzu, tao te ching

"embracing love, you become embraced.
supple, breathing gently, you become reborn.
clearing your vision, you become clear.
nurturing your beloved, you become impartial.
opening your heart, you become accepted.
accepting the world, you embrace love.
bearing and nurturing,
creating but not owning,
giving without demanding,
controlling without authority,
this is love" ― lao tzu, t
ao te ching
  
"a higher love is the absence of judgment" ― dalai lama xiv, the art of happiness
 
"give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay" ― dalai lama xiv, the art of happiness  

"higher love: i am here to serve. i am here to inspire. i am here to love. i am here to live my truth....communion: i will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that i feel that way. i will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. i will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed....awareness: i will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. i will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. if someone irritates me, i will ask myself what i really feel beneath the anger—and i won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone....acceptance: i will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone i really dislike. i will read about a group that i consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. i will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if i were the perfect mother or father i wish i had had (beginning with the sentence “how beautiful you are in my eyes”). ...creativity: i will imagine five things i could do that my family would never expect—and then i will do at least one of them. i will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that i am the hero). i will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs....being: i will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. i will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. i will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible....efficiency: i will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. i will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether i could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then i will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. i will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms....bonding: when i catch myself looking away from someone, i will remember to look into the person’s eyes. i will bestow a loving gaze on someone i have taken for granted. i will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger....giving: i will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or i will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). i will compliment someone for a quality that i know the individual values in him- or herself. i will give my kids as much of my undivided time today as they want....immortality: i will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. i will write down five things i want my life to be remembered for. i will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment" ― 
deepak chopra, unlocking the hidden dimensions of your life   
 
"love is simply the name for the desire and pursuit of the whole" ― plato, the symposium  
 
"at the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet" ― plato, the symposium  
 
"whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done" ― vincent van gogh 
 
"there is nothing more truly artistic than to love someone" ― vincent van gogh  
 
 "if you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere...so, keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more..." ― vincent van gogh  
 
"love is eternal...the aspect may change, but not the essence" ― vincent van gogh    
  
"it's not about someone stealing our heart. it's about restoring its aliveness. it's about filling it with light. it's about rising higher and higher. when real love enters, it doesn't take anything from us. it gifts us with the everything" ― jeff brown
  
"we will not always be here, you and i...these bodies are not forever, and yet we swallow so much thinking we have all the time in the world to do as we wish. we clutch our feelings close to us, trying to obscure them against the very skin that yearns for the touch of them. we have few precious breaths on this planet, a finite number of days in which to weave our beautiful stories through the tapestry of time. so let’s take a vow to plunge ourselves head first into the very world that we are here to experience. are you ready? will you make every moment count and live life to the fullest with me, rise higher and higher in love together with me? let's go" ― c. ara campbell    

"when all of this is over, let’s change a few things...if this isn’t a time to shake things up, then i don’t know when is. in times of crisis, we are given an in depth kind of clarity. we see what is and isn’t working in glaring high definition. and for the most part, the world wasn’t working the way it was before. sure, right now so many of us are in survival mode, trying to make sense of each day through some new lens of media coverage. making things better for the long term may not be in our aperture right now. but in the days to come, it should be....when all of this is over, i want you to chase your dreams like your life depends on it. your dreams are waiting for you, at the edge of all the uncertainty and clinging to the comfortable. there will never be a better time to run full tilt in the direction of exactly what you want. stop letting the world dictate what you should do and who you should be. this is a call to take responsibility for the creation of the world we want to live and to not let the naysayers stand in our way anymore. want to write a book or start a business? do that! want to start a farm, knit a sweater or run a marathon? do that too...sure, maybe things will be a mess financially when this is over. but start moving in the direction of what you want even slowly, even right now. follow your dreams. move away from what isn’t feeding the soul. maybe that’s a relationship, a job or an old belief. honor this moment by not putting up with what isn’t nourishing you. speak your truth. i want you to honor those dreams like the living, breathing destiny that they are inside your soul. because the truth is, if you don’t bring it to life no one will....when all of this is over, let us be better neighbors and better people...one of the glaring truths of this pandemic is that we are all in this together, connected on this planet in every way possible. let's strive to be global citizens who care about one another all the time, not just when the chips are down. let's elect those with integrity and honor into positions of power, who will provide for those in need during moments of chaos. may we rise up for those that do not have a voice and advocate that they do...when all of this is over, hug your family and friends a little tighter and let us stop taking people for granted. so often we feel we have all the time in the world to say and do all the things that we want with those we care about. the truth is there is never enough time, so we need to make the most of the time we have, find the higher love we have in each of us. i want you to be human, a vulnerable mess like the rest of us, who embraces each day and never takes another soul for granted. See the beauty in the world. cultivate appreciation and compassion....when this is all over, i want you to honor your boundaries. this time of self isolation has made it so we are able to tell others no, you can’t come over for the health and safety of all involved....when this is all over, i want you to tap into that same necessity for self preservation and honor who deserves to be let into your environment and your inner sanctum. let it be okay for you to say no you can’t come over. look at who supports you and who sucks you dry. who cheers for your successes and honors your truth. i want you to protect those boundaries when all of this is over, drawing the line in stone across the floor...there is a lot of clarity in chaos...if all of this should teach us something, it is that life is too short to put up with anything that is not nurturing your soul. period. this world is going to look a lot different on the other side of all of this. and we need to strive to make that a good thing. in fact why wait? let’s start now, in whatever little way we can. i’ll be there right beside you in spirit, living my deepest truth" ― 
c. ara campbell, when all this is over, let's change a few things...
 
"you will discover, just as the ballads and novels promise, that a higher love really is forever. it is only the time you have together that is not" ― beau taplin   
 
“love does not award itself to the cowardly or indecisive. love is beholden only to the brave and the bold. those who come willing to break bone and bleed for it, to tirelessly climb higher and higher, to go on fighting without reason or hope” ― beau taplin   
 
"then suddenly, i saw you. your eyes as full and bright as a motel vacancy sign, calling me in, off the dark, empty road" ― beau taplin   
  
"i just can’t keep quiet about you—to friends, to family, even perfect strangers on the street. i want to shout it from every rooftop in every city and town, to announce my affections for you with such fervour and flair even the furthermost stars will know who you are" ― beau taplin 
  
"i crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
silent and starving, i prowl through the streets.
bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
i hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
i hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
i want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
i want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
i want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and i pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of quitratue" ― 
pablo neruda 
 
"we are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. life is eternal. we have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. this is a precious moment. it is a little parenthesis in eternity" ― paulo coelho, the alchemist  
 
"the entire universe conspired to help me find you" ― paulo coelho, the alchemist 
 
"anyone who loves in the expectation of being loved in return is wasting their time" ― paulo coelho, the devil and miss prym  
 
"immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. and when love flows with freedom there is beauty. a mature person does not fall in love, he or she rises in love, allowing themselves space to go higher and higher. only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. somehow they were managing and standing. now they cannot manage and they cannot stand. they were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. they don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have the integrity to stand alone. a mature person has the integrity to stand alone. and when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. no expectations. when two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. they are together so much that they are almost one. two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. there is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. only freedom and higher love" ― osho, the power of love  
 
"to be creative means to be in love with life. you can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it" ― osho, book of wisdom
 
"love is wild; its whole beauty is in its wildness. it comes like a breeze with great fragrance, fills your heart, and suddenly where there was a desert there is a garden full of flowers" ― osho, love, freedom, aloneness
 
"falling in love you remain a child; rising in love you mature. by and by love becomes not a relationship, it becomes a state of your being. not that you are in love - now you are love" ― osho, awareness 
 
"here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart...
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)" ― e. e. cummings, 100 selected poems
 
"just when you think it can't get any better, it can" ― nicholas sparks, the best of me
 
"love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it" ― nicholas sparks, the lucky one
  
"you are, and always have been, my dream" ― nicholas sparks, the notebook
 
"when love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. love, soar" ― victor hugo, les miserables  
 
"a higher love is found when we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. each person unveils the best part of the other. no matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. our connection is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. when we’re two birds, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. our true love is the one who makes life come to life" ― richard bach, jonathan livingston seagull 
 
"i love you. okay? want it louder? I LOVE YOU. spell it out, should i? i ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. want it backward? you love i" ― william goldman, the princess bride
  
"you don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. practice takes you higher. practice creates higher love" ― don miguel ruiz, the four agreements 
 
and with all of this plethora of quotes, you are only about halfway through ones i have selected by other authors with a deeper meaning about "a higher love"...so,  here is another beautifully poignant song with beautiful lyrics about a man coming to understanding that soon he will have to give himself to a higher love (after getting the news he is going to have a son): "with arms wide open" by creed ...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)...  

"well I just heard the news today. it seems my life is gonna change. i close my eyes, begin to pray, then tears of joy stream down my face. with arms wide open, under the sunlight, welcome to this place. i'll show you everything with arms wide open. with arms wide open...well i don't know if i'm ready to be the man i have to be. i'll take a breath, i'll take her by my side. we stand in awe, we've created life...with arms wide open, under the sunlight. welcome to this place, i'll show you everything with arms wide open...now everything has changed. i'll show you love. i'll show you everything with arms wide open. with arms wide open, i'll show you everything with arms wide open, wide open...if i had just one wish, only one demand, i hope he's not like me. i hope he understands that he can take this life and hold it by the hand. and he can greet the world with arms wide open. with arms wide open under the sunlight. welcome to this place, i'll show you everything with arms wide open. now everything has changed. i'll show you love. i'll show you everything with arms wide open" ―
 creed, arms wide open  
 
"love one another, but make not a bond of love...let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls" ― khalil gibran, the prophet   
 
"we live in the world, only when we love it" ― rabindranath tagore

"beauty is simply reality seen with the eyes of love" ― 
rabindranath tagore, collected poems and plays
 
"love is like a virus. it can happen to anybody at any time" ― maya angelou
 
"have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time" ― maya angelou, even the stars look lonesome 
 
"to fall in love with someone's thoughts is the most intimate, splendid romance...a higher love" ― sanober khan

"in a world
full of
temporary things
you are
a perpetual
feeling" ― 
sanober khan, turquoise silence
 
"i will love the light for it shows me the way, yet i will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars" ― og mandino, the greatest salesman in the world
 
"this fire that we call loving is too strong for human minds. but just right for human souls" ― aberjhani, elemental: the power of illuminated love  
 
"the beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” then a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. you then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. you also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. you begin to awaken" ― eckhart tolle, practicing the power of now  

"it's so dark right now,
i can't see any light around me.
that's because the light is coming from you.
you can't see it,
but everyone else can" ― 
lang leav, love & misadventure
  
"the source to low self-esteem is the lack of control you feel you have in your life. If you spend your life competing with others, trying to make right the wrongs done to you, or waste your time trying to look right, you will never achieve contentment and emotional balance. People you encounter in life can’t be controlled by you. You only have control of yourself. Build your life around a relationship with a higher power and achieving what you’re passionate about. When you let go of what you can’t control, true peace can then enter your life. This is the path to achieving emotional balance" ― shannon l. alder
 
"grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above, and i fly. higher and higher...grace always conquers. be graceful in everything; in anger, in sadness, in joy, in kindness, in unkindness, retain grace with you, and love will take you higher" ― c. joybell c
 
"don't think about making life better for other people who don't even deserve you, rather, focus on making your life the best, a higher love for yourself and those who love you" ― c. joybell c  
 
"for some people, “the point of no return” begins at the very moment their souls become aware of each others’ existence." ― c. joybell c  
 
"for thousands of nights, i dreamed of making love to you. no man on earth has ever hated sunrise as i do" ― lisa kleypas, dreaming of you  
 
"i want morning and noon and nightfall with you. i want your tears, your smiles, your kisses...the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the touch of your breath on my face" ― lisa kleypas, tempt me at twilight
  
"we love the imperfect shapes in nature and in the works of art, look for an intentional error as a sign of higher love, and the sincerity found in true mastery" ― dejan stojanovic, the sign and Its children   
 
"for those who believe in a god, most of the big questions are answered. but for those of us who can't readily accept the god formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. we adjust to new conditions and discoveries. we are pliable. love need not be a command, nor faith a dictum. i am my own god. we are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. we are here to drink happiness. we are here to kill war. we are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." ― charles bukowski
 
"want to keep christ in christmas? then feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you...and maybe a higher love will happen for all of us to share" ― steve maraboli, unapologetically you   
 
"be the reason someone smiles. be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people" ― roy t. bennett, the light in the heart     
 
"more smiling, less worrying. more compassion, less judgment. more blessed, less stressed. more love, less hate" ― roy t. bennett, the light in the heart    
    
"there is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings" ― friedrich nietzsche, twilight of the idols 
 
"love all, trust a few, do wrong to none" ― william shakespeare, all's well that ends well  
 
"the very essence of romance is uncertainty" ― oscar wilde, the picture of dorian gray
 
"you don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear" ― oscar wilde
 
"for he would be thinking of love, 'till the stars had run away, and the shadows eaten the moon― william butler yeats, the unicorn from the stars
 
"when you love me, i give you the whole sun and stars to play with. i give you eternity in a single moment, strength of the mountains in one clasp of your arms, and the volume of all the seas in one impulse of your soul" ― george bernard shaw
 
"our creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal" ― nathaniel hawthorne, the scarlet letter
  
"silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels" ― henry wadsworth longfellow, evangeline: a tale of acadie  
 
"never to go on trips with anyone you do not love" ― ernest hemingway, the sun also rises
 
"i love sleep. my life has the tendency to fall apart when i'm awake, you know?" ― ernest hemingway, a farewell to arms
 
"nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold" ― f. scott fitzgerald, the great gatsby
  
"..it's awful not to be loved. it's the worst thing in the world...it makes you mean, and violent, and cruel" ― john steinbeck, east of eden  
 
"better than love, than money, than fame, give me truth"― henry david thoreau, walden  
 
“when one loves, they are infinite" ― william blake, the marriage of heaven and hell 
 
"i have loved many women and men, but i love none better than you" ― walt whitman, leaves of grass
  
"he who loves, shall be loved...he has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much" ― ralph waldo emerson 
 
"for i have known them all already, known them all—have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, i have measured out my life with coffee spoons" ― t.s. eliot, the love song of j. alfred prufrock   
 
"i have for the first time found what i can truly love–i have found you. you are my better self–my good angel–i think of you as good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you" ― charlotte bronte, jane eyre    
 
"How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
"You don't spell it...you feel it" - Pooh" ― 
a.a. milne, winnie the pooh
 
"there's truths you have to grow into" ― h.g. wells, love and mr. lewisham
 
"the world is violent and mercurial--it will have its way with you. we are saved only by love--love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. we live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love" ― tennessee williams, a streetcar named desire  
 
"you don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved" ― ansel adams  
 
"if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely" ― roald dahl, charlie and the chocolate factory    
 
"when the wicked want to bring down the innocent, they aim for a loving heart" ― walt disney
 
"you know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams" ― dr. seuss, the lorax     
 
"i believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear...love is the essential existential fact. it is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth." ― oprah winfrey
 
"love the life you live, live the life you love....and...if she's amazing, she won't be easy. if she's easy, she won't be amazing. if she's worth it, you wont give up. if you give up, you're not worthy....truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." ― bob marley 
 
“if you walked away from a
toxic, negative, abusive,
one-sided, dead-end
low vibrational
relationship or friendship
— you won" ― lalah delia 
 
"all it takes is to get out of difficulty and into simplicity. then watch what happens!"― keith anthony blanchard, homecoming 
  
"who would give a law to lovers? love is unto itself a higher law" ― boethius, the consolation of philosophy  

"you can't heal me.
i can't heal you.
let's not put that pressure on ourselves.
there's still so much we can do for us.
we can love each other hard
as we learn to love ourselves harder.
we can be kind as we stumble through our darkness,
and be patient as we rediscover our light.
we can be as forgiving as the journey demands,
and as accepting as our awareness allows.
we can stand committed through it all,
to our healing and to each other
to rise higher and higher
we can do all that.
and that's enough.
that's plenty" ― 
scott stapp, creed lead singer  

"out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
i'll meet you there.
when the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about" ― 
jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
 
"when i am with you, we stay up all night. when you're not here, i can't go to sleep. praise god for those two insomnias, and the difference between them." ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
 
"let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. it will not lead you astray" ― jalaluddin rumi, the music and silence of the heart
 
"i am yours...don't give myself back to me" ― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
 
"let the beauty we love be what we do. there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground" ― jalaluddin rumi, in the arms of the beloved
----------------------
 
ABOUT THE IMPRESSION
"finally, life is so much more peaceful these days surrounded by the truth...no lies, no deception, no jealousy, no drama...just the purity of a higher love, enjoying adventures with a beautiful and understanding lady who is actually available in my life to share in moments taking our breath away, present both day and night" ― 
bodhinku, dawn after the darkness   
 
in my photography, i always use filters to create longer exposure effects and to balance the light in my composition in-camera...i often use as many as four filters at time, and i always use at least one filter...for this exposure, to get the effects and balance i was looking for, i used one progrey usa gnd filter in the capture of this composition...
 
this composition is comprised of two exposures captured at two different apertures (f/1.4 and f/8), shutter speeds, and iso, still in the exact same frame without moving my tripod with camera attached, captured at 9:09pm-9:29pm cst on 08-09-2020...the two exposures were then merged using layers in photoshop cc to achieve the perfect lighting and focus of the entire scene...
 
when i arrived at the location about an hour before sunset, i used star apps with my smartphone to get the exact position i wanted for my composition ahead of time to set up my camera and then take exposures of the cross and foreground at about 25 mins after sunset to merge later with the stars when the milky way was in place over the cross about 2 hrs later in the same camera frame...
 
however, there was just too much light pollution to the west mixed with a haze in the lower atmosphere from the heat of the day to permit any exposures of the colorful milky way core at this location...so i chose to shoot to the northeast and you can see the results here as i was rewarded with these cool light beams shooting across and through the hazy sky speckled with stars...
 
and for this impression (only the cross and clouds exposure--no filter was used in the exposure of the stars), i chose to use a 0.9 gnd progrey aurora filter to help balance in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned it, and stop down the much brighter sky with the darker foreground, about 3 stops brighter than the clouds and sky, along with the progrey g-120z magnetic holder to hold the filter and secure it to my nikon d810 mounted with a nikkor 24mm f/1.4 prime lens...
 
i wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this long exposure impression would not be possible without the use of my trusty dolica tripods in combination with the progreyusa filters which i use with every photo i take...
 
"if nothing else...if i open my eyes, if i cry, if i think, if i sigh, if i giggle, if i dance, if i love, if i breathe, then i have lived a full days worth of life...nothing is wasted, nothing" ― bodhinku, if nothing else 
 
"contemplate without thinking. stop the world. slow down everything. shut off the noise. relax. seize this moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colors of light that envelope you. see the melody and harmony that floats about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence. now discover your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith with all your senses. this is my world. awaken!" ― bodhinku, my world
 
above all else as always, i hope this message and impression find you well.
 
namaste,
bodhi
-------------------------------------------------
 
please visit me at:
 
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