"Just Like Heaven" by Bodhi Smith

 
This life can be 
Just like heaven,
By making every single moment count,
Especially with your dearly beloved ones.
Let us live in that spirit.
Embracing the beauty of this world.
Not in spite of our eyes being fixed on heaven,
But because of it.
And life will be 
Just like heaven.
 
 
MY THOUGHTS
Love is the one thing that can take you to heaven...and love is the one thing that is just like heaven  ― Bodhi, Just Like Heaven
 
"Heaven" is defined by Merriam-Webster as meaning: 
1. the sky as a place in which the Sun, Moon, stars, Milky Way, and planets are situated.
2. a place regarded as the humble abode of God, and the angels, and good souls after death, often traditionally depicted as being above the sky.
 
Heaven is a place of inexplicable beauty, beyond our wildest dreams, it's truly the realm of unapproachable splendor ― Bodhi, Just Like Heaven
 
To me, this photo of mine is "Just Like Heaven"...it shows both literally and metaphorically the two definitions of heaven above. Literally, heaven is the sky above, the infinity of the Universe with the stars and Milky Way shining down upon us here on Earth. But Heaven is also a place of eternal peace, love, happiness, and communion with the Almighty...God is present everywhere and absent from nowhere. Heaven is where human will and God's will become as one. When we pass, it's a magical place filled with nothing but love...
 
Though it's good to contemplate heaven, and sing about it, and long for it, I do not look forward to the time after I die. I'll embrace it when it happens, but I'll always refuse to dwell upon it until after I take my last breath on the beautiful planet. Heaven will be whatever it will be at that point for me. Until then, each and every moment of our life is so very precious...
 
There are no ordinary moments ― Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior
 
Spending time with our loved ones--parents, family, friends, lovers, and pets--can be over at any time, for any of us, simply gone in an instant. And our life will be over before we know it, and at that moment, we will know what heaven really means to us...But heaven can be seen in everything around us, here and now, while we are living. This life can be just like heaven, by making every single moment count, especially with your dearly beloved ones. Let us live in that spirit, embracing the beauty of this world, not in spite of our eyes being fixed on heaven, but because of it...and life will be just like heaven....

Our worst moments on earth should inflame our hearts with hunger for heaven. But so should our best moments. The most piercing, powerful experiences of beauty, goodness, and truth in this life are but echoes and flickers of heaven, after all ― 
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
 
The beauty, goodness, and truth of this world are everywhere if we only look and notice. To me, trees are some of the most magnificent things on our planet, and I love trees deeply. And, the majesty of the cosmos above, especially when they are aglow at night, takes my breath away and helps me dream. As such, I love the celestial heavens profoundly. The two of them taken together, such as combining a tree with the Milky Way and stars (like I do with my photo here), becomes my personal definition of paradise on earth...it's just like heaven...
 
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Heaven is a place of inexplicable beauty, beyond our wildest dreams, it's truly the realm of unapproachable splendor...but I feel we can come closer to heaven, by mixing together the magnificence of this planet with the majesty of the celestial heavens above...
 
There’s nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars. ― Jack Kerouac
 
For me, special nights like this are so much better than those days when the universe is rotating and I'm not, when life is rutted and not flowing, and I'm and just not on my path to where I know I need to be...But on nights like this, I have nowhere to go but everywhere. My life makes sense, I feel wanted and know my purpose. The signs of the universe and where I'm going all become so very clear...and my life here is just like heaven...
 
A tree that longs to reach the heights of heaven must sink its roots to the bottom of the earth ― Osho
 
 
One way we can become closer to heaven is by filling our ears with music that tunes our hearts to a heavenly key. There are countless songs that are directly or indirectly about heaven. And truly one of my all-time favorite songs (makes my top five) from any genre of music is "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure. (just click on any of words in the powder blue links to listen to the any song in this entire blog)...this song has always resonated with me, especially with love that has come into, and then been lost in my life. Yet I still go on, persevering past the things I miss, instead finding happiness in just loving life, the universe, and everything...making my life be as close to just like heaven as i can
 
Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream, she said
The one that makes me laugh, she said
And threw her arms around my neck
Show me how you do it
And I promise you, I promise that
I'll run away with you...I'll run away with you
Spinning on that dizzy edge
Kissed her face and kissed her head
Dreamed of all the different ways
I had to make her glow
Why are you so far away?, she said
Why won't you ever know 
That I'm in love with you...That I'm in love with you?
You, Soft and only
You, Lost and lonely
You, Strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You're just like a dream...You're just like a dream
Daylight licked me into shape
I must've been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes
And found myself alone, alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me
You, Soft and lonely
You, Lost and lonely
You, Just like heaven
 
 
And here is another perfect song to go along with the deeper meaning of my image and blog today. This effervescent song is about finding heaven on Earth in the form of true love. It was written by the San Francisco songwriter Rick Nowels and is both romantic and spiritual, incorporating elements of both into the lyrics. The chorus of the song is particularly memorable and catchy. It repeats the phrase “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” which is a deeply spiritual idea. It suggests that finding a deeper connection in life is a kind of heaven that can be experienced here on Earth. It’s a message of hope and optimism, celebrating how the power of love, for other people and for this Earth, can transform our lives... "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle. ... (just click on any of words in the powder blue links to listen to the any song in this entire blog) 
 
Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
They say in Heaven, love comes first
We'll make Heaven a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
When the night falls down
I wait for you, and you come around
And the world's alive
With the sound of kids on the street outside
When you walk into the room
You pull me close, and we start to move
And we're spinnin' with the stars above
And you lift me up in a wave of love
Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
They say in Heaven, love comes first
We'll make Heaven a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
When I feel alone I reach for you, And you bring me home.
When I'm lost at sea,
I hear your voice, and it carries me.
In this world, we're just beginning
To understand the miracle of living
Baby, I was afraid before
But I'm not afraid anymore
Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
They say in Heaven, love comes first
We'll make Heaven a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
Heaven. Heaven. Heaven
In this world we're just beginning
To understand the miracle of living
Baby, I was afraid before
But I'm not afraid anymore...Heaven
Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
They say in Heaven, love comes first
We'll make Heaven a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth
 
 
Find a heaven within...and  when it comes your time, the other heaven will be an afterthought ― Bodhi, Just like Heaven
 
 
SOME MORE PERFECT MUSIC
Here is a beautiful gospel song about heaven and the stars by The King..."Milky White Way" by Elvis Presley. ... (just click on any of words in the powder blue links to listen to the any song in this entire blog) 

Yes, I'm gonna walk on that milky white way
Oh Lord, some of these days
Well, I'm gonna walk that milky white way
Some of these days well, well, well, well
I'm gonna walk up and take my stand
Gonna join that Christian band
I'm gonna walk on that milky white way
Oh Lord, some of these days
I'm gonna tell my mother howdy
Howdy, howdy when I get home
Yes, I'm gonna tell my mother howdy
When I get home well, well, well, well
I'm gonna shake my mother's hand
I will shake her hands that day
That's when we walk on that milky white way
Oh Lord, one of these days
I'm gonna meet God The Father and God The Son
Yes, I'm gonna meet God The Father and God The Son
Well, well, well, well
I'm gonna sit down and tell Him my troubles
About the world I just came from
That's when we walk on that milky white way
Oh Lord, one of these days
 
 
Here's some music which you might like to hear, "Under the Milky Way" by Sia. ...This is a beautiful song with very meaningful lyrics to my impression here, it is a softly moody song with a melody that adds a wonderful ambiance as you continue to read the rest of my blog today...It's a deliciously beautiful cover of the original 1987 version of the song, "Under the Milky Way" by The Church. ... (just click on any of words in the powder blue links to listen to the any song in this entire blog) 

Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty,
The sound of their breath fades with the light.
I think about the loveless fascination
Under the Milky Way tonight.
Lower the curtain down in Memphis.
Lower the curtain down all right.
I got no time for private consultation, yeah,
Under the milky way tonight.
I wish I knew what you were looking for.
I might have known what you would find.
And there's something quite peculiar,
Something that's shimmering and white
Leads you here despite your destination
Under the Milky Way tonight.
I wish I knew what you were looking for.
I might have known what you would find...
I wish I knew what you were looking for,
I might have known what you would find
Under the Milky Way tonight,
Under the Milky Way tonight...
The Milky Way tonight...ohhh,
Under the Milky Way...
 
 
I know of a place, that's the place for me. Out in the wilderness under the beautiful canopy of the Milky Way stretching across the entire sky. Its silence speaks to me, telling me with all certainty this is my place, where I need to be. It's my favorite place, my heaven on Earth, where the darkness is so dark, that the stars light up everything dark inside me and out, illuminating everything all around with their collective energies, painting a starry night into my soul ― Bodhi, Starry Night 
 
 
 
SOME MORE APROPOS QUOTES
Find me under the Milky Way, soul bare and heart open. Let me swim in your spirit past the sentry of time and space that stands in the way and let me love you...pull away the unworthiness etched upon your shores by those too blind to see your value and let me breathe you into the depths of myself in appreciation of all that you are. Show me your solitude as I show you mine; all the parts that ache and yearn for more. Let me see the facets of you longing to be traced by understanding hands full of reverence. You have the taste of my destiny on your lips and an essence that has swam in my blood since time began; a compass that navigated me wordlessly like the North Star back to a safe harbor. You, the home of the soul I longed a lifetime for, the lyrics to a melody I hummed before learning all of your words...wishing only that I could give you my eyes so that you could see your own brilliant unfolding and witness your landscape that has to me become so precious. You, who comprehend the foreign language I speak that fell on deaf ears for an eternity, it’s tongues finally heard fully quenching my parched and misunderstood soil that once stood solitary and barren against the tides...Planting 1000 kisses upon your naked heart in worship and in awe of your existence in this Universe, I am replete with joy. If a million stars fell from the skies whispering their wishful promises into my open ear, not a single one would I entreat to change a single layer of you. Let us stretch our fingers towards eternity together wrapped around dreams and laughter, souls bare and hearts open ― C. Ara Campbell, Soul Bare & Heart Open
 
Live joyously, guiltlessly, live totally, live intensely. And then heaven is no more a metaphysical concept, it is your own experience ― Osho, The Book of Wisdom
 
If you live consciously, if you try to bring consciousness to every act that you go through, you will be living in a silent, blissful state, in serenity, in joy, in love. Your life will have the flavour of a festival. That is the meaning of heaven: your life will have many flowers in it, much fragrance will be released through you. You will have an aura of delight. Your life will be a song of life-affirmation, it will be a sacred yes to all that existence is. You will be in communion with existence — in communion with stars, with the trees, with the rivers, with the mountains, with people, with animals. This whole life and this whole existence will have a totally different meaning for you. From every nook and corner, rivers of bliss will be flowing towards you. Heaven is just a name for that state of mind ― Osho

Drop comparing, and jealousy disappears, meanness disappears, phoniness disappears. But you can drop it only if you start growing your inner treasures; there is no other way. Grow up, become a more and more authentic individual. Love yourself and respect yourself the way existence has made you, and then immediately the doors of heaven open for you. They were always open; you simply had not looked at them ― 
Osho
 
To live a life of freedom, spontaneity, truth, love and beauty is to live in heaven ― Osho
 
Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. then life seems almost enchanted after all ― Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent's Letters
 
To find peace in the heavens, we must find love on Earth ― Paulo Coelho, Adultery
 
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 stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again ― Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went ― 
Will Rogers
 
I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God and Heaven ― Abraham Lincoln
 
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
 
If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smiles ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays
 
Service is the best expression of kindness. Kindness is the gateway to heaven ― Debasish Mridha
 
Soar like an eagle beyond skies of heavens reach; as wings of dreams dance with winds of reality ― Shah Asad Rizvi
 
Life has to end. Love doesn't. Heaven goes on forever ― Mitch Albom
 
Something that's shimmering and white leads you here despite your destination under the Milky Way tonight ― Sia, Under The Milky Way (The Church cover) 
 
I'm gonna walk that milky white way, Oh Lord, some of these days ― Elvis Presley. Milky White Way.
 
And we're spinnin' with the stars above, and you lift me up in a wave of love. Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth. They say in Heaven, love comes first. We'll make Heaven a place on Earth ― Belinda Carlisle, Heaven Is a Place on Earth.
 
I found myself alone, alone. Alone above a raging sea that stole the only girl I loved, and drowned her deep inside of me. You, Soft and lonely. You, Lost and lonely. You, Just like heaven ― The Cure, Just Like Heaven.
 
The universe and the light of the stars come through you, into me ― Jalaluddin Rumi, Fountain of Fire
 
Those beautiful words we said to one another are hidden in the secret heart of heaven. One day, like the rain, they will pour our love story all over the world ― Jalaluddin Rumi, In the Arms of the Beloved

Don't you know? Your body is woven from the light of heaven ― 
Jalaluddin Rumi, Hush Don't Say Anything To God
 
In the heavens I see your eyes, In your eyes I see heaven ― Jalaluddin Rumi, Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
 
Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven ― Jalaluddin Rumi, Words of Paradise
 
 
 
SPECIFICS ABOUT THIS PHOTO
I feel we can come closer to heaven by mixing together the magnificence of this planet with the majesty of the celestial heavens above  ― Bodhi, Just Like Heaven
 
This impression was created on the warm windless evening of November 18th, 2023 on the Big Island of Hawaii near Kona-Kailua...having a non-existent sea breeze was required for this composition, so as to be able to capture the palm tree without it blurring from moving in the wind for the length of the 111 second (1min, 51secs) ultra-long exposure...
 
To get the effects you see here, I needed to capture two photos, all-the-while knowing later I would be merging them together into one single composition using layers in Adobe Photoshop CC...
 
In my photography, I always use filters to create longer exposure effects, saturate colors naturally, and 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 in my completed impressions...
 
And to get the effects and balance I was looking for in this composition, I used two ProgreyUSA Filters. along with the ProgreyUSA G-120Z Antarctic Magnetic Holder. to secure these filters to my Nikon D850 with a Nikon Nikkor 24mm prime f/1.4 lens. ... 
 
Camera Settings for Palm Tree and Pacific Ocean
ISO-64, 24mm at f/8 for 111 seconds...Image taken about 10 mins after sunset at 5:55pm HST on November 18, 2023 using a ProgreyUSA 0.9 GND Aurora Filter. to bring the top third of the composition down 3 stops and help darken the brighter sky, creating a better in-camera balance in the overall image with the foreground of the image, especially the shadows in the palm tree and shrubs, along with a ProgreyUSA 3.0ND Antarctic Magnetic Filter. to stop down the image 10 stops and permit for an ultra long 111 second exposure at f/8 which helps to create the effect of the super smooth blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and help naturally saturate all the red, green, & blue (RGB) hues in the image ...
 
Camera Settings for night sky with the Milky Way
ISO-1600, 24mm at f/1.4 for 16 seconds at 7:o7pm HST on November 18, 2023...no filters were necessary for the exposure of the night sky, so none were used...
 
The two images were then merged together using layers in Adobe Photoshop CC...
 
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 Induro PHQ3 Series 5-way Panhead with an Induro (now Benro) Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod. in combination with the ProgreyUSA Filters. which I use with every photo I take...
 
if nothing else...if i open my eyes, if i hope, 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" ― bodhi, if nothing else
 
i do not want you to just be into my photography, instead, i'd much rather you take a journey into my pictures, and feel the impression i have created, feel it with all your senses" ― bodhi, into my photography
 
my photography is my way of keeping a diary ― bodhi, my diary
 
contemplate without thinking. be certain only in your uncertainty, content to be completely incomplete. stop the rush. slow down time. breathe and notice. slow down everything. let it all be. shut off the noise. hush. relax. seize this higher moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colours of light whisper as they envelope you. see the melody and harmony that float 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! ― bodhi, my world
 
you were blessed with 84,600 seconds today, have you used one of them to say thank you? ― bodhi, blessed
 
I leave you today wishing that bright joy 
and spiritual peace fill your life...
imploring you to make every moment count, 
no matter what, always and forever, 
for that is the only thing that truly matters... 
 
And above all else,
I hope this message and impression find you well.
 
Namaste,
Bodhi
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