You Cannot Teach Thirsty. . . .

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The Teacher Speaks. . . . you cannot make a horse drink when it is not thirsty. You cannot do it. Only when the thirst is there will the horse or the person or the being know to drink to satiate. But you cannot teach thirsty. You cannot teach learning. You cannot teach hunger. You can be the example that would make others want what you portray. You can be the font of learning but unless you can excite the turgid brain of the Other by showing how wondrous the fountain of facts can be, there will be no learning. You have to be the example that would make them want. And you cannot teach want unless you first show that what it is has made you into someone they would like to be. And there will be those someones who will look upon you and see what it is you have made of your life and how you think and what your hands can do and they will think that maybe if I tried??? And if they begin, heaven will step in and show them how. But the heavens need a someone on the premises who sets the example. .

The Immortal Quest

I live this life
with staggering numbers,
in singular purpose.
I’ve come bent on a quest
of my own immortality;
propelled and struggling to duplicate
a vision, a dream, a love of what I know
to be the truth of me.

I’ve chosen a frame of reference
of height and depth
that would reflect the best of me.
And in that narrow web of thought
found dimensions in construction.

I’ve gathered, harvested,
ideas of equal splendor;
discarded, disclaimed what mind
in honesty could not accept.
But found instead a reality
that claimed and captured
the illusive content of a world
destined to please.

With gentle persuasion
life interrupts the empty mind
to inject with soulful purpose,
hints determined to arouse
the sleeper to action.

For those of sterner stuff
and artful cooperation,
the syncopation is accelerated.
The heart notes the mind’s distress
and with dispatch
teaches the acolyte accordingly.

I would have you chase rainbows
for that pot of gold.
I would have you search
the bottom of the sea
for the pearl of great price.
I would have you follow
your heart’s dream.
For in the quest of
the illusive content,

your immortality will be sealed.

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Not In My Understanding. . . Orphans All

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It was not in my understanding that the New Testament scripture so often quoted ‘ suffer little children and forbid them not,  to come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven’ that the children would never grow up.  If what was meant was innocence and wondrous awe I could believe.  But what I have seen is that the child in the adult body refuses to grow up and the errors propounded causes suffering.  One sees the results of children having children all over the media whether one reads or watches.  The Nazarene no doubt thought there would be sufficient inclination to want to mature and understand life’s purposes and primarily its responsibilities since he introduced the Father God concept as familial as opposed to the unmerciful Old Testament God.   In this way, evolution would have taken its course and mankind would be progressing and peace on earth would be possible and not a hopeless venture.   To be a seventy year old human being and called cute or boyish is not charming.   It is a death knell for evolution and a hopeless prayer for peace on earth.  It saddens me to think that what I wrote over thirty years ago is more true today than ever before.  Please read the poem,  Orphans All. . . .

 

Orphans All

Naked and alone we stand
even when we are covered,
when we are shoulder to shoulder
and cannot extricate ourselves
to find an inch of breathing space.

In the bosom of this family
we hang tight to our sources
of strength we think,
those who have borne us,
who have nurtured the very psyches
which hurt and who have
cut us down to size they say,
for our very own good.
Now they stand aside and wonder
why we do not succeed.

The child clings he thinks
to the wisdom of the ages
but in a moment of truth
shudders at what he will become.
Still nursing the child ego at seventy
reveals the lifelong buried fears.
But when the father cannot father
because his father could not father
because his father could not father,
the child remains an orphan forever,
unless driven to understanding the error.

The mother cannot mother
because her mother could not mother,
ad infinitum; herself remaining the child.
The world fills with androgynous children
silently afflicted with doubt assailing
their conflicting roles.

In search of immortality
which advancing age decrees
and the grave beckons, the ego insists
there is time enough to make a difference
for the world to long remember
but our progeny insists their time is now.
Father did,  the child does better.
Mother did,  the child exceeds.
It is called evolution.

The father who has been a son
and the mother who has been a daughter,
will release their roles.
Humankind will mightily progress
when the species of man
views direct participation in work

which keeps man whole and holy.

 

Painting by Claudia Hallissey

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A Considered Opinion

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A Considered Opinion

In Maria’s  blog ( my cyber friend from fullmoonfiberart.com in recapping the story of The Red Shoes, brought to mind  the fact that we especially in western societies put an enormous importance on independence.  Women today feel they must contribute in meaningful ways to life or to causes that usually equate to money.   What we do not consider is that in relationships, intimate or familial, there are those things done that go beyond money and if we are fair and had to buy the services from outside,  the cost would be significant.

Even the mundane tasks of shopping for food, cooking the food and putting it on the table takes time and effort.  If there are children involved in the relationship, time is required in raising these children and seeing to their welfare.  If it means jockeying them  to their various activities  then the time is incalculable.  Of course other activities must be taken into account; when both parties are intent on independence like who is doing the laundry and who is to see to picking up what has waited for weeks to be done.  If there are elders to be considered, then of course, more services are required and more time to discern the availability of these services and who to perform them.

But on top of all this we have desires, especially since many women are professionals in the outside world.   They are educated and wish to use their education in the work of making a life while making a living.  Independence?  Why not consider what we each bring to the relationship without thinking what we do to ourselves by sidelining our inner desires?  Because when we make commitments, one to the other, we must compromise on things we often have considered  necessary.  It is not easy to make these decisions because in fairness the each in an intimate relationship must be considered.

Must something die in us to enable us to live in a close relationship with another?   I think some things must be shelved for a time while we work out needs related to our commitments.   If we as it seems we do, in this western world, put a money value on our services, then when considering how much money we could bring in, we must think seriously about what we can do to prevent monies from going out of the home.

In my personal experience I saved significant amounts that did not go out in services dealing with home maintenance. I grew up with six brothers whose  talents spanned construction work of every kind so I learned a lot by observation.  When my first wringer washing machine ceased to function, I told my husband and he said to call a repairman.  I was puzzled and asked what is a repairman?  For never in my growing up years was there a repairman in our house.  It was a joke told forever after to show how naïve this girl was with two in diapers and expected a husband to know how to fix a washing machine.  I quickly learned who was to be in charge of maintenance and what a drain snake was.

There is value in services performed on the premises that money cannot buy; children brought up in a home where there is value placed on character, on simply being human and good and loving.  A healthy home environment has inestimable value.   What is done with love in maintaining and allowing families to grow in truth cannot be matched in dollars.  In a relationship that helps each to grow in splendor cannot be measured.  Is it possible to live with less?  Sometimes it requires two paychecks simply to put bread on the table.  We did it with 3 children and one paycheck with  a week to go before payday countless times.   But there was rice and a can of tomatoes and flour and some eggs and I could make drop noodles with milk.  Oatmeal always was a good buy.   The boys grew to be adults and called their childhood enchanted.

Can it be done in today’s world?  It is being done by many but a change in expectations is often needed.  To rethink a value system is necessary.  How important is the relationship to the each?   How important is the Other to me?   How important is his or her well being to my own well being?  What do we have together that we would not have apart?   What do I bring to the table that has importance but no cash value; yet takes time and effort and yields happiness?

We have elevated our independence to such a supreme state that our street corners are filled with homeless children as we strive as their parents to express ourselves.   And we as adults often feel deprived when we stand with mop in hand thinking we were educated for this?   Keeping the Contagious sign off our doors is important.   And keeping our children out of jail and mental hospitals is primary.

I was told that there is time and world enough for all of us.   It is time now to enlarge our premises.   When the nudge in mind becomes a thud against our heart, it is the God Within urging us to listen.

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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Come Into My Kitchen

 

 

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Come Into My Kitchen

There are some people one brings into the heart of the home,  the kitchen,  whom one at once knows they do not belong in this room.   They are parlor people.

I invited a dear friend and her family for dinner one day.  Her son in law, a large broad shouldered man walked into our home for the first time and made his way to the kitchen where I was and announced that ‘I will make the salad!’  And with no further ado he opened cupboards and refrigerator and proceeded with the task.  He found everything with no instruction from me and I open mouthed wanted to take his hand and run away with him.  Then and there.

Those who make no effort to become part of the home’s kitchen know intuitively that it is the heart of the home and shy away from its intimacy.   Such close quarters demand something they are not equal to.  They have never known the comfort of its intimacy and must be born to it.   For some it will not be acquired in the present lifetime.  They will continue to edge toward the parlor or the formal dining room where the openness of space will somehow protect them from being suffocated by the unwelcome  proximity of an Other.

Those of us born to the kitchen know intuitively who belongs there with us.   And intuitively we know who are the parlor people when we open the door to them.   Graciously they follow us to the room that no one ever sits in comfortably.   They visit and leave promptly,  but you.. . .

Come Into My Kitchen

Come into my kitchen
by the back door.
Only dear friends are allowed to.
Others have to earn the right
by walking through the halls
to the center,
the heart of my home.
But you can come
to the back door.

I will let you in.

 

photo by John Holmes

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Previous Harvests

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Previous Harvests

Scribed on the fine parchment
of memory are the summers
of previous harvests.
Long tables are full of heaped bowls,
breads baked to a fine crust,
jellies and jams wobbly in the best dishes,
a must for the farmers;
men who had come
to levy up the huge bales of hay
or to harvest the acres of golden corn
with brown silks clinging; husks
to be decided upon.

Year after year,
orchards with apples ready to yield
their crisp skins to children
eager for their first bite
of the autumn’s first fruit.

I watch the years unfold the details
of life requiring care,
in the midst of families
sidelining their needs and interests
to the dark hours when no energy is left
to work into the night.

How hard to be human and make a life
when to make a living
takes all one has to give
and leaves one’s soul,
at times seemingly, bankrupt.

We now sit at a dinner table
and rolling like script before me
are the farmers hoping to get in
just a bit more of what they work
before weather will take away any profit.

We eat the good food from the kitchen
from the hands of ones who already
tire to support by other means
a way of life no longer sustainable.
Civilized life still depends
on the grunt work
of those who love the land;
on the hard work of hearts
whose love of family and ritual
will one day provide a strength
when strength is nowhere to be found.

This Earth classroom demands tuition
for instruction in the art of living.
And fees are incredibly high.
Life is this circle we live in
and meet end to end.
It is with sacred breath we work to keep

the circle intact.

art by Claudia Hallissey

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Resolution

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When I talk in terms of quantum theory, of parallel worlds, or the profound effect the invisible has on the visible world,  it was not going to have a name for me until this year of 2015.  But a different head was mine from day one. Yet in the late 60’s when the tsunami went crashing in my skull with ocean waves,   even the best doctors did not know what happened to me.  I was rational and I was articulate and in the dark as the doctors were.  I think now of the courage of that young Veronica who, still shaking, was asked to speak of the experience to a huge room of psychiatrists eager to ask questions.

I was still to come upon the works of Jane Roberts and probable selves, or counterparts of ourselves.  It was to be my breakthrough and give me a different outlook on myself.  Do we shape our future?  If I expect a continuity of life, an ever striving, ever learning situation,  I will experience it.  My friend Dolores expected to walk into the arms of Christ and ‘abide there forever.’   I could not be happy with her philosophy or her faith, yet for her it was correct.  My search has not been easy and has been emotionally devastating.   Yet I don’t know how I would have coped with life.

There is a rationality and logic to life which I did not find in the orthodox church.  Having mentally argued with priests and ministers as they delivered their dogmas since I was five was a tiring exercise.  A lifetime of argument is too long.

Intuitively one might know a statement is correct but intellectually find it untenable.  An upheaval of a major sort was the only solution.  In due time what is meant for you will have to be accepted at whatever cost.  Man’s evolution may be delayed but no power can stop it.   The following poem was written at the time and I present it now with a fuller understanding that only time can give us.

Resolution

Where is the counterpart of me
and where did we separate?
A cave, a room, perchance eternity is ours,
from where we came
and to where we will return.

Searching, I seek, that part of me,
a faceless face, a formless form,
substance without substance.
I know not but that it is gone
but when we meet,
it will be Me.

I am come, a part of a whole,
yet wholly here.
My self knows not what love peels
to find the truth of Me.

Tempered by fire, my soul searches,
seeking within the crevices of Being,
the my of mine, the Thy of Thine.

Content no more am I with what I am,
impatient to be freed of me.
I have come into the Light
but what to do?

On the day I was one,
I became two.  Now I am two.
What to do but seek and seek again

until I find I walk this Earth not godless.

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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Moments

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Moments

Our moments were tender,
those moments over coffee
and whatever cheese Danish
I could find. . . .

We loved those times,
free wheeling we said,
as if cares of the day
had faded from our lives. . . .

No need ever to apologize
for  moments stolen
from life’s busy encounters.
They were the most important.

They cemented our past
into a foundation
our beloveds counted on
to build their futures. . .

To have run away would have
left orphans in our wake.
We laughed and reveled in the little time
as we pretended no ties other than
when we had our last coffee

and knew our let’s pretend was. . . .pretend.

 

 

Painting by Claudia Hallissey

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Born To See

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          Born To See

You ask,

how do you do it
to see what you see?

And I say,

my heart pools in my eyes
and I weep with the poignancy of love.
I see the generations who have worked
the fields and the August sweat that poured
off brows to be wiped by the long sleeves
on blue shirts. . long sleeves helped keep
the shards of thistles from piercing the skin.

And you say. . . . .

why work the sweat jobs that others can do
when you have money in the bank?

And I say. . . .

money in the bank is for the lean, cold months
when the fields do not produce.

You say. . . . .

I would find something else to do.

I say. . . . . . .

when you love the land and the peoples
who worked it before you, it is a requisite
to have that love primary.
Otherwise, you work for no thing, nothing.

Arguing, you say. . .

that old wreck of a plough needs replacing.
You need equipment and you need money.
What do you see?

I see. . . .

how wealthy I am.
The old plough sits with acres behind it;
I see bushes with thrushes, ponds with live waterfowl,
I see huge windrows of bundled hay,
and I think that feeding the peoples
is a good way to pay my way on this Earth.

You say. . . .

so you see what went before to form the picture now.

I say. . . . .

my heart sees the love that went into
the building of this dream.
And the dream puts food on the table
for the children in the final picture.

And you say. . . .

I cannot see it that way at all.

Then I conclude. . . .

perhaps we need to be born with eyes that see;
and we see what our hearts deem to be ours to see.
Perhaps you need to talk to the Potter.

 

 

photo by Kathy Qualiana

 

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An Argument

Toward A Destiny

An Argument

It was an argument
persisting its stuff as
all of them do.

I say. . . .
the camera portrays
what the photographer perceives.

And he insisted. . . . .
that the camera sees
the fact in nature
and records it as such.

I say. . . .
a fact in nature changes
as the person who perceives it.

What do we do. . . .
if what we see is not
what the photographer sees?

I say. . . .
get thee to an altar and pray.
Rightly so.
Go find an altar and pray.
So that what is
perceived as beautiful,
as poignant or a crime to humanity
is what we see.

Quickly. . . .
Go find an altar to pray
for your heart is in imminent danger.

Photo by John Hallissey

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There Is Unfinished Work Everywhere

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There Is Unfinished Work Everywhere.

There are some things I simply cannot go back to. As I read past journals,  I do a lot of delving  to see what I skipped over and what I did not integrate.   I  then see what direction I must take.   There are some things I cannot go back to.   I cannot go back to thinking that we are not safe and I cannot go back to thinking there is no place for certain that we go to.  And if there would be nothing, I would create a world to go to or a something before I would allow a nothing.   And I would find my match somewhere.  Why?  Simple reason.   If mushrooms come back time after time and a daffodil, why not me?   I am unfinished.  I have not reached my full potential.  We give a cat nine lives but expect a human to reach perfection in just one?  There are many worlds in this Universe and I think that human beings are worth as many chances as necessary. Some of those chances won’t be  pretty for the ne’er do well,  but we are redeemable.

I was told there is unfinished work everywhere.    Some years ago when a friend and I were taking classes in Religion and sitting in the hallway waiting for the present class to disband,  I looked up at the wall across the corridor and saw a painting.  What I was seeing made me sick to my stomach.  My friend turned to say something and asked hurriedly,  are you all right, you look sick?  I pointed to the painting.  I have been there and I know that place, I said.   She looked and thought it plain but to me it spoke .   I have tried to show in the wall quilt what I remember.

It was a desolate landscape.   There were ice mountains in the background.  There was a building,  more barracks like  with  no thing,  nothing around it.   The moon was white and things were outlined but barely so.   Sparse would be putting it gently, but desolate and bare of life would say how tragic it felt.  I could not say what world.  But unfinished work it is.

There comes to mind a commonly held thought that when we transit it is always to a better place.  But what if it isn’t?  What if we find ourselves  doing the work of mules in places that need our talents in  very practical ways?  Would we not answer the call to help in the vineyards  with things of value that moth and rust do not destroy;  things of the mind?   Most people seem to think that we are at a loss as to how things happen but  Jesus said, as above, so below when he stood on the rock.   Life on Earth is the reflection of Heaven and we the reflection of what we hold as truth..  Are we not all unfinished work?

There is unfinished work everywhere.   I cannot go back ever to not knowing.   There are worlds needing what we hold as valuable, what we can only take in Mind.  We may look like mushrooms but our hearts are daffodils.    It is a good thing to keep in mind.

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