Archive | Essays

We Are Heaven’s Reflection. . . are we proud?. . .

My readers are the most intelligent of the top one percent of the reading public. They teach by their comments all the time.  Some of them wish not to be quoted which I respect and cherish also those who comment publicly.  I grasp with eagerness what they say.

One said there are places I would not be allowed to voice my thoughts or concerns.  I have lived my almost my entire life being cautioned as I left the house about what I say.  I had no intent but to do good.  So why?

It became a constant worry and dampened my enthusiasm, so I seldom spoke in public.  A well placed innocuous question kept whoever was speaking,  holding the floor,  so the public was spared my stuttering.

Another reader commented on my hero’s journey with much sensitivity that it was difficult at best and unbearable at its worst. Only when one is knowledgeable can one surmise this.  They teach me from experience with coping when life blind sided them with balls thrown from left field,  with chronic illnesses and pain and insensitive cruelties to their psyches.  These are people of conscience.

I began journaling because there was no one to talk to.  No one was interested in subjects I sweated.  What transpired in my entries is worth further explanation at another time.  Now I simply touch base with the overriding problem that arose when I was ten in 1941 and has since consumed my life and caused relationships to freeze.

Born with an open head and memory alive, any question I asked was the wrong question.   Amid the daily occurrences were the philosophy questions that plagued me.    Like the one when I was ten and silenced many times, where was the cosmic intervention by this god who we were taught watched our every move so that we wouldn’t embarrass our parents and strike us dead?  Were not 6 million reasons enough reasons in war for cosmic intervention?

I was ten and asked where were the smart, important men in this world, where were the church’s leaders,  who knew important things and were powerful enough to make the world run but could not stop Hitler’s war?   Where was this god of my parents?

It is a long journey to integrate thought, discard painful, useless dogma taught under penalty of death and still find my beloved planet reason to keep breathing.  But only as we emerge from this life where we wear human skin, can we even see the immanent god is the power within.

With a world of pacifists, artists, artisans, we see a world of sensitive and gentle souls who will forever wilt in the confrontation of a peoples equipped with weapons and the ability to arm the dark side of humanity with the power of thought.

It is what we see being done by the elected with a buffoonery that verges on the hysterical.  It is a dangerous specimen of humanity.

This is my thinking.  I drown in my tears when I think of the immense love that holds this Universe afloat.  Free will is free will.  And I do not like to think that the god within has not evolved further than the human who houses him.

As above, so below was the dicta when Christianity’s mentor stood on the rock.   We are heaven’s reflection.  Are we proud?

 

Photo a gift given by Jon Katz of BedlamFarm.com
Photo framed by my granddaughter Jessica Hallissey

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The Cut Of The Cloth. . . .

 

Several years ago I wrote that an elderly once said to me people only know what you tell them.  My reaction was a gasp! because she believed that.   There was no exposure to people more knowledgeable or more observant than she.  Although she would adamantly vow her God knew everything and nothing was forever hidden.

Such was her focus.  And many can relate to this thinking.   Huddled with their own preferred prejudices and religious dogmas which forbid dabbling with so called devilish dervishes, much was undisclosed.

With many who think that minds are private and secrets can be bought with hush money, there are still those who cannot fathom the innocent bystander upon whose head thoughts settle unannounced.

These are the souls who take to the woods and live out lives in solitude, or with the natural world. Or simply close the shutters.   People cause fatigue to these innocents who carry information that has no putting place in their lives.  Besides, they spook people out.   Oh yes, they do.

They become vaults of knowledge with nowhere to dispense it.  People will say about them, ‘never knew them other than just in passing.  Kept pretty much solitary.’

I have written poetry about subjects like the above and am surprised when I come across the poetry years apart.  But interesting are the perspectives and sometimes I find they change little.  Many Truths was written in 1986. . . .and Overheard was in an involved work of last week.

Many Truths. . .                                               

I tell you true,
if my eye caught it,
a picture has already
been taken of it.

If I know something
I can tell you true,
the neighbor down the street
or the unknown one
around the corner,
knows of it also.

If my ear has caught your cry,
or the deception in your words,
the heavens have heard the cry
and the deception, however layered,
in time is betrayed by you.

If my song is sung,
the heavens and my god
have heard the melody
and whipped the wind
and carried the joy or sorrow
to its Source.

It has always been so
and this I tell you true.
The difference?

I, now, know it.

November, 1986

Overheard. . .

I hear them say. . .
I cannot follow
what she says all the time. . .

And you say. . .
I don’t either all the time,
so don’t blame yourself. . .

But then I hear. . .
But she says things I know are true
and I think I only
could know them. . .

And you say. . .
that is why she can say
what only you know to be true,
because she has been
to all these places
we don’t understand.

And you say. . .
I can only wonder how long
it took all those door

to open for her. . . .

June, 2018

 

 

 

 

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Come To The Table. . . you are invited. . . .

 

Come To The Table To Share. . . .

Several years ago a loved one said to me you take such giant steps and expect others to follow you and we just cannot!  This was a surprise to me because everyone seemed yards beyond me and I was trying desperately to catch up.

It was with excitement I started to blog.  I would ask the questions I wondered when my hands were elbow deep in suds and  mounds of laundry.  A reader wrote and said I had no difficulty asking who they would take on a journey as Dante took Virgil but she like others never gave thought to these kinds of questions.

Nor roamed the ethers with such equanimity as I seemed to do.  I had and still have difficulty with this concept because I thought that my head is like everyone else’s.  We are taught in school that all men are created equal.  And children do not want to be different.  My head wanted to know things.  I had a need to know.

In my writing I see where people are not born all in the same kindnesses.  For some the ability to love has not been born in them yet.  The ability to see also has not been born which is different than looking.  The ability to discuss things,  to feel,  to conceptualize, the ability to grasp the essence or a nuance, or the ability to relate by bonding, by trust, by hope, by word or handshake, and simply by humanity is outside their frame of reference.

When our rituals and icons seem narrow for the questions burgeoning, it is time to broaden the premise.  Not to toss out the premise,  but  broaden our understanding.  When our God seems too small for the questions forming in us,  it is time to broaden our concepts with larger understanding.

When a favorite sister came out of open heart surgery her first words were man’s god is too small!  He is huge!  No church can hold Him!!!

Will it surprise us that the god of our childhood has a soaring scope that our finite brains will have difficulty envisioning?  Ahhh!  that is a journey that is exciting to begin.

And when we reach an understanding that goes nowhere and we bang our head on the wall with the maxim it is all a mystery,  it is only a way station we reach and another door will open up.  And again we are given light to brighten the way.   Seems like work?  It is.

But be assured that you will be invited to the table to share your journey.

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Words From A Borning World. . . .

(from a recent journal entry edited only for space)

So there was no one to talk to.  No one who understood the worlds I trespassed nor was welcomed in.  I stayed.  And took cover in what I had to do which left me open mouthed every time I heard something that belly whopped me with I cannot believe they said that!  Cannot believe!

And I never learned to talk on my feet even to this day.  I listen and give the speaker their time and think about what I coulda, shoulda said.  But could not, did not because I do not talk on my feet.  I need to think.  And I can only do one thing at a time.

So I have listened.  There have been a handful of good friends.  Heart friends who said I was a deep thinker.  I did not know what a deep thinker was.  What is a deep thinker?  One who listens  to the silent voice within,  the Comforter within,  the still small voice within,  the thoughts which come from a somewhere else destined for you?  Because no person  wants to talk to you?

And when my thoughts because I think them,  originate with me  I take  to the wall and bang my head there,  I find matched by thoughts from an elsewhere world, I know I have come home to another some place.

I was thinking this morning,  sitting in the dining room and looking out in the yard,  that what if I wrote with my computer what I did in the 2012 journal that there is an  overriding power that undergirds this universe, or universes with the symbol >:____—–:> except there would be curving lines which I cannot do or cannot do with this keyboard but another world took them to be a primitive understanding of a physical world because this is a borning world.

With a small physical brain and said she had something there with this and then put this symbol to work with a higher element of learning,  I would not the teachers said,  recognize the experience as mine  but within the higher learning I could  take comfort that my gleanings would have meaning.

They could take this symbol and say she understood that there was a rumbling thunder that was the beginning that left in its wake what we now know as the heart’s assuagement of a yearning that is the key to understanding somewhat a birth in process of a movement.

What was  thought of as a big bang theory was in reality an assuage of genetic anguish that has kept the earth in turmoil for forever it seemed with no termination.  Giving it a name will eventually terminate it and chasten the ancients’ ancestors’ anguish and continue therefore  a birthing process in movement.  And perhaps the babe in the manger will be allowed to grow to be the adult Christ in our Heart   (Emmanuel. Emmanuel god within )  and evolution will jumpstart itself.

And they will ask again,  give me some of that pipe she is smoking.  I like that mixture.

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Loved You Long Before The World Ever Was. . . .

 

This is the latest photo of Emma E. that I have and I love it.  I think she has a big surprise that she keeps hidden but I am sure she will let me know soon.  That half smile she has lurking around her eyes gives her away each time.  It is a big secret I think she keeps,  but there is no prying out of her.

I know all about prying locks open before their time.  It is like letting loose a down pillow with all the feathers flying about.  Like Pandora’s box letting loose its secrets before their time.  No use then trying to get the secrets back into the box!

Emma E. holds herself upright much of the time.  She tries standing with support and one of these days she will as her grandfather’s youngest brother did,  climbed out of his crib at barely nine months.  And when I plumped him down after a hundred times shouted at him,  why did you choose me as your mother?

Will Emma E.’s mother shout at her after a hundred times the same thing?  And will she be as surprised as I was with the words coming out of me because I never gave thought to my sons choosing me?  And realized of course I knew that somewhere deep inside of me?

Because I always told them I loved them long before the world ever was!  And I always told my grands that I also loved them long before the world ever was.  I, of course, knew that to be true but I had to hear myself saying those words out loud.

Maybe Emma E. smiles because she already knows that I have loved her long before the world ever was.  And she knows that I will love her forever and forever more.

That has to be a nice thing to know for sure.

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My Earth, I Take It Personally. . . .

My Earth, I take it personally. . .

When I was a homeowner it was said I took it all personally and it was impossible to live like that. To me the world cannot be lived in fully unless it is taken personally.  It is the only way to process information for any meaning to be applied.  It must be personal.  It must be meant for you.  If it is not personal, you are a passer through.  These are my thoughts on this, my world.

Everything in this world is mine.  From the thought in my head to my surroundings.  To my actions, to the weather in the course of days, to my thoughts in the length of my nights.  I am on stage in a morality play, in a thoughtful participation of all life.

I do everything in conjunction with everything else.  I do it because I must, to the best of my ability.  The things are visible, to someone in a somewhere.  To my neighbors who are nowhere in sight.  To the ethers who view and label my actions, to the best of my ability because I can do nothing else.   And what I do will have far reaching effects.

I think what I think because I think it.  My earliest thought was ‘think it through’ and I did.   Embarrassing, uncomfortable all the time, but rewarding in retrospect.  In carrying a thought to conclusion another aspect opened.  And so led me to more thought.

And I learned that all life is thought.  Everything is a thought form and every thought creates a something. With the question arising, what is it we wish to create?  We are a lesson in process.

Arrogant?  I think not.  Because if everyone knew this, we would be working our buns off outdoing each other in caring for our Earth.  Work would be the mode of action.

I saw a pin on a young woman in a store that said, Ask me to do as little as possible!   Inspire confidence?  Shows me she cares or is proud of her work?  Shows me she approaches life in a caring way?  She will leave the world a better place?  Funny pin?  To some, perhaps.

Because I take things personally, and because it is my world, made for me, I have to do what I can.  I wish to leave it with one more person caring.

Just for those who cross my threshold to feel better about themselves.  And given food for thought and to see their eyes light up on the yard and see that love cares for it by who the gardener is.

All birds sing for me.  All life grows for me.  All thoughts are directed at me and I with love embrace all of it.  Because I feel this way, I will work and my eyes will appreciate the greatness of the gift given.  And know the ache in my bones and fatigue is indeed a small price for this caretaker.

You realize of myself I can do nothing.  To ask to be an instrument of peace means that one will be asked to work.  It is my world and it is personal.  I have not been a passer through.  Everything is a lesson and everyone teaches.  I did not know how else to do it.

My world, my commitments, my priorities. Maybe arrogant to think so, but it has been a responsible attitude, done with joy.  If nothing else because then there was no one else to do it.  Now that circumstances alter cases, because I see, it is still mine to do as long as I am able.

artwork by
Claudia Hallissey

 

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The Keys Of The Kingdom. . . .

The Keys of the Kingdom. . .

My good friend appeared at the door and said you have to learn to play and we start now.  Alas, another argument begun about our differences , proving again opposites can be friends.

It is my good fortune and sometimes a curse to have the ability to view and discern behavior.  Because I see clearly what is one man’s meat is another’s poison.

People approach work and play differently.  I watched our sons grow and in process changed attitudes.  Mowing lawns, chore but cleaning the garage, therapeutic with a ‘look what I found!’  Planting flowers with their Latin names an art and school homework eagerly approached as to subject.

With the youngest I looked forward to making a hockey rink every week after Christmas.  I happily stood in below freezing weather and spraying but 2 a.m. was my last spraying! I shouted!  I somehow related to my elderly neighbor who sprayed with hose and nozzle in the summer for hours.  There is something spiritual about watering whether ice rink or garden.

One inlaw daughter with her artistic talent makes brussel  sprouts look awesome.  Another can make tired furniture look new even with ongoing construction.  Coupling these details with their professional talents make these an extension of their work.

Where is learned the virtue of labor and beauty in the doing?  The magic of it all is in the heart.  It is approaching the place in mind that says all is play because the body is actualizing the mind’s intent and therein lies the beauty.

Fortunate you are if someone loved you that you with love are remembering and teaching.  The memory comes alive at sometime and we pay it forward.  Some have not known it but we can be the memory for their future.

A brother and I discussed this and he said sis,  you have found the keys of the kingdom, haven’t you?  There is no more than this in its deepest.  It is all art in the making.  My Mentor said that the fields are ready and the call is out for the vineyards.  There is virtue in the labor and beauty in the doing.

A Belief System. . . (an excerpt). . .

The answers will be forever hidden
in a place no one chooses to look;
the hearts and minds of those
who love this earth with passion.
Surprised they will be
to see in the palm of their hand

the keys of the kingdom . . .

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The Workman Prays. . .

I had watched The Sound of Music  with my inlaw mother and I scribed a journal entry about it enjoying it for the umpteenth time.  I edited only for space.

April 12, ’93. . .It is with joy when  the heart of the viewer is touched.  It is joy when the hearts of man are swayed toward a gentler night; a joy when the master at home would have enjoyed the show.  Few abound and too few would stay.  It seems only women are audience.

Most things that deal with the heart are things which the female gender are saddled.  Too few males know the presence of their own heart or admit to it.  We know the effort of listening to the heart.  The gentler societies yield to their own hearts splendidly.  In the macho male societies we see the testosterone syndrome.  The one of man for man’s sake and it is a sadness when seen and we mean for man to see his nurturing side revealed.  It is only then that he will mercifully see this side that isolates him from gentleness. 

It is this side that yields to heaven’s words that opens him.  Does the female gender ever wonder how man prays, if he does?

This question took me by surprise and I said I never thought to ask.  I often asked opinions of males but never what mode of prayer, if even they do. The Teacher then asked me to elaborate my method of prayer.  I thought through and realized that ongoing conversation with my within god was a lifetime practice.  The conversation never stops.

This was a long discourse with another question of how do children pray.  I presumed pleading of I need or I want, petitioning of sorts.  Asking what others pray about I wrote is like asking them to reveal themselves in broad daylight to the media, isn’t it?

Working this thesis in mind gave thought and word to the following poem.  With so many males in my present lifetime, I have learned much about them.  Much I have never voiced and led many to think I am not only naïve but gullible.  My silence has only emphasized my compassion.

 

The Workman Prays. . . .silently we talk. . .

In the quiet
I take my tools of trade
and hold talk with whatever
Master Workman I need,
be he plumber and carpenter,
and one of less muscle, wordsmith,
seen or not.

In the silence we will
speak our hearts and take direction
and refuge solely because
there is nothing else to do.

We have done it all.
We have consumed our portions
and what is left is
for us to make peace with,
whatever our truth.

This is our prayer, if prayer it be,
our talk in the midst of our work
and what is left of our day.

The rest is litter, I think
and somewhat sorry and sad
that more of worth is not left
to feed the night and
those of heart’s promise.

It has taken all that I are to get here.  Amen and amen.

(poem written and are is correct
May 21, 2018)

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Life Balances Everything. . .

They were shadowing a century when they came to visit my in law mother and I had them all over for dinner.  I had married into a U.K. background, the satellite being Scotland.

Seated at a comfort meal, even the aged, ailing  uncle pleaded for a taste of real food of roast beef and mashed potatoes.  He happily ate.

Rrrronnie. . . .Aunt May rolled her r’s as she started with another helping.  What do you think of a mother who capped her daughter in summer because she had dark hair?  Startled , I said, I thought someone had issues not resolved.

I listened carefully to facts from this cousin hoping for light on my not understood difficulties with this  Anglo Saxon Protestant family I could never please.  I researched and found Scotland had been invaded several times in their history by nomads looking for delta land to feed the growing tribes on the move.  Their early history of course revolved about the break from the Romans.

But recently I read an article that new evidence shows that Africa was once green and easy to cross with many waters easy to navigate.  African tribes these hundreds of thousands of years ago left their mainland in droves, swooping countries with devastation in its wake.

We see today the ravages of war across too many places to count.  Generations will find that whatever their much toted pristine origins will be taken aback when the grandchild arrives with features outside their familiar culture.  Like the in law mother who as a child was made to wear a hat in summer by a severely prejudicial grandmother intent on appearances.

And unsuspecting but eager to be loved younger I marrying into an unknown family wondered why I fell short.   They only saw  features from an Eastern European heritage labeled rural and did not know the educated ancestors with a grandmother who spoke seven languages.

In the farm country of my home state settled by Germans where I spent my formative years, a grandfather announced a grandson to his friends with a sidebar of he has black curly hair and brown skin but he’s mine.  Of course he was and I look upon extended family and see unfamiliar features and even  tight, black curls of one of ours (from the Scottish line) and so far no blue eyes but who knows?

The sense of soil exhibited by some family members has made me look closely at investing some fantasy monies if they came to me in household bleach of any kind.  Watching these members scrub a genetic history of hundreds of thousands of years ago of what they consider stain on their pristine hides leaves me with a desire to shout as my Mentor did, ye are brothers!

You are your brothers’ keeper.  You are, we are,  I Am. . . . .

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Can One Be A Better Anything Than One Is A Person?. . .

 

Can One Be a Better Anything Than One Is a Person?

Many times, even vehemently, it has been stated that one cannot be a better anything than one is a person.  And the lesson is one well taken.  It would seem that more work is needed in the moral posturing  of would be leaders.  Lessons learned are not the ones they would be most proud of.  And the big lesson here is that there are many who feel that as long as they pay their bills and do good, nothing else should be questioned.

All who aspire to leadership of the common man, the average man needing the guidance of astute leaders wish to see those portions of one’s life one wants to hide, remain hidden.   But is it fair to place a man in leadership where when the big issues are approached one questions the integrity of the person?

Again we are at the basic assumption of whether one can be a better anything than one is a person.  What about one’s commitments, one’s honor, one’s word?  What about these values which have built people’s lives into civilized containers that have led many toward better health and quality lives?

In teaching morality to the young, for they will again need to be taught, is it the proper response to a biological function to say wear a condom or to say the highest of all human emotions regarding the sanctity of life needs to be placed in the highest category and not relegated to minute entertainment?

We have more than moral integrity on the line.  Should we also ask the aspiring candidates for medical tests to ensure that their tour of duty will not be interrupted by a social disease?

We ask that the nation united behind a leader who asks that one give his life in war noting that the issue is argued in good conscience by objectors of war.  And that same individual will unaccountably say that he could not commit himself to the marriage union without straying but in that case it was all right for only his near ones were involved.

The arbitrary disposition of such procedures still must be argued.  The arbitrary compulsiveness when the individual has no control over his own body yet wishes to control all bodies of all persons makes little sense.  Into whose hands does the common, average person place his conscience?

What one does behind closed door will be argued as private.  Yet war is not private but public,  for all to participate in, to maim and kill and honor and dishonor one another.  It would seem fruitless to go further.  It would seem not a cogent nor coherent thing to do to espouse maturity in judgment concerning matters of state when matters of personal discipline are questionable.

It would seem to an enlightened electorate that what is evidenced and is not questionable due to personal motives, be the guideline where the very large issue of personal integrity is at stake.  It would seem that perhaps all issues which neither fit nor are comfortable for the human be disregarded.  And should that be the case, what would be substituted as guidelines for those looking for direction on what to do?

We could dissolve into a sensual state where the pleasures of the body rule.  Where when one is at a loss in the face of large issues, one buries oneself in the momentary oblivion of the physical.  Perhaps that is the direction humanity wishes to go.  It would be far easier and soon there would be chaos in the streets where rape and pillage would not be an issue but a norm.

Perhaps it is carried to an extreme with this analogy.  But what we see when man reaches the age of reason, whatever that means in terms of legality, there must also come a discipline which is self imposed.  Perhaps there must be a waiting time for what is most desired.

Perhaps there must be new priorities set upon those common things of marriage and children.  But there must be education.  And there must be direction that will give the young avenues upon which their raging hormones can be vented in good use.  Not in the making of more babies and not in the promiscuous behavior which is given clemency in everyone’s mind.

Strange, isn’t it?  That the kind of behavior we espouse is behavior which in other times and places was simply called decent; the proper thing to do.  But obviously not in these times and this place.

In accordance with today’s mores, today’s values, and the statistics on the spread of diseases which can affect even the most productive life, of need will be a new adaptation of what it is the human body can withstand.  It would seem child’s play in retrospect to rediscover that education and an adherence to Victorian attitudes is in order.  But not with the ancient embarrassment attached to the human body.

With an attitude of understanding that the human body is vulnerable and the human psyche not equal to healing as quickly as one would suppose.  Even with death as a specter, reason should tell us that the human being is of quality as to be revered.  Not a conquest of the adolescent but to be honored and revered in direct proportion vulnerable as is one’s own life.

A thorough understanding of what human life is all about is in order.  A better understanding of what the fallout of promiscuous behavior has on the young should be apparent to all.  Lessons we teach are often not the lessons we wish to teach.  It would seem obvious to the thinker that lines of discipline are instituted for the just purpose of preserving life.  The thinking one knows this.

Those bent on shaking and moving must also be taught that discipline becomes the first one, and that is the individual.  Then the example will be the best teacher.  One has listened to the old adage ‘do as I say and not as I do.’  And yet when the authority figure in question sets examples that may lead to debility if practiced by another, one should first of all question the authority and wonder the example he sets.

There are those who argue for the privacy of the individual to do what he or she pleases behind closed doors.  Contagious diseases are not silent.  They ride rampant and they maim.

In these days where nothing is private, it best behooves the individuals running for highest offices in the land, offices that yearn to set an example for the commoner as well as the foreigner, or the office that wishes to unite the world in peace and brotherhood, be above reproach.

The kinds of issues that are brought up with the undisciplined individual are many.  We started off with the undisciplined in body.  The body is what we try to master first.  If we are not able to master the body’s rage and desires, how then can we even begin to give appetite to others’ lives?

The individual who loves plants and wishes to water and feed them, knowing what is required, will be a good tenderer.  The individual who wishes to be a physician will know how important it is to be first a doctor.  The individual who wishes to be an educator must at first be a good teacher.

There are differences attached but the each must first be developed a discipline.  And discipline ranges the professions in the same measure as ranges within the individual.

In the outward things, man does not appear to have difficulty, assuming as he does that the work will be affected by the effort.  So in the human condition.  The individual will be affected with the results of undisciplined behavior.  It cannot be stressed too highly how the undisciplined, whether in private life or public life will have an effect upon those they wish to reach.  And the lessons we teach might be those we wish we had not.

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