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Where Is Safe?


May I ask you a question?   He was sitting at the window and looking out as if he could will the sun to come out so he could play outdoors.   Why you ask?   Because I want you to know that if you don’t want to answer,  you can say no to me.   But you always answer my question and never say no,  he said.   I woun’t say no to you,  he said.   I maybe not know the answer but I woun’t say no.   I tried to frame my question simply.

I wonder, I said, if you can remember what it was like before you came here to live.   I waited.   He continued looking at me and I thought past me and then asked,  which time before?   I drew breath and then said the one you remember best.   And he smiled at me and said the one where we were together before?   Where was that I asked.   He said, you know,  you know.   That’s why I choosed you this time.   We were bestest friends and I knowed how much you could help because we were bestest friends.

Where was that I asked again.   He said in that cold place where we had to hold hands so our fingers could be warm.   Who was there with us I asked and he searched my face.   He was reading me I thought and then wondered why.  He said it was a hard time and this time would be better.   Why was it a hard time I asked and he said because our bodies were broked and sick.   This time he said we are not broke so we can go outside and play.   We were too old and broked last time and the cold hurt when we breathhhhddd.   How do you remember that I asked and why do you remember.

Because here I can breathhhedddd and it don’ hurt.   My throat burn in that place when things ‘ploded  ’cause they fighted all the time.  You ‘member he said, you ‘member.   And he became silent and his eyes clouded.   And he said,  we say to each other,  never  ‘gain,   never  ‘gain.  I pulled him to me and hugged him and said never again.   We will try to stay where it doesn’t hurt to breathe.   And I wished I could promise there would always be a place where it didn’t hurt to breathe,  but I could not make that promise.   For this time only,  I could hug him and keep him where the air did not burn his throat.  But how long before all places would be safe?

Until life in all forms vowed not to inflict such terror in worlds where to draw breath just to live would hurt,  we would continue to work.  That is a promise.


Hidden Lessons

Barn Scene - DetailFrom a journal entry September 25, 2000. . . . .”I meant to come down and write this story last week when it happened but again I did not.   Whether I am becoming lazy or whether just tired,  I don’t know.   But when I was unloading the car of groceries in front of the house,  a car came by with a young woman in it.   She pulled up in front of the house next door and parked.   She got out of the car and approached me with a slip of paper.   She was looking for a street address which she had written on it.   I told her this was the seven hundred block and she would do well to go down the next block to the East.  She was a little thing,  probably in her thirties or so and she said in broken English that she had come to a garage sale a few days ago and when she got home she realized that she did not pay the woman enough for whatever she bought.

I said well,  that is awfully good of you to come back with your money and I know the woman would appreciate this act of honesty.   No,  no,  she said,  my God sees me.   My God sees me.   And  that is why she was coming back.  I said,  thank you,  thank you.   For I had fueled my body with resentment to get my errands done and had forgotten momentarily what I was all about.   I was grateful to be reminded that when I am at a loss for a good reason to do things,  the one reason should be reason enough.   My God sees me.

I brought the groceries into the house and was coming out to put the car away.   I saw a car slow down in front of me and the window slid down.    It was the young woman from before and she said thank you to me again for she had found the woman and returned the money.   No,  I said,  thank you.  She smiled and waved herself away.    I think about her and can see that face with her scarf binding her hair and the smile crumpling a dignified demeanor.   And I am grateful again for being reminded that even with feelings not seen by the outside world,  my God sees me.   Anything that corrodes my Spirit needs to be worked on immediately.”

(And today with so much flooding our circuitry,  it is easy to forget the basic lessons.   I am grateful for the written word.)


Differing Perspectives

Years ago I found the word pewambic on a note on my bedside table.   I called a friend and asked her if she was familiar with the word.   She thought it had something to do with pottery.   I told her that in a dream snippet,  I was on my haunches and doing something in front of me.   I have since learned about the Native Americans of the Pewabic tribe (correct spelling) for whom pottery in the Midwest was named and I also learned that when dreaming I visit alternate realities.   My study has taught me that all worlds are simultaneous.  Even now I find my thoughts stuttering because though I know this is so for my memos bear me out, for all of us to live peacefully we must give space to different perspectives, i.e. what a person sees.

Here I step aside and the Teachers’ notes take over.   “You were working with the hands on a piece of pottery that stemmed from the area where you were.   The ancient civilizations were using the tiles borrowed from the more modern ones.   You were seen working with the tiles and with the pottery from a distant past.   The materials were not as ancient as you depict simply because they were of borrowed times.   When we speak of borrowed times we say that within the past and present or within the past and future, there is a melding that defies the linear description common to where you are.   If for instance you took the computer to another time, it would not have the functions,  but the rudiments would be the same.   The ability to work with the hands would be utilized but the time differential would be such that the illusions would be different, i.e. the materials.

The seepage, (bleed through from other times) would be there in the form of the machine.  What presents so much difficulty is your kaleidoscopic view bringing into focus bits and pieces of several dimensions (perspectives).  You can utilize this state by taking a more comprehensive look with eyes that work a bit differently.   It would seem from a distance to be all of a piece but what is really created is a new dimension.   What you see are many dimensions and the differing perspectives enhances the ability of others to understand those things needing a larger premise.”

And I say only if others are willing to give time to listen and space to be.   It is not easy when what you see is different than what others see.   We cannot climb behind an other’s eyes to see the world.   The child or adult in back of you,  in front or to the side of you is seeing our world perhaps differently.   Inside differences are sometimes harder to live with than outside differences.   As one wise child said,  ‘some of us have birth marks on the inside and some on the outside.’   We must listen to their words.   We must allow space for other perspectives because we don’t grow in understanding unless we draw a larger circle to include those who are different.

We must broaden our premises if we and our planet are to survive.


Do You Hear?

IMG_20140108_134901_738 Do I have more minutes to finish?   There was no time for answers because the little one with a dash was out of sight.   In a few minutes he was back and announced,  I finish.   Having learned to wait while private things were finished,  I waited again while he proceeded to his room.

I followed him shortly to find him in pajamas and ready to crawl into the high bed.   Well, should it be a story to tell or a story to read I asked.   I am ready for you to choose.   Tell me what it is we should do to get you ready for sleep?   And I waited.  Minutes ticked away while the choice was being made.   Patiently, again,  what will it be?

His face took on a faraway look as if searching for a memory.   I recognized the look and wondered where he would go for that memory to take shape.   I knew it well.   It was a look that had been on my face many times with voices telling me to stop dreaming.   I needed to pay attention to what was at hand and not waste so much time dreaming.  So because of those reprimanding voices,   I knew to wait.

He asked if I would sing the one I singed when I singed with other voices.   He knowed that song!

What song is that?   I wondered.  There was no time for me to sing with other voices that he would have heard.   Like this, he said and in his high soprano he sang his Gllloooooooooorrrrrrriiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaand I knew.   Unbelievably I knew.   The music hung on his tongue and in his throat as if he were tasting a delicate sweet.

When did you ever hear me sing that?  I asked.   Before I came to you,  he said.   Before I came.   I heard you singed and my heart singed with you.   I knowed I could tell you some time if I just ‘membered it.    I promised I would ‘member so I could hear it again and again.  I knowed that you would ‘member if I singed it.   And you do!  he said,  you do!

And I believed him because I gave up choir when he was due to be born.   I took this child into my arms and sang the song he so wondrously remembered.   And when I came to the part he remembered his voice faithfully shadowed mine.   And another posit was added to the Memory Bank but who would believe it?   Who??????  Except the many someones  who entered their place of belief every time they bent their knees.

Those are the who. . . . . . .


We Are A Mosaic

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Sometimes our actions seem out of context.  It is as if we are dancing to a song not in the musical library.   It is not heard by anyone else,  just us.   It is not foreign to us,  but seems puzzling to everyone watching.   We know that it is still us,  just not the us that people know.

All of life and human life especially,  is likened by me to a mosaic.   Bits and pieces here and there of importance but I wonder where some of the pieces come from when they are not of this lifetime.   They have a fit though in the larger picture.   Not that it need flash before my eyes,  but more of a feeling as being part of the whole.   This Veronica has a Veronica who has a Veronica.   Ad infinitum.  My boundaries are no more since my inside has no outside.   What I try to describe is that we are more than we appear to be.   How there is a depth to us always eluding,  never definite, never static.  That if we had the ability to focus differently and some do,  we would see ourselves as a substance far greater than three dimensional.   When we put our arms around beloveds, we are embracing the human family from which we all rise.

When I heard the term ‘sense of snow’ being described as a one who looks at a footprint in the snow and tells what animal walked, how large, what way the wind was blowing, how far the animal traveled, where he had come from and many other things,   I understood it.   I immediately thought there are those also with a sense of time and a sense of destiny and those things driving one to learn sometimes by osmosis but definitely by study with a keen interest in a subject.   They make connections.   Given a word,  they take it and whip it into the present and use the premise to show how we connect.   This is an area that adds to depth.

Those who can, read the handwriting on the wall and know who wrote it because they understand the language.   They have a ‘sense of’ we say because everything they see connects with the subject.  A sense of snow.   It is a wonderful term.   It describes fully those with the ability to hear the cries in crisis and those who see themselves as part of a mosaic,  not even consciously realizing where all the pieces come from but knowing it all is part of the greater picture.  We are a mosaic,  within a mosaic,  within a mosaic, ad infinitum.   The sense of it all is vast.

The nonsense question is who am I.     The real question is who am I not?

photo  by John Holmes


Private Time

IMG_1601Can we make the snowman now,  the little one asked.   Almost time,  I said,  almost time.   Well, he said,  when will it be the right time?   And I asked him to think about it.   He was still for a minute and then asked me what I meant.

Well,  I said,  there is a right time and a not so right time about things.   Can you name some things that have a right time?   He looked at me and with a bright smile that showed gleaming teeth,  said, yes!!!   Well then,   I said,  tell me.

And he looked at me and said that it was always a right time to make cookies.   It was a right time to eat ice cream.   And it was a right time to take care of those littler than you.   And it is always a right time to put your toys away when you are ready for bed.   I agreed with all of those and I said that was good thinking.

And then I asked for examples of things that don’t have a right time.   Can you think of some and tell me what those are.   Welllll. . . .he said,  the not so right time is when you ask me to do something and I am not ready because I am not finished with what I am doing.   Intrigued,  I asked,  what can you possibly be doing that I don’t know about and especially when it is the right time?   And he looked at me with wonder,  puzzled. . . . .you don’t know?    Nooooo,  I said,  I don’t.

Well, he said, when I am doing private things and ‘specially when I am telling secrets and those are private things.

When I am talking to my friends that you don’t see.  And when do you do that,  I asked.   When I play and whisper things to them.   They whisper back but you can’t hear them.   But we have talks and they are my friends.   Who are they,  I asked.   These are good friends from before.   When,  before,  I asked.   Before I came to you,  he said.   They are my forever friends, he said.   Forever.

Hold onto them,  I said.   Hold tightly to them.   And you be their forever friend.   Tell me next time you talk so that I can wait till you are through.   I know,  he said that you have forever friends.   How do you know this,   I asked.   I see you move your lips and I know you are talking to your forever friends.   I watch-ed you, he said.   I watch-ed you.

And then I hugged this little forever friend who watch-ed me.


The House Of Many Rooms

DSC_1144On November 5th, USA TODAY had an article entitled, ‘A discovery out of this world;  Earth-like planets.’  It went on to say that the space observatory, the Kepler telescope has shown that about 8.8 billion stars in our galaxy have planets nearly the size of earth with a surface temperature that could support life.   And probably tens of billions earth like planets in our Milky Way galaxy.  This bit of news should send up flares in all our religious premises that have spoken of  ‘our Father’s house has many rooms.’  How else to say to the mental landscape at the beginning centuries’ count that there are other worlds besides this?  As it was,  this concept could only be grasped by the selected few.

Even now when tempers rage as to whether we are evolving or were hatched fully grown and believers to boot,   there is no common ground where intelligence can gather itself and say,  we are open to new knowledge.   It is a sad commentary on the work of those who have toiled hard and long to bring us to the place where we can say yes,  the divine spark is harbored in all of life.    God in a rock.   No doubt it will take some cataclysmic event to bring people to their knees and say it is time for all of us to seek knowledge from where it comes.  No need to sell our souls for a pittance.

There are some who come to earth different than the average person.   These mavericks are placed by destiny here and there to add a richness to the evolution of mankind.   They march to their own drummer and speak with words when questioned that have meaning to those who search themselves for affirmation.   Often they are thought to be behind everyone else, though when questioned possess an intelligence beyond what institutions could teach.   These are the ‘angel unawares’ that the Good Book speaks of that nobody reads but most display.

Those who speak of life elsewhere generally only envision life like ours.  Perhaps we can entertain thoughts of life in terms of other than linear measurement?   Perhaps we can think of life with illusions not manifest?   In terms of perhaps dreams dreamed and thoughts having their own reality?  Jane Roberts, in her series of Seth books in the 70’s spoke of ‘unknown realities’ where concepts of immortality can only be given meaning in terms of worlds unknown to us.    The knowledge of metaphysics adds a rich layer to physical life and we must revisit  our ancient heritage which  speaks to us of cosmic values.

It is time for Joseph Campbell’s heroes’ journey for each and everyone.   It starts with one small step inward in search of our common divinity.

Photo by John Hallissey


Where The Heart Is

photo-7-1Are you connected to your home?  Would removing you from it remove you from your memories,  to what you have learned, to what you love not because of how it looks but because of what you have invested?  A wandering brother once said that he never felt like I did and he had lived in many houses because of his work.  To be a home it must be invested with the soul of one, with the emotions and with the love.

It should take two people to build a home and a family.   But in many cases, too many of late, it is but one.   It can be one of meagre surroundings.   It can be of any type, in any country, in any place.   But with the place should be invested the emotional growth and in recollection, should be one of acceptance.   If the place is simply a house,  a place to sleep in and a place to leave, we have a rootless society, with no connection either to themselves or to their place of origin.  And their origin means the place where they became aware of themselves and respected for their persons.

When a place is created that is secure in the minds of the children, when what is created is of love, then what is given is a freedom to fly and then to come back.   Not necessarily to the physical place but to the secure emotional place within that has given them a rooting.  Those with no penchant for traveling will in time realize that rooting is taken with them and is not lost.  But for those whose hearts are secured within the place they have given their best, have taken their responsibilities to the highest and best they could envision, these attributes give to the children and the adults a confidence that world events cannot shake.   It gives them a grounding where the earth itself becomes home and a love for it that never dims.

They will forever hear in their minds and hearts the voice who greeted the morning and was servant to the day.   This is where the heart rests.   They will feel their connection to their earth no matter where their home is.   They do not spend their lives looking for a place to call home because they were rooted when it was necessary by those who loved them.   They will find wherever they are that they are at home.  The earth will never be an alien place, a foreign place.

Where the heart is will always be home.


There Is A Place

DSC_1197When I posted on this blog a letter I had written to the Professor of Theology and Philosophy in 1991, I mentioned Robert Nozick’s book called The Examined Life (published in 1989) and the possibility that we might be in the creation business as apprentices.  I recalled a conversation I had with our son David  who was a lawyer with a Philosophy major who also spoke of creating worlds which was new to me.   That took place long before David’s death in 1985.   Recently I found this poem written in 1988.


There Is A Place

There is a place and time
hanging to the east of conscience,
lolling in the fullness of space
that I watch and hunger for.
It thrives on my thought
being a world I created and rolled into Being.
It belies my judgment, proving itself real.

I’ve worked till dark and used the moon
to guide the plow through memories
meshed in tangled emotions.
I’ve cleared the land allowing new growth
to firmly root and be nurtured
by sun held too long beneath
grey clouds, heavy.

I did not know to do it
except my need to begin.   Anywhere.
And anywhere was a lot of places.
I was a good place to begin
so I began to plow,
through memories giving rise to emotions,
giving rise to pain.   Again.

To have left them buried beneath
a facade of civility was courting
volcanic eruption in babies still to be born.
I knew that but didn’t know I knew it.
I plowed till dark and through the night
and by the light of the half moon
plowed some more.
The night grew weary of me.

And now I sleep.   The babies play
and in their play create worlds again
on firm ground, growing grass without weeds,
digging foundations in loam
and not building mountains on garbage.
I’ve given them what I knew to be best
of what I am.  No need for them to fulfill
my dreams for I’ve dreamed them

and the new world waits.


February 4, 1988


Hopes and Desires

DSC_1148Those of us who have hopes, hold tightly to them.  I have found  during this life that there is insufficient time to enclose them all.  There is not enough time to focus on them as well as our commitments.  And we don’t know this up between the eyes at the time we make our first commitment.   Because we are honorable peoples, we stay the route and run out of time which takes us with it.   The commitments we go into, with part of us still wishing hopes fulfilled,  take energy into their cause.   So the girl who wished to write teaches her children and they become fine writers.   And she who created in the kitchen for her brothers teaches her children how to create with their hands, with their minds,  in the pleasure of the fields in all weather.  She teaches the glory of creation with reverence.  We learn what we can do with what we have and are richer for it.

We watch our children make commitments with their desires running alongside, to find that they must shelve portions of them we term dreams (because they are not yet physical) and tend to the needs of commitments.   And then we wish that each generation will be aware of consequences when decisions are made that prevent desire’s fulfillment.   Failure?  Giving up?   No,  just reality doing a check.  Humans must be a priority, especially when we make them.   What values would have gone into a dream are instilled instead, in commitments.  We learn early that our hearts teach us in ways the world cannot.

And the dreams of value,  either genetically impregnated or morally ensconced,will have their day either here or elsewhere.   And the dream being of noble quality demands a someone of noble quality to carry it.   If the progeny carry their commitments with honor, their dreams will be carried by a someone with honor.   Our hopes, if passed to one with memory who cherishes these, will be fulfilled.  And we will be the person of quality who dreamed the desire into being.  When we have worked the dailyness,  laid the groundwork,   done the footwork, and have ploughed the field to make it ready to work, the hope will be a reality.

All of Life is carefully balanced.

Photo by John Hallissey


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