Hope Enters With A Promise. . . .

 

Just do, she said and don’t ask why!  It was her mantra, her Om, her ominous threat!  This great, great grandmother of Emma E. with her brood of young held us all in check being a sergeant at arms.  We muttered our displeasure but we did what needed to be done.  We inherited what I call the jenny genes, inspired some of us and caused some of us heartache.  But we see in our progeny the results that give us hope.

And we know without doubt that hope is the factor that gives life meaning, for without it there is no tomorrow worth waking up to.  Emma E. with her fragile and precarious beginning at 1 lb 13 oz is the now charming and lovable child pictured here having just passed her first birthday.  She keeps on giving intangible gifts of love and laughter  that are priceless.

Thirty three years ago her father came into the world early as she and I thought determined to live as he was, he would have even if born in pioneer times on the prairie enroute.  His daughter is determined as he.  Being only familiar with my side of the family intimately, I see the jenny genes from the orphan my mother was, working yet through her progeny of grands and greats.

Having just come through a week of laying to rest a President of what  is called the Greatest Generation, I am reminded what the characteristics that were their legacy.  Commitment, frugality,  work and responsibility are the hardest things to teach the children.

The Depression years  took the laughter out of many lives but the birth of Emma E. has given all of us reason for joy and hope.  When the larger picture is kept in mind, we can cherry pick the legacies and keep what is fine and good and what gives life.  These are worth working for and keeping.

We always hope the best of who we are is born into our progeny.  I look upon this smiling face of Emma E. and am glad I hold onto that thought.  The thought that the jenny genes will be her strength to persevere but never to forget to laugh.

The Journey. . . a life. .

So we pitch our tents
on the side of the quiet river
and look for landmarks in the morning.

It has been a full day, rafting and
wandering through the rapids
hoping for a night of calm waters.

Still, we hope.  Christmas will
come knocking at the midnight door
and hope will enter.  And she will

be welcome for she enters with a promise.                                                                                          

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Shared Silence

Shared Silence

In rereading a journal entry of many years ago I wrote with little editing, ‘that my husband of more than a half century went out the door this morning with little communication.  Though there was little talk, there was a communion of shared history in the house.

I think that has replaced talking, being more a feeling than anything.  Not preferable, but the status.

The feeling is that we are what we are and there is no changing at this time.   It was a matter of love me as I am for I can be no other.

It is not that communication would not be welcome.  But even that I really don’t know.  Growth is singular and individual, depending on the soul’s need and intent.

There comes a time that is past communication.  There is a time for silence.  Silence , I would suppose is a time for Being.’

(I add this thought today,  ‘a time for Being, not like in closing shop, but Out Of Time, meaning outside of Time.  Elsewhere.  A soon time.)

Shared Silence

It is a time
past the time of talk,
past the time of argues.

There is a time of silence,
a shared silence,
a time to accept,
a time to simply
slip into old slippers and Be.

No matter the world,
this time is ours.
Maybe not to fill
all the empty spaces
but given time, blends them

into a communion of shared silences.

 

artwork unknown

 

 

 

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Does The World Stand Still For You?. . .

 

If memory serves me, the one thing I learned from what I have been told is that no one thinks like I do. Trust me,  it was never a compliment from the time I was a child.  When I first started this blog in 2011, I started with this poem.  I excerpt.

‘How heavy is a spider’s web
on a butterfly’s wing?

Since everything is balanced,
the question is proportional.
A friend said to me, only you
had eyes to see it.

Does the world stand still for you?’

This morning I was at the kitchen window looking at the orange tree and thinking creatures are eating the oranges by gouging large chunks and eating them still on the branch.  And I saw then a tiny bird sitting on an orange and pecking into the gouge and having his morning juice.  He was barely seen in the leaves.  But certainly too little to break the tough peel of the orange?  A minute later he flew off.  I gave my thank you for this sight.

Just as I thought my Maudie Dove blinked but was uncertain,  the next morning I watched her and sent my question out and sitting on her nest, she blinked.  Several times.  I had been told after I noticed that when I acknowledged the bird song one morning that the song halted momentarily, that indeed the thought was accepted and appreciated because the song begun again.

This connection to my Earth is one that I cherish.  It will be in my memory bank forever.  We are unique in our perspectives  and each step in our evolution puts us ever closer to what our potential is.  There is no ultimate, there is only growth.

I excerpt another poem called ‘The Moment The Star Fell’ which shows the ongoing quest for answers that have fueled my life.  The question could be anyone’s question and it matters not, but the journey does.  This was a Given and you will see your thinking in it.

(Excerpt from The Moment The Star Fell. . )

I see you search the southern sky
closest to your bed and against your will,
hope a star will fall, just for you.
You think you will know then.
But you will not.

For in the morning you will hear
of a meteor or a similar explanation
to salve the mind of man who thinks
only his world is truth.  And you will doubt.

Yet you will think, ‘ but only I knew what my heart
required at that moment the star fell’. . . .
and then you will doubt again, for they argue
their arguments to convince.
But within the place of rest,

how could you not know?

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Standard for Common Measure. . . .

 

This is one of those times when life calls for a time out to let the eternal hold sway to be appreciated.  We let loose the hold that events have on us and just let life have its way.  Our mental balance demands it and our relationships require it.  It is enough to catch our breaths and rest our eyes. 

We deal with the living we must do but give obeisance to the divine within that molds and creates who we are.  Pray that we show this divine side to all who depend on us, visible and invisible.  We will then contribute to the progress peaceably of our Earth Planet to the Universe at large.

Common Measure. . .

Your fingers chase
the outline of my face, racing to catch
the smile climbing to my eyes, you say. . .

Where the corners crinkle with laugh lines
but how could they not?  Such love
bestowed by a heart matched to mine,

with thoughts commingling gently.
No argument there, you say, for how can you
argue with love filling the crevices of mind,

filling the void with hope; setting a standard
for all to measure against?  As with  all bars
set high, it will one day be common

with love serving the All as standard measure.

 

photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.

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Angels We Have Heard. . . private time. . . .

 

Can 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.   Well, 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.

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No Place To Go. . .

 

I was told that what is done for one will be done for all.  Meaning for me that when one does something unusual or different, the potential exists then for all.  And this is how progress becomes a sure thing for civilization.  Evolution takes a step, sometimes a baby step, but it is forward.

There are others who have experience in matters not common.  I have kept notes on dreams and researched my experiences.  I could not speak openly and was cautioned much because of public circumstances.  Times are different and I speak for the children who are different. 

There are babies now being born who have been mentored and if they are fortunate and have support they will teach the lot of us from where they come.  In the Dead Sea Scrolls a disciple asked Jesus where we go when we die and Jesus answered, why do you ask when you never wondered where you came from?  He also said the ‘the twig is bent’  and religions don’t mention apriori, before we are born.

Most assume that all is formed after birth but every parent knows each child comes already predisposed.   My exasperated mother would gladly have told you about me.

No Place To Go. . .

Your words are strong my eldest says. . . .
and the road made accessible
for the rest of us.  No need I say, no need.
You will do what is yours to do
in your own way.

The road is closed with wooden horses
barring the way, not for repair
but because a new road is laid.

My Mentor said what is done for one
is done for all. . .so the heavens made bet
it would never be done but it seems
there was the surprise.  It is done.

They say they give an inch and I take a mile.
My verbiage is clear.  My focus enables focus
in boundary-less places as I weave
in and out of black holes and wind drifts
to find myself welcomed.

I have friends all over who wait
except where I am.  Here I am different
and in this place to be different puts one
on the outside looking in.  They do not know
where I am coming from.
My vernacular is not theirs and

I have no place to go with what I know.

 

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In Thanksgiving. . .Because it is. . .

Sometimes I look upon past work and see a new perspective, a new meaning.  And sometimes I cannot remember the person I was who wrote the poem or prose.  It is someone who has made up a portion of who I am and I bring her to the work I read today.  And I am all who I am, what I was and who I am becoming.  That someone I become will surprise me I am sure.

There will be more differences noted not only the physical ones all see.  The subtle changes may seem minute but large to me.  Glimpses are given embracing memories long faded but now gaining form.  Life lived with dedication to commitments leaves few regrets.  And what were considered obstacles now become mountains that have been climbed successfully. 

We are in the midst of a vast universe.  Vast.  And we are more than what we appear.  Our connection to All That Is is real and wondrous.  I bend at the knees easily.  In Thanksgiving.

Because It Is. . .

You cannot dream things that never were
for in a sometime and a somewhere
they’ve taken place and left their indelible memory
on your mind.

Only to be remembered when a slim shadow
casts its spell across your life
and causes you to bring forth a relic,
a piece of the dream that had its substance
in a far time when love was pocketed
near your heart and brought forth to heal
a wound, to make life complete.

Never to question why or why not.
Simply because it is.

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I Will Speak. . . .

I Will Speak. . .

I sometimes envy those who chose to come to this Earth having adopted a religion or a way of life to concentrate on what lessons needed to be learned or just to enjoy life.  It is only delaying what must be done eventually, and that is to confront the history either chosen or mandated.  It will need to be done sometime and I give what blessing we each have, and give profusely.  It is a damnably hard work.

This poem, ‘I will speak’ was a Given, as much of my work has been.  The footwork was mine, every step of the way.  It was not my intent to post this particular one, but when my eyes saw it this morning, immediately was given the artwork done possibly 35 or 40 years ago when I was deep into the journey augmented by Claudia’s art work from about two years ago.  I could see the two pieces spoke the meaning of the poem. 

I leave the meaning to the reader bringing his or her own history.  My explanation would need explanations profuse.  We all are more than we appear and I have used up whatever bundles of energy lying about unclaimed.  I have picked these bundles up like an alley picker to bring me to this time crowding a century.  It’s your turn.

I Will Speak. . .

I will speak of the membrane
covering tightly the beginning
where memories are housed.

It is with comfort I see
in my head and feel in my heart,
spaces where I walked and talked
and hungered for Light.

It is a thin film covering
the foetus of memories
rolled up with bony knees
pressing my heart.  From where?

Except that place or places
I was cautioned about for being out too far.
I brought them with me, dressed
in pulverized skin that became coats for us
always too loose,

but garments we grew into as man.                                          

 

poem written in May 2013
Claudia Hallissey heart art
(my infant on wood plaque )

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Interdependent . . . The Art of Being Human. . . .

 

What I have read and heard of independence makes me think  I must negate a life of work which I thought meaningful but not in the currency of the day.  It seems we lost our sense of interdependency and community and our sense of belonging to the human race.  It is evidenced daily by the lack of communication about memories,  our ties to the past as almost a temptation to the ugliness of nostalgia. 

It appears to be a coward’s way of living instead of living in the moment.  But the moment to me has no meaning except what the yesterdays have given to today to give it meaning.  It does not preclude my giving new meaning providing the significance  of what is brought to the moment by us.

For we are making a memory in the very moment we speak to someone.  They will look upon it as memorable or a nightmare.  It may not be  what is intended but because of their history, our giving to make it momentous, will be compounded by their input because of who they are.  And the who they are is what they contribute to this life.

That will be determined by birth, by parenting, by education and apriori, how the twig was bent with history upon entrance to life.  All of it goes to determine their survival.  Blanket judgements are often made leading one to think one’s life has been for naught , especially in the case of money in our culture.  To be accused of using someone as a meal ticket is highly offensive especially when the weight of the burden is unknown.

In a partnership much needs to be considered.  When one is caregiver of family along with home and property manager,  though money is not brought in, money for services does not leave the premises.  These have to be counted as salary for services rendered. 

Much is demanded from a union in a complex world, especially with children and in this day, with extended family under one roof.  And often the nature of a relationship determines what the surviving spouse needs to complete life.  When aging health problems require help, it is a comfort not to use what little energies are left to battle the details of healthcare.  Speaking as one who closes a lifetime and able to contribute to the household, it is a relief not to feel a financial burden to the family.

Looking back on the years of marriage to a public person and being the parent on the premises, maintenance and caregiver of property, and yes I was owner of the trimming shears and pruner,  shovels and wheelbarrow, the edger, mower, and snowblower and knew where I put them, had I been hired I would have been wealthy after 60 years on the job. 

Plus 20 years of on the job training by a mother who was at heart a top sergeant.  When a neighbor saw me painting the side of the house he yelled across the street and asked if I was for hire.  Mister, I shouted,  you cannot afford me and neither can my  husband but he doesn’t know it!

We weigh carefully our judgements.  Independence is a marvelous word when we are in good health.  Until the first calamity we can be reckless.   When time comes we all wish for a derrick to get us out of our chairs.  It is a sure thing for most of us because medicines keep us breathing but not mobile. 

I am grateful for the cherished young who love me.

2

With Knees Bent. . . .

 

With Knees Bent. . . .

There are those who  have learned the ways of the world but neglected to learn the lessons that might  have led to the same conclusions with understanding.

*****

In the midst of agonies, there is the absurdity.  But to carry the absurdity past its point, belabors it.

*****

The lessons have been taught over and over and now the students will either come to class on their own or continue recess.

*****

Today’s man only allows 30 seconds to capsule our thoughts.  Anything more smacks of lecturing and lecturing brings back a harness that mandatory education is.  Strange that he has forgotten ordinary conversation which once we engaged in happily.

*****

To be less than compassionate is to befoul the learning.  To be less than one’s best is to compromise.

*****

The mind set to turn a particular direction is already bent.

*****

Only as we observe that life is everlasting and neverending,  and the challenge is in the journey with hope,  mankind will tolerate the fact that destiny is in his hands.

*****

The greatest lessons are those that require digesting but man prefers it all to be done while he sleeps.  The most meaningful are those of length that he must trudge with footwork and those wrought in the places of ablution.

*****

We are out to lunch when an Other deals with what we are not aware of.

*****

We can take events and make good porridge from fermented oats.  Sometimes it is grain gone wild.

*****

There will be change simply because there will be shame.

*****

When what is done is done in good Grace and a full heart,  there will be knees bent at the bed’s edge.

*****

Let the music in my heart be heard in the spheres.  And let the heart interpret correctly.

 

photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.

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