Author Archive | Veronica Hallissey

Why the words. . .

I wrote in September ’87 journal that  I glanced at Ernie and Frank’s (I think) cartoon on my desk.  Descartes says, I think therefore I am.  And the gent disappears after being told this and the logical thought is, if I don’t think, I am not.  And like tea, I steep, how can one live without thought? 

I recall  once a  brief  silence in my head like an empty wine cask.  Do people live like this was my question.  What do they fill the silences with and I don’t think I want to know.

Coming to mind immediately when writing this was the reason the kitchen fan was not working. ) ( My head works like this.  Because when the new addition was insulated, they inadvertently covered the vent.)And when I read this I thought of my sister’s complaint that it takes a whole page for me to say walk to the corner. (4 words)

I say but what I wish to share is what I see when I walk to the corner.  You understand I thought everyone was like me or I was like everyone else. When my world crashed, Dr. Cassidy, my first psychiatrist, was so wise to ask me what I saw when I walked down Michigan avenue.  And when I closed my eyes and told him, he whistled through his teeth and said you understand that others do not see this.  And when I said nothing, in dismay he said, my God, you don’t. 

How you see is how you talk. And when you listen you will hear what you need to hear and  how to respond.  Some will hear the antiquated language and some the vernacular of the times.  And the wise will take to heart to talk or be still.

Coming to mind will be memories entwined which will take courage to unwind.  I had received a photo of my sister holding her new great granddaughter and I told her that in her 80’s she was as pretty as she was as a girl.  There was a long silence on the phone.  But you were the smart one she said.  I began to shake and knew to hang up the phone and say nothing.

What I heard was familiar and it was not love.     

If We Sing To the Children  . . .

 I wear these memories
as a cloak to ward off the chill.
Emotions forgotten, but like new now
ripping along my arms,
settling bumps in straight rows
to my heart.

Kindred hearts, matching
my own heartbeat,
with eyes like mine and

reflecting our souls.
Music in voices saying,
‘and when I look at weeds beside the road. . . .
but you know,  you know. . . .’
And I do, I do and we look with eyes
that see and ears that hear the song
of the bird before his sounds
have escaped his throat. . . .
and the music rumbles in our blood,
coursing through our hearts
and gives life only
to those who are ready to listen.

Not many to be sure, not many,
but if we sing to the children
perhaps,  just perhaps,
the earth’s cacophony
will one day be in harmony.

It is our heritage;
from where it is we come.
From the farm country I was given
a substance that does not spoil,
that does not turn sour
even in the residue of life.
It is not dregs that I drink.
It is the cream rising to the top of the milk.

I needed to see a skyline
with no obstruction and with no words
you laid your hearts on me.

photo by Kathy Qualiana

 

 

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Within Memory Recalled. . .

 

Home of One’s Soul

The Teachers Speak. . . Every so often, out of one’s domain, there is an isolation that swamps one. It is difficult to shake, and yet there it is, evidence that this is not home. There is a portion or many portions appealing to one, yet basically, the at home feeling begins to leave.   This is when one digs in and brings to light all those things that brighten the soul. Dig into your handiwork, give yourself some leeway but stay with the program, stay with the route. You will find that the isolation will fade somewhat and again you will regain your sense of belonging. But do not distress yourself about it.   It is a pure longing for the home of one’s soul. It will come about in its own good time and the journey will have been worth the while. And what is gained along the way will add simply more weight to the gems in your pockets.

(Again for me this is an example of all time is simultaneous. The above journal entry is from November of ’94 and the poem following was written on the eve of my birthday,  May 24, 2015,  so it was really yesterday that the teachers spoke to me, all time being simultaneous. Yet linear time is crucial to allow growth to take place.)

Within Memory. . . 

You will again yearn
for a patch of green earth
to lie down on,
to smell the pine forest alive
in its secrets.  Or hidden beneath
the crisp cover of fresh snow.
They will not have left your memory.

Somewhere also within memory,
is a place yearning for you.
It is deep in time that is
as remote as a country village.

And yet there too, you will find refreshment.
You will find eyes that light and
follow you when you enter their doors.
There will be those whose lives
you have searched for remnants
of who you are.

You will find them waiting silently
for your voice to beckon them
from where you have been hiding
for almost a century;
bent on finding the reason to live.

So come now, when you hear
your name called and let us know
you are willing to be with those
whose love for you is weighed
in centuries.  Nowhere near the place
you now hold as being close to heaven
and yet, yet, close enough that you
will lose your hold on the place
destined to be another memory.

You will take love for god’s sake
and hold it high as a solemn token
of the herald’s torch reminding all
that the way is always safe

until the games are over.

September 1, 2022—for those who prefer the heaven once taught for comfort, today I tell of a life lived with open head and memory.  Not easy in the midst of regular folk.  But as I was told, everlasting life is everlasting life.  Do you prefer life everlasting to annihilation?  And heaven can only send out what they get in, what have you learned to gift those you love ?  I have loves awaiting almost a century for my return. 

I hope I have shared my talents wisely.  With much love. . . veronica

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the morning sun on time. . begin again. . .

The lines from  Tom Atkins Quarry House website from the Poem Making Rope stopped my heart the moment I read the lines  . . . . . history . . . .
that does not die because a few care enough to remember
and live the old ways, sure as faith, and twice as strong
as a soul that has done the work, day after slow day,
of restoration, a painful maintenance to save
what matters more than perfection.

At what point is it that one breaks with what goes for the norm where we are and with no conscious thought begins anew?  It seems subliminal but what it is animating who we are says the profound, enough already!

And we then are of One Mind and begin.  We don’t know for what, but begin we do. 

And history does not die and we begin to learn and remember.  We choose what is real and  works and the value system attached  has significance. 

It is not easy ever and for some it is gut wrenching.  The painful work of disentangling the memories attached to those we wish to cherish, takes an enormous amount of courage.  It has stopped many an able bodied man. 

Is it worth the struggle?  All the time?  When I see adult bodies running rough shod over children’s hearts, I remember my Mentor’s words. . (you) Suffer the children to come unto me, for  such is the kingdom. . . and I want to shout at the big bodies in didies, Grow up!  Already is past the time for long pants.  Already,  I see the children showing more maturity than the ones who borned them.

And heaven can only send out what comes in.  No better.  So when I wrote pour me a cup of solace. . . I was ready to throw in the towel.  It was time to pull in the sidewalk and close the shutters.  There were no woods to shelter me this time.  But with a new morning  sun on time, we begin again.  And again.  Hope springs eternal and life prevails.

If not, who would teach the children?  

REFRESHMENT

Pour for me a cup of solace
and serve a generous slice of mercy
and perhaps, just perhaps. . .
I will choose to live again.

A meagre portion
of passion dissolved in multitude
can no longer satiate
an appetite grown ravenous.

I learn.  I know.
But when the menu is designed
with child in mind, I bellow, not fair!

I have used the energies
to fulfil the wants
of those who made them their needs,
while my own went hungering.
So now. . . .

Brew a cup of solace
and anoint my head.
Serve mercy to garnish and appease
a heart grown turgid.

Perhaps the convalescence
will heal nerves made raw
by my passion to breath
the sanctimonious air
of sheltered existence.

And perhaps. . . just perhaps
I will forget enough and decide

to choose the green earth again.

 written  January 23, 1987

photo by Jon Katz

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With Gratitude served. . . .

 

 

Come To My Table

Come to my table
and sit awhile
and I will tell you tales
of years gone by,
attended by loves and those
who held magic in their hands.

We have supped
and laughed and cried some,
but mostly told the tales
that love spun out of gold.
It was a rich time;
not the coin of the day
but the values in the hearts
of those who dined.

It was magic
that threaded us together
through the years to find us
all at the same place, entwined.
But the love and the magic

may have been one and the same.

Do you think?

(March 26, 2013written)

Family and family of friends. . . To all who have sat at my table all the years and have made life so rich for me.  I   am blessed beyond words for what you have added to my life.  And this poem is a thank you.  You are the love and the magic and it is one and the same.  Do you now know that?    veronica

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Why Hope Springs Eternal . . . .

The Road To Damascus. . .
And Paul,
on the road to Damascus,
unaware of forces pulling at his thought
was none the less surprised.
In the privacy of mind,
how could an invasion of thought
not his own be in conference?
So it is, in the wars of the visible
and invisible worlds,
the supremacy for power does not stop.
Our worlds!  Claim the gods. . .
My world!  Claims the pilgrim.
One in partnership till man tasted the lust for power.
Lest we lose this, the best of all classrooms,
brotherhood is still the dream and our hearts
still too unripe to embrace its benevolence.
But its power of magnetism still attracts
what prompted this dream
that catapulted us
to give search to the meaning to the why of us.

December 10, 2017

Journal Entry August 16, 1989….Why. . . is the perpetual cry. . .

And there is no answer.  There truly is not.  If there were an answer there would be rote and ritual.  There should be circumscribed ways of doing things and all of the excitement, all of the sparkle would be gone.

So with the unrest also comes hope that somehow, someone, someway will come up with something to solve a situation that has not been thought of, has not been tried.

AND THAT IS WHY HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.

Not because a god will step in, but man with his diverse ways and histories will bring together thinking that may yet save a people, a species, a world, a planet.

Hope that has not been tried before with no results will come forth from someone or that someone will overcome a barrier and do the unthinkable, the impossible, and the unlikely and this time it will work.  He or she will overcome their aversion and hug the person.  They will forgive and all will be forgiven.  They will unlock that door that bars the pilgrim entry and will be hailed the miracle.

Will you be the one who will create peace within chaos and will bring diverse people together, if only within your house?  That will be all that is necessary.  Nothing else would for if just one place had peace within its walls, all places would eventually have peace.

The one to do this must do the footwork to achieve what is hoped for.  That all the psychological devices and reasons have been tried and one is ready to throw in the towel.  To get to this place one loses self to the greater self and knows there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Fear handicaps and narrows the focus with unfortunate results.  We have lived for too long with those results.  Because the footwork has been done, the drummer now heard has new direction slated.

We may yet save a people, a world, a planet and this best of all classrooms.

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Mavericks Wear Many Costumes. . .

January 14, 1990 Journal Entry. . . 

I was reading Jane Robert’s ‘Unknown Reality’ and came across her channel Seth saying about a world where the Sciences were directed in another way.  Instead  of  outside of  oneself, the detached observation of outside influences, for instance, studying an amoeba all by itself instead of in its relationship to conditions of Man and other consciousness.  I read where  there was a world that operated from intent and emotion within and these were the criteria by which all things were judged.

I have lived my life this way  and did not know there was any other way.  I see and feel the intent of everything and though words can by themselves convince, they cannot convince me because intuitively and innately I operate from the way I am.  I know I repeat but when my world traumatically toppled and my first psychiatrist asked me what I saw when  I go down Michigan avenue, I told him and when I finished minutes later, he whistled through his teeth.  You realize others don’t see what you see, he said.  I said nothing and he said,  you don’t.

I was scared out of my head and said nothing. For my 36 years I thought I was like everybody else. I use words with precision that run on a micro chip in my mind. Too often I heard why do you have to be different.

Mutations in life occur when there is sufficient stress and motivation that produces a pulsing against, a tension within the gene. When conditions are ripe, many mutations occur. There is a change that takes place in the genetic influence. And this change, due to intent and motive, will eventually change the course of the world.

Certain behaviors will be visible, but they will be modified when keenly felt. We have already seen this and to me being close to a hundred years, lives have become lifestyles and not lives learning.  The truth of genetic changes being seen is difficult to prove to Scientists whose instruments only read what the reader reads. For the one who stumbles on information due to inner guidance, evident changes because of genetic influence will baffle many.

They will say if it cannot be proved in the laboratory, it is not real. Yet silent mavericks are among us.

Structured guidelines will loosen and ideas different from dogma will be forthcoming. Coming down from his mountaintop experience, Jesus said his Father’s house had many rooms. Not that he could say many worlds because man could not relate  when man’s world ended at the horizon. He also said that as a twig is bent so shall it grow meaning  bent it already was with a history. And no doubt dragging a foot still in a previous world. Also said at the time was that Earth is a reflection of heaven and heaven earth’s reflection.

One thing from the book ‘Unknown Reality’ from Seth, Jane Robert’s channel, haunts me still and I do not remember reading it, but it is seated in my root being and has guided me forever it seems as Shakespeare’s ‘To thine own self be true. Thou then cannot be false to any man’. 

Seth through Jane said that the striving of one increases the potentiality of Everything That Is.   And this places great responsibility upon every consciousness.

One sees one’s connections then and the work needing to be done. It is enough to take one’s breath .

   Artwork by Lucinda Cathcart      

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The Deep Within. . . is the connection. . .

I scribed October 10, 1983. . .

We wait for this day.  You hear the arguments in the head and you think all the while the hands do the mind’s bidding.  In this we find a great interest and comfort knowing that it is possible to function in a secular life and continue to grow.  Your questions show the current interest thinking which man should be doing.  You ply the heaven for answers and forgive us for saying there are no answers to the questions.

There is nothing yet written which would answer your why, how and wherefores to satisfy.  Not possible.  There is a keeping on, keeping on and a growth possible not yet tapped.  Questions persist and not always have answers that leave one in comfort and wellbeing.

You have already tapped this reservoir. Which proves that man, as a whole, can do this for himself.  You reach this point where your answers will be forthcoming, as you provide them for yourself.  You cannot find in the heavens, even , the final conquest.  There are worlds upon worlds, but the Rabbi told you that, didn’t he?

You know this in that part of you which has searched the skies for that part of heaven which would give ultimate rest.  You know that, have always know it and now is part of your fabric.

Not comforting, is it?  There is no place, not a one, where everything is brought to completion.  How can there be, when there is no completion?  How can there be when all is in a state of becoming?  It is all becoming; we are all becoming.  Becoming what?  We can only surmise.  No one knows.

This is where the grandfather God is the comfort.  This is where man finds if he gives thought and thinks it through, he gets bogged down.  In despair, throws up his hands with ‘God Knows’! 

He is right if he means ‘unknowing, unfathomable, omniscient, omnipresent, spirit of the Universes, he is in good territory.  If he means a being like himself, in physical form, he spends the night walking around his house looking for a place to lay down his head.

You have the ability to grasp this concept, and with the devices and comforts of living add to its intensity to keep on keeping on, you find within the reason to make perfect.  What you see in your commitments and priorities reasons to help.  Without your help, we all would be floundering.  We look for growth and enhancement of mankind in all areas.

Commitments will set our priorities and unveiled will be to our surprise, substance of who we are and from where we come.

THE LEGACY

We dried the tears with straw flowers
and they scratched your face.

The etchings on the parchment
which was your skin will forever be stayed  
and will be read only by
the keenest eye and the discerning heart.

The indelible ink which wrote
was with pen dipped in love.
Repeated washings rinsed with tears
did not bleach it out.

So take your heart and this one and this
and ask for memories to build
in worlds uncertain, in unions
without ballast,
a treasure chest, a memory bank.

The loves will loose
the memories in future times
and in the moment
release for their own, a strength.

And never know in a history buried
deep beneath their skins,
there was a she-man
of indeterminate strength
who plied her trade
and in the course of time,

endowed her progeny. . . .

 (Poem from Dec 01, 1983
Journal Entry)

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With These Hands. . . love. . . gratitude. . .

 

To Use These Hands. . . . from another time. . .

As dawn breaks, my fingers of both hands curl about each other and I marvel at their slimness, their ability to elicit the feel of themselves, each digit wrapped around the other.

And I think that nothing, no other world will ever make me feel such blessedness as my hands’ ability to do so many things over the course of this life.   To kneading bread, to winding the yarn, to smoothing the brow of my very sick child and have him tell me later that it helped him sleep. Everything I touch holds a lesson for me.

The square inch of soil I spooned with young hands yielded secrets kept from generations. The eyes of a child as my hands embrace young shoulders tells me what went into their ancient heritage. And I grasp their hands in mine and convey my love by touch.

I would use these hands to mold and make and set trends never before thought. I see the beauty of the great god in the blending of these human genes and see the  perfect Adam and perfect Eve emerging and see the virtue in the making and the doing of the homely tasks that will start the holy process once again.

And I will open my arms and spread my hands to grasp the youngest by my hip and be grateful for hands that show how very much I love on this planet called Earth

My input to date. . .July 13, 2022. . . .I was unprepared for what these last years would bring.  There was no hint of not being able to do with my hands what I loved doing.  But the accumulation of physical work which was a palliative for the emotional turmoil brought on by many variables, has given me too much time with regretful, ‘I should not have allowed’  whatever dotage has brought me.

Even the simple task of grasping a spoon or scissors, grits the teeth, coupled with a half dozen other auto immune deficiencies science has uncovered.  It is not easy to allow Nature its qualities to cease and heal.  She shouts in my house, enough already!  Time to let go and be. 

My head has not gotten the message.  It still is in gear.  We will continue to argue but we both know she has the heavier clout.

But who was the teacher who said, ‘do and you will be shown how’?  I did and do and now I am reminded not to forget my bread recipe when I arrive.

 

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The Dance. . . We as participants. . . .

                         The Dance. . . . 

There is a dance that our feet learn to do when first we stand up.  That dance is learned well, for even when our legs no longer dance, our phantom feet remember the dance.  They itch to dance.  And under penalty of death we think, we stay with it.

If we decide to learn new steps, the old ones often need to be altered.  And if they are, we either think we are not needed for our dance, or we feel our steps are not noticed anymore and are taken for granted.  Either way, we feel sorry for ourselves or worse, give up.

Very few give in and learn new steps, perhaps slower ones.  The new dance though is alien to our self image and we are certain the new steps will be laughed at. Fortunately others do not remember our old steps as we who danced them.  In the  fashion of Fred Astaire, our memory tells us we swept others along with us.

And that is the kicker.

When one is aware that a new step is needed, one is aware also that the dance is soon ending.  How to do it gracefully, with a sweeping dip that barely touches the floor, takes a nimble body and mind.

Most  of us do it with the tentative steps we learned when first we learned to dance. For the vision might still be sweeping, but the body falters.  We soon find the audience’s attention is riveted on younger feet still learning new and beguiling steps.

We shuffle off the floor.  Our dance is over.  And we are never the wiser that the young feet doing the new dance could not dance at all without our learning the old dance first.

artwork by 
Claudia Hallissey

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The twig bent. . from where I come. . .

I have delayed posting because of ill health.  Also because I wondered if what I have been involved in has been so much busy work.  At times we have to confront and reassess.  And because I am heavy with verbiage,  there is much verification.  Not all bad and some even passable.  I have written on this subject of thought before but feel it necessary to repeat.  To think is a real gift given and work it is.   It is a practice most avoid.

I remember three compliments given taken to heart.  My brother in law, who said he liked asking me questions because he knew I researched and young friend Mark who said he saw me with only one face, never changing from private to public and our David who when he received his phi beta kappa key turned and gave it to me because he said I earned it because I never closed the books.

Since I am in the decade leading to a hundred years, I take stock in reading journal entries.  I have to because I cannot believe this life.

January 7, 1988   journal . . . I write,  Cannot sleep after reading Albert Schweitzer and the section on parallel lives, and Buddha with no satisfaction.  I read what others were thinking but nothing new.  I left the book with the feeling that not a one of those learned men spoke with any authority.  This is not to dismiss the good that they did in life at all.

But none had experienced anything to have them think other than what was rote.  Nothing original. No one said that when he experienced what was written resulted in new thought. Or if disagreeing, why?   What if anything rocked the brain’s marbles into new thought.  It amounted to compilation of thought as a lump of clay and dead.

The rote delivered was that Jesus was not influenced by Buddha.  Even considering the times and their own progression among humans, we learned  we are the sum of who has gone before us.  Just as Buddha also had something happen in his enlightenment under the Bo tree.   Who is self made?

How could Jesus not be influenced, whether by having an open mind at birth or whether at baptism his head or mind was opened?  Or as a young man making his way from place to place where Sages puzzled the sacred arguments with no closure, he must have concluded causes for man’s lack of progress? 

What I hunger for is someone to say because of this happening, my thinking changed and so my life.  I do not wish to dismantle illusions for many are legitimate and necessary.  I have come to conclusions wrought by footwork, muscle and heart and cosmic intervention to have my body and limbs seize on me. 

I see also those in power were not even vetted for common sense.  Who play on the fears of common man who have not been encouraged to think on their own.    All that is required is for their hard earned dollars to line the pockets of fear mongers who promise to take care of them so they pocket more workers’ dollars.

Questions we should always ask of ourselves and others.  And take the time necessary to think them through.    Is it life giving or life taking.?  There is no argument with the answers, now is there?  As complicated or simple as we are able to think.  But listen carefully to how you answer. 

May you walk in good conscience, deeply rooted.  In whatever world you walk in.

 

photo taken by
Kathy Qualiana of my brother,
her father, Stanley

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