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You Stayed The Course. . . .

 

 

You Stayed The Course

Only you saw what you saw.
Yet you stayed the course
and plowed the field
and now the plow is lifted.
We will work.
The children will have their toys and
the world will have the words and
in due time you come home
and we frolic.

 


‘Til the morning lingers onto day

and the night never ends;
’til the stars forget to shine
and the moon hides its light
from the ne’er do wells who take
so much for granted.

We, love, will drink that libation
that holds the variegated colors
and will chortle from this world
onto the next.

There will be love and laughter;
there will be joy and there will be rest
this world has not been able to grant.

We will have brought peace
to the memories and
no longer will they haunt you.
The ancestors will rest
and man will look forward                                                                                         
to what he can accomplish.
The world will blossom;
all worlds and all times.

The path in the jungle has been cut.                                                                   

 

Jan 14,’89   journal
August 29,’14

art by Claudia Hallissey

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Fun With An Idea. . . .

I remember walking from the garage to the house and  wondering if my mate would see the work  I did in the yard that had taken me till dark to do.  And I was thinking of the Christmas tree I had once put up, sawing off the trunk to fit the holder,  stringing blue lights and also the decorating everything had required.  All this and even the latter was thought walking the path to the house.  The blue lights of the tree in the new room window were vivid in the dark.

And the thought occurred walking that it was in error that I thought I did these things.  And the error was in thinking that they were done to gain the praise and gratitude of the one I had in mind.  It was not the Other whose praise I wished.  It was none other than my Self I did my best and worked to please.

The scenes I wanted to duplicate were the ones I had in memory.  From where or what world I did not know.  But from a somewhere and sometime that burned into my brain their beauty and with the love for me that somehow came as an apriori, a before that kept me warm.

When I saw this photo from Emma E’s grandfather, who said that the great granddaughter decides whole scenes with great grandma’s tapestries,  adding a house, birdhouse, raffia  and sea shells with very real symbols, I know what is withdrawn from that memory bank.

Important to me is the care given to creating what is done from mind’s bedding.  Lately I am keenly aware of the casual dismissal of what is made and what little thought is given.  And it seems any effort is called creative no matter how thrown together something is. 

It offends me greatly because if it is worth doing, there should be pride in workmanship when done.  Time and physical effort called sweat should accompany what one presents as one’s work with name attached.  Some things are done as exercise of an idea and should be our fun.  Creative presentments should have standards that are measurable. 

Our schoolrooms once taught these standards.  Realizing that many felt outside what was accepted and were singed by the standards should  open one for further study and practice to make better. 

And learn that we are not the only way station but our further journey will yet show us sparklers.

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a mountain top experience. . . .

I had intended to send an email to a friend and instead with this quirk of a mind which is mine, it took to be an essay.  When finished I thought better than to send it.  The reason being another trip to the hospital last weekend in dire straits.

An early cardiologist appointment on Friday morning the 7 th, had him saying you need hospital care and the feeling was imminent.  So a weekend in the care of my Mentor’s Caregivers had them releasing me to my family on Sunday, January 9 th.

And time to give some thought to what I need to write.  The finding (stumbled) and reading of an early journal entry, (almost to the day plus 50 years) had this to say about the road being traveled.  I edit only for space.

January 17, 1973
Wednesday

Been busy at work all day.  Read for a while last night and was interested in the excerpt of Paul Tillich when he talked of the Cosmic Consciousness experience as a State of Grace.  It is interesting how much I understand what was not clear a decade earlier.   Does time do it or growth?

Tillich states that Grace cannot be wished for (how can you wish for something outside your experience?)  Yet when it comes you know that something outside your experience has happened;  not by various names but a something, happened. 

Mine came with the knowledge that I was one with the universe and the words, ‘He Lives!’
Whether that meant Christ because of my upbringing, or because a friend died and was alive without a doubt.  His wife was impressed to call me on the day he made his transition and the only thing I could say to her was that he lives,  over and over.

This was the 3 day period when I felt as if the top of my head had been taken off and I indeed felt one with the universe.  This must be what it is like when you die to this world.  The physical boundaries are no longer and you become part of the surrounding. 

I seemed to flow into the Ethers.  I felt part and parcel of it, a oneness unbelievable.  It was exhilarating while it lasted.  I did not know of new intellectual stirrings, except no doubt about the foreverness of life on a gut level.  And the words over and over ‘He Lives!’

Tillich said that all that is necessary in this experience is that you know you are accepted.  It also comes out of grief and despair.  To this day I don’t know why I was so devasted by this friend’s illness and death.  Except I remember our first meeting of recognition from a someplace and sometime.

How deep can grief go?  It flows through the very core of you and out to join the suffering of ‘All That Is’ . . .

And  the core of you is ‘All That Is’  . . . .

(I have been encouraged to enter the early journals into my blog.  One already through conversation, that few know even scattered religious history.  I have mentioned my crashing world with the doctor asking me to speak to some student wannabe psychiatrists.  I agreed and found a roomful waiting.  And only one had an idea, an idea of maybe this is what I was talking about, the Rosicrucian.    

There may be no description given that matches the experience, but as Paul Tillich said, one knows a something happened, a big something.  It was an authentic experience and in discussion with a Protestant minister, he called it a mountain top experience and wished it had been his.)

This wall quilt surprised me and I am fond of this artistic side of me.  Knowing how difficult it is to stay with a body intent on laying down,  the jenny genes triumphed.  Probably never again.  I negotiate with my teachers for a bit more time to try another evergreen.  

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All Creatures great and small. . .

 

 

In reading Bedlamfarm.com about simple changes in their three dogs leading to a concern, it brought to mind this whole pandemic we have been tangling with.  Not only our concern with humanity but with the creatures we live with. 

I am certain we have had more differences of opinions these past two years than we contend with and no resolution.  The fact that there is question among us concerning what we should do definitely with humans leads to questions about our four legged companions.

We wonder if we have a cold or Covid or possibly underlying complications from conditions compromising us.  Is our Newfie upset because we’re housing the sister dogs or is it something in the water?  Why all the accidents with bathroom habits when I am home all day? 

And why all the landscaping upsets and gross eating outdoors?  When our Newfie blew out his hind legs demanding surgery on both, son John toted pool water breakfast and dinner times for a month while Leroy was in the hospital.  Because Leroy wouldn’t drink city water, nor eat the kennel hospital food.  Otherwise of course he is no trouble and he was a free dog.  There is no such thing we learned.

The opinions diverse.  When something becomes a pandemic, common sense tells us that our companion animals are affected too.  We are not protected from wild creatures  hugging the earth that roam the landscaping and climb the walls to get inside the yards where the good stuffs are.  I watch lizards scoot up the cinder block fences and squirrels still playing havoc with dogs still trying to jump 8 foot walls.

And the 200 times better noses on the dogs sense the gross droppings from night creatures eating better than they are they think.  I still think it is partly the pool waters.

Many of the homes nearby have backyard pools.  And it means that whole communities are treated for what ails us.  I luckily talked to the pool man and asked if changes had been made and his immediate question was what are you noticing and troubled with? 

I said loose bowels habits and upsets in our creatures.  He said we have increased muriatic acid because of the pandemic as well as other measures.  I told him I had been running the hose into the small spa section of the pool where the big guy drinks.  He agreed it wise to do so when he treats the pool. 

I understand water is the most affected during any crisis that affects the community.  And animal hospitals are first aware of this.   It is written about in most veterinary literature.  I am observant. 

I have no written credentials but my eyes still work.  I am wont to make connections and since I spot first what needs cleaning up.   Sorry, it is what I do.   I care for what is alive and even sometimes not.

 

photo by Jessie Hallissey

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Our Sense of Time. . . and other things. . .

 

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 especially is likened to a mosaic.   I wonder sometimes where some of the pieces come from when they are not of this lifetime.  They have a fit though in the larger picture. 

My boundaries are no more since my inside has no outside. What I am trying 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 ‘a sense of snow’ being described as a sense of those who can look at a footprint in the snow and tell what animal walked, how large,  what way the wind was blowing, how far the animal travels, where he had come from and many other things, I understood it.     

I immediately thought there are those with a sense of snow,   a sense of time,  a sense of destiny.   Those who 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.  So we say they have ‘a sense of’, meaning everything one can think of to connect with the subject.   

And those who can see what the future holds because of the footprint in the snow.   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 still can identify the pieces as part of the larger picture.   We are a mosaic, within a mosaic, within a mosaic , ad infinitum.  The sense of it all is vast.

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

Sense Of Time

There is a sense of time
stretching from here to  
other worlds whose names
are not in my vocabulary.
I am certain of here because
this is where I am.

I pushed away the snow
no longer pristine as first it came.
I took off my coat; too heavy now
with the approaching spring.
Too bad I think that the season of snow
is now so short.
Once it embraced the whole of me
that looked upon its arrival as enticing as
whipped cream on a piece of pie.

Its anticipation included holidays
that swallowed wicked witches,
soon followed by grateful hearts
 seated about the table,
swollen with the summer’s harvest.

I put away the significant things,
sorting them for another year.
carefully storing memories
to be added to a life
already crowded with them.

I will remember this holy season
because of my fill of joy,
of heart shedding happiness.
In this world are the ways
we measure lives in holidays,  
in holy days, in births and deaths.
only because of

our sense of time.

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Are We the Promise Given? . . . ..

The first week in December found me transported to Emergency with atrial fibrillation.  Since then it has been a trial of finding what medications are  acceptable to this body with not so many adverse reactions.  I have found myself not nice and complaining.  So conserving energy, my work has been my best of what my loyal readers have said to me during these many past seasons of love and memories. 

I thank all of you who have gifted me with your time in this very difficult segment of our lives which has brought about stress and behaviors to consciousness we thought we had outgrown and learned better.  It does give us hope though that we can restore the goodness we have worked for in ourselves and community. 

Remorse and regret need not be attached to our names.  We have time to erase them with hands to lift each other up.  This is who we are because we have been taught well and we have worked.  To all of you who are part and inhabitants of this human family, I wish a heart filled with joy this holy season whatever your persuasion. 

I am restored again to a compassionate frame of mind that shows we know what substantive values we hold that help us enhance our humanity.

And though we do not share others’ beliefs, we can at least hold the candle for each other as we make our way up.  I bless.  And eagerly accept your blessing.  To bless is a gift given to us when first we draw breath with soul.  Use it frequently.

do you hear the angels?     . . .                                                      

Lifetimes lived secreted
behind the wooly frames of memory.                                                               

We jog the frames
of Christmases past. . . .

Scents of
pine boughs and holly berries, mince pies and cranberries.

Sounds of
apple crisp snow and retorting icicles.
crackling fires and laughter.

And the sound of silence,
as love stretches through all dimensions to encircle Thee and Me.

As real as tangible,
as the star beams on the evergreen.
A promise. . . .
given and kept.

Do you hear the angels?

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A Sacred Obligation . . . to think . .


(For my new readers and for those who need to be reminded, I share again this vignette.  It speaks to how we are connected, one to another as well as to the invisible worlds.  Just as Christians celebrate this holy season, others also celebrate their holy days as Belief demands of them.  We live by Beliefs that signal our inner knowledge to greater reverence.  The unseen world guides and directs us in ways we often choose not to acknowledge.  By not acknowledging, we lose sight of what can be universal progress in peace.  When we accept the differences in ourselves as well as others, we will accept and extend this acceptance with no reservation.  Our intent must always be to broaden our focus so that we live in harmony.   It is our obligation to the sacredness of Life.) 

 

 

 

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  Gllloooo oooooorrrrrrriiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaa and 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. . . .on whom our lives rest. . . . 

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Changes Are Afoot. . . .

July 20, ’16 journal entry 

I was reading in my suffering servant essay that what we do here is felt throughout the Universes.   That we are being watched closely.  Not only our unborn but other worlds also.  Jesus was an evolutionist.  He knew that what one does eventually all will do.  Both good and evil.  Look at what is going on in the world today.   

I talk of the essence of god.  Because in quantum language Becoming is the key word.  We are all in stages of becoming other than what is, are, am.  I stutter my way with words and thoughts and do not wish to dismantle but to nudge the thinking .  We need help for our world.  And for worlds watching what happens here so that we do not contaminate the rest of the planetary systems. 

Remind us that pleasures are not the sole purpose of our agenda.  But learning is.   Of ourselves, our earth, and universal life and our innate knowledge of responsibility.  We would be reminded of what we know and taught what we do not.  Various stages of universal life watches like a visual for the vagaries of unruly children in various stages of disrepair.  We need to be healed so we can stand upright.  We know to our embarrassment what upright means.  Not so much different as correct for our time,

 

The snowflakes were just barely visible when the younger looked hopeful and asked can we make a snowman?  Well, I said that there really had to be a lot of snow on the ground before we could roll it into a ball and make a snowman.    We could stay up later he said and wait for the snow to fall.

But I said to him there is school tomorrow and to stay up late was not a good idea.   Then I asked him how important was it that we make a snowman?   And he looked at me in astonishment and said but how could we have Christmas without snow?   I said but what about the children who lived in places that were hot all the time and what did he think they did?

He was silent for some time and then said quietly, they make believe, don’t they?  Tell me I said, what do they make believe?  Like I do he said when I am sad or I wisht for something that doesn’t happen.   I make believe in my head that what I wisht is real and then play like it was real and pretty soon, I am happy.

Do you do that often I asked and he said lots of times.   Especially when I am hurting inside or wisht with all my might for something and even I knowed that all my might not make it real.  But then, then the hurt inside goes away when I play like it did happen and I not sad anymore.

Well, I said, this I can promise you.   When the snow piles up to just two inches and I showed him how high two inches was, we will make as big a snowman as we can.   We will roll and roll until the ball gets bigger and bigger even if it takes the whole yard!   Like higher than me, he asked.

 And I said higher than you.

And then I hugged him and thanked him for telling me how he made himself happy when he hurt inside.  How did you learn to do that I asked?

And he said, I watch-ed you.  Always I watch-ed you.

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Love transforms. . . .

Perhaps you also feel as I in looking about, and wondering is this not the hardest lifetime to have lived?  This lifetime is filled with notes and memos reminding me of the impossible events I have labored through.  And wondering from where came the energy and the chutzpah to work through them. 

I am glad for the nudge that brought me to the keyboards to note those events.  It is dotage that brings a respite from vivid memories because the weight of them is burdensome.  Glad that I learned what was mine to learn and now ready for what refreshes Spirit.

And glad for the sons in my life who brought awesome gifts to me and whose presence in my life made what was mine to learn, necessary.  Not only helped make me a better human being, but wealth in experience money cannot touch.   They are the jewels of my life.  Love transformed us all.

Legacy. . .  

The house is quiet
when I enter this private place,
this holy place,
to listen to my private oracle,
my comforter,
while I chase down my holy grail.

This holy grail for me
is my philosophy,
that I spent a lifetime pursuing.
I was pushed and pulled
into a blackened pit
strewn with many lifetimes’ worth
of desecrated dogmas.

I was expected not to question,
just accept as mankind had dutifully done
for centuries.
But life’s ironies consumed
an enormous part of me
as the maternal segment refused
to feed the children of my heart
an unpalatable meal.

Strong arms lifted me
and the nearing century
found me
in august terms in a legacy.

But I will leave some memos, essays,
words of many muses,
whose meanings are dressed
in costumes of countless lifetimes.
There will be ledgers
on how to build a life
with digestible ingredients.

Done as the mother of sons
whose hearts and minds she hallowed
so they would never, ever
think that she took
the keys of the kingdom

 and left them bereft.

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A State Of Mind. . . . .

  A State of Mind     

 

‘Country’ is surely as much a state of mind as it is a way of life.  If it is a place, it need not be in this time and space.    It can indeed be buried so deep in memory that in the normal course of affairs, it will not be unearthed. 

Just to recognize the feeling is sufficient.  One can live in the center of the largest metropolis, yet have within the pulsating heart the yearning for ‘country’.  And find its expression, it will.

The eyes will hunger for a skyline with no buildings.  And we will find the largest field we can and pick out the hedgerows and swiftly identify the birds nesting.  The heart will be alert for the sudden movement in the shrubs and note with delight the brown eyes of the trusting doe. 

The feet will shed their years in the cool grasses and pick up  the butterfly net with the youngest child and take to the fields.  It is the metamorphosis of the most profound kind.  It is the body coming to life in however brief a time.  And sometimes, too brief.

For eyes too long held to the grimy snow of cities,  in the one whose heart brims with ‘country’  even the first city snowfall will bring to mind other times where ghosted angels cavorted in knee high drifts. 

In those very eyes the star valentine will be seen and be recognized by a similar soul trudging alongside.  It is a song to be heard and Nature calling to her own.

Touches of ‘country’ will be found everywhere.  Sometimes an ancient bowl and pitcher will have a special place to be handled carefully with dreams attached.   Or a checkered cloth with pottery will be set for dinner.  And cornflowers in a crystal vase. 

Stories will be born unto these memories brought in from deep wells of yearning and they will spring to life and hurtle into the future with internal power.

Carefully crafted wooden toys, highly polished, will seem to belong to another time.  The receiving child will still delight in what is different but unmistakably made  with love.  And the circled guests will marvel at a cobbler floating its berries in heavy cream and shush the health fanatics with ‘it doesn’t  happen every day’.

These are tributes to another time and place and also to those who keep alive a way of life for those of us less fortunate.  And the loss is felt when lives are run by the second hand on the clock, when there are no fields in center cities for children to run barefoot in grasses.

Country people whose lives are lived with their eyes to the clock, their senses to the change in wind and darkening skies and wheat fields ready on the moment for harvesting, may not readily agree.  But the differences are valuable and meaningful.  In their presence one senses the difference immediately.

It is that imperceptible hesitancy in answering a question that articulates keenly variables affecting an answer.  It is in that glance that takes in the horizon, ‘whence cometh my help’ before a commitment is made.  It is in the delicate thrust of a child’s hand in answer to a greeting.  And the firm grip of the parents’ on yours.

These come from an innate love and respect for our Earth Mother.

These are the signs of ‘country’, simple, articulate, trusting when trust is extended.  Beautiful, artfully crafted with loving hands, whether from the oven or the workshop or the knitting needles.  Signs that we cling to because our lives depend on them and they do.

So when the first snow flies in countable flakes, keep me in mind.  I will be searching the snow for the earth angels.  And I will find you.

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