Archive | Essays

Coming To The Sainted Day of Heart. . . .

They are such simple words but for some people to say the words will cost them dearly they think.  And yet to another,  their lives hang precariously they know if they don’t hear the words soon.    

When one speaks from one’s heart,  the Other intuitively must answer from one’s own, or not answer at all.     It takes courage to confront one’s vulnerabilities, or else one takes refuge with the dismissal  that it is all worthless drama.

As we approach the Sainted day of Heart,  this poem is for you.   I agree that you open yourself to some possible hurt but the greater possibility would be to close oneself to unbelievable happiness and pure joy.

To approach my ninth decade I say truthfully that pain does devastate but time softens it, but with happiness the Divine Within compounds with interest the joy remembered forever.  With what do you wish to be remembered?  Think it through.  Eternity is a long time.

She Says, He Says. . . .

She says,
speak to me!

He says,
I have nothing to say. . . . .

She says,
you can say I love you. . .

He says,
I look out for you, don’t I?
And help others every chance I can. . . .

And she says,
and everyone loves you but
what good to save the world when
your own house is falling apart?
We were told that, were we not?

Words mean a lot.
It is all we have
that connect us, one to the other.

He says,
no one ever said the words
out loud to me and I grew up.
So how important can they be?

And she says,
don’t I count?  Your heart is heavy like a rock.
Only by seeing what the past has done to us
can we change its direction.  And I see
your life long and worth the change.
But change direction only if you see your Self
deserving of this chance.  I say work it!

He says,
you think I will see a difference?

And she says,
you may really be surprised.  Really be surprised.

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Choice Goods Are The Children. . . .

I was asked by a grandchild when I would start talking about how I write.  It was important that people understood the connection between worlds and they the youngest ones came with more open heads. The first work was almost 5 years ago and I will reprint some.  Because my readers now are familiar with my work and know what has been my experience,  I hope you read again with knowledge and your experience to see what is verified.  I see the stagnation of evolution being jettisoned  and maybe Peace on Earth can be a promise instead of a hope.

Choice Goods

I want to live long enough to see the children  born with more than the usual five senses come out of the closet of mind so they will be asked what they see and what they hear and what they think, especially what they remember.   And be looked upon as someone highly gifted and of high caliber.

And there will be a time when being however different will be accepted and not to be shucked away as an embarrassment.

To be held up as an example of ridicule from the time one becomes a subject of reason is not easy.   To need to monitor oneself from the time of kindergarten, always told to watch what one says destroys any spontaneity.   To be different than one’s siblings already puts the different child on the outside looking in.  The isolation of such a one is abhorrent.

We in the western world have a history of brutal force to show what dancing with spirits was all about.   In this country we have a sordid past from the time in Salem, Massachusetts which is still alive in many, many people.   They make circles with their fingers in the air when showing their unmerciful disdain for those who walk with one foot in other worlds.

Their palpable fear is employed dramatically in the removal of those who harbor any form of uncommon thought.   The devil for them is at their heels when one of these differences happens in their family. They become stone faced and do not stop at whatever means necessary to remove the offending behavior or even the person.

With a hundred billion planets floating about, how long will it take for people to yield to the fact that intelligence also lives on a planet or two or maybe all surrounding us?   That maybe we can exchange hello’s, just maybe?  And perhaps those about who have more than the usual five senses and whose heads and hearts are open to unknown worlds may teach us something?

We ask the question when a beloved hovers near their final breath and we hope there is a something beyond.   We should have been researching the first question which was from where do we come?

Even in the Nag Hammadi texts Jesus is asked by a disciple where it is we go when we die and he answered why worry where you go when you never asked from where you come.  A bit slow we are it seems.

Look to the child who asks the why’s and has invisible friends as he plays on the floor with his legos.   Or the daughter who serves tea to her dolls with significant names and converses with them in grown up language.   These children are choice goods.   They will one day create the world we hoped we would inherit.   They deserve our support.

And it is our sacred obligation to do so.

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You Laid Your Heart On Me. . . .

 

There are more than a hundred of us who share in what I call the ‘jenny genes.’  I am neither boasting nor complaining because we all share faults as well as some victories,  though the latter have come with a price paid dearly.  And the faults have had a dear price also.

One of the maxims we were reared with was that if you see something that needs doing, (meaning work)  do it because you will not pass this way again.  Some ignored this, but most of my siblings lived with this.  It stopped my  heart  twice with cardiac arrest,  and nearing ninety, it prods me on not to just try like Yoda says, but do.

It is a hard way to live because it gives an excuse for others not to work because ‘you like to do that’ whatever the menial task is.  You are told they don’t want to spoil your fun by insisting on helping, not understanding you’re working toward a different horizon. Others are quick to take advantage.

My artist brother and I  in our later years bonded tightly in phone conversations nightly as sleep evaded each of us.  He took the Nazarene as his God and  I took him as Friend.  We agreed on principles, especially the one, ‘hearing you will hear and not understand and seeing you will not see.’  Our conversations often were shorthand script like, you know when you look at the gulley??  answered with oh yeah, you see it too, I know. . . . I know. . . .the birdsong?

He worked his art into the night after the farm  chores were done and I, my studies and writing long after my world slept.  He sculpted  with iron and metals of sorts and used a blow torch.  We worked to show a world where all was sacred because All was connected.  And love was the solder welding The All.  It had to begin with us and the children we hoped were the best of who we were.

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 heart on me.

 

Artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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good and faithful servant, Thou Art. . . .

The Roses Are For You. . .

It was a new friend Jan who remarked that she knew I didn’t know we were different.   And I remember feeling hurt that again I was on the outside looking in and now my children were also outside the circle.  But as she continued to be my friend and my trust strengthened she pointed out things that were different.

One thing continually amazed her was that we talked; the boys and I talked.  She pointed out that most  young people did not talk to their parents.  But she said you actually sat at the table and talked to each other.  But since the husband and father was out in public doing what he did, I was the parent on premises.  And our conversations were enlightening to me.  They were good teachers.

I remember when a grandmother visited and I was on the phone to our eldest living away, when I hung up she asked what I found to talk about  since she and her son did not converse except tersely.  I was astonished at the question for there was never enough time to finish a conversation.  When I mentioned this to the eldest, he said  we have been practicing for over 30 years!  In a nutshell,  all the time, practice.

Individually the separation from peers began in kindergarten, with invisible friends we think  was what everybody had.  New insight, new knowledge, new subjects to pursue.  Trying this, trying that,  giving everything a try.  Making do with what was on hand was a prerequisite when money is scarce but ideas profuse.  Questions such as how did you know to do that?  Or how could you?. . .whatever you did.  Who showed you and where did you learn to? . . .whatever.

Some results were met with derision.  Some were met unbelievingly.  He was four when he looked up at the sky and saw contrails splitting and said with awe.. . like a zipper opening the sky!!!. . .the one with a pen.

He was only three when I saw him on the floor with the newspaper open to the stock page and asked him what on earth he was doing at six a.m.   He said I am checking my stock to see how I do. . .meaning he had been going to the mailbox on the road also in the dark to get the paper which frightened me more.

And the younger was hardly past a year with his father’s belt wrapped around him with tools from the kitchen as he climbed a tree.  A spatula, a serrated bread knife for a saw and some kitchen shears pointed down as tools should be in the belt of course and tongs for heaven knows what.    He was wedged securely in a Y branch.  I know-ed he said, I know-ed.

I had wished for a mother who understood what I did when I was an eight year old on the grass and willed the clouds to form mind patterns.  She could not understand this daughter who wasted time doing nothing she said.  When the boys were born I knew the kind of mother I wanted to be.  Enchanted years the writer son said.  Enchanted.

Embrace the differences I later wrote.  Embrace the differences and give evolution a run for the roses. This is what will clean up the detritus and keep the classroom alive.   And the responses have me on knees that bow to the Divine in us all that has continued to serve in spite, despite the inhumanity that threatened these differences;  good and faithful servant Thou Art.

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Embrace The Differences. . .

Sometimes there is a need to repeat what one has already written because of new interest or new readers.  Because for some there is no access to already printed essays, I ask you to bear with me this time to accommodate new readers.  It will also help to refresh our memories of what we filed to be remembered.

 

Journal entry March 12, 1990. . . . .

I can remember thinking and finally saying out loud though I happened to be in the basement, I could tell who came in from outdoors by what swept over me.  It could have been their vibes or their energy blanket or it could have been something else that I filed into my brain since time began.

But I would know before they took a step in just who it was; even as a child I knew when my brothers or sister or parents came in.  It was only when our children were born that I realized that not all people were this way.  When I met someone, sometimes for the first time, sweeping over me would be the feeling of them.  I learned I was reacting to their emotional climate.

It is traumatic for the young child, the sensitive one, who complains of a stomach ache at the thought of school, to be away from the safe environs of home,  afraid of being laughed at or throwing up, or the washroom being too far.  How to explain this to parents?  They cannot and unless there is a divergent path taken, they will simply say  they have stomach problems and spend time in the bathroom.   Never realizing they have become the emotional pit stop for the world’s ills.

Sometimes the sensitive one must simply vacate the room to protect himself from the slings of emotional flagrancy. They have to leave when emotions rampage or they will throw up. There is seldom a someone who understands to protect the child or the child in the adult body. There is no protection for others’ emotions crashing onto them.  Even contained violent emotions can be deadly to the vulnerable.

The triggers for these occasions can be anything.  When I was a child in grade school the sound of a siren going by would find me running home from school certain that calamity had befallen my family.  Certain I was my mother would be dead or the house burned to the ground.

We were not spawned in a ditch.  We are a holy beginning.  We were before we are and we have a history.  We are a history.

To the one who said I draw conclusions all over the place  (it was not meant as a compliment)  and make connections no one else does,  I say to see all life connected is what Ancients did.  And I do this here and now because of those who cavort on Olympus.  But they worked their days on Earth as I now work mine.

(I was almost Sixty when the above was written.  I am now almost Ninety.  After years of therapy to accept the fact that my head was different but not mentally ill,  the doctors and I formed relationships that supported me.  I learned that there are those like me who are out of place in a world that has difficulty with ideals that work elsewhere.  And the Elsewhere has many worlds.  We embrace to different degrees values that can work here but at a very high cost.  If we are fortunate our families gather to protect what soon becomes the isolated child.  What is not realized is that  mavericks contribute in ways necessary for human progress but not noted until they are absent.  Embrace the obstinate child.  They chose you as parents for special reasons.)

 

Photo by John Stanley Hallissey

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Who First Told Us?. . . .

 

It was my favorite holiday of gratitude.  Family friends were visiting so on the day we were seated at the linen covered table with an extension to accommodate everyone.  The children this year wanted to be at the same table.

Close elbow to elbow for this gala occasion.  Excitement was high as the turkey was carved.  To my left was our youngest seated on a stool to accommodate his seven years.  He loved what he called the dressed up table with white linen and best silver.

In the midst of the jubilation a hand swung out in excitement and over went the goblet with the cranberry juice spilling its brilliancy against the white linen.  Panic and horror swept the young face and tears spilled as well as the juice.  I can’t do anything right! he cried.

I immediately hugged him and said it was an accident love, just an accident.  We mopped up the excess with paper towels and see?  We will cover the stain with another linen napkin.  And we did and refilled the goblet and dried the tears.

We learned that the word accident was made especially for these kinds of incidents.  We learned also that when things happen with no malice aforethought they can be called accidents.  And we deal with them.

Talk immediately resumed with enthusiasm and the incident was not remembered by him.  No keloid tissue formed for there was no scar of a moment that might have destroyed his growing abilities in his hands’ craftsmanship.

The words of recrimination had no business being in the mind of this beloved child and they made me angry.  Who would have cursed a child to burden a sensitive aware psyche?

My anger took the form of a lifelong journey into the heart of me having aroused hidden anguish propelling me from childhood with the same agonies of why I could never please the people I loved most.  There were the admonitions always, called constructive criticisms now, to improve who I was.  Even when I was doing my best and working as hard as I could.

It drove me to the world of books and study that never dimmed for me.  I learned and keep learning  why we cry as my youngest did,  why can’t I do anything right!  What propels us in this best of all classrooms to keep trying and doing as Yoda said.  Don’t just try, do!

Worlds await to accommodate what we learn.  We become what we feed our minds.

(excerpt from
Phillip Framed the Mystery. . .)

Our tears filled the rivers with fatigue
which filled the oceans with frustration
as the fruits of our fields were dispersed.
All the while we continued to labor
for redemption.

Aaahhhhh. . . the mystery?

Who first told us we were not good?

(primitive art by Veronica)

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As It Was. . . .

Paraphrasing the Teacher in a journal entry of a December past. . . .

‘She quietly opens the door and slips to the crib, not knowing the child’s father has already retired for the night in the room.  She watches the child in sickness and the son watches his mother with her magic chants as they drew from his son the illness causing such heartbreak. 

You can do it, he was thinking.  You can do it.  And he was in awe as he watched this woman profoundly calling on a benign force that would move the sickness from the body of his son.  He watched you move those hands in air that was vibrant with the power pouring through you.  And he said that this is my mother and this woman I don’t even know.

And he knew that in all that had transpired , in all that he watched, he would take to his writing and pour out what was observed, and if not observed, he would have known anyway.  Let the power move through me and make me an instrument of thy peace, he said.  

Touched were those hearts needing to be touched.  There will be a respite and a growing and a power to make whole.’

In the morning a wiped out toddler recovered enough to stand and shout his demands to rattle the crib.

In the following years I learned that the undergirding of our Universes is an ethical premise that supports life and demands of each of us the highest and best we can be.  It may be benign but it is a spiritual power and it does not matter what we call this power, God or Allah or Jehovah or Christ.  It is ethical and demands us to aspire to our best.  We know intuitively and welcome obstacles that require we test our courage before meeting the greatest of our challenges however different for each of us.

I Pray. . .

Let this pass, if it is thy will.

I Hear. . .

Look beyond the Light
into the face of the morning sun

to see that the Light beckons and extends.

It would grant you peace
should you let it.
It will grant you life
should you welcome it.

Amen and amen.

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Under The Wings. . . cont’d. . . .

(for my new readers and for those who needed to be reminded , I share again this vignette.  I wish you a joyous holy day. . .)

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. . . .

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Under The Wings. . . .

 

In exasperation a beloved said it takes you a whole page to say you went to the corner!  And I realize that was the answer to why my perspective is different and so is yours.  We see and hear things differently because we endow life with who we are.  My readers know that I bring a change in view.

Yet we agree on certain things to allow us to live, hopefully, in peace.  We respect the right of each to worship what is holy and allows one to live life’s dailiness as best one can.  We endow life with our faith or belief or knowledge with whatever was in our carpetbag to carry onto this life on Earth when we are born.

And I will continue to embrace your right to belief with only the stipulation that you do no physical harm to another.  I will include it as my framework broadens and I also prepare mine to broaden for another world.  Life everlasting means exactly that.  We grow and become other as we live.  And I wish we do it with Grace.

I wish all my readers a holy day of their persuasion or a holiday of choice.  Since we bring to our lives who we are, my life includes symbols of my beloved Earth, an angel heralding the occasion with joy and my knowledge that like a giant Dove of Peace under whose wings we fly, the undergirding of these Universes is Intelligence and Common Sense by whatever name we choose for it.  It is with joy, sacredness and reverence we greet the Season.

When Love Was Hatched. . .

If it seems all is lost think back,
when love was hatched and gave birth. . .
to dreams of wonder and of light
to make bright the darkest corner.

And gave us fine sons and daughters
we loved into being.  We sought for dreams
to outlet talents hidden between
fields of mind.  We sought to bring

to each other the reflections
of what we held as our highest and best
in fists tightly clenched.  Now we reach
that time in mind, holding close

those dreams like a magnet,
unable still to separate our lives.
And we will wonder who works
the wonders as we fly

under the Wings of the Great God.

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Many Truths. . .Many Worlds. . . .

 

A question arose when reading and I was ready to put down the book.   Coming to mind were thoughts I  had to make peace with.  I had been told . . .

‘there are many truths.  There is not just one truth and all else is false.  All things are true in some place at some time; many truths like many gods.  We must leave that place where there is just one of this and one of that.  There are many things that are good, just as there are many things that are not.  Yet for some reason, far from being the truth of us is that there is a preponderance of things people cling to simply because it is easier than trying to find room for all truth.

Why not put them aside when coming upon them and say,  this for now is a truth and tomorrow another  truth will be in its place?  You cannot, as you like, tie things up in parcels and put pretty bows on them.  Not to be done.  Everything cannot be in its precise place forever.  A truth can be right for this place and here, now.

Tomorrow there will be a place for another truth.  What will you do when you find yourself in a world where other truths will find their place and you will have to slide around to find your footing, slippery, yes?  Something always gives and it will be another world and altogether different approaches.  Not necessarily obliterating old truths, simply finding space for them in a different world where larger and broader frames of thinking will be necessary.

We must give space to larger frames where old truth will be integrated to broaden the still broader picture.  What will you do Veronica, when we will have to gain footing on even more uneven terrain? ‘

Many Worlds. . .

I wander about in many worlds
trying all on for size.
Walking timorously, fearful always
of a misstep.

Generously coping
with a plethora of ideas,
alien in context,
coming from sources I can only wonder.

Now a word,
a complete thought
fitting incongruously
into my world of now.

I surrender to a multi faceted existence.

photo by John Holmes

(the writing is from a journal entry in August, 2013 and the poem written in April, 1975.  All time is simultaneous. . Quantum physics)

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