Archive | Essays

Time To Bend At The Knees

image-1 (2)

It is time now to take cognizance of what we have done to our Earth planet.  She is still here to give us breath, polluted though it may be in some areas.  She challenges us with sparse watering.   She allows us to live as best as our livelihood does.  She continues to love us with passion.  But what we have done to her is abominable.  We take advantage of our good resources and give nothing back most of the time.  A few steps to the recycle bin oftentimes seems too far to walk.  But she keeps on teaching in spite, despite our obliqueness.

Yet we are asked once a year to honor her.  And hopefully this once a year will be enough to embarrass us, make us feel guilty, so guilty that we will change our ways and give honor to her who has been our grounding, our bed of rest and the best classroom in the universe.  How else to honor this lady,  this teacher,  this mother?  We must find new ways if we are to continue in this classroom where to have an idea is to make it manifest as fast as we can collect the materials.   There is no other place so conducive to easy learning as this classroom.   No other place that accommodates us to the degree that our Earth Mother does.   We will chance it every time we decide that next time we will do better.  The next time the neighborhood may not be quite as nice.

We are in a crucial junction.   We are where we are because we have neglected our stewardship when we contracted to care for this place we inherited.  What to do?  How much do we treasure the early morning with the dawn rising clearly and with punctuality?  How much do we treasure our love of evenings when the sky darkens and the moon sources our light?  As we reach for our Other and hope that what we wish for ourselves is also wished for Others.   How much would  we treasure rainfalls on cracked ground;  foodstuffs now rising in price so that milk for our youngsters is too steep for good health?  We treasure our way of life.   We treasure what is ours and we hope that our progeny will be able to be inspired by the same sun and moon and waters of this green planet.

We must begin.   Our environmentalists have told us time and again what we must do.   Somehow we cannot wrap ourselves around the idea  that this Earth cannot sustain life as we know it.   We already see Nature’s harsh lessons.   If we are ugly when the weather does not suit us,  let us be aware that Nature too reviles our habits when we do not honor her.   It is long past the time to change.  The bill is overdue and time now to bend at the knees to this Great Mother.

photo by John Holmes

2

Someone Who Waits For Us

There is a common problem among us and it bears thinking about in the hope that there will be an answer or a lesson learned that may point to a possible resolution.   It is the need to know that there is a someone who waits for us.   Or a someone who cares whether we come home or not.   Or a someone who cares where we are at this very moment.

For children,  this is crucial.   How crucial we only have to see what is happening in the world or watch what is happening on our street.  For the child in all of us,  who has not been allowed grow up or whom we hold onto for fear of growing up alone,  it is just as crucial or even fearful.  We have become a society that we say cherishes its independence,  doesn’t want others or anyone to account to or truly exhibits a facade to show the wold at large we are really quite all right with the way things are.   But let me put this into this equation.

If this is truly the situation, if we are truly this independent society that doesn’t care whether anyone takes note of our goings and comings,  tell me then why the heart responds with ‘I really  needed to hear you say that’ when I tell my beloveds  that their being in my life makes my life worthwhile?  But you see everyone needs to hear that.  Everyone needs to know that someone thinks their life is worthwhile,   no matter how small the difference  one makes,  what does matter is that someone notices this difference which may take all the effort this soul can summon.  Everyone needs to know someone cares.   Not the someone only in family whom you think has to love you,  but someone who notices you as a person who is trying their uttermost to make a difference.

Everyone at times, if not all times for some, feels isolated.   There is this separation that is more common in this day than I care to think.  It is because life is awry.   There are few meals together and no one on the premises.   No one at home.   And we need someone at home when we are children and it is nice when we are adults.  It is a wholesome goodness to know someone is waiting for us to come home.  That someone cares enough for us to want us to come home.  I realize how difficult it is to raise children even on two incomes.   Perhaps we need to make room for extended families again.  Perhaps we need to rethink our directions and what is important to the whole family.    Do we need to rethink our priorities  and look to see accommodating various elderly members within the family again.  There is a problem not only in our cities but in suburbs and rural areas as well.   There are ways to help with this dilemma.

We can work it out.  We must.  The emotional growth of our very young and our peoples as a whole need to know we are not alone and there is someone,   even one someone who looks forward and waits for us to come home.  We may find that there would be a spiritual healing throughout our lives should we invest ourselves in this very common problem.   We may yet come alive with emotional good health and spirit.

0

We Come With Love

IMG_20140408_153830_460Can we go to the lady who likes blue cloths, the young one asked.   And I was taken by surprise as to why he wanted to go.   I asked him why and he looked at me and said because she know-ed things and I want to ask her some questions about stuffs.   And I asked him what kind of questions.

And he looked at me and said, you know, you know.   But I don’t I said and waited.   It is always good to wait.   But there was nothing coming so I asked again why?   And he said that she knows things and she like the blue cloths and those are special.   Why are they special, I asked.   And he said becauuuuusseeee. . . they just are!  Can we go?

And I said get your things.   He was quiet while we were getting there but when we came to the shop he sat still for a minute.   You not mind if we just talk about private things, he asked.   I said,  it was all right with me.   May I listen?   I want you to he said.

We were greeted warmly by the lady of blue cloths and the younger wrapped his arms around her waist.   Good to see you again, she said.   I saw-ed you last night, he said, and you said it was always good to ‘member where you come from.  I think hard all night and I ‘member , he said.  I ‘member.   And I ‘membered you because you teach-ed me about not being ‘fraid of stuffs.  And I know-ed what you said and I know-ed where you were with the blue cloths.  You ‘member where you come from?

Yes,  she said,  I do.   It is a place of great feeling, love that is bigger than anything we know.  It is like a big ocean of love spilling over us and there is nothing to be afraid of.  We can touch this love with our hands and hold it in our arms.   And it will hug us back.   What do you remember?

That is what I ‘member,  he said.   And that is why I not ‘fraid.   I ‘membered and then forgot and I know-ed you would know.   Can I come back and ask again what I forget?  Always, she said,  always come back.

He reached for my hand and I nodded to her.   I not ‘fraid now I ‘member.   We come wit’ love and go to love, too.   Yessssss,  I said and squeezed his hand.

click on the blue cloth to magnify

0

One Pilgrim’s Journey

IMG_20140407_160951_715(1)

One Pilgrim’s Journey

In my early years on this pilgrim’s journey,   I would awaken and think through the night’s lessons and get my marching orders for the day.   They were equally important.  One morning though the conclusion was that it truly was a world without end.  But world without end has a magnitude about it that I am now understanding.   I have long said that we go to where we belong;  earned the right to be where the patterns of our days prepared us.  It truly is a universe of no retire.   If gravity and its inhabitants have worn us to a frazzle,  there will be rest,  but there is the new address awaiting.

These worlds do exist.  In this particular world only five senses are used to inhabit it.   But there are other aspects of Being which are not yet ours.   Some people have extra senses that piggy backed on the ones most of us inherit.  There are no skipped grades in any world.  What is ours to do may be different than what the next person has to do,  but there is graduation for all of us.  No need to worry about early exits either.   What is not learned once will be given other chances.  It behooves all of us to learn what we must wherever we are.   The next time may not be as agreeable nor as conducive to easy learning as this Earth is.  And we are held accountable.

Some of us are obsessed with questions others do not give thought to.   They come with faith in their carpetbag.   Faith of necessity is blind otherwise it would not be faith.   Questions would only complicate an already complicated life for some souls.  Whatever framework we have chosen for this world grants us what is necessary to work life through.  But within each rises the question which will turn the individual to the opening of the treasure chest within.   He/She has the key to open it.  And it is the word ‘why?’   That word,’why?’ either starts or closes the journey.

We have our camouflage systems worked out beautifully.   We construct our walls in the mind and do not allow anything disturbing to enter.  Occasionally a crack will appear and we will scurry for the emotional plaster or caulking to seal it.  The one who can no longer pretend the pieces fit the puzzle will begin the process of discovery and his/her journey begins.   They will hear ‘you have to be crazy to do this to yourself’  but they are crazy like a fox.

The roar you hear will be the heaven’s rejoicing that they have ‘a live one’  down there!   Let it be you.

2

The Jockey

DSC_2909

In a square inch of soil we were told you will find all the history pertinent to your time and all you need to know in this world concerning all you need to know.   We laughed at the old Teacher and labeled him The Jockey because he was on our backs all the time.  We may have laughed but I for one was out in the hot sun for hours.  As the years took me,  I often thought of the old Teacher and what he tried to teach.  He was an influence in my life in every segment teaching.

How could such a statement have any meaning in this day of technology and economic problems?  How could studying a square inch of soil put me in touch with my roots, with my humanity,  with my self?  I knew my classmates gave more thought to this than they were ready to admit.

Hours spent on hands and knees looking at the lifted square inch wondering how it would answer the questions harbored.  I stared at it and saw nothing but cut off roots.   But on further study  ants appeared with root hairs snaking through.  Questions formed and I wondered out loud if perhaps in Egypt was the same composition?  At some Oasis?   Or was the grass just our hybrid, but might grow elsewhere with root transplanted along with what it was fed,  somewhat like a belief system?  Certain foods,  rituals and customs practiced and honored?

Was this the soil of my childhood and my ancestors?  What were the practices and procedures then?  Transplanted would their grasses grow where I was rooted.?  Would I have difficulty being transplanted with new roots and customs?  One question fed another.   And soon with thoughts of more root systems dusk was near with a chill in the air.   I replaced the soil as we had been taught and looked to the night with a new moon arising.

I was very young then but I continued the practice of going out to the fields.  With insatiable curiosity that the Jockey had instilled,  I was  learning new life forms and rituals  which were not only interesting but necessary if peace was to be a fact.  This kernel of knowledge fed not only me but my children also.    When curiosity about the outside world exploded in their lives,  fields became our private yards and weeds noticed and their history unearthed.   Their possibilities were endlessly discussed and often ended up as table decoration.

This led to the study of June bugs and fireflies and how many were needed in a mason jar to read by?  Seeds were planted,  grasses sown and nurtured.  Big and little dippers were sought nightly and moon phases studied.

Root systems, cultures, ancestry all with histories uncovered.   Leading toward philosophies studied,  literature dissected with humanity’s progress followed through baseball statistics, and runners still carrying the message to Garcia.

We pick up smooth stones to find our names on them.  They too have life in slow vibration for ears attuned to them.   Climate changes are our concern with glaciers melting where they should not,  rubber trees no longer grow and some species of birds no longer fly.  The world is our classroom and those unborn our concern.

It is said that when the student is ready the Teacher appears. It is often when we need that one the most to change our lives forever.    My hope is for everyone to have the Jockey who will give that pertinent point to start the journey from even one square inch of soil.   To awaken the questing mind that keeps the curious mind alive.   I was fortunate to have a Teacher who considered his life’s work sacred.   And when I see a child with a scoop of soil and studying it carefully,  I know that child has been truly gifted.

Art by Claudia Hallissey

2

C’est Moi, It is I. . . .

Icicles on treesThe underlying factor in these universes is that there is an ethically divine purpose to do good.  We have to because we are born to.  Which is why we clean our doorstep and sweep our sidewalks.  Even if those sidewalks are dirt.  Why we wash our clothes and wash our bodies, even if the wash tub is a creek or a river or a bucket.   We look out for our neighbors and love each other because we are brothers.   We ask to be born because we want to make a difference that counts.

We were told that whatever is loosed on earth is also loosed in heaven and we are the reflection of what is loosed in heaven.  In metaphysical, (meaning physical and cosmic) language and circles, we learn as above so below.

It is to be remembered that the underlying principle of these worlds, of these universes,  the overwhelming ethical premise underlying all worlds is to do good.  No matter the world or planets, it simply Is.  Every thought, every action,  must, must be pulled through our hearts.   The habits of our days shape us into who and what we are.   When our name is called we go to the world our actions and thoughts have prepared us for.   It has ever been thus.

There will be those waiting for us and they will pull us across as we shout,  c’est moi,  it is I.   Will the song of our days be a beautiful song?   Our melody will linger long so let us not be afraid and work in harmony.

4

The Night Sounds

DSC_1201

Not quite 50 when I wrote the following one Saturday night in a September journal entry.

 

The window is open where I sit and it is black outdoors.   The dampness is coming in and I am almost transported to my youth and it is once again life on The Farm.   The crickets are making their own kind of noise, certainly peculiar to crickets but the night itself has its own kind of sound.   Does stillness have its own sound and can you hear it?  The muffle of the daylight brings on the darkness and it pulsates with its own vitality.   I wish I had the words to tell it.  It is almost as if I can flow right through the screen and become a part of the night and disappear into it.  With not even a ripple to disturb the night.   The poem said it long ago that somewhere the night has a thousand songs waiting to be sung.   But never enough time.   Never enough time.

Is there a point in life where if you lived just one day longer,  you would find a difference in your perspective and it would convince you that your entire life had been lived with the incorrect premises?  I wonder. . . . .And what would that do to you?   Would that one day more convince you that it was not necessary to repeat another life or make you more determined to come back to earth and try again?   And who has the time in physical life to take on the enormous task of searching for the gods?  Can you squeeze it in between the work life and home life and million details of just plain living that boggle the mind?   Or will you find it at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning?  The search is all encompassing and consuming for those of that persuasion.  It amazes me that there are those who give it no thought at all.  Can you live a life without searching for some meaning, any meaning?  Or is it enough simply to get through it?  I wonder what sort of contracts are written before birth to enable one to move through earth life with no complications.   Some ground rules must be laid and if  so, by whom.   Except no doubt by the people involved.

(As the mother of 3  I innately knew and told them as often as I could and always on birthdays that I am glad they chose me as their mother because I chose them.  And it was a ready answer for the often adolescent retort which invariably stated. . . .I didn’t ask to be born!     Ahhhhh but you did!)

Photo by Joshua Hallissey
click on photo to magnify

0

The Gold That Shows

DSC_2908

My friends thought I was obsessed with connecting the dots.   This is the process by which I see an event and see its consequences while the event incubates.  I have a lifetime behind me where I was a veritable Sherlock.   They were unable to see the connections between people or events even when pointed out.

I find the most disconcerting phrase being ‘live in the moment.’  Everything is in the  moment.   Whether it is love, (STD’s or who will take care of the baby disregarded) or a war being declared.  These things are real but their roots are not in the moment but in the many yesterdays.   The moment has no meaning without a yesterday.   If we have no yesterday,  today is sterile, impotent,  without meaning.   It is  a well thought out and lived in yesterday that gives this moment its meaning.   Why do I press this?   If our yesterday was not filled with events that were thought filled,  that were fulfilled,  then yesterday will make this moment null and void.  And those who see dots and make connections are sometimes quick to take advantage of those who do not.

Socrates was filled with advice about putting meaning into our days.   He said that the unexamined life is not worth living.   It is only by remembering the past and chasing our memories that we begin to know who we are and from where we come.  It is only by understanding the past that the present,  the now,  will not have to repeat the past.

Oftentimes and too often it seems,  when it comes to our Earth’s resources,  we mortgage our children’s futures.   We must sit and think about the past,  not only ours but our ancestors.   We must take time to reflect on our behavior and how we contribute to our problems as well as the Earth’s.  What can we do to make the present more commendable?   We make our present richer when we glean from the past those lessons and times that are good memories.   And we learn from the bitter failures what we do not wish to repeat.   Let us thoughtfully include them.   The present moment only has meaning because of what we bring to it.   And if we find our Now empty,  it is best we look within.   We take who we are into tomorrow and find we have within us basis for a future with meaning because we root our present.

We are the gold that shows.

Double click on the photo.   This plaque was a gift from my sister who read The Last Bird Sings and surprised me with this gift.   She read the first manuscript and this impressed her thinking.  It has much meaning for me.

1

Where Is Safe?

DSC_2906

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

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

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

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

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

1

Hidden Lessons

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

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

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

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

2

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes