Archive | Touchstone

the twig already bent from a somewhere and . . . when. . .

 

 

 

How To Do It. . . .when I scribe. . . .

You ask. . .

            On focusing, your thoughts, your words. . .
            how do you do it?

I say. . .

  I barrel down into my center and listen
            with my inner ear and hear what my heart says.
            It is within me that I have my world.
            This is what and where I am at home.
            And this is not something that can
            be taught.  It is how the twig is bent.
            And what world we appear in is where
            we do our work.

 

You say. . .

            You listen to your heart. 
            How does a heart speak?

I say. . .

             there is a murmur within that tells
            you things and it is with the heart
            that one moves.  The heart is the
            largest area of emotional and profound
            truth.   I can see where the child
            who is maimed right from the beginning
            and embarrassed because of his openness,
            can dismiss this avenue and close it up.

            And the world suffers and evolution
            is held up and we have one who is in trouble.
            It is always the children with me.
            I would protect them.  The sophisticates
            I would tongue lash and say grow up.
            Stop using childish tactics to be cute.
            When you have an old face and
            childish mannerisms, you are not cute.
           

            Cute is for under 5 years old.

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Will I Require An Alibi?

In The Mirror Is The Answer. . . .

THE TEACHER SPEAKS. . . .It is useless to say that we can be non judgmental when we make judgments of necessity all day long.  What we must not judge are the places an Other comes from when we look upon cultural ways. 

When we understand the cultures of other people, we then begin to understand ourselves.  But we know too, just as the decisions concerning our personal behavior are a matter of conscious choice when we reach the age of discernment, then we know too, to hide behind cultural practices is begging the question.

When we decide how it is we are going to approach the questions of life, we then begin to know where it is we are coming from.  If we sidestep ‘just this one time’ we are already setting the basis for future behavior.

Matters of character are personal decisions.  They are not based on anything except as we view ourselves.  And character is the basis for everyone.  And character is formed early, within the safety net of the family.  What is let go ‘just this time’ with no comment, is not to be viewed later with the question ‘how did this happen?’  when confronted with the larger implications. 

This implies that we are going to grow up, that we are going to mature at some point.  What is being said is that the process is never ending, never finished.  For along all junctions we will be pressed with character questions.  We will be expected to make character decisions.  And the final questions will always reside within the individual, ‘what will this say of me?’

 In the process we know that we can fool no one.  Especially the one whom we look at in the bathroom mirror first thing in the day.

 We know, know deep within us that we cannot be a better anything than we can be a person.

Small Bear or Large Cub. . .

We can interchange our adjectives
and the words take on different meanings,
depending on our frame of reference.

We may find that bigotry is the same as
prejudiced preferences and my color
may be other than what you are.

It is quite right for where you are, if that is
all right with you.  But I ask will you clean house
and set straight your attitudes

so you can say gay with no malice?

 

art by Claudia Hallissey

 

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Love Awaits . . .with a putting place. . .

October 27, 2022. . .(I posted this essay more than 5 years ago and my thoughts today have only deepened.  The wish I hold still is that there would have been someone early on that I could have voiced my thoughts with no fear.  In my terminus I fulfil the old maxim that the end of our lives are only more of what we were in the beginning.   This does not apply across the board, because our histories differ. 

It brings to mind from the Dead Sea Scrolls the Nazarene upbraiding the disciples for asking where they go when they die.  You never asked from where you come he angrily shouted.  

From when I was  a girl, memory  has chased me without a putting place in today’s world.  It always has been my inner focus and readies me now for an embrace.  Love awaits.)

Previous Post. . . .In the many studies on love and goodness, what appears to be evident is that when one is aware of good and when one comes to the time to do good,  the choices are few to do other than good.  When you become better and better,  your options cease. 

Heaven goes one better.  When approaching sainthood,  the options are not there anymore.  And even if sainthood is not on our conscious agenda,  I clue you that it is somewhere in us.  These they refer as those who have made the light a beacon force in their lives.  And who in their secret thoughts would deny this,  that they would be less than a beacon of light?

When the mind is one with the god mind,  only for that which gives life  (and who would deny otherwise,  no matter the personal consequences?)  humanity’s progression is the only path to take.

Here Is Where We Live. . .

There was a time
when thoughts and desires
were simple and
fleshed out a life.
When rain on the windows
promised a day with a good book.

Commitments came with age
and options few.
A book became a luxury
with sleep non existent and
a nap became the respite.

Fewer options were the result
of choices,  and commitments
took precedent because
other lives were at stake.

Big lessons to teach and
necessary ones,  if the evolution
of humanity was to continue.
A trip to the moon and a jaunt to Mars
will be the children’s dream
but here on Earth is where
we cook the oatmeal

to feed the children’s dreams.

 

Painting by
Claudia Hallissey

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Freedom’s Work. . .

Freedom Is Not Free. . .

Time nears for elections and we wonder  how can our aged bodies contribute to this magnificent  country  we live in so that our democracy does not die.  We  plead with the heavens.  And thoughts are given to match what can be done.  The healing begins and life  takes off with wings and we do more than we thought possible.

July 18, 1987 journal entry I scribed. . .

Life does present many problems now that must be confronted philosophically simply because one’s reputation is on the line.  You are doing a superb piece of reading enmeshed in the spiritual and moral qualities given by an unbiased person as the times had.  You have terms such as conscientious objector, moral judgment, secular world, triumphant and church militant.  All these and you cannot stop to sleep without scribing.  I must tell them you say.  I must tell them.

Who and what must you tell?  You do not fool yourself.  It has all been said before.  And unless you put  yourself in the front of the line, you will only impress who comes to your door. If becoming public, you might be noted in posterity.  But not without a taint of malice, a taint of mental ill health.  She was crazy they will say.  Smart, capable, a worker of good things and talented but a bit crazy.  Dependable too and a good writer.  A little doty, odd.   A good poet who walked among the great teachers but strange.  She talked to  the heavens and thought they answered her.

And others will say, the work is inspired.  But NO ONE WILL DARE SAY  and question, how inspired, what inspired, Who inspired and from Where?  What is this inspiration? 

Last   night as you heard the man talking about Muriza, the Hungarian shepherd’s poem, you ached with knowledge of   where they came from.  When I disappear the shepherd said to his sheep, tell them I married the moon, that I went to the place where the apple trees  bear pears and fleas  wear boots 99 tons each on feet.

It Grows Dark, Love. . . .

You say. . . So much to be said.
To take a hammer to a word and splinter it,
what’s to be gained?

I say. . . Where is the meaning if you don’t?

You say. . . .Let everyone take what is theirs and build on it.
That is the way of the world and
the way illusions are granted a solid state.
And darling woman, it is all right.

I say. . . They say that life is too hard just to be illusions.
The people will say of me that she was off the wall!

You say. . . .There will be those who say
you have a fine imagination.
And others will say you took an impossible life
and created a philosophy to sustain it.
Does not everyone?

I say. . . Not every child is shown tender mercies.
And without them, there is a long sleep when transiting.
Remedial help is needed.

You say. . . . You shored up when fault
was found within your system.
You continue to love, and lady, continue.

And I ask. . . Where will you be?

You say. . . Until the day you can no longer do it,
walk to the fields and lie down and say no more. . .

I will pick you up and we will again
set fire to hearts which do not flicker yet and
create that world where love abounds.
And commitments and priorities take proper place.
Time is limited and it grows dark. 

We work, we work and with love, lady, with love. . . .

poem written Jan 28,  2018

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Galactic Wanderer. . .

It has been awhile since I posted, being unsure of a topic when this world is inundated with so many problems.  My last thoughts of the night were of  solar trees I had drawn from a dream and I wish to share again.

On November 19, 2019 I read  that Bill Gates had unveiled a project  aimed at saving our planet.  Immediately coming to mind was this drawing entered in my journal in September 9, 1991.  I had already  posted the gentle fishes I drew from a dream in 2017.  Understand my family was uninterested in my journals or my dreams and thought them boring.  But I continued and spoke whenever there was an open ear. 

Life jars us awake when least expected with events unthought.  Moving to California and installing solar panels, I showed the sketches to son John.  Ahead of your time, Ma, he said, ahead of your time.  There obviously are worlds where other forms of energy are utilized.

I wrote in the journal. . . (What I thought were trees in the vision, shaped like trees were not, were they?  They somehow brought energy to run houses without chimneys.  I wish  I had credentials to back me up, but I probably would not have taken this seriously.)

I could not have envisioned this on my own nor have thought one day to be living here in California where solar panels would  offset the high cost of electricity.  But I had  sketched other worlds where gentle fishes and houses without chimneys were evidenced.  I had heard of Rachel Carson and her worries for this planet.  I had other immediate concerns needing attention and prioritized.

(the following quotes are scribed from August 12, 1987 concerning the worlds I know. . .)  we are using what you do to the fullest extent and you will be remembering more and more of where you have been. . .  The worlds you inhabit are worlds most avoid because they are unfamiliar and cause discontent and frighten.  You appear where you are needed and the one looking for you appears where you are.

They are not just one world.  There are places of beauty that still the heart.  Places of poverty that touch the living heart and strum with songs of despair that cannot but help but be heard.  There are barren places, lush places and places that speak of the mind.)

And other worlds watch with eagle sight what we do in our handling of issues that have direct effect on their welfare as evidenced by our compassion or lack of.  The moment presents a full plate for us and we plead only one world to handle at a time. 

But I must inject this.  Often we use kindergarten ways to solve problems best suited to gravity dimensions, large, cumbersome and sometimes we think sleek.  To broaden and enhance life of many forms in worlds unknown (to us) requires fine minds and characters vetted to degrees still unmeasured.  Think on it.  Vetted characters unmeasured coupled with undisputed fine minds would be necessary to relate to matched worlds. Who qualifies?

But transition from physical life involves us eventually.    For beloveds we utterly hope for what heaven we envision and for ourselves we hope the night is kind.   

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The Bread of Freedom is Truth. . . .

It is an open question, not the only one,  but a question as to how we learn something.  Since I hold several truths as self evident, and one of them is life  everlasting, then prior lifetimes have taught me much.  And some lifetimes lead to longer sleeptimes, or time outs, than others with no learning.

My mother recognized me for my galactic wanderings and philosophy when she was  in death throes,  and told me she would have difficulty with what I knew.   And then told me when I asked if she saw Papa, said he is just waking up.  He died decades earlier.  When I asked if she saw our David,  she flicked  her wrist and said I go out too far.  I then knew she  was listening to the teachers.

When a child, I learned early what not to say what I thought.  A beloved grandson (years into talking) convinced me it was time I said out loud how it is with me.  There are many of us about with what I call Jenny genes, the persevering ones that don’t give up in fear of high water.  Many have folded their wings as youngers and said I can’t do this.  Others we have said goodbye to at different altars and bled quietly.  No directions are written for parents whose children die.  Who wishes to author that book of experience?

I have tried hard not to break rice bowls that hold life’s enrichment.  I wish to make it a dinner sized bowl to include bread which is a freedom’s truth, a life giver and not taker.

 Bread for the Day. . . . .  

March 16, ’86  . . .All reality is a preferential viewpoint.  All reality is a preferred judgment and yet so incredibly real  and so compatible that it all works. 

28 mar ’86—I have learned that if good,  (making life better) is not done where I am, it is not done elsewhere.  Do it now for there will not be this particular chance nor these favorable circumstances.

Apr 01,’86. . . the world is a nothing of itself.  It is a something only when we perceive it with our own particular perspective.

Apr 3,’86. . .Freedom of choice is a responsibility.  It is also a sacrament.

14 May,’86. . .To- build an entire life on the premise that you must  always look fashionable though the package is empty, means that you run from the fact that others will discover this also.

03 June,’86. . .Manipulation is a scheme to allow one to gain a point of power and hold it.  It is the boot sitting on the head.  It is not the shoulders of the manipulator where the workload rests.  It is on whom the boot sits.

July 01,’86. . . quantum, sumus, scimus. . . We are what we know.  Knowing, my friend, is different than thinking.   To know means you have gone the route, foot by foot.

If we do not understand the wind, we will be caught in the whirlwind.

All times and every time. . . There is no philosophy possible where fear of consequences is a stronger principle than love of truth. . . .john stuart mill’s theory was burned it into my brain and then my heart. .

14 July,’86. . . What it is we desire, we often get in spades.   When trophies do not hang on walls,  they are  laid heavy on  the heart.

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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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