Archive | Touchstone

Help Balance Our World. . . .

Where is this place called home?  The elders often sit with a distant look and one hears them say I need to go home.  Most lives have given no exact place to these words, but all of us have heard them said since we were children.

I brought this place with me when I arrived on this planet, this lush planet I have come to love and call home. I have buried my face in her earth smell.  Yet I have spent almost a hundred years less a decade, on the outside looking in.

Strange, isn’t it? I love this planet and have taken care of her in the best ways I could.  Where is that place  I brought with me, with a foot dragging behind with more than  memory, but with knowledge I was  loved enough to stay the route until I took the lessons to heart and was healed?

It is the place where words such as honor, trust, love and bonding melded my soul to the weight of words, the only way I had to intricately meld who I am with one who matched and recognized these soul stuffs in me.  The weight of these words, in whatever measure I knew to be the highest and best of who I am, would be the bar I would forever live lives of mine to reach.  The thought that I would not meet this bar, or that  I would settle for less, never occurred.

When it did, I was told that my grief stemmed from integrating the weight of my words  and trying  to balance in a world not ready for them.   My unbelieving puzzlement at what I heard?

Did you say, or did I hear right???  Whatever I heard was right but wrong in what I thought they meant.  But I believed you I said and heard the words, well THAT was your problem! It was a shared reality but not shared perceptions.

In these stressful times where evidence is pictured all day on our screens at home, there is a reality we participate inThe pictures hold different meanings for us according to our perceptual prejudices.  If the camera does not support our prejudices we say it is a fake picture.  I learned that a man convinced against his will is unconvinced still.  Until there is a something he relates to.  Like a body going into a freezer truck because the hospital morgue is full.  And he grew up down the street from this hospital.

Stressful times reveal our fabric.  Look to how you manage your days to see whether you are the role model you hoped to be or have become the person you hoped to meet.  Work on it.


Not Better, Not Lesser, but Diverse. . . .

It was 2 ½ years ago that I posted what a stumbling block I had and did not know  I carried.  When something was so obvious to me, all evidence pointed, words written, pictures and all, yet sitting across the table was one shaking his head no.  I was reading into the subject.  It did not say, whatever.  That was not so.

I thought it was a matter of will, of laziness in opening a book, one didn’t care to think.  I was told I was wrong in what I thought.  I had no credentials to back me up but I did have a yearning to learn that was not quiet with open books nightly when my world slept and I ventured into what I learned in my dotage was Kabbalah, where Sages did not die.

We were taught in first grade all are born equal.  All brains are equal.  I believed until I was about eight and waited all night for Santa Claus.  When he did not appear toward morning I crawled into bed next to my sister and knew it was one of the feel good things big people said.  Not true but feel good.

When I first read Jean Auel’s Clan of The Cave Bear I thought it was a good work.  When I picked it up the second time, I did not stop reading for 2 days.  It told me in spades what I was unable and blind to understanding; that thought processes are different, not lesser or better, but diverse.  The one telling me I was wrong in thinking was as wrong as I was thinking it was a matter of will, of intent.  

Creb, the Mogur, or shaman comes to understand that Ayla , the young girl rescued  because of climate calamity was able to conceptualize and learn his tribe’s language  and behavior because  her brain was open in ways his was not to learn hers.

I felt his pain concluding this.  New knowledge must rearrange all preconceived thought and demands work.  One’s entire belief system, philosophy, must be reconsidered in new light.

His people hammered through hundreds of generations to survive in bleak conditions while Ayla’s had come from conducive conditions allowing growth and less isolation.  Her abilities were evident so they aroused jealousy.  Just as any yearning desire to learn something adopts a discipline destined to manifest, discipline often seeds resentment in the onlooker.

Tribal groups often settled fertile grounds and mated with similar tribes.  Peaceful affiliations though different meant growth evolved.  Isolation meant incestuous unions and less growth.  Evolution stagnates when different means discrimination.

So culture, genetic anguish, environment, simple poverty and a worst lack, no inner motive to race the morning to begin its dance, puts the brain on hold.  Do I take away hope?  I do not.  Intensity of purpose. . . should have you online  to get Clan of the Cave Bear.  What a rich two days for me. Learning should be the infection that I would hope be contagious.

Understanding even a little bit does not make it easier,  just lessens the frustration.


Education wears many booties. . . .


Knowing the comics section as I do, it appears that she’s studying Doonesbury, which thrills my heart! Of course she’s already read Dilbert (on the front page)…

Love,   Emma E’s grandfather



I never knew the supreme abilities of the comics to educate.  I remember when our two eldest,  Tresy and David first took upon themselves to convince me that I should avail myself to the benefits of the education which life could not give me.  I listened over the weeks and months I am sure,  though I have no journal entry to verify that fact.

But I did listen and with trepidation, no doubt, began to look upon the comics in the morning to fill in what I inevitably lacked according to the two eldest.  And I became hooked.  It did not take long and my favorite soon became because I could relate with the myriad home crises,  For Better and Worse by Lynn Johnston.

I have a couple of the celebrated anniversary books,  the first one given to me  by the son of Tresy,  the fourth Joseph Harrison.  I  have loved these vestiges of another time and I think I will request the weekend edition of Chicago Tribune as a birthday gift.  I miss reading the comics and realize that a diet of hard lessons with no relief in  pictures,  is a diet with little flavor.

This photo of our Emma E. reading the comics during this time of self quarantine of the family is a lifting of Spirit for me.  Her grandfather Tresy  takes great pleasure in sending this photo from her parents.  Bless them all.  It is a heart lifter!


When Your I Am Is Recognized. . . life’s dynamics. . . .

When your I Am is recognized. . . life’s dynamics. .

The first time I became aware of being recognized as someone Other than this Veronica was having my brother Mike’s face light up like a Christmas Tree when I came to his house.  He was in the process of leaving life and when I appeared in the doorway, I saw his inner light.  He lit up like a high wattage surge.

Even my mother, the Jenny, beside his bedside, saw his glow and turned and said your sister came to you.  He grinned with obvious relief I later scribed from my Teachers because what he was being taught was what I was involved with.

The next episode was during David’s last hospital stay.  I was asked by his father to see a client’s wife who was in the hospital.  They were of money so she was in another section.  I appeared at the door and she was on her knees in bed facing the door and with open arms welcomed me.

I knew her but her welcome was  for a trusted heart friend.  You know she shouted, what I say is true.  They are babies, all of them!  And she continued on.  Her husband stepped out of the bathroom panicky, (obviously) and said it is the medicine talking.

I wanted to differ but said nothing.  She was on pain medication but this was truth being shouted and she knew this as well as I.  All babies she cried who never grew up.  She suffered the little children. . a world full. . .

I have written about my mother, the Jenny and mentioned that there was never a heart conversation of belief with her.  She did not know anything of me other than what was evident.

She came when the babies were born to help out.  I was grateful for that help because I had none at all.  She could not understand why I  was up after 2 days to take care of things.  Even with 8 children and no money,  there were old friends who insisted on her 10 days in bed after birthing.

Yet when the first near death experience occurred,  she knew immediately my knowledge and started talking.  My brother, at the foot of the bed, said over and over,  the medicine talks.  It is the medicine.  I told him not so, it is truth.  Being Catholic he wanted prayers and priests.  None of that was her need.  But teachers were teaching she said and they said. . . .everything I had been learning about.

I will write of my talks because of journals I kept.  When I asked of Papa she said he is just waking up.  And of David, she flicked her wrist,  ahhh  she said, you go out too far.  Too far . . .David and I were called misfits by my inlawmother, Sarah.  Not of this world.

I will introduce some of those conversations and their evidential.  And the cost of life’s tuition in this class.

this cannot believe photo still by
John Stanley Hallissey


You Have To Reach High . . . .

Mar 10, ’87. . . I scribed. . .

Where discipline is not thought to be self imposed. . .

To know when one demeans one’s own system, is to debase the spirit within.  It is all a value system.  A value system.  And a value system worth its salt will not be maligned in any manner, not even systems beyond what one knows. (consider invisible worlds)   The value system of behavior based on high premises will be honored. (you are known)  But the source of the system so designed must be investigated and must be researched.  You cannot adopt a belief system based on someone else’s work.  It must be within the frame of reference of the individual who espouses the system.

June 25, 2019 working on syncing the stenos. . . . (this has brought me to tears.  It finally is an answer  to David’s question  a few days before he left us when he asked,  how did you know to do it?  To do what?  Keep on living when you know what you know, he said.  I had 3 good reasons, I said.  Tresy, David, and John.  But I knew even then, it was not the whole answer.

But here is the part I never realized to be true.  Though I took the Nazarene as my Virgil to explain the journey to me because I knew of no one else to do it, I never could adopt all his views.  I studied and researched and came up with my arguments and argued my argues.  Because for me in my time, his answers were not for me.  Some were eternals, verities and with those I found no argument.  Others were arguable and I found my own conclusions.

And it is with brief conclusions I find myself.  They are to do no harm, to do some good and never, ever to be afraid.  They were mine reached in my fifties but only now in full scope and depth.  David laughed when he said I took a life of problems and created a philosophy to cover them.

And in one of our conversations he marveled that he watched Plato and Aristotle evolve across the dinner table when he slapped the table and loudly said but I know you never had time for the Great Books!  But the philosophy has stood me in good stead.  How did I know to do it?

I am wiped.  Wiped out.  To reach this time to form my trinity of thought has taken a lifetime.  To do no harm, to do some good and never, ever to be afraid.  The last was the most difficult.  Because I had to learn that one cannot live when fear is a daily companion.

I am glad I stayed the route to get to this place that passes previous thought.  The tuition for this class was horrendous but no university would touch a class of this nature.  The mountains are too many and too high.

(an aside . . .March 8, 2020 . . . and March is a hard month for those who loved David)



When you are the ‘only’. . . it takes just one. . .

So Who Cares. . . Nobody I guess. . .

Except you do. . .
All it takes is just one I hear,
to look for the sun to rise each morning. .
to look at the moon at night and wonder,
where home is. . .
to keep the world turning on its axis.

Just one to hear the promise that
the rose will bloom in December
along the fence, in the dead of winter. . .
to have the promise true. . .
and the world to hold its shape.

To have just one
to care enough to rail
and fill the hunger for love
of just one child harbored to the grave
clinging in the aged body, still . .

Brains and body parts halt in growth
except to make another just like themselves.
But who cares?  You do.

The Teacher said . . suffer the little children,
tolerate them for he gave unsparingly
of himself to assuage the Unmerciful God
from the first book, though for untold centuries
mankind tried to gain tender mercies.

The greatest hurdle. . the Everest to climb
is the not knowing.

Are you the ‘only’ who cares?
You think you are not so different. . .
like others?   And they care too?
Not sure but you
might be the ‘only’ who cares. . .

to feed and nestle the babe
before you turn off the light,
. . . someone needs to stay the night . .

but who else cares  . . . enough?


Artwork by Claudia Hallissey




When Each Day Is A Victory . . . and our hands touch. . . .

Oftentimes we wish for words to say the wonderful phrase, that gives motive or impetus to a frame of mind that catapults our committed to things of highest value.  Yet there may be no words to say what needs be said.  What is upfront is already between the eyes.

I remember looking in the mirror angrily because it was not the girl I saw yesterday, but my mother.  And the mate looks at himself when shaving one morning or swiping his beard and he says to the image in the mirror, I am my father.  And with anger, hopefully not the same morning, sitting across from each other you both concur your irritating premises.

On further thought the day yields to brighter things and sitting again at the table there is a comfortable presence.  The presence says to us that we have shared a number of years and have come through bruised and slightly jaded but agile still.

With the number of things needing time these days,  each day is a victory, however small.  I remember the times I prayed to pick up someone’s discarded victory.  My need for one even discarded was so great,  I would chase a throwaway.

We change into faded sweats and sandals and sit and do what the old folks did when we were young.  Now since we are them, the fit of it all when shared says we are good, aren’t we lucky?  And our hands touch.

As I Am. . . in faded sweats . . .

Love me as  I am
for I can be no other.
It is not that talk is unwanted, but
have not all our allotted words been said?

Time now just for silence, a shared one, for
the years add up and there is no time for Others. . .

It is time for Being. . .

There is a time to accept
all that we have become
through years of arduous labor.

Not time for keeping up nor caring to . .
to someone’s elusive measure.
A time not to apologize for
our faded sweats and sandals.

We dress for the street to be seen
but this time now is private.

And being shared, are we not fortunate?

So much the better to love each other
and find us more than all right.
To say I’m good with no apology

. . . because we are.


Among the earth’s persons. . racing toward his truth. . .


We were sitting at dinner on the Farm visiting with my beloved burly brothers.  I had been the first sister amid 5 brothers born and never doubted their love.  They were my introduction to the world of men and they could do everything. And when I first talked with words of meaning, I announced my intent to marry them all and be their slave!  I think I was about five years old when I stated my premise.

At that dinner, my brothers were talking about what they did to help, the meaningful work of life.  And when they got to the fledgling newly wed they asked what do you do?  In a loud voice he proclaimed. . .I pay the bills!  And a thoughtful response from my quiet brother. . . that is the easy work.  The hard work is within four walls.

And my life of nearing the century mark in a decade taught?  That the hardest job in the family is on the premises as parents.  That it was with cosmic intention birthing would be the extension of the mother’s heartbeat and the father’s process would be the soothing open hand on the child’s brow in love.  This was the paving way to brotherhood among the earth’s persons.

Both would be required and life would be lived with promise and the living made with talents sorted.  Where the talents the world used would be the living made and home where children reared with love.

In this new country settled by immigrants, life would try on and keep trying on the many ways to make a living and a life.  We still are in process for a more better fit.  With working it out, transitional methods are tried and in flux.  But we continue with hope to work hard.

The caring, the uniting, the intention of belonging to the greater humanity was what being human was all about.  Before going on to other worlds, we must learn to accept and respect the differences in ours.

Life everlasting  means that chances are given in many worlds for Beings to work on themselves, to bring forward the good within each.  We were told of fields ready for ploughing and farmers needed to feed mind and body.

Jesus said my father’s house has many rooms and this is but one of them.

It Is Said. . .

It is said that the heavens
care not what goes on the world stage.

It is too late to change
the outlines of a world gone mad.
But here. . .

Within four walls are children
eager to eat the bread
of the parent gods
to feed hungry minds.

Those the heavens note,
for  within these walls
is the outline for peace
on the next stage.

And here, the nurturer, the feeder,
will be given what is necessary
to begin the new world,
the brotherhood of man,

that could not be dreamed
with the old man’s dreams.


sculpture by Stanley Rybacki


You are invited. Come, we eat. . . .

We become what we feed our mind.  
Become the person you want to meet coming down the street.
When you form the question, you already know the answer because you form the question.
Hopefully the added years bring thoughtful conclusions.  You feed your mind what?
It is not said that understanding behavior makes it easier to live with.
Sometimes the only faith you have is that you can do it whatever needs doing.
Maybe all that requires doing is you; nothing and no one else.
The world is a canvas to our memories.
Imagination is memory and memory to be executed and made manifest requires ‘hands on’ in this world.
Memory becomes knowledge in this world when it is faithfully executed and applied to enhance humanity’s evolution for good.  Not to argue the word ‘good’ when we use the word  ‘enhance’.
Kindness should automatically accompany action with our second breath without thought.
Self discipline shrinks or expands to the breadth of one’s Conscience. 


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