Archive | Touchstone

The Morning Will Rise Triumphant. . .

What to do when there is no one to talk to.  We often escape in old age I fear into madness that we call  Alzheimer’s or dementia, still, a madness by whatever clean name we now give it.  We once called it hardening of the arteries it seems.

Where to go and who to talk to?  Understandably there is only conjecture and science forever studies the subject.  And how often we hear of the brave ones who keep their troubles to themselves?  We think we should be one of those.

I think it goes back to our origin as children when we asked the first why.  And the exasperated and hopelessly uncurious parent said because I said so that’s why!  Then we spend an entire life with questing the eternal why.

And when it becomes too much, especially when we have a near death experience and we look for someone to talk to, there is no one around.  The religious professional admits to no answers.  The partner of a lifetime wants no part of this serious stuff and should you venture into it they call it pontificating.

And do not want to hear you say your nights and days have at their root what you pursue.  It is your eternal why for whatever reason you cannot fathom and hit the wall.   You bang your hard head and crash the ethers finally.

To end up with the millions in no man’s land with what they say is a brain malfunction but it is with relief so you don’t face the final agonizing times alert but still with no answer to the why.  You offer a heart and love and your Self with questions and it is too much of a burden for an Other to carry.

The father cannot listen because his father could not listen and the mother cannot listen because her mother was told to always be cheerful and positive and look at the bright side.  There was no advice as to how to cope with the questions as she stood helpless before children born with memories with no putting place.

So what to do. Study.  Go to the library and find the books on the metaphysical.  Go back to school.  There are counselors exploring broader histories.  Confront the memories and learn about lifetimes with different images .  Search and embrace the ancient civilizations that know there are lifetimes hidden in the crevices of who we are whose secrets can be uncovered.

We are more than what we appear to be.  Everything we have been,  the good and the not so good have created the who we are today.  And as we look upon our progeny with love that we could not have imagined,  know also that hidden within their selves may be the ones who did unsavory acts that caused grief.  Forgiveness takes on a new meaning in Holy Week.

But because of who we are today we take them into arms that have known a love so grand that we transfer that love this minute.  That love we have known may not have been in our present life but rises out of the ashes of who we have been and kept alive in memory.  And we live to show it, to have it guide us and make it work in this time.

To be called gullible, not knowing the real world and naïve to believe that love conquers all is a lot to handle.  But as the world teeters on the brink of an edge that has an abyss awaiting, and still with hope celebrates the resurrection of the Spirit within believer and unbeliever alike, we are grateful there are those who have memory and perseverance to pursue the command  to love one another.

Simple?  Never.  It is a reality we cannot dismiss because its power is unfathomable.  And the morning will rise triumphant because of the dark night.

 

photo by Jon Katz

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A Thud Against Our Heart. . . .

 

Yesterday the world united in grief as we watched the fire rage and consume a large part of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  It was with dismay and heartbreak we saw a symbol of our civilization consumed by a utility given to Mankind to enhance life.  Yet at the same time we saw ourselves in communion with our grief.

We have lived too long lately isolated from each other and focused primarily on ourselves.  We have evolved to a world where commitment to others  is  in direct conflict with the desire for proclaimed self fulfillment.  We announce we are not caregivers and proceed either to neglect or farm out commitments.

Yet we saw our communion  as we united in our grief and we all know what we have lost.

What we do in this world of 8 billion people is show our young that commitment is primarily to oneself.  Yet we all age and our young may, to our dismay, shunt their commitments onto the shoulders of the unsuspecting in their lives.

I told my youngers with whom I live that I considered it a privilege to be able to prepare dinner and even do the clean up because in an institution I would not be let near a kitchen even to snack.  And though my dotage inhibits much energetic compliance with more activity, I still can push the vacuum to keep the dog fur at bay.  Thus stretching muscles wishing to atrophy I’m sure and forcing a heart to keep beating.

Children brought up in homes where value is placed on character, or simply on being  human, good and loving will indeed foster care on their commitments.  Can it be done in today’s world?  To rethink a value system is necessary.

I harbor the thought that there is time and world enough for all of us.  We can reclaim our innate knowledge of good in our actions.  What is done from love is readily noted.  Time now to reclaim the good in ourselves.

When the nudge in mind becomes a thud against our heart, it is the God Within urging us to listen.

Rest Well, Sailor, Rest Well. . .

So in this night when you lie still
and listen for the rain, listen for the wind,
listen for the stars moving about the sky.
Listen also for your heartbeat.
It is steady and it is sure.

It beats for all of your commitments,
both loving and lovable.
You are an important adjunct to this world
and your good you cannot estimate.

Rest well, sailor, rest well.
The seas have been rocky but now
we come to the inlet that will take us to port.
There will be nothing to bring in the ship.

She makes it on her own power.

 

photo by Joe Hallissey, Sr.

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Listen World, Listen. . . God In A Rock. . .

Listen world, Listen.  God In a Rock. . . .

(As we head into Earth day, I am approaching my 88th birthday and my world is iffy right now and if I could leave a letter to beloveds I would say this. )

There is a connection to all of our Earth.  From the sky to the ground, the mud , the parched soil, the flooding rivers, the oceans full of debris, of everything I breathe.  There is a connection.

The rain, the snow, the earthquakes and the tornadoes plus all that cannot be imagined by the mind that writes these words.  All of these are connected.

And if we think from this minute on that we are separate, that we are not connected, when all of these   malfunction and we cannot draw breath, we will know how connected we are.

It is our purpose in life to protect our surroundings with every means we can.  From the wrapper of our      candy or what we dismiss as garbage, to what we hold to be holy in hand and our mind.  Because it can go down the tube again as it has in our past when mankind looked upon life with common disdain  and treated our Earth as a compost heap.

It can be taken away.  Not by a grandfather god whom you may think sits in judgment but by our carelessness which assumes Earth to be a disposal to grind our refuse.  The world cannot absorb and decompose what is not natural to it.  It accumulates and kills all life.

It does not take care of itself.  Our lack of caring transfers to everything we touch.  Everything.  We have lost our respect for our laws and institutions which have sustained us because they were built on foundations of need , of prayer, of yearning for respect for our divine selves.  We knew of our cosmic  beginning,  as everything was and is and will continue to be.

But what we lose is everything with our disrespect for ourselves because this is what decimation of our earth amounts to.  Basically we have lost our respect for who we are and who we brought into life through our loins when we loved an other for the right reasons.

Not for anything we labeled other than the highest and best we could feel and give to an other because  we knew love.  But we denigrated even that to bedroom gymnastics with babies being brought into existence not because we loved wisely and well but by careless consequences.

We learned how to do that so well, haven’t we?  Our world now bursts its seams with souls we cannot feed, nor time to love the babies.  We scramble for space with fertile soil to grow food and house 8 billion people.

Listen, world, please listen.  We stand now to lose the classroom that the universe waits in line to enter.  It is  the best classroom where manifestation of the idea can be handled and utilized to the highest degree.  It is the place where love manifests in a human being with mind and body and soul.

It is a god participant in stature and thought and dreams.  This is the bedding that will send our least imagined, last imagined, unbelief into soaring magnificence because it is the sendoff for the Becoming of what cannot be envisioned.

How else to bring the mirror in front of our faces and say look at yourself?  It is you, us, me, that has the world in its hands.  The universe that we cannot yet comprehend cannot be put into the laboratory to say this is how it works.  Because that knowledge we don’t have, has not been conceived and will not ever be writ.

I pray you see god in a rock.  I pray you see god laying beneath the rock.  In all its forms.  In the air we breathe, the sky that covers us, the earth that upholds our frame that took eons to stand upright.  Listen world, listen.  Take care of this planet.  For many it is the only place that is real to them.  For me, it is a place to love into being the souls I have chosen who chose me as mother and grandmother and  grandmother great.

I loved these souls into Being.  They in turn have loved their worlds into Being.    Look about you.  To the morning that will not come to those you love.  To the day that will not harbor the ideas they have crafted into being.  To the night that will cover them with love so they will engage also in what will give birth to more dreams.  Would you deny them this?

They have your name attached to them.  They will carry what you have done, and not done.  Those ideas and thoughts of omission and commission.  Our Mother Earth.  Think how we refer to her.  Mother Earth.  There is not one of us who leaves her at the end of our lives without our thought always linking to who we refer to as Mother.  It is with love, either hoped for, missed or known.

Give your remaining days of caring onto her.  Do what is necessary to restore her well being.  She will take care of you and what you have loved into Being.  Do this for her and in so doing you will not have to pick up your mistakes which are costly.

Our names are attached and the mortgage is for eternity.  Yes, eternity is forever, starting now.

photo of Rock from
The Farm. . .Kathy Qualiani
Photo of Emma E.
by Merideth Hallissey

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The World: Atlas Shrugged. . love her enough to shoulder her high. . . .

Value Systems. . .

A value system is what is honed by a lifetime or many lifetimes lived as Beings,  and not necessarily only as the human that we know.  It can reflect lifetimes of worlds not visible to the human system of values or cognizance of them.

What the value system will show is what has been driven through the heart of one to become what it is they are, who it is they are.

A value system cannot be measured by words, nor can it be described by words.  We can say  we hold this  to be of worth but the meaning to each will differ.  What it cannot convey is what the individual’s heart holds as value.

When the values of one are betrayed by someone of worth to the individual, either by words or actions,  the eyes will tell you of the hurt the wrong has done.  Here again, that hurt to be felt by another, can be understood only when it is within the frame of cognizance, of reference.

Otherwise it will be a matter with little meaning and as easily dismissed as a flick of the wrist.  Or a shrug.  Aaahhhh they will say, a nothing.  No big deal.  But a big deal it will be to the one afflicted.  It will be a devastation and it will tumble worlds that have taken lifetimes to construct.

Values are gifts we shoulder from one generation to another.  The thoughtful ones gather the cores of the worthwhile that enhances the growth of humanity.  It begins always within the four walls of where cognizance emerges.  It is a responsibility; it is a sacrament.

It is long past the time we treat it as such.

Come Into My Kitchen. . .

Come into my kitchen
by the back door.
Only dear friends are allowed to.
Others have to earn the right
by walking through the halls
to the center,  the heart of my home.
But you can come to the back door.

I will let you in.

 

Photo of Kitchen-John Holmes
Dove Photo-John Hallissey

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The World I Worked To Build. . .

The World I Worked To Build. . .

Where hearts open to each other, where minds are keen on learning, and where love intends to see its full bloom.  Where beings are intent on growing to their fullness and work becomes a blessing.

Do I want much?

I want only what I worked and hoped for.  Where parenting is approached with a reverence bent on new life nurtured.

Where talents are perceived with a reverence granted the giver and where life is held in the crucible of love and needs are cared for when they arise and lovingly attended with appropriateness.

Is it much that I ask for?

Do I work hard because I think I am the prime mover and instigator in my life?  Are we, each and everyone?

And if it were a known, would there be chaos?  Would we be immobile because within the each is the knowledge that our god would rescue us?  Would it be knowledge or faith?

Is this why people don’t try harder?  But try they do.  Doing is what they don’t.

THE WEAVER. . .

Standing on a shrouded hill,
integrating worlds in a body, split,
is a she-man, weaving the old and the new
to warm a world gone cold.

Walking and usurping man’s ego,
split from his metamorphic mind,
she knots her splendour with magic.

Jealously guarding the expenditures,
she weaves the woolen mat in metaphysical colors,
unidentified by he who walks.

Marvelously melding with utmost utility,
she embraces the fabric, whole, with never a glance
to see the world spinning into it.

Splendid is she at her task as she gains
strength from silences filled with howling voices.
She separates them in her mind and makes more magic.

Look up, look up, we say,
at the wondrous unfolding!  Rain ponders its drops
as they fall but the woman weaves and weaves and weaves.

She will look up when it is finished.

 

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In Love We Pray. . . amen and amen. . . .

As dawn breaks, my fingers of both hands curled about each other and I marveled at their slimness, their ability to elicit the feel of themselves, each digit wrapped around the other.

And I felt that nothing, no other world would ever make me feel such blessedness in my hands’ ability to do so many things over the course of a life.

To kneading bread, to winding the yarn, to smoothing the brow of my very sick child and have him telling me later that it helps him sleep.

Everything I touch holds a lesson for me. The square inch of soil I spooned with young hands yielded secrets kept from generations.

The eyes of a child as my hands embraced young shoulders tells me what went into their ancient heritage. And I grasp their hands in mine and convey my love by touch.

I would use these hands to mold and make and set trends never before thought. I see the beauty of the great god in the blending of these human genes and see the perfect Adam and perfect Eve emerging  and see the virtue in the making and the doing of the homely tasks that will start the holy process once again. And I will open my arms and spread my hands to grasp the youngest by my hip and be grateful for hands that show

how very much I can love on this planet called Earth.

Spring Prayer. . .

As we enjoin the Universal Spirit to entrust
with another spring, another resurrection, awaken
within us the desire to nurture the world
that has nurtured us.

Let our hearts lead us to that place
where we intuitively cherish the mother who feeds
and clothes us and gives sustenance.  Let us
not forsake our responsibilities to those yet unborn,
whose futures we have already mortgaged.

Blessed Spirit, enliven our curiosity about our daily world,
remind us that the bird’s song needs our acknowledgement and praise,
that the sun needs our greeting and night wishes it bid good.

As we nourish those of our commitment, speak to us of our commitment
to the home we know, our planet Earth.  Let our love guide us
to make beautiful, to make secure and to guard diligently
what has so faithfully harbored us.

In love we pray,  amen and amen.

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In Memory. . . Once Upon A Time. . . .

Still with talk across the dinner table I asked this philosopher-legal how my philosophy sounded to his professional ear.  Well, he said, it is not new and I have heard it before,  Plato, for instance.  Uncredentialed and unbelieving, I still gulp.  In memory, this day, of his leaving this Earth, we consider ourselves forever privileged to have known him as David Hallissey.

Once upon a time. . . .

As before, this is going to start out once upon a time when humans took form, there was an openness about them that we say was almost biblical.  Until the fig leaf was needed.

When man first walked he knew from where he came.  It was a large picture he held.  In the classic Iliad, the gods involved with the physical characters were in various stages of growth.  Both gods and angels created.

What is considered myth by the educated was really an openness that was not a something everyone enjoyed.  There was a time when it was but came the nemesis of dis-ease, of fear, of flight and of desire and the brain’s doors were closed.

To this day a handful of mavericks with open heads are employed, scattered among the populace wearing the costumes of the day.  They are depended on heavily.

What should have been a rapid rate of growth is a snail’s pace.   The grinding of the mills is studious, well intentioned not to upset those who cannot handle the subject at all.

Survival has become the prime reason for being.  Just to breathe and keep living being goal for both animal and human.  One does not change horses in the middle of the stream unless the horse becomes too painful to ride and rides the rider.  Change is then necessary.

Genetic manipulation has the strongest surviving.  The how must answer in the head of the one needing to know.  The picture of this planet must be a priority when negotiating for changes.  This is the school for learning the rudiments of behavior for universal existence.

We broaden the premise from earth life to life elsewhere, other worlds.  If a closed physical system is preferred and we all transit, more thought must be given to where.

If nothing but clouds are in mind, we must consider harp lessons since heaven is waitlisted with guitar players.

Overheard . . .                                                                                    

I hear them say. . .

I cannot follow
what she says all the time.

And you say. . . 

I don’t either all the time,
so don’t blame yourself. . .

But then I hear. . .

But she says things I know are true
and I think I only
could know them. . .

And you say. . .

that is why she can say
what only you know to be true,
because she has been
to all these places
we don’t understand . . .

And you say. . .

I can only wonder how long
it took all those doors

to open for her. . .

 

 

 

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The Bread of Life. . .

Books, Learning. . . . Bread of Life. . . .

If asked if the journey was worth it, seeing how many dreams found not their time, what would I say?  Looking at these two photos that came within two or so weeks of each other,  I would have to say the legacy is priceless.

The mountains climbed, the roads thrashed out and the bulrushes piled and ready for pickup, I would have to say it took every bit of what I did plus everyone else’s journey, all who have been a part of this little person’s history, to create this Being to get to this day.

No one’s input is diminished nor history dismissed in the genetic ingredients creating Emma E.  Other members will have their faiths and abilities to claim.  There are many with reason, who do not view as crucial, the children of this world.  Yet the cosmic sages view the four walls of the natal chambers as determining the futures of all worlds.

Emma E. is Hope personified.  She is reason to keep this Earth classroom alive and thriving so the soul of who she is and who she will grow to Be has a chance to become what she destines.

This has to be the bigger picture we have in mind all the time.  That each child in each generation is given the welcome with love and time as their birthright.  And the means to be fed both body and mind for not only sustenance to survive but to thrive and expand their focus.

Beyond expectation because we don’t know yet what we are to become.  The last chapter is not writ ever.  And no laboratory nor scientist has the final word.  For there is no final anything.

Emma E. already has opened the way to abundant life.                     
Her love of books, of learning has made her purpose clear.

The purpose of life is to learn.   But we always knew
that, didn’t we?

Why did we forget?

 

Photos by
Claudia and Joseph Hallissey
(grandparents)

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In The Mirror Is The Answer. . .

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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You Were Wondering. . . Mystic in Today’s World?. . .

I am often asked where ideas come from.  In reviewing my life with journals (why was I so detailed about feelings?) I see where poetry came to life.  I seem to have lived a life in conference, in conversation on a level understood with matched souls.

The photo is of our home for 45 years and I tried to explain to my oldest brother my feelings.  I wrote ‘the walls hold the sounds of my beloveds.  The hurts, the laughter, the tears and whoops of joy, the secrets and not so secrets;  all the living and dying of feelings and thoughts proving nothing is lost.

There is a vibrancy of life that is eternal.  The energies of all who walked within these walls stay contained within them.  Much alone, why I am never lonely.  When I think that I have been part of it, I realize that this is immortality for those sensitive enough to recognize it. ( the entry continued with)

Ophelia, I will say, do you think I am dead?
I sit on the very breath you breathe.

I will waft an orange fragrance o’er your head
and you will see me take form.  I will crash
the air with cymbals and you will hear me enter.

A cat cries in the night and you will hear the infant.
The moon will send its shaft of light through the north window
and you will be plagued with memories
you will scarce remember.

You will warm yourself with the sun from
the south window and it will nudge a time and place
on the edge of those same memories and
you will know and still not know.

I have taken you to my bosom, held you and
pushed you away.  And at once tightened my hold
so you will never be free.  You think I am dead?

I ask you, Ophelia, who indeed is dead?

And Ed said that he has never felt that tie to a house.  A mystic you are, he says.  Am I indeed?  Is a portion of my brain activated or aware or is it pain in the moving away?  A cutting of the umbilical cord or am I my phoenix, consumed by fire of my making to arise again with the freshness of the pubescent and the agony of acne?

(another time I will write of the breeze coming in the south window then with the promise of Fall.  All this was part of the entry, with the poem lifted from the entry I titled Listen, Ophelia…which I put into format.  One mind or a concert of compatriots?  And in the meantime the clock told me of schedules to keep and children to tend who said their childhoods were enchanted.  The only permanent fixture of life to me was the everlasting laundry and exhausting pressing and ironing that had to be done.  Such is life for today’s mystic. )

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