Archive | Touchstone

The Children Will Lead. . . but You Are The Answer. . . .


The Children Shall Lead Us. . . .

Young people,  some only in grammar schools,  around THE WORLD have taken leave of their classrooms today to strike their concerns about the coming death of their best and only classroom.  It is this planet Earth.  Our only home as far as most of us know, this lifetime.

Many of the young  have memory and they know that nothing is given but what something is taken away.  For many lifetimes our planet has given us lush greens and vibrant blues and sundry good to avaricious hearts.   They know who these are among us.  Yet we know  we all plunder our Earth Mother,  in the substance thrown away and her largess of native goods taken and trashed.  We all participate in greedy behavior.

We either sit on arid land pleading for water or wading in hip boots in the living rooms of our once homes.  Or picking up the matchsticks of our beloved countries in the residues of tornadoes and hurricanes. A doomsday on this planet of great numbers?  In many areas, it already is.  Who cares?

And what difference does it make?  Well I care and one day you will care a lot and it will make a big difference.  You are its prayer, its question and its answer.  Only you.  In you are the answers to what your life means.  There are no other answers.  You are the answer.  You are the unsuspecting shoulders upon whom the answer rests.  You will be the answer to who cares and you will care a lot.

Your God you pray to is not always merciful.  He respects what you would call my stand alone responsibilities.  I respect without argument an angry Cosmos that has the power to strike at the core of us and hit home.  This is my beautiful planet and I in pain realize we are a reflection of that pain elsewhere.  I work to relieve it.

Primary kindnesses must be granted to all facets of nature, from the glass of water to the earthworms that fragrant the soil.  Every aspect of life, every aspect of guarding this planet from dawn to the whispered good night in love to our Earth Mother.  I tell you true.

You will care and you will care.  A lot.

(a pleading to us all. . . )

Let our hearts lead us
to that place where
we intuitively cherish the mother
who feeds and clothes us and
gives us sustenance.

Let us not forsake our responsibilities
to those yet unborn but whose futures
we have already mortgaged.

Blessed Spirit, enliven our curiousity
about our daily world, remind us
that the bird’s song needs our
acknowledgement and praise,
that the sun needs our greeting
and the 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, amen.


{the pleading scribed April 5, 1991}


Far Beyond Where We Are. . . . .

Recently I was lost in thought  and found myself saying out loud that I have to get back to teaching!  I surprised myself but to whom was I speaking and what world but more importantly, at what depth?  I remember a conversation at dinner where there was argument and I exasperatedly said, the wrong people at this table were educated!

David looked at me with a steel glance and said, only the people who needed the education ! And I looked hard at this lawyer son of ours with a philosophy major in his life struggle and knew what he said because all of them held credentials except me.  And I said you are right, David, right.

In that world I held in conference and said I had to get back to teaching, was a real world though I would be laughed at with derision in this one.  Yet much of what I find compelling in this world ,in a concerted effort daily of independent study, avidly, tells me it is not new.

For me God is a verb and Jesus, the Nazarene, is my mentor.

I understand that all time is simultaneous, which  Albert Einstein verified by saying man will not ever begin to understand his own ‘why’ until he understands this very important element of time.

My mentor became my friend as I was held accountable and as I sought his divinity, I found mankind’s and eventually my own.  Then I was able to see the GodWithin which sparks us with conscience.  In the Dead Sea Scrolls (the Nag Hammadi Library)  Jesus said, ‘I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard’.

Even with no credentials, and whatever our persuasion, we all have a highest and best we hold onto.  It is a good beginning knowing all the while there is a realm of existence so far beyond  where we are that it cannot be spoken of because there are no concepts beyond our immediate conceptual abilities.

It is still some distance where awesomeness will lead to further realms of thought not possible for the human brain.  Fir’ piece to go?. . . .long ways. . . .a very long way. . . .

The Uncovering. . . an excerpt. . .

The idea will find its home
in the minds of all men
and the revolution begins.
The learned ones will marvel
at the evolution in thinking
and peace with brotherhood
will slowly mark its beginning
in the house of one man.

Nestling in the house will be the children.
They will be remembering where

the promise was given.


above photo by John Holmes




Not Much Time To Frolic. . . .


Today I thought that many events in my life were practice literally for what was to be revealed.  I did not know that of course, but I rehearsed for what I thought right and good.  I became involved in being who I thought I could be.

There was a phrase when I was growing up, fake it till you make it were the words.  It meant pretend it is so until it is.  We think often that is how our government is run but I knew certain things were correct but not of my heritage.  Events were blatant contradictions (like parents being hateful about classmates ‘ families when we were taught to be kind in school) to what I hoped or knew could be the ideal.  So I pretended a lot.  It was not easy but as I said, practice it was and I was rehearsing.  Alibi-ing  people is what others said I did.

I can see the reasoning of Job and those souls who put themselves in public saying their god was good and life was also.  Even though smack in the belly was a whopper.  What was Job aware of?  What were the do-gooders doing in the face of contradictions likely to choke them?  What was escaping me?

I remember lying on the patch of grass when I was just seven or so and moving clouds into forms with thought and wishing to be a wise old woman some day.  Not for things like English doll buggies or fashionable clothes but always wished for straight talk.  I now see 100 approaching and still look for talk.

I want to explore pretend until it is not pretend, like a stretched sweater comfortable to wear.  How to do it.  How to love the unlovable with behavior repugnant?  How to get past the repulsive sight to see the shining eyes or blazing heart?  How to pretend a tight hug and not push away.

There are warts and worms in every world.   I think what I pursue at heart is to be a godperson in human skin.  I think all life is a route back to what once was and we threw away in pursuit of something to hold in our hands.  Manifested. Not a waste to be sure, but lifetimes so hard that it has taken eons to retrieve our heritage.

We are a reflection of that pursuit.  I see Job insisting his god is good and welcoming the challenges.  Hit me again, he says, I can take it and rise to go on.  He already knew that life was everlasting, and he, groomed for his next world.  Pretending leads to integration of uncomfortable ideas, foreign and hard to digest, but altogether an enhancement not only this life but all lives.

My Mentor, the Nazarene said this, didn’t he?  Do for one and you do for all.  Evolution is step by step with a society grown in ways not only science driven, but technological,  able to integrate old anguish and ancient beliefs with a sympathy as well as understanding that is balm for us all.  Kabbalah was our innate respect for learning, bedding for we who remember from where we come.

I am grateful for a life that has taught much and wondered too much to frolic this time, but in overwhelming gratitude to the All.

simple request. . . .

it won’t cost a sou, or a mint
or a farthing or a dollar.
It won’t cost anything, she says,
except . . . . .

to put away the toys
that spoil the air we breathe,
that take our fun
and spoil that too. . .

all she asks is time
to take care of this Earth
and to take care of the children
we make and be

their example. . .

artwork by Claudia Hallissey. . . 


The Harvest Moon. . . .



The night will bring a harvest moon.  I  have seen many and they are special.  Brilliant and lighting the sky with magic, even though it is Friday the 13th.   I hope there will be dancing with moonbeams and children will laugh as they gather them in baskets like rare gems designed only for their eyes.  And they will forever remember from where they come.



Harvest Moon. . .

Within the circumference of the full moon
lies a world of power calculated
to make a man weep.  A harvest moon,
brimming with light,  great light,  prolongs
the day’s labor to make the fields clean,
preparing them for the covering of frost
that will freeze the ground and make way for the snow.

The snow comes in drifts, hiding the stubble
where field mice chew and multiply.
It provides a playground and home
for creatures close to the earth’s crust.

But in the silos, in the barnyards and lofts
is stacked the world’s bounty
to feed those who labored through
the long hot summer to ready the table
for a well earned thanksgiving.

We just suppose the winter will be hard,
written though it has always been for
the old ones to see in the landscape
of the harvest moon.  You could not bear
to look at the full moon too hard or too long.

Every farmer soon learns this.
The pull of the moon raises the tides only so far.
But you instinctively knew

that only so far was all the way home.



The Earth Gods Know. . .we do not swim alone. .



 Journaled December 1992 . . . following. .the Great Nor’easter. . december’92

Nature expounds her presence with all.  She ventures to shout her presence.  She sends storms and pestilence and calm days and sunny skies to announce her presence.  She grants to all the balm of her existence.  But she angers and cries .  And in frustration teaches what no other thing or method can.  She is a great lady but given to little patience.  The earth is in dire straits, she says.  She hurts and I cannot let her bleed to death.  So she rages and fumes and she tires.  Will she give up?  The earth gods know.  The earth gods know.                (Hurricane Dorian devastates. . September 2019)

January 2019. . . . in a previous  entry I ended with the thought that we are the Intelligence undergirding these universes and we are the power beneath it all.  I had written that my studies had taken me to that place where I knew Spirit or the God Force or whatever we call this Intelligence that rumbles life into the universes, but we are part.  God Participants.

We are the intelligence or the life force.  And this morning I see that if anything is not done to correct the injustices or the inequities that harm and hurt peoples and beings, it is not done because we are doing nothing.  What we are doing is participating in the harm and injustices.  Doing nothing to stop them because of fear or because we are benefiting from them.  So we are the cause and the cure.

That there is an over-riding good that belies the insignificant I. That there is beyond the benign the stretching of invisible good that overshadows all.  It is or has to be because we would have long destroyed all life.  The sparklers are held by a something I cannot fathom but whose potential is ‘becoming.’  What I can accommodate with utter imprecision is the desire to see that balance is achieved.

That there is something that is so good  that no evil can touch its core of perfection.  I call it the Great God or possibly should call it the Great Good?  As I said in that entry when I stumbled with that undergirding,  is that we are part of that Spirit. . . as it was in the beginning, a god participant  meaning we were of one name.  Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 and god said, let us make man in our image.    And I said so long ago, or was it only yesterday in quantum, man is basically good because man has the Divine Within needing to be acknowledged.

As long as we try to explain the hard sweat work of good that people do as in doing what is best for humanity, we will enhance life in all universes.  Because as the boy child said to the Lady of Blue Cloths,  we are being watch-ed.  We are being watch-ed.

(I seem to harangue on this subject of this noteworthy classroom, but we must always keep the larger picture in view, even when what we do seems so small.    We do not swim alone.)


A Woman Of Great Wealth. . .


It was a hard move  for all of us leaving over a hundred acres of camp property we were living on in Connecticut to move to city life in Michigan.  From a lake with mountains and an 1800 farm house to a house with eight feet on either side was what we were looking at.  But stepping in I immediately knew it would be home to us.

Our sons bonded tightly there even as they branched out to new friends and activities,  The photos show how involved we were.  I was talked into helping with the construction of the hockey rink in the backyard.  It was started every year from that first time a week before Christmas.  That was when we could depend on weather to behave itself.  We counted on freezing daily then.

I made rules that I would only spray till 2 a.m.!   If I remember correctly,  spraying involved 20 minutes every hour for two to three days.  That was after there was a few inches of snow to push back to form a rim.  And it was a joyful night when the lights were turned on and fun began.  The guys were ready, the brothers and the younger’s friends.

Hockey could be played till 9 p.m. on school nights and then they came into the basement to undo skates and then upstairs for cocoa and whatever chief cook baked.  This went on till graduation from high school.  I was not popular with neighborhood moms with young sons when bombarded with the cry of why can’t we have a hockey rink?  Alas, someone needed to stand and spray and not everyone loved winter as we did.

Some not as agile on skates but all loved chasing pucks with sticks.  We had our share of broken windows in the house and garage which had to be repaired quickly.  They became adept soon to hold the shots low and also at repairing the windows.

The younger, son John, eventually settled in California to teach when I received a call one afternoon from the class he was teaching.  He said his class did not believe the hockey rink in his backyard. Would I answer their questions?  The children were unbelieving.  I explained how we did it and what was done to maintain.  You sprayed with a hose they asked?  Yes, I said and not after 2 a.m.!

After much time with questions of how cold did it get, how long and how many played and the kinds of things kids wonder about especially the strange mother who would volunteer to do this!  They thanked me and made me wonder how many were still unconvinced.

Over a half century later, I consider myself a woman of great wealth in charge of this memory bank.


A Sane Oasis In Troubled Times. . . .

Bucket or also known as Rain Hats. . . .


When I was young , there were people in my circle, friends of parents, or neighbors sitting on their porches whom we thought were wise old people.  They were mainly with time on their hands it seemed, obviously going nowhere.  What happened to all of them?

I really don’t know, just remember they were there.  Their hands were always busy.  Old men were whittling wood pieces, turning out to be beautiful birds or art carvings I wished were mine.

Women were sometimes talking but their hands were knitting or crocheting lacy coverings for pillows or antimacassars?  That is an old word coming to mind.

It is a covering for the backs of stuffed chairs to prevent soiling from greasy heads.  (Britannica Dictionary)  Since people nowadays shower each day, we no longer have need of them.

But when they talked, it was always something I did not know but wondered. No one close could enlighten me.  But these old people would and I hung with them.  They were full of things worth knowing.

No one said they were wasting time or too old to do good.  Because they were wise in ways of man and had knowledge about things no one talks of anymore or cares to research.

When talking to a friend today I mentioned these wise ones, saying their minds were always in conference while their hands were busy, as I do in  finishing  this life but unable to conjure up the energy to do what was normal before.  The word worth noting and operative, is unable.

It is a grave mistake we make in not learning a craft or having something to do with one’s hands.  Sometimes even thought cannot be summoned.  Sometimes and this is important, never without hope and never without knowledge that somewhere will be time for what we have refined.

To keep the larger picture in mind is imperative.  Remember,  we are in class. History is full of people who first came with an idea ahead of its time; elsewhere, yes, here, no.

But important it has always been to teach something the hands can do.  In hard times, emotional, economic, or inopportune, when one cannot accomplish what needs be,  the work of the hands create a sane oasis.

So this week, I laid aside the knitting needles, picked up a crochet hook and made some bucket hats.


A Rich Legacy. . . .

Close to where they live, the family gathers to enjoy what is left of the summer.  And Emma E. basks in the attention and love her presence assumes.  And this should be the right of every child chosen to come to us.  Because we choose them.

I have mentioned before that for over half a century I have told our sons thank you for choosing me as your mother.  Because I chose you and have loved you long before the world ever was.  Because I know I was before I am.  Not believe, not hope nor anything else, but know.

I think once we learn this truth, we have to act responsibly.  Every teen ager has shouted I did not ask to be born!  But we did.  For reasons long forgotten.  Mainly because we are unaccountably good and wanted to make a difference,  because we needed to learn certain things and our choice of parents is insanely correct.

Hard to swallow when in retrospect our childhoods have been unbelievably difficult, when we know we could have learned what we needed to know with less pain.  But our painful tract forced memory to surface and provided a history we could access.

We found we could still love, for instance, because at some juncture someone cared enough to teach us how.  If not accessible, life still teaches us to learn what love requires.

My Mentor, the Nazarene, said to us all, as the twig is bent. . . And bent we are before arrival and proceed with our intentions, but are different no matter how vehemently parents claim I treat them all the same!  Still the bent twig shows us that our history before we are in this place, will continue to shape our adventure.

Emma E.  is fortunate with her history and chosen family.  She is embraced fiercely with love and with everyone attending her with concern to her development.  This I wish for all souls entering a new world;  to be wanted and loved into being, to be given the tools necessary to grow and enhance life in all aspects.

Not to be given tools is to handicap the child.  To encourage pursuit of reasons why, the earnestness  to consider all work sacred, to learn to observe keenly, but most of all to understand that learning is what life demands of us.

With these, the deep satisfaction gives the greatest joy, a rich legacy.


photo by Joe Hallissey III


We Speak. . .










We Speak. . . 

We say goodbye with body language.
See. . . we know when
our arms are circling each other
they will not release until our hearts
press our knowledge one to the other.

And we look with watery eyes
that no longer see clear images
because they blur.  As long as we touch
we are together in this space.

But in parting we stay connected still.
I have your body form pressed into mine
and the scent of your humanity
I will always seek.

Until one day no longer will we need
to seek out each other.  For as breath whispers
beside me, I know it is you.
We will again unite in arms without form
but the embrace will be familiar.

The fit will be forever ours.




art by Claudia Hallissey


The Process Is All. . . .

‘You Are My Best To Be.’. . .

I could hear the words . . ‘too bad all the others could not have been made this way.’  And the response was that this is what creativity was all about.  That with each new effort there is improvement.  And the creator of the art or article was encouraged with each effort.

Would it eventually be perfect?   No, because each thing to be done, whether a seam or incorporation of an idea would have to be perfected.  As the creator is not satisfied with his creation and the art is itself the material to be worked with a life of its own and a desire to incorporate whatever is native to it, there could not be perfection.

The last two printed fabrics I worked on, with different stretch, different designs wished for a different approach with ideas of how to use them, so I did.  Not with perfection, but adequate, with the total effect pleasing.

With people, individuals, each is a new creation, a new world created.  Each becomes a dreamer of his world, a new world to go spinning into space.  In one of my poems last lines, ‘you are my best to be.’  I might add, for my world.  As the each is the best for his world created.

With what he is, she is, no one could have done it better.  Consider what they had as given, the heritages, genetic, cultural, climatological, religious, what they create, no one could do it better.   There is no model upon which they create, for each is the world unto himself.  And the worlds are as many as there are people.

Live and let live.  I cannot criticize anymore.  I know the weight of my burdens.  I could not carry the weight of yours which I cannot know.  But let me help you.  I can do that. . . . .

Nature’s New Arrival . . . 

I bent and bowed and gathered
all things to me.  I sifted and sorted and
with much pain separated the grains of man.
Filing to completion, I noted the encumbrances
saddled to my Earth.

In the midst of morning I chased the night
to an empty place and began anew
to observe the travesties inclined to Nature.

She wound from her spool of variegated yarn
and proposed a multi colored libation.
We sipped together and studied closely
our inventions.  We joshed and gurgled
in our cups and found our brains quite addled.

Too much too soon we disposed of
the marvelous concoction and decided. . .
she at her best was better than I, and I,
no more befuddled looked upon you and knew

you are my best to be.


art by Claudia Hallissey


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