Archive | Lesson

Work? . . Are we god-enough to do it?. . .

When we are plagued with a problem and have tried everything we can think of and those things we invent and the problem is still with us, we then conclude there is no answer.  If there was an answer, the problem would be solvable.

There would be circumscribed ways of doing things and we could impart excitement. With unsolved problems comes hope that somehow, someone, some way will come up with something to solve a situation that has not been thought of, has not been tried.

That is why hope springs eternal.  Not because a god will step in but that man with his many ways and histories, will bring together thinking that may yet save a people, a species, a planet.

Hope that what has not been tried before or tried before with no results, a someone will come forth to overcome a barrier and the unthinkable, the impossible and the unlikely this time will work.

When it is a person problem, we will forgive and all will be forgiven.   We will have unlocked  the door that bars entry for the pilgrim and we will be hailed the miracle.

To create peace within chaos will bring diverse peoples together.  If only within our house and that would be all that is necessary.  For if just one place has peace within its walls, all places would eventually have peace.

But we must do the footwork, be the ones to do this work as if fatigue is no problem.  For the ones who have used all psychological devices and reasons know if they see it to do, it is theirs to do.   Others may walk by and see nothing.     What to lose?  Nothing.   What to gain?  Everything.

We  may feel we are carrying the whole load but we know if we have been given sight,  we must use it.   Others may be handicapped in ways not visible.  If we continue to think that it is somebody else’s job, we are the loser.

If we see it to do, and it is not getting done, it is ours to do.   Simple as that.  This is our world.  It is our present.

We will not be tired for long because we know the why of what we do.  When we do for one, we do for all and we are another step closer to brotherhood.

But we were told that.  Ours to do because we see it.  Are we god-enough to do it?

Hardest Lesson. . .

They don’t know  yet,
the ones closest to me, friends and all. . .
why I do things the way I do.

It is because I know the good
in the work and the beauty in the body
doing what mind tells it to do.

It is a dance, a mind and body ballet.
It has taken centuries of many lives
to learn and it was no simple matter.

The hardest thing to purge was thinking
I was above doing such menial work.
While all the time I had to learn

how to be god-enough to do it.

 

photo by Kathy Qualiana

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Creativity. . Look, what I made! . . .

I scribed. . . .it is a bag of wind we seem to contend with and problems never ending.  The problems stem from diverse personalities complicating and darkening what should be an enlightened situation.  What is obvious to one is dark to another.

You think the world’s state of affairs too complicated to solve.  Yet should they be solved, what then the reason to continue?   People then would simply start trouble to spark things up a bit.  Too simple an answer.

When peoples are not operating on the same level, coming from such diverse beginnings as culture, genetics, health conditions, etc, you have a coloration that confounds even the Solomons.  One swipe does not wipe out problems.  Even annihilation would not be the answer. 

For the desire to create is so strong that another place would be found for manifestation.  And the creativity that would explode would put the same situations into play. . . .

Creativity requires expression, which will take on the coloration of the individual souls, the emotional as well as all the previous adjectives.  And memory being what it is, would soon also color situations and promote problems for people working and living together. 

With creativity, lesson plans burgeon.  Problem solving nests within the problems, within the creation, within the creators.

Unless there is personal growth, there will be unrest.  Look to solve what darkens your life.  Begin where you are.  When you bring peace to yourself,  you also bring it to others.

My argument. . . one man can ruin a world and a world of prayerful men cannot save it?  (what is the lesson here?)

Creation. . .

An ear from here will touch an elbow there
and mid the deafening roar, hear the shout,
‘I am here!’   ‘I am here!’

And another world is given birth with form
strangely reminiscent of a time and place
where you held me and I, you.

Together then, a life, a birth and a new world
created by the unmistakable combustion
amidst the resounding silence of an I love you.

Sublimely exiting, noisily entering, within
the crackling cartilage of old and new forms,
new worlds are born of memory, of experience,

housed in the eternal mind.

 

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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The Earth Gods Know. . .

 

I scribe.  The teacher speaks. . . 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.

It is a good world.  You had a dream, once.  We watched and talked amongst ourselves whether it was worth it.  And how could you be so intense when none about you were.  They took it but did not see from where they supped.  They drank and they did not see who poured.  The warm milk, the bread, the shot of dry whiskey that burned the fire in their belly. . .

(I say, fire them up.  Teach them all.  The elders their responsibilities as well as their rights.    And the adolescents who have the fire in the belly, to quarter it and contain it and put it all to constructive use.  And to the babies, these who have memories that will not quit, do not let us disappoint them.  For we will have a generation of vipers on hand and we will have done it.  We will have terrorists of the first order and we will have no one else to blame but us  . . . .again, all time is simultaneous.  From a journal of December 6, ’92, valid then and certainly NOW.

For Now. . .

Let your mind answer
your heart’s murmuring,
for in the sanctity of self,
you will see your divinity.

In the august crucible
that is Earth, latticed by clouds
hovering the trees,
you gain your peace.

In the musing of the grass growing
to reach its height and to color
the bare earth with a carpet
you feel the hallowed crest. . .

In all, gently tend
the heart’s rending and choose
the teachers who match
the performance. . . .

of your innate goodness. . . .

poem written
August 9, 1985

photo by
Kathy Rybacki Qualiana

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Depends On How High Up You Reach. . . .

 

Hardest Lesson. . .

They don’t know yet,
the ones closest to me. . .
friends and all. . .
why I do things the way I do.

It is because I know
the good in the work
and the beauty in the body
doing what mind tells it to do.

It is a dance,
a mind and body ballet.
It has taken centuries of many lives
to learn and it was no simple matter.

The hardest thing to purge
was thinking I was above
doing such menial work.
While all the time I had to learn

how to be god-enough to do it.

 

No longer is the excuse ‘I’m only human’ valid.  Lest we forget how much depends on us.  There is no refuge in that cliche anymore.  Think seriously on it.  VRH

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Where The Real Money is Counted. . . .

Now, tell me what you think. . . .

Now talk to me,
and tell me what you think.
I want to know the conclusions
you have reached.
Tell me what you know,
not what others have said.

I can read what they have said
about any number of topics.
I want to hear your thoughts,
and how you come by them.
What does this say to you
about how you arrive at this place
in time?

I tire of hearing what the talking heads
have read and tire of hearing variances
of the same story.
I want no quotes.  I want your thought.
You have lived long enough
to have a say, to know your gut feeling.

No time is right anymore for talk.
The devices tell with a click what is
the current thinking.  Of everyone.
I want to know why your heart keeps beating
and you keep on keeping on
when our country totters amidst
constitutional crisis.  And morality changes.
And the Earth’s countries are slugging it out.

But most of all why you think
it is worth a tinker’s damn to care about.
I realize I am only an audience of one,
but I want to know what you know.
I want to burglarize your mental house.

So tell me.  Your thoughts will be original to me
and I will be the richer for them.
I will happily walk to the Memory Bank with them.

It is there I have an open account.

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The Old Country. . .

 

 

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. (scribed November of ’94)

Across the Mind’s Eye. . .

Laying like whipped icing
on the wedding cake,
the drifts of snow across the mind’s eye
left a clear path to the heart’s memory
of the other winters when love
closed the doors of the world
and cherished me.

What were the winters like
when the snow stood high
and like lover’s swords sliced a path

and found where I was?

poem written Nov , 2011

 

Deep within are memories brought forth for a reason indecipherable.  Simply as the poem says, across the mind’s eye.  Yet sweeping the body, finds the knees weak and my heart laboring.  One wonders then from where comes the love, the cherishing.  It is deep within but the source cannot be brought to mind. Still the feeling is unmistakable. And the knowledge stays that somewhere that world is intact.  And a matter of time only, time as it is known where I am, folds unto itself and puts me back into the ‘old country.’

One then does not argue with this because it is not belief, but knowledge.  And it was yesterday though a lifetime has been lived since.  Puzzle?  No, because we learn that linear time belongs to Earth but confirming that all time is simultaneous.  (April, 2018)

photo by Joe Hallissey sr.

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Emma E. . . A song of joy. . . and Magic. . .

Song of Joy. . .

My joy is great in presenting this heartfelt bundle in her run for the roses.  She does nicely with wonderful parents and grandparents ready with arms open.  And uncles and aunts by relation and a hundred cousins and others by adoption.

She has reason to smile broadly and wink in secret.  She knows, of course, she knows what the secret is and who holds the keys.  We all wish we had arrived with such welcome and so much love.  We think what wonders could have been wrought, but we know now what we can give to each other.

And with open arms greet each other to assure a welcome when we meet.  Emma E. has already taught us all much.  She knows who holds the sparklers and knows also,  in her heart,  that she is one of the ones who holds that bit of magic out to us.

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Ripped, Severed, Broken. . . .

Times Such As These. . .

I lock up the room
and pocket the last remnants
of words laying about
unattended.

Fearful that pieces of my heart
may be found
scattered among them.
And why not?

Times such as these
leave us with little salve
to heal the open wounds
which once were hearts.

For whom do we weep?
The children whose siblings
will no longer come to the table
to convey with no doubt
the events which took their innocence?

Or the parents whose hearts
were transplanted
when word came that
these unspent stars were already
breathing the rarified air
as heaven’s most blessed?

Look at us here.
Pleading that our children
will be safe as they try to understand
what we in our dotage
have not learned.
To resort to arms

means death in any country.

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Conversations: World Creation. . .

 

Conversations:  World Creation . . .

If it were not for the fact that our David came home for chemo treatment on a regular basis and he and I had dinner together at home, I would never have had the mind bending conversations we did.

It was then I learned of world creation for the first time when he said in an unrecognizable voice, ‘ by damn, if anyone could create a world, you can.’  It was a possibility discussed in his major which was Philosophy.

I did not come across the creation theory until years later when studying Robert Nozick’s book, The Examined Life.  He said before his untimely death that he thought possibly that humans were in the creation business, in training for world building.  And here David and I were discussing this years earlier at the dinner table.  (I have had some very good teachers?)

The following was from a journal entry of November 8, 1983 and I scribed the teacher’s words.

When your actions are such that no ill will is intended then acceptance of a decision need not destroy you.  It is part of growth which allows a future to be decided.  You have spent a large time thinking that a decision has been made before your heart knows that decision.

We do not take lightly a deference to opinions.  Your philosophy shows already what happens to choices in a world of  worlds.  Yet you think a forced decision is no decision.  You have already taken into consideration possibilities.

If possibilities are probable, then we have already built worlds.  No need now to hesitate.  No need now to reconsider what is already imprinted in a world somewhere.

We need to take all probabilities and let them fall where they may.  Now we know that all things are considered at some level.  Now we know there is a somewhere and a somewhen for all things.

Let the answers be what they may and you build your world with the intentions which come from your heart.

(if there is energy left I may do a small volume on world building with the Given poetry on worlds through this lifetime.  Right now though after much time trying to choose a short poem on decisions,  my thoughts lead me to choosing a heart theme,  with the words of the last line from the entry.  ‘You build your world with the intentions which come from your heart.’  So close to Valentine’s Day and within a short time that my elder will be ready to give the word on The Psalms of Love,  I chose the following.  In journeying what one wishes is not what one thinks is priority but what one gets, IS.  Not up front at first,  but in the final analysis,  it Is.)

Not Wished but Needed. . .

It is a heart
full blown
inclined to burst.

But for now
it beats its song
too sweet not to hear. . .

Why, can it not be
forever inclined
in a direction of choice?

Instead fully charged
toward what is not wished. . .

but needed. . .

 

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A Lesson In Strawberries. . . .

A Lesson In Strawberries. . .

( I awakened one recent morning in conference with someone who said it was again time for the article on the lesson in strawberries.  Several years ago it was printed in The Detroit Free Press and has since been reprinted several times.  A man appeared at my door the first time with a quart of strawberries from his garden and several stories to tell about his mother and her philosophy.  It is with wonder that some ideas will strike a warm bed of memory and spill its essence.  I cannot bring to mind to whom I was talking when awakened but no doubt a classroom again.  I think I am nighttime’s perennial student.) 

I was a young girl, about 12.   It was our first summer on The Farm and it was a hard one.   But it also was filled with good food straight from the warm earth.  My mother had a talent for growing things in the city despite its polluted air; even 70 years ago people knew to be unhealthy.   But in the clear air of the country, in the soil of her loam filled garden, her talents blossomed as did her crops.

We were getting produce ready for the stand down near the road.   As we were preparing the fruits and vegetables, selling them as fast as we put them out, friends from the city were arriving.  They were diverse characters.  Some were people in her circumstances with many children and little money.  A few were wealthy but the outstanding characteristic of all these relationships was mutual respect.

Toward the late afternoon, I was tired and whiny.   The source of my irritation was the fact that my mother was giving to her friends, without charge, the best and finest of what we were putting out.   A bushel of potatoes here, quarts of strawberries there, a basket of fresh vegetables here.

But the strawberries were my argument.  I loved them and the ones she grew were the reddest, juiciest and largest I had ever seen.   They were sweet clear through and the dream stuff of that first June on The Farm.  With the heavy cream separated from the rich milk the excellent cows gave, these were mine she was giving away.  The strawberries summed up my resentment.

“You can’t keep giving away our profits,” I said.  “you have given away half of all the produce!”

She turned to me in a voice I have not forgotten and a lesson that has stayed with me.

“These are mine,” she said.  “I will do with them what I please.  These are for me to give away if I want to.  No one can tell me who to give to.  My friends may never do anything for me, but if one of them does something for my children or my grandchildren, then that will be payment for me.”

I have thought often of that lesson in gift giving.  In giving what is yours.   In the course of my days, when someone did something for me I did not expect, there was the lesson in strawberries.  When so much has been done for our children by their friends and ours, the lesson in strawberries comes up.

When time, whole weekends of time, have been given to sit with a sick child, to listen to an impoverished spirit, to make dinner when the task seems insurmountable and appetite non-existent, to do any of these when time has become our most precious commodity, it is a gift of Spirit.  When a check arrived unexpectedly from someone whose only reason was “I remember how I would have felt to have received this” or the someones who oftentimes helped our children through school because “it was done for me.”

I thought of the lesson in strawberries.

As I review a life where so much has been done for me and mine, from sources unexpected, I am grateful for the lesson in strawberries.   My mother gave what was hers to give, what she worked for and gave freely.  She was paying it forward long before the idea became novel.  I do not forget.

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