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My God Watches Me. . .

I had a journal entry I looked at that had hostility levied on differences in us and I thought it time to look at what unites as human beings.  It is a simple character attribute.

When we were children our parents expected we would be truth tellers.  We were asked the simple question. .  brushed your teeth?   The second question followed.. . .  why is your toothbrush dry?  We learned to tell the truth.

I was working with a lot of resentment one day unloading groceries in front of the house when a car pulled up and a young woman wanted to know where was a certain address.   She had underpaid a woman for an item at a garage sale and needed to make good on that.  She left and I continued with my task.

She returned and waved.  And thanked me and I said it was such a nice thing to do.  She said she must because My God Watches Me .  I looked at the open young face with a scarf hiding her hair and aware the hostility making heavy the air we breathe and the prejudiced perceptions circling.

While I had too many things to do and again at fault for being late,  I would have to admit my  resentment adding to the heaviness of  the air we breathe.   I did not share her belief system, but the Divine Within us both shared our humanity.  Time to make good on that.

MY GOD WATCHES ME. . . 

Over and over I create and recreate
situations and ordeals, arguments and wars
with symbolic enemies, but sometimes not.
I must of need watch my responses,
my actions and motives lest my
God think less of me.

So I spare my God further
annoyance by monitoring myself.
The situations and ordeals are best kept in mind.
I articulate my position to establish myself
several times in the course of a day.

The wars and arguments are pacified, only after
words become too tiresome to continue.
Peace becomes the only option.
I work toward perfection and a hard work it is.
As anyone who knows me would agree.
It is necessary though, you see,
for my God watches me.

I watch-dog my actions and harness my tongue
and change hurtful thoughts with labored caring.
It means I reconsider my earnest evaluations
of mine enemies and present the other cheek.

I prepare myself for sainthood
while I breathe the rarified air of my benign earth.
And watch myself as my God watches me.
Not so easy to do, this monumental work
of sanctification.

Of my internal warts and
grievous errors,  I am deeply conscious.
But perhaps I prevent them
from penetrating my soul
as long as I keep close the knowledge

that my God watches me.

 

Artwork by Claudia Hallissey

 

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In Conference. . . .when the world sleeps. . . .

 

In Conference. . . .with the Sages.  . .

From a journal entry of January 1993 where I had been in the midst of researching Jesus . .the teacher asked me to put my thoughts down. . . (It was a stressful time in our lives.  I wrote the following)

Jesus took on a monumental task.  From a god who was seen as unmerciful, all attributes people found in themselves,   Jesus translated this new spirit, this universal nimbus of benevolence, maybe benign, into a god of magnificent parental concern and love which took a great deal of courage.

The god of the people at the time was what they were, mean and unmerciful, jealous, vengeful while the god of Jesus was exactly what  man   could become.  Kind, thoughtful, loving,   qualities still to be uncovered within the human heart.

The original premise at the time was not what we consider mankind today, in a majority of cases.  It has been a matter of example, of education, a primer on earth or elsewhere in thought.  And that goes in the face of all men are created equal.

That also puts one squarely to think how many lifetimes to get to the place where love for one’s own begins to show.

The Jesus of the New Testament took upon himself or contracted with full knowledge, to change concepts.  Would we have had fewer religious wars if he had been revered with no argument?  Considering the times and the Romans?

The testimony was enough to stand on its own.  It was a philosophy of merit but also logic.  I say that even when heads of religions have argued the point.

I was told I was crazy and who did I think I was when I grappled aloud questions like these.  Better heads than yours was argued  and are paid big dollars.  Obviously, yet we fight wars and kill and wound and maim and rape.

So where are the better heads?  I have grappled with the nitty gritties of caregiving  and even sweated  in the sun at hard jobs while I worked just as hard with these questions.  I hear. . . you know when you hold a hot wire. . . .and was asked to explain my ‘nimbus’. . .

(I see it not as a cloud or halo  but an essence.  Something circling and permeating at the same time from which all manner of things are evident.  A touching, a hearing, a tasting of ultimate knowledge.  It changes as I change. 

Today I am the ultimate knowledge of who I am this minute, this fraction of a second but in the next concern I am another ultimate. 

The ultimate god would be the sum total of knowledge held, plus all the equations coming from that knowledge that would blend, qualify and direct toward a becoming of something different.

God is change.  From where did Jesus come where this knowledge was evident?  And from where did I come to think this and participate in life to chafe as I do?)

The Teacher said and I scribed the following: [ You ask the questions you do and the answers come when the footwork is done. The first premise ever put forth was that by the time the question is asked the answer already is known.  Else how to form the question?]

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Lest We Forget . . .

I was sick to my stomach.  I had trouble breathing .   I had to stop before I had another cardiac arrest.  Hearing of the harsh brutality inflicted upon the Jews made me vomit when I was ten.    Studying the holocaust nearing a lifetime of ninety years had the question continuing,   why one man with such an evil idea of hatred started a war of blood and extermination only with the power of thought.

And a world of people praying for peace, desired peace and yearning  brotherhood  could not bring power to their idea.  Yet the power of one man’s thought to destroy cannot be overcome by worlds of
love for brotherhood?  Not one man nor group of theologians, officials, countries, institutions, not one religion to stop this evil course to destroy civilization?

We must question our belief systems.  We must look at what indeed gives impetus to our lives so that when we are against the wall and cannot move an inch, we buckle.  Why our judgment is so faulty as to allow power and greed to destroy and maim not only those who are living, but by trauma, Loves, trauma, where the psychological damage to our genetic heritage is irreversible.

It is passed through the genes and what we have are those of us whose memory is so deeply etched that living again will be those who will demand an eye for an eye.  No matter how far down the line we go.  No matter how far down.

It is through education that we reach the heart of man.  We must teach the children and be the example we wish to teach.  Only when we exhibit and are a living testament to love and tender mercies,  can we reach the hearts that waver.  The warm hand of the father on the brow  of the child, and the beating  heart in the breast of the mother in time with the child, will teach where words do not reach.

It must be done before exiting the front door to kindergarten.  Hold their hands while you can. Yet.  Still.

A sorrow hushed. ..the holocaust. . 

 My ears cleaved to the door frame
of the dining room. Her whisper was hoarse,
were there many?
Lots, he said, lots, as he held the letter
that told him what they saw.
They pushed for space, women and children
and their men. They wanted to see. 
My people saw he said.

Their words burned my brain
as I strained to listen, afraid I wouldn’t
catch a sorrow hushed.  It didn’t last long
he said, because they fell.  Matko Bosko she said.

Remember our history he said.   
As if that could explain what I heard.
And I knew the god they called
upon to save them from whatever they feared.
He whispered again, somehow trying to
make this horrid time an all right matter.
My people saw them, he kept saying.

And I loved those parents who made things
seem right yet what my heart knew was evil
and my head fought them and argued
till I would vomit.  We would go
into holy week and pray just as
my cousins across the waters who saw
what was done went back to their tables
and supped as if nothing had happened.

These were friends and relatives
whose prayers were different and
they said that made them different than us.
And the us that I was born into made me
ashamed and sick to my stomach and kneeled
in front of the toilet and emptied my shame
washed with the tears of I am so sorry
and threw up all of my ten years

and so went my trust.    

(How could it happen, how?  It is such a gentle culture,  so soft and warm.  Weronika, moya serce, Weronika,  ja cie  kocham. . . Veronica, my heart, Veronica, I you love. . .a girl, at ten and she weeps still.  The Polish culture is love embraced and so vivid was Winter Journey and Mosaic by Diane Armstrong that they will companion me and forever haunt. . )

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An Argument Still. . . .

 

My mentor, the Nazarene  said,  seeing you will not see and hearing you will not hear.  Why is it when we profess to be followers and even from the pulpits, do not venture to ask,  what did Jesus mean when he said those words?  We think because we see what we see, it is all that there is to see!  And hear what there is to hear!

As humans all, if we do not even hear or see the cry in Crisis,  we are in peril.

An Argument. . . 

It was an argument
persisting its stuff as
all of them do.

 

I say. . .
the camera portrays
what the photographer perceives.

And he insisted. . .
that the camera sees
the fact in nature
and records it as such.

I say. . .
a fact in nature changes
as the person perceives it.

What do we do. . . .
if what we see is not
what the photographer sees?

I say. . .
get thee to an altar and pray.
Rightly so.
Go find an altar and pray.
So that what is perceived
as beautiful, as poignant
or a crime to humanity
is what we see.

Quickly. . . .
Go find an altar to pray
for your heart is in imminent danger.

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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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