Archive | Prayers

Why the words. . .

I wrote in September ’87 journal that  I glanced at Ernie and Frank’s (I think) cartoon on my desk.  Descartes says, I think therefore I am.  And the gent disappears after being told this and the logical thought is, if I don’t think, I am not.  And like tea, I steep, how can one live without thought? 

I recall  once a  brief  silence in my head like an empty wine cask.  Do people live like this was my question.  What do they fill the silences with and I don’t think I want to know.

Coming to mind immediately when writing this was the reason the kitchen fan was not working. ) ( My head works like this.  Because when the new addition was insulated, they inadvertently covered the vent.)And when I read this I thought of my sister’s complaint that it takes a whole page for me to say walk to the corner. (4 words)

I say but what I wish to share is what I see when I walk to the corner.  You understand I thought everyone was like me or I was like everyone else. When my world crashed, Dr. Cassidy, my first psychiatrist, was so wise to ask me what I saw when I walked down Michigan avenue.  And when I closed my eyes and told him, he whistled through his teeth and said you understand that others do not see this.  And when I said nothing, in dismay he said, my God, you don’t. 

How you see is how you talk. And when you listen you will hear what you need to hear and  how to respond.  Some will hear the antiquated language and some the vernacular of the times.  And the wise will take to heart to talk or be still.

Coming to mind will be memories entwined which will take courage to unwind.  I had received a photo of my sister holding her new great granddaughter and I told her that in her 80’s she was as pretty as she was as a girl.  There was a long silence on the phone.  But you were the smart one she said.  I began to shake and knew to hang up the phone and say nothing.

What I heard was familiar and it was not love.     

If We Sing To the Children  . . .

 I wear these memories
as a cloak to ward off the chill.
Emotions forgotten, but like new now
ripping along my arms,
settling bumps in straight rows
to my heart.

Kindred hearts, matching
my own heartbeat,
with eyes like mine and

reflecting our souls.
Music in voices saying,
‘and when I look at weeds beside the road. . . .
but you know,  you know. . . .’
And I do, I do and we look with eyes
that see and ears that hear the song
of the bird before his sounds
have escaped his throat. . . .
and the music rumbles in our blood,
coursing through our hearts
and gives life only
to those who are ready to listen.

Not many to be sure, not many,
but if we sing to the children
perhaps,  just perhaps,
the earth’s cacophony
will one day be in harmony.

It is our heritage;
from where it is we come.
From the farm country I was given
a substance that does not spoil,
that does not turn sour
even in the residue of life.
It is not dregs that I drink.
It is the cream rising to the top of the milk.

I needed to see a skyline
with no obstruction and with no words
you laid your hearts on me.

photo by Kathy Qualiana

 

 

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Within Memory Recalled. . .

 

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.

(Again for me this is an example of all time is simultaneous. The above journal entry is from November of ’94 and the poem following was written on the eve of my birthday,  May 24, 2015,  so it was really yesterday that the teachers spoke to me, all time being simultaneous. Yet linear time is crucial to allow growth to take place.)

Within Memory. . . 

You will again yearn
for a patch of green earth
to lie down on,
to smell the pine forest alive
in its secrets.  Or hidden beneath
the crisp cover of fresh snow.
They will not have left your memory.

Somewhere also within memory,
is a place yearning for you.
It is deep in time that is
as remote as a country village.

And yet there too, you will find refreshment.
You will find eyes that light and
follow you when you enter their doors.
There will be those whose lives
you have searched for remnants
of who you are.

You will find them waiting silently
for your voice to beckon them
from where you have been hiding
for almost a century;
bent on finding the reason to live.

So come now, when you hear
your name called and let us know
you are willing to be with those
whose love for you is weighed
in centuries.  Nowhere near the place
you now hold as being close to heaven
and yet, yet, close enough that you
will lose your hold on the place
destined to be another memory.

You will take love for god’s sake
and hold it high as a solemn token
of the herald’s torch reminding all
that the way is always safe

until the games are over.

September 1, 2022—for those who prefer the heaven once taught for comfort, today I tell of a life lived with open head and memory.  Not easy in the midst of regular folk.  But as I was told, everlasting life is everlasting life.  Do you prefer life everlasting to annihilation?  And heaven can only send out what they get in, what have you learned to gift those you love ?  I have loves awaiting almost a century for my return. 

I hope I have shared my talents wisely.  With much love. . . veronica

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With Gratitude served. . . .

 

 

Come To My Table

Come to my table
and sit awhile
and I will tell you tales
of years gone by,
attended by loves and those
who held magic in their hands.

We have supped
and laughed and cried some,
but mostly told the tales
that love spun out of gold.
It was a rich time;
not the coin of the day
but the values in the hearts
of those who dined.

It was magic
that threaded us together
through the years to find us
all at the same place, entwined.
But the love and the magic

may have been one and the same.

Do you think?

(March 26, 2013written)

Family and family of friends. . . To all who have sat at my table all the years and have made life so rich for me.  I   am blessed beyond words for what you have added to my life.  And this poem is a thank you.  You are the love and the magic and it is one and the same.  Do you now know that?    veronica

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Why Hope Springs Eternal . . . .

The Road To Damascus. . .
And Paul,
on the road to Damascus,
unaware of forces pulling at his thought
was none the less surprised.
In the privacy of mind,
how could an invasion of thought
not his own be in conference?
So it is, in the wars of the visible
and invisible worlds,
the supremacy for power does not stop.
Our worlds!  Claim the gods. . .
My world!  Claims the pilgrim.
One in partnership till man tasted the lust for power.
Lest we lose this, the best of all classrooms,
brotherhood is still the dream and our hearts
still too unripe to embrace its benevolence.
But its power of magnetism still attracts
what prompted this dream
that catapulted us
to give search to the meaning to the why of us.

December 10, 2017

Journal Entry August 16, 1989….Why. . . is the perpetual cry. . .

And there is no answer.  There truly is not.  If there were an answer there would be rote and ritual.  There should be circumscribed ways of doing things and all of the excitement, all of the sparkle would be gone.

So with the unrest also comes hope that somehow, someone, someway will come up with something to solve a situation that has not been thought of, has not been tried.

AND THAT IS WHY HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.

Not because a god will step in, but man with his diverse ways and histories will bring together thinking that may yet save a people, a species, a world, a planet.

Hope that has not been tried before with no results will come forth from someone or that someone will overcome a barrier and do the unthinkable, the impossible, and the unlikely and this time it will work.  He or she will overcome their aversion and hug the person.  They will forgive and all will be forgiven.  They will unlock that door that bars the pilgrim entry and will be hailed the miracle.

Will you be the one who will create peace within chaos and will bring diverse people together, if only within your house?  That will be all that is necessary.  Nothing else would for if just one place had peace within its walls, all places would eventually have peace.

The one to do this must do the footwork to achieve what is hoped for.  That all the psychological devices and reasons have been tried and one is ready to throw in the towel.  To get to this place one loses self to the greater self and knows there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Fear handicaps and narrows the focus with unfortunate results.  We have lived for too long with those results.  Because the footwork has been done, the drummer now heard has new direction slated.

We may yet save a people, a world, a planet and this best of all classrooms.

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With These Hands. . . love. . . gratitude. . .

 

To Use These Hands. . . . from another time. . .

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

And I think that nothing, no other world will ever make me feel such blessedness as my hands’ ability to do so many things over the course of this life.   To kneading bread, to winding the yarn, to smoothing the brow of my very sick child and have him tell me later that it helped 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 embrace 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 love on this planet called Earth

My input to date. . .July 13, 2022. . . .I was unprepared for what these last years would bring.  There was no hint of not being able to do with my hands what I loved doing.  But the accumulation of physical work which was a palliative for the emotional turmoil brought on by many variables, has given me too much time with regretful, ‘I should not have allowed’  whatever dotage has brought me.

Even the simple task of grasping a spoon or scissors, grits the teeth, coupled with a half dozen other auto immune deficiencies science has uncovered.  It is not easy to allow Nature its qualities to cease and heal.  She shouts in my house, enough already!  Time to let go and be. 

My head has not gotten the message.  It still is in gear.  We will continue to argue but we both know she has the heavier clout.

But who was the teacher who said, ‘do and you will be shown how’?  I did and do and now I am reminded not to forget my bread recipe when I arrive.

 

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You Will Fall In Love With Your Earth. . .

 

Tell me what it means. . .

With the leaking draft of the early consensus of the Roe v Wade controversy,  suddenly confronting me  are meanings of words and phrases I have used and hopefully explained my meanings.  I truly don’t know if my  meanings relate to what you think about the subjects I’ve written.

I would like to know what you think.  Not what you have read that someone else has thought.  No doubt it was the basis of your studies as well as mine.  And then you have spent time in a quiet place and  given yourself to the process of thought.  Over time it helps us form conclusions as well as give more substance to other questions. 

Learning is a full time work.  It is what I hurry to when supper is over and private time engulfs with hours of personal freedom.  Like I, you have taken off work clothes and in comfort admit to the night that you are ready.  For what is a personal choice. 

For me it seems minutes when I  look at the clock and wondering what happened to the evening.  And as I type this, the phrase  `life everlasting’  has meaning for me and I wonder if you have given thought to it.  I wonder what has been added to your understanding and where it has taken you. 

Most of  the people in my  growing  up life were Christians and said the Lord’s prayer every day and some times many times a day.  Included might be life everlasting as taught in Sunday School and said in conclusion to the prayer.  What meaning does it  hold?

It was in a bushel of phrases with the likes of `I remember’ and then, `why do I remember’ whatever has haunted me?  When I did my best, why was my life not working?  Why was I crying and why were they fighting and arguing?  The bushel was filling up fast with questions when I was telling the big people in my life why I did not believe what they said when I knew what I knew.  I was closer to my birth than they were so I remembered.

And when I came to `life everlasting’ it had meaning for me and it began with  forever and ever amen and amen.  And that did not mean lying on a cloud like many believed and were happy about.  It seemed to me that they were happy.

So now I ask you what does `life everlasting’ mean to you.  And how you came to that understanding.  Does it mean forever and ever for you?  Let me know because I am interested.  I don’t look for essays just a comment or two. 

We have been friends for a long time and I value our friendship.

Don’t Stare At The Moon…

Any farmer knows
you don’t stare at the moon too long.
You get a little soft in the head, they say.

What they really mean
is that magic overtakes you
and carries you to the place of green fields,
of orchards heavy with fruit
and cucumbers cultivated straight
as a shot of rye whiskey.

What they really mean is that the magic
will make you see fields to be seeded
and calves to be born
and worlds to be peopled.

What they really mean
is that you will fall in love
with your earth
and in awe watch the wheat weave its gold mat
right over your eyes.

It is a softness of the heart man fears,
for the myth must enforce
the hard head to blunt

the pain of life everlasting.

 

May 1987

art by Claudia Hallissey

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They Are Reasons and what has taken almost a hundred years. .

Having been a newspaper clipper when living in Michigan with the Detroit Free Press,  I rediscovered  things.  One was Bob Talbert’s article speaking of Monsignor Francis X. former professor and rector of Sacred Heart Seminary and what he passionately preached to his students. . .

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

(and reading texts of an elected Republican on the January 6th insurrection,
asking his henchmen,’ tell me what to say now’ I ask do you not ever think for your self?

And a clip from Neil Chethik’s column when asking his two year old for a blessing on their newly planted garden. . .’ instinctively he put his palm on mine and uttered the only prayer he knows. . .For life and love and all things good, we offer  up our thanks.’

I remember a line from one of the wonderful  women writers I clung to for wisdom on how  to live graciously and sensitively and with knowledge of the goddesses. . .when one of the characters in a book not remembered said  I cannot live in a world where I do not thank someone for this  wondrous life.

When we are inclined to thank SOMEONE for this good fortune, how about  God or Gods or Yahweh or Father or Christ or parent-gods or godparents?    Or the street sweepers or the sanitation workers or LIFE with CAPITALS?

As my favorite poet writes. . ‘the heart translates and makes it all human.’  Amen and Amen.

(being a daughter of the original Jenny and having the jenny genes ensconced, I noticed  that she gave males great latitude and females none.  Her teaching obligation to her children was that fathers could be easily forgiven, but mothers should never be an object of explanation or worse, embarrassment.

In this my frame of thought, I hold everyone stiffly to a high bar.  I know that and also  it is a place of isolation.  The cognizant fact is that we all perform better than we expected we would.  Considering . . everything about us.

I have been the GOAD my commitments pushed against I learn.  I still try to emulate my Mentor.  I hope someone will tell me I do better than I think.

The photo of my grandson and my  youngest great granddaughter are reasons for my life.  It is the grip of the father’s hand on his daughter and the sureness of her stride at not quite two years that tells me  my words and actions have taken heart.

This has been my contribution to LIFE.  I need nor want no other.)

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Time To Bend At The Knee . . . earth day comes.

It is long past time that we take cognizance of what it is we have done to our Earth planet.   She is still here for us to love and care for.   She is still here for us to give us breath, polluted it may be in some areas, but where we are, hopefully it is clean air.   She gives us water abundantly.   She allows us to live as human beings amidst the best that our livelihood has to offer.   She loves us with a passion.  

But what we have done to her is abominable.  We take advantage of our resources and give nothing back.   A few steps to the recycle bin oftentimes is too far to walk.  But she keeps on loving with no discretion.

Yet we are asked once a year to honor her.   Hopefully this once a year will be enough to embarrass us, make us feel guilty that we change our ways and give honor to her who has been our grounding, our bed of rest and the best classroom in the universe.  

How else to honor this lady, this mother, this teacher?   We must find new ways if we are to preserve our way of life; to continue in this classroom where to have an idea is to make it manifest only as long as it takes us to collect the material.  

There is no other place as conducive to easy learning as this classroom is.   No other place that accommodates us to the degree that our Earth Mother does.   We will chance it every time we decide that the next time we will do better.   The next time there may not be this green Earth.

We are in a crucial junction.   We are where we are because we have neglected our stewardship to care for this place we inherited.   What to do?   How much do we treasure the early morning with the dawn rising clearly and with punctuality?   How much do we treasure our love of our evenings when the sky darkens and the moon sources our light?  As we reach for our Other and hope that what we wish for ourselves is also wished for Others.  

How much do we treasure our rainfalls?  When foods that have risen in price so that the quart of milk a day for the young is too steep a price for good health?   We treasure our way of life.   We treasure what is ours and we hope that our grandchildren’s children will be able to be inspired by the same sun and moon and richness of this green planet.  

We must begin, each again and again.   Our environmentalists have told us time and again what we must do.   We cannot wrap ourselves around the idea that this Earth cannot sustain life as we know it.   If we feel the upsets simply when the weather does not suit us,  let us be aware that Nature too reviles our habits when we do not honor her.  

It is long past the time to change our habits.    The bill is overdue.

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(Being a clipper of Detroit Free Press when living in Michigan, two things discovered and cherished. . .from Bob Talbert’s years past speaking of Monsignor Francis X, former professor and rector of Sacred Heart Seminary.

’Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character.  Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.’

And reading conflicting texts of a now questionable elected Republican on the January 6th insurrection, asking his henchmen ‘tell me what to say now’  I ask do you not ever think for yourself?

And a clip from  Neil Chethik’s column when asking his 2 year old for a blessing on their newly planted garden . . . instinctively he put his palm on mine and uttered the only prayer he knows. . . ‘for life and love and all things good, we offer up our thanks.’

We can remember that prayer for we are inclined to thank SOMEONE for the good fortune that we still breathe.  For starters, God or Gods or Yahweh or Father or Christ or parent-gods of all.  Or simply LIFE with capitals and benign Ethics. 

As my favorite poet writes, ‘the heart translates and makes it all human.’  Amen and Amen. 

 

photo  by
Lori Hallissey

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See Same Things But Worlds Are Different. . . .

 We look at the same things we say.  The things we look at are there, but what we see is not the same.  I repeat again the time I was asked by the psychiatrist when my world crashed what I saw going down Michigan avenue.  I closed my eyes and told him and when done he whistled through his teeth and said, ‘you realize that other people do not see what you see.’  And when I was silent said, ‘you don’t.’

All my life I tried to be like others and thought I was.  But was constantly told to be careful what I say.  My mother first cautioned me and I did not know why until I heard her justifying to her priest, denying her teaching me what I talked about.  ‘I don’t know who teaches her!’  Except I was a kid and did not have a social life outside of grammar school. 

I was a farm kid in my teenage years and rode the bus to school with my siblings and came home with them on the same school bus. 

My love of learning prevailed and I later tutored my fiance  thru Officer Training (while we were in Military life).  Married at 20 and pregnant for the first three years, I did the homework for my husband (straining to support us) for his Master’s social work with good reviews and marks saying homework essays were good thinking and outside the box with A’s.

Since we depended on the public for our living, I was cautioned daily to watch what I said so as not to lose public support.  Three years in a new city with little money and no family to call on and being parent on premise and home maintenance manager left me a shambles.  Rebuilding began.

I have written about journaling and study so I have notes, over a half century  of them  backing my writing. My perception has always been criticized because I assumed I saw what others saw.  I will be 91 in May and I have finally made peace with what I see.  And what I hear.   Why has it taken almost a hundred years? 

Our family friend John says maybe my survival depended on my thinking I was not different and yet this difference in perception allowed me to live.  The bareness of others’ sight would have killed me.  Just as criticizing my interpretation of what others are saying, by elevating their thoughts, I give them the highest meaning I know.   To hear another say that was not what was meant. . but that was what I heard.  I must believe what I see and hear.  My life depends on whether it is a real car I see jumping the curb.

I scribe my teachers calling  my perception kaleidoscopic.  I will quote from a journal entry editing best as I can aspects of what has taken me almost a hundred years to live with and now talk about. 

The journal date is Oct 24, 1991. It came about with a dream of Pewabic pottery of which I knew nothing.  I  scribed. . . 

You were working with tiles and with the pottery  from a distant past.  The materials were not as ancient as you depict simply because they were of borrowed times.  When speaking of borrowed times, within the past  and present, or past and future there is a melding that defies the linear description common to where you are.  If we take the computer where you sit and work and transport it to another time, it would not have the functions  but the rudiments would be the same.  Ability to work with the hands would be utilized  and the time differential would be such that there would be little difference except in the illusion, i.e.materials.

Even the seepage would be there, the machine and in some form a part of where you would be, and what you would be doing.  Hence the term, bleed through.  It seems that this area of thinking is common to you and presents so much difficulty for you see what you see from a kaleidoscopic view bringing into focus bits and pieces of several dimensions.

It is a difficult state to be in but you can utilize this by taking a more comprehensive look at things and bringing to it what you can see with eyes that work a bit differently.

It would seem that from a distance all would be of a piece, but when the eyes view a particular scene with so much input from other dimensions, a new dimension is thus created.

You would then find others dismiss as inconsequential what you see, which is not the case.  For what you see is many dimensional and the differing perspectives that you propose would do much to enhance the ability of others to understand those things needing a larger premise.

But when you describe your Pewabic dream you already ask the question what were you doing there and when was this.  You already have the ability to ensconce yourself in the time frame you wish to work.  Dreaming is the dimension where you learn what it is you do and bring your abilities to bear.  You utilize the classrooms everywhere and mesh with folks of the times.  They know you and wish for your coming.  You speak their languages and understand their desires speaking to their hearts.  We ask too, how does she do this?  By thrusting your heart into place and using it as your springboard.

What we ask now that you present this from such a limited piece of a dream so vividly, that you take the information and relay it.  Do not lay down the tools you have been given.  Time now to give to others some semblance of stability in a time of no normalcy.’

It seems like it has been a walk in the park.  It has not. This has been the hardest life lived.  David asked just before he left us how did I know to do it?  Do what, David, what did I do?

I was born with an open head and remembered the world that  taught me my word is my bond, my honor, my trust and my love. Where other worlds here are questioned, it is hard to know of other worlds and pretend you don’t so they won’t call you crazy.  But to go to church with hope that the God you believe in speaks true of life everlasting, no one questions .

Someone cared enough to stay the route and showed me what unconditional love was.  The lesson was taught well because it has been the rod that held me upright.  I don’t remember the teacher but obviously that Someone was a good teacher.  The lesson took but the teacher was the example with no name.

Kaleidoscope perspective pertains to a new way of seeing.  I did and therefore you will do also.  The Jenny genes lodged in all of us and it has been a hard row to go.  The numbers are many and some have been tragic.  Hopefully the successes when counted will be many.  Familiar?  Evolution is what it is called.  Do for one and all will do.   

But apply this precept to other forms of life.  Like to that of birds or other creatures who do momentous things.  The question arising, is how do they do that?  Or why?  See where it takes one?  The learning never stops and life becomes a virtual wonderland.  Try it on for size. 

Trust me, boring will not be a word you use.

 

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