Archive | Prayers

Virtue In The Doing. . . .

The Keys Of The Kingdom. . . . (In the conversation I mention about the satisfaction in the doing of what most consider work with my brother Stanley, and he said I hold the keys of the kingdom,  in my terminus I see the wisdom of this. 

I was told to ‘do and you will be shown how’ and a lifetime of telling myself that ‘with a little bit of practice it will be perfect.’  Much was never perfect, but I became addicted to learning and a lifetime was lived learning, giving me a joy in the doing of it all.

And giving rise to the comment from my mother in law that I did so many things so well that  the rest of us would be happy with just one of them.   My addiction was a curse as well as a blessing for various reasons.  And being taken for granted was one because it was all fun for me so  they thought. 

Learning still involves work and sweat and many did not see this.   But regardless, I was the winner for sure.  And my corner of the world blossomed with the passion of my love for this earth I  still think is the best classroom ever.   Please be better stewards than my generation.   Nature’s wounds will forever be scars on our memories.)

( from a previous post of 2018 I edit). . .  My good friend appeared at the door and said you have to learn to play and we start now.  Alas, another argument begun about our differences , proving again opposites can be friends.

It is my good fortune and sometimes a curse to have the ability to view and discern behavior.  Because I see clearly what is one man’s meat is an other’s poison.

People approach work and play differently.  I watched our sons grow and in process changed attitudes.  Mowing lawns, chore, but cleaning the garage, therapeutic with a ‘look what I found!’  Planting flowers with their Latin names an art and school homework eagerly approached as to subject.

With the youngest I looked forward to making a hockey rink every week after Christmas.  I happily stood in below freezing weather and spraying but 2 a.m. was my last spraying I shouted!  I somehow related to my elderly neighbor who sprayed with hose and nozzle in the summer for hours.  There is something spiritual about watering whether ice rink or garden.

One inlaw daughter with her artistic talent makes brussel  sprouts look awesome.  Another can make tired furniture look new even with ongoing construction.  Coupling these details with their professional talents make these an extension of their work.

Where is learned the virtue of labor and beauty in the doing?  The magic of it all is in the heart.  It is approaching the place in mind that says all is play because the body is actualizing the mind’s intent and therein lies the beauty.

Fortunate you are if someone loved you that you with love are remembering and teaching.  The memory comes alive at sometime and we pay it forward.  Some have not known it but we can be the memory for their future.

A brother and I discussed this and he said sis,  you have found the keys of the kingdom, haven’t you?  There is no more than this in its deepest.  It is all art in the making.  My Mentor said that the fields are ready and the call is out for the vineyards.  There is virtue in the labor and beauty in the doing.

A Belief System. . . (an excerpt). . .

The answers will be forever hidden
in a place no one chooses to look;
the hearts and minds of those
who love this earth with passion.
Surprised they will be
to see in the palm of their hand

the keys of the kingdom . . .

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Now Another December. . .

 

It was another December at the end of 1987.  I had brought my in law mother back to her residence and she collapsed in bed.  She borrowed courage from everyone to get through the holidays in  Chicago.  We were in a blizzard and I ached to get home.  And unpacking I realized I could not leave her in her apartment and the weather worsened and I had noticed cars were not stopping at lights anywhere.  I would walk to get her  and somehow we would get back here.

We walked the blizzard streets and in great relief she slept upon getting into bed after a hot bath.  I wished to stretch out my hand to gain strength but an other  already reached for mine.  What do people do when there is no one to help? She asked.  The best they can Sarah, the best they can I say.

The journal entry continues  that December 30, 1987, and I scribed the following, ‘but we sit here and already your mind moves to the grandchild in the crib with not knowing that the son of your heart had already retired for the night in the room.  You watched the child in sickness and he watched his mother with her magic chants as they drew from his son the illness causing such heartbreak.  You can do it, he was saying, you can do it.

 And he was in awe as he watched this atheist profoundly calling on a benign force that would move the sickness from the body of his son.  He watched you move those  hands in air that was vibrant with the power pouring through you.  And he said that this is my mother and  this woman I don’t even know.

And he knew that in all that had transpired, in all that he watched, he would take to his writing and pour out what was observed and you think that if not observed, he would have known anyway. 

Let the power move through me and make me an instrument of thy peace, he said.  Just like her.’

In the morning a wiped out toddler recovered enough to stand and shout his demands to rattle the crib.

I have learned there is an undergirding of our Universes  of an ethical premise that supports life and demands of each of us the highest and best we can be.  It may be benign but it is a spiritual power we may call God or Allah or Jehovah  or Christ or simply Good.  It demands that we aspire to our Best.  We welcome obstacles before meeting  the greatest  of our challenges however different for each of us.

I Hear. . .

Look beyond the Light
into the face of the morning sun
to see that the Light beckons and extends. . . .

It would grant you peace
should you let it.
It will grant you life
should you welcome it.

Amen and amen.

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Let the children tell us. . .

Do I have more minutes to finish?   There was no time for answers because the little one with a dash was out of sight.   In a few minutes he was back and announced,  I finish.   Having learned to wait while private things were finished,  I waited again while he proceeded to his room.

I followed him shortly to find him in pajamas and ready to crawl into the high bed.   Well, should it be a story to tell or a story to read I asked.   I am ready for you to choose.   Tell me what it is we should do to get you ready for sleep?   And I waited.  Minutes ticked away while the choice was being made.   Patiently, again,  what will it be?

His face took on a faraway look as if searching for a memory.   I recognized the look and wondered where he would go for that memory to take shape.   I knew it well.   It was a look that had been on my face many times with voices telling me to stop dreaming.   I needed to pay attention to what was at hand and not waste so much time dreaming.  So because of those reprimanding voices,   I knew to wait.

He asked if I would sing the one I singed when I singed with other voices.   He knowed that song!   What song is that?   I wondered.  There was no time for me to sing with other voices that he would have heard.  

Like this, he said and in his high soprano he sang his Glllooooorrrrrrriiiiiiiiiaaaa and I knew.   Unbelievably I knew.   The music hung on his tongue and in his throat as if he were tasting a delicate sweet.

When did you ever hear me sing that?  I asked.   Before I came to you,  he said.   Before I came.   I heard you singed and my heart singed with you.   I knowed I could tell you some time if I just ‘membered it.    I promised I would ‘member so I could hear it again and again.  I knowed that you would ‘member if I singed it.   And you do!  he said,  you do!

And I believed him because I gave up choir when he was due to be born.   I took this child into my arms and sang the song he so wondrously remembered.   And when I came to the part he remembered his voice faithfully shadowed mine.   And another posit was added to the Memory Bank but who would believe it?   Who??????  Except the many someones  who entered their place of belief every time they bent their knees.

Those are the who. . . . 

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I hold the candle for you. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are bringing to close another year with what are special gifts.    It is the gift of gratitude for life, of a peace not yet finished and a state of mind that is in itself a miracle.  These are limited only by focus and not by belief systems.  They are adopted in varying degrees by all worlds.

Christmas is a Christian Holyday of great belief.  For those of different thought,  it is a state of mind as well as a condition and time in the heart and welcomed. 

I once wrote that I wondered why as a country we were not loved.  And my conclusion was that it was envy.   Because people come to our borders together in love even though their roots may be in other countries.  And other countries are convinced it will never work.  Sometimes it works well and then not but we work harder.

Their children mingle and fall in love and bring children of many colors into our world.

We may not understand nor believe as our neighbors.  But we work for their acceptance as we have been accepted.  It is a process and a continuing work.  We do not let go of this wondrous dream experiment in time called democracy. 

And the rest of the world huddles in their winter coats and wonder the stagnation of their breaths. 

We are equal to the gift and we will show and live our gratitude in all ways we can. 

Because this vehicle I drive for these almost a hundred years has become road weary,  I give a rest somewhat and send this card to all of you in this manner.

It is one of my favorites and humbles me in ways that drives me to my knees.  We may not be able to share our brothers’ beliefs,  but we can hold the candle as he makes his way up.  I hold my candle with love.

A blessed holyday in your heart from mine.

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the last bird sings. . . .

This is a very difficult post for me to write.   Since I have been blogging, I have shared many personal thoughts. What has caused me pain is fully factual and I encourage my readers to Google it.  I have no credentials after my name but I am entering the last decade of my hundred years saying this has personal  feelings.  But last week I read an article that made me whiplash.  It was the following. . .

Emergency room visits for “suicidal ideation” (or suicidal thoughts) among 5- to 19-year-olds increased 59% from 2016 to 2021, and hospitalizations rose 57% from fall 2019 to the fall of 2020, according to the study published today by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What made me painfully swivel was the age of five years that children were having thoughts of suicide.  5 years?  I have concluded that this has been my  hardest life’s journey.  But at 5 years I was lying on the grass and moving clouds mentally into positions I needed them.

I have almost three quarters of a century of journal entries.  And yes, some of them are blissfully boring which is a merciful moment; never thinking I was different but an easy mark for all those who were inclined to constructively (?) criticize.  I was quite old before coming to mind the thought that everyone liked the way I worked but not who I am.  Confronting the accuser after being called gullible, I asked if that was the same as trusting.  He blanched.

I was born the sixth child (daughter) after 5 sons.  Difficult healthwise  from the beginning and spending almost 2 years from 10-12 years of age in the Sanatorium because of a spinal infection. (before penicillin) 

I loved my brothers and they, me.  There were 2 more siblings, brother and sister after me.  My brothers watched me carefully.  We all carried shares of work because we were so many.  We were not inclined to affection so no memory of hugs in my bank.

I thought I was like everyone else, though my sister said I was not lovable.  My Coast Card Admiral brother said I was the only one who thought about life’s  meaning.  My oldest Navy Commander brother said he never gave thought to the things I wrote about.  The brother closest in age said he need not explain himself because I knew his thoughts; we were alike.  The quiet brother knew my journey and offered space when I needed it.  I wept. 

I talk long and hard about our jenny genes.  I am aware of nieces and nephews and grands who have had hard times and early departures.  Yet also the triumphs that depicted enormous courage with passages through rough terrain unspeakable. 

But with the article came the knowledge that what I have learned I must speak.  Many of us with the jenny genes, meaning having my mother as mother or grandparent, came endurance for some and inability to stay for others.  Too many altars to cry against and too many arguments with the heavens. 

I came with a foot dragging from my last world and an open head.  A tsunami let loose with an ocean crashing in my  head at 35  had me shouting close up my head.  Almost 60 years ago and I still remember that my only wish was to sleep forever. 

It has not been a walk in the park.  Regrets?  A few.  But mostly gratitude  for what was learned and what was given to me in the sons of my heart.  I don’t know where I could have been given such gifts.  Evolution has stagnated and wars continue to be fought for no reason at all.   Earth’s knowledge graces many avenues needing clarification. 

I have knowledge of things taught in ways not common.  Children born now feel they have failed somehow.  They have  not but they must be embraced because of who they are. They are open headed and open heartwise and they are cause for celebration.  But they need adults who have survived physical life not in the secluded arches of churches, monasteries, convents and forests but in the secular world where the gifts and talents that rust and moth do not destroy are practiced.  And five year olds  should be loved and excited to be born in such a beautiful world and we are grateful that they choose us to be their parents.  Because we choose them.

Where spiritual life can be enhanced and a living made in the marketplace.  So now we begin.

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the twig already bent from a somewhere and . . . when. . .

 

 

 

How To Do It. . . .when I scribe. . . .

You ask. . .

            On focusing, your thoughts, your words. . .
            how do you do it?

I say. . .

  I barrel down into my center and listen
            with my inner ear and hear what my heart says.
            It is within me that I have my world.
            This is what and where I am at home.
            And this is not something that can
            be taught.  It is how the twig is bent.
            And what world we appear in is where
            we do our work.

 

You say. . .

            You listen to your heart. 
            How does a heart speak?

I say. . .

             there is a murmur within that tells
            you things and it is with the heart
            that one moves.  The heart is the
            largest area of emotional and profound
            truth.   I can see where the child
            who is maimed right from the beginning
            and embarrassed because of his openness,
            can dismiss this avenue and close it up.

            And the world suffers and evolution
            is held up and we have one who is in trouble.
            It is always the children with me.
            I would protect them.  The sophisticates
            I would tongue lash and say grow up.
            Stop using childish tactics to be cute.
            When you have an old face and
            childish mannerisms, you are not cute.
           

            Cute is for under 5 years old.

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Love Awaits . . .with a putting place. . .

October 27, 2022. . .(I posted this essay more than 5 years ago and my thoughts today have only deepened.  The wish I hold still is that there would have been someone early on that I could have voiced my thoughts with no fear.  In my terminus I fulfil the old maxim that the end of our lives are only more of what we were in the beginning.   This does not apply across the board, because our histories differ. 

It brings to mind from the Dead Sea Scrolls the Nazarene upbraiding the disciples for asking where they go when they die.  You never asked from where you come he angrily shouted.  

From when I was  a girl, memory  has chased me without a putting place in today’s world.  It always has been my inner focus and readies me now for an embrace.  Love awaits.)

Previous Post. . . .In the many studies on love and goodness, what appears to be evident is that when one is aware of good and when one comes to the time to do good,  the choices are few to do other than good.  When you become better and better,  your options cease. 

Heaven goes one better.  When approaching sainthood,  the options are not there anymore.  And even if sainthood is not on our conscious agenda,  I clue you that it is somewhere in us.  These they refer as those who have made the light a beacon force in their lives.  And who in their secret thoughts would deny this,  that they would be less than a beacon of light?

When the mind is one with the god mind,  only for that which gives life  (and who would deny otherwise,  no matter the personal consequences?)  humanity’s progression is the only path to take.

Here Is Where We Live. . .

There was a time
when thoughts and desires
were simple and
fleshed out a life.
When rain on the windows
promised a day with a good book.

Commitments came with age
and options few.
A book became a luxury
with sleep non existent and
a nap became the respite.

Fewer options were the result
of choices,  and commitments
took precedent because
other lives were at stake.

Big lessons to teach and
necessary ones,  if the evolution
of humanity was to continue.
A trip to the moon and a jaunt to Mars
will be the children’s dream
but here on Earth is where
we cook the oatmeal

to feed the children’s dreams.

 

Painting by
Claudia Hallissey

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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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