Archive | Love

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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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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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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The Roses Are For You. . .for keeps. . .

Long before the world ever was. . . .

As co-creator and creature both of the universe, it is man’s prerogative and innate yearning to stand erect.  To bow down all the time leaves one eventually on one’s stomach.  Man rose from the crawling position.  There are too many yet who find the child’s position too comfortable.

To stand erect means that certain responsibilities must be accepted.  And that includes responsibility for one’s person and attitudes.  There are worlds yet where man will find the child’s position more comfortable and comforting.

To be adult means that one has to survive the inner turmoil and the outward condemnation which the world applies.

You do not defame the heavens.  The heavens are not all that peaceful and without its own turmoil.  There are many cliques yet which aim to destroy what man in his finest moments tried to accomplish.

We continue to say at every life’s departure that we go to a better place.  Unless our life’s pattern has been to work toward that better place, we may find ourselves again learning the lessons we failed to learn but in lesser circumstances.

Like primer on bare wood, being and doing good must be innate.  The Source of our impulses must be the Greater Heart.

The Roses Are For You. . .

I tell you true.  You were known
before you came here to this vast land.
A waste for some, a paradise for others. . .
for one a dim place, for another the sun shines.

You took upon your spirit a work, a job,
looking to make a difference.
You said to send you where your heart
could change the world. . .

You were given your wish, hard as it seems.
You have not failed.  Your ripples are felt
on unnamed shores and even the unborn
know your thoughts well. . . .

Come, be kind to one the heavens
sing praises for.  Your work is virtuous
and your talents creative.  We make bet on
the one winning the trifecta.

The roses are yours.  For keeps.

 

(it was scribed and it was a Given.  I share the message. We are known.)  

 

 

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Often the Larger Picture is Universal Life Enhanced. . . . .

What I have learned in these past times is that there are some things that cannot be improved upon.  Whether a recipe that has been perfected or something written that has stood the test of my time, meaning my physical life.  This is one of them.  And my measure has been my life of almost 91 years.  As I often ask my beleaguered son, how close to a hundred do I have to get?  And he answers you are not there yet.  So, I reprint this with gratitude to my teachers, the muses and whoever holds the sparklers.  With love and a deep AAhh  MMenn.

 

Jon Meacham, historian, told the story of when President Reagan was in the hospital after being shot, he was wiping up some water in the bathroom when a surprised visiting President Bush asked him what he was doing.  I spilled water and I didn’t want the nurse to get blamed for it he said. 

These are the small things about us that we leave as our legacy.  Not the big things that we sometimes are noted for.  Not always the Salk vaccine that Jonas Salk saved the world from polio but the Conscious Evolution he taught I came across in the interview when he wanted to save humanity from themselves.

We are beyond the times of physical survival as such evidenced by growing numbers.  Now we must emphasize the human values we do not have time for that are taken by devices with addicting instant gratification.  Or even casual relations we indulge in that make us not proud.

Where conscious action determines the potential in human behavior across the planet because we cared enough to do something right and good that enhanced life for just one person.   Because of its inherent goodness, it became a lifesaving principle for all humanity. 

And the small, light touch I wrote about that I appreciate as you put your hand on the small of my back to help me up the curb.  It is a small curb to viewers but to me a mountain to climb.   You know the why of the kiss on your forehead as you depart telling me that you are not feverish. 

As I see you both hug your loves with a quick crush to let them know the strength of your arms in that loving moment.  The small things that will be your legacy also. 

That will be the difference we make, we all make in lives we touch even perfunctorily.  Seemingly innocuous, seemingly without feeling.  But it makes in enormity, the teaching lesson confirming to us that we are of worth, that we are good.  (it is my song, vrh)

In Looking Back

Sometimes in looking back
to grasp meaning. . . .
the uneventful brims with it.

The small deeds by the young
take on logistics of magnitude.

The small bouquet often picked
from the neighbor’s garden
is innocently given with largess of heart.

It is no small thing
when the child says I will do it. . . .
and unburdens the caregiver.

It is in the uneventful
that the heart grows in understanding,
when the lesson becomes the food on the plate.

Not good to look back?
How else to learn what life has taught
and perhaps we learn what not to repeat?

It bodes well to forgive when harshness
makes brittle the connections,
but in the smallest detail,
in the dailyness of the commonplace, we grow.

And the soul leaps forward and universal life is greatly enhanced.

 

photo by the late Diane Rybacki
but forever a sister. . . .

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On Earth. . . 1954-1985

 

 

 

 When David Died . . . . 

I say that David took the hands off my clocks.
 It was the greatest gift he could give me.
I tire of running my life with a large hand and a small hand.
No time for this, hurry for that.  Do this now, do that before.
I hate it.  With a passion.

I want to immerse myself in time and swim in it.
Feel it around me yielding and yet holding me up.
I want to feel the eternity of it and
I want to see my house and yard
at different times under the sun. 
To be able to say that in the morning
this is precisely how they look.
I want the information stored in my Memory Bank
for those times when I feel bereft.

I want to see the moon rise and give way to the sun. 
I want to see the rainbow
around the moon and say again,
we are in for a big snow.
I need to revel in the mundane task
of shaking out the kitchen rugs
on the back porch and feel the cold boards
beneath my slippers and the cold air
stealing beneath my clothes.
I want to keep looking at the moon with a glance,
because no farmer stares at the moon too long
and say hello David.

And when I feel very homesick, I will again
as I have in the past, take my coffee
out on the porch and sit beneath the midnight sky 
with the stars daring me to look up
and identify them and again

 revel in this multifaceted existence called Life.

 

How  fortunate I have been in this magnificent time in being a parent, a mother.  David was one of three brothers, my best teachers.  To have had them sitting at our table for those years we could claim them made us rich.  We were blessed to have David in our lives for 31 years.  It would have been a tragedy to us not to have had him.  And for those who knew him . . . there is not a day that he is not thought of. 

He is blessed assurance that life is everlasting.   That . . . we know.                 

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