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The Simple Often Says It Right. . . .



The Jenny Genes are rightly sometimes a curse as well as blessing.  It drives this writer to despair when the right word evades and the curse begins its perseverance work on me.  And search I do for the precise word.  For there is of course we think a precise word for everything.  We search through the day and half the night compelling the word appear.  Eventually we give up and lo!  The imprecise simple one is used and the heavens moan in relief.  And so the reader leaves the dictionary lay where it is.  We all take victories where we can. 

The Right Words. . .

She said the right words to the beloved.
Suck the fear out of it; it is the only way to go.

Because every morning throughout the world,
man does his ablutions in the privacy of the bush,
in the privacy of his very expensive room,
or in a modest place wherever he lives.

And hopes he releases his fear before
he appears to face beloveds and the day
overtakes him, leaving him soiled.

He whispered,. . . that is the way it is. . .
suck the fear out of it.

I don’t want a dead bird hanging
around my neck for the rest of eternity.
There is no final place but a place of becoming.

It is life everlasting in all its measures.



Connections I know. . .

And you will know also. . . 

Nine years ago, when I was 80, a grandson said I should do a blog.  Not knowing what a blog was, he proceeded to teach me.   This perennial student did not want to disappoint the good teacher.   Edited here is one of the early posts where I try to explain my views.  For those who missed the first years I hope this helps to understand from where I come.

On Connections

‘This is an idea spoken of since man first began to think about the purpose of life.   Or perhaps his purpose on this planet.   It deals with the idea that every thing is connected throughout the Ethers.   That nothing happens in and of itself but is the result of an action happening because of a previous action elsewhere.   However long ago.   Our purpose,  however wrought with meaning as we think or not,   is the result of perhaps a stone let loose on some distant hill, rolling and crashing onto a field.    The storm in the night is the result perhaps of an argument lamenting the arduous activity of sea lions in some obscure waters.   The idea remains cleverly innate in heads looking for reasons to believe that of itself nothing exists.   We are connected,  one to another and one event tied us tightly to all of life.   It is with this idea in mind that this poem came to be.’

Because I Know. . . . 

I see worlds in motion
taking a portion of each one’s talent
for their own survival.

This is what I do with my hands.
This motion of knitting yarns to form

a piece of world to fit the mind
of an elusive soul.

See here, I, content  in what I do.
I free a soul to do the Great God’s bidding
in keeping a world in motion.

See again. . . I give of my Self in this time,
to free an Other to build what may be
the perfect Universe or many.

So content that this time is mine to see
a great plan, a strategy, yet unheard.
It may not be for centuries that

that my knitting fingers  will alert the senses
of a soul to keep in motion
a Life, a Being, an Idea.

Sit here with me. . .and show my hands
what to do and they will do.  The task so simple
will gather other talents and make for itself
the grand design,  futures down the line.

A bidding, the nature of what 
has never been seen before.
I know it and because I know

you will know it also.


This I Know. . because I learned. . .


This I Know. . . because I learned. . .

Only with deeper understanding is there any basis for understanding.
To love oneself presumes a selfishness man cannot abide in himself.
Yet to be selfish presents an attitude of self acceptance, of tolerance that can only begin to be outward in the employment of attitude toward one’s neighbor, the Other.
Unless emotional excesses, like ancient affronts are released, they will continue to be genetically transmissible.
The split in man is so dichotomous, that his life is one mass of contradictions.
When advancing age stiffens the limbs and makes the mind less elastic, we will find the inner ear listening to what the heart stirs.
To say it is mine to do and do it is to take the bull by the horns.  And to say I will take responsibility for it is to tame the bull.
Where will the young generation turn if not to those who pride themselves that their advancing years have brought a degree of wisdom?
Who is going to teach when all about are denying that they are getting older, never mind wiser?
Why is it considered cool to say you ‘know nothing’ when your body shouts your age to say you should have learned something?
When our years pile upon us, why do we feel embarrassed when our experience has taught and we learned from it, to say ‘this I know.’
The persuasive voice is well trained to manipulate.  Today we call it selling.


photo by Kathy Qualiana                                                            


The Strange Bequest. . . .

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and this is a late regret to chalk up to a life in ebbtide.  But with the head on my shoulders today, I wish there had been times to talk of heart concerns.  Life was to be mountains for me to climb and I could have used his hand to hold.  Talk while you both are within arm’s reach.

The Strange Bequest. . . 

There was a man, a slim man,
whose head was bedecked
with a white cloud and
whose eyes saw dreams
he could not articulate.

He sat one day staring into space
and when I questioned him, he said
‘I am sitting and watching the grass grow.’
I hesitated far too long and have lived to regret it.

I wish the courage had been mine
to have asked him to share his dreams with me.
For he bequeathed to me a mind
that does not rest.

I have the thought that his father and
father before him wrestled
the same misty vision which now
is mine to set in motion.

I question this strange bequest,
for I have not the staunch heart required
to lay to rest my ancestor’s anguish.

Papa, I plead now,
to replace my heart with hot ore,
inject me with a vial of celestial courage,
to fuse my spine with tempered steel.

There is so little time.
















The Loving Gesture Makes The Difference. . . . .


What pleases me so much about this photo besides knowing she is my beloved Emma E. is the obvious seriousness she shows in her work.  And it is work she does. 

I identify the intensity and I wish her to be able to see the beauty of her body doing what her mind has determined.  It is with joy she will do work, whatever it is. 

It will be with a loving gesture that she does her tasks.  And the loving gesture is what makes the difference.

We have our favorite people doing for us when we are children and it is special ones we want to do for us as we grow older.  It is the toddler who says either Mommy do!  Or daddy do!   Or pushing the item in the hands of another with a grunt!  Do!  What is the difference?  The child knows.  The child knows the difference.  It is the love.

And the elder child approaching dotage?  They sit calmly and wait for the loving gesture that always makes the difference.

I cannot nor do I even wish to get behind the eyes of an Other to see what they see.  But I can see in the hands the loving gesture simply by how they approach the task.  Is it with haste, or disdain the task is done, or even a disinterest?  Is it with no thought because something else is more important or enticing?

It will show in the outcome of the work. So if it takes me hours to make dinner,  it may be an honored chef in mind telling me to chop finely the celery for this dish.

It may be time in conference or in harmony with the invisible Other whom we all house in heart. This Other we talk to is what the cosmic element sometimes call prayer.

Emma E. is in conference.  Emma E. is in harmony. She seriously mixes her mudcakes and measures the liquid to make real what she remembers from another place.  Not in time perhaps, but in mind. 

What she does is what her grandfather did on the white sheets folded to make a piano on his bed sing his heart songs.  And an uncle sit with the books he memorized as a preschooler to cite them aloud while another climbed his trees with a tool belt made of kitchen ware to saw the branches off.

The loving gestures were part of them as I see now in their offspring.  And I almost know, almost. . . what they see through their eyes.

photo by 
Tresy Hallissey, Grandfather


Sending The Future A New Direction. . . .

                                                       To change history. . .a new path. . .

I had been at sixes and sevens (so to speak) this week.  I should explain that the idiom means things being in great doubt with me.

The idiom is centuries old coming from (more nearly surmised) the English.  Since I married into an Anglo Saxon Protestant family,  I was introduced to what were strange customs for me.  And this idiom was one of puzzling language.

Since being just twenty, eager to please, I learned quickly, both joyfully and askance sometimes.

Leading me to conclude at almost a decade less than a century, that for peace to ensue among men of diversity, those things which unify us as a species should be taught in all beginning grammar schools along with the differences in cultures.

It seems the differences in worlds (and words) and we are just one of many, are prime fodder for simmering anguish.

How we are united in so many ways fade in many minds while the differences sadly become up front.  And the differences wielded so well are the fears quietly smoldering unknown even to the holder but when given voice turn to rage.

Tyrants live in various houses and use their tools so wisely they leave Heaven aghast as to the hurt that is done.  Tyrants need not use hostility.  They need not use weapons which destroy anything but self esteem.

And many are they who use their own neglected self esteem to drain the other of pity and sympathy and strength.  And because the tyrants feel not appreciated, they say in so many words,  I am number one and let no one in this house forget it.  And tyrants proceed to devastate laws and their abiding citizens along with their countries and constitutions of families, be they charters or people.

And because so many think their futures depend on the largess of the tyrants, in fear they remain silent.  Until the time the disparaged ego rises and takes a stand.   It is written. . . .

At all times you can change your destiny.   You can continue to love in the face of rejection.  You can continue to have faith in the face of no faith.   You can continue to build a life in the face of no life.   And because you know this and continue to do it,  you will be creating a new path and a new method which will in the course of history,  change it.

Your acts upon your days have already sent the future into a direction which will reveal itself.  They will know who we are by  the unfolding days.  We will now stand proud.


artwork by Claudia Hallissey


And The Uncertain Dance Is Made Easier. . .

Sometimes I think the youngers would be happy
for me to lay down my things, and pay attention to do
what other elders do, so it would be easier,
than to pretend to listen to what they do not understand,
to make fit into what they cannot relate.

Senseless no doubt it seems to nothing that swims in their heads
to give meaning to what they imbibe.

The celluloid people they watch I do not know, give fact and
form to fit what to me is meagre fare, not giving substance
to the ache seeking expression.

But alas, I try to sell my perspective with its shining specks
flittering on the white moth floating in the night, along
with the fireflies sending messages still to be read by the
night creatures.

They inhabit my sight as will the morning birds welcoming me to
acknowledge their presence with my ‘good morning world,
I hear you, I hear you.’

I fear their noise will awaken those lives still filled with the passion
of murmurings I have long forgotten.

In their place and time a fit, comparable to the seduction of a high
heeled shoe, now uncomfortable and alien to the wobbly feet.

Feet needing to support a body still needing completion but wishing
to take flight with nascent wings, promising growth.

All the time the youngers know that my having learned the steps well
makes easier the uncertain dance now in progress on the floor.

My Mentor said, do for one and you do for the whole world, for eternity then.

And I believed.


photo by John Holmes


Moments Of Thought. . . .for us. . .

Moments of Thought. . . .

In retrospect, everything becomes a moral decision.  Some of us only learn this in our dotage when reflecting on how we lived our lives.
It is a vast classroom but the basic lesson is one of abandonment.  Everyone knows abandonment.  The hardest lesson to bring home is to dream into being the splendor that can come when the heart is healed
To insert the cosmic into the mundane is what we must do.
Whenever we embark on a choice, we embark also on change.  With choice comes responsibility to carry through.
We are free to make other choices.  But when we come to commitments, there may be no choice at all. No options.
One’s sense of one’s place in the larger picture heightens one’s sense of responsibility.
Unless you can share your heart,  you cannot enter into a liaison with anyone and raise a family.
You cannot force feed a menu when the seated are not hungry.
The continuity of life is the only view worth harboring.  How else to explain the eternity it takes for a mushroom or daffodil to reach full potential?  One life does it for a human?
In our solitude we don’t have an audience of peoples; we have an audience of souls.
I have learned that if it is not done here, where I am, it will not be done elsewhere.  If I see this good to do, I must do it now or there will not be this chance nor these favorable circumstances again.
When a good is done on one hearth, all hearths will do good throughout all worlds.


It Is What It Is . . .

It All Connects. . . .

This is kind of a sidebar explanation that I connected in my head from a long ago comment.  But first I want to say that an errand had to be run because we are still in the reconstructing of a kitchen needing final finishes. I asked son John who has done the masterful job of pushing out walls  and stuffs I could not envision, was there much traffic out there today.

He said quite a bit  and I said that stay at home directives were hard on the American mentality.  When go to the corner was a first understood punishment and the next, go to your room and stay there. . . was the true lamented of the average soul determined to run.  There were exceptions who relished the solitude at a young age.  Our two eldest always left the room with a smile when told to go to their room until I say to come out.   (I saw those smiles)

But I was driving my visiting sister around one summer holiday and she commented on the unmowed lawns and untidy landscaping compared to our childhood yards we both remembered.  People then did not leave their homes much except for the few who had cars.  We were fortunate because our father had a Franklin,  though at the time laughed at as a box car.  But it did have wheels and gas for the weekend and we went to the farms  of  people we knew and had an ice cream cone on the way home.  So I never considered us poor.

But on this drive of neighborhoods,  my sister’s comment was,  does no one stay home anymore?

And when John said there was a bit of traffic, I made the comment of how hard for the American mentality.  Where my life was tied to a public person who became suicidal when forced to stay home and whose idea of the only life worth living was breathing the polluted exhale of the street people, his relief would only be to die.  And I would hope so immediately.

We watch the boy child running from window to window wanting to run off and though the chronological age is 70 or 80 years,  it still is the boy/girl child that cannot  grasp the enormity of the  health crises.  And they cannot.   It is what it is.

We give further thought as to why there is no ability to connect to what is happening.   Have you not wondered why?  We come back anon.


Education wears many booties. . . .


Knowing the comics section as I do, it appears that she’s studying Doonesbury, which thrills my heart! Of course she’s already read Dilbert (on the front page)…

Love,   Emma E’s grandfather



I never knew the supreme abilities of the comics to educate.  I remember when our two eldest,  Tresy and David first took upon themselves to convince me that I should avail myself to the benefits of the education which life could not give me.  I listened over the weeks and months I am sure,  though I have no journal entry to verify that fact.

But I did listen and with trepidation, no doubt, began to look upon the comics in the morning to fill in what I inevitably lacked according to the two eldest.  And I became hooked.  It did not take long and my favorite soon became because I could relate with the myriad home crises,  For Better and Worse by Lynn Johnston.

I have a couple of the celebrated anniversary books,  the first one given to me  by the son of Tresy,  the fourth Joseph Harrison.  I  have loved these vestiges of another time and I think I will request the weekend edition of Chicago Tribune as a birthday gift.  I miss reading the comics and realize that a diet of hard lessons with no relief in  pictures,  is a diet with little flavor.

This photo of our Emma E. reading the comics during this time of self quarantine of the family is a lifting of Spirit for me.  Her grandfather Tresy  takes great pleasure in sending this photo from her parents.  Bless them all.  It is a heart lifter!


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