WAR AND PEACE

EXPLODING BALL OF FIRE

 

 

War

 

At night I lay me down to sleep

 The pillow soft beneath my cheek 

                                                         

I snuggle warm into my bed

             I try not to think

                                                            Try not to weep

                                          For all those who cannot sleep

 

air born drones

 Who fear the drones overhead

The terror across the

   World we spread

                     In the guise of peace.

 

   War on terror is

     What we claim

drone button

     Killing by another name

Disguising greed.

We’re all insane

To believe.

 

          It started in the

            Very beginning

          Cane and Able

Cane killing able

             Doing the killing.

          God overlooked

             This genetic flaw

          Looked at his creation

             With awe…

           Said that it was good.

 

 

Cannot he look atrose heart

Us and see

That peaceful and

Loving we will not be?

 

 

 

 

     The killing gene…

 

         Sticks and stones                       caveman with club

      Broke our bones

            Then came

      Bows and arrows.

odysseus

 

Out came the knives

The blood flows

hand knife

 

Insanity grows

tough-guy-pilgrim-gun-hat-graphic-27133219Gunpowder was

Invented.

 

           Then we flew like birds

            Peace just a word.

          On the black– winged crows                  Black-Hawk-Bombing-Run-(Dropping-Bombs)

                  The killing grows

               Bombs blowing us away.

 

 

The mushroom cloud

nuclear-bomb-explosion

Silenced the crowd

With threats of annihilation

Man thought a while

Then began to smile.

 

 

          The Gods–yours and mine

               Were at fault

          From the beginning.

God

           They gave us a gene

              That was obscene…

           All about winning.

 

 

 

Our children will continue

The fight

woman gunWomen joining

For might makes right…

Not a word about sinning.

 

 

 

 

 

          You wonder why

             I cannot sleep?

          You wonder why

               It is I weep?

 

Is God so  blind

He cannot see

What a mess

He’s made of me.

Freedom

 

          Or is it just evolution

               Our destroying,

         Our pollution?  It seems

               To me that  God is sleeping

         Doesn’t hear my cry, my weeping.

 

Cannot see that all

Mankind

is and alwaysfaith hope and love

Will be blind

To LOVE  being the answer.

 

 

 

    Fear is the cancer gene.

            Is life becoming obscene?

                    Yet we cling.

bird at sunset Jodi

And for just a moment

As the sun goes down

The din quiets

I look around.

          The birds settle into

             Their nests

                                                 He holds his child

To his breastman embracing child

 

 

 Sea and birds Jodi

 The waves murmur

            Against the shore

And I dream

It’s just an illusion

This thing called war.

 

 

peace birdPEACE

 

          All is quiet, the night clings

             I arise…quiet breathing

                    As he sleeps.

         The floor boards creak.

I click a switchAnimated-fire-1-lighting-stuff-on-fire-973753_650_520

The fireplace burns,

No wood to chop

Or carry in,

No lamp to light

                                                            Stop worrying.

 

           A fireman rescues

              A cat in a tree

Fireman cat tree 2

         I look for my glasses

             So I can seesunburst-dandelion_2568286

        The sun’s soft glow.

            Another day.

       The waves wrinkle

           Across the bay,

 

waves on Bay

 

Trees hushed  awaiting

The sun’s first ray.rising sun tree

The birds return,

            Feed along the shore,

birds on shore                                      The coffee perks

                                       The dog snores.

 

          The paper lies outside the door.

The headlines?

WAR!  WAR!

    EVERMORE.

VACATIONS: PETS, PLANTS, AND PARENTING

  WANTED:   ONE PET SITTER FOR EXTRAORDINARY ANIMALS

 

The other day at bridge my partner asked if I knew of someone who might pet sit for her friend.  She proceeds to read her friend’s list. (indicated with an *)   I was thinking of volunteering until I listened to  the list as she read it aloud and realized  her friend’s  pets were her kids…I thought of how I treated  mine–kids,  not cats.

 

THE CATS

cat on phone

 

(Was she talking  pets or kids?

 Two here: one male and one female…kids that is.)

 

*  Make sure they always have water in their water bowl.

 

(Well, yeah  or at least juice in their glass.  )

 

MORNING FEEDING 

black cat licking

 

* Make sure the cats are separated during feeding!

 

(Across the table was not always far enough/

for the kids that is.)

 

* Feed 1 1/2 spoon fulls of wet food into one side of both cat dishes.

 

(How come  she gets a big orange and I have a small apple?

It’s not fair!)

 

(Suck it up kid, the quicker you learn that

the easier life is.)

 

* On the other side of the cats’ dishes, put a little bit less than a fourth of a cup of dry food.

 

(He always gets more than me!)

 

CAT DINNER

 

* Use the same amount of wet food for each cat as they have in the morning and a

full 1/4 cup of dry food.

Dinner should always be bigger than breakfast.

 

 

(Hey, how come this casserole is bigger than it was last night…I’d tried to camouflage it…

You know how we hate it!)

 

CATS AT PLAY

 

*  Make sure, Oreo in particular,  has his collar on before going outside.

 

(I said you were going to wear that scarf…no ifs ands or buts) 

 

 

cat grass“You just try to get me to come in”

*Keep track of how long they are outside.

 

(You’re kidding, of course.)

 

*Always be alert for meows at the doors so you can let them in right away. 

 

(Not unless they wipe their feet, I just scrubbed this floor.)

 

*About every half an hour or so, just check on the cats and see where they are.

(In your dreams, lady!)

 

* If one cat is acting abnormally (outside or just in general) call Mom or me.

(“What’s ABNORMALLY?  Where in the  *&^!@  blankety blank

did I put that phone number?)

 

BEHAVIOR

 

 

* Make sure the cats aren’t behaving badly.

 

(You sass me one more time, Kid, and you’re  going to bed without dinner!)

 

 

* If they are on the counter,  yell, clap, run towards them so they will stop this behavior.

 

 

cat counter

(Maybe with cats, not with kids…I even threw bowling pins at them,

plastic…no child abuse penalty, please, but to no avail.)

 

* If the cats are play fighting, make sure (especially Oreo) that

they aren’t being too aggressive.

 

(Did you hear that,  Jeff, stop choking your sister!)

 

*  If  they are being overly aggressive, do not try to get involved into the fight physically,

just try to split them up by clapping, stomping, and yelling firmly.

 

(Didn’t work, lady, the neighbors complained.)

 

* If the cats are scratching the furniture, yell, clap, stomp, run

towards them to get them to stop.

  Put the scratching post near where they are mostly scratching.

 

(Lady, all this yelling, clapping and stomping is arousing the neighborhood.

Where is that scratching post?)

 

* Make sure, when it’s not feeding time, (especially when you leave) no cat-accessible food is laying around because if they eat it, they might get sick.

 

    (Laying around?  You’re kidding, they know every hiding place

in this house.

Sick?  No sympathy.)

 

LITTER BOX

* Check on the litter box and clean it out every other day.

(Litter?  Did you say LITTER?  Every other day?  I wouldn’t be able to find the floor.)

 

  • * Wash hands afterwords.

  • ***DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS!!!

  • (Sorry, lady, but I don’t think I can handle this job…)

(Part 2  on the drawing board)

 

 

 

 

        

 

    

SUICIDE: A CRY FROM A SUFFERING SOUL

Book with gold award       EXCERPT FROM “CHRONICLES”

(Journals of a young girl suffering from BPD written by mother, Pat Engebrecht)

See web page:   http://www.patengebrecht.com

         Chapter Twenty-seven,  page 168

 

And so the years slipped by.  We had wonderful, normal moments in all the struggle–the changing of medications, doctors, diagnosis, institutions.  You were valiant in your determination:  working with L&L, at Wegmans, teaching tennis.  Your questions went unanswered as you suffered.

“Sometimes I feel that whatever seems to be ailing me is as terminal as seriously malignant cancer.  But when a cancer patient dies after years of pain, struggle, chemotherapy and whatever else, they get a gold star for their valiant efforts.

 

   

“Here I’ve been struggling for 8 years nearly, had my own pains, emotional and physical, been in intense therapy and to special hospitals but if this kills me (meaningimage001 I give in and kill myself) there will be far from “gold” stars.  It will be anger, hate, disappointment.  I will have “failed” in everyone’s eyes except perhaps Bernie and Char.  Hell!  I don’t expect sympathy or three cheers, but I hardly deserve condemnation for my efforts.  Whatever the outcome I gave my all.  Isn’t that worth something, world…God?  Isn’t it?!  Please…

 

 

LIFE’S PURPOSE

PURPOSE ??

By

Pat engebrecht

 Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die ….

Children-Bedtime-Prayer

The echoing of my childhood prayer

Eighty years later I’m unaware

OF MY LIFE’S PURPOSE?

For Supreme guidance I humbly ask

For daily living can be a task

Of  ENDURANCE. 

appaluse

IT IS SAID

I am one with all mankind

And yet unique,

Always reminded

That  I am weak.

Yet at times I feel strong

Filled with the Creator’s power

And try to live each and every hour

As if it were my last…

AT MOST A DAUNTING TASK

God world

 

Life and Death,  a mystery

The answer  always eluding me

Thus I recall in simplicity

My childhood prayer:

 children-world-holding-hands-11539036

NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP

I PRAY THE LORD MY SOUL TO KEEP

IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE I WAKE

I PRAY THE LORD MY SOUL TO TAKE .

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  All pictures taken free from the internet.

No Curtain Call?

LIFE’S PLAY

BY

PAT ENGEBRECHT

curtain opening

 

WE CHOOSE OUR CAST

OR DO WE?

PREORDAINED? OR PLANNED?

 

THE MASKS WE WEAR

WOMEN SHARE

          SEEKING AND WITHDRAWING

Thespian masks

      DAUGHTER CAME, DANCED A WHILE.

               LIFE’S  LIGHTS DIMMED

DARKNESS SWIRLED, SHE

DISAPPEARED

LEAVING MISTY BROTHERS

    TO DANCE HER SONG.

                      image033

GRAND CHILDREN PLAY THEIR PART

               WARMING MY HEART

         I FADE AS THEY COME INTO FOCUS

Poo hugging copyThe trips on the beach at sunset

HUSBAND LOVES…I GLOW

WITH TIME WE GROW

             EVER CLOSER

man woman embracing

 

 

jazz_art_painting__music__musical_instruments__abs_abstract_art__abstract__d313714df186e298c5c2dbc9b1567843

    THE DRUMMING GROWS

   LOUDER…FASTER

     THE COFFEE SIMMERS

           THE LIGHTS GROW DIMMER

  THE CURTAIN CLOSES…SILENCE

NO APPLAUSE, NO CURTAIN CALLS. 

 

stage_curtainsappaluse

                                                                     ONLY SILENCE

 

 

EARTH SANDALS

beach photo

YOUR  EARTH SANDALS

 

BY  PAT ENGEBRECHT

You had no more need 

of  sandals for your feet.

Nor of a body infested with demons

                 Your love and courage could not defeat.

         Why? Why?

  Unknowing…why they fed

           Upon your love with hate

                Consuming all but your soul.

                                I do not know.

Triumphantly you left them here

Left them all behind

Shook free of death’s final grasp

To be free, free at last,

free at last!

Sandles 1

Together you and I deny…

Deny separation.

Your spark lives on…

You are not gone.

You and I still wander here

         In earthly sandal shoes.

With our toes in silky sand

Planting flowers in earth’s rich land.

We protest,  you and I…

                       Together we take a stand

              Against injustice, against the wars

                                    That infest this suffering land.

Always one, we celebrate

               The birth of family souls.

Baby stork

 Sometimes the ache

          Of my unknowing

      Stops my breath–takes its toll.

          Yet, in the quiet of the night

  I feel you close, tho out of sight

I know you’re near…you sooth my fear

With perfect love that flows

 Across the abyss of my unknowing.

Each day I slide my feet

                     Into your earth- scuffed shoes.

                             It seems I’ve yet to understand…

                    I must pay my earthly dues.

Together  we travel in memory

                                   Until the day I too will  leave

          Your shoes all scuffed and worn,

                                  When into a new life I will be born.

          There is no death,  you and I

                    Together always…will forever share

                                                       The peace of perfect love.

faith hope and lovewww.patengebrecht.com

LIFE AFTER DEATH

NATURAL GARDERN

COMMEMORATION 

By Pat Engebrecht

In the early morning hours

When the sun’s rays are low

 Slanting through the bower

  Reflecting dawn’s golden glow.

I think of you.

In the quiet awakening of the day

I sit  on the garden bench

Alone with you in my special way

Of remembering.  I feel your presence

In my heart. 

 The spider’s weaving of the night

Catches dew in gossamer threads

Reflecting in those early rays

The sight of you.  Our love spreads

Warming  me through and through.

Life’s promises we shared

The Laughter and the tears.

These memories

Grow sweeter with the passing years

    As you live in the garden of my heart. 

THE COMING OF AGE

 

LJ baby Sedona

 

The Coming of Age

By

LauraJo Engebrecht

 

Where is the child

Who by the Sea

Was swept away

With beauty,

Immeasurably captured

In tiny hands

Held only as time

Holds the wind swept sands.

Like clockwork the ebbing tide

Shrinks the eyes open wide,

Causing countless treasures to fall

By the wayside.

Grey as the dawn on a misty morn,

Alone and naked the truth is born.

 

 

When Love Is Not Enough  Chronicles of LauraJo (https://www.createspace.com/3605803) tells her story in her own words of her journey battling BPD for ten years which  finally culminated in her suicide death in 1987.

 

 

 

 

 

Help! Congress Is stealing Cupid and Santa.

 

 

Digitize the Mail?

 

Ahh, the computer…text it, email it, or send one  of the cute little cards on the silver screen…without the little quote: “Because you cared enough to send the very best…” Course it is hard to press this digital card in your album, hold it, prop it up on the window sill, or on your desk, but what the heck, who needs the post office?

rose heart

Take the town of Valentine in Southwest Texas near the Mexican border, population 217, founded in 1882 by the Southern Pacific Railroad as a whistle stop and shipping point for area ranches. The railroad construction crew landed on the town site on no other than February 14 thus, as the story goes, these burly guys, being unsuspected romantics, named the town after the third-century saint, St. Valentine…or if you are more of a cynic, after a John Valentine, President of Wells Fargo and a major stockholder in Southern Pacific.

But “Cupid” is the choice story as history shows.  The Valentine Post Office opened in 1886 when the trains began to roll.  It is still there  today managed by Postmaster Leslie Williams who has been doing her jobValentineTexasPostOfficeJP01 for 22 years,  runs the one-room adobe PO.  Not only does she serve local residents, ranchers and businesses, but also the thousands of customers worldwide who mail batches of their valentines to her each year. Why?  People around the world send their pre-addressed stamped valentines to be re-mailed  bearing  Valentine’s special postmark.  Starting Feb 1st Ms Williams starts posting the sometimes up to 40,000 valentines to their special recipient.  All this on top of her normal workload sometimes with extra help or volunteers at no extra charge, just 49 cents.

Adobe Photoshop PDFIn 2011 when the USPS came to Valentine to announce the shuttering of their esteemed post office…a fiscal necessity to save $60,000 a year, the Valentinians came out in force.

“Where will we announce the new babies born?, or the lawn mowers for sale, or that Minny’s divorce is final?”  they wanted to know.

“Where will we buy stamps and money orders  and…”

“Well, Marfa is only 36 miles away,” the USPS fellow said

“And who will stamp the Valentines?”  He looked blank.  “The almost 40,000 valentines we get and post mark every year.”

“Oh, not a problem, we could do that at Midland..who’s to know the difference?”

“She will!” And they pointed to Ms. Williams.  What did he care that the post office was the physical and emotional force of gravity that pulled their community together.  Valentinians were not about to take the closing of their  post office sitting down so they joined a nationwide rebellion against the shutdowns, standing up and speaking out.  In 2012 USPS had to suspend its wholesale closure plan and the doors to the Love Station remains open today in its proper 79854 home (albeit with its hours reduced to six a day, an no Saturday openings.

Our own experience of what a post office means to a community is in Crested Butte, Colorado where my husband has taught skiing for years.  The post office is the hub of young drop outs, old, gray-bearded escapees, young women in snow boots, long skirts and ratty fur jackets carrying their babies on their hips as their mothers and grandmothers did.  The bulletin board advertises everything from ski equipment, baby sitting, free puppies, seances, back mountain skiing, snowmobiling…It is the core of the village.  How many of the over 31,000 post offices provide the same “Heart” of a community.  “Priceless” as the ad states.

The post office is not merely a thing, though it is composed of many things–buildings, touch-screen postage machines, delivery trucks, mail boxes, etc.  The post office is also an idea, an important concept and mechanism for making real our people’s Big ideal of a democratic, egalitarian, one-out-of-many society.  It is worth all of our efforts to keep it alive. Check out the democratic movement that needs and wants you:  AGrandAlliance.org.

(Author’s note:  information from “The Hightower Lowdown)

Pictures from the internet.

santaLosesBet

More Christmas cards than Valentines?

If the government and corporate lobbyists have their way,  your mailbox along with Santa and Cupid will disappear.

 What is happening to  “The Mail Must Get Through!”?

 

A_Colorful_Cartoon_Pony_Express_Rider_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100518-003891-087053       dog postman  postman with bag

History

The United States Postal Service (originally called the U.S. Post Office Department, when it was completely managed by the U.S. government before 1971) also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service, often abbreviated as USPS is an independent agency of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, where Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The cabinet-level Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin’s operation and transformed into its current form in 1971 under the Postal Reorganization Act.

The USPS employed 617,254 workers (as of February 2015) and operated 211,264 vehicles in 2014. The USPS is the operator of the largest civilian vehicle fleetpostal truck in the world.[2] The USPS is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. The USPS has exclusive access to letter boxes marked “U.S. Mail” and personal letterboxes in the United States, but still competes against private package delivery services, such as UPS and has part use with FedEx Express.[3]

The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters.[4] Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume,[5] after which Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,[6] (which mandated $5.5 billion per year to be paid into an account to fully prefund both employee retirement health and pension benefits, a requirement exceeding that of other government and private organizations [7]), revenue dropped sharply due to recession-influenced[8] declining mail volume,[9] prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit.[10] The USPS lost US$5.5 billion in fiscal 2014, (approximately the amount of its required prefunding mandate from the PAEA.) Its revenue was US$67.8 billion.

One stipulation of the PAEA has caused controversy. It stipulates that the USPS is to make payments of $5.4 – $5.8 billion into the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, each year, from 2007 to 2016 in order to prefund 50 years of estimated costs (for employees not yet hired) This requirement also explicitly stated that the USPS was to stop using its savings to reduce postal debt, which was stipulated in Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003.[4] This is in addition to deductions from pay for federal contribution to social services.[5] This pre-funding method is unique to the USPS. In June 2011, the USPS had to suspend its weekly payment of 115 million into the fund because it had reached 8 billion dollars in debt and the retirement plan had a surplus of 6.9 billion dollars.[6] The Postal Service has not made any of the pre-funding payments since that time.[citation needed]

  (Information From Wikipedia)

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: In the fall of 2006 (Bush-Cheney) and lobbyists for postal corporatist pushed a lame-duck session of Congress to ram through the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.   This outlandish requirement of artificial, government-manufactured debt of more than $5 billion a year to fund retirement for ‘future’ employees is effectively closing down the one non-discriminating service in our country.  The Post Office not only provides us with middle-class income jobs but it delivers to all:  to the old, the poor, the black, the white no matter where you live.  (I ask again, ” Who is behind this preposterous requirement?”) 

 

$$$$ ‘s.  The US Post office is Losing Money…Over $5 Billion a Year!

So some would have you  believe. The fathers that be  are closing down post offices and firing in order–so claims Congress (The same people who voted in the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,” a possible Morris–guarding–the–tuna probability) and the postal service’s top bosses all claiming necessary steps to keep the Postal Service alive.  Far from being “broke” as the anti-government crowd ceaselessly claim,  the Postal Service’s annual revenue greatly exceeds its operating costs these days generating an impressive operating profit of $1.4 billion!  Yet from all appearances, the Post Office appears to be sinking in red ink Why? 

All of these cutback, job losses are done under the pretext of  the “keep–the–service–alive” hoax?”  The only thing that keeps the postal Service alive is its  SERVICES.  Kill off the community facilities and the dedicated workers who deliver and what’s left of the PO? Yet there are those who keep chanting the “shrink to survive” mantra?  How about the Orwellian title of “Retail Access Optimization Initiative” which the postal hierarchy is either contemplating or is already implementing with such “shrinkage” as:

SHUTTING DOWN ABOUT HALF of the 487 mail processing centers thus slowing delivery.

REDUCING HOURS  in more than half of America’s post offices

CUTTING 1/3 OF POSTAL JOBS (The largest reduction in the PO”s 223-year history…there goes more of our middle-class jobs)

ELIMINATING SATURDAY MAIL DELIVERY

The solution to the problem is not to “cut, chop, cancel, contract out…corporatize”  but to bank on it.  Millions of Americans in low-income neighborhoods and rural areas are victims of predatory lenders and check cashing chains that rip them off.  In a January report titled “Underbanked and Overcharged,” United for a Fair Economy (UFE) documented that  over 68 million adults–more than a fourth of US households are being ripped off to the tune of almost 10 percent of their income by rates charged by predatory financial stores.  Both the Inspector General and UFE pointed out the obvious solution:  Postal Banks.  Already the PO is in the “money” business with the sale of money orders.  The facilities (31,000 post offices) are already in existence throughout the entire country.  Some of these communities have no local banks.   Expanding into banking makes sense for USPS, in fact, until the banker lobby got Congress to kill the business in 1967, post offices had been offering saving deposit accounts for more than half a century.  Even today the Postal Service provides international money transfers, and sells more money orders than any other entity.  The Inspector General estimates that postal banking can bring nearly $9 billion a year in revenue for the USPS. (Oooops out come the banking lobbyists)

“Retail Access Optimization Initiative” is in essence CORPORATIZING THE MARKETING OF THE POSTAL SERVICE,  of the most popular and (most profitable) mail products by letting Staples and other such business run boutique PO kiosks in its big box stores, now even in our grocery stores… staffing them with their poorly paid, minimally trained, non-union workforce.

My personal experience with one of these ill– trained individuals:  I wanted to mail a newspaper clipping to my son–a 3×5 envelope, light weight.  Our nearby post office closed its official office and was  opened in the next-door, small beverage store run by hard working immigrants…long hours, convenient.   “How much for first class?” I asked this bright-eyed, young woman.  She places it on the scale, punches several buttons,

“$2.16.”

“How much for 4th class?”  I wasn’t in a rush to get the information to its destination.  Again the envelope went  onto  the scale followed by an amazing numbers of buttons being pushed.

“$6.59.”

Needless to say I knew there had been an error.   “Why does it cost so much more for fourth class?”

She didn’t even pause, “Because it takes six days and that costs more.”

Of course,  you know that your post man and people in the post office are civil servants who must pass a written exam to get their classification. Us oldsters all remember the old western movies with the horse riders fleeing from Indians waving tomahawks, defying incredible odds, with the cry, “The mail must go through.”pony-express-rider-historical-americana-painting-desert-scene-walt-curlee

Our post man is one of the few individuals in this day of digital invisibility who we know by first name, who walks up our steep driveway to deliver our packages rather than just hanging them on the mailbox.  Who makes sure no mail is delivered during our six-month snowbird migration, who collects canned goods for the local food pantry,   He/she is “community”.  And they perform miracles…

They are the ones who handled my sister’s Christmas letter…the one addressed to a home in Florida that we had sold fourteen years ago.

Scan 2

That letter arrived at our present residence with no forwarding address sticker, no extra postage.  There it was in our mailbox with its holiday greeting.   How it got there remains a mystery to me but DEDICATION  to the, “mail must get through” is alive and well.    The same old fashioned letter to santadedication that handles all the Christmas cards to Santa, who delivers the packages through USPS to your door, your mailbox.  These people are dedicated professionals who are losing their middle-class jobs because of greed and corruption by our wonderful political professionals who are bought and paid for by the lobbyists of our big corporations.

We need your help to relieve our Post Office of  the fictitious debt.   AGrandAlliance.org.

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Rage THIS AND THAT

 

MALE, ROAD RAGE

HUSBANDS

COULD IT BE GENETIC?  HOW CAN A QUIET, THOUGHTFUL MAN GO BALLISTIC OVER WHAT SEEMS TO ME THE SLIGHTEST INTRUSION INTO “HIS” SPACE ON THE ROAD?  OR A HORN HONK FOR THAT MATTER.  WE ARE CELEBRATING SIXTY YEARS OF HAVING ESCAPED FROM BEING BATTERED, RUN DOWN, THREATENED WITH VIOLENCE BECAUSE OF HIS REACTION TO A “RULE OF LAW” ACCORDING TO HIM.  THESE “RULES” INCLUDE RIDING HIS BUMPER,  NOT DIMMING HEAD LIGHTS, CUTTING IN FRONT OF HIM TO TURN LEFT/RIGHT, DRIVING WAY TO FAST OR WAY TOO SLOW.  WEAVING IN AND OUT OF TRAFFIC TO END UP ONE CAR IN FRONT OF HIM AT THE STOP LIGHT.

HE HAS ACTUALLY GOTTEN OUT OF THE CAR AT A STOP LIGHT TO “ENLIGHTEN” THE IDIOT OF HIS  LUNACY .  I’VE DUCKED DOWN IN THE SEAT SO THAT I’LL NOT BE A WITNESS TO HIS BEING BATTERED, SHOT, OR ANY OTHER FORM OF BODILY HARM FROM THE NOW VERY IRATE DRIVER.  I KNOW THAT SOMEDAY I AM GOING TO BE THE VICTIM OF A RANDOM SHOOTING INSPIRED BY MY HUSBAND’S ANTICS.

OH, YES, I HAVE RANTED AND RAGED AT THIS “QUIRK” IN HIS PERSONALITY.  I’VE  POINTED OUT  THE FUTILITY OF IT ALL, THE DANGER OF IT, THE….(&&)*&()%$# OF IT, BUT TO NO AVAIL.  MY SOLUTION?  I GET INTO THE DRIVER SEAT BEFORE HE CAN.

YEARS BACK, I WAS A BIT CONCERNED THAT THIS TRAIT HAD BEEN INHERITED BY OUR DAUGHTER.  I SAW THIS RANDOM PICTURE OF A YOUNG WOMAN CAUGHT IN A FAMILIAR SITUATION AND THOUGHT OF LJ AND THE POEM SHE WROTE YEARS EARLIER WHEN LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE:  (TAKEN FROM LJ’S JOURNALS IN CHRONICLES OF LAURAJO)

 

road rage, angry woman

DRIVERS

BY

LauraJo Engebrecht

You blow your horn and cut me off
I want to swear and kick.
But being mad feels awfully bad
So I think on GOD a bit.

(First) I ask Him for a thunderbolt
To blow your car apart.

flaming car crash
Then thinking twice,I ask Him nice
For understanding in my heart.

So maybe if I knew just why
You act like such a jerk,
I’d trade the thunderbolt
For simply ice cubes down your shirt!

(LJE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DANDY THE LIONHEARTED

9047812-ridiculous-dandelion-on-a-black-background-the-dandelion-smiles

DANDY THE LIONHEARTED

BY

PAT ENGEBRECHT

 

 ONCE UPON A TIME

BEFORE THERE WAS TIME WHEN ALL WAS BLACK AND STILL IN THE VOID AND SILENCE ECHOED, AND ECHOED. NOTHING, BUT…WAIT!  WHAT IS THAT?  A TINY SMALL DOT OF TRANSLUCENT COLORGLOWING BLUE BALL APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE.  WHAT?

   GLOWING BLUE BALL

GLOWING BLUE BALL

IT BEGAN TO GROW AND DANCE IN AND OUT AND IN AND OUT.  IN THE SILENCE A SONG WAS BORN, A SONG OF LOVE.  WITH EACH THRUST AND NOTE THE BALL GREW BIGGER AND BRIGHTER, THE SONG LOUDER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL..THE WONDROUS BALL GREW AND GREW UNTIL, WHEN IT COULD CONTAIN ITSELF NO LONGER, IT BURST WITH A WILD EXPLOSION SENDING LIGHT, LOVE AND SONG THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

GLOWING BLUE BALL                                               EXPLODING BALL OF FIRE

 

ZAPS OF LIGHT: RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE AND PURPLE ZIGGED AND ZAGGED SINGING NOTES OF HARMONY, DANCING THROUGH AND ABOUT EACH OTHER.  THE GREAT BALL DID NOT DISAPPEAR BUT MERGED AND EMERGED WITH ALL THE OTHER LITTLE LIGHTS, SOME JAGGED AND BRIGHT, OTHERS FUZZY, GLOWING BALLS.

 

ALL THE UNIVERSE MOVED IN HARMONY, SWAYING AND ROLLING, A DANCE OF SPARKLING JOY.  AND THEN IT SEEMED THERE WERE WORDS TO THE MUSIC:  “DID YOU HEAR?  DID YOU HEAR?  WE’RE GOING TO EARTH TO BE, TO BE WHATEVER WE WANT TO BE.”

 

UNIVERSE

 

 

THE LIGHTS FLASHED, DARTED AND GLOWED AS THEY SANG, flowers images

 

 

 “FLOWERS, THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO BE!  THE GREAT  LIGHT SAID WE COULD, SAID WE SHOULD BE  WHATEVER WE  WANTED TO BE.”

HOW TO DECIDE?  MY OH MY…CHOICES FAR AND WIDE…THEY SIGHED.  FZZZT, LZZZT, PZZZT AND ZZZZT WARBLED AND WOBBLED IN CIRCLES AND SQUARES.  WHAT TO DO?  WHAT TO DO?  WHAT TO BE?

“I KNOW, WE’LL GO TO THE GREAT LIGHT FOR HELP.” FZZZT DECIDED.

“SHOULD WE?  COULD WE?”  PZZZT WHISPERED LOW.

“OF COURSE.  THE GREAT LIGHT’S THE SOURCE OF ALL THAT WE ARE, ALL THAT WE KNOW…LET’S GO!”  AND FZZZT FLASHED HIS LIGHT AND MADE A DASH AND ZAPPED RIGHT INTO THE GREAT LIGHT.  BEFORE PZZZT OR LZZZT OR EVEN ZZZZT COULD BLINK A RAY, FZZZT WAS BACK.

“WHAT DID HE SAY?  WHAT DID HE SAY?”

pink lily

I’M GOING TO BE A LILY, A LILY.  I’M GOING TO BE A LILY.  LILIES ARE BEAUTIFUL, WHITE, PINK AND ORANGE.  THEY STAND TALL AND PROUD.”  FZZZT WAS QUITE LOUD IN SINGING PRAISES OF LILIES.  “PEOPLE LOVE LILIES IN SPRING, SUMMER FALL.  LOVE, LOVE THAT’S WHAT LILIES ARE.”

“WELL, HERE GOES.”  AND LZZZT WAS OFF IN A FLASH OF A DASH, AND BACK ALL AGLOW.

“OH IT WAS SO HARD TO CHOOSE.  I COULD BE A PETUNIA   WITH FLOWERS LIKE TINY CUPS HOLDING DEW DROPS FOR HUMMING BIRDS TO DRINK, OR A MARIGOLD THAT GLOWS IN THE SUN, OR A HOLLYHOCK  STANDING TALL BY A FENCE, BUT I CHOSE A DAISY.

marigold

 

hummingbird-at-flower

daisy imageshollyhock 2

 

I’M GOING TO BE A DAISY BLOWING IN THE FIELDS ON THE SUMMER BREEZE, PETAL ALL WHITE WITH GOLDEN CENTERS.

GIRLS WEAR ME AS CROWNS IN THEIR HAIR WHEN THEY DANCE  AROUND     MAYPOLES IN SPRING.

CHILDREN MAYPOLE

LOVERS WILL DECIDE: ‘LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT’ WITH MY PETALS.  OH YES, IT’S ALL SETTLED.  I’M GOING TO BE A DAISY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PZZZT HUNG BACK, SHY AS COULD BE.  “I DON’T KNOW,” SHE HUGGED HER SPARKS CLOSE.

“DON’T BE SCARED, IT’S O.K.  YOU’LL SEE.  THE GREAT LIGHT WILL HELP YOU DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE.”

“YOU THINK?”  PZZZT’S VOICE TREMBLED, HER LIGHT SHUDDERED WITH FRIGHT.

“GO! GO!”  THEY ALL SHOUTED. PZZZZT  GLIMMERED AND GLOWED AND WITH A DEEP BREATH, DISAPPEARED INTO THE LIGHT.

“WELL?” THEY ALL SHOUTED EXCITED TO SEE PZZZT’S LIGHT WAS QUITE BRIGHT.

SHE DIPPED IN A CURTSY SO FULL OF PRIDE, “I’M GOBLEEDING HEARTING TO BE A BLEEDING HEART!” SHE CRIED.  “THEY GROW IN THE WOODS IN THE MOSS AND THE FERN.  THEY’RE LACY AND DAINTY, CREAMY WHITE/RED.  THEY GROW FOR LOVERS IT HAS BEEN SAID.”

 ALL THE LIGHTS DANCED IN CELEBRATION, GLOWED AND HUMMED IN CONGRATULATIONS.  ONE BY ONE THEY CHOSE TO BE  ROSES IN THE SUMMER.

 

 

rose

PANSIES IN THE SPRING

pansy

 

 

PRIMROSES, AND POPPIES, TULIPS GALORE, AND LILACS OF COURSE.

                                                                                                                         PRIMROSEEveningPrimrose-9707C

POPPIES

poppytulip 3LILACS                                                                            TULIPS

lilac2

 

AT LAST IT WAS ZZZZT’S TURN TO CHOOSE.  DIDN’T KNOW, DIDN’T KNOW, GLIMMERED AND GLOWED.  STARTED, THEN STUMBLED AND TUMBLED RIGHT INTO THE LIGHT. SO BRIGHT!

LAUGHING WITH SONG, ZZZZT DANCED BACK TO THE LIGHTS WHO WERE ALL FLASHING AND DASHING WAITING FOR HIM TO ANNOUNCE WHAT FLOWER HE’D BE.  HIS GLIMMER TURNED BRIGHTER WHILE ZZZZT ZIGGED AND ZAGGED.  “I’M GOING TO BE A DANDELION, A DANDELION, A DANDELION.  I’M GOING TO BE A DANDELION.”

dandelions_2994542                                                                                                          DANDELION

“OHHHH…”  THE NOTE HAD UNDERTONES ZZZZT HAD NOT HEARD.   A SIGH, NOT HAPPY AND GAY.  WHAT?  WHAT? WHAT DID HE SAY?

THE SIGH ECHOED AND ECHOED THROUGHOUT ALL CREATION.  PZZZT SLID CLOSE, THROBBING AND BOBBING TOUCHING ZZZZT MIXING IN AND OUT OF HIS LIGHT.  “HOW DID YOU CHOOSE? ARE YOU SURE, REALLY SURE YOU WANT TO BE…TO BE A DANDELION?”  HER LIGHT WAS QUITE DIM AS SHE CIRCLED HIM.

THE OTHER LIGHTS ECHOED, REECHOED THE QUESTION.  “ARE YOU SURE, REALLY SURE YOU

WANT TO BE…A DANDELION?        main_dandelion_th

 

“WHY NOT?  WHY NOT?” ZZZZT BUZZED AND CHURNED IN HIS AGITATION. DISAPPOINTED. HE WAS EXPECTING A SHOUT OF CELEBRATION.  “A DANDELION IS YELLOW AND BRIGHT.  FIRST COLOR OF SPRING.  A GLOWING SIGHT!”

“DOESN’T HE KNOW?  DOESN’T HE KNOW?” THE QUESTION ECHOED OVERSHADOWING THE HARMONY OF THE SONG.

“KNOW WHAT?  KNOW WHAT?” ZZZZT ZIGGED AND ZAGGED, HIS LIGHT GREW EDGY WITH SPARKS.

“SHALL WE TELL?  SHALL WE TELL?” THE OTHER LIGHTS BOBBED AND THROBBED WASHING AROUND ZZZZT LIKE A CLOUD.  “PEOPLE DON’T LIKE DANDELIONS!”  THEIR YELL WAS QUITE LOUD.  “DON’T! DON’T! DON’T!  THEY’LL DIG YOU UP OR SPRAY YOU AWAY.  ‘DANDELIONS ARE PESTS,’  THAT’S WHAT THEY SAY.  NOT OK! NOT OK!”

“OHHH,” ZZZZT’S LIGHT DIMMED, FADED ALMOST.  PZZZT FLEW BY MIXING HER ENERGY WITH HIS.

“WHAT DO YOU REALLY WISH TO BE, TO BE?” SHE WHISPERED QUITE LOW.

“I DON’T KNOW!  I DON’T KNOW!” ZZZZT’S LIGHT SPARKED AND CRACKLED IN HIS AGITATION PUSHING PZZZT’S ENERGY AWAY.  SHE HOVERED JUST OUTSIDE HIS FIERY SHOW OF SPARKS  WATCHING HIS COLORS BRIGHTEN AND DIM.

“WHY DON’T YOU ASK THE GREATLIGHT FOR ADVICE?  DANDELIONS JUST AREN’T VERY NICE.” PZZZT KEPT HER LIGHT DIM NOT WANTING TO FRIGHTEN HIM.

“YOU THINK I SHOULD?”  ZZZZT GREW PENSIVE GATHERING HIS LIGHT CLOSE.  “DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE ALRIGHT?  THE GREATLIGHT   WOULDN’T THINK I WAS SILLY OR BOLD?”

” YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID.  WE CAN  BE WHAT WE WANT TO BE.  THE GREATLIGHT INSISTS THAT WE CHOOSE.  HE’LL UNDERSTAND.   GO!  GO! GO!”  PSSST GAVE ZZZZT A GENTLE NUDGE.

HE SPUTTERED A BIT, DANCED UP AND BACK.  “BUT, BUT…”

“GO!” SHE BRUSHED HIM PUSHING HIM ON.  “SING THE SONG,” SHE ECHOED, “SING THE SONG.”

ZZZZT HESITATED BRIEFLY THEN SPARKED SUN 2jpgA GREAT SPARK AND PLUNGED HEAD LONG INTO THE GREATLIGHT.  TUMBLING AND STUMBLING HE ZIGGED TO A STOP IN MIDST OF A SONG MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN HE  DREAMED AND FELT A WARMTH THAT RAN UP HIS BEAM.

“WELL…” IT WAS ALMOST A PURR.  “HELLO, ZZZZT, BACK AGAIN?”

OHHH MY GOODNESS.  WHAT TO DO?  ZZZZT DIMMED HIS LIGHT SO NOT TO APPEAR BOLD. WHAT NOW? HE STUTTERED, “YOU SEE, SIR,”  HE DIMMED EVEN DIMMER.  “IT’S ABOUT GOING TO EARTH.  LIZZT’S GOING TO BE A LILY ALL PINK AND WHITE AND FZZZT’S GOING TO BE A DAISY AND…”  ZZZZT FLICKERED AND COULDN’T GO ON.

 

“YES,” HUMMED THE LIGHT, “FINE CHOICES I’D SAY.”

“BUT,” ZZZZT CONJURED UP ALL HIS ENERGY AND  BURST OUT, “I CHOSE A DANDELION.”  ZZZZT’S SPARKS FLEW.  “BUT THEY SAY, THEY SAY, NOBODY LIKES DANDELIONS, THEY SPADE THEM AWAY!  THEY DO? THEY DO?”

THERE HE’D SAID IT AND HIS LIGHT WAS QUITE DIM FROM ALL THE EFFORT IT HAD TAKEN HIM TO CONFESS HIS DISTRESS.  “IS IT TRUE?  IS IT TRUE?  MAYBE I SHOULD BE A LILY LIKE  LZZZT.  PEOPLE LOVE LILIES.”  OH ZZZZT WANTED TO DISSOLVE, TO FADE QUITE AWAY.  THE GREAT LIGHT WRAPPED AROUND HIM IN A WARM, SOOTHING RAY.

“YOU KNOW, ZZZZT, I ALWAYS WANT YOU TO BE WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO BE.  NOW DANDELIONS ARE QUITE WONDERFUL IN THEIR VERY OWN WAY.  I MADE THEM FOR CHILDREN WHO girl-with-dandelion-silhouette_23-2147499339LOVE TO BLOW THEIR LIGHT AIRY GLOBES SPREADING SEEDS ON DOWNY GOOD WISHES.

I MADE THEM FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE ZESTY DISHES,dandelion-salad-14880938

AND A DELICATE WINE FROM THEIR GOLDEN BLOSSOMS.

DANDELIONS MUST BE STRONG AND DETERMINED YOU KNOW.”

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

THE GREATLIGHT CONTINUED TO STROKE ZZZZT’S SPARKS.  “DANDELIONS HAVE VERY LONG ROOTS TO SEE THEM THROUGH DROUGHTS, BLIZZARDS AND FROM SHOVELS AND HOES FOR YOU ARE RIGHT, MANY FOLKS LOOK ON DANDELIONS AS A BLIGHT, AND WILL DO ALL THEY CAN  TO PURGE THEM FROM SIGHT.

NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A DANDELION, ZZZZT.  IT TAKES COURAGE AND PLUCK, IT TAKES DETERMINATION NOT TO GET STUCK IN BELIEVING ALL THE TALES YOU WILL HEAR.  I HOPE IT’S DELIGHT AND NOT FEAR THAT YOU’LL FEEL IN BEING A DANDELION.”  THE GEATLIGHT’S VOICE WAS FULL OF CONCERN AS HE CONTINUED TO  CARESS LITTLE ZZZZT’ SPARKS.  “YOU LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU DECIDE.”

 

 

“YOU LOVE DANDELIONS?”  ZZZZT’S QUESTION WAS LOW, ALMOST A WHISPER.  “WILL I HAVE THE COURAGE IT TAKES TO BE?  IF ONLY YOU COULD COME BE A DANDELION WITH ME.”  ZZZZT DIMMED IN HIS YEARNING.

“LOVE YOU?  OF COURSE!  AND ZZZZT I’LL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU, YOU’RE PART OF ME.”

“YOU’LL BE WITH ME WAY DOWN ON EARTH?”

“YES.”

ZZZZT DID A FLIP, WHIPPED IN AND OUT.  GONE WAS ALL OF HIS DOUBT.  “WELL, YIPPEE!  DANDELIONS, YOU AND ME!”

“WELL…”

ZZZZT LANDED WITH A SPLAT.  HE DIDN’T LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT “WELL…”  IT WAS AS IF THE GREATLIGHT HAD SIGHED.  “IT MAY NOT BE AS SIMPLE AS THAT.  I’LL BE THERE WITH YOU, BUT YOU WON’T KNOW BECAUSE I WON’T SHOW AND YOU WON’T REMEMBER ME.”

“REMEMBER?”  ZZZZT TREMBLED AND SPARKED.  “REMEMBER?  HOW COULD I FORGET?”

“YOU’LL BE SO BUSY BEING A DANDELION, ZZZZT.  A BEAUTIFUL, GOLDEN DANDELION.  IT WILL TAKE ALL YOUR TIME, ALL YOUR REASON AND RHYME.

“BUT YOU SAID YOU’D BE WITH ME.”

“AND THAT I WILL, AND WHEN YOU ARE  VERY, VERY STILL, WHEN THE SUN’S MORNING RAYS BRUSH YOUR GOLDENNESS, YOU’LL FEEL ME DEEP INSIDE.  THAT’S WHERE I RESIDE IN EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.  WE ARE ALWAYS TOGETHER.”

sunburst-dandelion_2568286

 

“AND I CAN COME BACK, BACK HERE WITH YOU?”

THE GREATLIGHT RUBBED LITTLE ZZZZT’S SPARK.  “LIKE I SAID, WE ARE ONE, YOU AND I FOREVER AND EVER.  NOW YOU RUN ALONG, YOU’LL BE A GREAT DANDELION, YOU’RE VERY CLEVER.

ZZZZT SPARKLED AND WHIZZED IN DELIGHT THEN DARTED FROM WITHIN THE GREATLIGHT.

HIS FRIENDS DANCED AROUND HIM CHANTING IN SONG, “WHAT WILL YOU BE? BE? BE?”  THE MELODY ECHOED THROUGHOUT ALL SPACE.  DID YOU CHOOSE AGAIN, AGAIN?”

“NO!” ZZZZT SPARKED HIS BRIGHTEST.

“OH?  NO?”

‘I’M GOING TO BE A DANDELION!”

AND ZZZZT  SHOT UP IN THE AIR IN A GREAT EXALTATION!

dandelion-umbrella_21239982

THE END

 

***ALL PICTURES WERE TAKEN FROM THE INTERNET.

 

 

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Freedom

image073

Freedom

By

LauraJo

 

The captured eagle

Shall be free

On winds uplifted

O’er the sea,

On loves light wings

She’ll rise and soar

Returning to earth

Nevermore.

 

Mourn not her absence,

Meant to be,

Look to the heavens

You will see

Her waiting there

To ease your way

Turning darkness

To light of day.

 

ONCE UPON A TIME

KNOCK KNOCK

KNOCK KNOCK

 

PRINCESS CROWNBIRD

By

PAT ENGEBRECHT

 

KNOCK KNOCK

 

“WHO’S THERE?”

“PRINCESS CROWNBIRD.”

“WHO?”

“PRINCESS CROWNBIRD.  YOU’LL

 

“THINK I’M REALLY COOL

WITH A CROWN TO PROVE IT,

I REALLY GROOVE IT.”

 

“WHAT DO YOU DO?’

 

“I LAY GOLDEN EGGS THAT

SHIMMER AND GLIMMER.”

“ARE THEY ANY GOOD FOR DINNER?”

 

“OF COURSE NOT.  THEY ARE  TO SPEND.”

“AND WHAT DO THEY BUY?”

CROWNBIRD LET OUT A SIGH.

 

JUST AS I THOUGHT,

MY TRIP IS FOR NAUGHT.

NO IMAGINATION IN

HER LITTLE HEAD.

 

“YOU BUY MIRACLES AND SPREAD

GOOD WILL TO ALL THAT YOU MEET

BY GIVING THEM MY EGGS,

 

“NOT TO EAT!

THEY MAKE THEIR WISHES COMPLETE,

 

“BUT ONLY IF YOU GIVE THEM AWAY.”

“YOU MEAN I CAN’T KEEP THEM

FOR MY VERY OWN?”

 

“OF COURSE NOT THEY ARE ONLY ON LOAN.

THEY’RE ONLY GOOD IF YOU SHARE,

SO BEWARE,

 

“IF YOU KEEP THEM UNDER THE BED

THEY TURN TO LEAD,

AND BEGIN TO SMELL…

“PEEYEWWW.”

 

“CARING AND SHARING IS WHAT

WE CROWNBIRDS DO

AND WE DEPEND ON YOU

 

“TO HELP US SPREAD THE WORD

AND DO GOOD.”

PRINCESS CROWNBIRD SNEEZED,

“NOW OPEN THE DOOR, PLEEZZZE.”

 

SIGNED:  PRINCESS CROWNBIRD

FOR PRINCE CROWNBIRDS DO NOT LAY EGGS.

                                                                                     This poem was written for Miss Evie, age 9

 

 

 

 

LIFE, WHAT’S THE POINT?

 

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SL_Us5crR6k/Td_rWoly3SI/AAAAAAAAAMo/kVOVOUyBVLM/s1600/sunrise+%25282%2529.jpg

I LOVE MYSELF, I LOVE MY SOUL

I TOOK MYSELF TO THE PICTURE SHOW

I PUT MY ARMS AROUND MY WAIST,

I GOT SO FRESH I SLAPPED MY FACE.

 

WOW!  LIFE IN FOUR LINES:  SELF LOVE, IMMORTALITY, ESCAPE, SEX, VIOLENCE

LIFE: The above little ditty is one that we chanted as kids which made us giggle, little knowing the words described it all. With the passing years each of us experience the pathos, the joy, the pain, mental and physical.  If we are lucky, we enter the “Golden Years.”   Aging is a wonderful thing.  Think of the alternative.  So here I am in the final decade of my life (according to statistics) still asking the same questions that I started asking when I finally got old enough to realize that I was not the center of creation and some very unpleasant things were happening to me. I wanted to know WHY?    Why me?  Well, let me tell you, all through my life I’ve had this ugly turkey buzzard sitting on my shoulder that squawks at me things like,WHY NOT?”  Or if I start to criticize my friends or husband it pipes up with, AND YOU’RE SO PERFECT!”  No sympathy at all.  So my question has turned from, “Why me?” to “What’s the point?”  Life.

CREATION

Cane killing able

Obviously God must have hiccuped, for somehow a “war gene” has slipped into that mud in creation...why else would Cain kill Able?  Why else Genghis Kahn?  Hitler?  And then in our wonderful country, The United States of America,  Democracy” was born and the “common man” rose to power.  Things were going to change–no more corruption, no more wars, no more–ooops. Every man was going to have an equal chance,  one man, one vote–that is if you were white.  The blacks complained.  Oh all right let’s let them vote Women?  Good grief, what do they know?  Recently I complained to my husband about how politics had gone to hell in a hand basket,  Washington was broken,  our wonderful elected officials were on the “dole” from lobbyists working for  big corporations sanctified by “Citizens United” and now we have the best government  money can buy.  Along came Obama and I was proud of us…the distance we have traveled from the Civil War, the Klu Klux Clan…Low and behold, a black man at the helm…but…oh dear.  The Republicans (of which I am a registered member) decided to show that “upstart!  To Hell with the country…they just decided to say “NO!  Blocked him at every turn…breaking the law does not bother them even refusing Obama  his  constitutional right of selecting a #Supreme Court judge for consideration.  And now we are faced with The Donald!   Donald Trump about to win the Republican nomination  to run for President of this great nation which was founded on religious freedom…Donald seems to disagree…Muslim?  Uh Uh…back to your own country.  Mexican?  Immigrant?  Sorry…not enough jobs for you.  Hillary for the Democrats?  “Not a Clinton, not a Bush!”  is my husband’s mantra.  Could a woman do worse?  Baggage…e mails, Benghazi,  but…mostly being female.  We are still waiting to have equal rights…never passed.       

Perhaps my cynicism  comes with age, or is it knowledge?  You know what they say:  “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”  Well, I’m no Whiz Kid but after watching the movie, #The Conspiracy produced by Robert Redford.  I began to realize that our “Land of the Free Home of the Brave”  was not ever what I thought it was.    The ink wasn’t dry on that esteemed document (the Constitution) when #President Lincoln was assassinated.  President Johnson teamed up with Stanton, Secretary of War,  and #Mary Surratt was railroaded to become the first woman ever to be hanged by the U.S. Government.    According to Johnson,  “She feathered the nest that hatched the egg…”  Stanton?  He was convinced that Mary had to hang to “Save the Union.”  This was accomplished by  every conniving act that could be used to railroad Mary who owned the boarding house where John Booth and  her son with others plotted to avenge the South.  She was tried in a military court.  Illegal.  Her appointed lawyer, Aiken,  had no experience.  The last minute attempt to save Mary’s life by Aiken with a writ of #Habeascorpus obtained from Judge Wylie in the middle of the night and presented to President Johnson who overrode its authority and told the court to “proceed” with the execution.

My outrage left me sputtering.  “Ah, just a movie, don’t believe all you see,”  my husband scoffed.   Thus I started a bit of research.  Fact after fact from the movie proved true. The  critics of Conspiracy  found little to criticize regarding the facts presented in Redford’s movie, so  satisfied themselves by pointing to erroneous depiction of superficial details, of lighting, hair styles, beards, etc.

Mary Surratt’s son, the proven spy, was later acquitted (hung jury) when tried by a civilian court.   Today’s politics?  Business as usual which brings me back to my question, “What’s the point?”  Life.

gallows     See full details of Mary Surratt’s trial in the archives of this blog.

My solution?  Turn off the television, delete Twitter, Facebook, all the rest of the social media,  walk the beach and collect my shells.  Quitter?  If you say so, but I have only a few  years left according to the life-expectancy tables, and I would like to spend them with Baby Girl,  my adorable little Shih Tzu that we rescued from the local animal shelter,  and my “forgiving” husband of sixty years.  I’m putting the quest to “know” the unknowable to rest, and plan to stop giving advice to my two sons, their wives and my nine grandchildren!  They  should be so lucky.  I can see their eyes rolling in their heads as I type these words.

#MEDITATION

 

As things go my husband and I have been very healthy, but with age comes the creaking joints, insomnia, skin cancer, prostate problems (him, not me) and since Obama Care you begin to look into health care costs.  You take more vitamins, listen more closely to holistic gurus who tell you that doctors are killing you with all their drugs that come with a list of life-threatening side effects more lethal than the benefits you are seeking.  Their advice:  Send away for their pills, and…maybe,  #Meditate.    

Today even the professional medical people are beginning to agree that there is a connection between healing and meditating.  Of course Big Pharma says it’s all “balderdash”  that all we need to do to stay/get  well is to take a pill.  The surgeons swear by the scalpel,  the religious folk by #prayer.

I first tried meditation some forty years ago.  Paid my $75.  Memorized  my #MANTRA, came home, fixed up my “special place”  in the den near the fireplace, settled my tush into my over–sized pillow, closed my eyes, touched forefinger to thumb, breathed deeply, and began to chant.  I tried to ignore Fred’s (our white, undersized sheep dog) whining.  Continued my chanting.  The whining turned into a nose under my elbow pushing my arm upward.

“Enough, Fred!”  I escorted him from the den into the laundry room, slammed the door and went back to my cushion, resettled  myself and started over.  A few minutes passed before the barking and scratching began.  I tried to shut it out…chanted louder, the barking grew in intensity.  The knot in my gut hardly resembled the peace and tranquility meditation was supposed to create.  I let Fred out of he laundry room.   He came in and settled himself on the rug in front of the fire.

I picked up my cushion, went upstairs to me daughter’s bedroom, climbed up the ladder to the loft, settled in and began to chant, softly this time so not to disturb Fred.  I was really beginning to feel myself relax, going deeper and deeper and then the wine, and the scratching.  I ignored it.  Breathed deeper, chanted louder until I was almost shouting over the whining that had turned to barking.  I crawled over to the edge of the loft and looked down.  There was Fred almost two rungs up the ladder clinging with his front paws.

This is going to work.  I’m sitting in the car in the garage, the temperature outside is 20 degrees.  I’m dressed in my warmest ski jacket, woolen hat, ski gloves.  My breath makes little puffs settling on the windshield, fogging it.  I start my breathing, chanting.  My toes are numb, my nose is dripping and all I can see behind my closed lids is Fred lying on the rug in front of the fire.   My other attempts at meditating over the years  have proved as futile.

Fred "Got it"

Life’s question, “What’s the point?” still echoes.  I’ve taken to reading some of the many miracle cures boasted on the internet.  Self diagnosing.  You’d be surprised at the number of ailments I have discovered.  Like Madigan, our favorite women comedian who doesn’t worry about ghosts, Daracula, or the latest villain, she is horrified by the mole on her wrist that has changed color and increased in size.  Not that is frightening.   I read the various health newsletter with their claims guaranteeing to cure diabetes in two weeks, to end your tinnitus (ringing in the ear) with a simple…I’m really into it, I turn the page.  For $25.00  they will send you the full report.  ‘Miracle Cures ‘ one for every ailment.    My late father-in-law, a doctor,  once told me , “I have never cured anyone,”  I’ve held their hand until they cured themselves.”  Hmmm, I thought.  Could it actually be that simple?

Gary Zukav,  in his best-selling book, #THE SEAT OF THE SOUL, presents an interesting connection between the soul and the personality (ego?).  Refers to our  “Earth School,”  the purpose of our existence, the intangible connections between matter and energy, reincarnation, science and soul, cure and healing.   I, being very simple minded, recall the words to a tune: “..I  whistle a happy tune, and the happiness in that tune, convinces me that I’m not afraid.”    Does it?  

Mind over matter.  Of course, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  Sounds simple enough.  We scoff and go on with our daily trivia that makes up our lives getting  jealous, angry, laughing, crying.  And try as I may, I can’t help myself, the question I swore to give up lingers. “What’s the point?”

“Is this all there is?”  Peggy Lee sings a mournful tune.    The words echo.  Is it enough?  Does there need to be a purpose to life?

“May the Force be with you.”  George W. Lucas, Jr., Star Wars  (the following meditation is taken from the book,  LIFE MEDITATIONS,  by Edward J. Lavin, S.J.

THE SOUL HEALS   and science cures.  This new distinction between #healing and #curing is not so easy to understand, but it is easy enough to experience.  The intricate numbers and endless repetitions of science create giant scalpels and almost magical potions to destroy the dark diseases within us.  A friend of mine has one hundred and fifty stitches in his abdomen to remind him of the skill of the surgeon who removed the cancer there.  He receives a shot every month to prevent any recurrence.  Miraculous!  but there are other things that can only be healed by the warm, powerful energies of his soul. ” INTIMATION OF MORTALITY,”  examinations of life, powerful feelings of loss––all these were made well by the light generated in his soul.   But––and this is the new question––can the light and energy of the soul help in the cure, not just in the healing?  Many medical people think it can.  A loving hand and a balance of the soul can affect the cells of the body.  In many places meditation has become an acceptable and a recommended part of the cure.  

Dictionary:  

CURE: Verb.   To relieve person of the symptoms of a disease…to solve a problem.   Noun:  A solution to a problem,  a treatment that cures a disease.

HEAL: Verb.  to become sound or healthy again.  alleviate…time can heal the pain of grief.  Noun.  The process of making or becoming sound or                                   healthy again.     Such a subtle difference.

PRAYER

praying     When we were children, we prayed as children:  “Now I lay me down to sleep.  I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.  They were words.  If we understood them as a child, we may have been so frightened about the chance of dieing in our sleep,  that we wouldn’t ever want to go to sleep.  As our favorite comedian explains about her parents.  “They’re always up.  No matter when, what time I call, one of them is up.  Having trouble sleeping, Mom?” I ask her, “Have you tried medication?”

“Well, now that’s the thing, Kathleen,  you always read of someone dying in their sleep, you never read that they died in their nap.  Your dad and I nap a lot. ”  They finally understood the words. Now, at the ripe old age of almost 80, I pray the same words as when I was a child, “If I should die before I wake…” with my fingers crossed hoping that maybe I’ll be so lucky.

Our family did not practice any one particular religion.  We raised our children simply:  DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.  It seems to me that pretty well covers it.  When our sons married, they each married into religious families; one a very fundamental believers in the Bible and its teachings, the other very devout Catholics.  Each son grew comfortable, even enthusiastic in the religions of their wives.  I smiled at my husband, “What a gift we gave them.”  He looked at me quizzically.  “Just think, no conflict.  They don’t have to ‘give up’ their beliefs.”  Each has learned to pray in the way of their adopted church.  How do we handle our diversity:  One Agnostic (me), one Realist, (Ron) the Catholic family and the Fundamentalist family. We  made a few changes.   When gathered for a meal, the Catholic family say their grace, and we all end with five “Amens” the last one most enthusiastic.  Why five?  For the five great religions.  This way we have all possibilities covered.

I do not make light of Prayer. Our sons, like many people swear by it.  When and how do they pray?  I’m sure I do not understand the intricacies of  the different religions.  I remember I used to envy my Catholic friends with their Rosary.  Seemed it was like a bank book…so many “Hail Mary’s” got you out of hell for lying, cheating, and…well we won’t go into that.  Do you have to belong to church to pray?  Are there certain words, rituals or can we all create our own simple words of thanksgiving, seek intervention, forgiveness, love?  Be Still and Know That I am God.   Are meditation and prayer the same?  An attitude of gratitude has been my mantra.  Is that prayer?  Another prayer familiar to most of us:  The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want…wait! Here we go again.   Does that mean I don’t want him to be my shepherd?  Or does that mean because he’s my shepherd I will not ever be without the things I want?  When you learn these words, they are meaningless.  When do we start listening to them?  Analyzing them, agreeing or disagreeing with them?  Belief seems to be the key ingredient.  If you believe strongly enough, so the saying goes, “All things are possible.”  I envy people with that overwhelming faith, a faith that never wavers.  It is not that they are problem free, but they have the courage to deal with adversity, accept what comes their way growing stronger with each challenge relying on the wisdom of the great provider.

Deep9009PRAYER

There are days when I can’t find my card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIRACLES???

 

cloud angel

Cloud Angel

(Photo by Nicolas Raymond)

Scan 2

AN ORDINARY CHRISTMAS CARD???

I pulled the Christmas cards from the mail box not paying a lot of attention to them–multiple colored envelopes, some hand written, some stamped.  This one caught my eye.  I noticed it was from my sister, Bev who just turned 84 and has been known to get things mixed up now and then.  So?  The address on this card is where we lived FOURTEEN years ago. Yes, I have written to her, called her the past years–she has even visited us here on Tidy.  The envelope showed no  “return to sender”, no “forward to” with our present address.  Nothing but the address written as shown.

How many hands did this card go through from its Arizona launch?  How many wings flew it across country? How many people/machines sorted it?  How did it get onto the right truck to be delivered to Tidy Island?

Computer wizardry?  White pages?  Of course, but why wasn’t there the usual change–of-address  sticker applied by the kind person who took the time to find us so that  the next person handling it would know/or the machine would know, or…ahhh, sticker probably fell off.  I examined the letter closely, no tell tale sign of dried glue.

I’m a sucker for “miracles.”  Had a lot of them in my life so this is my Christmas Miracle.  By the way, I’ve written to my sister, Bev, in LARGE FONT to update her address book, and for you who don’t believe in miracles, never, I mean NEVER complain about the inefficiency of the U.S. Post Office.

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