Thank You for the Woman With Talking Eyes

•November 24, 2016 • 10 Comments

When I was nine years old, a woman came to our door with a large box of food the day before Thanksgiving.

She was a petite, kind looking woman in a navy blue coat. She had no idea what she was in for when she traipsed through the Michigan snow to knock on our door.

My mother, a paranoid schizophrenic, just happened to be having one of her episodes when this gentle woman came to our door on her mission to contribute to Humanity.

“What the Hell do you want?” My mother was not used to people knocking on our door.

Nor were her four children who stood in the background, peering through the doorway at the woman carrying a much needed box of food that appeared bigger than her.

“Mrs. Kelley, we were told by the school that your family might enjoy this Thanksgiving box and I’d like to leave it for you and your children.” The woman stepped back from the door a couple inches.

My mother yelled at the woman, “Who the Hell told you we needed charity? I don’t want anybody’s Goddamn charity! You can take that back where you got it and go piss up a rope!”

My three younger brothers and I remained quiet in the back ground as we had learned better than to contradict anything my mother said when she was like this. Our hearts sank as we had no food in the house for three days and this beautiful woman was being admonished for being our hero.

I stared at the woman’s face peeking through the space between the door jamb and my mother’s shoulder. She was trying to make eye contact with me.

She looked down at the box of food and then at me as my mother continued her threatening posture and paranoid rant a couple feet away from the woman’s bravery.

“You can all go to Hell! I don’t want anything from any of you! You just want me to kiss your ass! I’m not going to do it! Get the hell outta here!”

I sensed the woman was trying to tell me something as she responded to my mother’s paranoid accusations.

“Okay, Mrs. Kelley, I understand. There was probably a mistake. I’ll just take this to a family who might need it. I am so sorry to have bothered you. This is a lovely porch.”

She looked at me directly in the eyes and again at the food box and then to the porch next to the door.

I got it.

She said good bye. My mother slammed the door and went to her room mumbling about charity.

My younger brothers looked confused when I waited for a few minutes to make sure my mother was going to stay in her room and then went back to the door.

“She’s already gone, Lea. It’s too late.” one of them whispered.

I quietly opened the door and looked at the place on the porch next to it.

The box was there!

I made the best Thanksgiving dinner a nine year old can make out of canned goods and my mother came out to eat with us as though she had no idea how the food got there.

To that lovely woman in Midland, Michigan:

Who ever you are, where ever you are now, I will always remember your talking eyes.

Thank you.

and…


Thank you for Eating Crow with Humble Pie for dessert (but I’m full)

•November 10, 2016 • 5 Comments

Dignity is defined as “the state of being worthy of honor or respect”.

Human Dignity is used to signify that all human beings possess inherent worth and deserve unconditional respect, regardless of differences among us.

We, as Americans seem to bounce from indignity to indignity.

We try, but we just can’t seem to get it right.

There is always some kind of victim in the wake of our historical and social development.

It is becoming embarrassing that we live with, and tolerate injustices toward each other and accept as authorities those who would humiliate us and strangle our sense of fairness and what we know is right as human beings.

Even as we are still eating (Jim) Crow over the travesties we have committed in our brief history by enslaving one people (African Americans) while usurping the land of another people (Native Americans), we now prepare our dessert.

“Humble pie” was considered inferior food, in medieval times.

The pie was often served to lower-class people and was originally called “Umbal” pie. It consisted of liver, heart and otherwise undesirable cast offs from any beast eaten by the wealthier class.

Evidently, Poverty is the new Black.

We continue to treat the poor (of all races) as though they were separate from us, as though they should somehow rise above their station and join those who do not sit in waiting rooms, submitting to scrutiny of their lives to feed their children.

We keep them standing in lines at low income housing, food banks, and the few overcrowded medical clinics that will accept them.

We segregate them from blatant view by insulating ourselves with the ridiculous notion that they have every opportunity to alleviate their own plight.

It is apparent that humiliating one another has woven it’s way into acceptability as a permanent attribute of our culture.

Not only have we oppressed and humiliated ourselves, our own, but now we have been so numbed by the prevalence of a lack of dignity, that we don’t even balk when we are required to strip to our underwear at an airport or submit to searches, surveillance, inspection, and  herding of humans into the slaughterhouse of our dignity.

We have expanded our menu.

Evidently, acquiescence is the new Patriotism.

Patriotism:  A pride in one’s culture or nation.

The implication of such devotion to a “fatherland” that one is willing to even sacrifice one’s life for the ideals that it stands for.

Sacrificing our humanity by humiliating others, naming them the lessor, the other, the enemy, the evil, or any other term that inches us toward idiocy so we can build a selective economic empire on their suffering and loss of dignity is just too much to swallow anymore.

I am full up to here with Crow and I would like to skip dessert, if you don’t mind.

Thank you for Gabriel

•September 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

When I think of the name Gabriel I am reminded of stories about the angel, Gabriel, who served as a messenger from God to various people.

In my child bearing years, I said, “If I ever had a son, I would name him Gabriel.”

That was decades ago and I never did birth a son, but last year I met one.

We are the children of one another, and we are a parent to one another (we are all apparent to one another, if we look).

I met Gabriel (an exchange student) in a classroom and we have been friends in learning for over a year. He is a young person who is extraordinary at seeing life through the lens of a seeker and sharing what he sees.

We email back and forth, as he has moved back to Brazil since we met, to share our thoughts and viewpoints about Humanity, spirituality, and random revelations on evolving consciousness here on Earth.

While I am old enough to be Gabriel’s mother, or even grandmother, he frequently teaches me about living authentically and exploring the world with the enthusiasm and the sincerity of youth.

Gabriel reminds me that being alive is an endeavor of magic and inquiry about our own nature. He is a messenger with an exceptional ability to reflect his thoughts through a mirror of contemplation and compassion.

I am always delighted to see young people who demonstrate depth and true thoughtfulness in the world. It inspires me, and encourages me to be hopeful about the future of humans, and grateful for the ones who contribute to their evolution.

Thank you for Gabriel, a true messenger and child of the Universe.

 

who we are.jpg

Thank You for Things We’re Allowed to Take Without Asking

•August 5, 2016 • 9 Comments

(and not be stealing)

a breath

advice

a hint

a shower

a minute

a break

a memo

a photo of a landscape

a vow

responsibility

a compliment

a powder

a stand or action against injustices

the cake

pity on the soul of…

it easy

another little piece of my heart, now baby

care

a bite (if it’s your plate)

a look around

command of a situation

our time

a risk

a walk

it or leave it

the hand of a loved one

the trash out

a nap

a closer look at ourselves

turns

a bow

pride in an accomplishment

home a doggy bag

charge of our own lives

There now, take that!

Thank you for Walking The Good Red Road

•May 30, 2016 • 5 Comments

The expression The Good Red Road originated in Native American tribes to represent one who is walking the road of balance, living right and following the rules of the Creator.

Some basic rules of the Road:

1. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

2. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.

3. Do not take what is not yours. Whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours. You cannot enjoy what it not yours.

4. Respect all things that are placed upon this Earth.

5. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if only you speak.

6. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or mimic them. Allow each person the right to a freedom of opinion. Respect that opinion.

7. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.

8. All persons make mistakes. No matter how small or how large the mistake is, it can still be forgiven.

9. Bad thoughts cause illness of the spirit, the mind and the body. Keep bad thoughts at bay. Practice optimism.

10. Nature is not for us, it is a part of us. Treat all natural beings as members of your family.

11. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, allow them find their own place.

12. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual Self, Emotional Self and Physical self all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body, to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.

13. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.

14. Treat the elders as special gems – their wisdom will shine.

15. Be true to yourself first.

red road

photo by me

Thank you for Deliberating the Intent of the In Tense

•May 18, 2016 • 3 Comments

There are few things more emotionally bruising than not being understood or feeling misjudged through the eyes of someone else’s presumptions.

A person’s intent is not always apparent in their actions.

Sometimes a person’s intent is not even apparent to them, let alone to anyone else.

There are so many unspoken rules to social interactions.

There are so many pitfalls that can send us reeling into hurt feelings, defensive postures, and deemed rejection or indignities.

A lot of minutes are wasted asking ourselves questions about what someone else meant or speculating on the intentions of others instead of using our out loud voice for clarification when we need it.

Why is it so hard to say “Can you explain what you mean by that?”

Why do we assume the intent of another as if we are supposed to know everything there is to know about the mechanics of their mind?

Granted, there are times when it is best to say nothing at all or to let verbal mishaps slip away into error and delete justification.

But other than a slip of the toungue or a forgivible brain fart, we are accountable for our interactions with other human beings—on both the giving and the recieving end.

The cruelest and most arrogant of contentious behaviors is passive aggressive.

To carry around a resentment over a perceived insult without deliberating on the intent with the presenter is like transporting an open jar of rattlesnake venom on a bumpy road.  It can’t really be contained. It’s gonna spill all over everybody.

I know some people don’t feel comfortable clarifying in a converstion.

It may feel too much like confrontation or look like ignorance.

Maybe some folks think it takes too much time to ask a question before they formulate an opinion or come to a conclusion.

I can’t know.

But I am thankful for those who ask questions when they don’t understand me, who deliberate on wether my words are deliberate or not.

Sometimes I get a little intense and stuck in the IN Tense but it does not always reveal my intent.

I am still working on my language development skills.

Thanks for listening, but thanks even more for speaking up if you don’t understand.

I need the practice.

.

Thank you for Dandelions

•May 9, 2016 • 1 Comment

Not everyone gets to be a movie star, a great scientist, a tzar, or a specialist in some field that changes the world in the eyes of their peers.
Here in the “garden” there are many flowers; rare orchids, blue blood roses, shrinking violets, heirloom varieties, fragile stems with showy petals, and once in a while—usually in an alley somewhere in Detroit or a dark rest area on the road to nowhere—venus flytraps.

But today I am thankful for dandelions. We call them weeds.
Dandelions are common laborers, survivors, migrants, quick to take root in all the wrong places, getting ripped up and discarded into compost piles and mowed down by special landscapers who think beauty is a contrived walkway to a pristine palace.

No matter how we try to rid our culture of dandelions, they will always return. They will pop up in manicured lawns, create cracks in smooth side walks to poke their cheerful little heads through, and take over entire fields overnight. They are the ultimate in representing survival.

Dandelions don’t know they are not supposed to cross boundaries. They have no care for superficial esthetics or territory marked “elite”. Dandelions are the ones that we can count on to bring color to our world in environments where others would wilt and die. They are worthy of our respect and appreciation.

But even dandelions must abide by the cycles of life. They root, they bloom, they seed, and they let go of the present, to ride breezes into the future. It is the way of all things, this cycle.
But at least dandelions are cheerful while they are here.

Thank you for Human Voice

•May 4, 2016 • 2 Comments

Vox Humanus. The human voice.

As a person who has spent a great deal of time alone in silence, I can say there is barely such a thing as silence. Even in the middle of the Nevada desert surrounded by miles of nothing and stars I have heard my own heartbeat and the blood rushing into my ears in an effort to find a sound to assimilate.

Sometimes while I am in “silence” I hear my mothers voice, the voices of my friends (even the ones who are not on Earth anymore), my own voice in my head to fill the void. These voices are merely generated by my own thoughts and associations with others. The human voice is very powerful. It penetrates the voice of silence like nothing else can. The vibration of a human voice travels in a way that causes other sounds to become background noise.

When I miss people, I miss their voice. When I fall in love, it is the voice that opens my heart. When I hurt, it is the voice of my friends that soothe me. When I listen to a song, the voice pushes through the music to touch me.

I am primarily a visual person, but the human voice can connect me to feelings and pull me out of isolation and busy brainiac endeavors like no other sound. I am thankful for the human voice.

My Photo of “A voice in the desert”

Thank You for All the Roads to Here

•May 11, 2016 • 2 Comments

There is no There, only Here.

Every time I try to get there, I end up here.

Interestingly, everyone else ends up here too.

It does not seem so crowded as one would imagine.

Sometimes I think too much.

I think about Where I am going, with a capital W.

Will I get there?

What happens when I get There.

I’ll tell you what happens…

I end up here without a capital T.

I have done a lot of traveling, all over the physical world, far away to the imagination world, and deep into the tiny dark corners of my own internal world.

I have been to Here and back.

All roads do NOT lead to Rome.

They lead to Here.

I am thankful to be Here today.

And I am very thankful you are here with me.