Merry Eostre


So my dear and diverse readers in blogging land, I’m going to diverge from my normal protocol (well mostly) and stick my toe into the potentially controversial topic of religion.

Today as most of you know is Easter here in the US. And some of you may also know, because I have mentioned on my blog before, I am not Christian– although I do tend to be a very spiritual (and respectful) person. But there is one thing that I have found over the years perplexing (and maybe slightly tiresome) that I’m going to put out to you all.

Why do people–like almost everybody I bump into–feel compelled to wish me a Happy Easter and assume this has meaning to me? This has been going on for days leading up to today and each time I hear it, I just wonder what they think when they say it. Do they think that I too am Christian and celebrate this particular holiday or is it just something to say instead of: gee, it’s a nice day out?

To me it would seem the more appropriate thing to say might be: Do you celebrate Easter? And then this might open a conversation. Or they could even discuss their Easter plans and say: What a great day for Easter. Then it leaves the other person open to speak of their plans if they have any, or just listen if they don’t.

If someone is a completely different religion, say Jewish, wishing them a Happy Easter, is not particularly relevant to them. At Christmas time these phrases (Merry Christmas!!) happen too, although folks seem sometimes to be a bit more aware and sometimes offer a ‘Happy Holidays’ just in case.

I understand that people aren’t trying to be rude or anything, but it’s more about awareness of ones interactions with people and who they might be. Like the adage: don’t assume. Just because you believe something and it has meaning to you, doesn’t mean it does to someone else (even if it has meaning to a large population). It’s maybe not a big thing really. Just a small politeness. A tiny way to say: hey, I’m me, but maybe you’re you and it’s OK. We can all live here together with our own beliefs, traditions and truths. A way to keep trying to connect our world on a more individual level and not lump everyone into a category. Maybe if we tried this and took the time to get to know each person we met rather than treat them as a reflection of our own insecurities, there wouldn’t be so much hate and fear.

So what if I said to you: Merry Eostre. What would you say and how would you feel? Would you take the time it hear what it means to me? Or will you remain in your own story till the end…??

I hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Sunday.

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Poem: Maybe Then


There are times when 

Taking off our skin

Or 

Burying face down 

Is what is called for

Even when the gravitational pull

Is extremely high 

The magnetic field 

That used to feel electric

Burns with poignant pain

I’m twisted for a reason 

This caricature of myself 

Wound around the former 

They talk too much 

And the me that is hearing

Is not the one that cares 

It is new

The sound loud 

And bouncing off the old echo 

It is a mirage 

Shimmering in the present 

But does not hold the truth 

I circle around myself to find it

And the nearby voices 

Push me closer 

But the answers lie deeper 

In the skeletal remains 

After gnawing it to the bone 

Leaving everything raw

Maybe then

I will know 

Everybody Hurts


Everybody hurts. Bullies are often bullies because they are hurting. I found that out at work today.

A young gal is out for some time at work. She always struck me as rather dark…and I heard rumors. I never pushed because it’s none of my business. But my assessment skills are pretty strong from years in the emergency business, so I guessed she had a difficult personal life.

When she didn’t show up for work two days in a row, then 3 months of her shifts got posted…I guess I knew there definitely was a lot going on. But no-one is really talking. That’s not exactly true: as some of the rougher crowd surely complained about her just cutting out of work like that…I mean how could she!? Doesn’t she have any compassion for her co-workers? How bad could it really be after all???

That’s when I spoke personally to one of the folks I consider a bit of a bully. She told me she just can’t really understand people with issues ‘like that’…considering herself a ‘very happy person’. Ha, I thought! A happy person? Someone who goes around making fun of everyone in the joint, talking behind people’s back at every opportunity, being unfriendly to many and nice to others, pretending to be nice after saying mean things…??? No, that’s definitely not a happy person in my book. She just can’t admit it.


But as she spoke to me, she told me that her mother was just like that young girl out of work. The mother checked out on her children (namely this happy person) when she was young and she always hated it. Determined not to be like her mother, she appears to be a wonderful mom, talking about her kids all the time and is very devoted to them.

Yet in her heart, the hurt and anger still lurk deep within.That’s obvious. These things, when they fester, always leak out. So instead of dealing with them head on, they become like stones in one’s soul making it hard to empathize or show compassion to others. Anyone who may remind her the pain her mother caused her, or who may put her in a situation where she is comprised, she then lashes out. And to keep ahead of the pain, she stays a step before it by making fun of others to build herself up.

It’s a fairly typical scenario. I just saw the root of it today, so now she’s easier to understand. Sad really. She sees herself as nice and friendly because I believe that’s how she wants to be. But like anyone she was caught in the web of circumstance. It’s blurry embrace gripped her and made her be something of which she is unaware.

So then, it is my job to be kinder and more aware of the situation. To try not to engage and get frustrated and angry back. It’s not easy when a bully is on the prowl. Maybe now that I know what she needs is maternal love and attention, I can somehow discreetly send those vibes her way.

Maybe this then will help to fill the gap and help her toward some true happiness instead.

Lest We Never Forget


On this September 11th, as I am remembering that day now so long ago, it feels rather odd to no longer be a part of the ‘family’ of emergency workers. It was a part of my life for so many years, and when that day ripped the world apart, it hit me personally, when so many of my brothers and sisters  were there in the chaos. It could have been me….


Now, I am so blessed, as I am settling in to my new home, to be living a different life. Not that it isn’t without its stresses. But in this new place, it somehow seems more tidy and peaceful, even when the world is now full of such unrest. For me, it seemed like it really started on the awful day. That’s when it ramped up. Yes, there was always hate, prejudice, injustice. Oh yeah…don’t get me wrong.

What we’ve done in this very country for hundreds of years has been disgraceful. The inequity of people based on color, gender, disabilities or anything different for that matter, has always been an issue here. But the hate now seems so palpable. And no, I don’t think it’s just that we hear about it more through media. There is just more of it!

As I walk through my new community, one that is neat and friendly, I feel it is easy to become insulated. I want to become insulated some days. It’s exhausting listening day after day to the killing, the terror, the devastation of the planet and the hatred. One just wonders what happened to simply winding one’s life down and beginning to relax?

At work I sit and hear people talk. The constant whining, complaining, the mocking tones and downright meanness. What came first? Were people always like this or has our country turned sour because of all that’s hurting our world and therefore our souls? Maybe it’s simply decomposing us from the inside.

I ask every day in my daily meditation for peace: in my life and for the world. Trying to touch each person I meet with a sense of peace. How can I have a ripple effect?

My simple, small and quiet apartment is my sanctuary. It’s easy now to feel like I never want to go outside.  But there are good reasons to do it… Pushing against the beast of lurking depression, caused by bombardment of the seeming global demise–I do my best to remain positive. This home is my recharge point where I plug-in to be able to go out into a world that drains me of resources.

So, lest we never forget: that day September 11, 2001, changed the world. It tore us apart and we haven’t figured out since then how to come back together. The only way to honor those lost that day, and those who are still suffering, like the rescuers who continue to lose their lives because of the toxins they took in from 9/11–is to learn how to love again. To love each other, the earth, the animals, the trees, the air, the water….
And no walls, either outside or in, will help. Only learning to understand each other on the deepest level. And truly caring for our fellow human like we are one family.

Behind The Curtain 


Often we see something and may find it odd. We may judge it, think it peculiar or not to our taste. If it’s different from what we might do or what we are used to, then we dismiss it as wrong and maybe even bad.

But we are only looking at things from our narrow perspective. We’ve become myopic in our belief system maybe because of the way we were raised. It’s easy in our world of constant media bombardment to see certain things skewed in any particular way of one’s choosing. Whether you are conservative, liberal, militant, a pacifist or whatever  –there’s sure to be some media stream spouting about it.

So we become narrow, and may only see a part of what’s really going on. It may appear that we know the whole story all the time, the man (or cat as it may happen) behind the curtain, and what they are up to. And we may want to judge why they are hiding behind their facades  (or curtains as the case may be).

But don’t judge too harshly!  They may have a perfectly reasonable explanation. They may not be odd or different or even peculiar. It may simply be they are hiding from something specific. 

And it’s your job to figure out what that something might be!

In It Together


Complacency in today’s world, in my opinion, can be a dangerous thing. It’s not the same world it was when I was a kid. Sadly, I believe this to be true, while others choose to stay in a dream world.

The Internet, along with high mobility and  huge numbers of people, easy access to weapons and drugs, the fracturing of communities and the scattering of families make it easy for humans with harmful intent to do their business. And somehow, in a world of discontent, poverty, pain and disharmony–there seem to be a fair share of these types these days.

And they are everywhere it seems: sometimes lurking within our own work places, often disguised, at first anyway, as one of us. They may appear like the rest of us, just doing their job, until the day comes that something doesn’t go their way. That’s when the darkness in them comes out: whatever pain they may feel makes their true heart appear.

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If we’re lucky, they may only steal something, like we suspect someone did at my job. And then they just won’t show up anymore. They may get away with something. This makes them big shots. Or at least they think so!

But then real trouble, in my estimation, comes into play and that’s our complacency not to act! If we have a fairly reasonable suspicion (and maybe even some proof) that some crime was committed, then to look the other way is a crime itself. Because this is how the little things become big. The petty theft that the co-worker gets away with can become something greater at the next job. And who knows how much greater? I’d imagine it can become like a dopamine rush…an addictive sort of thing even.

In these trying days we need to think like this  guy. How they are raised to hero status in some ways by the media and some of them may feel justified by their acts. “The world owes me!” For us to simply turn our heads and say: “whew, he’s gone now because he was trouble…now he’s someone else’s trouble” is not only negligent but a reflection on the world today.

This kind of myopic thinking is contributing to these horrific events we read about. How many could be stopped if people didn’t stick their heads in the sand beforehand? If people who saw these individuals engaging in unusual or specifically criminal behavior and push the point? And I mean the managers of the companies who have the real power: the ones looking at the tapes, making the phone calls, speaking with the individual and monitoring the behaviors. Just to turn away and pretend none of it happened is like participating in the crime itself.

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This all is just another depressing aspect of today’s society. I’m sure this young man is suffering somehow. He may not be a true criminal, but someone who has strayed because of the usual breakdowns one faces in life’s path. We all make choices and his aren’t the good ones for sure (if indeed he’s guilty, which I do not know). But these stories are a dime a dozen today anyway.

The point is we all are partly responsible for this guy if he’s guilty: for why he did it in the first place and for ignoring it after. Because for us to be really human, we have to all be in this together.

Knowledge


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Knowledge is power. But sharing that knowledge, for me, is empowering.

Just as many scientists now are choosing to put their data and experiments out in the open community where others can hopefully build on it and come up with new and better treatments or other hopeful changes for humanity, I believe information we have should be shared.

Keeping knowledge to one’s self either to feel you will be invaluable or smarter than someone else puts the ego ahead of the greater good. And ultimately this leads to less in the long run. To me this kind of thinking breaks down eventually along the track and diverges off the trail of a whole and compassionate planet.

Even thinking like this on the smallest level, when we hang onto the tiniest bit of information just to make ourselves look bigger, only serves to hurt us in the long run.

So as I gather my knowledge, which by the way I love to do, I’m thrilled when I meet another person on this crazy journey. And if we’re lucky we can stop for some moments in time to exchange bits of things we’ve gathered along the way.

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No Excuses


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Sometimes even hiding away from the world and trying to beat the stress of the week, we just can’t get away from it. Someone finds us in the underbrush, says something unsettling or unnecessary, and our hackles go up. Much as we may try to blend in, they find us, almost determined to disturb our peace.

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They don’t really care because they have only one agenda: their own! Find them, sniff them out and ruffle their fur. Maybe they find humor in it or think it’s a power game.

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Well today I took the horse by the tail and spoke back. Answered the group email that included my name even though the accusations had nothing to do with me. To tell me to ignore it is ridiculous when it was sent to me. Then don’t include me if I am not to blame! And to make up lame excuses to disturb me on my weekend is rude.

Each interaction we have in life is choice in how we choose to conduct it, whether via email, text or face to face. So in my estimation there are no excuses when we upset the other person, because most likely, we could have done a better job in the first place.

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