Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You???


Some of you may be surprised to know that I am taking a 9 week course in my town that is a Citizen Police Academy. No, this doesn’t mean I will walk around with a gun or even a taser when I’m done. But it is giving me a close up perspective on what the women and men do on my city police force.

The idea behind this Academy is to build community between the citizens and the police department. Of course, the folks who show up for the course aren’t necessarily the ones they need to preach to–we are their choir already. But we’re also tax payers and some of us are future police officers, and it’s a good show they put on.

They give us all the bells and whistles; or at least dogs and flash bombs. Every section of their department gives a presentation from the marine unit to the SWAT team to dog officers. We’re up close and personal with equipment, loud noises…and maybe not too close to the German Shepards.  Not only do they present the history of this department, but of how certain units came to be initially; like SWAT units started during the race riots in the 60’s.

Having been a paramedic I’m used to working near the police, so some of the stuff is familiar. But I admit, this is a medium city and this department has some pretty big advantages. This also means different types (and more) crime. In some ways being in the class gives me the willies knowing what goes on around me, like the gang violence for instance. Who knew they are high school kids? But in other ways in is comforting to know these people are quite dedicated to serve and protect in some extremely dangerous situations.

An interesting thing I have noted is how many women work in this department; the Chief is currently a woman and one Assistance Chief too. Even one of the SWAT members is and the program is incredibly rigorous. It’s also a very culturally ethnic department.

This department does other community events like Coffee with A Cop where they meet the public at none other than Dunkin’ Donuts just to have open dialogue. Not a bad idea in these troubling times.

We get to sign up for two ride-alongs with an officer on duty. I’m looking forward to that one. Hopefully I’ll get some action that night. Maybe we’ll catch some bad guys? It might bring me back to my ambulance days…sigh. One (silly) man asked if he could bring his gun that night if he had a concealed weapon license; the answer was a resounding NO. Really?!

Anyway, a lot of effort goes into this course, and I know it’s really a bunch of PR for them, but they do have a hard job. My cop friends would tell me over and over that all they saw was bad stuff and bad people. It got old for them and some were pretty bitter. Maybe this is a way for these guys to do something good for a change? And to get a good rap for once? It’s not an easy job by any means; trying uphold the law when there’s so much negative stuff in our world these days. I don’t envy them.

And some of these Officers do this stuff on a voluntary basis simply because they love what they do and are committed to it. There are certain teams (like SWAT) that are voluntary to be on call until you’re called.  That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. And yet they train constantly! These Officers were not folks I would want to meet up with at any time! Yikes.

So, I’m learning some interesting and new things. And trying to look with an open perspective. Even though there are some police that don’t exercise good judgement , I wonder what it would like without any of them?

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Poem: For M This Winter


Cloudless

endless blue glared down

Cheeks brushed by Goddess

frozen fingers

rubbing rouge on Her

still legged puppets

as they whirl and shiver

in endless white

Incessant snot

stuffed in pockets

The offering

given up

to the chill and burr

of footsteps frozen

crunching

The sounds of tiny edifice

falling in

crashing together

softly–fitting

And the tea

warming up the chill

melting the drops

of snow littered cold

that landed

and rode upon

this earthly form

Just A Wee One


 

Finally I have landed a wee job that fits in perfectly with the criteria I had listed in my head (I hope). It’s been a long and interesting year experimenting with various things while waiting to find something, but hopefully this will work.

It’s nothing much really, but that’s part of my plan. Just a little PT position in a very small Charter school working as a lunch monitor.

So here’s how it fit the bill and my way of thinking:

  • It’s Part time: It’s in the middle of the day so allows me my workout in the am and the ability to get home for the pets in the afternoon or any chores/appointments.
  • It’s a no-brainer: After 20 years of the stress of being a paramedic, I didn’t want to do anything too difficult. Yes, I know, maybe I’m being lazy, but for now, this is the case.
  • It’s NOT in healthcare: I had made a distinct decision that I was pulling out of working in healthcare altogether. This is why I’ve had such a hard time finding something I reckon. With my resume reflecting 20 years in the business, not many folks were interested in taking a chance on me for something new.
  • It’s something new!: This is the very reason it seemed cool. While it’s not some deep, difficult task, at least it’s different.
  • It’s fun: The kids are great (albeit VERY noisy) and it will be a great new challenge to work closely with this population for a change. I’ve had my own of course, but now I have 300!
  • It has potential for more: I’ve been assured it has growth potential should I want it at some point. But for now I am quite content with the hours.
  • It’s close to home: After commuting 40 minutes each way (in ice storms) for so many years, having a job very close is a blessing.
  • I’m in ‘the system’: Once I’m within the public school system (yes, Charter schools are publicly funded), there can be potential for movement.
  • I can handle just about anything for a few hours: Even if there are difficulties, it’s only a few hours a day and plenty of vacations!

So all in all, I hope this works out. My fellow employees in the lunch room seem nice too. I have no idea how I will begin to memorize the names of all these children, but hey, I’ll figure it out.

And I’ve already ordered special ear plugs that will hopefully block out some of the major noise, but allow me to still hear them when they talk to me. (I mean it is REALLY loud in this tiny room!)

But I have to say, we never lose parts of ourselves… Because as I look around at all these kids eating and talking, and eating and laughing, and eating and being silly— the paramedic in me can’t help but think:

Just keep chewing, swallowing and breathing… NO CHOKING allowed!!

 

Clarity


Seeing people for who they really are, whether they are homeless or our closest friends/family, can often be challenging. As humans, we spend a lot of time trying to create comfort around us, and this may include internal comfort also. Living in a world where situations can bring us discomfort, our brain will do as much as it can to remove the ‘bad’ stuff; erase memories or twist pictures before our eyes into something we’d prefer to see.

Seeing the world around us without our rose-colored glasses can often be painful, on a personal and global level. It may reveal our own child as a drug addict or a fellow human as hungry, neither snapshot as something we want to see.

But both these things are truths before us and must be acknowledged. They are drastic cases of what we see when we choose to have our eyes truly open to people around us. How do these things make us feel about these people and how do we react in response? Afterall, it does not change the fact that they are both humans still…

What if what our eyes remain closed to simpler truths about someone else? Things that just make them who they are, but different from you and I? Have we truly listened and accepted what someone has told us about their feelings or needs? Or are we trying to change them to fit into our agenda?

It can be a challenge to accept someone just as they are; especially when they look or act differently. Each day the world seems to become less and less accepting and we drift farther apart from our shared humanity.

Respect and listening. If we felt heard and respected, no matter how minor the role we may play in this game called life, then we can feel here, human and a part of the whole.

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: Sleep Sweet


I love to climb upon my bed and sleep

and place my head upon my pillow deep

My body caught in one place all night

while my crazy thoughts soar off in flight

It’s the place I leave my morbid doubts

and also the endless brain bending shouts

They’re left in a far away place

and are replaced with open space

The space is filled with trips and tales

anything goes that side of the veil

And oh the places that I do go

some I recognize, some I don’t know

But the ones where I have already been

I often end up visiting long dead kin

And passing back through clicks of time

can give moments of the lost sublime

Because mistakes passed by twice

this time can turn out quite nice

And now with the Autumn chill

snuggling under the covers deeper still

Living the the land of dreams

is sometimes better than life it seems

So let me sleep long and sweet

and all those I’ve ever loved this evening meet

 

Impurities


There are some things we have done in our lives that others may never understand.

In a dream last night, a person visited me, someone I spent time with in my past. No-one could understand why I would ever spend time with this person. No amount of explaining would help, in fact, it usually made everything sound more insignificant as though I was making excuses for our friendship.

Some things are best left undefined.

Maybe it takes years for us to understand some of the things we do. They may just feel right at the time, at a certain age or given circumstances. When one tries to corral something out of character, and treat it like an unwanted guest, a crack can form in the every day surface of our armor.

Who are we then really?

These oddities are maybe then part of the schema of life. The little impurities we swallow or wear, (that others can’t bear to endure), but that make us deeper and more magnificent.

So, we learn later, the scars are our beauty and our choices the strength.

And all shall be embraced in the end.

Poem: Momentarily


Wind touches my face

Sun gently pushes my back

Sadness seeps away

 

Note: To rid ourselves of today’s sadness we must seek a moment here and there: in nature, with family and friends, with animals, within transcendence, inside ourselves, creating, in silence…however. Blessed be.

Poem: To Those I Know By Heart


People are songs

melodic magicians

who orchestrate the chorus

of our hymnal life

Some drift out

in random times

where their notes are left

to dissipate

within the holy air

Others repeat over and over

stuck in the groove

the turning wheel

of fate

which plays endlessly

on and on

And there are those that

blast

loudly around our bones

only to shake us down

to listen for them

alone

quietly in the descending night

But

the ones that hum within us

and weave gently around our key

are easy familiar tunes

we will always

know by heart