Poem: Feline


You of fur and flicking tail

oh how your nine lives

saved mine

Despite moody moments

and shunning stares

Most days pass in

spots of sunlight

leaving bits of fuzz

everywhere

You have done well

with your canine friends

(contrary to belief)

for we are, after all,

family

in the end

But the years pass

and you grow older

faster

than I

This is both the curse

and what makes you

so precious

With humble thanks

I share this home

with your wild spirit

and grateful your magic

touched

my heart

 

 

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Poem: Dirty Wind


Born on a cloud

then

blown by the dirty wind

and caught in the corners

of an unnamed road

Picked up again and again

thrown into a hailstorm of frozen

pebbles

that bang together

but later

melt

turning fluid

then eventually

evaporate into nothing

and disappear within

the world

Reality Check


It is always interesting when we can have a moment where we can look at ourselves and see some aspect differently.

At work it feels like I am surrounded by many disgruntled co-workers. Or at least folks who are not really into what they are doing; or maybe they are just exhausted? They work with kids in a school, which can be tiring, especially these days for sure–but somehow I figured there would be more passion in the people there.

Instead I find a group of (mostly) frustrated, cranky, unhappy people who seem like they would rather be anywhere be where they are…and I suddenly realized yesterday, after hearing my immediate co-worker complain and whine, that oh my goodness: this was me for so many years in my last career!

How miserable it must have been to be around me! To hear me complain all the time and see my grouchy face. And to hardly ever hear anything nice come out of my mouth. Yikes. It stopped me cold when I realized how it must have been to be work with me all the time.

Because I know what it’s like to be around these folks day in and out. It’s a downer. And how must it be for the kids? We’re suppose to be models for them after all, eh? Was I able to fake it for my patients on the ambulance, because I know these educators aren’t hiding anything from these children.

It really made me ashamed of myself, that I had put everyone I worked with through all my stuff. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter if it had cause or not; I should have left it at home. Work is not a place to drag your baggage. It’s not fair to anyone around you, yet I did it for a long, long time.

These folks may have what they feel are ‘good excuses’, but really none are when you get down to it. If you’re unhappy, find something else to do. It’s hard to find other work, yes that’s true. But if you’re heart not in what you’re doing, we all can tell.

If you can fix the things at work that’s the best solution. Or maybe you can learn to suck it up and push your way through things (not let things bother you as much)…but the ultimate solution may simply be to move on…. That’s the sad truth. I finally left a career I loved because of the extraneous stuff that bugged me too much.

So, in the end, I am very regretful for all those I drove crazy with my unhappiness. It’s clear now as I can see it in others (and it’s hard to take). In payment, I’m trying to be as upbeat as I can to make this place a little brighter…

And I know at least the kids appreciate it.

Someday


Today is different for me than most. A day to reflect on the inhumane treatment of animals and the continual sacrifices they must make to feed humans. I hope someday it stops.

And the centuries old disrespect and disregard of Americas Native people. It is one of our truly disgraceful periods in history.

Sure, I have plenty to be thankful about–but on this particular day, I would rather reflect on these two topics since they tie into this ‘holiday’. It has been a hard day for me for many years; today I am saying so.

May the future bring more comfort and peace to lives of those we take for granted.

 

Jewel


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Now it is just long gone memories where we walk together, still close, feeling those moments nearby again. As we speak, the recapture, bringing present the feelings shared in a time of love and family. The falling into each other and the brave actions of daring to create, to take on labels that we each feared had forsaken us from the past. To love was to move outside, to step into something beyond the confines of our own mistrust and give. There was much there, in spite of youth, so much depth and connection. Much was formed, both in me and around us. The union spawned beauty and burned brightly.

And for this I give thanks. Searching the catacombs of the past, all is now just treasure. This will be kept, like an Emperor’s jewel, in the museum of my mind.

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Poem: By The Lake


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Sweet moments when we walked together

by the lake

on a blazing day, our love just paces away

Those colorful flashes

when all the toil

came to rest in my beating heart

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The anticipation of newness of splendor

each passing sky

the humble movement of earth’s daily chores

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And gentle footsteps of those that share

paths, hillsides and mountains with me

My grateful reverence

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For these things

I walk in thanks

In peace

and keep hope

close by

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Scrooge Of Thanksgiving


As some of you who follow my blog know, I’ve been attending my local UU church a little more regularly. Today was our ‘harvest supper’. UU’s would never call it a ‘Thanksgiving’ dinner, because that would be labeling it something traditional and potentially politically incorrect for some. That doesn’t particularly bother me. What does bother me, is the Thanksgiving holiday itself.

It happens to be one of my least favorite holidays. I’ll probably offend people here, but this holiday has gotten under my skin for many, many years. To me it is the epitome of so many things that are wrong with American society.

A holiday that promotes gluttony and over-eating in a country that is already ripe with over-eaters is crazy in my mind. Food, food, food presented in excess and eating until you’re going to bust just really, personally, turns me off. Especially when you keep in mind the millions (billions?) of starving people in the world today. I used to fast on this day just to make a point. Giving out free turkey in a soup kitchen, now that’s a good thing.

And then we look at what this holiday is celebrating: the pilgrims and the “Indians” coming together for a meal and sharing food. Don’t even get me started on the state of affairs of the Native American people now in the this country! How the white man has devastated the land that was theirs and took most of it. Now we have currently left them in poverty, poorly educated with many of them turning to alcohol. Their whole way of life was robbed, yet we celebrate this day! Do you think they are thankful?

I hear so many people talking of the stress of it too: going to their families and trying to blend. For me, years ago being a vegetarian trying to fit into my in-laws was like a nightmare. This is NOT a vegetarian friendly holiday. Now being a vegan AND gluten free…well, forget about it! Thank goodness I’m divorced. Usually I just sit at home, work a shift or go out to eat. As a maitre de once said: Oh, Thanksgiving is a tragic holiday for a vegetarian! Too true!

And as far as being thankful: why save it up for one day? I try to be every day. Yes, I understand sitting around a table with friends and family and have a mass of thankfulness, but it seems very contrived. Just another Hallmark moment.

Or maybe I’m just a Scrooge of Thanksgiving? Maybe some ghostly turkey will visit me tonight and scare me half to death. And instead of Tiny Tim’s crutch there will be empty beer bottles to make me feel guilty. And scenes from Thanksgiving to come flashing before me…. and yet, and yet…. Nah, I still think I’d rather stay home and read a book.

Why Am I…?


“NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) – A deadly outbreak of infections linked to tainted steroid injections is approaching 500 cases nearly two months after it began, and health experts said on Wednesday it was unclear whether the epidemic had peaked amid new risks facing patients.”–Yahoo News

THANKFUL

“ST. LOUIS (AP) — The worst U.S. drought in decades has deepened again after more than a month of encouraging reports of slowly improving conditions, a drought-tracking consortium said Wednesday, as scientists struggled for an explanation other than a simple lack of rain.”–Yahoo News

THANKFUL

“NEW YORK (AP) — A balding garment salesman was arrested Wednesday for systematically killing three shopkeepers as they worked alone in their clothing stores and had been poised to strike again, police said.”–Yahoo News

THANKFUL

“RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed 13 people at Shi’ite processions in the city where Pakistan’s army is headquartered on Wednesday night, highlighting the country’s security challenges a day before it hosts leaders from Egypt, Iran and other developing nations.”–Yahoo News

THANKFUL

“LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — An official says two road accidents that took place an hour apart have claimed 25 lives on a northern Nigerian road.”–Yahoo News

THANKFUL

“Welch says more than 1 million women have been overdiagnosed with breast cancer over the past 30 years. And the problem continues.”–NPR.ORG

THANKFUL

“Hostess is now free to fire its 18,000 workers and “take advantage of outside interest in its brands, which a banker said could fetch up to $2.4 billion.”–NPR.ORG

THANKFUL

“Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the three-day attack on Mumbai in November 2008 that killed more than 160 people, has been hanged in India.”–NPR.ORG

THANKFUL

“Infections in the Middle East and the North Africa have increased by more than 35 percent over the past decade. And, HIV seems to be on the rise again in Eastern Europe and Central Asia after remaining steady for years.”–NPR.ORG

THANKFUL

*******

It is endless

And I am humble

It is luck

And I am grateful

Toss of the dice

Throw of a card

Our worries are small

Most days

Our gratitude

Forgotten every day

One day we eat

And are

THANKFUL

Remember and be

THANKFUL

Every day!

My Bag


There’s an old saying in Jewish circles that if you get a group of people together and they put all their worries in a bag and threw their bags into the center of a circle and told them to pick a bag, they would all take their own bag back. Well, since my accident, I’ve been re-evaluating ‘my bag’ I guess. And, of course, when we do this it always seems that things are presented to us (both good and bad) to show us about our perspective bags.

Currently in my life, I have two very dear friends dealing with cancer. One has breast cancer, the other has liver cancer which has metastasized to multiple other places. Both are dealing with the treatments, the operations, the drugs, the change in their psyche and bodies and the multitude of other factors that come into play when something so devastating presents itself in one’s life. They are dealing with bravery, honesty, grace and as much strength as they can each summon. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. My incident was seconds in time–theirs, on going.

Also, every time I turn on the news and hear about the countries at war and the brave things that people are doing to help, I am humbled. The doctors that are risking their lives, going across enemy lines working in make-shift hospitals to help the injured, it amazes me. This is because the wounded have nowhere to go: the hospitals aren’t functioning; the doctors are being killed and the medicine is not coming through to reach the citizens. And the doctors that are coming are volunteering their time to do so. They could be vacationing on some tropical island instead, but they have chosen to help the suffering. To abide by the credo they swore to uphold. And I think: ‘my bag’ could be to live in one of these countries, where bombs land daily, and my children would constantly be in danger, where there is never enough food or money or jobs. Instead I live in peace and can be grateful for the people who do good work.

Yes, it’s true: I hear people complaining all the time about the politicians in this country and joblessness. And it’s true: there is homelessness in this country too. And it shouldn’t be that way in any country, but certainly not in America where millions of dollars are wasted on things like sports (sorry, but when people and children are hungry, this isn’t right). But I also know people who will only take certain jobs and won’t try for any job. This I do not understand. So in this case, I am grateful for what’s in my bag: a decent job that keeps a roof over my head.

All the little things I hear now that people complain about that somehow seem insignificant to me. I suppose when you face the grim reaper in the eyes, it just changes one’s perspective. I’m trying harder to be more positive. (Although I did take myself off the dating website. That will drive anyone to be negative!) I posted pictures today of dark clouds. But in typical New England fashion, today was a day of: looks like rain, bright sunshine, looks like rain, bright sunshine. They say– if you don’t like the weather: wait a minute. So that’s what life is like I guess: maybe it’s filled with the big stormy looking clouds, but you know right behind them is the sun. Give it some time and have faith, because it WILL come out. It may take some time but it is there, even if on some days you don’t really believe it.

So, I guess I’ll keep my bag. Even though there are times I feel like it’s too heavy or filled with crap. It’s still my bag and I’m used to it. It’s comfortable, I know what’s in it, know how to sling it over my shoulder, know what to do with the stuff inside, know what to throw away the stuff I don’t use anymore. Hopefully someday the bag may get smaller and easier to drag around. Maybe someday it’ll just be a purse. So, yup, I think I will keep it.  And besides: no-one else would want it anyway.