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Archive for May, 2018

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. (J.M. Barrie, novelist and playwright)

Random, dead, moss-covered wood. I’ve felt a kinship with it at times. Yet, the fallen logs create artistic patterns. Hollow centers offer homes for wildlife.

My husband and I walked under a lacy shade of branches. They protected the ground from the late-May heat. The pattern of dead and alive seemed to ramble, aimless. Nevertheless, there was a wholeness to the scene.

Recently, my husband and I attended an event. I am intentionally vague about whether the event was a picnic, graduation, family reunion, or none of the above. The setting was accidental; the story reveals a story within a story, the one that occurred instead of the one planned.

One of the guests passed out after a possible seizure. An individual honored at that moment ran to her defense. She saw the need for a 911 call. Two of the attendees were nurses and two were doctors. They assisted the fallen person more thoroughly than the paramedics did.

After the ill guest was taken to the hospital, any separated groups bonded. A different story developed based upon mutual care and love. We met as friends, not strangers.

I hoped to hold onto that intimate feeling forever. Then I totaled my car the same day my husband and I returned home. A tree won when the accelerator stuck…or I missed the brake…or fate decided my time with Little Beige should end. I don’t know what happened. This incident was the first in my years behind the wheel. It doesn’t matter how the accident happened. My 2005 Toyota will soon become junkyard fodder.

Like the dead branches my car has a history. Soon to be buried. I am okay, relatively anyway. So is my husband. We were not physically injured.

Neighbors arrived immediately. With offers to help. With support. With the difference between rotting in the moment and survival.

The story changed. I am not the only character in my tale. Nor, am I the only heroine. And that is what makes the difference. Sometimes, simple actions may have saved someone more than anyone will ever know.

Thanks to all who take that extra step forward.

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You cannot go around and keep score. If you keep score on the good things and the bad things, you’ll find out that you’re a very miserable person. God gave man the ability to forget, which is one of the greatest attributes you have. Because if you remember everything that’s happened to you, you generally remember that which is the most unfortunate. (Hubert H. Humphrey)

Inside the seed is the potential for a plant. My gardener friends may recognize the difference between a wanna-be green bean and columbine. My understanding remains in the metaphor realm. Internal beauty needs to fight through dirt to become real.

My fingers have become twisted with age and arthritis. A fractured metacarpal in my right hand permanently curved the middle finger. My music has been affected; my song has not.

Amazing as I realize that the cells of the body change continuously. My face doesn’t look the same as it did twenty years ago. I have an older, drier skin, memories locked inside the wrinkles. Yet, classmates from fifty years ago have recognized me. I have recognized them. The self remains. Hopefully I have changed inside for the better—losing track of the score and gaining interest in the game.

Have I reached perfection? Hardly. Sometimes I realize the condemning words I was told as a child have adhered to my spirit. They need to be pruned. With actions that prove them worthless.

For today I forget the past and begin again, accept who you are and who I am. In this strange, complicated world. May peace win. Somehow.

 

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Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others. (Ellen DeGeneres)  

Sometimes. When that other person’s eyes belong to someone with insight. Vision is a process.

What is true about anyone? Actions, reactions, facial expressions are reflections of the other person. Coming toward. Going away. The eyes of others can be limited. My social, human-child creature got lost in taunting and going away.

My parents lived in the virtue of the rock-solid ten commandments. The spirit of the words carried power; as words etched in stone they were impenetrable rock. Visionless. Missing the gift of human touch.

Many years later I learned I was not alone. As the holes in lace are what create its beauty, as negative space in art is part of a work’s design, the final product, known as me, developed. Bloomed.

My senior status gains another year tomorrow. Friends surprised me with a mini celebration on Tuesday. Lemon pie with fresh fruit, created on a day when K’s air-conditioning decided it didn’t want to work in 90-degree weather. A pair of socks with a gracious message from M.

My message to anyone reading this blog today: May you see beyond your image in the mirror. It is backward anyway. May you know you were born with a purpose. And love fits somewhere in your definition as a social human creation. Pass it on…

Peace.

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(close-ups: cactus and Diet Pepsi can, thermal camera view)

 

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

The word, lie, appears in the media too many times to count. Quantifying transgressions is a waste of time. Truth, unfettered by emotion, exists. However, it hides under heavy layers of hype.

My father often told me, “Consider the source.” In those days I understood it in terms of bullying, not truth-sorting. Nevertheless, his advice fits.

How much does any everyday observer know about truth, the whole story?

Imagine aliens, the outer space variety. Their appearance doesn’t matter. Green. Orange. Short. Tall. They visit the earth and land their ship in a desert in the United States. They see a few lizards and decide they must be the inhabitants. 

One of the other-world visitors touches a cactus. “Hmmmn, not a friendly place.” (In other-planet language, obviously)

An empty diet soft-drink can lay half-hidden in sandy soil. The leader notices it. “Ooh, what is this?”

The second in command kicks it. “Looks like a home for something.”

An Arizona wolf spider crawls out.

“There is an odd odor coming from inside this residence, the residue of something,” one of the aliens adds.

None of the alien group decides to investigate the planet further. The wolf spider, lizard, cactus and empty can have provided sufficient evidence. Ignorant creatures. This planet is not worth its sand.

These aliens exist only in my imagination. Earth and its inhabitants are real. Some live well. Others endure dire poverty. I pray truth, courage, and enough solid concern for the whole, can save this globe. Eventually.

 

 

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If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. (Thomas A. Edison) 

Recently, I heard about a redwood tree flourishing inside a concrete-bound city area. Several years ago, my husband tried to coax an infant California sequoia into facing less temperate Ohio. The seedling didn’t last longer than a few weeks.

Naturalists recommend native plants. I agree. Either the plants die or take over kudzu-style. However, stories involving thumbs greener than mine intrigue me.

Successful human you-can’t-do-that experiences fascinate me even more. The drug addict who triumphs over his addiction, the individual with special needs who runs a business or succeeds in a public office.

One small thing today I didn’t think I could do, what is it? Oh yeah, I thought my computer had died. It didn’t. I brought it back to life. And my father told me he wanted me to take a mechanical aptitude test to see how low a score I would get.

Erase the negative messages. Plant new ones. Let them grow. May we astound ourselves. And continue planting…

 

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