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Archive for March, 2019

Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey.
At other times, it is allowing another to take yours. (
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)

A fall at some unknown moment severed Hummel boy-doctor’s hand. A Hummel girl has dropped her prize flower, a similar injury since all parts of the artwork are made as one. I am not experienced in ceramic or porcelain surgery. Boy and Girl are permanently scarred by amateur super-glue procedures. A lot of warm, soapy water keep my fingers from bonding together faster than my patients can.

Neither figure complains. Inside they are hollow. Most Internet searches refer to a Hummel’s monetary value. They don’t mention their history.

Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel’s 1930’s drawings were the inspiration for the porcelain art, postcard drawings of children in Germany and Switzerland. A simple beginning for beautiful, innocent designs.

Franz Goebel acquired rites to make the figurines in 1935. World War II made them popular exports.

The pictured cracked pieces belonged to my husband’s grandmother. While I am pleased to own them, they are things. Relationships are far more valuable.

People scars may or may not show. When someone is willing to share with me a significant hurt or loss, I feel honored. That person trusts me. My ears may need battery-operated amplification to work, but my heart works fine—provided I keep it open long enough.

In casual meetings folk ask one another, how are you? They answer, “Hanging in there.” Then they walk away. A single-phrase answer is enough. Taking another’s hand asks more, even if a situation can never be healed.

I don’t know enough to fix my own problems much less someone else’s life. However, a smile into the soul verifies worthiness. At one time or another, we all seem to need to be reassured!

I am thinking about changing my how-are-you to good-to-see-you, or a simple smile and wave. Hanging-in-there answers leave too much unsaid.  

Peace, and may broken and glued places sparkle in sunlight.

 

 

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The large cat doesn’t deter one small robin.

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer. (Douglas Adams, author Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)

I am at a small prayer gathering. Something hits the window behind me. I can’t see it but know what is happening. My friend, Pat, has already warned me not to jump, startled. Kamikaze Robin has returned.

This is one determined bird, admirable if he weren’t shortening his lifespan with each strike. Is he developing internal bleeding? Is this how the term bird-brain began? Studies have shown birds know more than their brain size would suggest. However, birds fight one another in a mismatched fight. More bravado than self-protection.

“What is he doing?” I turn around after his next strike.

Our small group has no idea. There is no point in asking. None of us speak robin.

Robin, pausing between strikes

One article, researched later, gives me a notion. However, I can’t always understand my own motivation much less the plant-loving, territorial drive of the avian population. (The highlighted link provides a few suggestions.)

For me, I refuse to answer a question about someone else’s behavior because I don’t live inside that person’s skull. After learning a few traits, past experiences, present habits, I get a clue. Not X-ray vision into complicated brain structure and memories.

A few days after the bird incident, at the Y, a young woman doesn’t answer when I talk to her. She isn’t aloof; she’s legally deaf. “I read lips well,” she tells me. We speak, and I feel blessed to learn more about her life. She lost her hearing in the navy. She served twelve years.

The class begins. I smile as I watch her follow the instructor.  She is a survivor.

I don’t know what has happened to the robin. He hasn’t penetrated the window. But then, I haven’t accomplished any of my impossible dreams either.

 

 

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Soaked shoes on a warm register take the shape of a wild cloud on a gray day.

Little by little, one travels far. (J. R. R. Tolkien)

Day by day, the toddler grows into an adult. One word at a time the child learns self-worth, or not.

Little by little, backed-up storm water travels in wider circles from our driveway into our garage. I realize our problem is trivial. The clips of the flood damage in Nebraska provide enough evidence to prove our labor is minimal. We succeed. My husband and I discovered the ankle-deep water before it reached the basement or lawn mower. The car was outside, wheels untouched.

My shoes dry on a warm register inside. Muddied socks already swirl through suds in the wash machine—healing.

I don’t claim an immunity to tragedy. Nor did I miss near drowning, in a metaphorical sense. Many years ago, March 17 began one of the most difficult times of my life. Do I remember every detail? Not all, but more than I would like. All unnecessary to repeat. Each life’s purpose is to live in today. Eventually. Many people reading these words have their own memories to overcome. Ugly events arrive. They also pass, like the dark, dirty water my husband and I move toward an overwhelmed drain.

My husband and I work, together. I don’t believe any recovery happens alone.

Without friends.

Without help in some form.

Perhaps one struggling person will come to my mind today, someone who could use a call or a visit.

A thought. Perhaps now is the time to follow through on it.

Little by little…recovery happens. And one travels far.

 

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Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. (Aristotle)

Ann and I share peanut butter sandwiches and listen to music. We sing along and fake the lyrics. It doesn’t matter whether we know the words or not. The sky promises rain. Inside we celebrate sun. Ann couldn’t see blue if it did suddenly break through unexpectedly. My friend is blind. Her eyes don’t work; her heart-vision does.

She often takes an Access bus to visit a friend in a nursing home. It cheers him up.

“How long can you stay?” I ask.

“What do you need to do today?” she answers. “I don’t want to overstay my welcome.”

The kitchen floor needs a scrub. I have edits. Always. However, I suspect I need the presence of a friend. A shared awareness of a moment that exists now and won’t return.

Ann has the uncanny knack of knowing how I really feel. The last time we were together I’d been upset, and she sensed it. Today is better. We celebrate in simple ways. I could wear a shirt one tear away from the rag bag; she wouldn’t know, or care. She cherishes more lasting values. Who a person is, an ability to give, to care.

The television is off. I’ll face the world scene later. After I accept the fact that both good and evil exist.

Ann and I blast out the words we recognize in old songs and hum when the lyrics don’t get through to our hearing aids.

“I’ll be your friend forever,” she says.

Forever is more than I can grasp. A lot has happened since time began. However, Aristotle was onto something centuries ago. Friendship has tangible value.

May you always have friends you can trust.

 

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I dwell in possibility… (Emily Dickinson)

As I sweep the kitchen floor my head sweeps through thoughts about something tinier than dust particles. The article I am reading in National Geographic says an ape’s DNA is 99% the same as a human being’s DNA. And the pages expand into names for genes. Specific numbers. Symbols for magnificent, infinitesimal differences.

And possibilities.

The facts debunk the notion that race is any more significant than skin color. I live in an integrated community. Move? Not after 43 years. With neighbors willing to help my husband and me, obviously older folks. What shade is their skin? Anywhere from peach to ebony.

A wave across the street. A hug. Come by for coffee. My husband may offer a beer. If only I could transport the experience to other parts of this country. Sometimes I don’t realize how blessed I am.

Do I see their different colors? Of course. The same way I see the color of the tulips before the deer eat them, the variations of color inside my husband’s favorite Columbine in spring. Depths both inside and outside.

Possibilities? There are many.

I vote for peace.

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