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Posts Tagged ‘choice’

Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody gets there unless everybody gets there. (Virginia Burden)

Among Facebook’s satirical cartoons, pet pictures, brags and complaints I see a post that jolts me. Someone I know has lost her home to a tornado. Several other people declare themselves safe.

Global warming. Yes. It affects weather. That cause can’t be abandoned. Cleanup help for victims remains. Now.

My contribution seems small because it is small. Yet if it helps another living creature it isn’t nothing. The whole isn’t up to me—not if I’m on a team for the good of all.

A small stained-glass angel picture hangs from my back window. Rain mists our backyard. The grass is a swamp. The angel reminds me that blessings remain. Somehow.

Suffering is part of the human experience. Peace fits in the picture when someone, somewhere brings a moment of light long enough for other individuals to see that light exists. For anyone. For everyone. As soon as we learn to share a goodness no one individual can own. Sounds simple.

Too bad simple isn’t easy. It is possible…

 

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If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. (Harvey Mackay)


When people learn I had two books published, The Curse Under the Freckles and Stinky, Rotten Threats, they often ask if I get writer’s block. Uh, yeah, plenty of times. Especially when I try to write sunshine when I have mud in my shoes, socks, and brain. Heart and head, mind and pen need to be connected first. Somehow.

I tread water on a Sunday afternoon as dark skies invade the blue. The dark wins for now. I know blue lives on the other side, but for how long? I heard news earlier about someone who was accused of a crime. From what I’d understood about the situation, it seems to be a setup. Why? I don’t know.

Save the world—if only I could. Law. Three letters in one word is nowhere near enough. My paper remains blank. No answers.

One hug for a friend. Hope. Many prayers.

In the meantime, I swim through water or through injustice. Giving up is not an option. Peace and integrity are. May they win.

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Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. (Martin Luther King Jr.)

A limping dog blocks traffic as he fights to get to roadkill, the dead animal no longer recognizable. At an exercise class two people share difficult places in their lives with me. The news blasts one horror story after another.

The May sun shines on all. I just had another birthday. Another beginning. A step forward.

My glasses are adequate, barely, during the daytime. At least until after cataract surgery I avoid driving at night. Hearing aids help if I want to hear the phone, a conversation, opportunities to learn or give.

However, sweet, bitter, and sour affect everyone—and everything. All I need to do is listen to other people’s stories. And see their sharing as a gift.

One step, to embrace this moment. The whole staircase? Mine is cluttered now. No way can I clear it all at once.

May there be adventure and serendipity along the way. May we find peace together. By seeing one another as individuals, by listening. Heart and ears wide open.

 

 

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It is very important to know who you are. To make decisions. To show who you are. (Malala Yousafzai)

 

With a little watering my amaryllis grew long stems. How? Not only can I barely tell the difference between a cactus and a rose, my botany-world confidence dies with a first-planted seed. The amaryllis bulb was a gift. However, a bloom hasn’t appeared. Yet.

The house, friends, family, writing, an impossible agenda keep me more than busy. I stop and ask: How important are my plants to me? I don’t like the answer. Plants fit in my should-be category.

Perhaps, on some level, the flower in the only-pot-I-could-find realizes that the occasional sips it receives are token, like the required stamp on a mailed envelope, or a mind-free entry code.

One minor adjustment in my approach—it may bring a flower—or not. The drink I pour into the pot can become a gift, a symbol, an intentional moment. Water for one form of life. Water for me.

One minor change can let me know who I am.

Life, as imperfect as it is, shared. This moment. Somehow made holy.

 

 

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Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. (Sigmund Freud)

“Hey, let’s take her shopping for Mother’s Day?” A suggestion made by a super-special, many-years-younger person.

My husband thinks it’s a great idea. We have the time. Rare.

I am not a shopper. I’m a get-what-is-needed-and-run kind of individual. However, since Jay is recovering from knee surgery, I figure we won’t have time for extensive searches. Point out something good enough and I’m fine.

After all, no one can tell Arthur Ritis to take a hike. For good. They can’t buy me a few extra years to change choices I made in the past or wash away memories. Time can’t be extended. Magic wands to heal the ills of my friends exist in unwritten fairy tales.

We arrive and I hold my breath. More clothes? Very few items come in chihuahua-length leg sizes. Moreover, department-store mirrors are entirely too honest. They exaggerate wrinkles and add inches to my waist. (I have a vivid imagination.)

“Purses!” my aware friend calls. She points out the worn corners in mine.

“Nothing to try on.” I smile.

She leads the way, asks a few questions and leads the way through the aisles.

“Buying a purse?” a customer asks. She hands me a coupon.

“Even better.” Mission accomplished.

“Next time you need a wallet.” My friend leads the way toward the mall where Jay waits.

Next time. Yes! I am grateful to take reality in small portions.

 

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Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it. (Flannery O’Connor)

I insert hearing aid number two and notice an immediate change. The refrigerator hums. My husband’s voice adds a decibel—or three hundred. A car coming down the street exceeds the speed limit. I don’t need to see the vehicle to know. It needs a muffler.

Apparently, I am supposed to be learning how to hear. A peculiar notion. Older hearing aids amplified sound. Newer equipment allows for variations in background sound and volume.

I understand the concept of learning to listen, however. After a while, the hard-of-hearing individual retreats. There are only so many times a person can ask for something to be repeated. And what-are-you-talking-about can only be asked a limited number of times.

My mission: hear the birds, the wind, the radio in the background, and sort the sounds out from the telephone and my husband’s question about what is for dinner.

Studies show hearing loss can lead to dementia. Sure, I often wonder why I came into a room. I have not yet reached, who am I or whose house this is?          

Example of one of my off-the-wall conversations. This one is partially fiction, but typical:

                “Did you bring the de—-?” Garbled sounds come from my comrade’s mouth.

                “The what?” I ask.

        The answer sounds like de followed by a stifled sneeze. He continues to speak, so I’m not sure how much I missed.

                “Bring the what? Demolition?” I close one eye and tilt my head. “Details? Desk?”

                “Uh, no. The dessert! The one you spent hours making!”

                “Oh yeah. Got it.”

Today I go for my third hearing-comprehension check.

“I see you have only been wearing your hearing aids four to five hours a day,” my technician says as he looks at his all-knowing screen connected to the wiring in my ears.

“Huh? Four to five…?” I think about it. Those times I went to the Y pool and forgot to put my artificial ears back in when I came home. The times I did housework or edits first and remembered hours later… Uh, yeah, could be.

Truth, it’s got me.

“See you in a month,” my expert says.

I wonder if I’ll be any smarter in a louder world.

For anyone else who fights a similar battle, you are not alone!

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After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one. (Cato the Elder)

Sometimes a story needs to be told anonymously because it could create unnecessary fuss when names are introduced. Especially when fault isn’t the point. A good friend of mine was kicked in the chest at work—by someone who was too mentally challenged to understand anything but an immediate angry reaction. This individual had nothing against my friend.

She was asked if she would return on Monday. She didn’t pause. “Of course.”

She understood what measures needed to be taken to prevent another scene. She lives compassion for others. She knows instinctively what her charge needs and what creates fear.

Angels appear in jeans and gym shoes more often than glowing gowns and wings. Folk don’t hide from people in ordinary clothing; heavenly appearances tend to be a tad freaky.

Thankfully, goodness can be as close as a next-door-neighbor or family and friends who show up when needed most.

Simple love. It looks easy-smooth on the outside but is more precious than jewels locked behind glass. Nonjudgmental love can’t be assessed.

It can be appreciated. Evil hasn’t won yet and won’t provided some good-all-the-way-through folk continue to be who they are.

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