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Posts Tagged ‘determination’

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. (Abraham Lincoln)

My grandson and I raked leaves last week—not long after an ice storm. Not only did he want to help, he was eager to do it. We acted as if we were an equal team.

One problem. My back is a lot older than his is. He provided the strength and flexibility of an active seven-year-old. My strength gave out within the lifespan of a mayfly. Twenty-four hours later I could barely move. May steroids and physical therapy repair the damage. Eventually.

Sometimes I feel that my eagerness to combat human injustice is too much for a team of human creatures with integrity. The word, lie, has been shouted and repeated through the air until it has become useless. Set up sides! Prepare labels! Never discuss. Never listen. Have accusations ready whether they apply or not. Divide without thinking about the division.

And yet, I have friends who disagree with my political views. They participate in humanitarian programs. Is there any chance we can begin here? Can we agree to care that law is made for the population, not population for the law.

Maybe, just maybe.

 

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We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days. (Jane Austen)

Sure, anyone who has stepped beyond kindergarten knows the kiddie pool closes when summer ends. I suspect most of us cherish the daydream about an escape route, a charmed life—long after planned recesses end. Bullies, putdowns, and early traumas. They unsettle the water early and intensify a longing for a smoother ride ahead.

When I grow up…

I’ll tell the kids who called me Ziggy the niggy

they need a good eye doctor and some listening ears as well.

Ziegler, my family name, is German and means tile mason.

Hardly aristocracy. As if that mattered.

And my skin is pale to match

eyelashes and hair color common in Ireland.

A connection unknown if connected at all.

The insult you intended is learned ignorance.

You see, human refers to a wholeness.

Of body and spirit.

Dark and pale outsides can hold spirits made of sun.

And I revel in the possible housing color of spirits:

Chestnut, cinnamon, charcoal, peach, olive.

Perhaps I speak only to my own written word.

To a long-gone past.

You are busy with your own agenda.

Yet, I speak to you with respect.

Only love can make churning water

a place possible to maneuver.

Peace.

 

 

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People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross)

In a large portion of the Midwest, ice didn’t wait for the autumn leaves to drop. My husband and I experience some time without power. No heat or electricity. Difficult, but nothing in comparison to the losses of folk in other parts of the country. Fires destroy California.

Hurricanes demolished everything in their path.

Heroes and heroines rarely make the news. They are too busy working, giving. Being who they are. No time to watch them for virtues. Better to emulate them with action. I can always give more to people around me.

Even in simple, everyday ways.

I watch my seven-year-old grandson as he fills can after can with fallen leaves. He wants to do more. To work, to help. I make mashed potatoes. He learns to lead the beaters through the hot taters and create a smooth dinner treat—not as a chore, as something new. He is a hero in training.

Dakota is a gift, the kind that blasts light from within. These days before Thanksgiving I celebrate the special times we share together.

I can’t melt the ice any sooner or smother the raging fires on the other side of the country. I can give what I have to reputable organizations. And deny hard-of-heart messages from entering my spirit.

At times darkness wins. However, when light remains within the good inside people, hope lives.

 

 

 

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Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age. (Christopher Morley)

I drive a familiar route. As rain fills both left and right curb lanes, light shines from within gold and crimson trees.

Sour acid threatens my gut and spirit. Fracturing news events race through my mind. Hatred, racism, greed, voter suppression…why? The trees remind me of beauty from within. Don’t give up.

I stop at the grocery store. My cart is filled with perishable basics after a trip to visit family out of town. None of the fifteen-or-less-items lines are open, better called fifteen-or-fewer-items stations. I need more time to think, to settle thoughts aligned with negative trends. I allow two customers with mini orders ahead of me.

A store employee places a huge pot of mums into my cart. “Would you like these? They are free.”

Obviously, she has no idea how poor my botanical skills are. I suspect kudzu or poison ivy would grow under my care, but those pesky plants are self-motivated.

Nevertheless, I except the gift. True, this is the end of the season in the Midwest. Flowering plants bloom only a few months before cold takes over. The store is getting rid of old, perishable merchandise. However, this pot of flowers contains beautiful, living merchandise.

Treasured happy moments. Holding on to seeds that spill possibilities from aging flowers. The seeds create. Eventually. Mums are perennials. Winter ends.

Old age comes. But it doesn’t negate the life that existed and exists now, or the effort made toward creating a better world—even if it involves no more than a few planted seeds.

 

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Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Six-thirty AM. Election Day, November 6, 2018. My husband and I are newbie volunteers outside the polls. Time to make our first mistakes. We have no idea where the entry for voting could be in this huge building. No flag. No signs. A long-time voter at this location, leads the way. We park our chairs 98 feet too close to the site. A poll worker points out the 100-foot mark. We move. Quickly.

No light in the sky and we are in the dark as well. Temporarily.

We meet Duane Morgan. She is the third part of our team, the all-day volunteer. She is new at this work, too. However, she transforms the parallel don’t-know-what-to-do lines Jay and I bring, into a workable triangle. She delivers the inspiration.

In the past few weeks I spent entirely too much time worrying about cold, wind, rain, storm. Duane is a two-time cancer survivor. Her son was murdered. Nevertheless, her eyes sparkle with an inner glow; the predawn darkness can’t diminish her spirit or faith. The rich brown of her skin is beautiful. It hides her age. She is six years older than I am. Yet, her energy exceeds mine. Perhaps she has overcome useless worry as well.

Today’s forecast included thunder and lightning. The oh-so-important plastic poncho I had to buy waits in the car. An unexpected gift of sun alternates with wind. An even greater gift appears as Red and Blue speak, human to human.

Lonnie is a young, well-educated Republican. We talk to one another, civilly. As friends. I don’t know his last name. Yet. I learn that he, like Duane, is a survivor. He was born with a heart defect. Recently, he had heart surgery. It has not stopped him from running, not only for office, but on the streets.

My stand on human rights, the need for accessible health care, and recognizing skin color as a human accessory hasn’t changed. If only…if only…we could work in peace.

 

 

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The only hope of understanding [pain] comes as we align ourselves with a groaning universe committed to cycles of birth, rebirth, and the longing for a just order. (Barbara A. Holmes)

Stop. Breathe. Not a new notion when it comes to managing stress. And yet somehow, each time I expect instant results. After the pause I open my eyes. The elongated blink wasn’t long enough. The same ugliness remains. Perspective doesn’t arrive until I’m ready.

That perspective rarely comes in permanent form, never as solid, one-size-fits-all wisdom. Recently, a blessed moment came when I noticed I could help someone in an unexpected, yet simple way, By listening. Talking, yes—listening more.

Light comes. In many forms. Sometimes in kaleidoscope, beautiful-but-not-easily-recognized forms. Then again it arrives as itself, obvious in nature. The love of a child or family member. An unexpected gift. A longing for a just order that results in action.

The good exists. It hides, but it exists.

 

 

 

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Human pain does not let go of its grip at one point in time. Rather, it works its way out of our consciousness over time. There is a season of sadness. A season of anger. A season of tranquility. A season of hope. (Robert Veninga)

In my Star League Chronicles stories, textbooks open into three-dimensional realities. Therefore, in my created fantasy world, history isn’t written from the point of view of the victor or patriot; it comes from the individuals who lived it. Thoroughly. In any Star League subject, the characters physically rise from the pages. And they carry on dialogue.

The real world, unfortunately, isn’t always that honest.

However, when my husband and I visited Berlin, we touched the places where death and destruction took place. Both the German government and citizens admit the past, what they learned from it. I chose to absorb both the beauty and the pain—not to live in a past I never experienced—but to acknowledge truth.

Today, as I stand, walk, and drive in sunshine I ask the brightness to add perspective to the darkness that fills the current political scene. Recent events trigger both sadness and anger. They threaten possibilities of hope and tranquility.

Blue sky touches the horizon. An intangible space. It can’t be owned. I see it, know the blue comes from the sun’s rays refracted through the earth’s atmosphere. The blue fades. Gray takes its place.

Comments on the horrors of today, abound. In an endless loop. Simple survivor skills? Writing helps me, so do my husband’s loving backrubs, as well as a few minutes messaging a friend who happens to be less than half my age.


Age and time. Perhaps they are no longer issues. May I seek integrity and the ability to get up again. And again. To all those who value truth, let’s live what we want to see—even if no one seems to follow. Yet. No. The sky isn’t falling. It just feels that way.

Coping skills? Sharing accepted. And thanks.

 

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