Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A Poem

The exotic bird
Bright with a show of
lime, fuchsia, azure
shivers at the feeder.
He's escaped from
the cage
and his old one
who clucks and pats
and coos, in his warm
home of
seed plenty, water
fresh, place clean.

He's chilled at the feeder
with the blowing and sharpness
of a wind that will
not send him back to
his old one,
nor comfort her.

Chickadees and
sparrows bow to him,
pecking, bobbing;
not knowing, ever,
what is cage;
not knowing, ever,
what is lost.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Mourning George W.

Seeking His Soul

Who would care enough to reach out and give his hand to a gambling addict in a recovery meeting?  This would include going to a Correctional Facility for a meeting with incarcerated gambling addicts  Through many years of attending a recovery meeting for those of us who enable gambling addicts, I saw George W. do this many times.  The welcome and warmth he gave to newcomers was heartening to watch.

He encouraged my companion, William P., inn many ways through the years  After William passed, I found a photo of George's grandson in William's wallet.  This had meaning for both of them and William honored the grandson by carrying the photo in in his wallet.

William was a gambling addict.   George encouraged William but practiced tough love with him, too.. If a gambler was having struggles in  recovery, George would recognize it and suggest more meetings, more telephoning, more Step work.  George knew the signs and willingly shared his story to fellow addicts.  He was a dynamic speaker.

I would like to express condolences to Charlotte, Greg, and Mark for your loss.  There is an empty space where George once was.  George died on July 16, 2017 which was two days before what would have been William P."s birthday.  God bless.

Said in a recovery meeting:

I sought my soul, but could not see.
I sought my God, but He eluded me.
I sought my brothers,and found all three.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Once Dreamt of Fame ----- Now I Dream of Peace

As a teenager I had many dreams and fantasies that fame would somehow give me the ultimate achievement.  I was very enamored of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and watched it many late nights observing and weighing how the interviewees talked and responded to Johnny Carson's schtick and his patter and comedic strategies.  I had a deep crush on Johnny and many of my fantasies revolved around being interviewed on his show for my great talents as a writer or performer.  Maybe I would be a rock star who was supremely talented in a band like Three Dog Night or Blood, Sweat, and Tears.  This was how I built up my self esteem at a time when my ego was fragile and not well bolstered at all.

I guess I ought to feel embarrassment for those long ago fantasies and yearnings that would somehow make me valuable and worthy in the eyes of the world.  I didn't feel valuable and worthy in the life I was living.  I'll spare you the long litany of why I didn't feel valued.  These feelings followed me into adulthood but eventually I've somehow managed to find some peace and acceptance of myself.

My faith has been helpful to me in realizing that I have worth.  In the words of one mentor, "God don't make no junk."  At the lowest depths of darkness, I've been able to hear God's lesson that I am a child of the Creator who exists in a light-filled,world  Even though I was deep in some very dark places with the shadows surrounding me,  I was able to hold on and know God was with me.

The peace and acceptance have gradually followed from those dark days of pain and panic.  I have experienced much spiritual growth.

In many facets of my existence, I do experience peace.  With gratitude, I welcome that peace that God has given me.  I may never have been on The Tonight Show yucking it up with Johnny Carson, but I have something now that I value more than anything like that would have been.  It is something much more valuable to me.  I have peace and the gratitude that accompanies it.

And my dear Johnny Carson,   hope you have found peace in the afterlife.  You gave our culture much laughter and entertainment in your time, and me, as well.  And I have the lesson I have learned from those long ago days of my teen years when what I thought I wanted was not to be and what I didn't know I wanted, came to be.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Overthinking About Overthinking

It's almost 6 am on a Wednesday morning.  It is calm and cool as I look out the window in front of my laptop.  What shall I write?  I'm not able to think of a title for this post.  My mind has not kicked in to thinking mode this early in the day.  That is a possibility.  Sometimes thinking mode is over-rated.  I read posts in different venues about how over-thinking can be problematic.  It's quite often associated with addictive behaviors.

I love to get in the place when my mind is involved wholly in a task such as crafting or reading.  I don't find watching television conducive to this mindful place that I like to be in.  The analogy of television as junk food isn't lost on me.  There are times when I like junk television and it is an escape.  I admit I watch Let's Make A Deal with Wayne Brady or Big Brother as a sort of calorie laden bag of potato chips for my brain.  I'm not able to do this as a constant.  It saps my inner reserves of self discipline if I watch a lot of television.

To achieve the mindful place where I'd like to be, I quietly meditate and pray, I crochet on the prayer shawl that I'm making for Ernie who is seriously ill, or I listen to music.  It is such a gift to me when I am able to focus my attention and do these activities.

Reading has been a difficult area for me to re-establish.  Due to depressive episodes, the focus and attention to it has been lost to me at times.  A lot of my childhood and youth were spent in this beloved pastime.  The rewards to me of achieving the focus I need to read a book in its entirety are limitless.

I listen to the vehicles speeding by on the US highway I live on and I hear the birds with their tweets and song.  It is an interlude of sound that sends me on my way this morning.  I have hope that I may achieve some mindful time such as this as my day progresses.  It may include some reading, crocheting, or music.  That is a bonus in any day of my life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Day 2014

Three days after Easter of this year and I'm listening to some inspirational music by Amy Grant.  It is her album, The Collection.  I look out my window and the evergreens and branches of the birches are gently blowing in a chilly spring breeze.  El Shaddai  El Shaddi  God of Light, You set Your children free.

How many can truly say that we are free?  I think of friends and family in genuine struggles of daily life.  The national and international news is discouraging and doesn't give a positive picture of where humanity is going forward.  What is it forward that we go to in our journeys?  Is it simply movement from a point in one place to a linear point down the time lines of our lives?

Count your blessings.  Accentuate the positive.  Are you able to do this under the crushing weight that life hands some of us?  A facebook meme states there always something to be grateful for.

Our local nursing home is closing in May in our small village.  It was endowed by a local philanthropist and now has been running in the red for years and the NY State Department of Health has signed off on closing it.  The few residents left must now find a bed available somewhere.  It is so terribly sad that these residents and their families cannot even find beds close to our area because there aren't openings.

Jesus....He'll never let you go...

Each one of these individuals is a human living spark with feelings.  They have family, friends, nursing home staff, who care about them.  

I spent a quiet day in my own home on Easter.  That day I listened to Amy Grant, Sandy Patti, and Aretha Franklin's early gospel music.  I had food for my body, as well as music and literature to feed my soul.  I could read my Bible without interruption and ponder the words of the Scripture writers, His Word.  This is my freedom.  Theses are my blessings.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet....When I feel afraid, feel I've lost my way...You'll be there untill the end.  

Freedom?  Find it in your spiritual life and hope that humanity will be moving forward to a better day. Let us hope that the vulnerable, the innocent, the hurting, those with disease, the young and old, all who suffer can find freedom.  This is what discernment I find this Easter.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Christmas Busted---Ice Here and Back Again

Many places in the Northeast experienced the weekend before Christmas 2013, an extreme ice storm with power outages and states of emergency to prevent unnecessary travel.  The unnecessary travel allows emergency vehicles, utility trucks, and law enforcement to get where they need to go without having to deal with as many stranded motorists or accidents.

Many of my concerns centered on power being out at my home where my heat source requires electricity and worries without heat the water pipes will freeze and break.  Just being cold seems secondary to this worry of broken water pipes.  I was very fortunate because the power outage lasted  5 hours on a Saturday afternoon.  It was about 6:30 pm when the power was restored by a utility truck on the highway in front of my house with the eerie sound of the linemen on loudspeaker talking to each other.  It was disorienting, but in a grateful way, I welcomed this strangeness of hearing them in the darkness of the early evening talking to each other as they did the necessary work to bring electricity back to our neighborhood.

This was my backyard:

It's March as I finish writing this blog segment.  It's been a long, difficult winter.  There's somewhat of a touch of spring in the air, but it seems snow and cold are wearing on.  Hanging on to hope that spring will be here soon is a difficult task for me at this time.

The Bitter Sweetness: I Get Dressed and I Show Up

I'm feeling bitter sweetness and loneliness tonight.  To assist myself in working through these feelings, I've been listening to soft music that evokes some of the emotions I've been feeling.  And I scribble and doodle in my Windows 7 Paint program.  It helps me to feel peace.  I turned here to my oft-neglected blog to soothe myself and find hope rather than loss.

This is a self portrait that I did once in Paint.

I am progressing to upper middle age, where I guess 50-ish is the new 60-ish, in my case.  My face looks old to me and I wear cosmetics very seldom.  I don't color my hair, nor do I get the latest hair style and trips to the beautician are few and far between.  I seem to have a "kick me" tattoo on my forehead that invites weird and off color comments at times when I go out in the community.  I have to tell myself that maybe someone that comments like this will know what it's like some day.

Today I talked to two people who have suffered great trauma in their lives and I feel defeated and sad for them.  I wonder why it has to happen and why the healing must always be so painful and filled with anger.  There is no sweetness in this for those who have been traumatized by violence and horrendous acts.

A scan of the brains of those who have PTSD,  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, show there has been an actual change in the make-up or what I will call the "wiring" of the brain as compared to that who has not experienced such trauma.

This is a picture I did this evening in the Paint program that I titled Archangel:

And here is another that I titled Scribble:

I don't think I've ready for the MOMA, but it helped me to paint and doodle my way out of the sadness I'm feeling tonight.  And maybe there are angels or archangels looking out for the vulnerable, the prey of the predators, and the lost and alone who feel no sweetness and may only taste the bitter.

I will just keep getting dressed and showing up.  It is sweet to be able to do that and hopefully the bitterness I feel will take care of itself.