STYMIED

One of the most frustrating times in life is when you are in a holding pattern. Being stymied by circumstances is no fun.

I am in such a place now. Sixty two, facing the repercussions of the steady encroachment of elder years, I know my life will be changing in new and different ways over the next few years.

There is a sense of dissatisfaction with all aspects of my life. My body is struggling to keep up with the demands of my job. CNA work with the elderly is a stretch on physical and emotional resources.  I can no longer lift and manipulate as before.

My career path needs changing. I lack the financial resources to go back to school for an MFA.  Writing is my fall back plan but we all know it is not the easiest way to make a living.

Perhaps copywriting. But that means selling yourself and I would have to develop more self esteem than I have at present. The internal messages I have been giving myself are brutal.

I know I will be moving to California in 3 years. I need work I can take with me. This needs to be well thought out.

My spiritual life is in upheaval.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t reconcile religious work with spirituality.  My church is old and seems to be on the slow road to death.  We make efforts to encourage new growth but nothing changes.  We can’t seem to attract the new people to change the dynamics.  Our new pastor doesn’t seem up to the job and we are too old and too few to make meaningful change.  We have a rich history but can’t seem to move toward the future.

Even my relationships seem fraught with upheaval and tension.

All this is to say I apologize for not writing more but right now my attentions are internally focused and are having trouble looking outward. Bear with me please.  Change is good. I just need to move through it.

 

 

 

 

 

Wakefulness

Stop, pay attention,

this is your life

we’re talking about here

 

It’s so easy to loose yourself,

become distracted

by vague imaginings

and heartfelt murmurings

 

The road to forgetfulness

is just around the corner

Fine tune your mind

scritch scratch out a life

running on full cylinders

 

You’ve spent too long

in somnolent bliss

barely a moment offered

to true knowledge

and structured action

 

Be wary of indolent

breezes fluttering through

your consciousness

Seek a chillness to the air

stirring spent senses alive

waking your mind

to life’s preciousness

 

Be Alive

say to yourself –

I Matter!

 

 

 

Warning Lights

The system is floundering. Caught in the cycle of aggression. Listening to the Kavanaugh hearing and seeing the FBI’s tactic acceptance of very limited investigations is disheartening, to say the least.

Yes, the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and other women were of events many years ago but they are indicative and symptomatic of a larger, possibly ongoing pattern of behavior. Classmates reported loutish, drunken actions.  Their words were largely ignored.

This is indicative of a larger, societal issue, one where there is a tactic acceptance of aggression and violence. Verbal abuse is rampant. Men think nothing of raising their voices to others. It matters little to them, what they say is justifiable in their minds.

I am treating aggression globally. I’ve known several men who were gentle souls. They speak with courtesy and mindfulness. My father is as one of them.  But, in my experience, many men feel entitled to letting their anger leak out as they choose. While women have rage, they generally temper their words and the expression of their feelings.

Kavanaugh spoke with the arrogance of the entitled. He couldn’t dream of being questioned for behavior that was all too often tolerated. Even in the face of criticism and scrutiny, he responded with anger and intolerance. He exuded entitlement and we were shown, once again, that women will always be fighting for justice, just like Ford and Anita Hill.

 

Caring for the careworn

Caring for a person with demensia is difficult on the best day. However, I am beginning to see a possible hope for the future.

One of my clients is following the protocol developed by Dr. Bresener. My client went through massive testing. With the results, the medical doctor developed a list of supplements a typed page long.         The protocol was supposed to take 4-6 months to work.

It has been about three months now and I can see increased lucidity and a sharpening of emotions. Where before she was placid, could hardly walk, and had strong Parcinsonian symptoms, now there is frustration, more movement, and less evidence of Parkinsonism symptoms.

There are recommendations for a whole food diet with no processed foods but that hasn’t happened. I can’t help but wonder what the progress would be if it were adopted.

That is not to say everything is great. She still hallucinates and walking is still an issue. But there is definitely reason to hope. It is a program worth exploring.

 

Two party system

I spent the weekend with four Republicans. What a revelation! I honestly couldn’t understand their perspective. It sounded almost like a foreign language.

We talked about Kavanaugh and Ford. They were pro Kavanaugh while I was pro Ford. Couldn’t they see the palpable pain manifested in her every pore? Why did they not see the belligerent, entitled arrogance. Kavanaugh displayed?

Taxes and the poor were a subject. Once again they celebrated the upper class despite how one couple clearly struggled with their income. I mourned the poor, of which I am one, for the hand to mouth living they are relegated to.

I fully understand that it takes all perspectives to make a balanced society. It is necessary and essential. But the disparity is disconcerting. I fear for our country if their perspective reigns for too long. And I am sure they feel the same about my view.

I guess that’s the reason we have a two party system…thankfully. Now if only the Democrats take over Congress.

Autumn Awakening

The magic begins…

leaves rustle on trees,

dusting the air

falling to our feet

rubies and emeralds

dusting the toes

 

A hint of cooler airs

stirs the blood

causing it to waken

from the slow sludge

of humid, hot summer

 

The spirit quickens

now is the time

for a honing of skills

an awakening of creativity

 

September brings alertness

no longer encumbered

by the blanket breathing

still life of summer months

 

Donning light sweaters

we wrap them about us

as we venture new beginnings

chins up, we brave the world

 

A query to viewers

There is no science in determining what to write and how to write it.  There are some topics I’ve noticed people are drawn to more but I can’t write about them exclusively.  It is also true that I don’t want to write about the same topics over and again. Even if they draw viewers.  It wouldn’t be authentic or real.  I’d simply be pandering to the largest numbers.

On the other hand, I don’t want to waste viewers’ time by posting things that don’t appeal to them.  I just wish I knew what the magic formula is.

I have to admit, some of my greatest views have been poems written 20 or 40 years ago.  (Yes, I am an old relic.)  It is disheartening as I’d like to think I have grown as a writer in the years since.

But I can see my style has definitely changed over the years.  I don’t waste time on melodrama now.  Flowery prose doesn’t excite me.  I’m more to the point.  I cut to the chase with what I have to say.

Some of the pieces I’m proudest of don’t attract any views, like “The Ravages of a Man”, a short story I’ve written over a number of years.  Meanwhile, love poems seem to find an audience.  Trouble is, I’m not in love and haven’t been in many years.  And my rants, those I’d be better off not writing, no one wants to hear about them.

I would welcome feedback about what you like and what interests you.  Not just in my writing but on the world’s stage.  I need new ideas to percolate on.  I want to contribute meaningful work.  I know my book has meaning but I don’t print it here.  That you might enjoy.

So please, take a moment to let me know your thoughts. I need to stretch my wings a bit and the interchange between you and I would be welcome.

Walls

Walls – safe, predictable walls

Not meant for scaling

Or maneuvering around

Not even meant for

Sitting on a sunny day

 

Walls have a purpose

You stay there

I lick my wounds here

Thou shalt not

Echoing in my cries

 

I never realized

How intrinsic a part

Of me walls are

Bet you were surprised

To see them

 

How can I conduct

A relationship from

My ivory tower

If walls come tumbling

And I stand unguarded

 

It may be that walls

Were not meant to define

But to take a breather behind

Perhaps – but I am naked

Without wall comfort

Don’t try to shatter my walls

Or you may find them

Shattering me.

Come Sunday

I watched the movie “Come Sunday” last night and I have to admit it struck a real and urgent cord in me.  It is the true story about Carlton Pearson, an internally known minister who became branded as a heretic in the Pentecostal Church.

Carlton Pearson had a revelation which tore him from the underpinnings of church doctrine.  He saw a TV show about the Rwandan crisis where the Hutus attacked the Tutsi ethnic group and in the course of a month killed over 800,000.  It was a horrific act of genocide that decimated the country and created refugees who were starving, injured, and homeless if they lived at all.

When Carlton saw the show he had a revelation and heard a voice telling him the Rwandans who had never been “saved” would be going to heaven, that one needn’t know and believe in Jesus to go the heaven.  He brought this message to his Higher Dimensions congregation of 6,000 plus a TV audience and promptly lost half of them.

If you’ve read my writings over the years you know I have talked a lot about my questions on religion and spirituality and in Jesus and God.   I believe in God and the Holy Spirit, which I have experienced in my life.  However, questions remain about Jesus and the resurrection.

One of my biggest issues about Christianity and most major religions is regarding the inclusivity of the Church.  The belief that you could only get to Heaven if you believed in Jesus.  I’ve wondered myself about the billions of good people in the world that supposedly could not enter Heaven because they weren’t Christian.  It has always struck me as unfair in the extreme.  Goodness deserves its own reward. Carlton Pearson’s message struck me as a truth.

I’ve always had an issue with organized religions because of inclusivity.  There is an inherent arrogance in organized religions.  The “I am right, You are wrong” attitude is not loving or forgiving.  When others talk to me about the need to be “saved” I want to believe, I want that comfort in absolutism, but I can’t make that leap of faith for to me it isn’t fair or just.

I know believing in inclusivity can invalidate the Church in most eyes but to me, it is not mutually exclusive.  We each have our paths to God.  Belief in God is the objective, no matter where you live or what your avenue to worship.  Being a good person is paramount.   Being a light of God is essential.  Maybe you don’t have to be “saved” to make it to heaven.

Little Acts of Kindness

What are little acts of kindness anyway? Sometimes I wonder if I do acts of kindness more as a ticket to heaven, and then not get into heaven because those acts were contrived.  I wonder about that a lot.  Getting into heaven is something I worry about anyway.  How pure in spirit do my positive actions and interactions have to be accepted as real when I’m standing at judgment day?  Does it count more on why I did it or on how the act is perceived? And should I worry about it at all since there is no proof that heaven exists or that God stands in judgment of us?

I must admit, I wonder when I smile at strangers or offer assistance in some small way if I am doing so out of genuineness or guile.  If I were truly transparent; if I were a hologram reflection where all my feelings and thoughts were laid bare, would my actions smack of being self-serving?  Remember that ticket to heaven?

I do act without forethought.  I don’t actively seek to perform positive encounters by waking each day to the thought of how many good things I have to do to be considered good and kind.  Besides, if I think that, am I good?  Doesn’t evil don a mask of positivity when it suits the purpose?

I do try to approach life with positive intent.  I like making people feel a ray of light when I can do something for them, even if only a smile.  There is little enough light in this world and it seems to be getting darker all the time.  With all the tragedy which darkens our world, I think we thirst for kindness and love.  When I smile at someone he or she usually smiles back.  When I thank a person or say God Bless You when he or she sneezes, I believe that a person feels a blessing.  I know I do.

I hate the idea of each act of kindness being a merit badge I show Saint Peter at the pearly gates.  And I don’t do acts of kindness thinking first of what I will eventually get out of it.  But afterward, it sometimes occurs to me why I did it, what my aim was.  It is a maddening process of overthinking and perhaps an acknowledgment of my humanness in the face of my actions.

And in saying this, can those who read it ever think of me as kind and considerate again? Will they refuse the ray of light I cast? I hope not. We need a reservoir of kindness and love in our lives.  Each drought from the well brings wellbeing, simplistic but true. I want to be a being of light.  I want to perform random acts of kindness both with those I know and those I don’t.  I just can’t help but wonder how they will be perceived if I get to heaven if there is one.

 

 

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