Tuesday, November 24

A Merry Feast


Just the two of us are celebrating Thanksgiving this year. We will be with our loved ones in spirit, though, feeling the love and strength of a healthy community as the year ends and our future begins.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” 

May all beings everywhere know love and peace.

Tuesday, October 20

It Was Once a Wall



A hot, late afternoon sun cleared the streets of this "living ghost town" of almost 400 people.  Among the sparse buildings and homes, an adobe wall caught my eye. Ill formed, irregular and easy to overlook, it was invisible until a glint of metal directed my eye to the wall's embellishments. Interesting textures, embedded metal flowers, bugs, birds and everyday items, made this wall a colorful and happy surprise.  What was once an ordinary wall is now art, someone's expression of hope in a harsh land.

Sunday, October 4

Let the Angels Do Their Job

 


He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” - 1 Kings 19:5

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise" from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.


May all beings know love, peace and be guided by angels.

Saturday, August 29

Lockdown Conversations

At the Heart of  Common Sense


Walking Meditation
“If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Mom. Are we going to have a civil war soon? Yesterday, I watched the republican convention with uncle Travis at my cousins and everyone was talking about the demon democrats taking over. That’s what Travis calls them. Aren’t you and Dad democrats? Doesn’t Travis know that and why does he think we’re demons. Mom. This is scary.”

Teddy’s young, teenage face with its wisps of man hair sprouting above his lip wore alarm and hints of determination within his clear, grey eyes. He liked to ask a lot of questions which drove his mother crazy because they always seemed to come when she was cooking or paying bills or trying to relax.

“Ted. All I can say is that people who like Trump, often say stupid things that they see on Facebook or Twitter. I can’t believe Travis said that when you were listening. What did your cousins think?” She hoped he’d get bored with this topic, but if he stayed fearful and nervous about the “civil war” and “demon democrats” she’d call Travis and rip him a new one. What an insufferable jerk her nice and loving cousin had become over Trump. More than once he’d talked trash about her husband,  an Iraq War vet, who loathed everything to do with Trump, and more than once she’d reminded her cousin that no one in her house talked trash about them and their political views.

“Well, Jean doesn’t care or pay any attention to politics. She hates when anyone starts talking about elections, voting, taxes and as far as she’s concerned the only party she supports is a birthday party – her words, Mom. Lisa does listen to her parents and their friends talk about how fake news on tv lies about corona virus, the police, baby killers, guns, monuments and she’s scared a lot. That whole family and a lot of people in our town are scared of democrats and they blame the virus, the protests and riots on the democrats.

But, Mom, aren’t the republicans in charge now? The convention makes it seem like the virus, lock down, masks, black lives protests, riots are because of democrats, but Dad complains that they keep getting shut down because of the republican majority. He says that republicans own the senate and the president. So, the democrats keep trying to get laws passed to do something about corona virus, health care, climate change, minimum wages, alternative energy, and the president just wants to destroy Obama care. He won’t listen to the democrats who bring bills to the senate because he hates democrats, so nothing gets done.

Mom. Does the president only work for republicans? What happens to what everyone else wants? Are there more republicans than anyone else, maybe?”

“Ted. You are driving me crazy, okay? Google this stuff and ask your Dad when he calls tonight.”

“Mom. I just looked it up. Wikipedia says that ‘As of May 2020, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republican, and 40% as Independent. Additionally, polling showed that 50% (of independents) are either Democrats or Democratic leaners and 38% are either Republicans or Republican leaners.. In 2018, the Democratic party was the largest in the United States with roughly 60 million registered members.’ So, how can the republicans just rule the country for themselves and not for everyone. It’s not fair that the smallest group has the most power over us.”

“Talk to your Dad, Ted. Please, and when your uncle and cousins talk about Trump, ask to come home. You can tell them it’s not fair that the republicans do not care about the majority of Americans who are democrats and independent democrats, but they will continue to dredge up the latest facebook conspiracy lie that makes them the victims and the rest of us villains in some far fetched delusion.

Even though they are the ruling party, they want us to think that they are victims of anyone not like them and that it is their missionary duty to convert or dominate non-believers. They can’t accept the idea of ‘live and let live.’ So, just say you’d rather not talk politics, religion, or money. You’re fine with whatever they decide because you’re not some missionary converting the pagans. Okay? Maybe your Dad will have more helpful ideas.”

“What’s a delusion, Mom?”

“Look it up, Ted.”

Saturday, July 25

Headland

Pelican Swoop

Standing on the Headland
- Kathy Mackey

Above this shining ocean,
wind pushes into me.
I watch pelicans, so many of them,
glide with ease and in silence
past my awestruck eyes
into the golden glow of sunset.
To my left, the shoreline
is dotted with sparkling lights.
To my right, the shoreline
is bathed in waning sun rays.
Straight ahead is the vast horizon
pulsing with waves, always distant.
May all beings know love and peace.