Sacred

                                                          Nancy’s sea glass

Holy pieces housed in an unadorned vessel

Faith’s fragments washed ashore on a Mayan peninsula

Divinely inspired

Gathered piece by piece

Every unearthing calling forth a living  prayer

 Ordained with a blessing

Offered in love

Binding all living things to one another in hope and healing

Day 29. For Nancy.

Speaking Up and Speaking Out

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Image courtesy of: WritersCafe.org

Thanksgiving. A favorite holiday and this year a welcome respite from the cruel vagaries of the world. I had many conversations yesterday, of course. Two stand out because they are the inspiration for this latest post. In an exchange with my oldest son, he asked me if I had been writing lately. When I told him that I have been too overwhelmed by current events, he encouraged me to express myself. Later, after dinner, I was talking with one of our guests and sharing my fears. Wisely, she reminded me that those worries would be released into the universe. Instead, I would need to remain hopeful.  I hope this latest musing is a positive beginning!

When I woke up this morning, I made my usual cup of coffee and then took it back to bed with me. Instead of reading the news like I have done every morning for years, I read a few chapters of a Louise Penney mystery (http://www.louisepenny.com/). Lately, I have straddled the line between the need to stay informed and the increasing anxiety, the nerve racking fear and the crushing depression of national shifts that I cannot stomach. I have been wanting to write posts for weeks now, but I have been afraid that I may slip into overwrought opinions about the presidential campaign, the resulting election, and now its early aftermath. These days, taking any public stand is risky business and an invitation for uncivil discourse and cruel judgement. But this is something I cannot avoid; I feel as if I might burst from lack of self-expression! Admittedly, I want my opinions to be thoughtful. Perhaps this is why I have kept quiet in my posts lately. I feared being less than meditative. Plus, I refuse to be categorized, stereotyped, or labeled as a particular ” kind of woman” when I openly state my feelings or express ideas that may be considered “non-traditional”. But I also refuse to bow to the obscene practice of the monolithic grouping of people. This idea has been publicly played out in order to stoke fear and to provide a false sense of renewed power to those who have felt marginalized and silenced for decades. I believe the cause of this splintering is based in the unrelenting greed of those whose silver spoons are still in their mouths. The ancient practice of Divide and Rule has cultivated a sense of distrust and hostility between and among our citizens in order to lay blame on -take your pick- feminists, black and brown people, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ, etc.

Hate, condemnation, suspicion, and negativity are easy paths to follow. They hold the deceitful promises of a return to the “good old days” (to which my stepdaughter once queried: “What do they mean, segregation?”). It is hard for me to fathom a return to a time when laws suppressing the rights of others in any and all forms will become the new normal. I have seen it being chipped away in seemingly harmless ways (i.e. new voting rights laws, women’s health care), and it is up to us to remain vigilant in the face of further future repression.

I believe that our purpose here on earth is to make it a better place to live. To not only raise up and help others, but to also take care of our precious resources in order for future generations to enjoy its unique beauty. We cannot dismiss other people as less worthy because of where they’re from, how they  choose to worship, or whom they choose to love, or because they don’t look like us. It is simply wrong.

They are many people that I have met and know in my life who do not share the same viewpoints as I do. We agree to disagree and can also thoughtfully engage in discussions that help further an understanding of each others’ perspectives.  We may hope to change another’s mind but no one is interested in changing laws that would suppress another citizen’s constitutional rights. Everyone has a story or two to tell that has helped bring them to their own set of beliefs.  These personal tales of tragedy and triumph are essential to listen to and understand if we are to grow together and make the world better and more free for everyone.

I’ll close this piece with the grace I shared at the Thanksgiving table. Many thanks to Mary Luti, UCC Pastor and seminary educator (http://www.ucc.org/devotionals_by_mary_luti) for this gift to my email ‘s inbox yesterday:

for it’s an immeasurable gift to say grace with one eye on your neighbor, to give thanks with joy complicated by concern, to count your blessings while repenting your sins, to know yourself in a muddle, trying to be good. It means you’re awake and not sleeping, alive and not dead. It means God is poking away at you, and you’ve let God in.

Emerging Emergence

Credit: www.rgbstock.com

Yesterday I heard the spring peepers

Mother Nature’s front line amphibians

The cacophonous infantry that beat back Old Man Winter

The lone bumble bee also sounded the call

A buzzing scout announcing His final retreat 

A butterfly dances across my line of  vision

in search of a sip of succulent nectar

 

Today’s morning run doused my exposed skin

in the green scent of a warm shower

Precipitation that precedes the budding on the sleeping branches

Birds sang in a chorus

Chirps and twirps and rata-tat-tats

drowning out train whistles

and the early morning bustle of whooshing traffic

in the distance

We’re no longer afraid to hope…

 

Day 14.  We’ve kept ourselves in a semi-permanent brace against the cold and snow since late January. I think we can finally let go and enjoy the flow that only Spring can bring!

Sleeping Equinox

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Rough edges of spring barely beginning

sightings of old brown ground . .

long lamenting winter’s discontent

April: the fool’s own jester

Perhaps we deceive ourselves

into thinking winter will begin to disappear

leaving no traces of its existence

We fear this season will be fleeting

Barely appearing

A verdant apparition

A lush hallucination

A grassy delusion

We await the unfolding

Reunion

credit: blingee.com

“Arise chosen ones. Prepare for your future.” The booming voice came from a rather small old man dressed in a white suit. In fact, he was completely white with the exception of his piercing blue eyes.   “What is it with these blue eyes?” thought Lola. The old man led them from their room to another chamber.  Three women, cloaked in white habits awaited them.  “Dress them appropriately sisters.”

Lola attempted to make eye contact with them-to see their faces. But the trio’s eyes were riveted to the floor. They appeared to be a silent cloud of nothingness blending into the colorless surroundings of the chamber. At once, they lifted their arms to reveal three white gowns. They held them out to Lola, Tasha and Grace as if they were gifts. In unison, they moved behind them and began to remove their thin slips from their bodies. Then, just as swiftly, the elaborate dresses were erected onto their frames. At least that is what Lola was thinking. She was no more than a mannequin awaiting display in the window of  a department store.

But she had to think fast. Find a way to communicate SOMETHING to these mute maids.  “ACHOO!” Lola sneezed so loudly and with such drama that the three could not help but look up and reply with the standard “Bless you.”

And in that instant, Lola locked eyes with her missing mother, Adrienne. A woman of prominent stature, full of vigor and light in the days before, during and after the Revolution, Adrienne was not even a shadow of her former self.  Her spirit was erased by the abuse she suffered as a prisoner of the Restoration Party. But upon seeing her daughter, she began to feel a bit of hope. For what, she was not sure. Pulling the secret language from the recesses of her brain, she told her daughter snippets of information in the smallest of gestures. Her companions joined with Tasha and Grace.

It was all the six of them could do to control themselves. They had struck gold in terms of moving the plan forward. Lola and her friends discovered Adrienne and her two colleagues were to accompany them to meet the Master. They also discovered that these women had access to all parts of the center because of their status as maids. When they weren’t preparing females for their fate, they could be seen cleaning the Master’s quarters and cooking meals in the vast kitchen. The Master and his councilmen often held elaborate feasts to celebrate any new births that occurred in the Breeding Center or within their own families.  These three women were indispensable as chefs for such occasions. It was the only time in their captivity that they could actually speak or give orders.  Only females worked in the kitchen and the entire staff was under constant pressure to present a perfect menu. The kitchen was also a training school for women as they were not considered worthy unless they knew how to cook and serve their future husbands.

The kitchen-the place where women belonged of course! But also an epicenter of untapped power. If Lola remembered anything that her mother taught her it was this:  Never underestimate the inner strength and tenacity of women. Adrienne’s spiritual core may have been corrupted; but Lola’s arrival was the route to its resurrection.

 

Just a little reminder that this story is a continuation in my “Lola” series.

Last week’s story was entitled Subjugation and Subordination