Here’s To Us!

Friends help complete my life. I am so grateful that I am surrounded with diverse friends and friendships. Each one shines with their own personality and reminds me of the uniqueness we all possess. And so now I raise my glass…

Here’s to you…dear friend who knows how to share laughter and wit. You remind me to enjoy each moment and fill with a lightness of spirit. You unharness the bridle of maturity, if just for a bit, so that I remember what it is to be a kid at heart again. The laughter, a medicine for my soul.

Here’s to you…dear friend who knows how to listen and let me vent my mundane issues. You do so without judgement and without the need to fix my problems…you simply listen. I appreciate your attentive nature. I hope that I can and do provide the same for you. Sometimes just listening can be the best a friend can offer.

Here’s to you…dear friend who can share a hug, stand by me at my worst and even help me be my best. Your willingness to provide a safe haven for another is truly a gesture of friendship. Not running away, but having my back in the storm. I will never forget. May you find me there for you as well.

Here’s to you…dear friend who can easily share in the joys and triumphs of another without a shred of contempt. Your ability to join in with the success of others and not make one feel unworthy of any accomplishment is unselfish in spirit and above what many may ever achieve. I hope you will grab my extended hand, if ever needed. I thank you for extending yours as well.

Here’s to you…dear friend who can open up in your heart and share some of your deepest troubles and painful times. You trust me with your openness as you seek my time and counsel. I am beyond flattered with your frankness as I desire for better days ahead…including this day. I see you, and I understand that we all carry baggage. We need to sometimes stop and help another pull the packed suitcase along.

Here’s to you…dear friend who sits by my side at the campfire or around the table. Our sharing of memories, discussions of life and issues pressing, as well as quiet moments of reflection. You ground me as well as remind me of how the depths of living are awash with yesterdays captured in my head, tasks of today, and hopes for tomorrow. You are my kindred spirit. May we talk and seek and wonder…together for hours.

Here’s to you…dear friend who lets me be me. Acceptance for being who we are is the real measure of friendship.  Life is a give and take and a yin and yang. Friendship is loving one another and seeing their gift to the circle. May you fight for that friend and never give up on nurturing the friendship. Such worthy gifts need effort and patience and respect to be maintained.

Some friends share early childhood then are gone…some friends share the turbulent years into school and then are gone…some friends only meet as adults…and some are gone. Some friends may not see us but briefly once a year and even though much is not heard aloud, much is spoken within and between.

I share this with you now…because I truly believe we should acknowledge our friends while they are here to hear us and we are here to be heard. Tributes are beautiful…but knowing your mark on the life of another, the value of your friendship no matter how short the time spent…that is an aspiration of mine. In some fashion, I want you to know that you have made a difference in my life. Our passing and sharing of time, was meant to be and is not fleeting in the make up of who we are. So my friends…Here’s to us!

Disengagement

A heavy word for sure. Disengagement is synonymous with isolation, severing, withdrawal, and break.  It can be taken as apathy and/or detachment. Sigh…not something I want to strive for in my life. Yet at times it seems to be an emancipation or extrication of sorts. Shedding something that weighs heavy and cumbersome. Freeing oneself from angst. Heavy stuff, huh? Disengagement.

There are times I deeply consider the act of disengagement. The thoughts of severing myself from the unfounded claims, nonfactual verbage, dog whistles and frenzied words and phrases all posted to create division and perpetrate hate. I love discourse, I love deep discourse. Yet above an ardent discussion, I have an affinity for reading facts in my learning. Discovering truth in learning is important and I do not want to compromise. But then comes the isolation. The break. No longer seeing the beautiful shared sunsets and families, successes shared whether big or small, the generations of tomorrow growing up before my eyes, the touching shared words of encouragement…and YOU.  I do appreciate you. Yes sometimes I become a bit brassy and overly impassioned…duly noted.

Well the conundrum continues…oh just scroll past, you say with a roll of the eyes. I know, I know…Point well taken but to be honest, really honest…words mean so much to me even though at times I may sputter them out and dangle a preposition or two. I take my words seriously, and I take yours as such as well. So, my friends…those of you who have chosen to befriend me on fb…those who have not unfollowed my jibberish … or those with the power to scroll past without a care. I am trying.  But please consider that when you post, you are placing your thoughts out there to be heard by others, digested by others and regurgitated by some. Social media can bring us together but it can also tear us apart. While I will always speak out on behalf of equality and fairness and against oppression, it is my hope that the future becomes a better place for everyone.

I end this chatter of mine with my favorite word of all…Namaste…. The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you. And today…I will deter from disengagement. What tomorrow brings…I simply do not know.

The Painful Truth

helping-handsI have never found it entertaining to watch people get hurt on tv “ video” shows. It is physically painful just watching. I have never found it entertaining to watch someone on tv in a situation that is very uncomfortable for them….it becomes very uncomfortable for me. There is an overwhelming ache of uselessness in knowing I possess no ability to intervene and help them. So is the life of an Empath. I suggest to you that it can be truly painful to the spirit. It is also the pain I experience when watching a lifeless child being scooped up off a foreign shoreline, or the nameless face of a war victim, stunned and shell shocked, calmly wiping blood from his 3 year old eyes….Pure agony.

It might be hard to believe that I suffer from this overload of sappy empathy. Stupid to some, I’m sure of it. Ironic since I have looked into the faces of numerous dead babies- victims from abuse, held the hand of children too afraid to talk of the monster in their home, and listened to the cries of women who were raped at the hand of a trusted friend. But in those situations I could help or at least try to make a semblance of such. That is what an Empath does.

I believe that the nature of an Empath can be found in many progressive liberals. It is necessary for us to feel the pain, the joy, and the despair of the desperate. It is within us to try to make life better for them. We are mocked for our bleeding hearts and our inability to see the justice in survival of the fittest. We are tomorrow’s victims in the world of bullies and yesterday’s crybabies. We find life bound together with others not by our differences but by our souls. We care too much… to the dissatisfaction of some.

Today, my spirit and soul hurt with such pain. I know there are many very fearful and overwhelmed people in America who do not know what tomorrow will bring. In life, competition is the daily bread for many. In life, many cannot afford bread nor have the will to compete. Someone must feed their spirit and guard their souls and we take it upon ourselves to do it. If you are not an Empath this may never make sense to you, but if you are, I send you many hugs. Almost intolerable at times, this witnessing of empowered haters and racists, misogynists and those who just simply don’t get looking out for the other guy takes its toll. So I say to you, be kind to yourself dear empathetic friends. Rest well, reduce the toxicity around you and connect with like individuals. You are needed to continue the call…and the caring. This is your painful truth.

 

A Brief Moment

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      Did you hear it go? The briefest of moments has past – now mingled in with yesterday. It slipped beyond possibility and hope and lies within memories and undone business. I never hear it leave yet I know when it is missed. Like the sunset, when I briefly turn away…gone.

     So once again I will reach ahead and plan to grab some moments before me, pull them closer and not waste them by looking away. In order to “catch the moment” I must embrace it with hope, desire and a willingness to see it through, even if it is not to my original intent or liking. I remind myself that moments are like clay, they can be softened and molded and created. The artistry is in the inspiration. The inspiration is in the knowledge. The knowledge is in the soul. The masterpiece is made when I let my soul create and not my ego. It is then that I can step back and enjoy the moment and call it mine.

     It is hard and takes ongoing practice to live in the present. Negativity and pessimism tend to weigh down and drag out my thoughts. I have come to liken them to unwelcome visitors, I try to move them along without much ado. There are those days that they repeatedly knock at my door.

     So as I sit here and tap away…so do the moments before me. Yet these writing moments tend to float and drift rather than briskly rush into the past. They linger with just a hint of possibility. They give me reassurance that tomorrow is just a moment away…filled with unending opportunities to open my present to myself. Now I ask you, do you have a moment to spare?

My Little Love Note

images (2)Capturing the right words to express my pure love and gratitude for you…well it is much like trying to take hold of the sweet summer breeze that gently brushes my face. A daunting task as I cherish you beyond description.

Life can bring many storms upon my door. I find that you unselfishly provide me with a shelter of warmth, compassion, respect, safety and stability…when the clouds have gathered and the thunder roars.

Life can bring darkness, despair and a chill to my heart. Your love is my sunshine that chases away the bitter cold and brightens my soul.

Life can bring many challenges and obstacles. Difficult days yet with you I feel hope, encouragement and a precious peace. I look towards tomorrow and dare to dream with you by my side.

But not to forget, life can bring laughter, celebration and exquisite joy. This I have found with you. I absolutely could not imagine life any other way. I believe that I have known you forever and a day and I will love you every bit as long…or longer.

It Is Quiet Now

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It is quiet now. Yesterday is finding its special place in my heart of memories. Tomorrow yet to be. As I sit here and reflect, life settles back into a semblance of unwanted order. I yearn for just one more hour of the rush and flurry of activity even though my body declares exhaustion. I wish for the continued gathering of friends and family yet they dutifully now find their way back to their homes. Always difficult for me…these winding down quiet times.

I believe it is the unknown path of tomorrow that plants the seed of anxiety within. Watered by tears and emotions of sweet nostalgic essence, I discover it is up to me whether I tend the growth of this weed or deny its existence. I fight the battle and tell myself tomorrow will be full of many yesterdays to look forward to and I will myself to find my way there.

I have always felt this twisting of the stomach and ache of the heart after wonderful events in my life are complete. Silly I know….while many find relief and sense of completion, I find a bit of grief and lingering malaise. Hmmm…. Here we go again. As so many times before, I will find this disappear in time as I move along in life and accept that life moves along whether I want it to or not. So I grudgingly shuffle my feet off to bed and reflect upon all the amazing and wonderful new memories that have been made, secretly and silently hoping for many more.

 

 

An Attitude Adjustment

 

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It becomes part of our being, hugging us like skin. Not something that you can slip off at night and toss on the floor with the clothing of the day. No, attitude is much deeper and harder to change. Attitude begins to grow within us as babies when we are introduced to the world around us. We learn to love, we learn to hate, we learn to discern as bad and good. Yet somewhere along the journey of life, some of us may find ourselves consumed with the negative…like straining to see in the dark of the night…only making out the bad things around us.

Many times a parent declares, “I don’t like your attitude” or “you need to change your attitude” without understanding how difficult this process of change can be… We are asking one to quickly morph into another… or face our consequences. Yet we as parents have helped define their attitudes.  Combine that with the world we currently live in…wow it is a ticking time bomb. Take a moment and consider that children are living in a very complex world today. You and I may have walked a mile to school  (I confess I did not) but we never dealt with the intensity and gravity of cyber bullying. We may have had to eat what was on our plate or go hungry ( I hated roast beef) yet we never felt the aggression and severe emotional pressure many kids of today experience. Today for fun, our children occupy their time with a never-ending visual stimulation of violence through our media and high def gaming videos. They kill with a deft handling the game  a skill once acquired by playing jacks or marbles. They watch live social media capturing death, destruction, mayhem and violence. Some kids have had siblings, friends, parents die on the streets.  Today doomsday preppers are glamorized on tv as they are proudly hording guns and ammunition…life and death, killing and survival concepts discussed as matter of fact like cooking shows and recipes. It has become a harsh world. Attitudes become armor to protect from that which is so difficult to deal with in life. And we are partially responsible as parents. As adults we become blind to the attitudes we carry as we strive to make the dollar, pay the bills and seek our own escape from the craziness. But we all travel with deep feelings and beliefs that keep us separated from each other.  And we teach our children to do the same. Attitudes, they are so hard to change…

So what happens to tomorrow if there is not a positive shift in attitude? What happens if the adults do not begin to see that their bigotry, intolerance and closed minds are imprinted upon their children?  I do not want to go there. Attitude…while deeply ingrained does carry ability to change. We see an epiphany realized by the family who adamantly declares strong anti-gay attitudes…until a loved one comes out. We see the ability to empathize during a natural catastrophe…as strangers extend a hand or even risk their life for another. Why is it only then that we are willing to see beyond the dark…why is it only then that we feel we are all a part of a larger whole?  Those beautiful moments when a connection of respect for life of another is made with no thought of what is to be gained in return- action without attitude.

I often wonder why we wait until desperate times to rise above our attitudes. Why do we join the cause only after we feel personally affected by the war.  Cancer, poverty, unemployment, inequality, gun violence, bullying, racism, sexual abuse, domestic violence, addiction…on and on they march in front of us. Our attitudes block us from the fight unless life has chosen to throw us through the ropes. Only then do many of us awaken and see that the fight is worthy.  We take up our sword and add cause to our existence. But I ask, why wait?