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!

Between

Come with me to a special place. It is found between your in breath and out breath…take a moment to arrive and then for just a second or two, or three…have a seat. It is one of my favorite places to visit. Yet many people never stop to enjoy it. Always pushing ahead and ignoring the space it holds. I find it to be a somewhat magical place where there is no judgement or ridicule. One will not find obligations or regrets nearby. Just simply being. After you become comfortable here…move along. Next is the place between your out breath and in breath. Again, arrive and take notice. As I wander from the inhale to exhale and back again my “should haves” and “could haves” no longer hang around my neck and simply slip away. The list for tomorrow is obscured from my sight and today becomes clearly present.  So here I simply sit…between. The secret wisdoms whispered around me. I beckon them, catching some here and there…”knowings” I call them. Life’s secrets that we all have been told yet have forgotten along the way. I find them here in the between…a truly special place.

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.

I voted for you today…

voteI voted for you today….my dear daughter, granddaughter and all other female family members, friends and women of this country. I want you to have the freedom to make decisions about your own body. I want you to walk the path of equality with men. Never to feel that you are the lesser sex because of lesser pay. Never to feel unworthy as a woman and undervalue your spirit and soul. You are beautiful inside and out, no matter your size and without judgement of your physical looks. You deserve a place beside men and not behind men. You are nurturers and compassionate caretakers, not sexual objects for the fancy of men and boys. I voted for you today.

I voted for you today…the racial minorities of this country. I want you to have the same advantages to succeed in this country without bigotry and hatred toward your ethnicity and heritage. You deserve to practice your faith, your traditions and your customs without retribution for being “different” than the white man who claims the throne. We are all immigrants here in a historical sense yet many of us deny our own ancestors in order to appear  “The American”. You and I are the melting pot of our country, the rich and diverse culture that makes America the beautiful. I voted for you today.

I voted for you today…the poor and the homeless, the forgotten ones of this country. I want you to have food in your belly, a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head. Everyone in this country deserves to have health care, including you. Many of you work full-time yet can not afford to provide for your family. You deserve decent wages for your work and a fair minimum wage. Your children need to have hope that their life can be better. They need to be able to see past the desperate lives of living day-to-day not knowing what comes tomorrow. I voted for you and them today.

I voted for you today…LGBT community of this country. It is your right to love another without the intrusion of society dictating to whom you may love or marry. You are entitled to the same economic benefits given to other married couples. You deserve equal protection under the law against discrimination whether at work or in your community. You are a beacon for others to come together in humanity as one and accept each other for our wonderful individuality. You are brave and true to your soul for declaring who you really are in life. I voted for you today.

I voted for you today…men and women in blue of this country. Your everyday “life on the line” is truly that. You deserve the respect of the public and the support of your community in order to do your job well. You are entitled to be trained well to answer the call and give your best judgement in every situation. You deserve to have your community come together and work through the difficult issues together. The effort needs to be made to assist you in finding the path to walk alongside those you serve. I voted for you today.

I voted for you today…the black men and women who feel that their lives no longer hold value in our communities of this country. Those who struggle to stay above the current issues yet are pulled down by feeling robbed of their dignity and life worth. Those that struggle to break the stereotypes placed upon their backs, heavy and burdensome. You deserve to have your community come together and work through the difficult issues together. The effort needs to be made to assist you in finding the path to walk alongside those you live amongst, with dignity and respect for both. I voted for you today.

I voted for you today…our veterans and armed services personnel of this country.  Your service should never be disgraced by our lack of commitment to you when returning from war. You are entitled to be respected and provided for…never left to be homeless, unserved by medical care or inaction towards your disabilities obtained by serving us. You deserve fair wages and benefits for protecting us. We should be committed to you by not sending you into battles that are not ours to fight…only ours to lose life. War is death, ugly and you deserve a Commander In Chief who will never forget the consequences of war, who will exhaust all conflict resolution practices and treaties. It is easy for Americans to say that we support you…but our actions need to support our words. I voted for you today.

I voted for you today…the adults of tomorrow of this country. The seekers of science and technology..the philosophers and deep thinkers…the musicians and artists and writers. You deserve to gain a full education whether it is in medicine, engineering, the fine arts or technical schools. We need you all to build a better future. You need us to make it affordable for you to pursue your goals and in turn give us a return on our investment…your growth and wisdom. You deserve to have a future on this planet to raise your families. Climate change must be faced and decisions made to give you and your descendants a place here to call home…like your parents and grandparents have had. I think of you often and wonder when we will finally wake up to realizing that your physical future on this planet is even more dire than your economic future. I voted for you today.

I voted for you today….those of you consumed with anger and feeling that nothing has changed these past 8 years in this country. You have not seen jobs bills created, infrastructure created and changes to our way of life to make your hard work pay off. Your taxes seem to take it all, your hours of work are endless and some of you are being phased out…(coal mining is hit hard for one) You deserve the truth about your future and the support to provide you with necessary skills to change for our evolving world. We must make changes and you are being fooled by corporate America in thinking otherwise. While I understand the frustration and anger, I truly wish you would understand who is holding back the cogs of the system. It is Congress and obstructionism. They must be shown that we will not tolerate their playing politics above the good of our country. I want change too. I want a strong economy, a healthy workforce and lower taxes…for those of us not at the top. I want loopholes to be closed and the top 1% to pay their fair share. I want you to understand that it is not the woman at the checkout line using food stamps that is taking so much out of your pocket…it is the corporations. I want you to see beyond the glare and ugliness of this campaign season, beyond the fear mongering and hyperbole fed to all of us. I want you and I to be able to discuss our views and opinions without insults thrown and emojis strewn without forethought. I care about you. I care about our country. I care about humanity. I voted for all of us today…except Donald Trump.

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.

Yellow Green And Black

IMG_3980     This time it was not a certain song possessing poetic words that tugged at my soul whisking me back to times once known.  It was not a  particular sentimental fragrance that pulled me into my yesterdays. It was but a simple floor tile of yellow, green and black. That fifties tile recently uncovered during a renovation after many years of being hushed and hidden beneath our feet. A flood of memories to be true, that rushed through my head and heart as I stood in wonder. Memories of paper dolls, coloring books, and my beloved chalkboard where I taught school to the empty chairs lined up proper before me. A rare cherry cigar or pipe smoked by my father as we watched Wild Kingdom and Walt Disney with popcorn and Pepsi  Cola. Adventurous winter days of cooking hot dogs in the fireplace or just watching the fire snap and crackle while wrapped up in a favorite blanket. Days with cousins, aunts and uncles as we filled the house with constant chatter and much laughter. Projector screen and slides shown at days end with the curtains drawn, ooing and ahhhing to life as remembered with simple reverence to days gone by. Music being played on the record player- careful not to jump and skip the vinyl while dancing to the Twist and Cha Cha Cha.  Oh the days brought back by the simple floor tile…Christmas trees, Thanksgiving tables and hidden Easter eggs. Grandchildren and their first steps as well as family together grieving the loss of my mother….all memories held in the space of this room supported by the tile floor underneath So strong, so sturdy, yet silent. Only asking for a buffing and wax in the early days. But as style dictated,  covered with various carpets throughout the years. The  old carpets are gone…torn out and rolled up and thrown away. But the tile…ever faithful to this day. Alas, we both know that soon once again to be covered and tucked away for  discovery sometime in the future. I only wonder if it will be me peering upon the yellow, green and black or someone new …someone who has no idea the richness of the memories quietly possessed within.