Monday, October 27, 2008

Grief - Greed - and 'Uncle'

I was speaking with someone the other day - this person said that "grief is the worst type of greed". I was really taken aback by this statement. My quick reply was, "if I were you I would be cautious about when and to whom such a statement was said." These words have stayed with me ever since and for a couple of reasons. One, I have a lot of respect for the person who voiced this and often, I am challenged to consider his view or perhaps rise up to it in defense of my own. One would think that with a statement such as the one above I would have been vehemently opposed, but honestly, I wasn't. I understood the idea of it although I feel it was wrongly stated and/or misunderstood by me.

Let's look at the word greed. My understanding of the meaning is that when one is greedy they take more than they need. I think with grief, people simply need more and I am not convinced that greed is the right word to define what people do when they are grief-stricken because it implies a negative connotation. It is a time, definitely, that people need more support, extra everything and hopefully there are those around that want to provide it. What was missing in that statement, for me, was any reference to "balance". When one is weak and another is strong life insists that the tables will turn one day and the weak will be strong and vice versa. I never think of any type of brokenness and need for help as greedy but rather quite necessary and natural in the life cycle. If greed is the word that best describes those times when people are in need, then fine, it actually fits. I also think it is perfectly normal and acceptable and is just the way life is. Sometimes we are the givers, sometimes the receivers and grief is top of the list for being a receiver. Greed? Hmmmmmmm. It is good that people can ask for what they need and we should be free to do so without being labeled. Labels are imprisoning and limiting and are about the one labeling not the one being labeled. Labels relieve people of responsibility and it is simply wrong. In regards to being greedy when grieving - that suggests a flaw on the part of the griever and therefore the one labeling can just walk away saying, "hey-your problem not mine, if you weren't so fucking greedy you wouldn't need me..............." What? If a person falls and breaks their leg is it greedy to hope someone will assist them to the hospital?

As I am writing I am realizing that the statement was unsettling. I have wrestled with it ever since, and I am not quite ready to cry "Uncle". (so be the other word in the title of this post)! I will make no apologies for being 'greedy'/'needy' if I am grieving. I know that the people closest to me will offer their support without question or a label. I guess it comes down to communication. Did this person mean that greed is wrong when one is grieving? That is what I 'heard'. I don't believe that to be true, at least I hope not. I think it was a word to describe people's neediness and he did not mean it shouldn't be, rather it was a word to describe the depth of need during grief. And going back to my earlier comment about not being vehemently opposed, that is why. I just didn't like the word. I am very okay with grieving people being greedy. It IS their time to take. And like all things their time will come again to give. I believe the greedy times in our life when we need and receive more are okay so long as we give back when it is time to balance the wealth. We all do it, "situational greed". Right? Wrong?, - neither - it is how we survive.

I hope all of you have people on your life that understand your times of greed and need and never make you feel bad or wrong for being so. That is a far greater injustice then a grief stricken person reaching out for help and being greedy.


Friday, October 24, 2008


I heard the deep, loud noise from across the road and lot. The man's voice was like gravel being spit out of the back of a spinning tire. The rest of my view was calm and natural, kind and inviting. I attempted to distract my hearing by simply telling myself I was imagining things. I looked around for signs of trouble but instead I saw puffy clouds moving across bright blue skies, colorful leaves scattering in the wind, birds darkened to gray to blend in with the barren colors of the winter to come, tree branches bowing and smoke drifting out of chimneys. I immersed myself in the sights and images around me, dismissing him like yesterday's nonsense. His voice challenged my dismissal - his loud angry growl vibrated through my chest. I concentrated harder on the images surrounding me. I allowed their innocence to over shadow and calm the vibration within. I was drawn to the sounds of a squirrel in the tree just twenty feet away. He was upside down chirping and scratching in perfect harmony, a harmony only made possible in nature. His strong nails gripped the weather-beaten trunk as he called out to his family to join him at his bounty. They came, and they all scratched in to the bark and chirped in delight. I could barely hear the angry gravel growl of the man still insisting that he be listened to. I resisted.

Eventually the spitting gravel voice demanded my attention. I was pissed. I followed the sound away from the chirping squirrels and rustling leaves and allowed my focus to follow the sound of his voice. His words were barely audible and yet his rage was undeniable. "Who was he graveling at? - could it be at another man, a woman, a child, a neighbor, a dog?" I hated the sound, it was rough, and determined and relentless. I heard a crash, and then broken glass, and a woman's voice yelling back now, for him to "Shut-up!!" I paused, and listened intently. The leaves and the squirrels and the clouds and the wind were no longer available to me. I tuned it all out so I could hear......................eventually a door slammed. She was a frail woman no older than thirty with bouncy blond hair. She was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, boots and her bulky brown tote bag was clutched to her chest. She had a look of earnest intent - she stopped for a moment, - I thought, "No, don't go back, keep going away!!"......... I held my breath as she frantically searched her tote. Obviously she found whatever it was she thought she forgot, hopped in to her yellow jeep and sped away. Her tires spinning out gravel as she tore off - the sound? - as intense and frightening as his voice. Everything faded and I once again could hear the squirrels chirp, the tussle of leaves in the wind and once again I could see the smoke as it billowed up to the clouds. I breathed a long sigh of relief.



There were pictures on every wall along a pathway to finality. The smell of flowers, better placed elsewhere with other intent gave off a nauseating scent that could not be understood, only tolerated. The music was deafening, a country and western feel with words flowing through the air about tragedy and courage and hope and sorrow awkwardly blending with plunking and twanging guitar notes that were sharp and painful, although they were not suppose to be. People were quiet except for the wailing in the distance that grew louder with each step closer. There were occasional nods of recognition and similar purpose as the march droned on as if heading toward the pyre. Men in stiff suits and serious faces wandered about and stood at posts like crossing guards or those who keep things moving after an accident or navigating a construction site. They didn't have those road signs or flashlights but rather pointing fingers and almost always a hand on a shoulder or back encouraging a lost visitor to find their place in the march. They kindly and slowly moved closer to their ear or face to whisper, "go right this way" as if the reality could have been a pathway to a concert or some other event that required precise navigation. Except, at this event, no one really wanted to complete the march- no one wanted to arrive.
One by one the marching continued. The injustice became too large to absorb. The scents and sounds and sights were a stimulus overload, yet somehow, the brave marchers marched right in to the heart of it. It was why they were there. The hugs were fierce and much longer than a usual hug. Hands clasped and were sweaty and cold and clammy. Words were exchanged that make no real sense, given the levity. It's just what people say at times like this. Eye contact hurts, like lasers cutting into one's pain center, as if in a look,or a stare, a deeper meaning is somehow communicated. I don't even know if that is possible. And then it's over, the march has ended, and people leave silently having been counted.
His name is Kyle. He is ten. He will never be eleven.


Monday, October 20, 2008


After being ordered to remove clothing I waited nervously as I stood awkwardly before the monster who glared at me anxious to make me his next victim. I was exposed, half naked and frightened. I felt his cold stare and saw the strength of his stature and knew there was no escape. It was just me and him. I was given commands to move closer to him and stay still. His touch was anything but kind and his intent was to look through me and enter me in places I couldn't see or reach. He had a mission to complete and I was expected to not resist but rather give in to his intended purpose. He moved around me, slowly, stopping for a better look and feel. Commanding me to move this way or that. There was pressure and positioning that made me wince in pain. He pushed against me and was relentless until it was his desire to move on. His sounds were frightening, rhythmic and intense. I tried to get in his stride to create the appearance of acceptance hoping this surrender would lessen his presumed rage. Nothing I did mattered. I was his to have, invade, abuse, penetrate, and explore. At one point I felt he was unsure of his next move and that it was a rare moment in which I could break free. I couldn't have been more wrong. His hold became stronger, forcing me back in to his cold and strong embrace, insisting I not move or even breathe. I obeyed out of fear. Eventually the monster stopped, he finished and he released me from his coldness and superman eyes. I was allowed to put on my clothes and leave. He was through with me and I survived. I could breathe again without fear of his wrath.

Many, just like me have stood half naked before monsters just like him and fearfully anticipated his next move, his command, his force and intrusion. He is big and bulky and intense. He knows what he is looking for, what he wants and he does not stop until he either finds what he is looking for or he is forced to stop because it is simply over. Waiting for his discovery or lack of is worse than having been under his control. He has answers and knows things that only he can reveal. He has seen inside of me, he has looked in with his superman eyes and saw or didn't see anything, while I was held captive in his coldness. He held my life in his hands then and now, as I wait. I ask myself, was I good enough? Did I please him? Did he like what he saw or was he disappointed? As a woman, was I beautiful to him or just another woman for him to do with as he pleased? - Like the others he has forced into submission? Did I resist too much, move the wrong way, upset him by my child-like awkwardness? Would he be punishing?

His initial revelation is one of no consequence, no interest. I am relieved. I cry tears of relief. I believe him and I walk away singing "I WILL SURVIVE" as loudly as I possibly can.


"First I was afraid I was petrified, thinking I could never live without you by my side. I spent oh so many nights thinking how you did me wrong and I grew strong and I learned how to get you see me as somebody new.................." la la la la la la


While visiting family at a time of unrest I took some time to gather my thoughts away from the sorrow. Their pool, now covered with blue plastic and colorful leaves and tall white buckets filled with water on each corner holding the covering in place was a perfect way to explore my purpose in this journey.

Was I one of the four tall white buckets, filled with water and sturdy? Was I the blue plastic covering all the water beneath, protecting it until it can be opened and clear for summer frolic next year. Was I the colorful leaves scurrying and scattering in the wind not knowing where they would finally land. Was I the water beneath, protected from all the elements, accepting that others will keep me safe from the often harsh forces of winter. I was definitely not the water beneath, that is the source of this sorrow. Was I the page fence surrounding the entire pool area keeping out intruders?

I felt most aligned with being one of the tall white buckets filled with water. I liked this purpose because there were four of us responsible for the task of securing protection for what was beneath. Being part of a team doing one job felt right to me. I began to feel good that I had a place and that I wasn't alone.

I looked at the four white buckets, scratched and tattered and one had a broken handle. I had another decision to make. Being one with handles in tact or the one with a broken handle. I decided that I would be the one with the broken handle. I liked the imperfection of it allowing me to be imperfect as well. I also wanted it to be harder to move me if need be. I needed time to define my place in securing the plastic protecting the still and frightened water beneath, now covered and facing it's fate alone. I wanted to be sure that if the water had a chance of being uncovered and clear of disease that I had done my job by protecting it until winter's end.

I know the winter will be harsh. I can imagine the ice stinging my face and my tears frozen in time. I will be tempted to beg for mercy and long to be inside where it is warm and free of the elements of the storm. But I have a job to do, I need to be at my post because if the cover comes off before it is time the water beneath will be exposed and unable to withstand the treatment of winter. People are counting on me to be strong. But wait, I have a broken handle, how can anyone expect me to be equal to my team members. I chose this imperfect bucket for just that reason. It will be harder to move me filled with frozen water with no handle. This imperfection of mine will require that I fight harder to maintain my place and that the heaviness of it will be too much for anyone to move . I must withstand, no matter what.

I am scared of my weakness. my own brokenness. This view of the once fun filled pool now covered, preparing for winter, counting on the buckets to hold down it's covering while it endures purification, healing and new life for the summer that will come, regardless.

What will the uncovering reveal? Will I have done my job of protecting throughout the harsh treatment of winter. Will the water beneath be clear and clean and become a place to frolic and for swimming and laughter, floating and be refreshed and anew? Will it sparkle and invite and be energized? I don't know the answers and still I will do my job, providing a protective covering over the troubled and dark water beneath. I will stand proud looking about at my team members doing the same, each of us so important to the other. One bucket could not do this necessary task, we each have our piece to hold down. We each wonder what lies beneath, if the disease will grow anyway and destroy what we are fighting for to protect and keep safe. Is it all for naught? I must believe it is not. I must succeed at my post even if being there may make no difference at all in the final outcome, in the revealing of what may have grown anyway beneath the blue plastic cover.

I will be a good bucket, I promise. I will stand strong through it all. I wont move even when it gets really hard to stay. What I am challenged to do and be is far less then what the water beneath is fighting to once again become,- clear and free and able to withstand winter's treatment. When the buckets are eventually no longer needed and we look beneath the covering I will immerse myself in the water in whatever condition it is in - I will fall naked and vulnerable in to it's murkiness or clarity and float on it's surface. I will become part of the truth of it's renewed existence or it's death.

Gail (the bucket)

Friday, October 17, 2008

News of Passionate Intellect or Process

All forms of writing are news in some way. I was told by my, shall we say, 'mentor' that my news- writing is a process while others are news- with passionate intellect. She has, for the first time, taken to reading blogs. I told her of mine so she could "catch up" on my world, making our discussions more productive. She read other blogs, which in a few words, stated how one in particular was very intelligent and challenging and provoking and passionate, as opposed to my posts being, well, a process I have embarked upon for clarity and a voice of healing, and, as of late, to become "unglazed." She actually references the other blog often stating it is of intelligent design and demands. Demands, I questioned? To which she replied, "Oh yes, absolutely demands". Despite my best efforts to resist, I faltered and asked, "How so?" And she told me exactly how. I will, for the most part, write what she said as my recall is not 100% but you will all get the 'gist'.

Let's call the writer 'M C'. She began - "M C demands that the reader pay attention and read slowly. If I read quickly I miss a major transition from one thought to another. Now that takes skill. Also, M C presents ideas wrapped in metaphors and the uncommon yet critical shock statement that demands my attention. I re-read it as I need to be aware of it's placement to grab it's purpose. Usually it is a point of humor and a welcomed ice breaker, (as she chuckles lightly, tilting her head back and closing her eyes recalling a moment with M C), geeze. continuing on, ".............. M C demands respect and I find myself sitting up straight as I read so I can take it in proper. Amidst all the passionate intellect and metaphoric design there is deep feeling and expressed fear and hope of new strength. There is honest reflection and admission of mistakes and flaws and creative ways that M C has learned to use nature and experience to shape life. Also M C looks back on how time has allowed life to be shaped with M C as a willing participant, afraid of never finishing - and M C writes of such wisdom using a tiny red leaf, a puppet, a bridge, a bug, crows and squirrels and trees and the moon and magic and ............................." (now my mouth is on my chin as I listen to this woman of stature and extreme intelligence actually swooning and swaying, like telling of M C's writings was a sensual love song, like she fucked M C's mind), What the fuck"?
When she stopped and sort of slumped back in to the chair it was similar to how someone looks after a climax. If I had a cigarette I would have offered her one, - the situation warranted it.

She wants me to try and write in a similar fashion as she believes this will assist me - by exploring a metaphor or an object or parts of nature to relate to my experiences to bring forth what is hidden abstractly, creatively and free of barriers. No barriers in nature, right? She asked me to ask M C to give me some ideas, an 'assignment', so to speak, What? And that I should try it, do it and see what happens. I tried to give myself my own idea, I tried using a 'rock'. I went outside and sat on a rock, I picked up rocks, I threw rocks, I lined the rocks in a row, I piled them, and nothing. I became the freaking rock. Next I sat under a tree, which has one of those funny tree faces on it that we bought. Well, it was cool and I felt supported and even safe and so I touched the tree and thought about how this related to "my stuff". Soon I was really aware of how uncomfortable I was, and that trees also house many bugs and spiders so I was completely distracted. Next I entertained the pond out front. It is full of ideas, over flowing with nature in and around. The long weeds are like a jungle but I made my way down to the edge without sinking in to any muck. The green slime coating the pond is really disgusting, but hey, maybe I can use this to stimulate my memory, right? I heard bug noises, and things plop in to the pond as I am sure my presence scared the shit out of them in their natural habitat - I was the intruder. Things fell silent rather quickly and I stood there, waiting............for inspiration, a direction for writing, an experience I could attach to this scene. I could not get past the green slime, the prickly weeds, how close to the muck I was, and the real fear that a snake was certainly going to slither around my feet. I, like Jane of Tarzan, found my way out rather quickly, and other than being covered in pieces of straw- like dead weeds, I was completely unwise.

I do understand her idea. I know enough to know that when you go after something away from the process and find it creatively through a non-related idea one can get to something that otherwise will stay hidden. My process-news of self is just that, a process. I like my process and how I write, and honestly, she does too. Although she never swooned and swayed when she spoke of my writings like she did while fucking M C's mind. I get it, I do.

So, M C, you know who you are.
Any idas?

"Gah" -

peace blah blah blah

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"What kind of news is it?"

I received some startling news. Not of politics or gossip from work or some rude comment on a blog or even from my local news station. I think there should be a different word for this kind of news, - like "Gah-news", information that makes you say "Gah". I believe Kevin, a fellow blogger used the word "Gah" when he miss-spelled something on a comment. So maybe that is not the right word then, thinking...................ummmmm, "Quick-Sand" - news, the kind of news that sucks you in, in seconds because it is really fucking important. Wait, important isn't a good word either - not strong enough. Ummmmmmmmmm........."Critical", nah, too math-like, ummmmmmmmm............................."Life Changing" - well, maybe, because that's the kind of news I received, but that phrase is too 'self-help- syrupy- "The Secret" and Dr Phil crap to fit. How 'bout "Fatal", 'Fatal-News"..... nope, that's too final, leaves no room for denial or hope or miracles or mysteries to be solved. Maybe "Shitty-News", hmmmmmm, too trailer-trash and vague. I could go with "Angry-News", but then it limits the realm of emotions possible when hearing such news so no to"Angry-News". I might say "News-In-General", but that would truly be an insult. I could say it is "Powerful-News", hmmmmmmmm, well, maybe. That one is a possibility. Let's try, "Absolute-News", again no room for the miracle in that word. I am thinking - "News of Clarity" - Oh my, I sound like an English bloke so - no to that. "Challenging-News" just came in to my mind - again, that suggests the news is such that it can be challenged and it's not my call to make. Wait, I know, "Deciding-News"....that leaves many options for the one hearing the news and for whom (or is it who?), the news is about. So that is possibility number two.
So far in the running are "Powerful-News" and "Deciding-News". I need at least a third possible and then I can decide with your input, I hope.
Moving along - Let's see - "Unbelievable-News", that one sounds like I was told of a phenomenon - which this news clearly is not. So, what is it then, what kind of news is it? "Eye-opening-News"? No. Perhaps, "Frightening-News". Again, too much inference. "Dis-heartening-News". I like that one but nah, it's just not the right fit. "Unfair-News". Ya, ya, I know life is not fair - therefore news is often unfair too, it goes along with the unfair life thing.

I just cannot come up with a third possible. I am leaning heavily toward "Deciding-News". It seems right some how. The other choice is "Powerful". Wait, "Catastrophic-News". I know people will say that is reserved for 9/11 or earthquakes, or floods or hurricanes and the like, I get it, okay? Geeze relax.

So it's a toss up between "Deciding and "Powerful", with me favoring 'deciding. What do you think?

If I can settle on what type of news it is maybe I will believe it and maybe I can tell it. Who the fuck knows? Gah.


P.S. 10/17 I chose "Deciding-News". It made the most sense.

P.P.S. - 10/17 I have added Kevin's suggestion, and with his word first, it fits better. SO the official choice is: "Pressing-Deciding-News"

I will tell you the news.

an immediate family member, was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. It is news that is both pressing and deciding. thank you all for following my process.


Monday, October 13, 2008


I was talking to someone the other day and she commented how often I said "we". The word was striking for her because for so long she has been an "I" and additionally, when she was married and suppose to be a "we" she and he were each "I's".

I mentioned such things as we wrote out the bills, we gathered kindling wood, we cleaned up the garden, we watched a movie, we prepared dinner, we played music, we sang and on and on. We continued talking and words and insights and gratitude filled me. I explained that we have an understanding about the "I" of "We". We believe that whatever we do outside the 'we' must always be something that can come back in to the 'we' and add to or enhance the 'we-factor'. Of course we both have interests and friends that we enjoy outside the 'we'. Our vow is that those interests and relationships should never take away from or cause harm to the 'we'. I know this sounds simplistic and I must admit - it is, simple. It is for us. It makes perfect sense.

We are careful as individuals and as life's partners to filter who and what can be part of the 'we'. It is an entity worth protecting, preserving, ensuring, celebrating, honoring and sharing. People that are an extended part of our 'we' know the strength and passion of our 'we'. Most are inspired by it. Some feel it is impossible to maintain, some have run and some can't get enough. Our son said that coming home and being in the "we" gives him hope that one day he will be a "we" like us. I like that he feels that way. He is a skeptic tried and true, but not about this.

'We" takes work. Don't be fooled by thinking it just happens. There are aspects of a good 'we' that have the feel of a natural order of things. Still, these need to be acknowledged and nurtured. For example, if you both have similar values about children, relationship do's and don'ts, finances, social justice, faith, work ethics, family values, sex, and so forth this all helps. However, each of these vital expressions and approaches require compromise and respect and good communication. And after all is said and done and perhaps you agree to disagree and the core 'we' is still in tact and thriving then your 'we' is strong.

It is often in our ability to love despite differences that strengthens the 'we'. You know when the difference is such that it becomes a violation of self. It is then that the 'we' crumbles. People elude themselves into believing that such violations will not destroy the 'we-factor' but it always does. If you are lucky or pro-active you will know before you create the 'we' that the other half of your possible 'we' is someone whose values and ethics will violate you. Many ignore the obvious because they think they can change the other person. That is the biggest false hope of all. No one can change anyone else. Many have died trying. The core person will always be - so it is best to know what that is and decide if it is a core you can embrace as part of your 'we'.

I have been in significant relationships where I have ignored the obvious. In many ways I felt challenged by thinking I would be the one to bring this person around to see it my way. Hah!! Each of these relationships ended miserably with ample time necessary to recoup.

I waited and explored before I became part of my current 'we'. A 'we' for two decades now. There is nothing about him I want to change and there is nothing about me he wants to change. The differences are exciting, and at times even annoying, but never violating. Our core values around all the major issues are similar and where we may differ we easily compromise. Choices we make outside our 'we' are always choices that we can bring back happily to our 'we' to share. When mistakes are made they are not so harmful as to separate either of us from being 'we'. We forgive. I watched a movie the other night and it spoke to five elements, as follows:

1- life isn't always fair
2- regard loyalty
3- sacrifice
4- forgive
5- dance with memories -love lives on in them

I am trying to say, - ally yourself with someone who believes in you just as you are and that you can believe in just as they are. One has to know and love themselves first, for that to happen. Never compromise your values to not be alone and never ever become someone you are not. And when you think you have to change someone for you to be happy, chances are you will never be happy. People pretty much show and tell us who they are rather quickly. Believe what they show you and tell you.

I hope any of you reading this know your own value and worth and that you find someone or have someone that by their design lives a life that just by chance, blends with yours and the 'we' that is created will honor and sustain you both forever.


Saturday, October 11, 2008


The morning brought new light, new hope, cool dry air, beautiful colors and sounds of nature and a talk with a friend with understanding and knowledge. The type of person that "gets it" with few words needed to explain. Such a gift.
I am in a type of hardened glaze. I liken it to a kiln used for ceramic pottery which fires the piece of molded clay so it wont break. It also leaves a satin type finish, smooth and secure. My outside is smooth and secure. The kiln fired glaze covers all imperfections and so it appears that it is perfectly baked. I am baked to perfection. I like it this way. No chipping away to see what is hidden beneath, no need. It/I present well. People smile, no one feels obligated to ask, "what's wrong or are you okay?". The fired up glaze doesn't allow for it.

The kiln is not easy to step into. Once in, there is no getting out. Or so it seems. Which is exactly why people get in to the kiln in the first place -no way out. I suppose someone could cone along and know the glaze has to be cracked open and if you let them close enough they might just care enough to do that. Silently, under the glaze, the glazed over hope for that, but that's a secret. The glazed over see the imperfections from the inside it's just that no one else can see. The 'fresh from the kiln hardened glazed people' of the world are everywhere. If you are a "glazer" (new made up word), you can pick out other "glazers". When "glazers" make eye contact there is an awkward paralyzing, first to do a reality check and second is wondering if the other "glazer" is going to 'unglaze you or you them'. Facial movements and blinking and shoulder shrugs and momentum will decide the outcome. More often than not "glazers" pass eachother by, each questioning why. There are also the non-"glazers" that somehow know. They are the scariest. Another secret - the "glazers" want the non-"glazer" to chase after them, tackle them to the ground, restrain them and crack the glazing in pieces until it all falls off - and all the while the "glazer is screaming "NO, NO, NO!!" . "Glazers" fight against the very thing they need the most - it is the way of 'glazing'.

"Glazers", typically have been unglazed at various times in their lives. They are quite clear on when it is better to be a "glazer" verses not. Still, during 'glazing' periods it is also clear that they long to be unglazed. They convince themselves that this is the way it is suppose to be and that when the time is right the glaze will magically fall away and all will be right inside and out. The glaze is a defense, protection, security, false or otherwise it is necessary. The glaze is the ultimate mask and underneath is the true vision, face, and reality. Everyone needs a break from themselves and at the same time while in waiting or hiding the "glazer" hopes to be found and broken open. They imagine when the time will come when being a "glazer" is no longer necessary. They wonder who will see the glaze and ignore it and break through with all their might despite the "glazers" best effort at resisting. To not resist is always deemed a failure or lack of courage by the "glazer"believing they know what is best, and at the same time knowing that it is the glazing itself that provides a false security and strength to withstand what lies beneath.

So if 'timing' is the critical issue in glazing,please know, that the "glazer" just may not be the best judge of the right time to become unglazed. I wonder if any non-'glazers" that knows of a "glazer" would chase after them, wrestle them to the ground, restrain them, knock off all the glaze and help them stand up straight and tall without the glaze. "Glazers" around the world want exactly that. Remember, this is a secret, because every "glazer" you may know will insist this is not true. They will fight you like a caged animal. It is the way of a "glazer".

To "glazers" and "non-glazers" alike, - here's to the wrestling match!


Thursday, October 9, 2008


Big word, huh? Who has power in your life. To whom have you given your power away. I have given my power away too many times to recall. It made sense at the time. In hindsight- huge mistakes.

Recently, I have been over powered by righteous determination. Believing therefore, I am inferior. What? And not in the way you might think. Let me try and explain.

People of this particular mindset insist that their experiences, their views, their life, their reasons, their admittances, their purpose, their understandings, their opinions, their fears, their hopes, their conflicts, their ideals and ideas, their surrender, their courage, their battles, their random acts of kindness, their giving, their holding back, their insights, their mistakes, their isolation, their joining, their faith, their abuses, their deceptions, their knowledge, their purpose, their unknowns, their rudeness, their sensitivity, their demanding, their silence, their punishments, their dismissals, their gatherings, their judgments, their criticisms, their praises, their pain, their joy, their dreams, their desires, their weaknesses, their strengths, their answers, their questions, their challenges, their obstacles, their direction, their refusals, their rage, their peace, their identity, their reflections, their needs, their satisfactions, their humor, their cruelty, their aggressions, their gentleness, their defenses, their honesty, their expectations, their disappointments, - there are more but I will conclude the list with their passion.

The point about power is when all of the above is presented as if others have no equal right to be heard or when someone is trying to express any of the above about themselves and the person dominating has an air of "whatever" as if others are speaking nonsense - the listeners power has been robbed or given away. It is a combination of give and take. People leave these conversations feeling very weakened. More power is given away when one keeps trying to be heard and their voice falls to the deaf ears of the righteous. I know this type person sees themselves as far superior in every area of their life. I know how misinformed they are, not about themselves, what do I know? - but in their inability to honor others and what they believe for themselves.. I, in such conversations honor and respect the righteous speaker even though I disagree with their arrogant tirade. I maintain integrity for them and for me. It is the lack of integrity and respect in return that is their attempt to be even more superior at my and others expense. Somehow they insist that they know that others are nothing and have nothing, comparatively. No one exists but them.

I believe we have a responsibility to empower each other not dis-empower by spewing experiences and views that are unique only to the speaker. Rather, we need to listen for the successes and challenges and victories based on the other person's life and acknowledge their power for what it means to them. Certainly, we should not suggest or insist that because we don't fully know another person's life's journey that somehow only ours is worthy. When that is the message, the inference, the outright 'tell-it-like-it-is" approach to gaining personal power, no one really wins. The person speaking of such righteous power knows they are beating down the listener and the person fighting to be heard realizes that they are being insulted, being beat up so another can be empowered. I am not sure if the one delivering the verbal beating really feels good about themselves after because I have never ever been in that role. I have been in the role where I actually feel as if I am looking up at them like they are positioned over me handing down their final judgment - their final blow - their final pointed finger, rendering those beneath them silent.

These insecure power hungry, right at all cost types are everywhere. They are at work, in families and in every possible role of perceived authority or understood craziness. I believe that when these types are in a position to gain momentum at the expense of others it is dangerous and unyielding. Only those being robbed of their power or by necessary design are giving it away can stop the person who is doing it. Much easier said than done, I know.

Who takes your power? To whom do you give your power away? It is an epidemic.

not so peaceful in this moment in time

Sunday, October 5, 2008


November is my favorite month of all, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I muddle through October. October is when I first encountered the teacher. October was also the final "IT" with Daniel, the priest. The colors and smells are quite provoking. October is also the month my Dad died, October 22nd to be exact. It is 25 years this year - a very odd and distant, yet 'only yesterday' marker. My Mom 'sees' him and 'talks' to him on a regular basis. I love her stories of such meetings. I hang on every word. He has visited her while she was hanging clothes on the line. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered, "Don't cry, I can't stay long". She has felt him in their bed, full form, lying next to her, his breath on her neck. He told her it takes three days to get to heaven and that everyone has their own room and an assigned job. He said his room is next to a room in waiting for her and that his job is building bridges. It seems there is a fine and cross-able line between 'here' and there' and my Dad crosses over often. For those of you who believe, this is comforting. For those of you who don't, - this is all hooey and I imagine disturbing.
I love ominous days with dark clouds and crisp air while the wind forces leaves to scatter and fall. I enjoy wearing jean jackets and thick socks with boots and bulky sweaters with sleeves long enough to hide my hands. When my long dark wavy hair gets tussled in a breeze I am empowered as I lift my head to experience the full impact. Once the leaves have all fallen and the trees are bare I am completely at peace. I purchase gourds and pumpkins and burn candles with spiced scents such as cinnamon, ginger, maple, clove, apple and pumpkin. Coffee tastes better sipped slowly while out on our deck, seeing my breath and steam from my cup as I take in the calm mystery of November.
November is the month I write my "Why I am Thankful For You Letters". I have been writing these for over 10 years. My Mom has every one I wrote about her neatly tucked in her very worn and very old Bible. I write a letter to everyone who graces our Thanksgiving table at dinner. The cast of characters have been many along with the wonderful constants. Some years, if one of my daughters were dating a, shall we say, questionable type, I would struggle to find words of Thanksgiving. But I did.
I can't write about Thanksgiving without mentioning my "famous stuffing". Folks that know me well put in requests for 'to go' containers to be sure they get some regardless if they are having Thanksgiving dinner with us, or not. I love the sounds and smells of the day. Our home is filled with the aroma of the turkey sizzling wrapped in the warm sounds and smells of our wood burning stove filling the air with warm earthy comfort. The Macy's Day parade marches on as we unwrap gold flatware and our Indian dishes and hope we have enough wine glasses for the beau je' lais. Each persons letter of "Why I Am Thankful For Them" is proudly placed on their plate. I believe tradition is so important My family has come to count on these simple and purposeful traditional acts of kindness. Each person reads their letter out loud before the eating begins and it is then known, by all at our table, with whom they are breaking bread. There are tears and laughter, alike. Time stands still, or so it seems.
This year someone new will be at our table. Not new to our family, but rather their first time coming for Thanksgiving dinner. I always get a little more excited about the 'new letters' I need to write.
And so November is a very special and savored month for me. Every year I am renewed at this time. Faith and hope abounds despite any harsh realities we are facing. November and what it means to me, provides balance between the two. Not to say I don't find balance the rest of the year, but rather November is more like an annual event, a fund raiser for all that is good and 'just'.
Don't you think we all need a personal fundraiser to restore harmony? I do, I truly do.

Here's to whatever works for you. Cheers!


Thursday, October 2, 2008


Quite an interesting word-promise, used so easily and often not said or 'promised' with the true and powerful meaning and purpose it demands. - a simple definition from the dictionary I found was - "an oath or affirmation, a vow."

I prefer to hear or say non-promising statements unless I or the person making the promise is quite sure they will 'keep their word', otherwise it is best to say such things as: I hope to, I want to, I will try to, I believe I will, I plan to, maybe, I am not sure, if only I could, even I don't know if I can. At least with these non promising statements the receiver is not being set up for disappointment. Well, even so, people want to believe whatever will in fact be true. That's just human nature.

All that being said, why do we promise someone something. For me, at the time, I believe it is what I and they want and need to hear. It is a relationship bridge that moves things along the spectrum of what the hopes are for continuum with some sort of peace of mind. Once promised, it is so, and therefore no worries ensue, right? Wrong. It is in the very promise itself that we set ourselves up for deception, betrayal, hurt, fear and disappointment. I, like you, have promised and been promised many things and many have not lasted. Broken promises are the inspiration for songs and poetry and medications alike. No one likes to be 'made the fool'.

I am living and loving in some promises given and received these days and I have been for almost 20 years. These promises, vows, have become ever more important, increasingly valuable, life sustaining, celebratory, comforting, contagious, enlightening, powerful, and enforced every day. I look back upon a myriad of broken promises and the 'promise' I have been gifted with in my life for almost two decades surpass and over shadow all the broken promises that shattered me before. They are all a distant memory. Their purpose? - was to give me great delight in the vast difference of then and now.

I have promised and been promised many times. I don't promise anything unless I am quite sure I can deliver. One cannot spread one's self too thin when it comes to promises. They require much thought, energy, commitment, perseverance and understanding. I cherish and protect and fight for the promised in my life. Each promise and each person to which I have vowed knows that I will keep my promises at all cost, no matter what. The important few in my world that have promised me? Their determination is the same as mine.

What about you and the promised in your world. What do they believe about your ability to stay 'true to your word', your promise-your vow, and what do you believe about them staying true to theirs?

All things considered, all subtle variables in view, I promise to never promise unless I feel that surge of adrenalin that drives me to honor and fight for it's intention.