Sunday, April 22, 2018

Always




A friend of mine recently lost her husband, a man she was married to for more than fifty years. When I heard about his death my heart went out to her for I, too, have lost someone. And although he wasn’t my husband, and although I knew him for only twelve years, I loved him dearly with a love that was deep and intense even though the relationship we shared often zigged and zagged and sometimes led me around in circles. But oh, the things I learned from him, although he never knew he was my teacher. 

“Will we always be friends?” I asked him once not long after I found him.


And he answered, “Always.” 

When he died I went into mourning, a mourning that was deep and intense, a mourning that sometimes zigged and zagged and too often led me around in circles so that the only way I could handle it was to write about it, never realizing that grief was my teacher. 

“Will we always be friends?" I asked him once when I was feeling lost, "even while you are in heaven and I am not?” 


And he answered, “Always.” 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I Believe

“In small towns, and big cities, we came together as Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to stand up and say that we are one nation, we are one people, and our time for change has come.”
Barack Obama

I believe.
R. Kelly

I believe - despite Charlottesville, despite one Philly Starbucks’ manager, despite all outrageous and insidious behaviors, I believe.

I believe in the future that is coming to America. So, stand up! Stand up, America! Stand up for Trayvon. Stand up for Rodney. Stand up for Sandra Bland and Walter L. Scott.  Stand up for justice and, for God’s sake, stand up for decency!

Stand up and say it: I believe - and then do something to make it happen. Like try being kind to one another, to everyone, and take a step up, a step toward becoming one nation and one people.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

On Being Cradled

As you may or may not be able to tell from my last couple of posts, I have been going through all my old journals, reliving memories and wondering if, like the lyrics of a song, things were so much simpler then.

Here, for instance, is a memory from 
August 28, 2002:

There are only a few more days left to summer. It is early morning and I have been sitting on the porch that belongs to the house my daughter and son-in-law have rented in Rodanthe for this, our second trip to the Outer Banks.
  
I few moments ago I closed my eyes to meditate and to watch my thoughts as though they were a train passing by. But it is not always easy to remember to disengage from my thoughts, to breathe deeply, and to connect to the sweet, rhythmic flow of the universe.

Later:

It's raining heavily now and I am inside staring out at a cluster of sea oats which are swaying in the breeze and sitting just to the left of a couple of tombstones. Apparently, this island was settled by two families whose grave sites are scattered here and there along the entire length of the island.

Every once in a while the house, which is only yards from the ocean and "up on stilts," rocks, and I smile every time I feel it move beneath me because it makes me feel as though I am being cradled in the arms of God.  


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Another Poem

Enigma

Last night,
As sleep escaped me,
I worked the enigma
That is you.
Like a mantra,
I whispered your name
To the heavens
And wished  a wish 
Upon a thousand stars
As I waited for the midnight sky
To melt into the morning dew,
And wondered over
The miracle that is you.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Love Story


I wrote this poem once, a long time ago, but I never shared it with anyone - until today.


I look at your face,
Aglow and softly lit
As though from some source
That shines on you and you alone.
I look at your face
As my eyes trace
Every contour, each angle,
Memorizing each
Sweet expression,
Each subtle shift.

I look at your face,
Slightly out of focus
As though seeing it
From behind a tear.
My body trembles,
Suddenly aware
That your fingers have moved
To caress my cheek,
Gently,
Softly,
Finally.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Our First #NorEaster2018

Friday was horrendous. The storm that was predicted as all rain in this area turned to snow and driving a school bus full of children became challenging to say the least. Because the worst of the storm didn’t hit here until after 2:00 p.m., schools remained open. By 3:30 p.m. the roads were so congested the buses couldn’t get through to the elementary schools and many young students didn’t get home until after 6:00 p.m.

I didn’t leave work until after six when the thought of taking the 45-minute drive home was so daunting I decided to stay nearby where I was safe, but alone, and where I ate a light supper and got into bed and slept for the next twelve hours.

In the morning I got up, picked up my cell phone, and listened to a guided meditation I have been listening to for the last ten days, a meditation containing these words: Albert Einstein once said that there are only two ways to live your life. One is to see nothing as a miracle. The other is to see everything as a miracle.

As I listened I reflected back on the day before, thinking about the miracles I had seen and heard:
1). Cars taking turns moving through intersections where traffic lights were out.
2). A bus driver who agreed to take on more runs than he had to.
3). Dispatchers who worked well beyond the call of duty.
4). Bus drivers coming together at the end of the day to share their experiences and perhaps a laugh before heading out through the storm again to make their way home.

And as I thought about these things, I thought, too, about what I had written a few weeks earlier, after the Super Bowl, about how we are all champions doing our jobs, even those of us who bitched and complained. Because in the end we all fought the dragon and won.



Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Teacher Speaks #ArmTeachers

When I saw what happened at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Florida on Valentine's Day, I cried.
But when I heard what the President of the United States was proposing as a solution, I was stunned beyond tears.

In reponse to the President's proposal to arm teachers, my granddaughter, herself a teacher, posted the following words on Facebook: 

The teachers have been begging to be armed. Arm us! Arm us with pencils, pens, crayons and markers. Arm us with notebooks, binders and folders. Arm us with enough desks for our 30+ students and a room big enough for the desks, and heat in the winter so our students can stay awake and fans in the spring and fall so our students can concentrate.

Arm us with a budget for the child who comes to school late and hungry or the child who has already read every book in our one shelf library twice. Or arm us with a liveable wage so that we can afford a discreet drawer full of nutrition and a collection of challenging literature. Arm us with evidence based practices and the latest technology.

Arm us with your confidence in our professional ability and your support for our professional growth and our personal self care. Arm us with a culture that does not toss us out as overpaid crybabies who only work the bare minimum and lounge by the pool all summer, who value us and the national treasures, the most precious commodities, who smile at us each morning, who come to us for hugs and breakfast and lunch, who seek us for help and comfort and understanding, who lash out at us verbally or physically on a Wednesday and know that Thursday will be a new day when we will show up still loving them.

Arm us with a culture who sees us, hears us, asks us on the front lines what the solutions could be and then dares to try it our way. Arm us! ARM US! With all these tools, we beg you to arm us.

And you've come offering a loaded gun.