Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Posts tagged ‘love’

Betrayal by a Stranger

I guess every one you know has lost someone. That journey started for me when I was a teenager and my Pa-Pa died. By the time you get to be my age, you tend to lose count. The worst was losing my mom. Not long after followed my dad. Never had any kids, and I was divorced nineteen years sgo. Just found out that he died too, this April. In between all of this, more than a few animals I loved did leave me. It’s a stark, scary feeling, this being so alone. People want to give me drugs, all kinds of advice on what I should do. It’s all good, only this is my journey now. My time to remember. One technique I use when I hit that wall, when you can’t breathe, and the knot in your throat feels like a baseball. I imagine a beautiful white Craftsman Bungalow, with red pillars on the front porch, nandenas large and bushy on every side, same old porch swing my Pa-Pa swung me in right after I was born. Of course, now, it’s hardly the same. My dad painted over all of it with some God-awful brown paint, and my pathetic alcoholic brother keeps the doors locked and hardly seems to care. All the beautiful plants and flowers my grandmother planted and loved are gone. Sycamores gone, no sign of the Mimosa tree we all climbed in as kids. Even my grandmother’s red spider lillies disappeared. But in my mind, there is another place. As much Heaven to me as it gets. The amazing white frame house my Pa-Pa built sits high on top of the hill, and the two old rock driveways that go up beside the house are still there. I see my mama’s ferns all green and bushy all over the front porch. I can even smell the frothy bubbles of Palmolive dish soap in the kitchen sink. But no longer do my grandparents live there alone. It’s a busy place again, just like when they were young. Only new people are welcome and happy there, like my friend Brenda, who died in a car crash years sgo, and little Lori, who had scoliosis, and ended her life before surgery one bright morning. All the old folks, family and friends they loved are hanging around again. My mom is there, with one of her pretty dresses on, and her curly hair all soft and nice. My Daddy likes to sit out on the big concrete steps up front, and play his guitar. And even my husband Charlie is there now. He fixes everything. And works on cars again. He rebuilt my Pa-Pa’s old garage out back, under the huge black walnut tree, and never loses his tools anymore. But the best part are the animals that live here. From the littliest kitten I had to say goodbye to at such an early age, the beautiful pair of Siamese cats I loved so much, Pepe the skunk, Lucy, the dachshund, Barney, the border collie, Mew-Mew, Elmo, Beau, Mirabelle, so many other kitties i loved, all there, on the front porch, playing in the yard. The Mimosa tree is there again, all green with magenta blooms, and the tall sycamores grace the side yard once again like giant soldiers. When I am tired or sad, I can go sit in Pa-Pa’s sleeping porch, and play with Petey, the parakeet, and smell my grandfather’s cherry tobacco. Even my old dog Lizzie is there, and she hangs out with Mama now. Paleface, Tigger One and Tigger Two, Cleo too, all play in the soft green grass. And my Guardian protector, old Bruno, lays beside my grandma’s spider lillies. Everyone’s there, and the front door, even the back door, they are always open. And I don’t have to be so sad, or miss them all so much. I can invite anyone I want to come over, and they do. What helps me most, is to think that one day, however it comes, I will have angel escort right back to this blessed house, on the hill, where everyone waits for me. And at Christmas, the lights go up, and they make pecan pies, and hang the stockings again for Santa. My life was full once, and one day it will be again. And nobody will ever tell me different. However hard or challenging life seems now, whenever it just gets to be too much, I have a place I can go. I don’t need drugs, or counseling, or a room in some cement building. I just need trees, and squirrels, red birds and chickens. And I have all that. Abigale, my little rat terrier, raised as a pup since 2000, is still right here beside me. And I tell her about this place all the time. We have a good place to go, no matter what happens here. Anyone can do this, have a happy place to go. The sun shines there, every day. The old truck starts right up, and nobody has to drink or act ugly. Only goodness and mercy live here. In my heart. And nobody can take that away from me. ūüíúūüíöūüíõūüíöūüíúūüíôūüíúūüíô

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The Flower in the Junkyard

Most times, the thing you think you really want, is elusive. ¬†Sometimes, what you have, doesn’t seem enough, or even exactly right. ¬†Life is a succession of opportunities, challenges, and choices. ¬†It is also hardship, and struggle. ¬†Just when you feel a little comfortable, something, or someone, can come along and blow all that right out of the water. ¬†All the hope, even all of the planning in the world, will only take you so far. Seems like people always want guarantees. ¬†And as I have viewed this world, there are no guarantees.

One time when my little car was limping along on three used tires, and one losing air real fast, I drove it 10 miles on a wing and a prayer, to the only junkyard in the county, in hopes they might have a tire for me, better than I had.  One I might afford.

I pulled in, over to the yard area, where piles of metal junk covered the landscape.  And in between all this rusty twisted metal, were cars, all abandoned, being parted out, in different stages of deconstruction, just like any junkyard.  But something happened in that moment, as I looked out over the strange image before me, like the sun suddenly shined brighter, and everything else was obscured.  Somehow diminished.

A young man came running toward my car. ¬†As he approached, I could see the sweat pouring off his arms. ¬†Summer in Texas is brutal, and this day was no exception. ¬†He came up to my side and and looked in my window, and said, “Hi! ¬†What can I do for you?” ¬†And I said, “Uh…. ¬†uh…. ¬†Oh! ¬†I just need a tire. ¬†I have a front tire on the other side going flat.”

In life, there are certain defining moments.  And sometimes, there are just moments in time, that happen randomly.  Unexpectedly.  Moments that you will always remember. That change your life.  Beautiful moments, that years later, you never forget.  This moment, was the moment I saw Charlie.

In the midst of all that nasty junk, out in the hottest of suns, with sweat in pools all over his forehead, on his neck, and in his eyes, I was struck.  Like a lightning bolt from above, I was surely struck.  I will never forget his eyes, as long as I live, and probably beyond. He was grinning from ear to ear, just like he won the lottery, and the water from his eyebrows was dripping all down into his eyes, eyes as green as irisdescent emeralds, so green and sparkling, it caught my breath.  And his eyelashes were thick and long, and all completely spiked around those beautiful green eyes, like nothing I had ever seen before, or likely ever will again.  Those spiked lashes, formed from the sweat of his own brow, captured the beauty and intensity of these eyes, and frankly, I have a hard time remembering what happened next, or how I even got back home.

Life is funny like that. ¬†Absolutely no guarantees will you find. ¬†And if you do, they are false. ¬†But it seems that when you least expect it, beauty, simplicity and grace, will show itself, if only you have the eyes to see. ¬†Life is difficult for most of us, if not all. ¬†It can throw you down, and stomp on your heart. ¬†You can feel lost, forgotten, even broken. ¬†But in those unexpected moments, a light from above comes down and strikes your old heart. ¬†Like a jumpstart. ¬†And suddenly you see that flower in the junkyard. You don’t have to have any one set of beliefs, or adhere to a strict guideline of behavior for this to happen. ¬†It is a direct and unshakeable knowing. ¬†A place without fear or doubts. ¬†And like all things, it may be fleeting. ¬†You might wake up one morning with green eyes sleeping beside you, and the next, reading a stark and unembellished obituary. ¬†The beautiful light from those green eyes has been removed, taken away, lost from the view of earthly concerns. ¬†And it will tear you up inside. ¬†It will rock your very being. ¬†And you will walk alone through a world that does not care. ¬†No guarantees.

Maybe we all look for a ray of hope in this crazy world. ¬†We all come from nothing, and that is surely where we return. ¬†But once, maybe even twice, in a lifetime, you see a flower growing in a junkyard. ¬†Amidst all the sharp edges and harsh realities of life, you find an exquisite and perfect blossom, growing each minute, each second, just for the sheer opportunity to reach for the sun. ¬†In this world we find ourselves in today, it’s important to look for flowers, and when we find them, admire and remember all that they give us. ¬†It’s important when we feel broken and so sad, to remember these flowers, and how they had no regrets, not for their struggle, and not for their eventual death. Their life was made for the one tiny instant they brought beauty and joy into this world, and nothing more. ¬†Life is simple like that.

And if you can’t find such a flower, be the flower. ¬†If everything around you seems in ruins, and your health is failing you, and you have more loss than love, you be the flower. ¬†You be the gorgeous delicate blossom, unique and forever innocent. ¬†You be that flower in the junkyard. ¬†And if God does shine down on you, maybe the right person will happen along and notice you, and be forever changed in that moment.

Be a flower in the junkyard.  Just be that!

For Lauren ~

Proceed with Caution: ¬†Strong Feminine Influence Ahead! ¬†I must admit there have been more than a few times when I’ve stopped mid-flight, like some poised stage actor, at that one final instant before you accidentally step off that enormous cliff. And in this moment, I have wondered so innocently, “What do I do?”

There are many situations that can present in our modern world. ¬†I believe that the modern woman is stretched so far beyond what has been our traditional roles, that even in this great year of 2014, I feel like a cave-woman, washing out my skins in the river. ¬†It’s important to remember that even though we are highly equipped these days to zoom in and out, it might be prudent to take time out of your week, every week, to touch back down. ¬†Literally put your bare feet onto Mother Earth, in her dirt, her dampness, her sometimes stickery greens…

It all feels like a test to me. ¬†So if we are being asked to stretch, a lot, then okay. ¬†I can do that. ¬†The best moment in my morning is that first long enjoyable stretch standing in the wet grass that is my tiny front yard. ¬†It is so cute and so poignant, that Mother Nature herself is right at the very edge, at the ready on the entire periphery that is my domain, such as she be. Whatever their test was or is, I’ve managed to fit in my agenda as well, and I like to think that it is a compliment and well worth the enduring effort.

I see so many amazing women now, thanks to the internet.  We still visit, and we share.  Some ladies might not know it, but when they share their family celebrations on social media, like pictures of relatives, great spreads on the table, and their own emotional words to garnish, people like me who miss that so very much, can once again remember and relish those times.  It is a truly amazing gift.

There’s always a bigger stick. ¬†We just have to get over that. ¬†As I try to re-arrange my mind and my environment, and my life to include another new person, unexpected and yet completely not… ¬†it feels like this game we are in is actually much more than just a test. ¬†It is an inter-active learning field that is the high-tech version of a “scratch-n-sniff…” ¬†ūüôā ¬†They say everything we perceive as matter is just an energy field that vibrates. ¬†Understanding that my emotions and energy, what I give forth also create such fields, ripples into the universe, it feels like second nature, like moving through a landscape and waving my arms and voila’ — there before me appears something else new and wonderful and exciting!

Truth is, I am working harder at 59 than I ever thought I could. ¬†I thought by now, I could just kick back and coast for a while. ¬†Oh, no! ¬†ūüôā ¬†That tendency is evidently not in me, thank goodness. ¬†Things are speeding up and you would do well to keep up, if you can. ¬†How do you do that? ¬†By not becoming overwhelmed by anything. ¬†Do not let Anything Completely break you down to the catatonic state we all know. ¬†Oh sure, you can have a little mini-meltdown on the back porch, punch a pillow in the laundry room, or if you are truly at your wit’s end, run, run, run… ¬†just put on your shoes and take off!

Someone in my family used to tell me, “Just buy some time.” ¬†That is very good advice if you are feeling confused and a bit disorganized, not knowing where to start. ¬†You have been dealt a great blow, and you must heal and shore up your reserves again. ¬†The goal could be to envision something even better. ¬†A new Lauren that is more flexible, more wise, more giving, more patient, and much much more beautiful! ¬†‚̧

Here’s what I learned in the experience of standing alone. ¬†You aren’t going to die! ¬†Whatever problem or obstacle, whether it is real or merely a worry, can be healed, changed, de-railed or avoided altogether. ¬†Nothing is ever written in stone. ¬†It is okay to change your mind a hundred times or more! ¬†That’s how you get it right! ¬†All you have to do is to look into the faces of your children to know if you are on the right track. ¬†The innocence and the wonder is all still there. ¬†You can ignite their curiosities and their interests, and in so doing, find your own bliss in these moments.

Remember this too! ¬†Things can change in a New York minute! ¬†So best be ready for the time when you will Want To Be More! ¬†When you meet someone who somehow makes you better than you really are! ¬†But until then, you are good just like you are. ¬†In fact, you are surrounded in a great sphere of energy built of love and protection and pride and joy from all of your soul-family that has come before you. ¬†They sing and laugh and cry with you all the way. ¬†They hold you up when you don’t think you can breathe.

And if mistakes happen, tragedy strikes, sadness grabs you, that’s okay too. ¬†I am the most accident-prone person on the planet. ¬†If there is a mess to be made, I will make it. ¬†But I have to try. ¬†We have to try. ¬†At least when they call our ticket, we can stand up and go, “Okay, I did my best.” ¬†And if that is the end of this test, well, I used to feel a great deal of melancholy at the end of the year when I closed that little booklet and set down my pencil. ¬†I knew that this year was done, my time in this class was over. ¬†But we did not die. ¬†We kept going. ¬†I think that is the lesson to learn. ¬†And it’s okay to reach for that bliss, if you can, whenever you can!

Lauren, follow your bliss!

Wayside Oaks Organic Farm Update:

H E L L O and G O O D M O R N I N G!

Here are the latest updates from the new start-up organic farm down in Tejas!

Our main security/herding dog Biscuit has developed a nasty raspy cough, and he’s trying to spit out phlem. I suspect this is a case of Kennel Cough, or to be more exact, stress combined with poor diet, surrounded by so many other souls of equal or greater auras of fear… He also has diahrrea, most likely from jumping back into nutrient rich meal schedule and regular exercise. And stress.

Yesterday I was wiped out! haha So tired, and so was Biscuit. We did not even try to do the big walk, as we were quite late in even attempting it. So instead, before he was coughing, I just threw his heavy KONG ball only three times down the driveway. It was plenty for a rest day after so much drama. haha We hates the drama.

In trying to mix him a potion, something to coat his throat at least, I mixed up about 4 TBSP’s of organic agave syrup, into his clean stainless steel water bowl, with about 2 cups of clean and cold spring water. If we weren’t out of green tea, I would have brewed some for both of us of course! But surprisingly since I have never seen Buscuit refuse any food or drink, he turned up his nose to the cold water with agave. Hmmmm…

So I went to the pantry, and some kind love has sent us some gourmet chicken in water, so I took that and removing just a bit of the water for kitty Arnie, poured the entire can into Biscuit’s throat remedy. You can imagine that this time we had no trouble whatsoever. He looked at me after he finished with the sweetest eyes… Like he loves me…

I was also quite tired yesterday because the night before I had to totally brainstorm to come up with some reasonable solutions to different less-than-perfect situations here at the farm. I find that if you concentrate too much on what is not working for you, you tend to lose sight of what is. So without too much pre-judgment of the critical sort, I jumped in with all four feet and came up with WOOF! Yep, that’s it. Wayside Oaks Organic Farm. A sanctuary for unwanted or older farm animals. We do accept the occasional pup from time to time. haha But at this Cruelty-Free Oasis of Heaven, CATS RULE! haha We show the highest respect at all times for the smaller ones of us.

Since yesterday’s adventure seeing the baby goat with Biscuit, I am really excited, as if I don’t have enough to take care of at the moment… hahaha (Building an organic farm, farmhouse and Barn from nothing is not as easy as you might think.) An Aqua-Ponics Farm no less! Right this very second, these two pups, Biscuit and Summer, who are now both internationally known American Dog Representatives of the best sort… ūüôā are both spooning at the very foot of my little bed, so I will not notice them. So cute. They get away with a lot. So while they are quiet, I am about to research once again the feasibility of getting three does, female goats of one kind or another, I am not particular. We also like sheep very much! Whatever nice little flock we accumulate, it will be up to me, unless God sends me a shepherd angel manifest… to learn how to control Biscuit and Summer with the flock. I have seen videos of the men of Basque, the men of Scotland, the men of New Zealand with their herds and their dogs. But I cannot make a whistle loud enough to get their attention. So I am trying to imagine how I can signal them as they herd and protect our baby goats. Wow. I know. I just wanted to paint and to sew. To cook and to grow. I am now also Shepherd! We are so blessed.

Here is another amazing revelation. I knew it from watching Cesar Millan but it is truly one of the hardest lessons to comprehend correctly. I am projecting a great percentage of the behavior of my dog Biscuit, right into him whenever any particular situation might arise. His reaction is simply that, his re-action. I never thought of myself as nervous or anxious when visitors come unexpectedly, but I am. So he cannot differentiate like I do, all he knows is to show fear. He is getting that from me.

Today in the quiet of the morning, a UPS truck, BIG brown truck comes roaring down into our quiet circle. Biscuit barks once and stands at attention, as we were in the yard at the time. I stand straight also but facing him, and say, “Biscuit, NO! Biscuit, sit? with the end of the voice inflection going up in tone at the end, and it gets his attention, and he sits. He is learning, and so am I. He didn’t go running out to the front gate like a mad dog bent on blood. He just sat down and then looked back at the truck with his tongue hanging out, just watching. I have never seen him this chill before ever! haha The truck just cranked up and took off, the neighbor’s yellow lab sounding the alarm. Biscuit here at my feet, woke up, looked up, I said No, and he stopped. Just listened, with a relaxed look in his eyes, like, okay, she’s still on duty. Cool!

The main Farm Designer Cody has taken employment at a very famous and expensive subdivision/Ranch situation in west Austin, I think. I haven’t researched it yet. He’s making more at 23 years of age than I ever made per hour in my whole career in the legal field. The world is changing my friends, much for the better and not a moment too soon! Yes!

I’ve got the word out now that I am open to the idea of having women farmers/artisans/gardeners inquire about positions as work exchange for shelter and food. I prefer to think of it as family. But that remains to be seen. I do background checks.

This time it is all business. I want this venture to succeed as a model that can be used over and over anywhere in the world under any circumstance starting from scratch with what you have. But not an old timey farm like one might think. Not even like the Beekkman Boys farm. Nope, no way. This farm is called WOOF. We are Cruelty-Free, Free-Ranging for all species, to live together in sanctuary, unwanted farm animals primarily elders, or disabled, to live out their days in peace and contentment, free from worry of any sort. On Saturdays when I get the right staff in place, we will schedule particular groups of kiddos to come out to the farm and help us feed that morning, and also to tend the gardens. We can have a big picnic lunch at noon and the afternoon is free-time, do as you like. We will have lots of fun activities and parents can relax, have a massage, or take a pony and go for a ride down the old sandy carriage road behind the farm. I also plan to build an Earthship home, well, actually just help Cody build his. And small off-the-grid type cabins, spaced out for privacy, only one or two, so that we can rent them or use them for people to use that come here to heal. I love the idea that I am novice Curandera, and I must say, the beginning of such a venture is amazing, overwhelming at times, but so very much fun, it’s hard to put into words. Helping others is what I was always meant to facilitate, and this is my chance. And we’ll save the farm in the deal.

All farms need an old beat-up truck. Since Jim has been away, we have no farm truck. That is not good. Things must be moved and transported. I also want a small boat. But that will have to wait, unless some water sprite appears and shares her boat…

So I must go now, as we have a quiet sleeping house. It is about half-hour before noon. I can hear all the chimes and little bells ringing softly in the trees outside my front window. Today I build the studio. I’m about to wake people up and start moving things about as I have to get my desk in here. Setting it up in front of the big windows, for jewelry-making, sewing, and other wonderful things. I sell on ebay sometimes, but I want to be good enough to use Etsy.

I guess before I start going at this room, I’ll go back outside and work the front garden again. I can hear a bird of prey screaming high over the trees. WOW, he just got a LOT closer!

Gotta go, we got white kitties running amouk out there… PEACE!

False alarm, all is well. They (the two brother kittens, Arnie and Max) will have to learn about big birds, as we are going to be having some come to live here at the farm some day soon.

Today at Chez Cissy’s, we are cooking White Northern Beans. My first time actually. If I remember correctly, my grandmother would have cooked them with a ham bone. Since this farm is a Sanctuary, a Cruelty Free Place for the safety and happiness of all beings, I must devise another way to give them flavor. We already have some beautiful Genovese Basil that I could steal a few leaves from, a beautiful whole onion Cody brought in, which I intend to use in its entirety! And I ran across more garlic, just a bit left, yesterday hidden in the pantry, so that will help as well. It’s not Vegan, but I have some Hoison Sauce, so I will most likely use that, just a little, as well. I’m thinking black pepper. Some Spanish Olive Oil. Small shot of turmeric. Then we are going to explore making some “cornbread” and I use that term EXTREMELY loosely, because in fact, I will be replacing cornmeal in the recipe I choose with Amaranth Flour and Spelt Flour. My first on this too. I have no idea how this will go. Will be using eggs in this recipe, but Almond milk, not dairy. And just so you know, this is way more information than most chefs will share… So don’t pick on me if it doesn’t come out just perfect! haha

At least when Cody get’s in tonight late, he will have something good left waiting on the stove for him. I know he’s working hard. Probably harder than he ever has in his life. But he’ll have good equipment and experienced people around him. I gave him an old beat-up straw cowboy hat. He’s gonna need it.

Off to the front garden again. Trying to make a kitchen garden here, with herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, and such… We have lots of onions growing. The shade cloth purchased last month was meant to cover this kitchen garden as it is located right up next to the bright white house and the sandy soil gets far too hot for proper flowering of the plants. Yesterday I placed this shade cloth over my front studio windows because we have no AC unit at this time and this room heats up like a sauna in the summer! Happy Gardening People!

Mid-day siesta time...in Tejas

Mid-day siesta time…in Tejas

To Be A Grower!

Good morning! Just a body made of flesh and bone, and one more prone to bare feet in the grass, this day comes after a long and freezing night. The last mean days of March are upon us, the weary remaining Kind Ones down in Tejas…

Looking North

Looking North

There is an interesting saying… “Knowledge is power.” I tend to disagree. Some knowledge could be useful in the right context for the right person. But hoarding knowledge to the detriment of many others, is not power, it is corruption. Perhaps the word “power” should be seen as a many layered concept. My own personal power lies not in control of anything, because spiritual practice has taught me that there is no control, ever. Detachment is a liberating attitude. I find that in this neutral observance, a strong connection to that which might be termed as my own personal refuge, or power is knowing.

To send your own boys to war, generation after generation, to fight and die for what? Excuse me? Yes, I enjoy a great amount of physical freedom, freedom of choice to a large degree, but protection? Nope. If some young men died to give me these freedoms, then something is wrong in Denmark, my friends. The war machine rages on, and we’ve been feeding it far too long.

There can be solutions of peace. There is still great abundance and cooperation can bring that all to life. To erase the damage done is another thing entirely. Complacent people, yes, but truly exhausted people have been caught unaware. There is no winning another war. Not a civil war, nor a global conflict. Anything coming even close will be the final stages of our complacency. As my contribution, I write, and I grow. Neither one is easy. But both are incredibly rewarding. Embrace the discipline! Do whatever it takes. Do what your own soul tells you to do! Put the television in the closet and cancel your satellite bill. Between learning organic growing, radio communications and basic carpentry (stick building), I stay pretty busy. Looking around, the efforts have not been wasted. Time passes whether we participate or not. When we do, with renewed intent, the resulting outcome is tangible achievement. That is where you find your rewards… in your achievements. I put to you here and now, it is your responsibility, and indeed a large part of your stewardship, to share what you have and what you know. It is our goodness and bravery that will surely save us.

We have a young man coming here to the farm in April. He is from West Texas and has family in Arkansas. He can see we have very little in terms of the trappings of the rich. What we do have is great potential to live a good life in peace, regardless of the chaos around us. And he sees that. I am offering to him all that I have. He found me. So we will see where this goes. Personally, my goal and greatest motivation is to someday be fully confident to call myself a Grower. My new friend is going to help me.

So Good Morning, my lovely friends! The ice too will melt, and the delicate blades of grass will emerge. Buds will show on the ends of the bare limbs, and we continue to fight the good fight. What do I believe in? I believe in the Sun, I believe in children, and I believe in the inherent goodness of all people. I send you all love!

Midsummer by any other name…

It is beautiful outside… the leaves are all full and green… ¬†watering at least once a day with rains every so often… ¬†I know it will be a very beautiful sky tonight. ¬†Wherever you sit, you can see all kinds of life, big and small, all carrying on, in normal fashion. ¬†I am the big giant they must watch out for. ¬†And I am the giant who becomes furious that some thief came in the night twice and took all of my dill leaves, and I am left with nothing but a stripped stalk. ¬†They didn’t care for the mints… ¬†Someday there will be something there, like a nocturnal bird, who will eat them, every one… ¬†everything seems to go to sleep… it’s kind of funny, even fish sleep… really! ¬†These bandits have stripped my poor rose bush as well, she is in shock, with nothing but bare stalks. I have two beautiful big round rosey red tomatoes almost ready to be picked and these are mine, all mine! Today, I have saved the lives of three little orphaned kittens and one female terrier or mountain feist, who is totally beautiful and amazing and they are all doing great. We got to go see the vet today, and everyone is going to be fine. ¬†Can’t save the whole world, but you can save innocent creatures one at a time…. Tonight I will make mint tea with St. John’s Wort flowers… and watch the sky for something amazing… ¬†And my sweet animals will play in the fresh green grass! ¬†Peace, my world… ¬†I love you all so much! ¬†

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Understanding Mother

Today is May 28th. It is my mother’s birthday, although she passed in 2001. Today, had she lived, she would have been 82 years old. Of course, a child as they age, will always look back to the choices made by a parent, and I was especially close to my mother, just never knew it, or understood her.

Had she given up the cigarettes, and the non-stop black coffee from dawn till dusk, she might have lived longer. Had she tried to eat more vegies, and less processed meats, maybe. White bread, of course, was the only bread. She came from the time of the Great Depression, and I heard many stories about living during that time. I suppose that coming from a place of “doing without,” caused her to continue to live like that throughout her aging years. I have long ago decided that it may well be impossible to understand what she thought, or why she said the things she did. Much less, I have tried and tried to grapple with the increasing likelihood that she had a violent nature that came out against our animals. I cannot begin to tell you how deeply sick and disturbed it makes “me” feel to look at that. But as the images continue to haunt me, there seems to be no other explanation.

How do I forgive that? My whole life has been spent in trying to save them, the animals, every one. They are even present in my dreams, which I call obstacle dreams, where there are things I must face and overcome, and at the same time there are always little animals, just sitting in odd places, waiting for me to save them. It is a very upsetting type of dream to be plagued with. I can only think that it is my way of balancing out the bad that was in my mother.

But this is not a time to complain or delve into the dark side of my mother. A friend recently tried to “push” me into a place of forgiving by pointing out that until I do that, I will never have peace. I am almost dawning upon my sixth decade of this life, and still I find it almost unbearable to think of the bad things, and to forgive them in her, if they are indeed true, seems so contrary to anything that is in me.

Her given name was Janelle. And they called her Missy. She was born with beautiful blonde curls that turned brunette as she became a woman. She came from the most affluent family of her very small east Texas town, and even with that, she had only two pairs of shoes, one for school, and one for church, and she was very blessed indeed. For many of the children of the town, had only one pair for all occasions, sometimes they were hand-me-downs, and did not fit properly. But kids make do. They do not know the stress and the worry adults entertain. But the problems my grandparents faced during the 1930’s and 40’s surely trickled down to their kids, as my mother was a child of the Depression. And it would forever mark her.

My grandmother taught the first grade in my mother’s school. And Missy was very bright indeed. In high school, she was on almost every page of the yearbook, until Senior year, where she virtually dropped off the earth. It is interesting to me, because my father first appears in this Senior yearbook, and is surrounded by girls, every time, as he was very good looking and very charismatic. But no Missy. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that my mother got pregnant, and she had a baby. And I believe that because she was not married to my father at that time, my grandfather insisted that she give up the child. I can find no other explanation. Somewhere in this United States is very likely a sibling to me, that I have no idea about. It is very sad.

Later when she was nineteen, Missy married my father, Harold. I was born when she was 23. And then three years later, they had my brother Jon. They moved to a “city” named Kilgore where Dad worked in a printing shop. Dad was a good father then, as I remember, every nite he came home to us, and his friends also visited with their children. I still remember so much about that first house, the sunlight, my bedroom, the backyard, our pets. Even my toys, I remember them well. The thing I hated most was the torture that seemed impossible to avoid, the constant fussing and messing with my hair. From permanents which were “super horrible” to the curlers at night and the cutting of the bangs. My dad won a $50 prize for a photography contest when he entered a picture of my mother holding my chin and trying to cut my bangs, and I was giving her the “look from hell.” I have this one even now…

I do not know what happened to people. The food they were buying was not food at all. And the life they were trying to lead was so far from what they knew as children. It must have been very hard. My mother was an introvert, and she did everything she could to avoid close friends, and it was only in her later years that she learned to love people, and accept the good with the bad. And many people loved her as well. I have always been thankful for that.

Today I remember my mother. I feel sort of sad, sort of indifferent. I love her truly. If I could see her again, I would let her know that. When I pray, and I speak to God, sometimes I shift, and speak to her, as if she might be able to hear me. I am so sorry I didn’t understand her when I was younger. I was just trying to go to high school and later be a music student at the University. Those were such difficult times where I had to really hustle and having time to understand my mother who was 4 1/2 hours away, was not in the plan.

Today, on her birthday, I imagine beautiful irises. She always grew them as did my grandmother. In spring at this time, my grandmother would also have Spider Lillies in her front yard. Me and Mom would walk around the yard with her, on our Sunday visits, and they would teach me the names of the flowers and plants. These are some of my best memories. Now my brother owns their home, the old family homestead, and he doesn’t allow me to even go there. I cannot even find him, truth be told, as he doesn’t want to communicate.

How can one person in a family, always the “black sheep” still have so much love and caring inside, when the rest of the clan does not. Missy still has a little sister who is 72 now, living in Houston, and I wrote her a couple of months ago. But no answer back as yet. I will try again, as I am just that way. Momma always told me that being alone was not that bad. I guess she had to learn after she finally divorced with my father. They were just too different, and should have done it years ago, but because they had children, and because of the strict religious understanding of my grandfather, it was not to be. Not until my brother and I were grown.

So now I find myself alone. When the knees are giving out, and the back is all twisted like hers was. She never told me that until that last time I saw her alive. Then I could clearly see it in her back. The good news is that I also inherited her good traits. Like reading for one. I cannot get enough of books and the amazing people who write them. Amazon is my good friend! And I am smart, I have good intelligence. It was said by the preacher at her funeral that Missy was a brilliant woman, and could have been a surgeon if she had chosen that. How they could have known that is beyond me, but it was pretty cool.

My father died the next year. He wouldn’t talk to me either or see me. I wonder if he is sorry for that now. His own brother drove to Tyler from Houston to see my Dad and he was only there to help him, with money or whatever. But my Dad wouldn’t even go to the door. So I don’t take all these things too personally, really. It hurts, no doubt. But there are clearly reasons why that I will never know. All I can do now is try to temper the good with the bad. I can’t make up for their wrongs. But I can live my life as best I can, being true to the things that matter most to me. If other people don’t understand, that’s okay. We are all different. I don’t like being alone, no, not one bit. But it is far better at this age than being with the “wrong” person. Maybe someday, my age and my looks, my limitations physically, won’t matter to somebody. Maybe they will see the beauty I have inside and I will no longer have to be the “sheep.” Today, I can only wish the world Peace! We can have it. We really can. But first we must feed the babies. All of them. No child should ever go hungry in this world. No matter his race or his religion. And having Monsanto and Gates selling their vaccines and their franken-food to Africa and other undeveloped nations is NOT the answer. It is all about love, people. It is all about sharing and caring. And that, I can do. Thank you for reading. And Happy Birthday Momma! I love you!

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