Tag Archives: love

The ghosts of memories

A brief bit of verse found while sorting through piles of papers in the garage. Written by me (Victoria) sometime in the mid to late 90s:

 

I don’t believe in fates or stars,

so how is it you found me?

You see so much of how I see,

You touch my thoughts so naturally.

You see the sparkles and the tears,

dancing deep within my eyes.

Please forgive me when I’m startled,

by the places that you find,

look gently through the pages of my mind.

 

Courtesy of MysticsArtDesign – Pixabay.

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It is time – past time.

I can’t feel your pain.
I’ve tried, I even thought I knew
How you felt.
Scared
Alone
With nowhere to go,
No safe place to know,
It would all be fine.

I can’t feel your pain.
I’ve tried, by reaching back,
All those years,
When I was abused,
Bullied,
Stalked,
Manipulated,
Frightened, and alone.

I can’t feel your pain.
I’ve been tired,
I’ve been hungry,
Depressed,
Trapped;
Even, yes, even
Had my life threatened.
But I always found a way,
A way to live another day.

Perhaps I understand,
In some small way,
How deep the ache,
How sore
Your soul.
But now I see,
It never goes away.
For you it’s every day.

The air you breathe,
The ground you walk,
Is filled with hate,
And fear,
And terror.
Barely in the shadows,
But growing ever stronger,
Reaching for us all.

As hard as I try,
It seems no more
Than Insult,
to your
Torn,
and battered
Heart,
to say,
I feel your pain.

Perhaps, as small
As it may be,
My voice can help,
My life can show,
That hate
is never,
ever,
ever,
the answer.
For the love of all
Creation has provided,
It is time.

It is time to end the pain.
It is time to be there
For the black,
For the Muslim,
For the gay,
For the PEOPLE,
Of our earth.
One person at a time.

I will do my best.
I will share.
I will talk.
I will try to reach
Minds,
And hearts.
And I will hope.
I will not say,
I feel your pain.
But I will be here.
I will hold you.
And one day, together,
We will find the dawn.

Sunrise 3

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Reflecting on Pulse ~ By One Pissed-off Christian Lady

Pulse

It took a few days to do this. It took a few days because deep within my sadness the responses I saw flying across my newsfeed sickened me; physically took the steam out of me. Weeping in my own wine does not accomplish much. Much of what I have learned on my journey with Job demands that I do more – far more. So, here we go.

The events of June, 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida are not the product of Reason A, or Reason B, or some other simplistic, easy fix, “if only” cause. It was an event that was a culmination of many factors; all of which we share in to one degree or another. Humans do not like to think beyond the binary; it is hard work. To actually accept responsibility for tragedy is a whole different kettle of fish. There were many factors that left 50 cell phones ringing, unanswered, on a bloodied dance floor.

It is not productive to choose among the many in order to gain admittance to the wake. It is not acceptable to exclude a facet of the blood-covered stone to create a better setting for your own agenda. First, and foremost, it is about the arrogant turpitude that allows us to pick and choose those causes that best fit our own agenda. These are my picks, and there is nothing simple about them.

It’s about LBGT

No, you don’t get off the hook. You are not allowed to push this down (actually up, if you know your Native American lore) the totem. Whatever his future plans may have been, the perp saw a few guys kissing, and went ballistic. He targeted a gay club on a busy night and during a time of celebration. Word has it that it was a club that he, himself, had visited.

Did he think Americans would not care? That they might even thank him? Part of what sickened me this week is the number of pastors, and professed Christians, that stepped up to say that it was God’s judgment on the gays. Or that it was a good thing all those pedophiles were gone. (There is a vast difference, and I ought to know). Men who professed a belief in God who stood in front of congregations, and, while insisting that they did not advocate murder, suggested we should not grieve. Were there many? I have no clue. It is horrible enough that even one blasphemed his or her pulpit with this venom. They are no better than Mateem’s father who said his son should have left the murders to God.

It’s about religious fanaticism

The true believer, according to Eric Hoffer, needs the movement more than the movement needs him or her. Sometimes we cannot be driven to our worst (or our best) unless we perceive something greater than ourselves that demands it. Not always a superior being, sometimes just the mob, the organization, the belonging. But we, we of western civilized culture, do not come to the bar with clean hands. Not only is human history soaked in the blood of “others,” we light the fire brighter every time we choose to hate. Defend, yes. Hate, no thank you. Hatred changes you and takes away all that is human. Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu: it really does not matter. The founders of these faiths all spoke of something beyond the faith. Something intrinsically human. We are all selling our sacred heritage short if we choose to use it as a sword, rather than a way to support.

It’s about terrorism, domestic, foreign, and familial

If only. If only he had been dealt with when the charges of domestic violence floated around. If only the FBI had kept closer tabs, if only. If only McVey had not allowed himself to be egged on; if only there had been better communication before 9-11. When are we going to learn that we are part of the problem? If you believe the current administration is soft on terror you are sorely mistaken. Over the past 7.5 years Bin Laden is not the only target taken down. But these people don’t brag. They don’t occupy us with cheerleaders. They don’t stir up the hornets’ nest by blasting every victory across the headlines. They quietly, and efficiently, dismantle the knots of venom. The truly evil are being sought out. The war is with them, not your Muslim neighbor.

Sometimes we do win. Neighbors saw suspicious activity and reported it to police and police responded. A man from Indiana, a mid-western, white boy, was on his way to create mayhem at a Pride parade. But he was stopped. Countless other “almost events” have been stopped over the past several years. So, sometimes – whatever the threat – everything works as it should.

It’s about guns

I’m not against guns. I’m really not. I have, actually, used them and I’m not a bad shot. But, here’s the thing. We need a conversation about what is appropriate. I did some research (that’s what I do) and the AR-15 is not, I repeat not, a military-grade assault weapon. It is a modified, semi-automatic rifle that can be altered to accept a magazine of up to 100 bullets. As a semi-auto, it can be fired as quickly as the shooter can compress the trigger. One clip from Sunday morning records 20 shots within a 9 second interval. If you are going to talk about gun responsibility, and still preserve rights, then it is a good idea to know what the hell you are talking about.

Should citizens be armed with this capacity? I saw a meme float across my feed that froze my soul. “The problem was not the one bad guy with a gun, but the 103 without one.” Really? Please for the sake of all that is holy can someone tell me they don’t really believe this? Think about filling a room of over a hundred people, dancing to loud music, some of whom are at varying degrees of intoxication, and arm them. Then flip the panic button. What are the odds that the right guy gets shot, and that anyone walks out alive?

There are several timelines of the events available on line. I have relied on police reports to sort out the order. Just after 2 AM Mateen entered the club and started shooting. An off duty officer in the employ of the club immediately engaged the shooter and called for backup. Not long after backup arrives, Mateen barricades himself in one of the bathrooms and calls 911. Then he starts talking about bombs and ISIS. Swat, having already been onsite, breaches the building, and takes him down. Regaining control took a team of trained, prepared police officers, with all of the equipment available to them (including Kevlar helmets). The “good guy with a gun” was not able to control the situation; even though he was right on top of it. Some people I know might have been able to drop the perp in his tracks before he got very far. I’m not sure they are the type of folks that would have been in a gay bar at 2 in the morning.

If you are trying to protect yourself from the government I have a secret to tell you – they have drones, and black helicopters, and bigger bombs than you. If you are trying to protect your family in an event such as Sunday morning suggests? Then be trained, be smart and don’t complain when folks with appropriate credentials want to know where those weapons are and who had them last.

 

And here is the punch line. If you really, sincerely, want to be part of the solution. If you want to make sure that nutcases are not able to use hatred and turmoil to achieve their goals, if you want to be the humanitarian, the Christian, the believer you profess to be, then do something with value.

Stop “loving the person and hating the sin” and just love the person. Educate yourself about the LBGT community, and the issues they face. It is not a choice, people. All of the colors of the rainbow involve a complex combination of hormones, brain patterns, physiology, and plain old fashioned self-image.

If you want to be intolerant, be intolerant of violence, be it domestic, work place, any place. Do not let monsters grow in our midst. Get them help, or get them somewhere safer for us all.

Support those in desperate need. Please check before you give. I know of one GoFundMe that raised some $3,509,556 as of noon PT Tuesday. Find a way to put motion into your rhetoric; motion that says you really do care. Not just for gays, for every human soul that crosses your path. Be the change you want to see.

#onepulse
#BreakTheBox

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Yahrzeit: A Day of Remembrance

In Jewish tradition one observes the passing of someone close to you four times a year. Yom Kippur, Feast of Tabernacles, Passover, and Feast of Weeks. And then there is the annual remembrance, Yahrzeit. Yahrzeit is observed on the anniversary of a person’s death, using the Jewish calendar. In my case that would be April 17 of this year. My husband was half Jewish but I know his abhorrence for that time of year, so I choose today; the anniversary of his departure on the Gregorian calendar.

To understand the tradition you must know something of the Jewish approach to such things. There are periods of grief, but there are also periods during which the memory of the person is preserved in all of its living grace. A way of learning to treasure those that went before us, and a hope of the path we will follow into some unknown “then.”

I’m not terribly good a formalized prayers, so I have chosen to write a poem. If memory serves it may be the first in a year.

IMG_1631

He left me in the spring.
Not in the dead of winter,
When cold, gray skies surround me.
When days are short,
And love itself,
Huddles ‘neath the rain and snow.

He left me in the spring.
Not in the chill of fall,
When brilliant colors oft betray
Arrival of the frost.
And love itself,
Feels the bite, and seeks the warming hearth.

IMG_1632

He left me in the spring.
Not in the heat of summer,
When days are long and hot.
When the grass grows brown,
And love itself,
With thirst, seeks cool and breezy shadows.

He left me in the spring.
When birds sing, and trees grow green.
When flowers bloom and life awakes.
Perhaps to show me future hope,
When love itself,
Becomes the strength
– to face life on my own.

Deer

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Reflections ~ What is a Mind?

The Mind

Did we ever decide, my dear,
What it was that makes a mind?

These last several days, with you
Sometimes intense and sometimes numb.

Moments uplifting, some devastating
And forever to be remembered.

Who were you, my dear,
That I loved you so?

What bit of cosmic consciousness
Merged our paths and bound us so?

Our journey together was both
Long and short, too short.

Heart-wrenching & beautiful
Sometimes stormy, always passionate.

So where, my dear
Have you gone?

Are you off exploring
Your beloved universe?

Arguing with God
As you often did here?

Don’t wander too far,
But if you do

I’ll meet you someday
Deep in the heart of a nearby nebula

Where bright and shining stars
Are born from the dust of yesterdays.

To my beloved shining star, Douglas C. Dorrough

January 13, 1927 ~ March 29, 2015

I will be creating a memorial site for my husband over the next several days.

It will have information regarding appropriate recipients of donations in his honor as well as a history of his life and work.

The link will be added to this site.

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Reflections ~ Paths to the Sea

Oh, the journey that we’re on,

By Fotosearch

By Fotosearch

Good days — bad days —
days that break the heart.
days that seem so wicked
in the hope that they bring.
You slip away,
then gain your strength.
You call me close,
push me away
Dozy
Agitated
Certain you must go
and stay.

Am I crazy to keep trying?
To get us to the sea?
To plan a great safari?
To upend us from our roost?
Perhaps
and yet
I find it all consuming.
If I lose you,
I must keep you
And that can only be
In a place that’s ours
not borrowed
a place that’s by the sea.

And so we pack
And organize
Negotiate
Conspire
To make a journey
Into turmoil
Confusion
Sometimes despair.
All to hold you close
To know you as I do.
To smell the sea,
or mountain air.
A place that I
can care for you
as only I can do.

But where,
my dear
do I pack away
my ever present tears?

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Reflections ~ On a day gone by

I touch you,

But you’re not there

You miss me

But I’m right here

I die a thousand deaths

as one by one

life’s memories

slip away

One by one,

the things we did

are lost

in a graveyard

of the mind.

Courtesy of WANA Commons, Jenny Kaczorowski

Courtesy of WANA Commons, Jenny Kaczorowski

Happy Anniversary to my one true love, my soul mate, my best friend.
July 12, 2014

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Reflections ~ Bed of Thorns

Today I bought a bed.
A small bed
For a small place
In a room to call my own.

 

It’s “my room”
You say, and invite me in.
To show me a place
That I might lay my head

 

It’s “your room” now
Not ours.
Few pieces of me
Remain.

 

A Push-me Pull-you
In the nightly dance
As I try to see,
Am I welcome – or not?

 

With a heart torn in pieces
I surrender at last
And order a bed
Of my own – just in case.

 

The pain’s only greater
When you don’t remember
It was I you evicted,
And invited last night.

 

In the light of the day
We cling to each other
And you now remember
How much we once loved.

 

And I see our passion,
It’s still burning bright
But imprisoned within
This damned disease.

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Reflections ~ Understanding Choices

I very rarely “reblog.”  I believe, I suppose, in using my little space to express how the world impacts my thoughts, dreams, desires.  There are times, however, when the words of another touch you so deeply there is very little else to say.  One of my best online friends and a thinker of great depth (and, at times, genuine humor), please meet Rhonda Little.

http://www.rodalena.com/2013/12/14/letting-them-rest/

 

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Reflections on 12-14-12 Part the First: Pain ~ and Peace

It’s a cold, February night on a nearly deserted Texas highway. A family of four and their friend and business associate are traveling to San Antonio for a brief vacation, a weekend of R & R. At the wheel is a conscientious but inexperienced teenaged driver. This part of Texas does not see much snow, but there is ice. On this night it is black ice that appears, as such things do, without warning. Even experienced drivers with great skill find it difficult to maintain or regain control once a vehicle loses traction, especially at highway speeds, and however moderate that speed may be. For a young lady just short of her 17th birthday it was a situation completely beyond her expertise.

The Suburban left the road and rolled somewhere between one and three times. Hard to count when you are bouncing around or unconscious. Later investigation by police and medical teams indicated that she had died on impact with the steering wheel; probably before the vehicle even left the road. Her small, slim body was ripped from the seatbelt and thrown through the window. As it happens, I was in that vehicle. Regaining consciousness I realized that her parents were outside of the car with her, responding with whatever emergency training they had, refusing to believe what they most likely already knew. In the car with me was her ten year old sister. Crawling back into the seat I reached for her and held her until help arrived. Luckily, a ranch family not quite ready for bed heard the crash and saw the rolling vehicle. Time was meaningless but it didn’t seem all that long before the scene was flooded with helping hands and emergency vehicles.

The loss of a child is a pain so unlike anything else. This was not my child, but she was part of a tangle of emotionally intense relationships I had with her family. She knew me well enough to trust me in time of urgency. Something she did not give lightly. If her mother was not available, it was me that she would call. No, she was not my child; but the grief was still overwhelming. It seemed as though we remaining four had become scuba divers. Sounds, sights, feelings seemed muffled somehow. Her mother wrote poetry. Beautiful, heart wrenching poetry. Her father closed up on himself. Her confused little sister became uncertain of her place in a family torn into ever smaller pieces. The consequences reached far, far into the future. At the time we were lucky to have a church family prepared to envelop us. There were always quiet people near us to answer the phone, answer the door, organize food, ferry people to and from the airport, the doctor, and the funeral home. Quiet, gentle angels that kept the world at bay until we could, bit by bit manage to communicate once more with the land of the living. We huddled together in our own private hell, holding the broken pieces close until they started to heal.

What would it mean to go through such hell in a fish bowl? How would it feel to have people battling over the whys and wherefores before you even knew if your child was among those who had not survived? How would it feel to become everybody’s symbol of whatever agenda they needed to push before you even had time to internalize what had happened? How would it feel to hear so many squabbling over causes and small bits of inaccuracies like vultures? Of what importance are the reassurances that someone, somewhere isn’t going to let it happen again? How shattering a “body count,” as if your child was nothing more than a bag to be counted. With your life in pieces around you, you are not prepared to care about the next time. For you it is already too late. All this before you had time to somehow stop the rush in your mind of all the things that your child would never be or do. Mute with hurt and pain, how could you shout loud enough to tell them all to be still? “Let me breathe, please just let me learn to breathe again.”

As an author I am currently involved in research for a book about Job. Many of my feelings on the book do not fit within the boundaries of common interpretations. There are messages I see and feel that I do not find in the literature. If there are hints they are brief puffs in the wind. I believe that one of these messages is the real error of Job’s friends. For the last few days we have been very much like them. Too busy looking for whys and how comes and not nearly busy enough supporting those in pain.

As an active participant in a number of groups and a growing reach of friends and fans on Facebook, I have seen anger, despair, raw emotion and bitterness ripple through the community like a digital tsunami. However, now is not the time to shout from the treetops, jump up and down and announce our own surefire way to fix the problem. That time will come but something MUST come first. First, you must heal. Not all at once and not completely; but you must at least climb out of the “scuba dive” and be a reasoning, thinking individual again. Someone prepared to enter into effective debate, discuss alternatives, check facts, understand more about the who, how, and when. Now is the time to heal.

Part of the raging argument is related to what God’s part may or may not have been in all of this. I intend to make this a multi-part blog and this will be one of the focal points. For now I want to point out why I think Job’s friends so seriously missed the boat.  It is something that is found in sacred texts around the world. The way we heal is to love one another. The way we heal is to support each other in our suffering; to provide for the widowed, the orphan, those who need, and those who hurt. Some will tell you that this is not part of the Old Testament thundering God of the Hebrews. I have news; it is.

In Leviticus 19:18, we find, “You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh.” (Jerusalem Bible) Jesus, you see, was quoting scripture. Throughout the Old Testament some of the things that upset the prophets the most were not the tiny little sins and indiscretions, it was the treatment of widows and orphans. It was the sacrifice of human lives (which may or may not have included children) and the treatment of the poor and suffering.

Jesus himself tells us that the two most important commandments are to love God and love your neighbor – as yourself.  He even says that all the law and the prophets hang on these.

Many will be familiar with pieces at least of I Corinthians 13: “If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. … If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.” (Jerusalem Bible)

In the first part of Revelations where Christ addresses the seven churches, His complaint against the church at Ephesus was, “you have less love now than you used to.”

Whether or not we come to an understanding of why things happen, whether or not we find in ourselves some faith in some hovering over-protective Sentient Being keeping watch over us, or whether or not we are driven from any faith at all because we cannot tolerate a universe with any Supreme Being that won’t protect us from our own evils great and small; we must love one another. We must find support and concern for each other. We must be the Good Samaritan, the person who shares burdens, the one who answers phones, warms up meals.

There will be a time when we must, as a nation, address the systemic causes of violence in our streets and in our homes. Not just for those who died thinking they were safe in their schools and neighborhoods, but also for those who walk our streets each night not knowing if they will make it home safe just one more time. There will be a time; but first, we must heal. First we must envelop our wounded. Let them learn to breathe again.

If you want to make that commitment an active one, I suggest you research benefits for the families.  Groups or charities that can be checked out that are helping with expenses suddenly incurred and not expected.  This is, evidently, a neighborhood of financial stability.  That security can go out the window quickly when you suddenly must pay for plane tickets, funerals, or time off work beyond bereavement leave (usually about 5 days).  Some of the families and perhaps some of the remaining students are sure to incur counseling costs.  Maybe you can physically travel to the town and protect the families from media and harassment by being part of a human shield.  Do something creative, something healing, something that reaches out and touches.  First, find peace and learn to breathe again.

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