So We Don’t Forget

Like Thread Through a Needle
(First posted one year ago on December 16, 2012)Father-Shadow

Even just the thought of what I am about to write makes my eyes well up. Last evening watching a performance of “The “Nutcracker” there was a point I was unexpectedly moved and that feeling has grown since.

Tulsa is blessed to have had a wonderful ballet and symphony and last night’s presentation filled me with the spirit of Christmas. Seeing the young children who played the parts of the mice and clowns especially warmed me with a sense of the season.

My feelings became deeply melancholy (here come the tears) at curtain call when the kids who played the mice were lined up in front due to their small size. For some reason I counted how many in the line and came up with twenty. Instantly I was hit with the realization that was the number of children who were killed in Connecticut two days ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It is not within my grasp to imagine how painful it is to lose a young child and in the circumstances of a few days ago is unfathomable to my heart and mind. The sorrow has to be unspeakable and indescribable. For strangers I will never meet my heart is laden with grief for your pain. I can do nothing but pray for you and let you know here that I care; that millions care. In no way will it make it any easier to bear the anguish and woe, but maybe someday realizing an entire country cries with you will bring some comfort.

My Mom, she tells a lot of lies,
She never did before.
But from now until she dies,
She’ll tell a whole lot more.
Ask my Mom how she is
And because she can’t explain,
She will tell a little lie
Because she can’t describe the pain.
Ask my Mom how she is,
She’ll say “I’m alright.”
If that’s the truth, then tell me,
why does she cry each night?
Ask my Mom how she is,
She seems to cope so well.
She didn’t have a choice you see,
Nor the strength to yell.
Ask my Mom how she is,
“I’m fine, I’m well, I’m coping.”
For God’s sake Mom, just tell the truth,
Just say your heart is broken.
She’ll love me all her life,
I loved her all of mine.
But if you ask her how she is,
She’ll lie and say she’s fine.
I am Here in Heaven.
I cannot hug from here.
If she lies to you don’t listen,
Hug her and hold her near.
Taken from ” Ask My Mom How She Is” – Author Unknown

I am grateful to be touched and able to shoulder a tiny, tiny bit of the pain and grief of the mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and families who will not see a child open presents on Christmas morning. I cry for you.

Your absence has gone through me
like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
W.S. Merwin

Like Thread Through a Needle

Father-ShadowEven just the thought of what I am about to write makes my eyes well up. Last evening watching a performance of “The “Nutcracker” there was a point I was unexpectedly moved and that feeling has grown since.

Tulsa is blessed to have had a wonderful ballet and symphony and last night’s presentation filled me with the spirit of Christmas. Seeing the young children who played the parts of the mice and clowns especially warmed me with a sense of the season.

My feelings became deeply melancholy (here come the tears) at curtain call when the kids who played the mice were lined up in front due to their small size. For some reason I counted how many in the line and came up with twenty. Instantly I was hit with the realization that was the number of children who were killed in Connecticut two days ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It is not within my grasp to imagine how painful it is to lose a young child and in the circumstances of a few days ago is unfathomable to my heart and mind. The sorrow has to be unspeakable and indescribable. For strangers I will never meet my heart is laden with grief for your pain. I can do nothing but pray for you and let you know here that I care; that millions care. In no way will it make it any easier to bear the anguish and woe, but maybe someday realizing an entire country cries with you will bring some comfort.

My Mom, she tells a lot of lies,
She never did before.
But from now until she dies,
She’ll tell a whole lot more.
Ask my Mom how she is
And because she can’t explain,
She will tell a little lie
Because she can’t describe the pain.
Ask my Mom how she is,
She’ll say “I’m alright.”
If that’s the truth, then tell me,
why does she cry each night?
Ask my Mom how she is,
She seems to cope so well.
She didn’t have a choice you see,
Nor the strength to yell.
Ask my Mom how she is,
“I’m fine, I’m well, I’m coping.”
For God’s sake Mom, just tell the truth,
Just say your heart is broken.
She’ll love me all her life,
I loved her all of mine.
But if you ask her how she is,
She’ll lie and say she’s fine.
I am Here in Heaven.
I cannot hug from here.
If she lies to you don’t listen,
Hug her and hold her near.
Taken from ” Ask My Mom How She Is” – Author Unknown

I am grateful to be touched and able to shoulder a tiny, tiny bit of the pain and grief of the mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and families who will not see a child open presents on Christmas morning. I cry for you.

Your absence has gone through me
like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
W.S. Merwin

Within the Walls of My Being

I was conceived in a world
beyond my grasp, beyond my
knowledge. A world for me to be
born in…. and to die.
But what about the “in-between” time?
Can I connect birth, live, and death
into a flowing stream of consciousness?
The only decision that is truly mine
is how I choose to spend my days, hours,
and minutes.

Will I develop my “Being” into something
of significance? Will I find contentment
and enjoyment deep within the walls of my
being, or will I wander through life blindly,
unaware of my own purpose? Will I find this
for myself or will I perish? Only I can decide!

Those lines are from a book titled “Visions of You” by George Betts published by Celestial Arts Publishing during the latter part of the “hippie era” in 1972; the year my nineteenth birthday arrived. That time of “freaks” and “straights” is remembered well. The deep south of  Alabama and Mississippi where I grew up was behind me. Now my home was a rented cottage on Ruxton Avenue under the shadow of Pike’s Peak in Manitou Springs, Colorado, which at that time was a past prime tourist town. Rent was cheap and the empty houses and store fronts had been filled by a good-sized hippie colony.

The late 60’s and early 70’s was a special time when I could pick up a hitch-hiking couple and let them sleep the night on my floor with never a worry about anything bad happening. Those were the days we truly thought we were “brothers and sisters”.

Today the real estate in Manitou Springs is high-priced and vestiges of the 60’s and 70’s when I lived there are mostly long gone. But there still are people around the town you can tell by their hair and clothes still hang on to that time gone by.

I’m told the big turquoise ring I wear on my right hand, the bracelet on my wrist and my somewhat longer length of my hair signifies I too am one of those people. I accept the “old hippie” moniker gladly and am proud to be part of a generation that worked to stop a war, moved women’s and civil rights steps forward, were involved politically and brought sex out of the closet. We were naive, but really did believe in something hopeful and beautiful… at least for a little while.

I wonder if the author of “Visions of You” is the same George Betts who today on-line is found to be a professor at the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences in Greeley, Colorado. He’d be about 68 years old or about 10 years older than me. In the press photo for the school Professor Betts looks today mostly like a kindly grandfather. I wonder … is that how I look now? Being not much more than a year from being sixty years old there is awareness within that I became invisible to college girls decades ago and am also entering my “Grandpa phase”. Many might not think of me today as a “hip dude” as we once called guys who were “with it” and “cool”, but once upon a time that was me (or at least in my own mind I was).

I am proud of my life, my accomplishments and the peace that has been made with my mistakes (and I made some doozies!). My days have been colorful, my experiences rich and I’ve lived more fully than most.  There is still more to come; quite possibly the best parts. I am learning, growing, becoming more aware, finding harmony with myself and a spiritual path is unfolding for me. In some ways I’m picking up where I left off back in my early 20’s and that’s a good thing.

Peace, Brothers and Sisters!

He who takes a stand is often wrong,
but he who fails to take a stand is always wrong.
Anonymous