Books and Magpies

I just found this post (unpublished), so I shall combine it with Tessa’s picture challenge at Magpie Tales as the second part of the post. It has simply been so long since I have blogged that I had forgotten how to actually enter a post! I hope that this finds my friends in the blogosphere well. I do believe that I have finally settled in and actually “feel” this to be home for a change.

I am excited about a project for which I have volunteered. I hope to be doing a writing project with a group of veterans should our Central Library be able to pull together a group. This is meant to take place during January and February. I was also to be a part of a new Haiku Group, but I have found that my commitments are def (as Brian would say) too many. As a result – no haiku group.

When I was a child, I read Mummy’s books. Her book plate stated: “Books Are Like Friends”. And they, (books) have been that way for me for a lifetime. We grew up with a library. It was the most beautiful room in the house. It was filled with leather bound books from the 1800s. They had been my great, great grandfather’s books. I never met him. The books were meant for me one day. Unfortunately, my mother chose not to heat or air condition this room, in Vermont of all places. The books were a complete loss – except for a very few.

David and I bought our first house in 1983 because it had a library. Well that is overstating it a bit. It had significant shelving in one room that became the library. I do not have that here, as we are only 3 rooms, albeit more square footage than our first home. I do have bookshelves enough to place one half of my library into. Leaving the other half of my “friends” behind was difficult. Choosing who to take along was very hard indeed. Quite! Anyway, my books are all in the shelves hodgepodge. Now that I am finally feeling at home I look forward to organizing them. Below please find two haibun. The second is for Magpie Tales.

Haibun
Books have for so long been such very good friends to me.
Leaving one half of them behind during our move was
gut wrenching, like leaving family or old friends. I do
so hope that they feel at home with their new owners.

I have forgotten
yes forgotten my friends
left to dustiness

For Magpie Tales # 247:
Thank you Tess for Maurice de Vlaminck’s Snowstorm. Unfortunately I cannot seem to upload it – ah well.

Haibun
I grew up with snow. A lot of snow, in Vermont. In 1965 when I was 19
I moved to NYC. The biggest snow storm of my life took place. My family
sent me photos of snow above the roof line as they tunneled out.
This is November of 2014 and there are places today
that have had this kind of snowfall.

thick strokes of snow
brackish sky dwindling lights
in the outer world

For Magpie Tales # 247

NOT A SELFIE

I give the details here for it might assist another with issues that they, he or she might be having.

I am very grateful that I am able to figure out what is wrong with myself. Meaning that if I am depressed, I can actually diagnose the situation and then take action. Too often people can become depressed or have another illness and not be able to figure out what is wrong without going to the doctor. Then there are trials of medications. Some work, some require dosage changes, some do not work. Please do NOT misunderstand what I am saying. If you feel that you may be depressed and that you need help, seek the aid of a physician. This has happened to me twice before. For me, I have discovered that it is best to figure out what is wrong and then see the doctor and make my request.

The first time that this happened to me was 1984. Right, I am Orwellian. My daughter had gone away to college. It did not bother me one wit. Really! But I stopped sleeping. And I mean that I acquired a real and nasty bout of insomnia that lasted for 6 months. It was bad enough, that I could say that I stopped sleeping altogether (although that was not quite true). I became afraid of “nighttime.” I did not wish to rely upon sleeping pills. I read everything on earth that I could find out about insomnia. I discovered that along with my estrogen, I should be taking progesterone. So, I asked my OBGYN for a prescription. I started taking the new hormone immediately. There was no relief whatsoever. Obviously, I had not quite finished my research. Remember there was no Internet back then. Back to my research. The doctor new nothing. I might add that this town is a pill pushing town when it comes to the practice of medicine. That is simply the medical tradition here.

The upshot of this is that I discovered a prescription, made to order, made from a yam, in suppository form, medication. Yams contain natural progesterone. One dose and I slept like a baby from that day forth. I continue to do so although I stopped taking the drug long ago. The next time that this happened to me my physician gave me Zoloft. In two weeks I felt fine and wished to come off the drug. But, I could not do so. When I told my physician the problem he chuckled and said to me” “yeah, my daughter can’t seem to come off it either.” This was not the response that I hoped for! I got the flu shortly there after. I was ill enough that I needed to go to bed for several days. Low and behold, I slept trough my pill taking time. I awoke, got up, dressed, went about my day and I was off the Zoloft and the nasty effects of coming “off” it. Thankfully.

I have had many life changes recently. When that happens to you when older, if can have depressive effects. I added up all of these changes and said to myself: “of course you are depressed.” But something did not quite sit right, something was off with my thinking. I just felt as if I had not thought it fully through. And I hadn’t. One of those changes is that after 30 years and five failed attempts I actually successfully came off my estrogen, about 4-7 weeks ago. After realizing this I now knew exactly what was going on. Hormones again. I shall seek the assistance of a physician who works with bio-identical hormones. I had looked to switch from traditional hormone therapy to bio-identical about five years ago. No one here had any idea of what I spoke. Today this town is full of doctors who prescribe them. Just Google it. So a poem to lift the spirits:

sO!

“U” “R”

feeling … dePRESSed … R U?

DIS – – – affected

D
O
W
N

you (R) wishing

that U could leave

Go somewhere else

Begin [Again]

DE {pression}

Is not unique
to you

…… But you are
U.

To this
world

there is [no one]

quite
….. like you

(this)
FACT gives

U,u,U,u,

A variety of GI…FTS
Unique to
{you}

Dis

cover what they R

they ///// Will /////

Give you the tools . . . . .
that U need

Tools 2 unlock your…..SELF

self
self
self
self

sELf … selfIE … U.

2 find within
The key to what WILL

H>E>L>P … u

You might say:

What IS wrong?

Then you may see your
[self]

AND

FIX

what is wrong ??? hMM

U have HA…D many cha{N}ges

So, you know

that {ALL} of those (c) hang es

at
your
age

OH (my) OH (my) Finally . . . . .

(I) get IT

{Y}
[e]
{a}
{h}

!!!!

hor…MONE{s}

aGain.

Mary has shared some incredible photos at the Poetry Pantry of Annell’s. Photos from “Fall Comes to Cimarron Canyon,” New Mexico, USA. They are glorious! So Poetry Pantry it is!

I shall be around to see you Monday morning.

Read a Little Poetry Everyday

How?

How does she do it?
I ask myself.

I ask myself a thousand
timeS.
She is so talented.
Her poetry makes me Happy.
Then again,
so
do her lovely
drawings. Together tHEY make a LOV
ely work of art.

Even during wartime.
I can read her blog and be happy.
I
don’t
have

to be
sad. I can be happy
andGain
MORe happiness after reading her poetry.

There
ARE people
on theInternet
who
simply
seem
to
exude
goODness.

I
have
several
friends.
Poet
friends
who
do
that.

I wonder
IS
that not our mission?

Perhaps
it should be the mission
of each of us
to exude
goodness.

For then
goodness
would
aBound.

WAR
and petty
theFt
even
murDer
would
end.

We would
have
no
need
for
BuLLeTS
or
buLLshIT.

Inspired by Claudia – a truly inspirational poet and artist here upon the Internet. Her work shows us how we can “get together” and “be together” in this world.

Posted at dVerse.

I Am Sickened!

I am absolutely sickened by what has happened here in Missouri! To be precise, I am sickened by what has happened here in Ferguson, MO my neighbor to the north. Can someone please tell me why this primarily African American community has a primarily white police force? Can someone please tell me why this police force does not have or use Taser guns? This is grotesque. Has no one thought that this young African American male might have become a doctor and served his community in that capacity?

Why has it “apparently” become acceptable for a police department to gun down a young African American boy (I am sorry but at 18 you are a kid, a boy, a youth)? And since when did we do away with Right to Assemble peacefully laws? When did it become practice within communities for peaceful protestors to be confronted by police tanks or tactical vehicles, tear gas and rubber bullets? When was lawful, peaceful protest by citizenry meant to be met with a militarized show of police force? What sickening photos have come out of Ferguson Mo, my neighbor to the north. This no longer feels like a civilized country but a police state with African Americans being targeted as if they were a threat to that state.

Two Eyes

For my friend Jamie, for whom I have much admiration and love across the great divide.

I hate war
there is
no greater evil

everything in war
hurts
it hurts everyone

death is the
responsibility of many
on either side

but if you are
the stronger
you must see

not with one eye
you must see
with two eyes

protect yourself
through seeing
with your right eye

protect the innocent
by seeing
with your left eye

oh Israel open
your left eye
and see

you must protect
all of the children
not just your own

that will be the
only way to
protect your own

Israel my great
passion I love
you

but I must
ask myself for the
sake of my friend

you are my friend
knowing you across
the great divide

I know that
you too suffer
and I ask myself

what about your
friend your friend
in Gaza

your friend suffers
your friend may be
lost in the war

of the powerful
how can I wish
your friend well

when I cannot see
the Palestinian
minority

how can I pray
for your friend
whom I cannot see

I must first
open my left eye
to see to pray

peace cannot
come to one for
it will not be peace

peace can only come
to both sides or
it is not peace

war kills so many
more innocent
than guilty

somehow the guilty
seem too often
to escape war’s pain

there is too
much rhetoric
around the world

too much noise
being fueled by
too much opinion

turn your opinions
into prayers
for both sides

pray for peace for
both sides or it
will not be peace

yes today I will
pray for peace
peace for the children

peace for the women
peace for the old
peace for the young

God bring peace today
make a peaceful
cease fire to last

today I have two eyes
I can see from both
let peace reign in Israel

NaHaiWriMo

At one time I had the wonderful habit of writing haiku for NaHaiWriMo, one per day on Facebook. I have not been writing, in great part as fallout to my move. Something tells me that I nee to begin somewhere. And this is August first, really? That is hard to believe. And I might add that having abandoned the habit of haiku, well, it does not come easily, not at all.

early morning dew
limitless source for earths
smallest ones

Thoughts of a Young Girl

I am watching television at the moment, CNNs The Sixties to be precise. I have seen it 2-3 times in the last few days. It is riveting, just riveting. I will never forget it, where I was and what I was doing during those times. When I was a young girl the N word flowed from my mother’s mouth with much to great an ease. Even as a very young child it revolted me. Her racism was palpable, lethal and disgusting. Of course she did not like anyone. Not anyone at all, she always found something “not” to like in anyone. My siblings and I loathed her behavior. We knew something was very wrong.

I have been communicating with my sister in law, we are the same age, of the same era. I must ask her where she was, what she was doing, what she was feeling during those years during the summer of The March On Washington. I was in a Greyhound Bus on my way from Manchester, VT to Monkton, MD. I was sent there to learn more about fox hunting and horsemanship by increasing my exposure to both. It was undeniably a way to keep me out of trouble. Fox hunting was a once disgusting sport where people took great pleasure in watching a pack of hounds tear a fox to shreds. I much preferred drag hunting. Before a drag hunt, the sent of fox was dragged all over the countryside via a bag. I loved the “steeple chase” aspect of the hunt – but that was all. That part was exceptionally exciting, an adrenalin rush. The whole thing seemed to represent something my mother wanted to be, not something her children cared to become. In that bus, on that trip, I held my little transistor radio to my ear and listened to the “March.” God how I longed to be there, to be a part of this movement, to be contributing and doing something useful. They were painfully bloody and violent times. I do not understand segregation, racial hatred and separation. It disgusts me. And I wanted to get off that bus, stop in Washington and join that march. But as a timid young girl I could not do so.

I did not learn to drive until I was twenty-four years old. I was raised to believe that I would fail at anything that I attempted. I was raised without a shred of self-confidence. I became a late bloomer. I would try nothing. It kept me from acting upon my beliefs this made me sad. But my time was yet to come. I had much learning and living to do before I really became who I was meant to be.

My time would come in the mid eighties and early nineties during the AIDS crisis. I was a health care worker in home care. Early on I was exposed to the denial of care to young men dying of this disease called GRID. I became incensed, enraged. I could not accept this, especially this treatment to a part of the population to which I had been so close since I was a very young adult. As a result, I became involved in this towns emerging AIDS organization. I was involved in the grass roots movement in every way possible. Later I would go on to create the best AIDS program of its kind in the world. I am very proud to be able to say that, I am not bragging, it is simply true. I know this because I created and ran a medication program for persons who were HIV+ or who had AIDS. I was able to compare my program to the programs in NYC and in San Francisco. I added to my program a lending library. I did crisis counseling with my patients, their friends, their families and their lovers. I made sure that all of my patients had all of the social services to which they were entitled and that they needed. The doctors who referred their patients to me were very grateful for what I was doing. I was not a counselor, nor a social worker, but I knew what I was doing I knew what was needed. No one else was doing this here in town. I contacted the directors of the NYC and the San Francisco programs. Neither of these programs did anything but deliver medication. In terms of my career this was the most rewarding time of my life. I am grateful to have had this opportunity. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to affect so many lives.

Today it seems so very long ago. I often feel as though I should be doing more, rather as though retirement is not something one ought to engage in. But that just isn’t true is it?

I do not like Blogger. Sorry for the confusion – I deleted my Blogger blog. Bare with me please, I am remaining here at Word Press.

Not Yet There

OK – I really am getting in to the swing of things. I am also realizing that my feelings of isolation are in great part my own doing. I miss everyone here with whom I interact. Yup – I really do! This is a photo taken directly after Emmy’s graduation and a good place for me to start my blog again. It gets me back into the game. My family lives in Indianapolis, we were not able to attend. We live in St Louis. David is going up this weekend for the party Beth (her mother – my daughter) is giving. I do love this photo, from left to right: David my son in law, Emmy in graduation garb, Beth my daughter and Abby the youngest grandchild.

photo-2

I am currently working on a post about the move and the new place! That will be next.

SLOMO

Yesterday was so cool! It was cool because it gave me an answer 10 years in the making – one that I never really knew that I would get. I have spoken here off and on about a second spiritual experience that I had in 2005. More to the point I have spoken of the results. The results all were all very positive, very! I acquired a eye into the savage brutality of war, I experienced a degree of its pain, I worked with veterans. All in all good results wouldn’t
you say? Yes. I have mentioned this experience as being shamanic in nature. I have described to people, but to be honest it does lose something in the translation. Ah, then there are those who lived through the experience with me. And this is the cool part. I have always known several things about this experience:

1) Friends and family were very worried about the state of my mental health.
2) I hung on for dear life, knowing that I was really alright and that I was doing precisely what I was meant to do.
3) During this 6 week period there was ecstasy and there was agony. I don’t use these terms loosely. It was real.
4) People wished me to get help in the terms of an MD. I knew better and I am glad that I listened to myself. I sought assistance but from those who could help keep me grounded. I sought the assistance of a massage therapist and of an exercise therapist … to help keep me grounded.
5) Yesterday I watched a video in the NYT that I hope to embed below. It is called SLOMO. It is about a doctor who gave it all up for rollerblading. He describes his life of rollerblading. He then goes on to break down his joy in neurological terms. When he did that I knew that he was on to something. But more importantly, I knew that I was on to something. I now know that during that 6 week period in 2005 when I was so joyous, I was in reality high as a kite within my own brain. At that time I was going to the park and hard walking 6 times a day. The result was the same high that this doctor got from rollerblading. It is really, really good to know what happened and to know I was not crazy … as substantiated by the medical field. Click upon the link below and be mesmerized!

SLOMO