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.

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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

Seeing Red …

We are challenged today to really incorporate color into our poem. Whatever you see, whatever you write – really SEE it in color. This was fun. I just chose a few poet friends here on the Net and wrote bits about them, seeing them in the colors that they portray to me. This is at dVerse Poets Pub where the greatest poets in the world meet up for a drink and a few good words and “The Color Festival.”

A stitch here and
there, red thread
pulled. Red coat – rushing
to get her kids off to
school, Claudia – she stops
in the rain
looking down into the
puddle, a reflection
of her home
in red brick
rippling through
the water.
Little eddies
of swirling silver and
gray
with hints of
the sun coming out,
become a froth of
many whites
almost a silver
reflection
in their
splash.

Sherry with her
dog
Jasmine the color of
ginger putty
on a sunny day
the light is a deep
yellow
with the sparkle
of it’s sunshine
bouncing off
the glitter
in the bluest bay.
She sits
upon a log,
a paled wheat
bleached by the sun
with gray and black
streaks.
She sits
watching
white puff clouds
so high they fly
racing by.
She drinks her
dark rich brown coffee
from a warm olive-green
mug, as Jasmine plays
on the
loose
pale bleed of pink sand.

Brian a hand
out to each child
bringing them
along, everyone in a
variant shade
of blue tee-shirt,
gray-blue,
sky-blue
calmest ocean blue.
They head for the
park-bench on
a silvery
sunny day
where they will
sit down
for a picnic
beautiful wife and
mother
tagging along
green like the
earth bringing
PB & J
sandwiches
of love
the color of nuts
tannish, brownish with
grape jam oozing
from the bread
made of
family love.

Grace,
just that.
Grace comes in
many hues
I should think of her
painting by the
sea – palette filled
with every color.
Hair reddish
dress white
with a yellow
sash
silver dangling from her
ears. A purple
ribbon in
her hair.

Mary
off quickly
down the street
pencil thin
a dark shirt
perhaps a gray
white cuffs
with red buttons.
The three
little ones behind
gray, white,
tan,
brown and black
a walk by the
bay.
Swiveled
brown leather
leashes
never
tangle
each little
one with
a red collar
one blue
and one green.

Bjorn stands
against a dark
scowl filled sky
gray-black clouds
raging
across its dark
surface.
He stops briefly
in his burnt orange
cap
blue jeans frayed
just long
enough
to paint
with words the
angry waves
of green and purple.
While its
bubbly lemon froth
hisses spit
over the pier.
iPad in hand washed
over grabbed
by the angry water
a poem washed
away.

Christmas Morning

Although
there were only
two places,
first and last
it didn’t
matter now.

No,
it was
Christmas
Eve and time
for “The Night
Before Christmas.”

I was
so excited.
I was so very
happy but anxious.
Late that night
I became ill.

Santa
didn’t mind
a whit. I looked
downstairs.
Under the tree,
there they were.

Not just
a new pair of
skis but a
new pair of special
skis for me.
I was ten.

I went back
upstairs
and I was sick
I threw up
my dinner, I
was so excited.

A new pair
of Kastle Skis
the best skis
Was there a
Santa Claus? No,
but it felt like it.

My dream
had come true.
When I raced
now maybe my
skis would
win for me.

I felt
so proud that
day. I felt
loved, it was
a great
day for me.

Move Update

We had the nicest inspector. He pointed out to us that the builder who renovated this place did so with the very best of materials seven years ago, showing us the exposed copper and cast iron piping. So what now? I do believe that we are just waiting for the owner to move out his belongings. Actually he has a renter in there and he lives in the Carolinas. I truly hope to move in mid-April. Well, that isn’t true, I would like to move tomorrow. Currently I am taking bids from movers. It is amazing the quality of bids that I am receiving. I am taking three. The first was 100% in depth and thorough. The second seemed to forget that we wanted to know at least 1/2 of the things that I had asked for. We await the third. We expect each to be the same price. I am really just sizing up the movers. Below are some photos. Please understand that the photos are of the unit with the owners goods within it. Somehow as I entered the photos – I REALLY SCREWD UP! So – I love my new closet. Then I forget what comes. We have a great deck with a marble fountain – what comes next?

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The above photo is of the outside of our building. Had we purchased a condo anywhere but downtown we would have had a doorman – something that I wanted. But downtown lofts are a different story altogether. Also, downtown is very youthful. And needless to say one’s condo fee does not include monies to pay for a doorman. I believe that there are 52 units in this building. We are on the 7th floor with a penthouse unit that has the only deck. We are in the back – not the front.

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The front door – we have artwork to place in this space.

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The back wall of the kitchen, there are two side walls also.

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A way too dark photo (having been made as light as possible) of some of the great room.

We Are Moving!

Think of me.
I think of you.
No, this is not
romance.

I think of you
each daily
as I read
your words.

Sometimes
I comment
when there
is time.

We have found
a wonderful
condo – downtown
an artist loft space.

I do believe
we have
a contract
made last night.

Now there
is
just an
inspection.

Then only the
move! The
planning, the calls
the bids.

Then we shall be
gone, somewhere,
noh-where,
but somewhere.

Unpacked
home anew.
I look forward
to being there.

Then Noh Where.
Where I shall
write again
and be with you.

I am so very excited. At my age many city dwellers move to the burbs. Granted we do live in the very nicest part of this city and have done so for 31 years. Now? We are moving downtown to an artist loft space. I love it! It is one huge room with 2 floor to ceiling exposed brick walls. A kitchen and bedroom and 2 bathrooms on the first floor (there was once a second bedroom on this floor – thus the second bathroom). Then the second floor has a bathroom and bedroom with a lovely deck off that bedroom. We have a contract and a closing date – now we must await an inspection … that is all. I m so excited!

Doorways …

I do love the simple metaphor of the doorway or for that matter the window. It can mean so much and yet something different to each who walks through one. For me it is an invitation to learn, a new beginning, a brave pathway, a chance for change, a new life, an escape and so much more. In life we shall pass through many doors. What do doorways mean to you? I would be very interested in knowing. Please share below. These are photos taken from our trip to China in 2006.

We are still in the process of moving. At the beginning of the process really as we look for a home. So I have little time to write. Anyway I have always enjoyed the photo essays of others.

A Poem in Photos

Through the arch
2006-03-31 20-18-492006-03-26 17-51-552006-04-06 03-02-342006-04-06 02-41-162006-03-31 20-25-032006-03-31 20-21-472006-03-31 20-32-28a2006-03-27 19-44-102006-03-31 20-24-252006-03-29 23-40-492006-03-31 20-21-58

Love …

This is shared with Poets United for their Mid Week Motif for which I have never written. I guess that I must think that it is time to mix it up a bit. That Motif is love. Love in fourteen lines.

I have been
lucky
in love
my man is
divine
no not god like
just
divine
I have been
lucky in love
yes
for he has
been
all mine.

I realize that this is a poem of exceptional silliness. But love is not silly. It is something hard to come by. It is often something that comes only after significant personal change. The first time that I walked into love I was a very youthful nineteen. That rather dreadful experience lasted seven long years. I was sensible enough to know that if I wished for the real thing to grace my life I had a lot of changing to do. It took me five years, perhaps because I did it on my own with God’s help, but I did it. Today I have been married (wait, I must now count it) thirty two years. I am very lucky, I married my best friend of five years and we are still best friends. So a silly poem for a not so silly love.