Mother

A heartbeat.

A cradled affection,

a sense of worry is unconditional,

she will always remember that one time.

 

Oh while the years pass,

many judgments, a currency of opportunity,

an aesthetic realization that depends upon her eyes,

she will always remember that one time.

 

We willingly recall,

the time she managed our innocence

with a sweep of her hand, a tender kiss,

she will always remember that one time.

 

I’m on the bus,

her walking nearby she said later,

yours was  a rather contemplative sadness,

she will always remember that one time.

 

There live the fortunes of time,

when we can respond to favored memory,

while, growing we did become showered in smiles,

she will always remember that one time.

 

And I suppose we all will,

that one time,

when in the throes of our own lifetime,

we did look toward the skies and delight in …

 

mother.

When Thinking the Terrible Things

While our lives are thought to be fragile,

we count on those knowing moments,

when in a sudden sort of sardonic setting,

a cathartic challenge suggests we listen.

 

When ego is put aside, and humility speaks,

such valuable outcomes refresh our mind,

we with certainty begin to better understand,

that vulnerability is meant to make a stand.

 

Glance around the room and wonder the eyes,

what is personality, how do we surmise

the value of this persons gray reminders,

versus the notion of a youthful banter.

 

Where all walks contain a familiar gait,

Our definition of value placed upon a posture,

might the aftermath of judgment call callous

the quiet listener who stands lone in a river.

 

When thinking all of the terrible things,

we forget about those we call the other,

decide upon a direction without a bother,

quite the opposite really, despised clutter.

 

Perhaps if in a notion of sweet forgiveness

Might we all reflect upon love is goodness.

 

 

The Sitting Hours

I always looked forward to the late hours,

the night flying by with dialogue and absurdities,

everything we could say we believed, and more importantly,

we loved,

We did delight in knowing we could look in each other’s eyes,

well into the twilight,

all of us, whoever might have chosen the time,

or simply allowed ourselves to be drawn in,

that was the key,

we knew always we wanted to be there.

 

These are the holidays we would request

each other’s company,

my sister, brothers, and mom,

our sister’s, children and the occasion of relatives …

so current on everything we knew.

to be important in everyone’s lives.

With dad in the background, an occasional chuckle,

he’d pass out the a beverage with endearing blue eyes,

we all heard his screams inside,

the delight of our lives, he is a beautiful man.

 

We were, are, can be the beautiful people,

the family that smiles, tells jokes, lives lives with uncanny candor.

These are the nights when time would value,

only the shared nostalgia of wanting the laughs

in the history of our lives.

These are the holidays when love does always,

compete well with the nature of our own,

sweet recall, when the essence of everything we believed,

in the realm of the human condition,

could suddenly find the energy

to contribute the next line,

so the stories never found a way to end …

Love, Time & Death

Central Park

It’s New York,

of course,

where lives do happen,

cross through Central Park,

onto 7th until we find ourselves,

sitting on a bench,

wondering where everyone is coming from,

hoping that we might find peace.

 

We keep looking in their eyes,

sometimes the notice is true,

others,

they walk by searching themselves

for some resting point,

a place they can call home.

 

He is that man alone in a world,

where everything exists,

and he’ll ride his bicycle all hours of the night,

because he can,

he can maneuver through the masses,

and always,

he can still eat his dinner alone.

 

She might be that woman living different roles,

walking through the park,

with a certain flair,

an attraction to the masses,

yet, in her mind,

no one really notices,

because she has felt alone.

 

I took the day off today

because I needed rest,

seems that has been a necessary event,

while the world continues to glow around me,

I center my eyes upon tears,

for it seems they are always near,

waiting for some answer,

a reason to suggest there is purpose,

even when nothing seems to matter,

only time continues to measure.

 

When that moment called me,

I stood before an audience,

Strangers all of them so cold,

the bitter icy winds of discontentment,

without notice walked away,

while my body wondered about time,

the descent, how far, how chilled, how quickly.

Then she became the moment,

amongst many beyond that walkway …

 

she is love.

Is This Really Liberal Thinking?

Last night I had a conversation with two people I have tremendous respect for, the subject quickly turned to politics, and I openly expressed my dislike of our current state of affairs. I spoke of my dismay with our current POTUS’s views and motives, and the dialogue took an icy turn to defense and validation. The three of us bandied back and forth for many minutes about the pros and cons of what we believed in earnest. The positive takeaway from the conversation is the three of us finished forty five minutes later, and together walked out of the room, smiling, and said good bye for the night. I think it is important to recognize that people can have honest, often animated conversations that include their views, without the fear of character assassination afterward. That was my takeaway from yesterday’s debate with two people whose opinion I value.

A concern that evolved from our dialogue is their personal anxiety with the inability to be open about their views around their own community, specifically the school they attend. I’ve heard this conversation before, and the tone has been similar in that there is a general fear with expressing one’s political views no matter the side that someone carries or believes, because someone on the other side is always going to be waiting to pounce with wrath and indignation. The subject of a divisive culture is prevalent in our American society today, and both sides of the argument are easily persuaded to lay the blame for this current mindset upon the other, rather than step back for a minute and process their own contribution.

In a democratic society, the true definition of democracy is to suggest an open debate always exists that merits argument and opinion from all sides. Democracy itself is dependent upon actions that inherently support social equality. I wonder if anyone can look about their own personal world beyond their backyard and see this belief in action. I’m afraid not. Instead we are talking about walls, and bans, and now steadfast agreements of a scorned party to vote down another party’s proposals in a unified attempt to recreate what we as a people have witnessed for decades upon decades of political ignorance. I’m afraid putting a narcissistic, megalomaniac into a position of power will not change things anytime soon. In fact, even if I could be in complete agreement with any of the current administration’s  proposals, which I am not, I just cannot believe that ‘the people’ will rise to support those ideals in a complete and unified manner any time too soon. There is far too much anger in people’s minds right now, and it is evident first, in the children.

We live in a pretend away society. The sort that would suggest if we don’t talk about it, then the repercussions will not impact us directly. Until it does, when the ramifications of our society begin to knock on our front door. In the meantime, let’s sit in sidewalk cafes and debate the subject until we are lacking oxygen due to vitriolic fuels slapped back and forth between good souls trying to justify and rationalize their own way of thinking. I sat in that very coffeeshop this morning, in between two paired conversations, where one side lauded the efforts of our current administration, while the other decried the present swing of governmental bureaucracy. If the two pair had literally gotten up and walked through each other they would have magically disappeared as their parallel universe would have quietly combusted with little fanfare.

Growing up as a child I had a certain advantage. I was raised in a divisive household, a political separatist movement. My mother and father had differing views, and for most of my childhood and well into my teens, and later adult life they proudly canceled each other out at the ballot box. Here’s the important thing to remember though. No matter how differing their views were, and there certainly were heated debates over the years, they at the end of the day, had respect for one another’s viewpoint. So me, I learned how to weigh both sides without forgetting that people could actually get along together, quite well actually with differing opinions.

How do we possibly get started with our current state of affairs? I think our first objective is to recognize that liberal or conservative thinking do and will cancel each other out forever. That’s not the issue. I think the solution exists elsewhere and somehow we as a society need to recognize that path, together.

 

 

I Turned Off The News

 

Yesterday, I made a conscious decision to turn off the news. Having watched the now ‘idle’ banter of prognosticators and candidates for the last year, the outcome in hand, I wasn’t excited about hearing any theory, any ‘told you so’ antics, or any patronage from the winning side of an ugly defeat. I told all my classes I was only going to listen to whales singing in the ocean in some New Age melody all week while I gathered my thoughts and wrapped my head around this bizarre political future of our country.

The night did not allow me to completely escape my thoughts though, and the sounds of our immensely serene mammals in the deep blue didn’t contain me as long as I’d hoped. I still felt this urgency to know, to wonder, to speculate just how we had come to the conclusion we had as a voting nation. That answer still evades me this morning; however, what I did see was the peaceful protests throughout the country with our new candidate. The protests hearkened me back to a different time in my life.

I remember in the  60’s seeing pictures of the Vietnam war protests. In a child’s eyes, these were real, these were pleading students and family and friends and co-workers all banding together to make a statement, the riots that would follow later with the civil rights protests, the ever changing climate of our nation. I recall watching all of this through the eyes of my older siblings. To me, these were powerful statements of change and I was a fortunate witness to democracy at its finest – freedom of speech, the right to protest, the right to have a valued opinion. Certainly with that came tragedy, the loss of remarkable leaders from Malcolm X to MLK Jr, to RFK, to so many more names that are part of that tumultuous history. I remember Kent State and wondering how it was, as a ten year old, that our nation could be so angry within our own borders, while thousands were dying in a fruitless war across the world.

We had no advantage of social media to give us instant results. We counted upon Walter Cronkite, ‘and that’s the way it is’ and followed with tears the scroll of lost names in Vietnam on that day, that was the immediacy of our connection to the world around us. The silent protest in our minds became the visible chants outside the White House gates as the protesters ramped up the pressure on LBJ to get our boys out of Vietnam – “Hey Hey LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?” followed years later by Richard Nixon and the ‘tricky dick’ accusations of secrecy and fraud that destroyed his presidency. Back then people were vocal, and as a kid, I watched as it seemed there were good reasons to fight for what we all believed was right.

In that different time, when race and equality were still on the mind of everyone, people began to fight together, and I watched secular groups like the KKK become less severe and threatening as our nation could recognize a holistic approach to life. In the 70’s books were written about ‘The Melting Pot’ a nation burgeoning with immigration becoming one, learning to live with one another and respect each other. Racism and prejudice still existed, but there was this seeming progression, this appearance of ‘love and respect’ that started to gain footing on so many levels. With the onset of so many different cultural mores we began to see a change in the landscape of our society.

The idea of ‘The Melting Pot’ has evolved today into more of a ‘mosaic’ as we gradually become aware of the value of culture, the beauty and elegance that each person in the frame of their own unique heritage brings to our American canvas. We have tried to take the time to appreciate those differences rather than destroy their integrity while lost in our own self-driven egocentric ideals. As a child I was motivated by a naive innocence to appreciate those pieces of our life that I could witness growing up. I wonder about the children of today, and how their exposure has perhaps changed, impacted, or effected their own perception of a modern, electronically driven society around them.

I wonder about the news, and what it is the media will find important as we now walk beyond the unprecedented electoral process that has for some turned their world upside down, and for others provided a voice of indiscriminate reaction that though maybe quieted in years past with active reasoning, today is suddenly harsh and overt and frightening. We live in a democratic society, so there can be no argument to suggest one person’s right to opinion ought be considered better than another’s; however, there is an element of respect and integrity that right now seems surely to hang in the balance.

So, as I observe our new style of protest in American society, just beyond a full day of electing a controversial candidate to the POTUS, I wonder about purpose, timing and decorum. Is protesting today that valuable in a time when we have already made a decision we cannot turn back on? For some, certainly that is the motivation for hitting the concrete, but for others I wonder if we have newer challenges ahead that can capture or channel our idealism. A friend of mine recently posted there is no more time for tolerance through the ideals of love and compassion, in his words, we need to ‘stand up RIGHT now.” I cannot argue with his passion, but I still do wonder about timing.

Perhaps our protest begins in six months, then we have seen a pattern to create a need for public awareness and change. Perhaps today we need to pay closer attention to the immediacy of our national decision, and recognize the hurt, the elation, the brusque reality of our choices demand a closer eye than simply arousing a formulated statement of disagreement.

Perhaps we do still count on ourselves as being the change we desire in the world around us. Ask a friend, see if they and another, and a friend of their own, a family member, a co-worker might join each other and together determine a time, quite likely in the near future to make a stronger more relevant statement, together.

Perhaps we might leave the news off for a few more days, and pay attention to our immediate surroundings.

When Reality Speaks

While we stood in line, the visions we imagine,

continue on their way, uninterrupted,

cold to the touch in manner of sensitive good.

~

Shelter the soul of the hurt and desperate ideal

in the order of humanity’s mortality

we could find distraction to be our nemesis.

~

Witness the truth of the vulnerable soulful man,

while life clicks on in pace,

we haven’t discovered a solution to death.

~

In family there is the escalation of delightful

peace, the respect of inevitable time,

that which decides our strength to survive.

~

Yet still we do sit in wait, in helpless purgatory,

knowing that there is that reality,

that certain choice we haven’t any clarity.

~

Beyond the notion of the here and now,

there is a peace, we must embrace with love.