radical ramblings and thoughts of a southern girl
Posted Dec 31, 2011 05:33 AM
Time goes by so fast,
people go in and
out of your life.
You must never
miss the opportunity to tell these people
how much they mean to you.
protons, electrons, neutral neutrons
smashing and clinging to each other,
microcosm filled with
tiny invisible world that we take for granted...
mystical and question evoking and complicated all at the same time.
we too are very much the same as that invisible world
bouncing off each other
connected by bonds
repelled by likeness
pulled together due to opposite charges....
The wheels continue to turn,
turning into years faster than we can even begin to fathom...
all the while
In this upcoming year...
prepare ourselves to be openly aware
accepting of what may come....
all the while..
may we never miss the opportunity to share love, life and laughter with each other
Wishing all of you
Posted Dec 28, 2011 09:17 PM
We restore the holiness of the world through our loving-kindness and
compassion. Everyone participates. It is a collective task. Every act
of loving-kindness, no matter how great or small, repairs the world.
All those ever born have shared this collective work since
the beginning of time.
I am sure many of you have seen the old TV show, touched by an angel. It was a feel good weekly program that was on CBS on Friday nights. I loved watching it and was inspired by the "feel-good" manner in which the quacky angels would put forth love and goodness and hope through random encounters with people from all walks of life. If we really think about it, I guess we all have the capacity to touch like an angel and when we are lucky enough to recognize it---be touched --- through some random act of kindness by people whose names we will never, ever know.
Several years ago, "Big Daddy's" job often took him to random cities throughout the state. He often traveled five nights a week and when school was out for us, then the entire off-color family would accompany him. We'd stay at the hotel with him, have grilled cheese sandwiches from the George Foreman Grill for lunch and spend the day sight seeing and swimming in the hotel pool waiting for "Big Daddy" to return in the evening. Off-color son and daughter are a year apart almost to the day so when they were five and six, they might as well have been twins. They were inseparable. I was in seminary at the time and so often while they were swimming or playing in or around the hotel pools, I'd be reading a book with one eye on them and the other eye skimming some random theological writing.
One day following a vacation to the beach, we drove to a hotel on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio. "Big Daddy" went to work and off color kids and I headed to the indoor pool.
They splashed and played and had a great time. While there, an older couple arrived with their grandchildren. The grandfather jumped in the pool and played with his clan, while the grandmother, sat in her skirted bathing suit and gray hair and crocheted. I watched them for quite some time and when the grandfather got out and headed back to the room, I told off color kids to share their pool toys with the boys. When I said this, the grandmother thanked me, which was my invitation to
start talking. I asked her what she thought about while she crocheted and she smiled and responded, "I usually spend time praying for people while I do this. While it looks like I'm putting together a dish rag, if I am honest, well......I'm making a prayer rag."
Her comment invited me to delve into a deeper conversation about prayer and church and life. We talked and laughed and finally parted for the evening.
I thought about her serene sense of stitching throughout the evening and was surprised at
how much I had been impacted by such a brief encounter with someone along poolside at a hotel.
I did not know her name. I did not know where she was from or what she did for a living.
The thing I did know for sure was that she had an incredible sense of faith, hope and grace.
I remember laying in bed wishing that I had asked for her address and thinking if I saw them at the pool the next day, I'd ask a few more questions. I finally drifted off to sleep and when we all arose the next morning we headed down to the restaurant for breakfast.
As we were sitting there, a hand touched my shoulder and I glanced up. There stood the "pool grandmother" looking into my eyes. She said, "I do not know you but I have thought about you all night long and can't get you off of my mind. I feel called to give you this.......and slid her hand toward mine." She said, "you'll have to fill in your name. please use this for whatever you need....I feel led to give it to you." and then as quickly as she touched me......she was gone.
After she left, I looked down at what she had placed in my hand.
I felt my mouth fall open.....
a random stranger who I had shared a brief poolside encounter
had actually passed me a check made out to..................................... for the sum of $100.
I felt tears well in my eyes and I smiled....smiled at how our needs are met and often our wants are provided for.....
I had been wanted to send a small monetary gift to an extended family member who was having a difficult time due to health issues. My own children were small and since I was in school full-time, our financial resources were tight as we were living off of solely what Big Daddy brought home and thus had not had the extra money to send to them.
I was able to get the name and address of the "pool" angel from the check.
I sent half the money to that family member and I took the remainder and purchased a feminist prayer book and placed it on my shelf to remember
my moment of being touched by the kindness of a stranger.......
I wrote to her to thank her and
throughout my seminary time, I'd receive random envelopes from
this kind stranger
"prayer rags" and monetary gifts to be used toward my education.....
if we are aware...
if we share our self with others
if we are not afraid of a stranger...
we get touched...
graced on the heart
For my prayer rag making angel of kindness
I am most thankful.....
May I and you
at some point
the angel who
touch a stranger...
I double dog dare you!!!
Posted Dec 27, 2011 05:26 AM
This is the message of Christmas:
We are never alone."
~ Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985), English novelist.
Tuesday after a long holiday, I pull myself from bed. I can feel the deep ache of tiredness in my bones. There is a nip in the air and when I glance outside, the cool rain is falling consistently. All I really want to do is go back to bed,
pull the warm cover up over my head and sleep most of the day. Travel and emotional drain of rushing around, being with too many people and feeling the crave for a few minutes of savory alone time fill me.
I sit here, trying to pull something up from within to give me energy. I drink warm coffee, watch the Mystery of the steam rising from my mug. I savor the creamy taste of hazelnut and I sit and stare.
the day moves forward.
In a few minutes, I will
feel the steam of a warm shower, dress in freshly laundered clothes and head into the world.
A new day dawning,
a new world rising,
my day of returning to the grind of the real world.
May I find gratitudein knowing
my day will provide for my family,
my work will offer healing to the world,
that each encounter holds the potential to change the day of a person,
can be shared,
my heart beat
can transmit love into the Universe
and< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">while I'm still tired....perhaps...
looking at this rainy day
as a back to work blues melody isn't the best way to start it,
full of potentiality
a day whereby goodness and joy can come
a better way....
May I savor each moment and live it fully
and< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> may the same be true for you...
Happy Tuesday after Christmasand< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">blessings...
Be a Great Day!!!!
don't just have one.
Posted Dec 25, 2011 08:25 AM
Jimmy Fallon: It reminds me of a story my mom used to tell us, it was about a hero... a hero that, in my family, we like to call Batman. One Christmas, long ago, we find our hero fighting the Joker in the sewers in Gotham City.
Tina Fey: So Batman smelled?
Jimmy Fallon: Yes he did, Tina. Add to that his sidekick, Robin, the boy wonder, who, in what must have been a medical first, passed an egg through his system.
Tina Fey: So, Robin laid an egg?
Jimmy Fallon: And the Batmobile, you're not gonna believe what happened...
Tina Fey: It lost its wheel?
Jimmy Fallon: Yeah. There was no joy that Christmas, Tina, for the Joker got away.
Tina Fey: You're an idiot.
Presents are open and off color children are back in bed....stockings lay empty and memories of Christmas's past in the off color family,
dance through their head.
Christmas was calmer than those in the past but
just as nice.
Here are a few Christmas pics from off color
While I rarely post pics of anyone besides off color daughter and Big Daddy,
here is a picture of our Christmas spoof last year at Big Daddy's family Christmas.
Here is a bit of the copied script from an old SNL skit...
the date on the pic is wrong....Big Daddy's mom didn't know how to set the date on her camera.....(off color son looks embarrassed...he'll die when he sees this posted....he's cute don't you think?) The wigs come from off color daughters mullet wig collection.
Margeret Jo McCullen: [ chewing ] Wow, Pete.. I have to say - your Balls are so tender.. Pete Schweddy: Well, there's no beating my Balls. They're made from a secret Schweddy Family recipe. No one can resist my Schweddy Balls. Margeret Jo McCullen: Wow.. Schweddy Balls. Nothing like a Schweddy Ball. Teri Rialto: Good Balls.
we were the winner of the off color Christmas skit that year.....
and then there was the year we did the spoof from SNL where the guys re enacted Justin Timberlakes......."......in a box" (google it if your interested) The boys used ring boxes in place of shoe boxes..... We won the prize that year as well..
One year we rewrote "Twas the night before Christmas....."
"T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house...the M's were screaming and talking and no silence could be found..............
Here is a picture of Big Daddy's mama giving us her rapping rendition of Baby Jesus birth...
last but not least...
Here is the number one Christmas
gift unwrapped from the extended families
"gifts you no longer want......exchange"
woo dstock in a football helment...
our Christmas cheer unfolded
the off color family...
the sacred affair.
may your day be filled with joy, love, laughter and a bit of off color humor..
yours....do you have any off color photo's you might share?
Posted Dec 24, 2011 12:18 AM
And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Yeah, There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.< /span>
Let it Be....
The time is almost here
the sacred day we celebrate
< div align="center">and
gathered around the extended off color family on big daddy's side---holding hands before dinner in a circle of love
I caught a glimmer...
a surge of the Seasonal Spirit....
there in candlelight with family
both young and old,
circle holding memories of those gone and those who could not be with us
fell into the wonder..the wonder of the season, fell face first into the aroma of food, warmth of hope,
touch of love
let it be...let it be...
andfilled the cavity created by my squished up heart two sizes too small
IT came to me,
pulsed through my veins,
surged with love grace so strong
I felt it in a tangible way....HOPE
that the lesson learned in the story of our
faith is there for me too...,my heart swelled,
and it began to beat with joy....for in that fragment of a moment,breathing in the silence before I led the family prayer....
"little baby Jesus---so small but so holy lying in a manger"(talledega nights)
IT came to visit early...in the form of family, friends---both new and old,
in the midst of jingle bells chiming and lights twinkling< div align="center">
I let go...
let it be!!!
over took me!!!!
I finally found IT....found my Christmas cheer....
< div align="center">
sending love, hope, peace and joyto
each of you during this Season!!! Happy Holidays
The Radical Rambler
Off color family!!!!!
Blessings and Hugs!!!
Let it be!!!
let it be!!!!
Posted Dec 21, 2011 04:59 AM
For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.
I keep looking for something,
a common familiarity.
I've always felt a bit different and if everyone told the truth...
I've always been a bit different than most.
I'm not sure my brain works like everyone else's ...
or at least that has been my excuse....
As a small child living in a house stuck in between grandparents and great grandparents,
I lived on my own little planet and yes the world did revolve around me.
I would spend hours swinging high in an old tire swing
located out behind my grandfather's (otherwise known to me as Littlepa) home. It was my special place. I'd watch trains go by, wonder where they were going, who was on them and I'd dream up all kinds of stories in my head as I pushed my feet toward the sky and spun in circles until I'd throw up.
Even as a little one...I always had a connection to something bigger and greater than myself...I'd play on an old horse wagon, my sister and I'd converted into our playhouse
and I'd mix concoctions out of nature--- mud and flowers and seeds and acorns---sure in my childlike mind, that all this practice was gonna help me find some cure to save the world---so far, I've not come up with a cure, but I do keep mixing.
I read....read everything I could get my hands on...
my constant hunger for knowledge
could not and still cannot be satisfied.
I always felt like the more I knew, the smarter I was and the more I was like everyone else...
that was the lie I began telling myself even at a young age.
I've always been a bit edgy,
my color being slightly more tye dyed than solid,
I like off color humor,
am a truth teller---and I'm surprised at the number of folks who don't like that....
I come across too strong and confident...
even though it has taken me years to realize
that it scares the hell out of folks....
and not that I can keep it tied up,
I am learning in my middle years
to use it when necessary...instead of all the time.
my heart has always felt deeply...
too deeply most of the time
I've spent years trying to protect it....
I guess now
I just want it completely unwrapped
so I can feel...really feel it all...down in the depths of my bones...
I have more tools now to deal with it....
so I really don't know where this post is going this morning.
I thought I'd write about the holiday or the off-color family or
something other than my own self analysis,
but I suppose
that is what i needed today....
This photo caught my eye this morning,
spoke to me..
that over the years...
I have often felt like that lone leaf...
hanging onto something
all the while
sticking out like a sore thumb
in my tie-dyed t-shirt and
off color humor.
I've always been different
and used to grieve it...
I'm hanging onto who I am...
not waiting for the wind to blow me away to fade like others...
I'm hanging by a thread to
my gift of differentness.
and you know
it is really okay!
may each of you embrace yourself
hang onto life with all your might
during this holiday time.
blessings and love..
Posted Dec 20, 2011 08:21 PM
“It never failed to amaze me how the most ordinary day could be catapulted into the extraordinary in the blink of an eye.”
― Jodi Picot, Handle with Care
Homemade Soup on the Stove,
fresh corn bread from the oven,
nostalgic movie on the TV,
in the midst of
mundane ordinary life
I get a sense...
filled with sacredness
encapsulated with encounters of the extraordinary kind
becomes so much more
so much deeper and richer and meaningful...
I breath it in,
relish the slow turn of the minutes,
enjoy my time away from work
the rhythm of life
seize the day...
I am blessed...
blessings to you.
Posted Dec 19, 2011 09:16 AM
Life if a mystery,
everyone must stand alone,
I hear you call my name,
and it feels like home.
Madonna Like a Prayer
don't understand it,
can't quite fathom it,
i continue to live it.
seconds, minutes, hours, days,
the seasons turn,
I go right along with it, blowing with the wind,
falling and rising and breathing...
a mystery it is.
that even in the midst of the moving
I've developed a way to disconnect from it all
by covering myself in a protective shield,
some might think that that is a great thing,
to be enfolded by something...
but not when that something
tiny flecks of ice crystals,
formed by pricks and wounds and imperfections,
I think in my crazy mind
that if I allow those pricks, those wounds, those imperfection
turn into crystals,
frozen in time
to cover me...
nothing will ever hurt me again...
it is the lie I've told myself,
that if I hang out,
look the part,
allow myself to become
frozen in time,
i will survive,
nobody and nothing can or will hurt me.
all the freezing does is keep me
out of the mystery of life,
engulfed in a frozen lake of emotions unfelt....
the mystery it is,
calls to me,
It says my name and
even in my protective frozen state...
I hear her
call me by name,
all for me
to allow a melt
I hear her voice,
feel her pull,
just like the song,
it does feel like home....
I've started the slow melt,
I feel the sizzle like a piece of ice
lying on a warm stove,
melting from my frozen state
finally beginning to feel
for the first time.....
well it is good!
have a happy Monday
Posted Dec 16, 2011 07:48 AM
Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit.
Frank McKinney Hubbard
off color daughter two years ago
it took all the snow in the front yard to create this mulleted snowman...
don't you love her selection of warm clothes?
For all you faithful readers, you should be a bit familiar with how crazy the off-color family can be. Well, the holidays are no different than our normal life. You never know what someone will wear, what they will say, what kind of skit they will do or what kind of gift one might get.
At Big Daddy's family, every year, all the family members put together some sort of Christmas skit. Mama D of the off color family is the matriarch and her four children try very hard to out do the skits each year. Some years, some of the children and their families try to maintain some sort of
sacred skit to provide the real meaning of Christmas---this is usually his brother and his wife or his older sister and her clan (husband, son and whoever he is dating at the time). His sister closest in age and her family try very hard to out do us....but they don't usually succeed....Mama D sometimes joins in with their two children in the skits--becoming Big mama rapper or hoochie cooch grandma (mama d off color is 80 this weekend). Each year, we stretch the edges of getting too...something....but we do have alot of fun.
Let's see how off-color can we get?
In the beginning of the off color family...
way back about 16 years ago,
it began with off color son and off color daughter,
When the kids were little....
Big Daddy was a stay home dad and once I put an end to him watching Maurie Povitch and Jerry Springer with the children,
he started making up off color songs for the off color children to sing.....
"Who put the "ninkie" (the off color name for a boys body part) on the snowman..."
"who put the ninkie on the snowman
and embarrassed the family,
could have used a baseball bat, broom handle or a limb from a nearby tree,
instead he used a toothpick
to make him look like me."
"jingle bells, batman smells, robin laid an egg
Mister freeze cut the cheese and joker got away....
Hey!" (sung to JINGLE BELLS)
this was when the kids were two and three..
his family of origin would gasp...
which was obviously the wrong thing to do.....
once Big Daddy gets some attention...
what followed in the upcoming years
only got worse...."
I bet you can't wait to hear all about it.
Stay tuned for more unfolding
off color Christmas stories...
I promise you..
they only get better...
just to get you all excited...
here is a picture of one of Big Daddy's
off color Christmas photos for his family--it was the front of his Christmas Card to each of his siblings----
this is the swim suit he wore
to the pool at the family vacation to embarrass them...you can find that post somewhere previously)
it might be too much for you...
so proceed with caution.....
never know what will happen with Big Daddy!!!
His caption on the card said,
"kiss me under the mistletoe"
his family was embarrassed and so was I...
I kind of think it is funny now...
I don't want Big Daddy to know--so have a good laugh on me and
get ready for upcoming
off color family Christmas tales.....
Posted Dec 14, 2011 08:23 PM
Look, Charlie, let's face it.
We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket.
It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.
Lucy from a Charlie Brown Christmas
I've been thinking alot lately....about what this season is supposed to be about...
I look around searching and thinking and wondering...
The story began....
under a star,
angels and smelly shepherds not dressed in bathrobes but real honest to goodness angel and shepher attire,
kings bearing gifts,
little tiny baby...
laying in a manger....so small but so holy....nine lbs...six ounces with tiny ringlet curls.......(oops...that was Talledega nights...see how the stories get all intertwined..)
Much like our world now...the setting of the story was chaotic.
Taxes were high, fear was everywhere, the story even goes that they were killing the baby boys ....
(sounds like the writers stole from the Moses story if you ask me)
The malls are over run with anxiety filled folks
looking for just the perfect gift,
honey hams are on sale,
red poinsettias line the aisle at Kroger.....
when I drive by The Walmart...and
I swear it looks like a bunch of hungry piranhas in the parking lot
gathered around the first body dropped in a long while.....
a feeding frenzy of sorts...
the world feels just as chaotic and crazy as the ancient times....
I sit here...
still the Christmas tree is in the storage area,
no lights are strung,
no cookies are baked,
no presents have been bought......
am i a scrooge this year (bah...humbug)
For those of us with Christian roots who feel this way,
a bit of shame for not celebrating
the birth of the baby
floats around us like the dust that floats around PigPens's body ..just a bit anyway...
Is there more to Christmas than the feeding frenzy in the Walmart parking lot?
I sit here wondering...
wondering what this ritual is really about
what it really means to people these days...
I love getting a day off from work,
I love being with my family,
I enjoy lights,
I like giving my children gifts....
Christmas movies make me feel warm and mushy,
the smell of cookies baking give me an at home feeling but
I want more than the Walmart Feeding Frenzy Christmas this year.....and I'm not sure I know how to find it....
The baby...tiny baby in swaddling clothes, born in a miraculous kind of way we are told,
during a crazy feeding frenzy of a tax season
has to teach us more than
presents and trees and lights.....don't you think....
why else do the Christian boned people and non christian boned people celebrate it
with such large vigor all these years later.
lying in a manger
dressed in swaddling clothes
bringing teaching about
loving our fellow human,
breaking down boundaries,
touching the untouchable
being a vessel of love and healing and hope.....
amongst all my confusion and disgust with the season...
the tiny baby...
the wisemen and wise women who surround
all of us
lead us to a place of new horizons,
we follow the star,
(not the Christmas tree star or the star in the sky)
follow that star that
leads us to new growth, new hope, new vision
living and hanging
hope for a world
filled with peace, love, grace and mercy.
May we all...
breath in a new breath
allow the star...
the bright beckon
to lead us
hope, joy and love...
I'm gonna keep searching...
I feel deep inside
this sacred time
is supposed to be...
more than the Walmart Feeding Frenzy..
may we all find
what IT really is.
Posted Dec 13, 2011 05:35 AM
Have you found joy in your life?
Has your life brought joy to others?
FROM THE MOVIE THE BUCKET LIST
< div style="text-align: center;">what is it?
Have we found it?
Do we share it?
Joy: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation:
Have you seen it?
it peers at us from behind all the stuff we lay on top of it,
business, rushing, caring, working,
shopping, cooking, cleaning...< div style="text-align: center;">layer upon layer
it lies juxtapositioned between fear,grief and happinesspeering out it's gleeful head
waiting for an invitation to
share in the delight of life.
that I have a fear of experiencing it
want to relish it when it enters my body
and hold on to it with all my might
I am afraid
that it will leave
afraid she won't come again to see me
afraid it will be the last time
I see her
I cling to her so hard...
I really can't feel her...
If you have ever watched a baby
find their laugh,
it doesn't take much,
just a trusting fall into the richness of it....
a small upturn of our lips,
without rhyme or reason
it becomes contagious...
joy that is...
andbefore we know
we find ourselves laughing just as hard
as the small baby who delights in life
over the smallest thing.
all my life...
I've held on too tight to it..
held back from experiencing it..
don't know why it scares me...
don't know why
I am always afraid
it won't come again
why I always wait for the
proverbial ax chop
the rain on my parade.
during the rush,
my aim is to find IT...
anddo so with open hands.
I'm not sure I've ever done it before....
Posted Dec 12, 2011 05:15 AM
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
< div style="-webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; color: black; font-family: "Times New Roman"; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">Maya Angelou Pulse of a New Day
I stepped out into the darkness,
looked to the sky,
hope startled me....
amongst the dark sky
rose a powerful light,
beaming down beams
beams of hope, love, grace,
speck upon this planet
tiny "who" that I am...
dance a new dance,
sing a new song,
be a new...
I am not always aware what that something might be...
underneath canopy of tree and sky
stared up into the night,
knowing that soon the light of sun would be breaking...
I breathed in a breath of life,
soul dancing in praise
underneath the heaven....thankful to the Universe for this moment...
I sucked it all in...
the fragment of my life...
relished it, treasured it, captured it.
moves into light
bringing with it possibility,
that is what it brings.
As the sun began to rise..
I did it..
right out into it,
that I'd live it all
crying if need be...
the new day brings me..
I stepped into the
opportunity of a new day rising.
may you too
experience the wonder of such
on this start of a new week...
Posted Dec 11, 2011 07:45 PM
That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been about.
Gifts, gifts... gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts.
You wanna know what happens to your gifts?
They all come to me.
In your garbage. You see what I'm saying? In your *garbage*.
I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump.
And the avarice...
The avarice never ends! I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue." Look, I don't wanna make waves, but this *whole* Christmas season is stupid, stupid, stupid!
The Grinch, the movie
I might be the Grinch this year...
I'm not sure
but I get a sense that either I'm getting Christmas for the first time...
I've turned into the proverbial Grinch of the off-color family.
I haven't put up the tree,
the only present I've bought is what off color daughter ordered herself,
no Christmas lights up,
< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">no
It is not that I don't think
the holiday time is important..
< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">rituals are important...
but all this crazy useless buying,
running into overcrowded shopping malls,
traffic lined up,
wasted time and energy and money....it is crazy...
there are more important things...
I watch the news,
so many families struggling,< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I drive by a local parking lot and homeless people are lined up
to get a free bag lunch, cup of hot coffee and soup,
foreclosures looming for many,
jobless rates increasingly high...
Some of us have...
and more than we need..
struggle for the basics...It is not fair...
I wish I could fix it....
fix the wounds and hurts and disparity,meanwhile
I look at the headlights coming out of the mall,
I stand in line watching people buy
sugar, cakes, cookies,
hamsthe fast food places are all
more than they need.....I look at the excessive obesity...
really most people with anything..are
just greedy....more more more...
that is what they want.
I may be a Grinch...but the problem is
not that my heart is too small
not even two sizes...
it feels deeply...senses too much...
cries for those without...breaks...
I may appear to be a Grinch...I just don't like the greed I see...
i see it all as the attempts at filling a deep void
with materialistic crap that doesn't mean
anything....everybody seems to think that the special gift will
be the answer to the hole they feel inside..."it ain't true" said the off color grinch....
May we all...
have our hearts grow
two sizes this year...
celebrate the holidays
fill the world with hope,
offer grace to all we meet.
blessings to you on this cold Sunday evening...
don't be the Grinch....just be....
Posted Dec 9, 2011 04:51 AM
< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The Wizard of Oz
I've heard this movie...seen this movie, lived this movie more times than I can even begin to count.
When off color son was little, he spent hour upon hour rewinding on the VCR to his favorite parts. Big Daddy was a stay at home dad at the time, so he, off color daughter and off color son, would fill their days with an array of things.
One of off color son's favorites activities would be to put "oz" in the VCR and rewind, rewind, rewind. He and the off color crew would sing and dance and act out the various parts of the movie with his favorites being...
"the tin man's dance--if I only had a heart...toot toot."
"the lion's---put um up...put um...up...."
"the walk through the forest and watching for lions and tigers and bears...."
so for many years.....I can remember hearing the sounds of off color family singing, dancing and jumping off the furniture which had suddenly become a forest grove or a yellow brick road or a wizards castle.
During this time, the one thing off color son wanted for Christmas was "oz" guys--meaning "oz" action figures. This was thirteen years ago, long before the movie had become popular among kids again and let me tell you...
I searched high and low to find these oz action figures.
Finally after giving up, I stopped in a local antique shop to just peruse for myself and happened upon a box set of
Oz collectible which could pass as an action set......expensive....but at least
Santa would bring what had been asked for....
The off color children played with these for many years and finally when they were done...
I claimed them and kept them sitting on my desk when I worked in parish ministry.
They represented the many aspects of the things we were and the things we were looking for.....
I no longer have an office in the church and my oz figures are boxed up in my retreat teaching box....
I think about them often
and about what they have taught me.....
1. The characters of the Oz are all parts of us....we have the same questions, the same desires, and the same ability to live out the roles as all of the characters from the movie....and we are all searching for something to complete us and make us whole.
2. the things Dorothy and her friends were searching for are the same as ours..
we search for courage,
always a way home.
3. the good and the bad from both Glenda and the wicked witch from the East...hold the same capacity for us as in the emerald city....
we make the choice..
we choose to honor the good elements of ourselves and embody,
grace, hope and love...
we become the embodiment of
our greed, our wounds, our hurts and
learn to take it out on others and rain on their happiness.
4. sometimes, we need a good friend to carry us. Toto spent alot of time letting Dorothy tote him in that basket.....in the end...
his love and devotion to her was worth it.
5. sometimes.....the wizard surprises us...
that thing behind the curtain...
underneath our stuff..well
when we look deep in the mirror...
the wizard looking back behind the curtain
sometimes causes us to say,
;who the hell are you?;
surprised by a vision of our real self...
when we stare deep enough and long enough..
we find out...
our capacity to listen to our inner voice
will and does lead us in the right path..
we just have to learn that we don't need some big megaphone or emerald city to get our message out...
we just have to trust
what is inside.
just like Dorothy and all the folks in the movie...
we are all on a journey...
all trying to follow the yellow brick road
to get to the place
the place we've been before and fulfill that desire we carry...
finding our way home...
home for us...
though does not embody
alot of singing and dancing and searching..
if during this season..
to close our eyes..
to let the light of love infuse us...
if we settle for long enough without
jumping into the flurry of
presents, cakes, candies, cleaning, trimming.....
if we trust our heart,
have the courage,
think with our head,
the wizard inside of us
the Spirit which guides us
will lead us...
right where we belong....
to our heart place...
otherwise known as home...
I really don't like the movie..
but I love the characters and what they teach me about life...
so on this wonderfully crisp
it is wonderfull to be
for there is no place quite like it..
Happy Day and Hugs...
Posted Dec 8, 2011 04:34 AM
You know, I was just thinking.
Every person, whether little or big, is a human being.
And because we are human there are many things that are alike about all of us. For instance, we all need to be loved.
Everybody does. Every person that you see in this world needs to be loved. And the marvelous thing about being human is that while we're very much alike, each one of us is very different too. Mr. Rogers
Off-color daughter has a baby...yes it is true.
Over the week of thanksgiving, one of her psychology assignments was to
design and build a baby--a flour baby. Inside the baby's body is a bag of flour--"off color" daughter was the "lucky"(not) student in class to be the proud mother of
not a 5 lb. baby--no she pulled out of the hat one of the two ten pound flour baby assignments---she has developed quite the baby carrying muscle over the past two weeks.
We spent the night after Thanksgiving looking for a head and googly eyes and
sat around my mother's table while she put together her assignment.
Instead of using nude pantie hose to create her baby,
off-color daughter being a creative and free thinker, bought a pair of midnight hose to create the body. We got his outfit at the local Dollar General and finally---baby was created.
The assignment included carrying around the baby everywhere she went and treating it as she would any "real live" baby. So far, no damage has been done to baby Mason--she has two more days before her assignment ends.
With teen pregnancy continuing to rise, I think her teacher has a great idea for teaching about the demands and time consumption of early child rearing.
The first day she had to take him to school, I get a text from her.
"people are looking at my baby and asking me why I made a black baby."
"I think I'm just going to give them the evil eye."
later in the day, I get a text with some choice words...
What the *&^(!
What is the deal?
"Don't people know that Sandra Bullock has a black baby---I hate public school."
I laughed and took a moment to text her back...
well, the issue is lots of people in the world,
live with these comments every day,
lots of them deal with the stares,
the mean looks...
I think that is what you can learn from this......
I then said, I think you should write an essay about what happens
when you take Mason to different places---bet you could get some extra credit for a short essay about acceptance.
I could feel her eye roll over the phone.....
but I think the assignment has been very valuable.
Baby Mason has been to the mall, the grocery, they gym, the waffle house
the food co-op and mama 'off-color daughter' has had to deal with
all the looks, the responsibility and the comments.
It has been good and I've enjoyed our conversations about her experience.
One day this week, I was on my way to pick her up from the local food co-op and
my phone rang, "Please just talk to me....people are staring and asking me questions and I'm tired of explaining why I have this baby....it is getting on my nerves." When I arrived, I found her
baby sitting in the buggy with her standing in the soap aisle smelling
hand crafted soaps.
I've learned alot about life from watching her with this assignment.
"off color daughter" dances to her own tune. She does what she wants and
is okay with it. She accepts folks for who they are---regardless of color--and
was shocked by the responses of other people. It made me feel like Big Daddy and I have done an okay job with her. She thinks, asks questions and questions why the world is not right.....
I don't have a clue who she got that from......
We have one more evening of baby Mason the flour baby....
he has served his purpose
not only in teaching
her about the responsibility and difficulty of teen pregnancy
but in teacher us
being true to yourself.
"off color daughter....I'm proud of you."
Baby Mason...thanks for the life lessons.....
And in the words of Mr. Rogers....
......So let's make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we're together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please,
Please won't you be my neighbor?
We are alike in so many more ways than we are different.........
perhaps the world can and will embody the theological stance
of a man in a zip up sweater and lace up tennis shoes...
"won't you be my neighbor?"
Happy Thursday and Blessings.......
This is off color daughters' friend "norman's
baby----they call him floppy because he is not stuffed very well
you can see the t-dyed t-shirt color Norman used to stuff him
in the leg along with a pair of boxer...
Here you go Norman---we don't want floppy to feel left out!!!
Posted Dec 6, 2011 05:18 AM
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
pouring once again outside my window
I feel a restless energy
a stir if you will
I try to settle myself
as I do I begin to think about
energy in motion
atoms binding, smashing together, forming new things.
chemical reactions happening all the time
as we go about our day.
there is so much to life that
I don't understand or even comprehend and most often so many things I'm not even aware of happening right in front of my face.
I watch the news: Waters rage.
Injustice rolls down
it does feel sweeping and
as I watch
I wonder how many people feel alone,
caught up in the waves of foreclosure,
visiting food banks with no food to eat,
as I sit here
in my warm home
Cecil devil dog from hell is on my lap
off color family sleeping soundly in their own beds.
In a moment...
I will shower
head out into the world of sickness and illness at the place where I earn my paycheck
people are swept up
walking through the flames of life, dealing with illnesses grave and small
wondering if they truly will survive.
There is so much I don't understand
so many things I dont' have answers to
i still seek them
there is no magic answer.
fires blaze and engulf
my one constant
through all of it
is that thing...
that on most days I don't even acknowledge
deep in the crevices of my DNA
stick another foot out,
it will be okay
give a little grace.
in the midst of all
the good and the bad...
there is something
that moves me forward,
opens my eyes and hearts
gets me through the
rising water, rushing stream, protects me from the heat.
Don't understand IT...
offers assurance that I am loved,
I am valued,
May all of you feel under girded by something
felt in the crevices of your bones,
atoms of love
sparks of hope,
vapors of grace
may you feel
unalone---for I don't believe we are.
happy rainy Tuesday