Monthly Archives: July 2016

Adult Words

Laura aged 7

When I was a child, I was taught there were certain words reserved for adults.  Mostly those words were curse words.  However, the n word was in the list that little girls do not say.

So I have to say, there was an allure to those words.  Here is a group of words I can’t say now but someday, when I am old enough and worthy, I will be able to use them.

When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was riding in the back of a pick-up truck with a group of girls.  The pick-up had a camper on it. (Kids were allowed to ride in the back of pick-up trucks back then, even without a camper shell.)

I can’t remember where we were going.  I didn’t know the other girls very well and I wanted to impress them.  We saw a boy chasing the pick-up and I thought I’d use a grown up word.  That would be impressive, I would show the other girls how grown up I am.

I pointed out the boy and used the n word. I didn’t get the response I was expecting.

One of the girls, must have known more about the word than I did, scolded me. I don’t remember exactly what she said but I understood that there was more to grown up words than I realized. I hadn’t meant to be ugly.

I have never used that word again.

Some words aren’t adult words, they are hurtful and hateful and shouldn’t be used.

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PTSD is the New Shell Shocked

Just because you give something a new name, doesn’t mean it’s a new thing.  Soldiers have been dealing with the after affects of war for generations.

Lives have been ripped apart, destroyed.

Men and women trained for weeks to become part of the war machine but the military does not have training in place to return these same men and women to civilian life.

Still.

We just give the effects a new name, new research and what seems to be a band-aid.

If there is a way to take civilians and train them for the ways of war, surely there is a way to take trained military personnel and prepare them to become a member of society at large.

Why aren’t we? Why are we doing the easy thing instead of the right thing?

Talking about Kim and Kanye and Taylor

Last night the conversation turned birthday plans to music to the latest scuttlebutt between Kanye and Taylor.  We didn’t stay long on the topic. Which is good.  I have other things to talk about than the PR generating antics of a couple of musicians.  He uses rough language and she’s been writing about other people for years. Got it.

What I’d rather spend my time discussing is:

The full moon!  Did you see it?  It followed me to work this morning.

Some of the sweet potato leaves are as big as my hand.  I think they might be good stuffed like a dolma.

When do you want to get together and see a movie?

I found a house 3 miles from work in my price range but it has an option on it. It’s a good thing it is empty.  I keep driving by it on the way to work to see how nice the short commute would be. Though the next door neighbor saw me this morning.  Oops.

You have a video on YouTube of your MFA final?  I have videos on YouTube as well!

Left over milanesa would be good in sushi.  Oh, that’s right, there’s never left over milanesa.

You have lived in Dallas for 10 years and don’t know about the Pocket Sandwich Theater?  And you like to go to the theater?!?!?!?  You have to look it up right now.

Oh and I was listening to a book on tape where Elizabeth Gilbert and a friend played a cd of moose calls while drunk in the woods one time and a bull moose showed up. Do you want to drunk dial a moose sometime?

Yep, not much time or energy for the K2T.

I Can Empathize

I do not have to be like someone to experience what they do. I may not be exactly on the mark but I can get pretty close. And to those around me, I reach out in good times and in bad.  I have had good times and bad and that is how I can imagine how the other person is feeling.

I am not happily married and yet recently I was able to celebrate a friend’s 50th wedding anniversary.

I have not lost a child and yet I can cry with a family who has, give them lots of hugs, visit and share memories of this precious person they miss.

I can greet those around me pleasantly and wish them a great day, even if they drive by me recklessly on the highway on the way to work.  (I may have to calm down.  For we all want to get to work not just the one careening by. I am still working on my initial reaction.)

I can be horrified when any person interacts violently towards another person. I can celebrate when a person overcomes a hurdle or accomplishes a great feat.

And I’m sure you can as well.

To suggest otherwise is ludicrous. Empathy is part of what makes us human. For you today, I wish all the best and know that if you are currently going through a bad time, you are not alone, there is someone who cares.

 

 

 

 

 

The Way to Peace is Through Peace

I am saddened by events that have happened earlier in the week and most recently last night in Dallas, where I live.  My words cannot fully express the horror and grief for all the lives that have been lost.

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to those who have died or been injured and their families. Know that others grieve with you as you walk this new path, one most of you did not choose.

I was waiting for new tires to be put on my car when I heard of the first shooting yesterday.  I felt ineffectual as I sat there.  The event had already taken place.  Nothing I could do.  I wasn’t even sure how to express myself.  Can one grieve in a tire shop?

Later that night, I drove to Denton to see my daughter.  I wasn’t even aware there was a rally in Dallas.  I left around 10pm and my daughter called.  I knew I hadn’t left anything behind and I was already on the highway.  I answered the phone anyway.  She told me there had been a shooting and not to go through downtown.

Violence is swift and strong.  It appears to have the upper hand but that is a false illusion.  Violence begets more violence.  It solves nothing and escalates situations that didn’t need to be. Creating a never ending tit for tat. Where does it stop?

Someone has to say, “Enough, it stops here.” Even knowing that someone may still choose violence. Standing up for peace is the way to have peace.

Peace is quieter and takes time and creates more peace.  Peace is the only way to combat violence.  It may look like the weaker way but that too is an illusion.

In 1986, my husband moved us to Arizona.  He was delighted to discover he could carry a weapon.  And did so.  He would urge me to put a pistol in my purse when I went to the grocery store.  I refused.

I was not saying there wouldn’t be a confrontation.  For in the news a homeless man attacked a woman in a grocery store parking lot because she told him she would give him money, then realized she didn’t have any.  Or maybe she didn’t have the amount he wanted. I don’t remember exactly.

I didn’t think having a firearm would be the help my husband thought it would.

First, the thing you want the most in your purse is at the bottom.  Always.  I am always digging around and having to pull a bunch of stuff out before I get to what I want.

I saw myself having to say, “hold on, I know it’s here somewhere.” And in reality an assailant isn’t going to ‘hold on’.

Second, my husband was 6’3″ and I’m 5’3″. With his height, he is already at an advantage of looking formidable. I on the other hand look easy to take.  If I pulled out a gun, it would be easy to laugh me off and feel like you could step in and take it from me. And then I’d have a gun pointed at me.  And even used against me.

Not something I’d want.

I still don’t carry a weapon.  Not one of violence anyway.

I carry and use the weapons of peace.  I pray. I practice loving everyone. I do what I can to make the space I am in a better place. I find peace within myself and then extend it, share it, and spread it to as many people as I can.

And you can, as well.  Will you?

Conversations About Christians This Week

Before I begin, I am a Christian.  I have been since the 6th grade when my Sunday School teacher, whose family was a different color than the rest of us, lived what she taught.  I babysat for her so I saw her home life was the same as her church life.

My home life did not have the same peace and joy.  My spiritual life has been a rocky one.  I am a sheep that keeps wondering. I consider my life path on and off the track. To the point I really don’t want to talk about it in polite circles.

But I am beginning to think that I’ve always been where I am supposed to be. I do know that God has always been where I have been.  Even in the darkest crevices, the most hopeless of times.  I have not been alone.  He has always been there when I have turned to Him. And even when I haven’t.

That is why I go to church.  To spend some time with God and worship Him.  Tell Him thank you, I’m sorry and to please help me in the coming week.  I don’t go because I’m good.  I go to reset, refresh, renew and restore.

I’m the only one in my family who goes to church on a regular basis. They haven’t had the same experience that I have.  One example, my sister was told in elementary school by a friend that the friend worried about her because she was going to hell for not going to church.

My youngest may be moving 5 states away.  We won’t know for several months yet. Sitting in the backyard, trying to think of ways for her to connect with her new community, I suggested she find a church.  She replied she hasn’t had good experiences in churches.  She has found them to be full of manipulation.

I agree there are people who use faith to get other people to bend to their will.  So I told her I thought it would be a place where she could meet her neighbors.  I pointed out she could look for like minded people on meetup.com.

I pray that she finds community where ever she may go.  And I’m sorry the church is not a place of refuge for her.

Last night I had dinner with my sister.  Six months ago she started a new job.  She answers the phone and helps people with their insurance needs.  She confessed to me that the worst people on the phone are Christians.  They throw that word around as if it entitles them to special treatment.

I nodded, I understood what she was talking about.

I cannot refute what my loved ones say, their experiences are real.  Many Christians have been and are a poor example of what Christ has taught us.

If it hadn’t been for the one family that was different in our church when I was a kid, I don’t know that I’d still be seeking out God in his house.

I hope to be one whose example brings those around me back to the love of God rather than push people away.