12252018 haiku

For Pat’s hosting Tuesday Platform on Real Toads. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL

pale blue winter sky –
solstice sun blazes its last –
lonely crow caws

KFC and Christmas Stars

#Haikai Challenge #13 (12/23/17): Christmas #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga For Frank Tassone’s haiku challenge – Christmas is the kigo.

KFC and Christmas Stars

Our first Christmas together we spent in your home of Hakone. I was transfixed by the beauty of where you grew up with Mt. Komagatake as a backdrop to Mt. Fuji and the lapping clarity of Lake Ashi. To my vast amusement, I discovered Colonel Sanders was Father Christmas’ main man and that Christmas dinners were KFC – the commercials on TV with Japanese “Victorian” skaters and builders of snow men, green wreaths, reindeer – I watched hypnotized and wanting to laugh aloud at the incongruous but cheerful visions dancing outside of my head, but I didn’t want to be insulting. It was a great relief to see your full lips twisted in a wry grin and your eyes sparkling with impish delight. “I’ll have to use some connections”, you said, “it is too late to order now. Most people would have ordered their dinners by the end of October.” Yes, KFC is a big deal dinner! Specially decorated buckets, meals with elaborate cakes and bottles of wine or sake – and when we went to pick up our dinner on Christmas eve, we stood in line for an hour waiting our turn.

Families and groups of single friends happy and laughing, anticipating. Inside the KFC – a bar with red and green flashing lights and a bartender in a Santa cap! A lifesize Colonel Sanders figure with a Santa cap and a wreath of silk holly around his neck! I stood gaping at the tables of families digging into the buckets pulling out special plates with the date and under that, layers of chicken, cole slaw, tossed salad, mashed potatoes, Christmas cake, bottle of sake – like an endless treasure box. I hadn’t had that sense of delight since the first time I walked into Studio 54. It was just as surreal too.

We snagged our bucket and walked home in the crisp evening. In heavy coats we sat in your garden and wolfed our way through the chicken – you going for the dark meat, me going for the light. And it tasted exactly the same! We passed the bottle of surprisingly good sake between the two of us as we ate. Totally sated with food and wine, we lay in the gravel of your karesansui and made “snow” angels, laughing at each other, our laughter carrying through the clear mountain air. I lay there looking up into the stars twinkling over Japan. You leaned over to touch my face and then kissed me, both of our faces greasy and salty. “Come and look at the city stars, beloved.” You pulled me up and we walked to the edge of your property looking down over the city. I was silenced by the beauty of the lights below me – the colors, the shapes, glittering like a huge gaudy brooch for earth. And then I looked back up at the night sky, Mt. Fuji in the distance blocking out a space of black. I fell in love with stars, yet again. Several meteors streaked to earth – I wept for such beauty that would never again be seen, in that same way.

flaming stars outshine
earthly stars and fall from
the sky – meteor snow

public domain image

 

Sunday Morning 10:00 a.m.

orange wreath

Sunday Morning 10:00 a.m. (pray for peace)

Fir trees on display – Christmas is coming!
Mother with two little ones
Walking in wonder in this temporary forest
Smell of fir in the cold air
Green rich incense –
The little ones become impatient
And can’t comprehend the calm
The mother is enjoying walking
Among trees and touching them
All with love.
She takes a small orange out from her pack
And peels and shares among the two
Whiney kids – smiles ensue as
They bite into the treat – they eat
As she walks and finally decides on the one
That best makes her soul smile.
Smell of orange and fir –
I breathe in the smells and the cool
Breeze makes me glad I walked over
To look at the trees.
I look at the little sticky smiley faces,
The peaceful look on the face of the mother,
I deeply inhale the fir and the orange
And pray for the breeze to circle the earth –
To replace sadness with smiles,
To silence the sound of guns with
The sound of laughter,
To replace the smells of blood and death
With the innocent smells of oranges
And fir trees.
Please I pray to the breeze, please.
Let there be peace on earth.

 

I am posting this for Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Please come visit and read all the wonderful poems by talented people from all over the world.  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2015/11/poetry-pantry-279_22.html

Smell of Home – haibun

free stock illustration

 

“He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long, forgotten.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Christmas baking fills
the house with smells of love – stars
look down and make a wish.

Somehow, the tasteful artificial wreath decorated with shiny red and gold balls irked me. My mother-in-law had bought it at an outlet in Williamsburg to replace the small pine swag on our front door. The bright red bow tying it together was a little crooked. She disapproved of that as well. She missed her husband who had died shortly before Christmas of last year. I sympathized but as soon as she left, I fished out my pine swag from the trash and replaced the tasteful one, perfectly hung, on our front door with my clumsy one. We never used artificial things for Christmas when I was growing up. Until I moved to Philadelphia, every year, my father and I went into the woods and searched out the perfect tree and cut swags of pine, cedar, spruce. We knew where the holly with the thickest amount of red berries lived and had spotted the oaks with mistletoe in several oaks the week before. We both had our rifles slung on our backs. It was a contest as to who could shoot down the biggest bunch of mistletoe. We took turns letting the other win. And then to home. My grandmother and aunts had punched oranges full of holes and inserted whole cloves tying red ribbons around each. My mother put the swags of greens together for garlands, wreaths and swags which we hung inside and outside the house. The oranges were hung on the green decorations and the house smelled of the greenery, oranges, and spice.

We each baked our specialty– spicy hermit cookies, snickerdoodles, pecan snowballs, sweet potato pies, Kentucky bourbon cakes, fudge – for a week the house smelled of spices, sugar, bourbon, and fruit. I won the family award for best sweet potato pie – it’s a secret recipe – wink. One year, my teenaged middle aunt wanted Shalimar for Christmas. Somehow, the box with the exotically shaped bottle broke and Shalimar whispered its sweet tale to us all until the New Year. She used some of her Christmas gift money to buy it herself.

Ever since my father, grandfather, and grandmother died, it has not been the same. Walking through years of artificial trees, plastic baubles, white tree lights, and pine scented candles, the year I had been hospitalized for surgery and treatment for cancer I decided enough was enough. I pulled out the ancient fragile blown glass balls, the strings of brightly colored lights, My First Christmas ornament. A friend came and decorated the live tree she had picked out for me because I had asked her and I lay upon the couch for frequent rests. She helped me bake the sweet potato pies and Bourbon cake. That day, for the first time in years, my house smelled of the Christmases I remembered with tears and love. My husband laughed when he came home from work, the last day before the office closed for Christmas.

I sat on the couch that night with only the tree lights glowing. The ghosts of Christmas past were there – my father opening his joke box of chocolate covered cherries, my grandmother laughing as she clapped her hands in joy when someone opened the gift she had given them, my mother and aunts making jokes and then singing together carols –  they are alive but absent but still they came to join in. All the cats and dogs that had loved us lay about sleepy and content, filled with turkey bits sneakingly given to them, as I lay there and remembered, tears slipping down my cheeks. After that Christmas eight years ago, Christmas is happy and not a bit tasteful and perfect. My husband smiles a lot and takes in deep breaths and raids the cookie jar.  In a couple of weeks my home will be filled with those perfumed memories and gentle spirits.  The tasteful wreath has gone to a nearby church that is providing decorations to people who are in need of them. And while the elements of Christmas are here, oh how I miss those people I love. Of all the things so dear, my beloved family I miss the most.

fresh green cedar wreath
hung with oranges – sweet smelling
past whispers in dreams 

orange wreath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday at d’Verse Poets Pub, at the beginning of this holiday season, Mary is prompting us to write about what we miss during this time.  Come and visit and share.  What do you miss?  http://dversepoets.com/2015/11/17/poetics-who-what-do-you-miss/

 

er, Thank you – I think or, The Odd Christmas Gift

My husband and I had a very quiet Christmas.  For various reasons, money was beyond tight and so, our Holiday Budget was next to null sum.

My husband had two gifts for me.  The first was expected and asked for:  a new cutting board.  The second gift was a surprise – in more ways than one.  I pulled from the happy Christmas bag a bottle of….Poopourri.  Yes, really.

I’m still trying to figure out the why of this gift.  Of course, it is obvious but, but….I looked at him in puzzlement.  It is a natural solution for a natural process and byproduct.  But…but….why now?  He just grinned like the demented elf of  a man he can sometimes be, totally pleased with himself and his gift choice.

And then last night, he asks me, does it work?  Again I give him the “Really?” look mixed up with puzzlement, mild dismay, and a frown.  “I don’t know, does it?”  And to top it all off, it came with a small travel bottle so if I am at someone’s house, I can go and no one will know!  Wow. Oh wow wow wow.

I am not endorsing this product but the commercials shown on YouTube are a hoot and well, yes it does work.  So to my husband, Thank you – I think.  And you’re welcome to use it anytime.

 

 

Peace, Joy, Love….yes Virginia, they do exist

With all going on in the world today, it is so easy to lose hope, to forget there is more to life than bad news, mayhem, evil…

But Love was born many years ago night in Bethlehem. I’m not here to debate your theological questions or comments, I am here simply to share my hope, my love, my peace. It all has to begin inside of us. And once those seeds are planted, they need to be nurtured, to be harvested, to be share. TO. BE. SHARED.

So regardless of what you do or do not believe, at least believe that these things still exist and if they only exist in the heart of one person, they still exist. That light will never be extinguished.

So…Joy to you my Blogosphere Family. Peace be unto you. Love I share with you.

Merry Christmas. Blessings to you all. And please, after you hug those blessings close to you, turn around and give them to someone else.

Be the peace. Be the hope. Be the love. And Joy….JOY TO THE WORLD! God knows, we all need it. Just as He knew those years ago when His Son was born to live among us. To speak our language and to feel our fears and to know just how scary the world can be. But He was the hope, the love, the peace, the love. Now it’s your turn. Again I say, Be the hope. Be the love. Be the peace.

 

 

 

 

Christmas Memories: Cocquito and Friendship

public domain Wiki image

public domain Wiki image

When I was 12 years old, due to financial reasons, I was placed into the public school system. It was a shock to my system and sensibilities and it was at the point, I began to hate going to school. I did not adjust well and that adjustment was not helped by being called Four-eyed Midget, The Snot, and Weirdo by my classmates. Many of them knew my family and knew I had been one of those too-good for their own good society snots. I became outcast and except for a couple of teachers and one of the lunch room ladies, without friends. I walked to school alone and walked home alone; groups of kids passed by me, sometimes knocking my books from my arms, knocking me down, and always calling me names. I’d arrive home and go to my room and alternate cry and rant.

One day, during recess, I had had enough. One of the bigger boys who was taunting me (I see London, I see France. I see Snotty’s underpants) just plucked my last nerve. I looked up at him and challenged him to a fight. He found this most amusing and pushed me down on the ground. I gathered my wits and then launched my small frame full into him, head butting him in his crotch. We both went down rolling, punching, gauging, me biting, scratching. A crowd had gathered cheering him on when he grabbed me and held me up from the ground. I was flailing and sometimes connecting with a good kick. Suddenly, it became silent. Thank God, I said to myself. It is a teacher. I will be expelled and never have to come to this hell hole again.

It was not a teacher. It was Billy Rodriguez. To the bully, this slender boy said, “Son of a whore, put the girl down.” I was thrown down and Billy began to circle the boy. Next thing I knew, the bully was flat with Billy on his chest pounding him. It was a good moment. From that moment, Billy became my protector and his younger sister Therese, my friend as well. Old Southern family meets blended Cuban-Puerto Rican family.

They did more than keep me from a serious beating that day.  Billy, standing between me and harm with all the arrogance, honor, and bravery of a true hidalgo, helped out others who were being bullied.  Billy and Therese also walked home with me that day to explain what had happened so I would not be punished and so my family would know of the bullying I had been subjected to for several months.  The next school year, I was placed back in my old school.  That did not keep us from continuing to be friends.  That afternoon, they walked home with me. I had friends! We talked, laughed and began a walk of friendship that lasted until Billy was killed by a drunken driver and Therese died of uterine cancer a few years ago.

Billy’s mother had fled Cuba bringing her two small sons to America. His father had been murdered in the bloodbath there. Therese was the daughter of a Puerto Rican widower. it was a happy marriage and a wonderful blending of cultures.

That first Christmas of our friendship, his mother came to call on my family. She brought a large pitcher of a holiday drink: Cocquito. She explained it to us; the ingredients, the tradition of serving it at Christmas, the warning that it was lethal and to be sipped and savored. When I make Ida Ortiz recipe for Cocquito, I honor the memory and lives of these precious people who rescued me and became part of my life.

We became three families blended by friendship, food, tradition, love, and honor.  Their pork roast and cocquito have become part of our family celebrations just as their memories have blended in with all the other memories.

I raise my glass of cocquito to the friends who became family and to their memories that bring me joy.  I raise my glass to all of you, friends who have become family.  Blessings to you all and may you always be blessed with friends who become family.

Cocquito
8 oz. half and half or whole milk
4 oz. cream or half and half
1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
1 can cream of coconut
1 can coconut milk
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ ground nutmeg
4 – 8 oz.Puerto Rican white rum
Ground cinnamon – dusting

Directions
Place all ingredients in a blender and process for 3 minutes at high speed until frothy. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator and serve chilled, dusted with a little cinnamon. NOTE: Use a rubber spatula to get all the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk from the cans. The egg yolks are optional. Some versions use the egg, some do not. It seems to vary from family to family.

The Smell of Home: A true Christmas story

a slice of sweet potato pie

a slice of sweet potato pie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NOTE:  I originally posted this in 2012.  We all have stories and memories that are part of the fabric of our lives.  This is one of those stories.  It happened about 10 years ago on a cold, sleety day in December as I was making my way to be with my mama for Christmas.

 

I’m sorry.  This might be a little long for some of you, but I hope you will read.  I was born and raised in the South and except for occasional sojourns on Long Island, Philadelphia, London, Tokyo, and San Francisco, I have lived in the South.  I grew up in a neighborhood close to the Duke east campus.  People had lived there in the same homes for generations.  We knew each other, knew all the stories about each others’ ancestors, who had converted their sleeping porches and when and when finally (we were among the last) who sold their portion of the mews and sent their last horse to live with relatives in the country.

In 1965, the impossible happened – the Pollard family next to us, finally died out.  The house was sold to strangers – maybe even folks from up North!!!  Of course, if they were connected to Duke, it might be okay.  Imagine everyone’s surprise when an African-American family moved in.  Well, nobody moved from the neighborhood or did any nastiness; after all, that Greek family had moved in a couple of streets over and nothing bad had happened.  In fact, they organized block parties and gave away thousands of Christmas cookies!!!

The McGill family consisted of the father Richard, his wife Arlene and sons – Junior (my age) and Bob. Mr. Mc and my dad became instant and best friends.  The two sons kept to themselves and Mrs. Mc considered us all a bunch of jumped up no accounts because after all, she was descended of long standing upper class Creole families in N’awlins, so there!

About three weeks before the McGill’s first Christmas in Trinity Park, the neighborhood was permeated with the most delicious, spicy, mouth watering odor.  It was slightly familiar, but better – richer and headier.  I took it upon myself to go through the hedge and knock on the McGill’s back (kitchen) door.  Mr. Mc himself answered and greeted me with a huge smile and welcome on in.  I looked in amazement – covering every surface in the kitchen and the dining room beyond, were sweet potato pies.  The kitchen was warm from the ovens (like us, he had two stoves – a gas and a wood burner).  My eyes were huge and I looked at him and without having to ask, he said, “Sweet potato pies. Every year, our church has a fund raiser to provide clothing, food, toys, rent, whatever for the needy in our parish.  I bake 100 pies for sale and I do that because I bake the best. I am the king of sweet potato pies.”

“Here’s one that is a little ugly and I was going to cut a slice and have with a cup of coffee. Want some?”  “Yes sir, I surely do.” and we proceeded to sit and eat and chat.  I discovered why my dad just loved him – funny, erudite, gentle, kind, generous….I fell in love with himself.  “That is THE best sweet potato pie I have ever had. How do you make it?”  His eyes twinkled at me and said, “Won’t tell you, it’s a secret.”  And from then until I left for college, sweet potato pie and coffee became a yearly tradition with us.  Sometimes we were joined by Junior who like his dad, was quite a cook.  Like his dad, big, gentle, kind, and funny.

Years later, I was living in Philadelphia.  One morning, I received a call from my mother.  My papa was in hospital and it was not going to be good.  I dropped everything and caught the first flight home.  All the way, I was  truly a wreck.  I jittered in my seat, bit my nails, thought about a future that did not include my father.  I wondered who would pick me up from the airport.  Papa always did.  I came to the baggage area and there was Mr. Mc waiting for me.  when I saw him, I began crying and he folded his big self around me and held me tight.  We grabbed my bag and went to the car.  In the car, as he was driving me home, he handed me his handkerchief and said, “Let me tell you how I make my sweet potato pie. But remember, it’s a secret and you can’t tell.”

My father died. I don’t remember much about the events of the days.  I choose not to.  Hidden in a blur of an unmended heartbreak, those memories will remain that way.

One thing I have learned in past years, is this:  Don’t fight with God. He always wins.  And when he tells you to do something, don’t argue, just do it and save yourself a lot of time, trouble, and stupid. More years later:  I was driving down a lonely stretch of Rt. 360 to go visit my mom.  It was a bleak, wet sleety day.  On the side of the road, a black van was pulled over with the hood up.  Two huge men were standing beside the van looking into the bowels of the vehicle and looked up hopefully as I drove past.  God says “Go back and help them.”  and of course, I argued.  it’s desolate, I don’t know them, they’re big, blahblahblahblah.  God says, “Go back and help them.”  and He said this several times.  About two miles down the road, I pulled over and just gave up.

“Alright already. I’ll do it.  But I’m just going to put my window down a bit and ask if they need help.”  God says, “Whatever. Go back.” I u-turned and headed back.  I pulled beside the van and inched my passenger window down.  The largest man leaned down and looked in the window.  Suddenly, he said, “Kanzen?”   I looked closer – “Junior?”.  Immediately I unlocked my car door and he climbed in.  “We need help. I’m on my way to Clarksville to preach a funeral and the van just stopped.  I can’t get a call through either.”  No good coverage in that area…”I go right past that funeral home. Y’all get in and I’ll have you there shortly.”

As we rode to Clarksville, the associate pastor crammed into my small back seat and Junior with the passenger seat back as far as it would go and our shoulders touching each other like old friends.  We talked about the past years to catch up.  Mr. Mc had died two years earlier. I told Junior how grieved I was to hear this.  “y’know Kanzen.  it’s hard and this time of year, it is just harder.  The house don’t smell right.  I know you understand.”  I nodded.  I did indeed understand.  “I’ve tried to fix those pies, but they aren’t right.  Mom lives with us now and she has talked about how she misses Dad. How she would love to smell one of his pies, just one more time.”

I sat in silence for a couple of miles.  I thought of my papa.  I thought of Mr. Mc and his grieving son beside me.  I smiled and though I had tears in my eyes, I turned to him.  “Junior, I know how to make your dad’s pie.  He told me when papa died.  I’ll tell you, but it’s a secret. You can’t tell anyone.”  and I began to tell him the secret of Mr. Mc’s sweet potato pie.

A couple of weeks later, I received a note in the mail.  “The house smells like home.  The home smells right.  God bless you.  Merry Christmas.”

And no, I’m not going to tell you.  It’s a secret.  Merry Christmas and God bless you. May your home be filled with love and joy and making of memories for your heart.

All the earth rejoice – It’s Christmas

href=”http://iframewidth=560height=315src=//www.youtube.com/embed/Qf6OoAZbAQgframeborder=0allowfullscreen/iframe”>

One of the candles for advent is Joy.  This is not your average Christmas video.  I like it because it is so happy and makes me want to dance, even when my heart is heavy or I feel overwhelmed with commercialism.  Why I celebrate Christmas.

“Born unto us this day a Saviour
Gifted from heaven to a manger
The hope of the world
A light for all mankind
All of the earth rejoice
It’s Christmas time

So lift up your voice and sing out His praise
It’s Christmas
Born is the King, rejoice in the day
It’s Christmas
Make a joyful sound
It’s Christmas
Let His praise resound
It’s Christmas

Goodwill to all the earth
And peace divine
All of the earth rejoice
It’s Christmas time
It’s Christmas time

So lift up your voice and sing out His praise
It’s Christmas
Born is the King, rejoice in the day
It’s Christmas
Make a joyful sound
It’s Christmas
Let His praise resound
It’s Christmas”

Hillsong, Scott Ligerwood, Matt Crocker

Hope: We all are one

I am not always the fastest or brightest of the group. I freely admit this. But when I do get.it. – I am forever changed. It came to me last night, while watching, of all things, 60 Minutes. A segment was on the war in Syria, refugees, starvation – the whole gamut of horrible. The UN has a world feeding program trying to do what it can. In the midst of the desert, in a huge refugee camp, this organization has established a feeding program. No, it is not the usual feeding en masse people bowls of the same food at the same time. A grocery has been built with food the refugees can shop for with vouchers. They get to choose what food they want.

Tears flowed when I viewed a simple image: a woman sprinkling mint(?), parsley(?) over a dish she had prepared for her family. Really? A starving baby brought tears but this woman fixing a meal for her family made me weep? Yes, it did; gut wrenching sobs as I thought of this family’s trek over miles of desert, hunger, fear of separation…and here they were: safe, together, fed, filled with…Hope. By the simple act of being able to prepare this meal, to put her personal touches on the dish, for them to sit down and be able to eat together as a family. I cannot tell you how this moved me. That image reached across an ocean of culture, age, circumstance and reminded me of what it is that keeps us all going: Hope.

On this first Sunday of Advent, the spiritual meditation is Hope. We don’t have to be Christians or have a Christian based belief for Advent and its seasons: Hope, Peace, Love, Joy. Anybody out there disagree with those dreams of Hope, Peace, Love, Joy? These dreams are for us all. Hope is for us all. We hope for a better world, even when we are at our most cynical.

Hope for those of us with a chronic or fatal disease or watching someone we love with that disease, hope for those of us who are hungry, hope for those of us filled with sorrow, hope for those of us struggling with addiction, hope for those of us crushed by guilt, hope for those of us who want to be loved, even animals in rescue shelters get a certain look on their faces when they see someone coming towards them – we all have hope. We all are one.

In the midst of all the rampant consumerism of this time of year, the urgent crazy busy activities, business stuff, party stuff, buying stuff….in spite of this HOPE is still the motivator. Hope for a world where we all are fed, housed, healed, loved, needed. I will not let my Hope be overwhelmed by all the craziness. I will take time to be still, to look at the stars, to gaze at the blue sky, to notice even pigeons flying overhead. They may be a part of a crowded grey cityscape, but still they soar above it. They spread their wings and move on the wind. HOPE. Take a moment and send thoughts of Hope out around you and let it become part of the world at large – scream the word HOPE into the wind, whisper it into the ears of your child, give it to someone who needs it, give it to yourself.

I am posting a video along with this. It is not your typical religious Advent video. I know in my heart, Advent – the coming of Hope, Peace, Love, Joy – is for us all, regardless. This video is by World Order, one of my favorite music groups. They are Japanese. Frequently, their music and dances take place in the middle of busy life – dressed as “salary men”, World Order is anything but the general salary man. All around them, busy busy busy – people moving fast, running to work, being crammed into commuter trains. In the middle of this, the men move slowly and deliberately, apart from the hectic world around them. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the machines, the noise, the tasks, the must-buy-this mentality.

“Machine Civilization” was written and filmed after the horrific earthquake and tsunami of several years ago. The “main man” of the group, Genki Sudo, urges people to rise from the destruction and rebuild. He also warns of that machine civilozation taking control and of humans losing their hearts, souls, awareness of…HOPE. At the end of the video, we see and hear a bell being rung for those who were lost, but also, for those who survive. “We all are one”. We all desire peace, hope, love, joy: we all are one. I have provided a translation for you below the video.

Machine Civilation
In the morning of machine civilization,
lost shadows, behind their red shields,
wrapped in their grey uniforms,
are imprisoned in the mechanical rhythms.
It’s always the same scene everyday,
where production lines march on nonstop.
However, something is missing
in the twilight of machinery.Where’s the world going?
Won’t somebody tell me?
Are these thoughts illusion?
Are we all one?
Will this world be able to change?
Are these thoughts illusion?People find work to be done.
Humans work, birds sing,
and then they fall into a deep slumber.
“Open your eyes!” He shouts.
It’s always the same scene everyday,
and we live in this brief moment.
Someday we’d surely want a revolution
in the twilight of machinery.Where’s the world going?
Won’t somebody tell me?
Are these thoughts illusion?
Are we all one?
Will we be able to change these thoughts?
We will always smile to our dreams.(Are these thoughts illusion?)Where’s the world going?
Won’t somebody tell me?
Are these thoughts illusion?
Are we all one?
Will we be able to change these thoughts?
We will always smile to our dreams.break through
paradigm
in your mind
revolution
desire
science
ascension
thirteen
white shirt
white shirt
white shirt
black shirt
black shirt
singularity
we are all one
are we all one

Holidays are coming: Thankfulness and light

tg

Yes, I understand that sales are popping everywhere: online, in the stores, at the convenience stores, on TV. Yes I understand that Thursdays kicks off the official whirl of holiday gaiety, madness, and constant reminders to spend spend spend. I mean, that co-worker you barely know really needs to be re-gifted with that weird nutcracker Great Aunt Leticia gave you last year and your son’s current teacher desperately needs that cheap mug filled with 10 starlight mint candies and your mail carrier is seriously craving that $1 tiny piece of gourmet chocolate. Your cousin begged you for that $9.97 gift basket of one bath cube, mini bottle of body wash, that plastic fluffy scrubber, and useless sized loofah. I get it, the gift limit at the exchange was $10 and it was easy to grab the basket and you spent five minutes choosing between the lavender, pink, or yellow colors.

Heaven forbid that your child not get the latest $600 phone since all their friends will be getting one. And if you are blessed to have loving parents who are still alive, they specifically asked you for that $50 gift card to that restaurant they never go to. Hey, it was on display with other cards at the grocery checkout and we all know it’s the thought that counts. And be sure you schedule attendance at all the parties and open houses and cookie exchanges. Don’t forget that.

Several years ago, I was forced to get my priorities straight. I was home from being in hospital after surgery for cancer. I was not able physically to do shopping, put up decorations, cook tons of cookies that never all seemed to be eaten and grew stale and were thrown out to the birds, I had to send regrets to parties.  Thanksgiving was quiet and take Chinese food.

My husband pulled out of its box, a two foot fiber optic Christmas tree which fitted perfectly on the small table in front of the window in our family room. I was given by a friend, a special Nativity scene in honor of my being home and doing well. It went on the mantle of the family room. My family sent a gift card to a restaurant we liked and we used it to purchase our Christmas dinner: KFC fried chicken. My husband purchased a pie from a local bakery. Lights did not flash in our yard astounding people miles away. We didn’t have money for a pile of gifts so we made do with handmade cards with special wishes handwritten to each other.  We spent quiet time with each other and sang Christmas carols with each other.

It was one of the best Christmases ever. We delighted in the season of light and spent time with each other, a few friends who came to visit for a bit and who brought gifts of food and smiles. Silent snow fell and I wrapped myself in a quilt and stood on our front steps and looked up into the night sky. Silent night, holy night….

I am not tooting my horn here but you know, there really are better ways to spend your time and money. You truly do not have to spread darkness by arguing with sales people, pushing people out of the way to grab the last item on sale, buying something just to exchange because you have to. You can spread light by random acts of kindness, serving food at a shelter, getting toys for children in need, contributing to a fund that ensures children have warm coats for the winter, filling up boxes with food for the hungry, addressing cards for the elderly to send to their family, raking the yard of the neighbor you barely know but know he is laid up with a broken leg and his wife is 8 months pregnant, taking bags of food for animals at the local shelter, adopting an “angel” off an “angel” tree…the list goes on and on.

I am thankful this year for my family, for my health, for the love of God, for the kindness of people I know and for the kindness of strangers, for my friends, for plenty of food….I could list pages of what I am thankful. Light came into this world centuries ago without hoopla. His upcoming birth was not announced two weeks before Halloween, the Magi did not go to Black Friday sales to get their gifts as cheaply as possible, the shepherds did not arrive in the newest model SUV, the angels did not rock out to the latest soundtrack.

Simply, quietly, the Light of the World came to us. Because He loved us. So, what is your priority this year? What are you thankful for? How do you show your love?  How do you spread light in the darkness?

Thank you all for being my friends this year. Thank you for your prayers, good vibes, happy thoughts, sharing your light with me and mine. Thank you.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Melody Beattie

 

Merry Christmas and Thank you and blogsporing

imagesZ82Q8OXN     Blessings to you all. May you all feel loved, love, and peace and joy. Thank you all who have chosen to follow my blog, who have liked posts and who have commented. Thank you all for giving me new insights, things to laugh, cry, and think about.

Yes, I am sentimental little soul. You all have greatly expanded my world. Thank you thank you thank you.

Peace, love, and light
God bless you all.

PS I intend to take time this holiday and go what I call, blogsporing. I am going to explore blogs and look over older posts. Getting likes on something a year old just gives me a huge grin. So if you get a like on something you wrote ages ago, don’t be surprised. It is just The Wren going blog-sporing as opposed to exploring and urban exploring.

Much love,
ミソサザイ
Misosazai

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