damnit!

The holidays.  A time filled with music, joy, shopping, drinking, eating, giving, receiving, and reminders… Ah, yes reminders.  Little memory triggers that may occur on a daily basis during the rest of the year, but for some unknown reason hold a special power in November and December.

Some very special triggers are annual.  No other time.  Some are the best.  Some are the worst.  And some are like Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. I don’t mean to judge but what the hell is all the hoopla about this passion for chemically induced seasonal flavor.  I don’t get it… well actually I do…but I am NOT a follower of the pumpkin spice stampede.  But I understand the passion and love for some if not all things Thanksgiving and Christmas.

First is the turkey.  I eat turkey nearly every week.  but the roasting and the smells that fill the house are usually seasonal.  I don’t know why.. probably because it takes a family to consume a bird.  Probably because I can’t microwave a 15 pound bird.  Probably because I can’t fit the turkey roaster in the dishwasher.  But for me is goes one step beyond the meal.

soo

It is the ritual of taking the carcass, the boiling and bone picking and the making of the best soup I ever tasted.  Thanks  Mom, you really hated to cook… but you really loved to pinch pennies.  There are many good things that came from your frugality.  This holiday gem is the best for me.

There is no carcass this year.  It’s ok.  I relish in the memory.

Second, the lights.  I love the lights.  During my adult life I have only done the “full-Griswold” once.  My first year of marriage.  Every nook and cranny.  The roof and house lines… and though I don’t do that anymore… I do travel the streets in search of the best.  And how can I not.  I am from Kansas City.  That is all I need to say for those of you from Kansas City understand that the “Paris of the Plains” is the home of the greatest shopping center Christmas light display in the world.   I won’t argue with you.  I will just say that the Country Club Plaza has no equal in my little holiday mind.    Just trust me when I say… pictures do not do the Plaza justice..    I am so thankful it is a part of my memory bank.

I missed the lighting again this year.  It’s ok.  I so enjoy the memory.

So many pleasant memories.

As I age I find that memories are enough.  I don’t want to live yesterday again… I just want to smile because I was a part of it.

And of course there are the moments that give me pause. Because now my life includes tragic and sad moments.  Things from yesterday that I cannot change, things I have accepted, but things which will cause me to cry out.

Though I am not a big shopper for the holidays.  I am aware that others may be.  And I do have 5 dogs and 3 cats.  And they require constant spoiling.  So I do go shopping.  I do not like to go shopping.  But my animals are not sensitive to the holidays.  They are sensitive to feeding times and play times.  So shop I must.  And I always grab a cart when I shop for the critters.  I have to.  I will just grab an armful and a hand basket when I shop for me.  But when it comes to the kids, well it requires the cartage of bags and boxes of some weight.

Let me introduce you to my little friend–

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We met in the parking lot.  Discarded like an unwanted animal.  Left to find its way home, lest some caring patron or hired gun would come searching and return it to the home for wanted grocery carts.  This cart had no business being in this place at this time.  So I grabbed it.  I had to.  Those of you who have followed my irregular blog my understand why.

You can get a refresher here …………

https://casacaninetulsa.com/2013/12/03/now-i-remember/

So I decided it was time to renew the purpose and mission of this 4-wheeler.   Off we went.  Past the holiday displays… the racks of candy, cookies, toys, impulse “as-seen-on-TV” displays…. wait is that a Chia Head… wow, how cool is that.

Stop renewed focus… don’t get sidetracked.  All of the fun, meaningless stuff that Michelle loved.  Seriously, a brilliant woman with a penchant for all things tacky.  (that could be why she married me).  Remember the dogs and cats.  On to the pet food aisle.

Tasty treasures, Meow Mix, Rawhides, Chunky beef stew.. filling the cart.  Grateful to have one.  Then to the self check-out aisle.  Staying focused.  No other things to buy.  Get to the vehicle and unload.  Hurry.  Hurry.  I could feel it…  I had to hurry.

Open the trunk… Unload.  Return Cart.

Damnit.  Damnit……… I actually cried it out loud in the store parking lot.

I was a miserable, selfish, sh!##y husband.    Damnit.

I returned the cart to its home… And I went home.

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I wish I had a turkey carcass and trip planned to Kansas City.

I don’t but I am now at peace.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

tanksleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere under the rainbow…..

Somewhere under the rainbow…..Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet….

I see them everywhere.   Rainbow colors.   They are not thought of as the marker to a pot of gold.   They are rarely connected to unicorns anymore,  They are, it seems, the new representative of the unspoken acceptance of a now “legal” lifestyle.

So many folks have washed  their Facebook profile pictures with this rainbow flag symbol.

rainbowflag

We are it seems, awash in the rainbow spirit.  Are you “fer it or agin it?”  Whichever side is chosen, there will be arguments.  There will be stands taken.  There will be anger.  There will be joy.  There is the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”.   There will be divisions.  It is the the world we live in.

But wait there’s more……….

Somewhere under the rainbow another battle begins on an emotional, historical, and very real issue to so many.  It’s an exorcism in the making.  I sit in awe and wonder.   I am saddened.  I am not surprised.  A reason to rise and fight is often robed in many symbols.  I do not have the energy to judge it… I just observe the battle raging.  It will get uglier.

Confederate_Rebel_Flag.svg

We are it seems, awash in the rebel spirit.  Are you “fer it or agin it?”  Whichever side is chosen, there will be arguments.  There will be stands taken.  There will be anger.  There will be joy.  There is the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”.   There will be divisions.  It is the the world we live in.

And why do we fight…

Well here is my deal.. I am created in the image of God.  Therefore His character and His characteristics reside in me.  When I recognize that, and live that, and honor that… my life is more often filled with joy, with peace, with a desire to live in unity.

Here then are my 2 takeaways from all of this flag waving.

1.   John 13:35  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  the counterpoint… live in the spirit of division and people won’t know anything about God and His purpose for those who love Him……or those He desires to be with.

2.  Symbols have power.    Symbols do represent what people believe… because God set up symbols before me… it is what God does… it is part of His character… I am in that image, so are you.. I believe..  Why else would folks fight over a flag or a color scheme? Genesis 9:13.  I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.

rainbowreal

 

May you find peace under the rainbow.  May you know the covenant Maker.

Oh, yeah…. what the heck in indigo anyway?

Why it has NEVER been magic!!!

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Magic–the art of creating illusions

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.…  Galatians 5:22-23

At the core of the Human Spirit, is the Holy Spirit.  An Image of God, His Image in which we were created, our Image.  It is NOT magic, it is our essence.  Believe or not… I believe this is the essence of the human spirit.  It is NOT supernatural, it is all that is good and natural.  It is just unusual, so it often requires an event to find it’s power.  To be given an identity.

Nothing it seems is as resilient as the human spirit.  Nothing it seems is as committed to recovery after a disaster than is the human spirit.  Living in Oklahoma, the land of tornado alley, I am always amazed by the throngs of people that run to the scene of tragic tornado touchdown event.  So many travel to lend aid and support, both physical and emotional.  It is not magic.  It is not an illusion.

I watch in awe as the video of a young girl with autism goes viral because her performance of the National Anthem before a televised sporting event brings the crowd to its feet.  The performance leaves me speechless.  It is a triumph of the human spirit.  It is not magic.  It is not an illusion.

We at BedFarms are a group blessed.  We are surrounded daily by the movement of the human spirit.  It is not illusion or magic.  Poems, pictures, paintings, photos, prose, presented by people of passion.  We live together with Nancy and her dogs at Tails you Win, or alongside Heavy D, we become space people.   We are Dingled and Poppered.  We know the King.  The Human Spirit finds its wings and takes flight.   It is not magic.  It is not illusion.

But it is the result of vision.  And if there is a supernatural characteristic to Life on the Farm.. it is the vision.  And the vision is NOW an EVENT.  And so it is that we come to celebrate the founders of the vision feast.  Jon and Maria.  People I have never met.  I am grateful to be a participant.  A sojourner.  A celebrant.  Because of the vision, I have become more like the person I was meant to be.

It is NOT magic.  It is NOT illusion.  IT is the human spirit finding its proper residence.  I do so love the farm.  I “heart” the human spirit… rising like the Phoenix.

Oh, by the way… Disney World is a magical place…  Jon and Maria, give that mouse a hug for us all.

 

See you in my…………….dreams?

“To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there is the rub”  Hamlet

tanksleep

I dream during the day, I sleep at night.

It is said that everyone dreams.  Everyone during the night has those REM moments.  Deep in the recesses of slumber the brain awakes to discover new places, new adventures, old friends, new friends.  Scary, sweet, sad, comforting, disturbing, helpful, hurtful, hopeful dreams.  And these dreams, it is said,  have meaning.

I have read the stories.. there are famous dreamers.

Alice, down the rabbit hole.  Dorothy in the land of Oz.  Biblical dreamers like John and the Book of Revelation.  Patriotic dreamers, creative dreamers, inventive dreamers.  All “see” things in their sleep, and awake to speak clearly of what was seen.

And there are folks who make their livelihoods interpreting this dreams for you.  Doctors, psychologists, charlatans.   And how do you argue with the interpreter?  “the shoe represents the fact that your Father stepped all over your future while you were still a child.”

“Thank you”  I feel much better, “How much do I owe you?”

And then there is me.  I know I do not stand alone.  I just awake to remember nothing of the prior night.

I sleep in the world of the dreamless.  Trust me when I say, I sleep well, I sleep “hard,” I awake refreshed nearly every day.

How do I interpret the land of never remembered dreams?  No visits from the past, no insight to the future.

charliesleep

So I have been asked to interpret my dreams, a dream.  And I got nuthin.  Nada, zip.  And what does that mean?

During the day I dream with purpose.  I see things that I wish, or hope, or pray to be.  My day dreams are rich and filled with the aforementioned hope.  My dreams of the day are directed, with purpose, filled with discovery.

I love dreaming.  It is a very Spiritual act for me.  It is the accompaniment to my earth experience.  “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”  Acts 2:17.

But during the night I find myself with nothing to interpret when I awake.  And how do I interpret that?

Well I don’t know.

Let me sleep on it.

shadow

tanksong8

Can I just stand quietly by your side?
You don’t need me to talk
I so want to fix.
Like you were a broken lamp
Or a flat tire
or a misspelled word
Fix me, they cry out
But you do not cry out,
you just cry

Can I just sit quietly by your side?
Can I listen and not respond?
Can I just listen?
and not respond
For your journey is a solo venture
And I want to lead you
And you just need to travel
undirected for this moment
And I wouldn’t know where I was leading
If you let me lead the way.

Can I just be strong in this silence?
Present and attached.
Long and strong at times
and nearly imperceptible at others
Can I know the strength of silence
And let time close the wound
healing from the inside out
It is not a wound that I can fix.

tanksong1

But I can sit quietly
Difficult as that may be
I can
I can
Like a shadow
I will be here
I will
I will

But do not sit alone in the darkness
It is then that I disappear.

Scribbled Notes on my Heart

‘Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablets of your heart’  Proverbs 7:3  God wants for us to remember.  So it is written.

And so that is where your name is written ‘M’.  You have been written on my heart.

And I write these words, for you, for me.  I Remember.

This story is so unique to me.  Your journey, your experiences as you have shared them.  Bringing you to this moment.  This place in time.  I will attempt not to make assumptions, about you or your future.  But i will make observations based on our many conversations.  Mostly this will be about me… but as it applies to us, you must be included.

Ultimately, my desire for you is a richer, fuller, peaceful life.  I pray I can help you decide to live that way.

I call upon remembered stories, shared moments, intense moments, smiling, laughing and tearful moments.  I struggle deeply.  And my struggle is not with you.  Not directly.  The struggle is with decisions.  I can make mine.  I want to be able to make yours.  I cannot.  And so I struggle.  Fixers love to fix..  Sometimes when I fix or assemble things too quickly, I leave spare parts on the table when the job is ‘done’  You are not a quick fix job.  You are a special person in my life…. for life, I would hope and pray.

I have said to you, “I must do what I must do, you do what you must do.”  That is a bad statement.   This is the new note written upon my heart.  “With God’s help, I will do what I decide I must do, and I will be here to love you when you make your decisions.  I will not make those decisions for you, but will be here to lift you up, attempt to soften your fall, and walk by your side as you suffer or enjoy the consequences of those decisions.”

As I have watched you now and listened to your stories, much of your life it seems has been a reaction to others’ bad decisions.  Forced to make decisions at a very young age that now shape your today.  Father, Mother, Sister, Boyfriends, Girlfriends, have all caused you to make decisions at a very young age which have set the framework for decisions you continue to make today.  Though I hardly agree with some of your most important decisions, I am here.  I will go NOWHERE.  That is my decision.

It is difficult for me to realize that our history is really just around 80 days in length..  A long time when you are in a balloon circling the globe.  So very short in the world of relationships.  But truly the depth and intensity of this 80 days is, as I have shared, like no other in my entire life.  You are on the Mount Rushmore of my best moments in life.  You are on the Mount Rushmore of the worst moments.  And you are perhaps the best “just friends” woman I have EVER known.

Last night as I wondered where you might be, and knowing that “he” was taking you out, God brought to my mind the moment.  The moment I knew.  When I actually caught a glimpse of just how smart and funny and conflicted and caring you were, you are.  We were sitting at my filthy dining room table, having a business building session.  And for some reason I shared this pyramid with you.  I’d used it in sales training before, but for some reason I knew you had to see it.

I have the notes from that meeting.

Hierarchyofneeds

You were the first person I had ever shared this with that truly was at the ‘Safety’ level.  And it was like it popped in your brain.  A light, I saw the light come on.  Lots of business and sales people that I trained in the past are at the Belonging/Self-Esteem levels.  You were the first person with a business, a good, hard working business woman, who was just floating in the Food/Water/Shelter/Warmth mode.  And lots of folks do live at this level, and I have.  But you were the first for me.   The “he” in your life provided shelter in his mother’s house.  But with those physiological needs met, you were in an unsafe living situation.  And so after you left my home that day, sometime perhaps over the following 48 hours, God spoke to my heart.  I decided to provide a safe place for you.  I could not decide for you to accept.  I could only decide to offer.

So you need to know, and I know you do know.  My house is now your house.  The bedroom is yours.  The home is ours.  The bedroom is yours.  The dogs of Casa Canine and I are so pleased that you are a part of this place.  Because of you the house is richer and cleaner and happier and brighter.

Just know that you are free here.  You are safe here.  You can work on understanding “Love and Belonging” here.  You already a part of my love and belonging.  I am honored that as you struggle to work through all of your historical issues, you choose to do it at Casa Canine.

I have learned so much.  You have written on my heart.

“M” first appeared in my blog in Feral for Real posted 1/11/2014