Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: When There’s Too Much Pepper in the Soup

Here’s are prompt: ….. for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oop.” Find a word with the “oop” sound in it and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Oops. scoop. goop. soup. I like soup. Vegetarian, please. I like to experiment in cooking. Over time there are fewer, oopses, in cooking at least. We bought some cumin that is exceptionally strong and can only use like an eighth of a teaspoon, a pinch at most. Even if a recipe calls for a half a teaspoon, that’s too much of this particularly powerful batch of cumin. We learned this from experience.

Every mistake teaches us something. It was a big mistake to date a creep after my divorce. It was an even bigger mistake to keep on dating him for a year. But I learned more about codependency and how low I cold go. It brought me to my knees even more than the divorce. It gave me compassion for people who stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships. When it finally ended, it was like waking up from a bad dream. Where had I been? I had lost myself for a while there. Now, I appreciate being in a healthy relationship.

But first, I had to appreciate me. I had to learn to love myself again. Was that rebound from hell really a mistake? Could I have learned to love me without it? I don’t know. I wish I had not done it. I regret that rebound. But God can take a messy mistake and turn it into something good.

It’s like if we put too much cumin, or pepper, in the soup. God can put in other spices, other healthy vegetables, sweet nourishment, to counteract the mistake. The soup becomes rich and hearty.

Do we need to make mistakes in order to learn? Or to appreciate the good things in life?

Let’s hope we learn enough to not make more big ones.

Let’s hope we can heal the mess we’ve made of the planet, mend relationships, bridge the divide.

God help us. I know imagine you’re tired of our mess and want us to learn on our own.

Maybe we will. But could you just give certain people a nudge. You know, the ones who put too much pepper in the soup. Help them, help us, help me, be careful with the pepper – my irritability and critical thoughts….

Add some sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potato, maybe even some mango. Nudge us to use a dash of compassion, a spoonful of empathy, a cup of kindness.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 24, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: A Year of Challenge and Hope for Healing

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Linda also invites us to write about the past year of pandemic, “how we have coped or not, to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone.”

As a citizen of the United States, these past 12 months have been heavy, not just due to the pandemic, but also with the political divide and the racial injustice of the murders of George Floyd, Breaonna Taylor and others. It has been strange and confusing to have stay at home orders, masks and social distancing recommendations along with protests and demonstrations.

My hope is that with the pandemic calming down and someone less inflammatory at the helm, we can move into healing. It’s going to take a lot of work. A lot of compassion, listening, compromise, and seeking common ground… or higher ground.

I find myself feeling tired as I write this. There are bursts of energy when things get done, but maybe it’s a tired that comes with age. Still, my personal life has not been bad. I’m the oldest one in my family – my parents and siblings are deceased. Even Aunt Ruth in Wisconsin crossed over last year after a full life into her 90s. I am thankful not to have to worry about my parents anymore and feel for those who do. I am thankful to have the luxury of time and the freedom to study my father’s letters from Vietnam, and to write and paint.

Staying at home doesn’t bother me, except that I have not seen my granddaughter, son and daughter in law since October. I miss the mountains. It was in October that I last visited the mountains and first brought mama cat home from the church. She has kept me company when David is at his woodshop, and she has become much less feral.

Mama Cat has a plate of food.
She wants attention while I’m trying to write.

Having a cat has been a big change after being a dog person for so long. The pandemic and people not being at church much was one of two factors that led me to bringing her home. The other factor was the abduction of her daughter, Gray, in June. I still go to the church once per week to see if Gray has shone up, but I don’t think this is likely. I talk to Saint Francis and pray my hopes and thanksgivings.

St. Francis with last year’s hydrangeas

Not going to church and choir practice is probably the biggest change in my personal life. We do zoom church and I’ve sung and played a little guitar for that, because music is my favorite part of church. My voice is way out of shape when it comes to singing anything challenging. My friend Anne, who is in her 80s and teaches singing, is helping me with that. I’m thankful to have had both vaccines, in spite of the side effects, I’m glad to have a little more confidence if I do want to go out. I’ll still wear a mask and avoid crowds.

Hopefully we won’t have as much to protest or demonstrate for or against for a while. Maybe things will calm down and justice will grow. Maybe we humans will wake up, bridge the divides, and focus on healing Mother Earth as we celebrate diversity in all it’s beauty and strength.

Thank you to our host, Linda Hill for the consistency of SoCS through the year.

For SoCS rules and more streams, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 13, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


18 Comments

How Do We Heal as a Nation?

 We have much deep healing work to do in the United States. The tension that has been building for years has revealed itself at the level that I hope it wakes us up. What might help us heal as a nation and ultimately, as a human society? Here are a few possibilities I want cultivate in my own attitudes and actions:

1. Try to state facts without exaggeration. Don’t twist facts. For example, whole cities weren’t burned down during the 2020 “riots.” Maybe whole city blocks, but not whole cities. State opinions with words like, “I think,” or “I believe….” rather than facts. It’s a fact that Joe Biden was confirmed as the next president of the US. If you believe there was voter fraud, that is an opinion that was not substantiated by the courts.

2. Be respectful. Resist the urge to resort to name calling or write things that will increase division. I can resist the urge to “like” posts on social media that reinforce division. Try to speak and write words of healing and understanding. Part of healing can be to express our feelings and grief which can include denial, fear, and anger. Can we express our feelings without tearing down those that feel and believe differently? Yes. We can. it might be a challenge, but we are writers. We can figure it out.

3. Look for common ground. We can do this as individuals, asking questions for understanding. It might simply start with a love for animals or nature, or a common hobby, but we have to start somewhere. Look for the bipartisan issues.

4. Support media stories about healing and the goodness of humanity. I know they’re hard to find, but good news happens. Encourage media to make healing a priority. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to make healing a conscious effort, every day.

5. Find the courage to change the things we can, namely, our own attitudes and actions. Ask questions with the goal of understanding rather than debate. We can find the bridges that unite us, places where we can meet each other – sometimes in the middle, sometimes compromising at different points along the way.

For more information on healing division, visit Braver Angels.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January was “twisted,” so I included the word “twist.” For more on JusJoJan, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 8th – “Twisted” | (lindaghill.com)


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My Debate Speech on Confederate Statues

In Saturday’s stream of consciousness, I mentioned my participation in a local Braver Angels zoom debate. Below is my three minute speech opposed to the following debate “resolution”:

“Removing statues and monuments will erase important parts of our nation’s history.”

I was one of three people speaking the “con” side of the statement. We had fewer speaking in favor of the statement. One interesting point made by an African American woman disagreeing with the statement was that relocating statues to museums would likely give more opportunity for learning and discussion by visiting school groups, etc. She also talked about subliminal messages and healing.

Braver Angels seeks to depolarize America with workshops and debates intended to foster respect and understanding. We are encouraged to say what we believe and to speak from our own experience. After each prepared speech, people can ask questions of the speaker and responses can be up to one minute. If there’s time, we have “flash speeches” and share what we learned.

This first debate by our local group went well. There was concern from some that if we start removing statues, that other statues and monuments, like the Lincoln Memorial, could also be removed. My question to this was to ask if the speaker thought some statues could be more harmful than others, and that seemed to be a point of agreement. All statues are not the same.

Now, for my speech. (Respectful responses from your own experience and feelings are welcome. )

Hello, thank you for the opportunity to speak this evening

If we remove a statue or monument, we are not erasing history. We cannot change what has already happened. History will still be available…in books, films, and on the internet. Many statues and monuments can be re-located to museums where a much of history is saved, or to private historical sites, cemeteries, or to the families of the artists who created aolstatues.

When I first read the debate resolution, I thought of the confederate statues I’ve seen in downtown Wilmington.

I’ve lived in Wilmington since 1980. All that time, I’ve felt very uncomfortable with the confederate statues glorifying men who fought for slavery. One of the things that bothers me most is the prominence of the statues. If you live anywhere near downtown, you’ve seen these statues on a regular basis. What kind of message do they send?

One example is the prominent 8-foot-tall statue of George Davis recently removed from Market Street. George Davis was the last attorney general of the confederacy.  The pedestal describes George Davis with glowing words like “stainless integrity, virtue, refinement, and the true heart of chivalry in southern manhood. Is this an accurate portrayal of history?  It leaves out the fact that George Davis gave a “… public speech1861 in which he argued that North Carolina should secede from the United States …. to protect (in his words) the economic interest in “chattel slavery.” Chattel slavery in which human beings are bought and sold as property.

I am deeply troubled that this man has been celebrated and honored as a hero for so many years.

When I’ve passed by this statue, and the one on third street honoring the soldiers of the confederacy, my feelings of discomfort and embarrassment linger. I want to cringe at what they represent…..

 I can only imagine what black and brown citizens think and feel when they’ve passed these statues. 

We need to ask ourselves, what people and ideals do we want to honor? Do we want to promote the ideals of the confederacy? Do we want to honor men who fought for slavery and the oppression of a whole race of human beings?

Or do we want to promote values of equality, equity, community, and inclusivity?  ……

The statues representing confederate soldiers and statesmen have stood for many years in prominent positions in our city. But times are changing.

 Maya Angelou wrote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

It’s time now for our city to move forward, and to honor positive and inclusive ideals.

Thank you for listening.


16 Comments

Good News Tuesday 5/5/20: Sudan Ready to Outlaw FGM, Shifting Away from Fossil Fuels, a COVID Recovery Story, and Captain Tom Update

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Sudan to Outlaw Female Genital Mutilation

Sudan’s council of ministers approved a new law criminalizing female genital mutilation on 22 April. The law is expected to be passed by the members of the sovereign council, which was created after the removal of the former dictator. Under the new law, anyone inflicting FGM will face up to three years in prison. You can read more in this article from The Guardian. 

Investors Shifting Away from Fossil Fuels and Artic Exploitation

US Investment bank Morgan Stanley will no longer fund oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Morgan Stanley is the fifth largest funder of fossil fuels in the United States and also the fifth major U.S. bank to stop arctic oil financing.

“The updated environmental policy also prohibits direct financing for new and expanded coal-fired power plants and new thermal coal mines. Additionally, Morgan Stanley has committed to phasing out funding for thermal coal mining companies that “do not have a diversification strategy within a reasonable timeframe.”

This article from The Planetary Press reports on the policy change and signs that world banks are “beginning to recognize the need to shift away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable alternatives”

“This man came home from the hospital to die. His son found a way to keep him alive”  CNN

81 year old Suryakant “Suri” Nathwani had contracted COVID 19 and was not expected to live. He pleaded with his son to go home, to not die in the hospital.  Raj Nathwani took his father home to the outskirts of London to try to make him comfortable.  But that’s not all Raj did. He researched, collected data, and consulted with a family friend who was  a general practitioner. While many families do not have the resources to do all that Raj was able to do, we can still celebrate this son’s efforts and his father’s recovery. I hope you will read this inspiring story as reported by CNN 

You can also listen to the story here:

 

Captain Tom Update: You’re Never Too Old to Dream Another Dream

Happy Belated Birthday to Captain Tom Moore who turned 100 on Thursday! He’s raised 40 million dollars for charity and is being well recognized for his perseverance.

Got good news?

Please share it in the comments!


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One-Liner Wednesday: Earth Day 2020

 

“We are called to assist the earth, to heal her wounds,

and in the process, heal our own.”

                                                            Wangari Maathai

Mother Earth is a living organism

Happy Earth Day Every Day!

This year’s Earth Day theme is “Climate Action.” You can learn more about the importance of climate action and find links to virtual Earth Day 2020 from Rosaliene at Three Worlds One Vision

Love-tree-with-heart-shaped-branches-and-birds

2019 1linerWeds badge

 

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. For details, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/22/one-liner-wednesday-april-22nd-2020-some-truths-dont-age-at-all/


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Good News Tuesday 4/7/20: Recovering from COVID, Koala Release, Walking Against the Odds, and Shifting Focus

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Recovering from the Virus

It’s emotionally staggering to read how many people have died from COVID-19. Reading about recoveries offers hope. 292,188 people have recovered from the virus. John Hopkins University has a dashboard showing the numbers of cases, deaths, and recoveries around the world.

104-year-old William Lapschies is one person who has recovered. A World War II veteran from Oregon, William recently celebrated his birthday with a socially distanced party.   Here’s William’s story.

First Koala Group Released Back in Australia

The non-profit group Science for Wildlife released 12 koalas (plus one pouch baby) back into their natural habitat in the Blue Mountains in late March. The release happened after the group studied the area and determined enough growth had taken place to support the animals. Here’s the story from Independent. 

Ten Year Old Walks with Spina Bifida

John Harvey was born with spina bifida. Against the odds, he worked hard to learn how to walk. The following video  shows John’s determination and perseverance. Enjoy!

(There might be a brief ad.)

Companies Shift to Make Health Care Supplies at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

The 300 acre space known as the “Can Do Yard” during WW2 is earning that name again. Over 500 companies responded to New York City’s call for help to manufacture face masks. I heard this story on NPR and hope you enjoy listening:
https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/04/06/navy-yard-brooklyn-medical-factory

Got good news? Please share in the comments!


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A Children’s Book, Loving Energy, and Body Alignment (#SoCS)

socs-badge-2019-2020

From SoCS host, Linda Hill: “….our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cheek.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Enjoy!”

There’s a children’s book called The Kissing Hand. It’s about a little raccoon who is afraid to go to school because he doesn’t want to be away from his mom. His mom kisses the palm of his and and says that whenever he is lonely or nervous, he can put the palm of his hand, the place where she kissed him, on his cheek and remember that his mother loves him.

I must’ve gotten this book for one of my children who was nervous about starting school at least 20 years ago. Children’s picture books are special to me, so I keep my favorites. I believe it’s at the mountain house where I took most of my children’s books since that’s where I’m most likely to spend time with my grand kids.

The Kissing Hand story got me thinking about how powerful the mind can be, especially when we have a physical cue, like kissing a hand and then putting it on the cheek. Is there real energy in that kissed spot? Energy of love that can be transferred to the cheek? Reiki works a little like that, but residual energy?

Anything is possible.

What we do know is that the mind is very powerful in healing and mood. Thoughts are powerful and can influence the body.

I have a bad habit of biting on the inside of my mouth around my inner cheek area. I can go for years without this happening, but it’s surfaced lately, maybe because I’m too busy, way busier than I ever imagined being retired. Too many interests I guess. Or is there more to it? Maybe I’ll come back to that.

I’ve told myself to stop biting the inside of my mouth. I’ve prayed for help with this since it seems to be an addiction of sorts. A nervous habit? The problem happens when I put my tongue in my cheek. Funny, I don’t like the figurative meaning of that expression because I don’t like sarcasm.  It’s dishonest. Oh, I’ve used sarcasm occasionally, but not when things are important, serious, or could be misunderstood.

Anyway, when I keep my tongue away from my cheek… wait let me go back. When my tongue feels an imperfection, a bump of some kind, that’s when the biting starts. So, if  I just keep my tongue lined up forward, I’m better off. I’ve started breathing with imagery of a vertical line. This relates to something I read about chakras and energy  (qi/chi?) moving up the front of the body and down the back of the body.  I’m sure there are people who know a lot more about this than me, and I’m resisting the urge to look it up because what I really want to get to is this:

When I inhale imagining energy moving up the front of my body, cresting at the top of my head, and flowing down the back of my body, it feels really good. I don’t know why. Maybe it helps me sit or stand straighter. My head seems to go back a little, or maybe it’s just energy moving, aligning my osteoporotic whatever  posture. I’m sitting up straighter just typing this.

Well, I’ve already used up a lot of words…. Isn’t it interesting how the mind and body work together? There’s a lot we can do with this understanding.

Here’s a little video of The Kissing Hand. It’s very sweet. I just watched it again, and the part about energy flowing from Chester’s hand to his heart when his mom kisses him fits with the whole energy thing.

Enjoy the watercolors!

 

Whose love goes with you wherever you go?

The Stream of Consciousness flows every Saturday from the blog of Linda G. Hill. You can find out more here:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-15-2020/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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SoCS: From Ow to Star Wars

socs-badge-2019-2020

Today’s prompt for SoCS is: “ow.” Find a word that contains “ow” or use it as a word in your post. Have fun!

Ow. Owie. Ouch. That’s what I feel when I see the photos of the koalas and kangaroos hurt by the fires burning in Australia. I can’t think about it too long, but I can pray for more rains to come and put the fires out.

koala bear

Mother earth is hurting. Maybe we can send her healing energy. And rain.

Did you realize that WOW upside down is MOM? There’s something to that. Being a mom is WOW.

Bow wow. Did you ever here a real live dog say that? Me neither. Ruff, maybe or Roof. Growl. Owls can be heard at night in my neighborhood at the edge of the city. Where the trees are.

Wow! There was a lot of the Force happening in Star Wars,The Rise of Skywalker. At the end of the movie, I sat there listening to the music and thinking back about how many times I saw A New Hope in the movie theatre in the 70s. At least ten times. It was the first movie of it’s kind.

One of the things I liked about Rise of Skywalker is the strong female characters. The main character, Rey, doesn’t appear to wear a lot of make up or glamorous clothes. Few material possessions. Those things just don’t matter. But she’s strong in the Force and strong in general.

Speaking of general, General Leia’s line, “Nothing is Impossible,” reminded me of my father telling me that very same thing. Leia’s character has come a long way since she realized she was strong in the Force. As an occasional practitioner of Reiki, I was very interested in it’s healing properties which resembled reiki with the laying of hands.

Wow. They made a movie with a dead person in a major role. No disrespect. I have a lot of respect for Carrie Fisher and Princes/General Leia. They used mostly old/extra footage from previous movies. Rise of Skywalker was a spiritual movie. Lots of action of course, but a message of hope and the rise of the people against tyranny.  The evil empire wants you to feel alone. That’s how they win. But you are not alone. There are more of us people who want peace and decency…… Wait. I don’t like to get political on my blog, but you know what I mean. There are more of us than the evil empire wants us to think.

There are more of us who are just regular folks. That’s another thing I noticed about the movie. Regular looking people. Yes, they had make up on, especially the aliens with multiple eyes, and the horses with curly fangs. Or maybe they were tusks. But I liked that people’s hair got messed up a lot in the rain and the sweat. Sometimes being in the resistance means messy hair.

 

I wish we could use the force to bring healing rains to Australia. Imagine that. Make it so.

For more streams of consciousness and instructions, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/01/03/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2020-daily-prompt-jan-4th/

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!