Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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A Quote from Maya Angelou’s “A Brave and Startling Truth”

“…Out of such chaos, of such contradiction

We learn that we are neither devils nor divines….”

Maya Angelou

This quote is from Dr. Maya Angelou’s powerful poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth.”

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.”

― Maya Angelou, A Brave and Startling Truth

One-Liner Wednesday and Just Jot it January are brought to us by Linda Hill.

For more one-liners and jottings, visit Linda’s post HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: Breathe, a Poem

Thanksgiving Day 2021

For this edition of Tree Love, I offer a poem by Becky Helmsley interspersed with tree photos.

Breathe, by Becky Helmsley

“She sat at the back, and they said she was shy,

She led from the front and they hated her pride,

They asked her advice and then questioned her guidance,

They branded her loud, then were shocked by her silence,

When she shared no ambition, they said it was sad,

So she told them her dreams and they said she was mad,

They told her they’d listen, then covered their ears,

And gave her a hug while they laughed at her fears,

And she listened to all of it thinking she should,

Be the girl they told her to be best as she could,

But one day she asked what was best for herself,

Instead of trying to please everyone else,

So she walked to the forest and stood with the trees,

She heard the wind whisper and dance with the leaves,

She spoke to the willow, the elm and the pine,

And she told them what she’d been told time after time,

She told them she felt she was never enough,

She was either too little or far far too much,

Too loud or too quiet, too fierce or too weak,

Too wise or too foolish, too bold or too meek,

Then she found a small clearing surrounded by firs,

And she stopped…and she heard what the trees said to her,

And she sat there for hours not wanting to leave,

For the forest said nothing, it just let her breathe”

Becky Helmsley

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit Parul at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-121/


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Anticipate the Best, but be Prepared

(Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is Anticipation.)

Let’s anticipate good things.

Anticipate peace in spite of tension.

Anticipate love that’s right on time.

Anticipate a healthy planet before it’s too late.

Then we have to work for those things.

Prepare for the possibilities.

But don’t obsess on the fears.

Let us feed our hopes well,

and comfort our fears.

Lock the door and turn off the stove.

But don’t go back and check it three times.

Maybe just a double check.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Put energy into clean energy.

Find common ground.

Anticipate healing.

~~~

Just Jot it January is brought to us by our host, Linda Hill.

Thanks to Pamela for today’s prompt: Anticipation.

Click here for details.


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Thursday Tree Love: A Poem and a Willow

WHEN I AM AMONG THE TREES
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

I love weeping willows and looked for at least a year for one to accompany Mary Oliver’s poem that mentions them. What a surprise when I noticed this one hiding in plain sight behind my pharmacy which is located on a busy street. The willow, along with a water loving cypress, seem to be part of a small retention pond and drainage system created behind the pharmacy. There’s an auto repair business to the right, so this system probably filters a lot of city waste.

It looks like somebody’s mowed the grass recently near the cypress.
I wonder if the cage like structure could be a trash collecting device.
One day, I’ll investigate further.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and forth Thursday of each month. For more tree love visit Paurl at the link below:


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Thursday Tree Love: Close Encounter with Tall Pine

“…there can be occasions when we suddenly and involuntarily find ourselves loving the natural world with a startling intensity, in a burst of emotion which we may not fully understand, and the only word that seems to me to be appropriate for this feeling is joy”
                                                                                       ― Michael McCarthy

The vast network of roots

covered in hummus

provided cushioned support

Strong yet giving

So that each step along the trail

reverberated a soft drum beat

To my heart

As the river played along.

Old granite offered security

when the trail narrowed

or became steep while

Trunks and branches gave balance.

A tree called to me

Not with words or sounds

But reaching out in the cool breeze.

I laid hands on the rough bark

Sharing energy, healing,

Knowing without words

The power, the stability

Of this old, but not so old

Sentinel of the river forest.

I leaned into the power,

Inhaling its gifted oxygen.

Then let my eyes

Travel up, up, up

to the crown in the sky

Blessed with golden light.

My spirit filled with new life

My heart wanted to to stay forever

In wild communion.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit:


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Blue Wave Dream

 
blue glass wave 2

Can you guess how I got this photo? I’ll tell you later.

 
 
 
We walked across rolling hills of rich earth.
One woman ran far ahead, the other still in sight.
I followed slowly
wiggling my toes into layers of red-brown soil
that turned into golden sand
then into a slope of lush green grass.
My friend Dorothy sat down on a piece of cardboard
And slid down the hill with a smile on her face.
Having no cardboard, I did not want to get grass stains on my white skirt.
So, I danced and skipped down the cool grass,
ran up the next rise, and stood on a hill.
 
The beach below was deserted
except for Dorothy wading
into the royal azure water.

A swell as big as a house

Rose slowly in front of her.

She started swimming up the blue wave
that crested and then stood still,
Huge, peaceful, translucent.
 
I waded into the water
and saw her way up near the top of the wave.
She pointed below her at a hound dog
swimming under the water
like a fish, or a dolphin dog,
completely comfortable paddling
through the liquid blue Jello,
The dog breached occasionally to say hello,
while the giant wave just hung there waiting.
As I swam up the swell, I saw the hound dog
turn into a statue and drift down
to become an underwater memorial
 
Dorothy and I swam in the luxurious blueness
as we watched out feet wave like kelp
And the dog statue, now far below,
faded from sight, though not from memory.
We did not want to see beyond the swell, wanting it to last forever.

But finally, we reached the crest

On the other side a bridge
led back to “civilization.”
We swam that way because we knew it was our destination.
A soft beach rose to meet my feet.
I must have been dawdling
Because my friends were way ahead.
I followed their trail into a building
But didn’t see them.
I  desperately wanted to talk about our experience in the water,
To hold on to it, and know that it had really happened.
 
Then I realized I was in a hospital
walking down a hallway.
Confused, I thought I saw a room with a pool.
but when I looked in I didn’t see a pool,
Just a couch.
It was like a waiting room.
Children with light brown skin
Sat in the corner.
I wanted to tell them a story about a big blue wave
That lifted us up in the air and held us
For a moment when time slowed
And gave us a glimpse of something deeper.
But that’s when my dream ended.
 
 
 
….
 
There have been many times in my life when I dreamed about giant waves that were frightening. This dream was very different. This giant, mysterious wave was patient and peaceful. I enjoyed seeing my friend Dorothy in my dream. The hound dog was Doodle who we lost several months ago. For a beautiful underwater video of  Christ in the Abyss, click here.
 
 
blue bottle (2)
 
 
I created the top photo by turning this bottle upside down and cropping the photo. Colored glass bottles are some of my favorite things. I collect mostly blue bottles, but also amber, green, yellow, and a couple red and purple ones. 


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Thursday Tree Love: Winter Magnolias and a Poem

tree love magnolias in winter

 

On a  breezy, gray winter day

Leaves rustled overhead.

It must have been magnolias

since their neighbor’s leaves were shed.

The living leaves clicked softly

Chiming in with whispers

Knowing some would soon make room

for lemon scented flowers.

Tree love magnolias in winter path

 

Some of the older magnolia leaves will drop off in early spring to make room for flowers. The magnolia flowers I see in my neighborhood have big, white petals with a hint of yellow and a lemony scent.

I thought this was an interesting trunk, Do you see a heart?

magnolia trunk

magnolia trunk (4)

 

 Here’s an older photo of a winter magnolia on a sunny day:

magnolia trunk face

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

Thursday Tree Love is a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more Tree Love, visit:

https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-80/

 


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Guess What I Found in my Attic!

Last week, I worked on cleaning out my attic. It was a dirty, sneezy job. I hauled paper and cardboard to the recycle bin, trashed the un-recyclables, and salvaged the action figures for my grandsons.

action figures lined up

 

But the coolest thing I found in the attic was my poetry notebook from high school.

Notebook from 1972

 

One poem written in 1972 is “prophetic” as my husband called it. David’s family moved away at the end of tenth grade. I must have written this right after he left, hoping against the odds that I would see him again and believing our love would stay alive.

Notebook page from 1972

 

I was so full of hope at 16. Angsty hope. But David didn’t answer my last letter that summer of ’72, and life went on. Over the years, my first love became a distant memory.

If I’d found this notebook in my 30s, I would have shaken my head and thought, “How sappy.” But now, it reinforces that this love story was meant to be. Our love never died. It just went dormant and waited quietly for 39 years.

You can read about those 39 years and the lessons we learned along the way in

Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.

Did I really know our love would stay alive? Or did I help manifest our re-connection? Was it all part of God’s plan? Did the angels see a window of opportunity and nudge us in the right direction?

I vote for all of the above.

Oh, how I wish today’s teenagers only had learning and love to deal with.

 

Hang on to your hopes.

 

Good things coming

 


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Queen of My Backyard

SOC winner 2017

I never really cared much for fine dining.

Well, maybe when I was  young and easily impressed.

Now, I like chips and guacamole.

Where I can be casually dressed.

I don’t care about fine wine before it’s time.

Though I seem to remember liking Gallo Rhine

Once upon a time. God knows why.

Fine china does not excite me,

But I like the blue and yellow flowered plate

I found at the mission thrift store.

blue and yellow flowered plate

The fine lines around my eyes

Have turned into creases

I’d like to be fine with that.

And the jelly in my thighs

Might go away if I exercise hard enough

But do I have that kind of time?

I’d rather make art that’s fun

And flows in blues and browns and greens

And dance with trees in my  backyard

Where I can be the queen.

Tree Lady bright cropped (2)

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was the word, “fine.”

To read many more Stream of Consciousness Saturday posts, visit Linda’s blog at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/03/02/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-3-18/

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. 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!