Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Thoughts on War and Peace (with an old song and a newer song)

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cent/scent/sent.” Use them in any form you like. Use one, use two or use them all. Bonus points if you use all three, and Cheryl will put your next drink on David’s tab. I know, you used to get bonus points for two, but inflation… Enjoy!

(Thank you to Dan for filling in for our usual host, Linda Hill who has been without electricity!)

Of all the Russians sent to fight against the people of Ukraine, I wonder how many want to be there. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to fight in a war, but there are some mercenaries. We watch so many movies and TV shows about fighting, battles, violence… sometimes for a cause which makes for good drama…. I wonder if there are people sent to take Ukraine from her people who are against the war but cannot go home due to repercussions they or their families would have to face. I wonder if any have melted into the countryside and escaped – went AWOL (absent without leave) Probably not many.

The letters my father sent to my mother from Vietnam hint at the struggle to remain fighting in a war where children were killed or left homeless. My mother wanted him to come home. My father wanted to come home. But there was never really any question about what he would actually do. His sense of duty was stronger than desires for home and family and the needs of love. He fulfilled his obligation to the US government. The war haunted him for the rest of his life.

For centuries there have been wars. Maybe some of them have been justified, but most, I believe are not. When will we ever learn? It would be better to chase the scent of flowers than to fight with violence.

Do you remember this song by Peter Paul & Mary? I didn’t remember how pretty the harmonies were for such a sad song.

When will we ever learn? One day, maybe, peace will spread. How, I don’t know, but it will take work and focus on peace, focus on using our words in positive ways. Compromise. Voting out the egomaniacs. All kinds of complicated contributing factors to war and peace. We can only hope, pray, and work for peace in our lives and the lives we touch. It will take work, because we are not perfect. We will get angry, but we can learn to cope in non-violent ways. Smell the flowers and hope one day more people will value peace. And the people will say, that we don’t wanna fight no more, there’ll be no more war, and the children will play….

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, and other details, visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE. Thanks, again to Dan at No Facilities for today’s prompt. Oh, and thanks, Dan for letting us know that … “Linda’s electricity has left the building,” and not using the word, “power,” because we can still have power without electricity. I hope Linda has her electricity back on by now or very, very soon!


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SoCS: Trials, Losses, and How Do We Heal?

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “trail/trial.” Use one, use both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun! ….

There’s a song I like, except maybe for a couple of lines, called “Blessings.” Which lines, I won’t go into. Never mind that. But the chorus goes:

“What if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials in this life, are your mercies in disguise.”

It’s about how trials, disappointments, and challenges bring us closer to God. The song works well when applied to my divorce which, as I wrote about recently, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The problem now is that it does not seem to apply to the loss of a child. My heart and mind go to the parents who lost children to brutal, needless, senseless deaths by an 18-year-old who should never have been able to buy a gun and certainly not a weapon of war, in Texas.

I cannot imagine how those worst of trials can be a blessing. I don’t even know if the death of my sister, killed by a drunk driver on her 16th birthday, could have been a blessing to anyone, even with my parents’ dedicating the family room at the shelter in her memory. I don’t know how the loss of a child could be a blessing. Anything is possible, yes, but I would not say that to someone who has just lost a child. I would imagine the anger and overwhelming grief would be too much to even think of blessings, right now.

The husband of a teacher who was killed died from a heart attack – a broken heart – while preparing for his wife’s funeral. Joe and Irma Garcia had been married for 24 years. They had been high school sweethearts.

It’s so wrong. Wrong upon wrong, upon wrong, as we are finding out in the investigation.

Other countries have done better than the US when it comes to gun control and this type of murder. That’s for sure. There is a sickness in the heart of my country. (I just struck through “the heart of” because we have good hearts. Mostly.) Maybe we can recover from this sickness. Individual states have and can pass sensible gun laws. We can improve mental health services, address school dropout rates, etc., but I believe it’s going to take some kind of bigger shift. It’s complicated. Or maybe not.

I hope the investigations will lead to improvements. My hope is floundering a bit which is not typical. It will come as no surprise to most of my readers that I believe we need more balance between bad news and good news. That’s part of the sickness – a lack of balance.

Healing. How do we heal? Look for the good. Look for the true heroes, like teachers who continue to teach in schools, first responders who do what is necessary, leaders who have the courage to make changes for a more peaceful country, and a more peaceful world, parents who keep going after heartbreaking loss. Look for the heroes. Hold them up. Hold them in your heart. Keep them in your prayers. We can all do our part to nurture peace.

I know this is a rambling rant. Sometimes that’s what you get in the stream of consciousness. I confess I have gone back and edited a little. It was badly needed.

Maybe I should’ve written about hiking trails. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll put some in a gallery. There’s something coming to me about “The Peace of Wild Things” – a poem by Wendell Berry.

Below are some of my most recent photos from the Farm Animal Sanctuary

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill by following this trail: https://lindaghill.com/2022/05/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-28-2022/


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Tipping Points for Self Care, Peace, and Planet Earth

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “tip.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

So many possibilities for “tip.” That’s why Linda is the hostess with the most-est, and best-est prompts.

The tip of the iceberg can seem to be what caused the tipping point, but there was a lot more underneath. Lots of straws under the last straw. It’s like when you are in a relationship that’s not a good fit, but you stay there because there are some good things. Maybe he makes you laugh, but not as much as he used to, because he makes you cry, too. Maybe he has a good heart, but a crazy mind – not good crazy – paranoid, jealous, controlling. And then finally, something happens to make you realize, it’s not worth it. You deserve better.

The tipping point can happen in a job, or any toxic relationship – one too many criticisms, one too many late nights, stomachaches and other signs of stress…. Our bodies tell us if we pay attention. Eventually the time comes to get out, and you realize you can.

(From Pixabay perhaps?)

Forgiveness can come later. But forgiveness doesn’t mean we have to have lunch. We can forgive from a distance.

What a relief when we step away from something that has felt like a suit that didn’t really fit. That’s happened to me recently. I felt obligated to be part of something that became more restrictive (mentally and spiritually) over time. Now that I’ve stepped away, I feel more authentic.

A tipping point can also go in the direction of something good! What’s it going to take to get me to take that bike sitting on the catio to get fixed so I can ride it? What’s it going to take to get me back to a gym, or maybe a physical therapist, for my occasional back spasms? Those back spasms (almost gone now) were the tipping point to get me to pay someone do a little yard work instead of trying to do it all myself.

I’m hoping for a tipping point that will make Putin really back off and give Ukraine the power to be free of tyranny. Can there be a tipping point for peace?

I’m hoping for a tipping point that gets us to take care of planet earth. Not another crisis, but maybe that’s what it will take. It could go either way.

From Facebook

Speaking of nature, I greatly enjoyed the perfect weather and company when my friend met me at Airlie Gardens to take pictures last week.

~~~

For more streams, rules, and tips for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our host, Linda at:


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“Give Peace to Every Heart” and “A Groovy Kinda Love”

Bee’s post about Ukraine inspired me to change my plans a bit today and start with this Taize song. I hope to sing it at church soon, alternating with the English, “Give Peace to Every Heart.” Maybe I can find someone to accompany me.

Now, for the song I had planned for today:

Originally recorded by American vocalists, Diane and Annita in 1965, “A Groovy Kind of Love” was a hit in 1966 sung by the UK group, The Mindbenders. Many people have recorded this dreamy song, but I like how Phil Collins sings it in this rehearsal with Melody Dylem

“Love is in da blog” is hosted by Bee every February. Thank you, Bee! Please click the link above to Bee’s post for details.


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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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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 18, 2022: Five Nations Agree to Avoid Nuclear War, Honoring Women, a Champion of Earth, and My JJJ Prompt is Up Today

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Five Powerful Countries Agree to Avoid Nuclear War and Work for Disarmament

Earlier this month, China, France, Russia, the UK and the US signed an agreement to avoid nuclear war and work toward global disarmament. These five nations released a joint statement affirming that “…a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” The ending of the five-paragraph joint statement is especially positive: “We are resolved to pursue constructive dialogue with mutual respect and acknowledgment of each other’s security interests and concerns.” You can read more at The Guardian.

Honoring Inspiring Women

Matel is honoring black journalist and activist Ida B. Wells by making a doll in her image as part of the company’s “Inspiring Women” series which includes Dr. Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks. Good Morning America has details. Poet Maya Angelou will also become the first Black woman portrayed on a U.S. quarter. Other women to be featured on coins will include astronaut Sally Ride; actress Anna May Wong; suffragist and politician Nina Otero-Warren; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.” NPR has more on the coins.

A Champion of Earth

On Dec. 7th, The United Nations recognized Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, a wildlife veterinarian, as one of its “champions of the Earth” for promoting the One Health approach to conservation in Africa. This wise woman connects the well-being of animals, humans, and planet Earth.

My #JusJoJan Prompt is Up Today

In personal good news, Linda accepted my prompt (cycle) for Just Jot it January, and it’s up today! Good News Tuesday cycles around every week, so make sure to drop by again for some good news! My #JusJoJan post, will hopefully be up before noon.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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Peaceful Joy

Painting cup and Joy detergent

I know the photo looks like I might have a cup of Joy dishwashing detergent, bleh. It’s really a couple things that bring me joy. The handle broke off the cup, but I keep it for paint brushes. Blue is my favorite color, so I did my kitchen in blue and white, but it was too cold. Yellow brings me peaceful joy, so I’m constantly adding splashes of yellow. As time goes on, I have come to appreciate the little splashes of peaceful joy more than the jump up and down clap your hands joy, but those are nice, too.

Here’s to wishing you many joyful moments!

Thanks to theindieshe for this joyful prompt and to Linda Hill for Just Jot it January!

For more info visit Linda HERE.


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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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SoCS: There’s Still Good in this World.

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “opposites.” Use the word “opposites” or write about things that are opposites. Have fun!

It’s a good topic. Thanks, Linda. Though yes, I know, it’s a prompt, not really a topic in the SoC world. I don’t really believe in opposites. Oh, I know they exist – up/down, in/out, black/white…. But most things are somewhere in the middle. I don’t really like the opposite ends of the poles. We have enough polarization.

You might say, “but middle of the road is boring.” I don’t mean we all need to be smack dab in the middle. There are lots of colors in between black and white. Lots of places between up and down. It’s all relative. A person can be an antivaxer and still be a good person. Like maybe they like dogs for example. Dogs are a great uniter. I know people on the other end of the political spectrum from me who like dogs. It’s a bit baffling, but then, dogs are great. Unless you’re one of those people who don’t like dogs which I don’t understand. But maybe you have some good quality that I like or can relate to.

They say opposites attract. I’ve written about that before, about how David and I are opposite, or very different in some of our personality traits. But opposite isn’t the best word for that. We complement each other in that he is more of an extrovert, very practical, precise (except when he uses sarcasm which I kinda hate) and not very imaginative when it comes to seeing dogs in clouds. But he has a lot more energy than me, we both love dogs, and he’s learned to like Mama Cat. He’s a good guy. We have similar values when it comes to spirituality, politics and lifestyle.

Going back to in or out, maybe we want to sit on the fence, though that is not always comfortable. If Santa comes down the chimney, I hope he doesn’t get stuck in the spiderwebs. Yuck. That happened in the Hobbit movie. (Spiderwebs, not Santa coming down the chimney.) That’s one of the parts I don’t pay much attention to till the Elves come. I always watch the elf parts. What does that have to do with opposites? Are elves and dwarves opposites in LOTR? (The plural could also be dwarfs.) They are very different, but they fought together against the orcs. I don’t watch the orc parts either, until the elves come.

The point is, we can always find some kind of common ground whether it’s dogs, or fighting the dark side…. But what if someone is on the dark side? They probably don’t know it. Or maybe they do. Darth Vader was on the dark side, but there was still good in him, and the good won.

Speaking of good, I should rap this up and wish you peace on earth and good will to all, as in everyone being blessed. God bless us all, everyone!

Here’s Sam’s speech about there’s still good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for. Not fighting with violence, necessarily, but fighting to find the good, working for peace, or just putting one foot in front of the other, or giving a kind word of encouragement.

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and such, visit our good host, Linda Hill by clicking here.


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SoCS: Can We Just Go Without Screaming?

Revolution.

I’d like a quiet one, please.

Is that possible?

Anything is possible, right?

But we need to speak up

For a revolution.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Children. Animals. Planet Earth.

But the planet is speaking to us.

Are we listening?

Not enough.

So we must speak for the planet.

Sing for the birds.

Dance for the children.

Hope. Believe. Speak.

Try to speak with kindness

Not with hate.

Whenever you can,

Strive for peace,

But not peace at any cost.

Balance the cost.

We each make a choice

Every day. Every hour.

All is not lost.

There are still possibilities.

Perhaps we may not go quietly.

Can we just go without screaming?

~~~

I keep wanting to add something, to clarify…. Maybe we do need to scream. Maybe some things are screamworthy. This just reflects my stream of consciousness. I don’t like loud. Chanting is good. Singing is good.

Sing it with me: “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”

And…

I’m stepping out of the stream a bit now, because I found this relatively short TED talk about a quiet revolution. Susan Cain talks about quiet leadership and empowering introverts for the benefit of all. She offers this quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

~~~

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is……. “rev.” Use “rev” or find a word that contains it. Have fun! Thanks, Linda!

For more streams, rules and such, visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking here.