Before the Hurricane

As I held the ladder and drill for my hubs, I kept getting distracted by the flitting, diving and dancing of butterflies and dragonflies in our back yard. Much to his chagrin, I said “I swear they’re speaking to me!” I mean who can blame him? Nobody wants a looney-tunes wife. But I know they were there for a reason, as symbols of endurance, hope, change and the deeper meaning of life, their message was clear to me. No matter what occurs, the sun’s gonna rise tomorrow and there will be beauty and goodness to be found.

Peace and Love

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Mid Night Discourse

One year later. Some things never change. I could have written this last night.

Peace and Love

This Pedestrian Life

She doesn’t listen. She’s impudent that way, my muse. Coming and going as she pleases seemingly without a thought of the repercussions for me. So familiar. Is she me or I her? A question for the ages, the slowly aging from lack of sleep, and the up for hours mid-night. I awake wondering what she wants, mind ricocheting from one byte of memory to another. Is she intuitive? Does she foresee? Might she simply be attuned to the body she inhabits or am I experiencing the effects of Mercury in retrograde? I’m not completely sure what that even means but we are all part of the cosmic portrait, the energy of the universe. Atoms dancing in invisible valences with ghostly attractions and all. I’ve ruled out indigestion, heartburn and physical pain. There’s no bun in the oven doing somersaults. No caffeine aftermath. Perhaps she has something of value to say…

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The Ocean Reminds Us

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The Cancer of Hate

The cancer of hate cannot be cured by the razing of monuments or the National Guard. Its legacy envelopes our pure and precious babies, infects institutions and poisons the rivers of love that nourish souls. The vitriolic vocabulary of hate turns hearts to stones that we hurl at the “others”. The blighted run-off of hate pollutes our ground water and infects history’s open wounds. Hate-mongers and terrorists among us propagate fear in people too conjoined to screens to notice the underlying decay of a society. What will remain when our amniotic legacy becomes toxic? How will one find shelter beneath a leafless tree of life, poisoned by its own caretakers, the spores of love no longer carried by the winds? How many of us are willing to shine our lights onto the shadows of those who seek to destroy what they do not understand? In the words of Chet Powers,

Love is but the song we sing

Fear’s the way we die

You can make the mountains ring

Or make the angels cry

Though the bird is on the wing

And you may not know why

Come on, people now

Smile on your brother, everybody get together

Try to love one another right now.

Some will come and some will go

We will surely pass

When the one that left us here

Returns for us at last

We are but a moment’s sunlight

Fading in the grass.

Come on, people now

Smile on your brother, everybody get together

Try to love one another right now

Come on, people now

Smile on your brother, everybody get together

Try to love one another right now.

Come on, people now

Smile on your brother, everybody get together

Try to love one another right now.

If you hear the song I sing

You will understand, listen

You hold the key to love and fear

All in your trembling hand

Just one key unlocks them both

It’s there at your command

Come on, people now

Smile on your brother, everybody get together

Try to love one another right now

Come on, people now

Smile on your brother, everybody get together

Try to love one another right now

I said, come on, people now

Smile on your brother, everybody get together

Try to love one another right now

Right now, right now.

Songwriters: Chet Powers

Get Together lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Listen to this song at https://youtu.be/tsxVGb2d9dw
Peace and love
CRR

8-19-17 

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Stormy Satellite Message

Through neon noise

and simmering static.

Fragments of images 

splashing on the screen,

signals crossed and split

amongst summer storm clouds,

yet a harbinger of hope appears, 

calling us to action.

Carry on the good fight 

you heroes and heroines.

The world needs your heart, 

your love, 

your light to shine

and spread peace.

CRR  8-3- 17

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*Photo credit -Coleman Carnegie Langshaw

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Don’t Stop 

I take lots and lots of pictures with my iPhone. I have a hard time deciding which ones to let go of, so I just buy more storage on that mysterious “cloud”. An incredibly large percentage of my photos, those that aren’t of the most beautiful grandchildren in the world, (I’m a very, very young Mimi) are of the sun. Setting, rising, just shining its light and being the awesome life giving star that it is. I’ve forgiven it for my smidgen of skin cancer. I mean, you play with fire, sans Coppertone because it didn’t exist way back when, you’re bound to get burned. The good news is that it was all excised and not on my face, although it was dangerously close to my new fake boobs. Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one! Even better news is that I have a good supply of super duper ($$$$)  scar cream left over from that particular augmentation and I purchased a new arsenal of SPF 50 beach clothing. Anyway, back to the sun speaking to me. Not in the “out loud and I might need a psychiatrist and meds” kind of way, just in an inspiring way. I don’t usually know what I’m going to say about a particular sun photo, I just know there’s something to say and I look at the picture and write. Maybe my words and photo will speak to someone else too. Maybe you.


Peace and Love

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One More Light

So many who were touched by his music, now mourn the fact that Chester Bennington’s name was recently added to the tragic list of famous people who took their own lives through suicide. I was shocked to read that there are an average of 121 suicides PER DAY just in the United States each year! When a cultural star does this, the subject of depression becomes front page news and while many of us think money or fame could be cures for our sadnesses, we’re obviously all dead wrong.  

I’m not a doctor or clinician and therefore have no business arguing the causes or treatments of clinical depression, but I do know that millions of us have been or are currently affected by it and/or the suicide of someone we’ve known and/or loved. Millions of us are left wondering why. Why we feel this way. Why despair sometimes wins out over hope.

The 2017 Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” has received a tremendous amount of critical acclaim. Fearful of the act of suicide being glamorized, educators have been warned to monitor middle and high school conversations they came upon and to be aware of student attitudes regarding the show. Having just watched the series myself, I see it as conveying a highly powerful anti-bullying and empathy message. Our words and actions have consequences. As our society becomes more attached to technological devices and less attached to each other personally, I believe we need to be reminded of that, again and again. “13 Reasons Why” highlights issues that affect today’s youth and lays the groundwork for immensely important parent/child discussions.

Learning of Chester Bennington’s suicide and watching the series “13 Reasons Why” last week, reminded me of this poem I wrote about a dear friend lost to suicide. I’m sharing it with you in hopes that it may be of benefit. We may never know the answer to someone’s why. The only thing we can control is the way we think about depression, our own and that of others. May we seek help and encourage others to do so as well. May we view it as we view any other condition/disease. And lastly, but most importantly, may we all be a little kinder, a little softer, more willing to just be there and listen, for we know not the silent battles others face or why they feel the need to turn off their light.

Peace and Love

******************************************************************************

For Tim


I live in a land of orange groves

and so did you.


I wish I’d known

the exact moment that the acidic taste of your despair 

became corrosive

as it started to eat away 

at the man you once were,

strangled your voice,

kept you from calling out.

I wish I’d known

the exact moment that the acrid smell of your despair 

congested your nostrils and poisoned your lungs,

clouding all of your senses,

depriving you of the oxygen of love.

I wish I’d known 

the exact moment that the blackness of your despair

turned each day’s sky to onyx darkness,

insuring that you’d lose your way.

I wish I’d known 

the exact moment that the howling of your despair

deafened you to joyful noise,

like your angelic granddaughter’s voice.

I wish I’d known

the exact moment that the grit of your despair 

rubbed your soul so raw

and left you bleeding all alone.

I wish I’d known

the exact moment you planned that final drive 

to an orange grove

where the cold steel explosion of a handgun 

and not the warm hands of those that loved you 

would be the last sensation you’d ever feel.

I wish that you would emerge from each grove I pass,

crooked smile, pirate eyes,

arms laden with fruit.

I wish you’d known

how much I wished I knew.

How I would have gotten there before those moments

and fought for you.

CRR

 3-3-15

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NOLA


On a recent trip to New Orleans I was struck by the abiding sense of recovery. 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, so much is still left undone, yet hope and the spirits of those who love their city will not stay beaten down. 

Here’s to NOLA and those that love her.

Peace and Love

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From Darkness To Light

“Against all odds, a seed rises from darkness and beautifies the universe.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo



Look around our world and you’ll see the forces of life persisting and even thriving in some of the least logical or hospitable places. Like seeds buried in the dark womb of our Mother Earth, the majority of plant, animal and human life forms only exist by reaching for and finding light. Doing so is programmed into our cell memories as is evidenced from the moment we each decide to vacate the warmth and darkness of our mother’s womb, an act which miraculously illustrates the meaning of “out of darkness comes light”. One cannot be understood without the other, yet we rarely associate the beauty of life with the darkness of death. The truth is that much of life is rooted in death. Leaves fall and decompose, leaving behind organic matter that will nourish the soil from which new life will arise. Forests are purposely scorched using controlled burns to replenish nitrogen in depleted soil. Scavenger animals obtain their energy from the dead /decaying bodies of other animals.  Seeds and spores are carried by wind and emerge as proof of life in some of our planet’s most unlikely places, like the mausoleum above. Animals and humans often survive against all odds in the figuratively darkest of places and in spite of people around them in whom the light has dimmed or died. So what’s my point? The brave Anne Frank is remembered as saying “Where there’s hope there’s life,” and the ancient Roman orater Marcus Tullius Cicero stated,”Where there is life there is hope.” The photos above bear witness to both.

Peace and Love

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Her Story

Tomorrow will mark 6 years of missing her unconditional love.

This Pedestrian Life

Her story ended 5 years ago tomorrow. Or did it?

I can still smell it, the aroma of it, in a Sunday pot roast slow cooking on my counter and also in the domestic union of fabric meeting hot metal as I iron a favorite linen shirt.

I can still feel it, the warmth of it, in a quilt the colors of spring, lovingly sewn by arthritic hands and also in the sunshine- like memories that my heart recalls.

I can still hear it, the playlist of it, when once youthfully ignored lessons emerge in my own mother voice and also in the beckoning ocean as she welcomes me home.

I can still taste it, the flavor of it, sliding from spoon to throat, as I spread Virginia apple butter on a sandwich of cheesy grilled comfort and also in the salty air that tingles my tongue.

I can still…

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