May

The 5th month of the calendar year arrives dressed in dichotomy. Individual days ping my memory bank with black hole debits and platinum credits, and create a sandstorm some years, that I can’t find my balance in until June. 

Looking back to 1975- I chose the May birthstone, the ruby, for my high school class ring. My parents thought I should choose my own December birthstone, but I had long since done anything because my parents wanted me to. I adored the color but ended up hocking the ring, before leaving school and home, in an untimely manner, for unthought out reasons, with an unsavory sort. I would go on to graduate the following May, right on time, but ruby red ring-less. Debit-credit, two steps forward, one step back. Many years later I’d finalize my first and second divorces in May. I’d give birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl one rosy May day and face the truth, break someone’s heart and leave a long term relationship on a certain charcoal May day. The following year I would meet the man I was sure didn’t exist, the man I’ve spent the last 15 years with. It was on a radiant May day that I dove heart first into the “getting serious” stage of our relationship and have not regretted one single moment since. My dear mother was born in May and on the 29th day of May, 2011, I knew in my heart that would be the last time I’d see her. She would die 6 weeks later. The magnolias in my yard bloom each May as Mother’s Day arrives wrapped in melancholy. The school year draws to a close on May 23rd this year, with my heartstrings pulled and nerves frayed once again.

May is silky and barbed, honeysuckle and ash.

While this essay was prompted by sadness surrounding missing my mother, May is simply May, and like life, brilliantly shiny some days and years, and thickly tarnished others. 

Peace and Love
CRR 

5-15-18

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Let It Rain

Two years have passed, yet I could have written these words today. The drought remains. We need the rain.

This Pedestrian Life

img_1747

Not meant to be a doomsday diatribe, for there is goodness and beauty everywhere but…
It’s an election year here in the USA and the wildfires are burning. To turn on the television or read the day’s news online or in print is to witness a drought of historic proportions. Our country is thirsting for civility, sanity and common sense. And that’s just the beginning of the list. Our world (excluding the likes of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram,the Taliban, etc.) is thirsting for peace and bands of brothers and sisters on every continent cry out in fellowship against the ever present threat of terror and the suffering of so many innocent souls in so many places. Our entire planet thirsts for balance as we contaminate and alter the very molecules that sustain us.

What we desperately need now is a good rain, which my Cherokee ancestors believed, not only offered…

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In This Language

 

         “In This Language”

Linguistics,

etymology,

semantics,

irrelevant.

More ancient than Tamil,

Sanskrit,

or Greek.

No interpreters

required.

No translators

needed.

Only tongues

to taste

the universal,

antediluvian,

conveyor of love.

CRR

4-22-18

 

National Poetry Month prompt for April 22nd from J.R. Rogue and Kat Savage #THEWARINUS

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Synchronicity

I was thinking of my mom this morning as I began my traditional Sunday drive to church, therapist, and community service (the beach). I usually called her on my way to or from. I think she loved the fact that I was going almost as much as I love going. Living vicariously is one of the few pleasures of a bed-ridden nursing home patient, after all. Within seconds of picturing her face in my mind, a cardinal (believed by some to be spiritual messengers) appeared, I noticed that the way the clouds were obscuring the sun made it look like a heart, and then the song Love Remains the Same by Gavin Rossdale played on the radio. As quickly as they appeared, all three of these were gone in a matter of seconds, leaving me smiling and slightly stunned by the synchronicity of it all. Yes, the red bird flew away, the sky-scape changed and the radio cued another song. But do you know what stayed? The love. Because love remains the same.

Thanks so much for reading my short and sweet musings for the day.

Peace and Love

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Let’s Really Connect 

Our headlines and airwaves are basically projectile vomiting at us, increasingly horror filled stories of a world being battered by its own inhabitants, who happen to be us. Humans killing other humans, not in government sponsored wars, just in daily civilian life. I hear some of you saying that this has been happening for thousands of years, and although I have no definitive data to support my argument, I’ll bet you it hasn’t been happening at this rate.

Roughly 7.28 billion of us have 7.51 billion cell phone subscriptions. Approximately 44% of us, 3.24 billion, have Internet access. These figures indicate we have a heretofore unprecedented ability to “reach out and touch someone” through our 21st century technology. Yet walk down any street, go into any restaurant, bar or other public venue where we humans gather, and you will see a large majority us NOT talking to each other. In every corner of our American culture (the one I’m currently most familiar with), it’s become extremely common to see entire families dining out and each of them is scrolling, gaming or posting. In a world where we’re not even connecting with our loved ones, is it any wonder that our connection to others in our communities is decreasing, in spite of our “connectivity”? 

Have you seen the social experiments where strangers are asked to look into each other’s eyes? If not, please, please Google it. Social scientists and psychological professionals around the world have observed participants who report strong emotions of empathy, love, connection and happiness after silently staring into another’s eyes. Yet, how many times do we avoid looking into another’s eyes? It’s much more comfortable to stare at a device screen while we wait to cross the street or in line, when we board the elevator or camp out in a waiting room.

We all want to be seen. We all want to matter. We all want to feel a part of something outside of our selves, bigger than ourselves. We all want to connect. But for all of our connectivity, we’re not doing it. 

I certainly don’t have “the answer” to the problems of gun violence, home grown /foreign grown terrorism , bullying, racism, etc., etc. I’m just here to say, as a teacher of 12 year olds, I see a trend. As a citizen, I see a trend. I’m worried. And I think you all should be too. 

We have got to start “seeing” each other. I think that’s the beginning of everything good that can possibly happen in our world. It sounds too simple. It sounds like something an old school, hippy hearted, 6th grade teacher might naively suggest. And truly, it’s all of those things. And it’s also the beginning of the solution we so desperately need. 

Give it a try. Ease into it. Pocket the devil (whoops) I mean device, and look around, observe others, catch their eye, meet their gaze, see where it takes you both. I think you’ll be surprised. It really is all in the eyes.

Peace and Love

PS  The irony of this message reaching you through “a device “, is not lost upon me. Life is full of irony. Just ask Allanis Morrisette.

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A Different Kind of Prime

I was recently blessed to spend a girls weekend with my adult daughter. While driving to brunch we were talking about our fitness levels and I remarked that mine had changed dramatically over the last 15 years. I told her I felt my personal prime was in my 40s. Back then I played volleyball and softball weekly and did off road trail biking, in addition to playing tennis and roller blading almost as often. Each one eventually fell by the wayside as I chose to budget my time in other areas. I later changed to Yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, walking and kickboxing. (Not all at the same time.) 15 years later I’m down to walking and Yoga sprinkled with Pilates. My daughter insisted I’m just in a different kind of prime now. I loved her a thousand times more in that moment, but I later thought she was absolutely right. We women have a tendency to put ourselves in boxes designed by our cultures and popular media to categorize us. The truth is that we all have more than one prime in our lives and they’re different for each of us across a variety of stages of our lives. We shouldn’t fall into those traps that try to convince us that if we’re over a certain age we should or shouldn’t do, wear or be this or that. 
It doesn’t happen every day, but this morning I woke up pretty happy with my 59 year old self. On a scale of 1-10, it was a 7 and I’ll take that any day. I took this picture and wrote a little thing. 


Different kind of prime,

Making it mine,

Words I like the sounds of,

Scenes I like the taste of,

Knowing my worth,

Celebrating my birth,

Sippin on Monday,

Glowing from Sunday,

I’ll take aging like a fine wine,

No reason I can’t rhyme,

or do absolutely anything else

I have in mind.

CRR

2-19-18
I hope I’ve inspired you to consider your current prime. You have one! 

Peace and Love

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The Other 364 Days

If somehow you haven’t noticed, hearts are everywhere right now. There’s just one more day until the monumentally commercialized day to honor St. Valentine and the ones we love. The markets are flooded with readymade expressions of love to fit every budget. I could barely navigate my way into the grocery store today for all the special Valentines displays.

If my almost 60 years (that just sounds so wrong, but apparently it’s my Earth age) has taught me anything, it’s that what we give and receive on February 14th matters very little in the big picture. It’s what we give of ourselves the other 364 days of the year that really reveals how we love.
It’s easy to buy heart shaped boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers, but it’s harder to stand by someone in their darkness and give them all your hope. It’s harder to give without expecting anything in return, to do the hundreds of little things you do to make another’s life special, to lift another up when you feel weak, to give when you feel empty, to love even when you yourself are feeling unloveable. That’s what love does though, 365 days a year. It’s not 24/7 sacrifice but it’s work. Work that is worth its weight in gold.

Remember that when you wonder about true love.

Peace and Love

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Morning Blur of Gray

This Pedestrian Life

ws_Foggy_Morning_1680x1050Sheath of opaque

morning blur of gray huddles close to dew

night slips silently through the pass

and the sky’s painter begins brushing the day.

CRR 2-2-16

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Simple Kindnesses

Sometimes it’s a word, a picture, something or someone I observe. Sometimes it’s something someone says to me or something that’s happening in the world. Sometimes it comes to me in the night and pokes at me all day. And sometimes I have no idea where I’m going with my writing, I just know I have to go.

Today it was a stranger in the Publix parking lot. As I was heading to my car after shopping for dinner, a woman in an SUV who slowed in the crosswalk to let me pass, rolled down her window, smiled and said ” You should wear that color (royal blue) often.” Her simple kindness brought a smile to my face and I thanked her before she drove off. I thought about how easy it is to go through the motions of our everyday lives without extending a single kindness to someone else when we’re just trying to get from point A to point Z of our day and check off the multitude of things we have to do. 

I have a “Life Is Good” plaque in my classroom. I do truly believe that, but life is also extremely hard, unfair and heart wrenching at times. Today I was reminded of how a simple kindness could bring joy and perhaps even keep someone from regretting that they even bothered to get out of bed that day. We may never know what our good word or deed means to someone, but each time we reach out we’re actively creating a kinder, gentler world, something I think we can all agree that we desperately, desperately need. 

Peace and Love 

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Fight Like An Epiphyte 

Life is wonderful, except when it isn’t. Not exactly a news flash, but life doesn’t always go our way. We aren’t always given what we need when we need it. Some days we’re sure we got someone else’s delivery of manure and all of our efforts to make something grow from it end up smelling like it. 

Epiphytes, also known as air plants (they don’t have soil to grow in) have adapted to survive by getting their moisture and nutrients from the air and decaying organic debris upon the surfaces they cling to. Without soil to supply them with what they need, they fight to survive by getting what they can, where they can. They’ve become remarkably good at it.

I started walking again today. New year, new resolve, etc., etc. The trees in our Florida neighborhood are rife with air plants attached everywhere. They’ve always fascinated me, their endurance, resilience, their will to survive. Even when detached from a form of life, they can survive. Observing them on my walk, I marveled at the lessons they offer. Nature has a tendency to do that you know. Just by being all naturey and natural it guides us to the answers we seek, if we only look and listen.

If an air plant can do it, we can do it. We are slightly more highly evolved after all. That battle we’re facing can be fought and won, or at least survived. Even the one that has nearly killed us. The will is in us. The “right stuff” we need to do battle is there. And if we feel we’ve lost it, we need to ask for help in finding it. The way will reveal itself, maybe even in the form of an epiphyte or another one of nature’s doctors. 

Fight like an epiphyte.

Peace and Love

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