Category Archives: Do No Harm

Giving Birth to a New USA

On the very day that we laid to rest one of our  greatest human rights leaders of our time this :

I am a mom to a compassionate ,  intelligent young woman .  Her kind and giving heart stands up for injustices against those with less privilege  . People  that suffer because of having  less privileges  and opportunities  simply because of the color of their skin .  I am of the same heart  and mind as my daughter .  Since early in my youth I have felt the call to stand up for human rights , protesting peacefully , writing  letters to legislators , volunteering  and …listening .  And today my daughter faced the ugliness of hatred  because  of her values and principles   . She has Black Lives Matter written on the  back window of her car . She has other pro human rights sentiments  on her window as well .

Today , of all days ,  someone  chose to threaten her life because of it . A man chose to follow her off of a freeway exit , he sped up along side of her and turned  his vehicle inwards towards  her car  as if to ram her and to force her off of the road .  A life threatening action that could  have been catastrophe with   irreversible results .  And all because he did not like her opinions . He violently opposed her  values . His risked her  life as well the lives of others by his actions .

Here we are America . Threatening each other  over human rights . Over what it means to be considered a human being .  Wiling to end another persons life because she or he stands up for social justice .  It’s time to give birth to a new USA .

The process is painful .  My hope is that what is taking place now with the violence against peaceful protests and individuals  is like the birthing process .  It is  a struggle . It is painful and it is violent . And at the other side of it a more just , equitable  and compassionate country .

The people fighting against the changes have caught the disease of hatred and fear . Desperation  has taken hold of them .  They are entangled within their own chains . How might we set them free from the hate ?

In the darkness of such hate we must be the light .  Carry a peaceful heart and in the words of Mr.Lewis ” make  good trouble ” .

 

 

The Man in the Tower Hiding

A comet soaring through the sky  wishing  away worries from the earth below .

It’s only for  moment .

Fires of the quest for justice burn ….and burn .

And those few that are untouched and are  so far away from the pain just scold .

And blame .

The man in the tower hiding  the darkness behind false  whiteness   steals souls and

glows red .

And tosses raw flesh to his spectators .

Unrealized is the relentless power of the will to do right . It won’t stop .

The birth of reawakening in the heart and spirit of  warriors  in our streets come

together as one .

This battle is not done .

 

Oh Dear World , I Miss you

How does the adventurer’s  soul  and spontaneous spirit strive to survive  now ?   Wings feeling clipped .  The physical freedom to roam that used to bring the spontaneous  wanderings of the mind and soul now halted .   How to replenish and refresh perspectives while staring at the same walls ?

There is a requirement for rest in order to turn around the stress and yet ….the mind is thinking , thinking , thinking . “What’s next ?”

Longing for the days of preparing for a trip . Being ready for the airport or a long road trip . The joy , the excitement  of embracing the unknown as much as the known . Feeling safe in the idea that any detours or unforeseen  threats would be visible and therefore manageable on any trip . Now it’s invisible and could threaten your life .

The aloneness of  solitary travels can set you on course for recognizing  love in the connections to all life forces .  It can teach you who you are and return you to the precious threads of human connection .

When you step off of an airplane onto unfamiliar ground are you calmed by the new?   And excited to begin anew ?

Oh Dear World ,  I miss you now during Covid 19 .  The images on a screen  bring little solace because I know you all are struggling too . Our sight will surely be altered by this time of loss and distress .  It is an opportunity  beyond the anguish .

Will we rise ?

Pandemic Reflections: May 19 The Empty Rice Shelf

I stayed too long in my cozy bed .  And today became  strongly up and down with emotions  and I thought it was just fine and then I ventured out .  Creating a todo list in my head and deciding the order of things  too while reminding myself that there wasn’t  any hurry . It’s not like before I thought …again and again .  So off for a walk I went and arriving at the trail’s entrance  was, nearly , startled to find  the street lined with parked cars .  So many  people , is it too many I wondered ?  I secured my cloth mask  and began walking . It was sunny with a breeze and not too many  people walking .  Relief and  purpose returned to my mind . Good I thought after a two mile  walk and now off to the store .

After  arriving  at the store,  having found a parking spot , I paused before going inside .  I noticed the people  coming and going and mostly wearing masks .  Thank goodness i thought .  There were only a few items on the list  in my head but important ones like water and rice and cat food  .  For the several  days the entire section of rice had been empty .  Several long , expansive shelves empty of product .  It was the first section that I went to and … it was still empty .  I stood for a few moment staring .  Ok I thought and took a deep breath onward to the next item .  The bottled water that I had come to appreciate  for it’s quality , price and even  it’s packaging  was next on my list .  I turned down the aisle for water and could see the shelf was empty .  I walked closer .  Yup . cleared out .  Feeling a bit defeated now I gathered  my thoughts and continued onward .   Cat food . There on the shelf was some cat food that my senior cat would eat .  Deep exhale and noticing a sense of sadness  moving towards  into my thrust . I push it away .

I check out with my one item and head back towards my car .  I unlock the car , get in , and suddenly I feel the tears arrive .  I sit weeping and say to myself ” I know it’s not just the empty rice shelf . I know it’s so much more than that .”  But the empty rice shelf bring me to tears .

Waking Just Before the Light in a Pandemic

Every day  I am awake just before the light .  I hear the silence and gather it around me like a blanket and snuggle it tight  .   And then with a mind partly in this world and partly in dream world I think .

I think about the day ahead . No plans that I can see due to the pandemic  and then I ask myself like being given a test ” What day of the week is this ?” . And when I know it right away it’s a gold star for me I say .  It’s a fleeting moment of delight and then  comes the next question .  What shall I do with this day ?

Walk and then walk again .  Rest and walk and move into those things that you’ve dreamt of having time for .  You have all of this time now but all of this time will run out I say to myself …again and again .

Aloneness During Covid 19

Living alone while covid 19 changes the world forces emotions to the surface and

brings a new focus to  the smallest delights .  The aloneness is magnified from what is was

before .  Suddenly those solitary evenings that seemed to go on for too long and  could be

soothed into comfort  with the knowing that in the morning it would be whisked away with

commotion  was gone . The commotion  of being busy and surrounded and connected to other

people  gone . Now   walking along a trail in a park , mask covered mouth and nose while

passing  from a distance  a mother and child and suddenly a small child’s smile takes on a

whole new meaning .  Noticing the little things like we did when we were children but now

there’s no rush to be at work or to get home to bed for a speedy night’s sleep . The aloneness

before had it’s challenges too though back then there was hope of a plan or a visit or busy work

day to carry through to relief or comfort .

The phone calls and text messages become a lifeline .  Each one opening the way to

connecting to our shared plight and to our humanity and our  hope .

The tension builds  beneath the surface silently . Moment by moment without

entirely knowing that it’s there the layers of uncertainty and loneliness  are building shelves

inside of you.  And  the beautiful , unexpected miracles of noticing an innocent smile or the

kindness of a stranger or the vibrant colors of the sky and my heart swells with a love from

before my existence  . A  love that has carried us through all of time . Tears well up in my eyes .

Is it the striking aloneness that I feel or the love that is so deep for all of life that makes it so  the

tears must flow .  When sleep finally comes it’s comfort is a delight and in the morning the hope

and the search for the little things will begin again .

 

 

Mon Coeur

Comfort in the Quiet

The spring has come and knowing little of our human fright it sings . It beckons .  It dances with delight .   It must sense it’s new found freedom .  I wonder . Does nature now feel it’s man made noose loosened ?  The song birds sing more sweetly and the trees  less tense .  The quietness so soothing for  life to be able to breathe again that is for  all one but one .

The sadness presses against the quiet .  Love and the fragility  of human life are in each moment now . The breathtaking moments of courage and compassion rise and in-between  is  cherished laughter to lighten our hearts and carry us on .

The songs of Mother nature are freely sung now and her wild  animals live with less fear .  The people  that were trampling upon the sacredness  of life are the  ones seeking to return to what is gone .  To fight the flow of change is to create your own despair . And that heaviness hangs in the air .

The rustlings of the trees and the currents of the oceans shake me free from the weightiness of false designs .  Turn into the heart and release her songs into all of life and the freedom of knowingness will carry you onward .

Humanity Healing in Isolation

The first thought was of how surreal it all seemed .  Standing with but a few coworkers in the now desolate work space and listening  as a couple of our Chef’s told us that we were being sent home until further notice . To  stay home , stay safe and that we would receive  weekly phone calls to check in with us . They welcomed our thoughts and  concerns .  One  man spoke of our frightening  it all was for him .  All I could think of was how much I appreciated the way in which we came together  , adapted to our changing circumstances and got the work done with good cheer in spite of our fears .

We parted company almost in silence . As if someone  had died . The weight of not knowing when or if we’d all be back together in what used to be a bustling kitchen dance was bringing us into ourselves deeply .

On the surface I told myself that it was an opportunity  to work on my art . That it would be the time and mental space that I had longed for in order to create .  I had not yet recognized the depth of the sorrow for the world that would hold my heart bringing it’s own challenges to overcome in order to create .

And it was not only the world’s sorrows and difficulties  that held me but also my own from the seeds that began my life . The aloneness that is loneliness  born from a lack of connection to the people  that are supposed to love you . When you are unseen in the moments that deeply touch your heart and are invisible  when the moments of joy bring out the laughter  and rather than joining in those moments they were experienced alone amongst the people  that said they loved you .

I worried that  the social isolation  demanded during this pandemic would be a great burden on my already wounded soul .  I allowed myself to weep . It was deep , anguish throughout the ages , kind of weeping . It led me , somehow , to my place of resiliency  and love for life . I awoke from the fear of feeling longing to discover a way to help myself move through this time of global isolation .

Since I felt unable to focus  on my artistic passions of painting and sketching  then I would safely venture out in the city streets , as often as I had the energy for , and photograph the people  and sights that spoke  to our humanity amidst a life threatening virus . Capturing spontaneous images of  the ways in which we express our kindness as well our fears became  my project  . By focusing on the visible ways that people  chose to express themselves during  a previously unimaginable  stress  is a means for healing my own wounds and stress . It is also a way of feeling to connected to people  rather than alone and isolated . I become an observer as well as a participant  in  the struggle of the unknown .

The spontaneous wanderings around the closed up city with camera at the ready has afforded me the  sight that my heart craves . The heart that still beats in the world  and shows itself  in the handmade signs expressing love for strangers , concern for your safety and courage to keep going .

This photo project that I’ve created as an assignment  for myself is not quite done . I look forward to sharing it soon .

Thank you .

In this Moment Here with Me

We despair over the unknown and yet it is there that we are free . It could cage you

if thats what you choose or set you free to be

in this moment here with me .

We surrender to fear and like an expert jewel thief it robs us of life . It’s not the fear that guides and protects , but the one that steals your heart away .

We live so as to love and to love means to risk it all . Mind , heart and soul .

We despair over the losses of our loves . The family , friends and the  ones unknown to us that are suddenly gone  from life .

Left to our worries and left with our kind thoughts of hugs and laughter and of days shared in sunshine and in rain .

We touch each other’s  existence and must remember  that it is so much more .  It is not in judgement that lifts a life but in kindness that an eternal thread lives on .

In this moment here with me your life will live on .