I've Landed!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Utter Helplessness

I have a younger brother whose battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) has brought him to a state of utter helplessness.
It has brought him closer to God.
It has brought his loving and devoted wife closer to God.

I grieve for my brother.
He was the person who took me hunting and taught me Silence when he was 14 and I was 15.
I only went hunting so I could gaze at the back of a brother I loved and talk with him.
He only took me hunting because even silent males love an audience (as long as she will shut up.)

He became financially successful enough to have lots of leisure time, and he used that time in hunting and becoming a known and respected wildlife photographer.
Image result for tennessee wildlife photography by Luke Bell
His abundant friends are mostly male and I know they didn't grow deep relationships by talking!
The silence of the hunt is a bonding thing.

He remained an avid outdoorsman up until his muscles wouldn't work well enough to move his legs.
Now, utter helplessness including the ventilator.

Don't we all experience utter helplessness at times?
Seeing the needs around us, don't we sense our own utter lack of ability to meet those needs?

Realizing our utter helplessness, and yet caring deeply, can bring us to a spiritual plane where we call upon God for intercession.
 Intercession becomes powerful as we lean totally upon God.

Submit to fate?  No.

Phillipians 4:6-7   He is near.  Have no anxiety but in everything make your requests known in prayer and petition and thanksgiving.  Then the peace of God, which is beyond our understanding will keep guard over your heart and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus.

Submit to fate?  No.  We work for the fulfillment of the good.  
We unfold our case before God through the continuation of prayers and petitions.  Being thus invested, we develop relationship with God and have peace no matter what the outcome.

No street corner prayers, please.
They just don't work as well as the ones we pray secretly.

I appreciate your visit and I hope your day is good.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Love" by Khalil Gibran


      Then said Almitra, "Speak to us of Love." 
      And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said: 
      When love beckons to you follow him, 
      Though his ways are hard and steep. 
      And when his wings enfold you yield to him, 
      Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. 

And when he speaks to you believe in him, 
      Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. 
      For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. 
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. 
      Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, 
      So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. 
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. 
      He threshes you to make you naked. 
      He sifts you to free you from your husks. 
      He grinds you to whiteness. 
      He kneads you until you are pliant; 
      And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast. 
      All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart. 

      But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, 
      Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, 
      into the seasonless world where you shall laugh,                                                                 but not all of your laughter, 
and weep, but not all of your tears

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. 
      Love possesses not, nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. 
When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, I am in the heart of God." 
      And think not you can direct the course of love, 
                              if it finds you worthy, it directs your course. 
      Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself. 
      But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: 
      To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. 
      To know the pain of too much tenderness. 
      To be wounded by your own understanding of love; 
      And to bleed willingly and joyfully. 

      To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; 

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; 
      To return home at eventide with gratitude; 
      And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Awakened Souls

The Unconventional Mystic

If you have ever known an unconventional mystic,
you can rest assured you are one yourself.
What sets us apart is that we "recognize" each other
by the presence of the higher truth we sense.

Only Breath

by Jelaluddin Rumi

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu

Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen.

Not any religion or cultural system.

I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean
or up from the ground,
not natural or ethereal,
nor composed of elements at all.

I do not exist,
I am not an entity in this world or the next,
I did not descend from Adam and Eve or any origin story.

My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless.
Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved,

have seen the two worlds as one
and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner,

only that breath breathing human being.

Happy to see you visited,

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Lovely Skin

My Lovely Skin

When I was 10 and my mother was 35, I got my first taste of what I have come to call the “I hate my skin!” gibberish.

My youthful and pretty mom was all freaked about the skin on her elbows (“Old! Old!”) and the skin on her feet (“Old!” Old!”) She was so unhappy. 

Hating her skin.
There was nothing wrong with her skin that I could see. But apparently she saw changes that bespoke aging. She decided she would have to cover her arms to hide the shame of aging.
She was 35.

Her skin, olive & flawless, was beautiful all the days of her short life.Image result for images of older woman looking in mirrorjungleredwriters.com

Because of her, I decided early in life to LOVE my skin! (Hate my waistline, love my skin!)

Years of nursing would teach me not only to love my skin, but to appreciate it, and never talk bad about it.

The skin is the largest organ in our body.
It is our first line defense against everything.
It takes a beating!
It regulates our body temperature.
It produces vitamins and hormones.
It stores fat.
It prevents dehydration. We cannot live without it.
It is a sensory organ, sensing heat, cold, touch, pressure, pain.
It flakes its top layer off steadily and every 30 days the top layer is new.
Well, some of us don't flake very well so we need to buff the heels and elbows, etc.
Helping the top layer flake off is a nice thing to do for our skin.

S K I N  T O U C H

Our skin longs and needs to be touched. Babies who are fed, but not touched, will die.
As we age, we may become touch-deprived . 
Hugs, shoulder rubs, back rubs, foot rubs, rubbing our arms and legs with lotion, holding hands, sitting close to another person, manicures, pedicures, therapeutic massages & even swimming and bathing are ways to get skin touch. 
Having a spouse is a plus.
Perhaps having a lover on the side is an even bigger plus!  
Animals are good.
Not an animal lover?  Then just lay down on mother earth and hug her.  You will like it (if it is a warm day).  
Mud baths work for kids and dogs.  
Can't you just picture yourself and your old friends wallowing in mud!  
New playground for senior citizens: Public Mud Baths
Since our heads are getting lighter and our bottoms getting heavier, there would be no risk of our going down head first. 
Playgrounds for children usually say:  Under 12 years of age

Ours could say:  Bottom Heavy Seniors Only.
                          Thin Seniors: enter at your own risk.

A   M A N   W I T H O U T   H I S   S K I N
He was only 32.  The fire that half-way denuded him was a tragedy. He survived the fire, and it became our job at the local hospital to nurse him back to health. Those were the days before Burn Units and Specialized Teams.                                                 
We were so proud of the progress George made as we debrided his horrendous skinless wounds, bathed & dressed his gigantic skinless areas, and tried skin grafts. George required great quantities of pain meds to endure his treatments.                 
Three months into his hospitalization he suddenly died while up walking in his room. We had all become friends with George and we were devastated. And surprised.                                                  

 His doctor was not surprised because the extent of his burns was almost always fatal.                                                                                                     
Cause of death: Beri beri (a vitamin deficiency)                           
Yes, he was being given vitamin therapy. However, we need our skin for proper utilization                                                                
He just did not have enough skin.                                                   

No, I do not whine about my skin!
I am happy with my lovely, softly wrinkled skin.

Skin is GOOD.

I do nice things for my skin:
*I talk good about my skin.
*I oil my skin. 
If 3 months of daily oiling can turn a cracked stiff old DEAD leather saddle into a supple polished leather saddle, I figure oil can keep my LIVING hide from getting stiff and cracked!

*I take Vitamin E, the premier vitamin to protect skin.
*I take 5000 units...yes, 5000 units....of Vitamin D every day and I avoid sunshine because pre-cancer skin lesions have already visited me.
*I use my Japanese daughter-in-law's fresh concoction made in her Blendtec of cucumbers, green tea leaves and aloe vera to put on my face from time to time so that I feel springtime during and after the treatment.
I use Hyaluronic Acid with Vitamin C & E from TruSkin Naturals daily.  It makes a difference.  
It makes a huge difference!

Related imagetelegraph.co.uk

I love my old skin. It is no longer peaches and cream, but SKIN IS GOOD. 
Besides, it has a right to look old. 
It has been taking a beating on my behalf for 26,434 days.

By the way, it IS possible to be a pretty old woman! 
Skin has nothing to do with it. 
It is all about the waistline, all about the waistline.

Oops, I am on the verge of whining!

Riverwatch, RN

Thanks for your visit.

The Rising Generation. God Bless Them.

a child's tale by Riverwatch, the substitute school teacher

oral recitation to her class
by Milly, age 8

Not everybody likes her the way I do. Guess why. Probably because she thinks she is better than anybody, even me.
Except I don't think she thinks she is better than me. Because when I went scuba diving with my family and I told her, she said she scuba dived in Hawaii. When I asked her to tell me about it, guess what. I could tell she didn't know nothing at all about scuba diving. I think she just wanted to be like me.

But she's my best friend and takes me to her grandma's house at lunch time because it's right beside our school and we have permission to eat lunch there. Aleekeecondie eats lunch there every day but I only go on Mondays. Her grandma is nice and guess what. Aleekeecondie gets to be boss there. Her grandma is old. But nice.

So sometimes Aleekeecondie cooks. Sort of.
Once she made two hotdogs in the microwave. But they kind of blew up. We ate them anyway. They were sort of good.

The best was one day Aleekeecondie said she could make macaroni and cheese for us. Her grandma was at the store. Or doctors, or something. I forget.
Anyway, Aleekeecondie got a skinny blue box out of the cupboard and looked at the directions (all the boxes have directions, you know) and it said it takes 15 minutes and since we had 20 minutes we knew we could eat it in 5 minutes if she hurried up. 
She hurried up.
She knows how to work the stove and everything.
So Aleekeecondie put all the macaronies in a pan and poured some water on it. She asked me, “Do you think that is enough water?” I just laughed because I never made macaroni and cheese.
The stove burner was red hot and it cooked the macaroni fast! Not even 15 minutes.
Aleekeecondie took the pan by the handles with both hands, I think it was heavy, and poured it in a white strainer she set in the sink. That was to get rid of the water. She burned herself a little bit. Just one finger and she said, “Don't worry! Don't worry! Don't worry!” She was kind of yelling but smiling because she made the macaroni. She was very happy. Then she poured the macaronies back into the pan and put some butter and milk, I forget how much, on it and opened the little package of dried up cheese and dumped it in and stirred.
It's done!”          dreamstime.com

And she scooped up some in my bowl and in her bowl.
Then she told me, “It's aldantay!”

She's always using big words. I think aldantay means crunchy. Probably. Or maybe it means it needs stirred some more. It was kind of good. Sort of crunchy. Actually very crunchy.
We didn't have time to eat it all because, you know, school.

Aleekeecondie kind of left a big mess. But her grandma doesn't care as long as she turns off the stove.
I wish my mom would let me cook.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Forgiving and Making Up


"But things never are fully right again 
with anyone you have seen trying to kill you."
from his autobiography
Malcolm X


Image result for images of malcolm x praying

And we could add, "Who taught us that old is ugly or that old is bad?  Who taught us to hate the wrinkles on our skin or the texture of our hair?  We should ask ourselves who taught us to hate being what God has made us."  

Thank you for dropping by,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"If I Were an Indian" by Riverwatch


If I Were an Indian
by Riverwatch

If I were an Indian,
I would walk in nature, talking to my friends, the trees.

If I were an Indian,
I would look at the inferiority of the pale faces and be at rest within my soul.

If I were an Indian,
I would look upward to the Great Spirit and rest in the peace that all will be well.

If I were an Indian,
I would drink only fresh flowing clear water from Mother Earth and bathe in it daily.

If I were an Indian,
I would be monogamous and I would die for my family if need be.

If I were an Indian,
I would mold families from the remains, the disinfranchized left-overs, the bits and pieces of humanity found on the landscape.

If I were an Indian,
I would listen more than I speak, so as to surprise the pale-faces.

If I were an Indian.

I am an Indian.
I sit under my silk tree and cry to my tree, my best friend.

I am an Indian.
I listen intently to one and all, including the trees.

I am an Indian.
My family is ever changing, ever growing, ever changing.

I am an Indian.

I find the waterfall and stand with head bowed, long dark hair loose over my face, letting the water splash over my back.
I am an Indian.

I am a hybrid.

I sit under my silk tree and cry outloud and noisey to my silk tree, sometimes screaming.

I am a hybrid.
I listen intently and speak many many words.

I am a hybrid.
I walk separate and apart in nature, fearing man yet knowing I am surrounded by rocks and trees who know me and wish me well.
I am a hybrid.

I long for fresh water even as I drink chemicals.
I long for the waterfall on my back and upon my dyed hair.

I am a hybrid.
I am too fierce to be monogamous and too proud to be polygamous.

I am a hybrid.
My family is ever changing, ever growing, ever changing, while I whine about change and judge the ungodly.

I am a hybrid.

Great Spirit, have mercy.

Image result for images of indian girl in waterfall
Remember me when I was an Indian and judge me not for the Way being lost.