SHATTERED!

 

As much as I wanted to stay oblivious, secure, and in my cocoon, the despicable, brutal and callous murder of George Floyd changed all of that in 8 minutes and 46 seconds. I felt my heart stop and my breath quicken and my soul shatter into a billion pieces, as I sat in absolute horror, fear, fury, and despair as a human being was killed before my eyes, before our very eyes.

My mind refused to accept the cowardly, despicable, inhumane, dispassionate, and racist, hate filled act of a human being pressing a knee onto a man’s neck until his life was extinguished.  I sat immobile, tears streaming down my face, dripping endlessly onto my chest soaking my shirt, heart  wrenching sobs escaped without warning, I couldn’t absorb what my eyes were seeing and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  When Mr. Floyd, was begging for air… Air!…. and grasping, pleading to live, breathlessly, mournfully, tragically called out for his mother, I doubled over in horror and pain, clutching my stomach, ….and I wept. I felt the pain a mother feels when her child so desperately needs her and she is not there. How could this happen? In public! With no one intervening? Where were the police? How could this be a police officer who is sworn an oath to protect and serve? Why couldn’t anyone stop this person from executing a man before our very eyes? Again?! Still!! 

The cocoon I had erected around myself and my family, shattered into a billion pieces. My false sense of security and safety was violently, and indiscrimantly stripped away. I was catapulted, tumbling into a world filled with hate, racial injustice, and violence, again. A world that unfortunately, never seems far away. Racial hatred is always bubbling just under the surface, now it is erupting all over our country once again, stoked and encouraged. The embers have never died down and with the cold blooded murder of Mr. Floyd, I was reminded that no matter how far we have come, the road is still long and steep. Frankly, it’s exhausting, tiring to the bone, to be here again, in my lifetime and in my children’s lifetime. To have to reiterate the demands of my ancestors, to gain liberty, equality,  justice, and freedom for all, wears on the soul. 

Words, creativity, faith, and optimism abruptly faded away into the background. I was swept further backwards on the current of racial inequality, violence, and fear. My thoughts became jumbled and the respite I had struggled to create for my family, amidst another frightening and daunting challenge; this pandemic, became bleak, isolating, and fear-filled, dark began to swallow me up. I stopped believing in the good of my fellow Americans. I felt hopeless, tired, angry, helpless, and demoralized. Hate was winning.

I started to breathe anxiety, anger, and despair through my pores. I found my breath jagged and shallow, my heart rate banging in my chest with fury, sorrow, and pain. I couldn’t sleep and the drum beat of race baiting and the fire of hatred kept growing ever bigger, obliterating the light and breeding and igniting fear. Helplessness, hopelessness, and hardship were the salty taste of the tears I wept endlessly, as I tried to provide my children with the tools to live through an ill-fated encounter with a racist officer of the law who might be capable of such a heinous act. At the same time fighting to instill in them the belief that most police officers take an oath to protect their citizens and the communities they serve with dedication and respect for all. Trying to find the balance and the faith to believe the words I speak, the prayers I pray, the faith I surround them with, that will hopefully keep them alive and safe from hate and harm.

Even as I write this, I know it’s a fable and an untruth that I speak in a desperate hope but no longer with the utmost conviction. Knowing all the while, as I sit here sharing my thoughts, it is nothing but a fervent, mournful prayer that all mothers and fathers of children of color make each and every day before sending our beloved children out to face the world. Sometimes, like with George Floyd, we know it might not even matter.  That even as we have raised our children well, that the color of their skin may ignite a racist officer to deny them their very right to breathe until they breathe no more. My body quakes with the uncertainty, fear, and unfairness of the burden I lay at their feet. It is not a burden they should have to bear. No one should have to bear it! 

Even having to accept this unseemly and contradictory reality,  I along with all loving parents of children of color, Latino, Asian, Native American’s,  and LGBTQ, know this is no shield against racism. Mr. Floyd’s murder was a stark and vivid reminder of their/our continued vulnerability. Still we pray, organize, galvanize, and continue to prioritize the need for the peaceful protests to continue so that our children may know safety, security, freedom, and justice for all…someday. That the content of their character may someday outweigh prejudices of those who loathe the color of their skin.

Finding my equilibrium, my sense of optimism, creativity, and faith…has been a herculean task. I fumbled, unsure and unaccustomed to being so unmoored by the destruction of my country, that I love so much. I have been struggling to find a sense of the future where I feel safe, where my children are safe, and that is familiar to me. Where manners, tolerance,  respect, and civility, at least have a prominent place at our societal table.

When the protesters started and continued to march for George Floyd, for justice reform, for the equality  and safety our mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends, I was able to steady my heartbeat and take a deep restorative breath. Once again, as is our history’s not so distant past, people of all colors rose up to demand that police brutality, profiling, redlining, gerrymandering, and the indiscriminate killing of black people, people who are different, would no longer be tolerated. Having witnessed collectively unwaveringly, and tramatically, the murder of Mr. Floyd, we as a peaceful and law abiding society could no longer deny that the targeting, terrorizing, and murdering of black people by police officers, could not, would not be accepted. Bearing witness to this shame has galvanized the nation and helped to restore my faith again.

I know that the road forward is exhausting and steep and that hope is fleeting in the face of such immeasurable pain and repetitive quests for equality. I am aware that the struggle will need to continue until the embers of hatred, injustice, and racism have been extinguished for good. Maybe not in my lifetime, but surely in my children’s lifetime, I pray. 

I will do my best to find the bright spots and to blaze vibrant color through the tapestry that is my world. I will pay homage to my family, a microcosm of this multicultural country, and I will celebrate our differences while remembering that it is those myriad of flavors that make my life rich and fulfilling. I will retreat from the darkness and let the light drive hatred, racial animosity, violence, and intolerance into the background. I will find the vibration for healing, promise, acceptance, and love. I pray that this time we can succeed in putting out the fire of hatred and blanket our country with liberty, justice, fairness, and grace. I refuse to succumb to the hate, pain, and sorrow that threatens to envelop all of us if we don’t find the strength to resist the haters and elevate one another to our greatest ideals. I will continue to urge myself to create art and to find beauty to dispel the dark and invite joy, light, faith, and love back into my life.

And lastly, I will vote like my life, your life, our lives, and our country depends on it.

Be Well.

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

On The Rocks..

 


      I think I live my life with a certain amount of optimism and gratitude..most of the time. I have learned to accept the cyclical nature of my journey but even then it’s shocking when obstacles appear and suddenly the placid rhythm of life has been disrupted. I am in uncharted waters.
      Sure, I get it, challenging times are to be expected but they certainly don’t have have to be welcome with open arms. I know that there is a lesson to be learned from each jagged and rough hewed rock obstructing my path back to the tranquility of the shore. I know I need to embrace the good and the bad.
      I’ve read and absorbed the extensive wisdom of the the Truth-Tellers. I know I’m to embrace the rocks, and acknowledge the challenges in my path. I need to get to truly know each crevice and barnacle so I can feel the sadness, frustration, and disappointment.

      Then I can begin to climb over, under, above, through, and around these impediments and with bloodied and scrapped hands, I will crawl back to the sea where my equilibrium and hope reside. That is where my spirit feels at home. It is how I heal.

      I know all of that but for now I’ll gather my senses, my strength, and my determination and just breathe. While simultaneously preparing for battle and praying for my soulful return to hope, faith, grace and peace.

        Knowing this too shall pass.

RETREAT..

It feels like the world is spinning out of control. America is divided and at a cross roads and the pandemic rages on. Trying to find solace, a place to retreat from the angst and… More

SHATTERED!

  As much as I wanted to stay oblivious, secure, and in my cocoon, the despicable, brutal and callous murder of George Floyd changed all of that in 8 minutes and 46 seconds. I felt… More

Distancing…

   Cocooned in my house with my family, I alternate between calm, despair, and panic..and back around again. I struggle to resist the siren call of vitriol and resentment as the nation lurches through these… More

Welcome New Year!

Happy New Year All,

Sorry for being out of circulation so long. My life has moved faster than the speed of light and I’ve neglected the creative side of my spirit at my own peril. Creativity keeps me balanced and zen, for lack of a better word, so I’ve felt a sense of loss at losing my benchmark and anchor in the world.

I started working at a local newspaper helping out in the Classified Department. This soon morphed into managing and training other people in Classifieds. My daily inner struggle is to remind myself to not take on more work than I can handle given the rest of the my life’s expectations and obligations. As you can see, to some degree I have failed but hope springs eternal.

I rarely make New Year’s Resolutions but this year I will make an exception. I vow to work harder at working less. Tell me working mothers, is that even possible? I have always admired working mothers, as my mother was a single working mother, but my appreciation for their infinite juggling skills is limitless! Not even just the self adjustment necessary for switching multiple hats in a single bound but doing it with grace, kindness, and patience. A lot of patience. I doff my cap to the working mothers in this world for you’ve given a whole new meaning to the grossly overused word of Multitasking! 

This year, I resolve to carve out more guilt-free time for myself, my writing and photography. I declare here and now to do frivolous, nonsensical, and whimsical things to enrich and expand my life’s view, like take Italian or take up fencing. Who knows? Just finding the time and space to revel in my imagination, hopes, and dreams for the future has to be equally as important as succeeding at work. 

Happy 2016 and may all our dreams come true!

Noel Lights
Noel Lights

Reindeer Games
Reindeer Games

 

 

 

The Wonder of Fall..

                  Sometimes I think we are losing our wonder about life. You know, the moments when you are sitting and wondering about how far we are from the stars and the moon? Why huge, murky gray waves arrive in a bluster of wind and churning sea only to return gliding to the sandy shore in a whipped froth of white foam. Pausing breathlessly as it surges once again swirling, ebbing and building into a another magnificent wave in all its thrashing, crashing, splashing glory. 

                   We don’t wonder about these things anymore because, as my ten-year old son put it, “I don’t have to wonder about stuff, Mom. I can Goggle it.” Right… we can Goggle it, instant gratification, no wonder or imagination necessary. No pondering or mulling it around in your mind like the lyrics to a song you are trying to remember.  Just go to your computer and Voila!

                   Life is a mystery filled with wonder, and magic. A mystifying journey, the discovery of life. Googling information about our perplexing planet and the deeper questions that emerge as we grow, is more about reading the brief  synopsis or “facts” about a subject without ever having really experienced the subject first hand. Even worse, recitation of facts becomes the norm and actually having the experience or knowing someone who had a life changing experience, well that’s Passe. We can just read someone else’s words, opinions or facts about any given topic and, BAM!!! Now we too have knowledge about any subject, but not the feeling, not the experience.

                    Is the recitation of knowledge, the hearsay of information better than wonder, adventure or imagination? Aren’t there some things that are unknowable and that adds to the mystery of our existence? Some experiences that you simply must have rather than reading Wikipedia’s definition of joy, happiness, miracles, or love.? Aren’t there just some things in life that simply must be lived in your heart and imagination?

                   Like walking in the woods on a fall day with the leaves sprinkling the forest  in a blaze of golden hues. Maybe stopping for a moment to listen to the stream sweeping the leaves blissfully downwards to the end. Where do the leaves go? What happens when the earth sleeps and hibernates for the winter? What happens when we float down the stream to the end?

                 All questions that take a life time to experience, share and live. The unknowable is what makes our mystical, perplexing, frustrating, mercurial, and extraordinary Universe so magical.  It’s what makes us continue to stare up at the sky and wonder about the moon, the planets, the stars, and the people who have gone and left us behind. It’s what keeps us seeking, searching and asking the age-old question? Why am we here? An existential quest for answers you just won’t find on Google or Wikipedia just in the magic and wonder of our own lives. 

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