20 January 2021 — Today, as the world looked on, we here in the United States of America were writing history books. The recent past has been filled with opinions, opines, differences, similarities, divisions, bridges, peacemakers, rioters, love, hate, sickness, health, and all that is in-between. Each new day brought its own headline: Covid-19, politics, the politics of the virus, mutations, commutations, charges, pardons, verdicts, blame, and forgiveness. Some have learned and gained from the lessons of the past year while others have lost–both literally and figuratively. In the end, it all came down to today. The world saw a whole new view in America: a woman — Kamala Harris — was sworn in as Vice-President.
The concept of seeing a woman positioned as a leader in the upper echelons is new to America. There have been inroads toward this moment for at least a century and a half. While other countries around the world reached this milestone long ago, America — the comparatively new kid on the block — took her time. Many women have attempted to attain the goal of President or Vice-President, but all have fallen short of the achievement–until today. Kamala Harris set her eyes upon this goal some time ago. Today, as an African American, South Asian American, female American — the daughter of immigrants who chose to make America their home — was sworn in as Vice-President of the United States of America. Vice-President Harris achieved her goal.
There are those who say America is made up of bigoted racists. I believe today proved them wrong. As my old mother used to say, “The proof is in the pudding.” Today, the pudding in America’s melting pot rang true, and no victory could be finer. Once again, America has stood to the task and proved her ideals are still “alive and kicking.” When put to the test, Americans are winners, if they choose to be.
As a child, I was taught to never act in a racist manner toward any other person regardless of that person’s color or country of origin. As a teenager, I wrote my first poem about race relations. When my children were young, I began advocating for the underprivileged including children, people with disabilities, and people of color. As my children grew to adulthood, I tried to instill a respect toward all people and I continued my advocacy in the professional realm.
As we turned the page to a new chapter in America’s history, today the world witnessed the true potential for all who choose to make America their home. May God Bless America and all who live within her borders, and may we show the world the true colors of love and acceptance.
26 September 2020 — As I mentioned in my previous post, depression associated with grieving is a normal reaction to loss. There are myriad possibilities as to what the loss may be, and one will be dealt with a bit differently from another. If addressed proactively as the grieving process progresses, oftentimes serious depression can be avoided. However, if one does begin finding it difficult to engage normal daily living activities, it may be necessary to schedule a few days to work on specific areas of concern. This can be accomplished alone or with the help of a person who has already proven to be a trustworthy support person in the grieving process.
Depression slows one down during the grieving to aid the introspective work necessary to move past it and into some level of acceptance. Taking some time for inner exploration will speed the path to recovery. There are ways to address the depression on your own, without any outside help if these activities are begun before recognizable impairment develops.
One way to move into and through depressive thoughts is to journal. Set aside a time each day to record thoughts in a composition notebook. Sitting in a quiet place, away from any possible interruptions, begin writing–whatever you are thinking at the time. If what you write does not make sense, this is ok.
The purpose of this portion of the journaling activity is to see the organization of your thoughts. Try not to miss any words — stream of thought is important. Write quickly; slow transcription of thought to paper can cause thoughts to wander due to distraction which causes inaccurate reflection. Recording of thoughts should continue for five to ten minutes. Set a timer or an alarm so concerns about the time do not interrupt the flow of thought.
When time has elapsed, take five minutes to free your mind. Then, read over what has been written. Try to note any patterns or specific lines of thought. Note topics and related concerns on a clean sheet of paper. Then take fifteen minutes to write about worries–concerns noted since your last journaling exercise. Elaborate a bit on each. Discuss specific thoughts noted to be interrupting normal activity.
Now, list some enjoyable activities. Hobbies of a creative nature are often helpful in overcome disruptive depression. If drawing or painting are enjoyable options, express feelings in the art. Draw or paint feelings onto paper or canvas. There are no right or wrong approaches. Just draw, sketch, or paint using charcoal, coloring pencils, pastels, or paints as mediums.
Other creative activities to consider include writing (i.e., poetry or prose), needlecrafts such as sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, cross-stitch. Cooking, (i.e., making breads–rolls, loaf breads, even cookies) anything that allows complete distraction from the loss. These activities will assist the process of moving through the depression to beginning life again after the loss. Acceptance involves learning to live with the loss. Fill time, previously engaged by the loss, with activities and people you enjoy.
As enjoyable activities continue, begin taking ten or fifteen minutes of daily journaling time to discuss the previous day’s activities. Describe your perceptions of the creative activities and endeavors being pursued. Write anything coming to mind. The goal is to slowly notice movement back into a normal activity level.
The loss will always be a part of the person you become. As you remember positive aspects previously brought to life by the loss, begin to focus on ways related memories are transitioning into strengths and creating the “you of tomorrow.” Proactive approaches, such as journaling and conscious activation of hobbies can be very helpful to resuming normal daily living.
Midst all the grieving and lamenting
with such intensity the heart doth ache.
Whom can I trust? The pain, the not feeling
is more than this old, feeble soul can take.
One disaster hits, and then another.
Before I can stand up straight, I smother
the screams of anguish inside, and I hide
the pain because my neighbor cannot find
half of her belongings. How can I scream?
I need to be strong and help mend the seam
the storm ripped open before something else
renders it irreparable. Immense
are the threats to my survival, but I
am not important right now, and I sigh--
deeply, longingly--and look to the sky.
There is death and dying all around me.
Ash and charred wood, far as the eye can see
and I wonder, how will it ever be
the same; and I just want to run, to flee
and forget the loss stretching, engulfing
all. No home, no business, no feeling
to express the emptiness entrenching
the dried riverbed; ash coating, drifiting
between the stones--gray, forlorn, seemingly
afraid to hope for better day. Achingly
eyeing the chard remains, desperately
This is not a scene one would ever want
to revisit. Even new growth could not
erase the scars, the memories so scant.
As I contemplated the losses our country
and my fellow-citizens have experienced this week--
from fires and storms,
I grieved with them--for them;
and I penned these words
as an expression of my condolences.
To those not suffering loss at this time,
if you are ever in the path of such powerful forces,
Leave hearth and home!
No material belongings are worth your lives!
This cannot be stressed too much.
The country, the world is already reeling
from unfathomable loss,
and the grieving process has begun.
The five stages of grief:
No two persons experience them in the same order
or to the same depth.
Oftentimes more than one can be seen at the same time.
no two countries will experience them the same.
Denial is not yet past--for us--
here in America!
The Anger has begun,
mostly in the form of rioting,
focusing on other areas
rather than the death and dying
all around us
directly related to coronavirus--
in our families
and in society.
So, the Denial has not passed.
It is still going on
along with the Anger,
and some Bargaining.
Expressions of Anger are being blamed
on events not truly related
to society's loss from the pandemic.
It is hard to separate personal loss
from societal loss.
Is that even possible?
I don't think so.
Be strong enough to feel--more than the anger!
Be strong enough to heal--more, more than yourself!
It will take introspection refueled
to collectively grieve and to rebuild.
Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.
Source: Kubler-Ross, M.D. and D Kessler. (August 2014). “On grief & grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss.” Scribner. New York. (16 September 2020).
10 September 2020 — Acceptance seems to be shunned in this day and time. The “going thing” seems to be disagreement, protests, and persecution. There seems to be a tendency to equate acceptance with agreement. This perception is not reality based. Acceptance does not necessarily mean agreement.
The news today is filled with disagreement. From domestic disputes to world organizations, disagreement seems to be the norm. While some disagreement is a part of everyday life, and while harmful values are never to be condoned, we–as Christians–are to accept the right of others to be different from us and to believe differently from us. During His life here on earth, Jesus encountered many who were different from Him, but He never ridiculed, persecuted, or punished anyone for being on a different path. He did express rage toward the moneychangers and the merchants in the temple because they were defiling His Father’s house. He did not disagree with “what” they were doing. He disagreed with “where” they were engaging that activity (John 2:13-16 — NKJV).
When He met the Samaritan woman at the well, He discussed aspects of her life–apparently in depth–but He never once ridiculed or persecuted her because of who she was. If He had gone off on a tangent, ranting, raving, and destroying her property, would He have made a positive impression upon her? Would He have made a positive impression upon any of her acquaintances whom she brought back to the well to meet Him? Through the entire event, no one fought anyone to get a point across. Jesus impressed the Samaritan woman and her acquaintances with His acceptance of who they were, not with anger and malice toward them. John 4:39 says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.'” (NKJV) Jesus impressed upon her that He did not agree with or condone her way of life, but He never harmed her in any way.
My mother frequently referenced the old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” — Anonymous. She was right! That is what Jesus was impressing upon the multitudes as He delivered the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” (Matthew 7:12 — NKJV). During His time here on earth, Jesus had many differences of opinion and fact with others, but He never once addressed the issue in a harmful, ridiculing, or disrespectful manner. His responses were always short, kind, and to the point.
In today’s world, there are many different cultures–much the same as the world was in Jesus’ time. As Christians, what is the best way to lead someone to Christ: By lashing out, ranting, and raving at the difference with which we do not agree, or by quietly discussing the difference in what we believe and what the other person(s) believe? Christianity is a program of attraction, not of repulsion. Violence, ranting, and raving does not attract those who love God. We, as Christians, are instructed never to treat someone differently than we would want to be treated if the situation was reversed (John 2:13-16 — NKJV). We are also instructed to love our enemies. Again, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,'” (Matthew 5:44 — NKJV). The news today is filled with difference being addressed in many ways. The question we, as Christians, hold in our heart is: How would I want someone else to deal with me in this same situation? Food for thought in today’s world.
Have a Blessed Day!
Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).
Hi Everyone, I have just received one of the greatest complements to be granted a relative ‘newbie’ in the blogging arena. Sonal Mishra, at http://www.ouractionisourluck.wordpress.com, has visited quite a number of my posts here on my WordPress page. Just the reading of so many posts on my blog, in and of the behavior itself, is such a high honor to me. There is no greater honor to an author than to be deemed worthy–by another author–of being read. No words can express my gratitude to Sonal for reading my blog so voraciously. Now she steps up to a much higher rung on the ladder and shouts my blog to the world as being read-worthy. Sonal, Thank You! I am humbled by your praise. As you read my blog, please visit Sonal Mishra’s blog as well: http://www.ouractionisourluck.wordpress.com. She is a young and upcoming author searching for all the input she can possibly gain from fellow writers, poets, sketchers, and artists of all forms. The illustrations on each of her blog posts is her own. Her talents abound, and she is using those talents abundantly–so she will continue to amass new talents. This is our promise with assurance. Sonal also engages in the most effective learning and refining tool a writer has–she reads and peruses the work of fellow artists. This will contribute to your success, Sonal. As you journey various paths throughout life, this habit alone will refine you and your talents. Thank You for sharing paths with me. I am honored! You are an artist who speaks and illustrates from the heart.
I urge you, please visit Sonal Mishara’s wordpress blog page and support her efforts as an up and coming author / poet / writer /artist / sketcher / illustrator / etc. Her blog post link is: http://www.ouractionisourluck.wordpress.com. Again, Thank You, Sonal!!!
The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers, https://bloggingfilter.com/liebster-award/. This blog post tells us “Liebster is German — it means ‘sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.'”
Rules to the Liebster Blogger Award:
Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to their blog–which I have done above. Never can I Thank her enough for this nomination. Again, Sonal, Thank You for this high honor!
Answer the 11 questions given to you.
Nominate between 5–11 other bloggers.
Ask your nominees 11 questions.
Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.
Sonal Mishra’s Questions for me:
“If you want to become a Great Writer, you have to be a Great Reader.” Do you agree?”
Yes, it is not possible to understand all the nuances of great writing from a vacuum. The works of other writers, great or not, teach us by example. There is no greater way to learn than by example. I am honored that you find my postings so readable. You do my heart good!
What is the Purpose of your blog?
I started my blog as a means of developing my Writer’s Platform. Since I write such varied works, my postings might confuse the visitor in the beginning. However, as the postings are read, a common thread in each alludes to who I am. I strive to live my life in honesty, integrity, compassion, acceptance, understanding, and with agape love as demonstrated by Jesus Christ when He lived on this earth. I hope my poetry, prose, and poetic prose postings depict this. Thus, the purpose of my blog is to introduce myself and my authorial creations to those who choose to read. As I move further along the timeline of my blog, I will share my paintings and sketches as well.
Give two good and two bad habits of yours.
Two Good Habits: I would say my two strengths are persistence and caring about others. I am persistent to a fault. Once I begin something, I want to finish it, sometimes to the point of not getting away from it until it is done. This is both good and bad. So, it is one of my bad habits as well. I have been known to neglect myself in order to finish the project on which I am working.
Caring about others is the second good habit I would share. It is a most important factor in my work. I try to soften more pointed factors in my work by providing reasons for a certain aspect or characteristic. My acceptance of a particular concept or belief promotes my sharing it in my writings. That sharing does not mean I expect the reader to embrace the same concept or belief. I strive to accept each person as he or she presents. I do not try to mold them to my own form. The world would be a very boring place if we were all formed from the same mold.
Two Bad Habits: As mentioned above, persistence is both a good and a bad habit for me. While it is most valuable in my ability to see a project through to completion, regardless of how long the project takes, it is also a deterrent because neglecting myself due to persistence can lead to serious health problems. So, I make a conscious effort to spend adequate time taking care of me.
The second Bad Habit I would share: I sometimes care too much about others and what they need from be becomes sort of distorted. I have to be careful that I do not give of myself and what I have so much I do not have sufficient left for myself–whether it be energy, physical supplies, etc. For the most part, I have learned through the years to balance this.
According to you, “What defines a Writer?”
A writer is someone who puts personal thoughts to paper. It matters not whether those thoughts are ever published. If the writer/author has composed a work of value to others, it will be published at some point in time. If it is only of value to the one who does the writing, he/she is still a writer. Journaling is not typically intended to be shared. It is for the personal and private growth and reflection of the individual writer. There again, some of the best writers were discovered posthumously.
Wouldyou rather travel or read a bookat home?
Initially, I prefer to read a book in order to learn about the place I would then like to visit. If the author has taken the time to properly research the locale, either in person or through the writings of others, references in the book to specific places will be well-placed. This will assist me in choosing my agenda while visiting in person, should I choose to do so.
What is your favorite genre?
I would tend to say historical fiction is my favorite genre – with conditions. The work must be well written, well researched and appropriately reference events and persons from that time period, unless the foreword specifies otherwise. Sometimes authors insert people and events. This should be noted out of respect for the reader. Leading the reader to believe the events and characters actually played roles in that time period when they did not can confuse novice readers regarding actual historical timelines.
Now, with all that said, I actually love reading many genres — so long as they do not have too much violence, blood and gore, obscenity and sexual focus. These abound and allude my interests. Any genre presenting intellectual authorship is actually to my enjoyment. I also enjoy reading non-fiction in many areas of the Dewey Decimal designations.
How are you spending your time in this lockdown?
I am remaining very active during the lockdown. In my normal routine, I engage in many activities around my home. I am proficient in several needlecrafts, I paint, try to sketch, read, write both poetry and prose. I also enjoy cooking and cleaning. I research healthy eating for specific medical concerns, find recipes using the ingredients needed, then create my version of those entrées to enhance my own health. These are things I could never find the time to do while working outside my home. So, I am enjoying my time in lockdown. The only thing I do not enjoy about it is: my family has not been able to come see me. I look forward to the day the virus is controlled enough that it will be safe for them to come visit again.
What is your favorite book?
Actually, there are so many it is hard to narrow down to just one. My all-time favorite book is the Holy Bible — King James Version. I grew up reading it and often turned to it for guidance in daily living concerns.
However, I believe in this instance I should note my favorite person-authored book. After much thought, I believe it would be a non-fiction book by Alison Weir: Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters who ruled Europe. The book is written much like a well-written historical fiction novel, but with historical accuracy throughout. I also enjoyed reading Sharon Kay Penman’s Lionheart. On a lighter note, I enjoyed J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, and various other books too numerous to mention here.
Reading is our connection to the world as it is seen by others. The author tells his/her view of the world whether or not the book is historical. The readers see the world as presented by favorite authors. As a result of this interaction, the world is viewed differently with each person.
What would you do if you received an extra day in a year?
Since I stay busy with activities I enjoy, my preference would be to spend that day with my family. If that is not possible, I would choose one of my favorite hobbies and strive to do something different with that talent. I try not to allow any of my talents to stagnate. I always look for ways to increase my talent and skills.
The award is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community. A great idea in promoting your own blog and others. Originally it was given out to blogs with less than 2000 readers but this has slowly lowed as the reward has gained popularity. It is now only 200 readers or less. It’s really an arbitrary number. If you like helping other blogs out go ahead and do it regardless of its size. This award is all about promoting and viewing other peoples blogs.
What is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
Like Sonal, I would like to put these same questions to my nominees.
Again, Thank You — Sonal Mishra — for being so kind as to nominate me for this award! You consume what you read and take it into yourself to be used in the things you write. This is the mark of a writer to be recognized. You illustrate with the best already. I am highly impressed with such advanced talents in an up and coming author / illustrator. You are a rare individual to have developed your talents to this level. I commend you! This makes your nomination of me so much more touching.
I encourage all whom I have nominated to visit Sonal’s blog, https://ouractionisourluck.com, and peruse her writings and artistic illustrations. She is very talented! I also thank all of you for the support and referrals you have given. Please continue to do so. Your “Likes”, “Comments”, and referrals are Much Appreciated. Blessings to all!