June 2021

Egocentric, word cloud concept on black background.

~~ a calendar quindecim

by tkbrown

May Breezing into June . . .

The nights fast are casting a daytime heat
like the spring-time days being left behind,
and the forecast days with sweltering beat
move in as the approaching corner-wind
breezes us around from May into June.
The world sizzles with ill-will and tension
of the pandemic, racist words, the clutch
of its bowels, and regurgitates much
as musings of impending peril loom.
Politics and religion do not mix,
and world-wide pain may not leave any room
for giving "home-need" the generous fix
being planned and debated turn-by-turn,
eliminating clauses--pages burn.
Can edges of words be softened a bit?
Can words of care be increased just a whit?
Can the world respect each living "on" it.

Rumors of wars and murders in the news
abide in half of that printed to ruse.
Pacts and treaties with the courtroom tableau
side-by-side--striving to be "in the know."
Reporters writing words of a new shade
describing a world with a dull old blade
being brandished about as "sharp and new;"
but "shiny" is not what comes into view.
History is known to repeat itself
because it ne'er sees its past on the shelf.
Words, looking back to one century ago,
describe kindred winds blowing 'neath the bough.
Ne'er, in this hundred years, would we dare dream
of a rerun betide, but it doth seem
self-same ugliness abounds--eyes agleam.

It seems most have left the premise of faith--
trust, hope, and love at the center of it.
Some rounded its edges with human lathe,
clearing Creation away from the midst
as Creator sits alone up on high,
blinking back tears from the edge of His eye.
If we want to be filled with peace and joy
it may be time to renew an old ploy.
Man is not resolving old doubts this time--
just as hopes launched on that long ago road
were mere mortal attempts at latitude hold.
Most hold the belief of eternal freedom
marching to the beat of a distant drum.
Man thinks he knows best how to deal with pain,
the best way to yield both profit and gain--
I ask for faith, hope, and love to sustain.

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Photo Above: a Stock Photo at http://www.depositphotos.com.

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History in the Making . . .

~~ by tkbrown ~~

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.

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Picture Above: by Gerd Altman @pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . On a Barren Shore

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Just a Note: by tkbrown

Since we are also looking at the grieving process midst all the suffering from so many different sources, I decided to share with you today this poem. I penned it 4 November 2018, but it covers many concerns in our societal grieving process. It seems, we see a few days of reprieve, and then it starts all over again. As I mentioned a few mornings ago, society addresses the same concerns as individuals, it is just multiplied many times over because individuals, families, communities, regions, economies, countries, and the world are all grieving at the same time. So, I deemed it appropriate to share it this morning because so much grief can make everything and everyplace seem like a Barren Shore.

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. . . On a Barren Shore

~~ by tkbrown
I see your suffering,
understand that your pain is deep
as the ocean and wide as the universe,
that it holds your soul captive
midst the struggles of life.
It stifles your heart song,
makes even small inclines steep;
the best of days stretch forth -- an unending curse
cast with punishing missive,
stuffed with ripples of strife.
Making weakness seem strong,
the waves that powerfully creep
in from some deep untimely soulful immerse
as nauseous retchings that grieve
wounds like a sharp-edged knife.

If my understanding
can lessen the depth of your pain,
gladly will I cover the highest sharpest peak --
my body a shield to ward
off such murk from the moor.
Such inept grappling
I offer as shelter from rain,
saturating clefts of hiding, when dark hours sneak
to sharpen and hone the shard
hacking your inner core.
Still, it's an offering
of my heart, to lessen the stain
wrought by the effort to be strong when weak
due to loss that leaves one marred,
scarred -- on a barren shore.

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Photo Above: by pen_ash at pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Losses”

~~ by tkbrown
19 September 2020
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
recalling beauty--incongruently.
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,
evacuate!

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:
Denial,
Anger,
Bargaining,
Depression,
and Acceptance
have begun.

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.

Therefore,
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,
looting,
violence,
and mayhem
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.

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Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.

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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).

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My Morning Do . . . “Grief”

~~ by tkbrown

16 September 2020 — The world’s anticipation of the year 2020 was something of a phenomenon. The 1920s were known as “The Roaring Twenties.” Perhaps we were wondering if the 2020s would be remembered in similar fashion. As the year began, we were looking at a world where economic recovery seemed to take hold, then it began to grow. Hopping a flight to the other side of the world was as commonplace as a trip to the next state was in the Twentieth Century. The concept of the end of the year being less was not one the world could grasp. There was no anticipation for the grief that lay ahead.

Today, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, the United States is groaning with grief. The country is coping with grief from losses no one could have dreamed of as the New Year took hold nine months ago. Now there is loss of loved ones, loss of work, loss of family gatherings, loss of in person worship services, loss of businesses, loss of seeing school friends, . . . the loss of life as we knew it. The United states is not alone in these losses. In many ways, the world is groaning too.

There is also anticipatory grief for the loss possibilities which lie ahead. The questions are just under the surface in most minds: “What next? Will I lose a loved one? Will I get sick and lose my life as I know it? Will I die too?” Everyone is thinking these things, but few will admit it. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, the anticipation of future loss is a grieving process in itself.

Are you grieving a loss? Are you anticipating future loss? Both forms of loss create the need to grieve, but few will acknowledge the fact. “Hold your chin up!” “You will survive!” “Suck it up and go on!” “No one wants to hear you whine!” One or more of these statements–and others–are heard by most as the struggle to get through the death and dying around us goes on. People are exhibiting every stage of the grieving process, but few feel free to let it show. Grief is discussed so very little–even though it is happening all around. Most probably do not even recognize the symptoms.

I am not going to discuss the various stages of grief in this writing, but over the next weeks I will describe the stages and some of the societal symptoms of those stages. Even the violence seen in this country, and in others, is a symptom of societal grief. I believe it is time for us to look at the multiple sources of grief around us and begin to embrace the associated needs–in society and in our own lives. It is time to truly begin the grieving process for all of the losses we are trying so hard to pretend do not matter. They do matter! Our societal ills are saying if we do not allow ourselves to admit the reality of it all, human behavior will regress even more.

Yes, we must go on, but we must also stop and take some time to grieve the loss of a close family member and of other losses. The losses in areas of daily living as we once knew it need to be waded through. It is important to remember, “We must go on!” Somehow, we must pick up the pieces and patch them back together. We must, and we will, survive! This is ‘the scraps’ life gives us sometimes. So, feel it and move on.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.

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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).

My Morning Do . . . “Acceptance of Others”

~~ by tkbrown

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!

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Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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21 September 2019 — Happy World Peace Day

“Peace begins with a smile . . . . ” Mother Teresa

This is true both internally and externally. The smile to another is the beginning of peace with that person. Also, one cannot achieve internal peace until he/she can smile. – tkbrown