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Rumi

To Be Unburdened

A collage of my cousin Adriana, her daughter, Monica, and her husband, Dan.  I love them.

Today is Orthodox Easter.  The greeting in Romanian  is “Hristos A Inviat!” Christ is Risen!

The response : “Advevarat A Inviat!” Indeed He is Risen!

My cousin Adriana Muntean from Constanta, Romania, sent me a text…and I’ll try to translate it:  The whiskered bunny is a  lucky omen on Easter…  He does not leave presents in your boots…  He has other secrets…  “pasca” a soft braided bread filled with cheese…  red eggs, and “cozonac” similar to the Italian “panettone” sweet bread with raisins or nuts…  roasted lamb…  and a Happy Easter…  It all rhymes and sounds like a jingle.

What matters most is that Adriana thought to send me the message…  Unburdened by the weight of the reality the family experienced due to my mother and father leaving Romania, my cousin’s husband called and I spoke with all of them, including my Tanti Lila.   They did not hold a grudge.  They forgave my parents.  My grandfather was imprisoned for years.

“When inward tenderness finds the secret hurt, pain itself will crack the rock and AH! let the soul emerge.” _Rumi  Keep Reading

One’s Endurance: a Grateful Immigrant’s Story

Sometimes the “A HA!” moment comes in a quote:

”  Let yourself silently be drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray.” _Rumi

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!” _Emily Dickenson

One’s endurance is measured by the breadths taken day and night to survive rejection.  It is inexplicable to the unbeliever because the life of faith delivers an ever restoring, flowing Holy Spirit.  Without it, I could not have arrived at this moment in time.

I can count my encouragers.  Who are yours?

In this abundantly planted orchard of life, the fruits ripen to be chosen rather than discarded.  In today’s bowl, endurance is at the center; it has an old flavor recognizable for its ancient characteristics.  Its value is as long as the beginning of each day is observed.  It is delightful to the soul, gentle in texture and borders  on honey for sweetness.

I remember the aches clinging to my joints as I gathered a handful of acrylic paints, three preferred brushes, and a trusty folded stool to take along to the gate waiting as a blank canvas on a palette ready to receive the very Spirit in me.  It is in this laboriously searching to create a vessel to renew the luster of words written to welcome each soul that I found respite, consolation, and determination to honor a church whose people chose to invite my father to be their priest.painted in the far away right side…I wish I had taken a close up.  There is a squirrel with a bushy tail in the lower left and two bobolinks in the tree, North American migratory blackbirds.

I used my father’s magnifying glass to see “the onion” church so dubbed because of the shape of its steeple.  It is barely visible.  It is painted in the far away right side…I wish I had taken a close up shot.  There is a squirrel with a bushy tail in the lower left and two bobolinks in the tree, North American migratory blackbirds.  Go figure. Keep Reading

Taylor’s B-day Surprise

Reminiscing jabs my heart because it splits the distance farther from ones we cannot visit on their birthday…  However, I am instantly filled and inspired by a life so dear to have known.

No presents, no cake, no visit, just the knowing that today while the thunder bounces as the lightening dances, far away a sparkling person has a birthday.

Once in a lifetime, one meets a young lady as poised as Taylor.  She is my dearest friend’s daughter.   At a time when the clock stood still, we watched the laughter of her daughter and our sons roll like prairie grass combed by the wind in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Taylor held her own with a brother and all of his friends; she could jump higher than anyone on the trampoline, and no matter what the play, she stood there confidently and smiled.

She was simply capable of mingling with adults alike; she sipped tea and smiled only to blossom even more purely by having a kind disposition.

I wish her a garden of love from her beloved husband and Family.  She has made them all proud…an accomplished woman and a devoted wife, daughter, sister and sister-in-law…and aunt…

It is heavenly to have known all of you.

” If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.” __ Rumi

Somewhere in a box there are photos I could share to show the light she gave each of us.  Even after being gone, she would call as if I were her friend, and I recall her mannerly ways of caring, and of joyfully sharing her life.  I have treasured her notes, and most of all, her love.

God bless you, Taylor O’Holleran Robinson, with love… joy always… and faith…

TRUE Social Justice

I have swept clean my earliest memories as a child. 

I mean, I cleaned them out in a pile of dust for the Potter to mold them into a pitcher.  Now that it is filled, I would like a word about Social Justice.  It begins with being cordial.  There is no way anyone can advance a wholesome relationship without the quality of cordiality.  Any ambassador on a diplomatic post knows this card of success in bringing peace to the table.

I am sincerely baffled by the need for the world to learn more about being kind hearted.  Of course, I am even more disturbed by the fire fueled to burn the legacy of the intelligent thinker.  That’s why I say an incomplete education causes consequential harm in our society.  Mark Twain hit the nail on the head :
Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.
– Speech, 11/23/1900

It breaks my heart.  Lies aim to murder the truth.  A test of how serious we are in our belief in God and His power, is in our ability to stick to the truth.  After all, He knows all our secrets.  Therefore, to Him, social justice stands for words intended to fight a cause that was addressed by great thinkers.  Had they been taught, what a great difference they would have made.  I don’t give up on educating because there is no greater joy in any soul than to be in the knowing.  That’s where freedom soars.  Teachers and professors carry the responsibility of the nation’s future.  To deny a proper education is criminal.  To oppose those who give their time to better the lives of others is criminal.  To be infested by an ideology that promotes the destruction of our nation’s Constitution is sickening.  The disrespect has escalated and it is time for the educated to be heard instead.  There is no benefit to listening to the inept.  Who are they?  Easy to spot.  They fling mud at those who do the work.  They are the chameleons that unsuspectingly poison.

To be enslaved by the lies that have been spewed and continue to be spewed, is to be caught in the whirlpool of a cesspool.  Instead of disempowerment,we must choose to discipline ourselves to behave in civilized manners.  To laugh at this grain of truth is to deny the power of faith as large and heavy as a mustard seed.  That’s how little faith most of us have until that instant, that defining split of a second, when the TRUTH sparks, and we become what God intended all humans to be: humane. Keep Reading

One’s Unique Star-Shine

 “The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.”

__Joy J. Golliver

 

The first memory of viewing the moon in the sky surrounded by millions of stars appears on the stage of every starlit night.  The recognition wakes the familiar.  Similarly, to lie on a trampoline wrapped in a blanket staring up at night calls for a whisper. I remember such a night with my dear friend Rae Whitney, a writer of hymns.  We watched for falling stars…  They were meteorites…  No words can capture the whole of the Nebraska midnight blue.  The embrace felt in grace led me to thank God again, and again, and again.
Years earlier, on a starless night alone at my desk with the intention of writing the graduation speech I was asked to give for the Senior Class of Maplewood High School in Guys Mills, Pennsylvania, I turned to God to ask for help.  With pen in hand, I wrote : “The sky can never have too many stars; there is room for everyone to shine, including you.”  
No one could have known the enthusiasm these words stirred in me.  Was it a coincidence?  What do I mean?
 The irony is few would have known how the phrase that came through me for others, in turn would help me.  I asked God on their behalf for inspiration, and the answer came as in a love letter for everyone to own.  No one’s light is diminished by the light of another.  With humility or with pride or with simple certainty, the beam of each soul shines.  I pray we can be encouragers as opposed to discouragers for others to trust in their abilities, their skills, their visions, and their talents…  I ended the speech by spilling the quirkiest line… “Shine each moment to a shine, you can do it Class of 1979!”
 One of the greatest honors in my life was to be a High School English teacher.  The classroom electrified me as I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the students to love learning the material covered.  To this day I think about Munchkins who read, discussed, wrote, memorized, gave speeches, and participated in all the lessons presented.  Nothing was perfect yet I respected their presence to listen and learn.  I hope to have been the encourager they may have needed at some point in their lives.  Even after numerous moves, I keep a decoupaged plaque with a poem written to me by Michael Woods, a student.  It’s entitled “The Happy Maker”.
 My parents were the models of my prayer life. They sought answers through prayers and I attended churches and synagogues where others did the same, so I naturally engaged in conversations of pleas with God the Father.  My Dad was an Orthodox priest and he told me Jesus was the greatest Jew that ever lived.  I was terrified by the stories of the Holocaust survivors.  I cannot understand the madness of 9/11 because I know God and His Son Jesus Christ could not have willed the tragic, untimely loss of lives.  If anyone lacks faith despite all they have seen, they must not understand Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote:  “All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”  Heaven will welcome those who seek the light of the Lord.  I say we can seek to merge with His light.  It is not easy being human; we are imperfect.  We all fall short of the grace of God.  Yet, we are blessed to “arrive” at the moment when we “will” to live by God’s Ten Commandments.

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Heartfelt Words

Heartfelt Words

Words in every language are interconnected with spirit.  They are after all the means of communication.  Like a parcel mailed to be delivered, they must be willingly accepted and open for recognition.  Understanding is desired.  The connection is to embrace the message and be delightfully moved, deeply comforted, and/or informed.  I take them to heart.

In the midst of one of life’s painful nightmares as a parent, I was en route back home from seeing one of my four sons staying at a rehab, and the wait at the airport was prolonged by numerous problematic glitches beyond my control.  The irony pulled me and pushed me and I suddenly gave in.  I wept.  I pulled myself together as the announcement was made to be boarded. I remember the weight of each step in the isle and wished to be seated fast to look out the window.  However, soon I was nudged to see a tall, slender, young black man holding a small pizza box.  Yes, he sat in the middle seat holding the treasured pepperoni pie drenched in sauce and mozzarella.  If it hadn’t been my favorite, the story would not have unfolded.

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