On leaving….

We all have it, that ensemble that comes out to wear to a funeral home. One of many outfits that are appropriate for such an occasion. I’d personally like to wear day-glo, combat boots and 100 black rubber bracelts, my uniform from all of those years ago. But we are grown ups now, that wouldn’t be right….ok, then I want to stay home and dig through pictures, yearbooks and memories. Today I do not want to go to the funeral home. Because this time, this day, tells me I am old. This is the day it sinks in.

I look in the mirror before heading out the door. Its not the greying hair, nor the wrinkles, that mark my arrival at this chapter. It is this, the death of old friends and lovers.

It’s not something you think about really,  who would leave this place first. Why would you? When you’ve known someone for more than half of your life, they will just always be there. So what? You miss a get together, you’ll see them at the next one. You responded to that last message with a one word answer because you were busy. But now, there are no more get togethers, no more messages. Gone.

Flash forward. The evening passes in remembrances, each of us sharing stories, jokes, and the like. We are people who have shared a level of love or friendship, and that bond, in our case, spans over three decades. We grieve for what their children must feel, their partner, their parents.

We put out our hands to strangers, say our names and tell of how we knew him. We offer words of condolence that seem trivial in the moment. We nod, smile, nod again and become ourselves. All the while faced with our own mortality. This was one of us, our group, our circle.

This a skill I don’t want to master, this funeral thing, this weeping, this laughing, this hugging thing. We will vow to get together soon. We mutter that hopefully it won’t be under these circumstances. But, among us, the old ones here, friends and colleagues, we know it is only a matter of time.

We try not to wonder who will be next, when we will next meet. We try not to look at each other with these thoughts.

It would seem we have arrived.

I know that we will all meet again. I truly believe that in life our souls recognize and gravitate to each other throughout time. The people who we know now, we’ve always known, in many lifetimes, in one form or another. With all of my heart, I hope this to be true.

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John 8:7, Matthew 7:1-3-well, you get my drift

You never notice it, not in the beginning.
An event, or series of events, start a ball rolling in a direction you never expected. It’s subtle, like the way the seasons change or children grow. And all too often, it’s silent. It changes us, our lives, our friends and our families.
Then, it stops, you are there, its time…
No matter how strong, or how prepared you are, you ave no choice but to hit it head on. You made the choice to follow the proverbial ball, and stand by that choice you must.
It is hard, heartbreaking, confusing and painful.
You will doubt your sanity, your choices and your feelings.
Your friends and family will question if your really are who they thought you were.
But, you are!
You are the same person who fights for the human being, regardless of race, creed, spiritual path or orientation. You are still the one who wants to rescue everyone and everything on the planet. You still believe fiercely that there is good in everyone, and you pray every day that the world sees it soon. You know, because you’ve made your share, that we are more than our choices and mistakes. And you believe, with unwavering faith, in those that you love.
It is important, more than ever, to remember that life doesn’t happen to us. Our life, our destiny, is a direct result of our choices. To be our true selves, we must recognize and accept this. But still, in this process, I think we need to see that a single flaw or choice can NEVER define us. Despite the ramifications of that choice, we are still human. Still someone’s child, sibling, parent, friend or partner.
So my prayer today is this-instead of standing as judge and jury of someone, take a minute and BE their parent, child, sibling or partner. There, but for the grace of God go you. And you, having never walked that path, have no right to judge their choices to stand by their loved one through whatever path they are on.

As always, responsible discussion welcomed, be an ass and you’re gone 🙂

Shut up and act like a woman

Ok, that pissed 90% of you off. But wait, would you believe I mean that in a positive light? Of course I do, what the hell is wrong with you? If you know me, you know where I am headed…

I am a fan of the tribe, the sisterhood, whatever you’d like to call the invisible thread that connects us. We NEED to support one another, not tear one another down. This connectedness is something I believe men just don’t share (unless they are highly evolved). 


I see you tube videos of high school girls fist fighting over a guy, while the guy videos it. Women knowingly dating married men. Women belittling and commenting at single moms with food stamps. And today, much to my sadness, shaming the first lady. 

I hate Donald Trump, no sugar coating it. He represents everything the male stereotype embodies. But ladies, leave his wife alone. She did things unbecoming a first lady, sure, but not recently. And criticizing her looks and clothes-grow the fuck up. She, like Michele,  Hillary, Barbara and all of the first ladies have been under 

unprecedented scrutiny. What self respecting woman could call another woman an “ape”? Shame on you. 

Criticize the president every day, all day for the next 4 years-please. But grow up when it comes to the first family, past and present. 

Woman are strong, and we need to share that strength with young women. Be a mentor, not a monster. Educate, dont subjugate. Lead, teach, nurture-Women need to roar, together, not separate. And for God’s sake, not about dresses, hair, looks, etc. 

Unless you happen to be perfect, then have at it. 


My two cents. 

Regrets…

I’m 48 years old. I am the oldest of my mother’s children, but not the oldest of my father’s. We did not have the opportunity to share our lives with his first family, we didn’t meet them til we were teenagers. I am not sure who made those decisions or why.I regret that our collective parents didn’t see the importance of what those connections might have meant. Not just to us, but to our kids and their kids.

I regret that as an adult, though I thought of it often, I never made honest attempts at connecting.

And now, as one of dad’s children prepares to leave this place, these regrets have taken over my consciousness. I grieve for the big brother I don’t know, that I never knew. I grieve for a sister-in-law and niece, who I met long ago, but now wish I could be sitting next to and offering my support. Family should be an anchor during rough waters, and though the blood going through his veins also runs through mine, I am not family.

So, although it may not be the kind of love that we share with those we know closely, there is a “love” at work here. A love that stems from a commonality, a father, a bloodline. A love for another part of me, a part I never got to know, but deeply wish I had. A love that wishes peace, comfort and acceptance for what comes next.  And a wish…

A wish that we meet again. I truly believe that in life our souls recognize and gravitate to each other throughout time. The people who we know now, we’ve always known, in many lifetimes, in one form or another. With all of my heart, I hope this to be true.

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I wish you peace big brother….

I am WOMAN, hear me roar

I’m pissed. Again. 

As always, someone on a social media site said something that rubbed me the wrong way. And, as always, I’m mad enough to say something about it. 

From http://www2.pslweb.org/site/News2?id=10989

by Anne Sadler

Throughout the history of class society, women have been oppressed. Their lives and interests are subjugated by the ownership of private property and the thirst of the ruling class to increase profits and maintain domination. But it hasn’t always been this way, and it won’t always be this way.

As long as women have been oppressed, there has been vibrant struggle to combat this oppression. Through struggle, women have won the right to equal pay, to vote, to abortion and control of their bodies, and more. They have engaged in fierce labor struggles, anti-racist struggles, and the fight for same-sex marriage rights.”



Why, as women in the 21st century, do we not stand to support each other? 

Why are we catty, judgemental and hateful? 

Who are we to judge?

An expectant mom reached out to a woman for help. She works, and doesn’t want to go on welfare. All she asked for was newborn clothes for a son to be born in a month. A kind woman posted on social media on her behalf for help. A not so kind woman instantly replied with ” she should’ve tried birth control”. Fuck you. After creeping on the page of the woman who made the comment, I learned she was an educated working woman. No doubt she worked hard to get where she is. 

Regardless of how the lady asking for help got in the situation, she asked for help. And as a tribe of women, we NEED to help her. We NEED to help every single mum, battered woman, senior woman, teenager out there. We NEED to ban together and lift each other. Women are still fighting for equality in the workplace, the rights over their bodies, the right to marry another woman, the right to transition and live the life they were meant to. 

Black, white, yellow, red. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan. Democrat, Republican. Who the fuck cares? At the end of the day, we are WOMEN! Life givers, mothers, teachers, leaders. 

Let’s start acting like it…



Do unto others (as applied to retail hell)

This is more of a public service announcement than it is a blog post, but it is something that I feel must be shared.

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I want everyone as you read this to keep this in mind-
                                   WE ARE ALL HUMAN
I feel that this is forgotten at times in our day to day struggles. We all have similar routines; wake, pee, shower, work/family obligations, etc.. There are times we have bad days, even terrible days and there are times when we take that out on others, myself included.
We need to stop. We need to recognize that nothing can change what’s already happened, only what will happen next.

Those who know me, know I have been in either retail or customer service my adult life. I have had to swallow bullshit from entitled, loudmouthed customers who, even though they were wrong, were pacified by either myself or the next up the chain of command.

As we head into the next six weeks of retail hell I want you to remember that:
*the HUMANS fixing your latte at the mall so you can shop on thanksgiving by your choice, were mandated to give up their thanksgiving or lose their job.
*When you toss a shirt down after looking at three of the same, they have to come back and fold it for the 59th time.
*When you’re yelling at that 16yr old that the doorbuster (that clearly says “while supplies last”)is sold out, remember that they have absolutely NOTHING to do with how many were ordered.
*Don’t demand to see a manger if the $5.00 box of truffles are sold out – you’re too late – move on. You are not owed a substitution.

*THANK them for giving up their holiday for YOU
*Be UNDERSTANDING if things sell out, its not all about THINGS
*Be mindful that the mandatory shift length on Black Friday Weekend is 10hrs with 1-30 minute break. (In PA anyway)
*Stand up for them if you see other customers bullying them.
*If they accept tips, for gods sake tip them!! (10hrsx$7.25=$72.50 less taxes)

BE MINDFUL!!!
Would you want customers talking to your kids, family or friends in demanding and hostile tones? Then don’t do it to someone else’s kids, family or friends.

“DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT OTHERS TO DO TO YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY IN RETAIL”

Hypocrites every one

Yesterday on facebook, we all shared the voting posts; “go vote”, “voters rights”, how important the voting process is, etc.
We all “liked” each others posts saying that we voted and “if you didn’t vote, dont complain”.
Today we are back to name calling and bashing.
Don’t take this wrong, but grow up. If you are such a supporter of the electoral process and spreading the message of “every voice counts”, you need to accept that every voice did count and some were just louder than others.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not thrilled with the outcome at all. AT ALL!
But majority rules…we ALL need to suck it up. We are not 12 on a playground. Stop breeding haters and bigots.
Spreading negativity and hate will change nothing, it will only breed more. Do you want to teach our youth that our voting process is ok as long as your candidate wins, then resort to slander and threats? What message are YOU sending?
For gods sake we are all humans sharing this earth, knock it off.

I must be mad if I’m quoting Eminem…

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Y’all can bash me and make rude comments, or even unfriend me if you must. Anyone who “knows” me in the real world knows what kind of person I am. You know I am intolerant of intolerance. And yes, like all of us, I can be a hypocrite, but I have the self awareness to recognize and accept this.(and am constantly working to correct that fatal flaw).

Let me share a few things I found by doing a little digging…

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This poster is missing the Wiccan rede-An it harm none, do what ye will. But you get the drift…

Today kids, let’s talk about the Golden Rule. Turns out Christians don’t corner the market on this one. Several belief systems contain a tenet that mirrors this ideology. However, who, myself included, can say we live our lives by it?
Every morning I wake up to someone condemning someone else on Facebook. I respect and understand fully the freedom of speech. But when that speech spreads hate, I take issue. Most of the folks who spread this hate are good people, really good people-smart, educated people who go to church and help others-until you disagree with them, then they become haters.
Gay bashing, Muslim bashing, republican hating, democrat hating. Hate and hypocrisy.

You cannot preach hate and claim to hold true to the golden rule.

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I could be wrong about the origins, but I believe it is a Quaker saying “let your life speak”.

What if we did that? What if we all did?

What if, instead of criticizing minimum wage workers, you worked to help underprivileged to get education? Perhaps work/study programs where folks agreed to work for minimum wage at a COLLEGE while earning a degree? Maybe you were blessed to have parents to put you through school (by definition, a handout BTW), maybe you got scholarships and grants (umm, handout) or maybe you took loans out that you are still paying off. Regardless of how you got your degree, you are no better than the adult at McDonalds who is working 2 minimum wage jobs to get their family what they need. Stop putting them down, you got your coffee today-didn’t you?  Got your tires rotated and oil changed so you don’t have to get YOUR hands dirty on the way to work. Their hands are dirty because they are working. Condemn those who refuse to work but could. DON’T condemn those who work tirelessly and just want enough money to live. They have no degree, but that does not make them uneducated. I cannot repair my radiator, can you? Education comes in many shapes and forms,

What if, instead of constantly bashing an entire race, you looked at our race. We are flawed, and act inhumanely as well. We do it in the name of our beliefs. Are we so different? Does every culture not have an extremist element? Those who interpret to fit their personal beliefs? Does anyone remember the Crusades? Constantine converted the “world” to Christianity-he did not do so gently.

And what of love? If you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person. The end. Your diet won’t fail if I eat a brownie and your marriage won’t fail if gay people marry. It’s 2014 for pity’s sake.

What if instead of insulting, and wishing for assassination attempts on a president(and yes, sadly I have seen folks on facebook wish the president dead),  you work with organizations to encourage voting. It would be nice to see this chart a wee bit more filled with voters-of both parties (because it wouldn’t be fair if it were weighted in either direction now would it). But you teach nothing but hate when you share things like these. (according to cdc.gov, Ebola originated in Africa. So unless the president is also in charge over there, could he really have let it loose? Really?)

So does that mean that since Reagan ignored Aids, that was his fault? Of course not, that would be asinine.

Let’s try spreading the word to vote instead and responsibly educating folks, regardless of party. If you want to share why you are a Republican/Democrat with the masses, do it without spreading the hate.

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What if, instead of criticizing women (or men) who stay in abusive relationships, we-as a society-figure out why they do? Instead of using our day off to get mani/pedi’s, take one day and go to a shelter and see what YOU can do to help them?

What of kids? The sins of the parent should NOT fall on the kids. If kids can’t afford coats or bookbags-how dare you criticize them! WE  have the power to grow this next generation into responsible adults. WE can and should step in where their broken families fail. (shameless plug here, still collecting coats for the inner city kids, PM me for where you can drop off in Pittsburgh)

So, that’s my rant after waking up today to another HATE post on my wall. I don’t take them down, block or comment because you have the right to hate, but spreading it will NEVER make things right.

Be the change, I know I try every day.

DO UNTO OTHERS…

LET YOUR LIFE SPEAK…

Peace and Blessed Be

(I welcome a responsible discussion, but will not dignify hateful comments with a response)

widgets and whiners

Say you need something, for this discussion we will say a widget.
You promised someone this widget. This widget is available in 5 places.

-Imagine you know exactly which widget you want.
-Imagine there are 5 locations in which to obtain this widget, you’ve looked into them all. You know exactly which store you want to purchase it from.
-Imagine all of these stores are lined up next to each other with smiling faces waiting at the threshold.

So as you approach the store you WANT to shop in, you are bombarded with reps from the other stores-spewing propaganda as to why you shouldn’t go there. They are physically blocking your entry. You listen to them …you really have no choice. Some try to use logic to convince you, others bully and call names to get their point across.

So, you are beat down and go to the next store. Guess what, they follow you. Same outcome.
After you’ve explored all options and have to make a choice, only one will be happy. The others will be disappointed. Bottom line, you did what you could but there just wasn’t a solution that would please everyone.

The solution lies not in the choice you made. The solution can’t come from name-calling and character bashing, even threats.
The solution will not come until the folks who didn’t get their way grow the fuck up and move on.

Silence

When I need to disconnect, I head to the woods.
Right now I am sitting on a bench, alongside the Kiski River. The Westmoreland Heritage Trail, like other rails-to-trails projects, is a glorious thing. Following long forgotten railways, they offer a view that is precious to we “city-dwellers”. And the sound…
Yes, there is noise. A distant plane passing over, a far away car. What I listen for is the crunch of the squirrel running to gather acorns, the crows as they circle, the hiccup in the Kiski when she encounters a boulder, the rustle of the dry leaves as the wind blows, that is the silence I crave.
Surely not silence by definition, but for me it’s welcome. In a day filled with bustling traffic, needy kids(or parents), that ominous hum of florescent lights and the tap-tap-tap as we mindlessly type on our computers, this is the noise I need.
This earth, and this silence, fill me with spirit. Not of the religious sort, just a peace-I am connected. If I wasn’t, why would I need this?
The words of Carolyn McDade are my mantra as I hit the trail once more.
“Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.”
Peace friends and Blessed Be

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