Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maya, In Memorium

I wrote this in 2007, to my hero, Maya Angelou (4/4/28 - 5/28/14).


What could a mere poet be
who speaks of rivers
and rocks and trees?
To a young girl
who might not believe
she is sturdy, whole and free.
What if this poet told her
“Give birth again
To the dream.”
So this girl would know
how to touch the stars
when they appeared too far to reach.
If this poet rose,
and danced and sang
and prayed.
Would that young girl
see that she could
rock the world with her whispers,
To that dear poet
who pulled herself from beneath
and said to this young girl
it was all right to believe.
To that rock
that river
that tree –
it is with tenderness and love
that I take root and grow,
to be happy
to be joyous
to be free.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Writing Life

I was doing so well, writing everyday, at least a few lines...but then...but then. It only takes one day to put a kink into a nicely forming habit, and I know it takes 28 days to form a habit, I had been writing everyday for two months, been practicing my oboe everyday for four months. But that day arrives, that day when the outer world trumps the inner. The day when you just want to go to bed or eat more dinner, or watch mindless tv, and that healthy habit is put on the endangered list. For me, I cannot skip a day, because one day becomes two, and three and soon I am no longer (insert habit here). Is this a unique trait, or something we all do, once we jump off the train, we cannot get back on without really trying hard (aka running after a speeding train). This month, Runner's World Magazine is sponsoring a Streak, run at least one mile per day from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. I will try it, after all I know that once I have the momentum, I will keep it up. Is there wiggle room though? I know from past experiences that when I don't practice my oboe or run, I lose the momentum. But when does the habit become an obsession, or an addiction? It probably has something to do with balance, and balance is concept I haven't quite mastered. I am an all or nothing gal.
The word balance originated in 1250 - 1300, Old French, meaning a pair of metal dishes (a balance). In order to balance one must have equal weight in each of the metal dishes. But how does one balance an entire life. There are many aspects, physical, spiritual, emotional and there are only 24 hours in a day, minus 8 for sleeping. This is all just a ruse however, I could sit here and write about balancing my life, having healthy habits in healthy proportions, but really, how long does it take to write a haiku? I am making excuses for my lapse. Excuses, which have taken longer to compile than it would have taken to pick up my daily writing habit again. So here we are, today I am back on the seesaw, and I will write a poem:
the wind is balanced,
the skies, the shore, the ocean tides
an ebb and flow
as if words, once spoken
could return and I
could float gently down
the river with open arms. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Am I a Republicanophobe?

I am scared to write this post. First I am afraid to admit that I am prejudiced. But more importantly I am afraid that you, the reader, might be a Republican, and Republicans scare me. Why? Because, like other people who are prejudiced, I have an all or nothing mentality. Now is when you might get angry with me. But please don't yell, I am attempting to come to the root of my prejudice and abolish it. This morning, on Facebook, someone told me not to go all "right-wing" on him. It was, to me, a staunch tree-hugging, animal rights supporting, pro-choice, educated woman, an insult.

When I picture a Republican, I picture a gun-toting, anti-woman, racist,  homophobe. And people with guns scare me, and sexist, racist homophobes scare me. Therefore, Republicans scare me. And it all really just comes down to fear, fear of the unknown. I have tried to understand Republican economic theory, but I am a child of the 70's and I watched as the trickle down never trickle down. I read about huge corporations paying nothing in taxes and hiding their billions in profits in off-shore accounts. I watch as so-called Christians ignore the poverty stricken in this country, "they should work harder, they are moochers." When I picture a Republican I picture a person, devoid of compassion for those less fortunate. I watch as Republicans vote against the Equal Pay Act, as they cut assistance for needy children, and as they demonize women and teachers. This is what I see, hence my all or nothing mentality. I am no better than a racist, I let fear of the "other" guide my opinions. It comes down to the fear of the unknown. As a woman living in a sheltered community, I do not come in contact with many Republicans.

How can I abolish this extreme prejudice? It all comes down to the "us against them" mentality. If I focus on the differences, how can I begin to find compassion for the other, that person who holds different beliefs than I? After all, the world would be a boring place if we all believed the same things. The first step then, is to find common ground. So, my dear Republican reader, kindly help me out, help me to find common ground. I am a runner, I know, left turn, bear with me. As I runner, I race. When I go to races I run with thousands of other runners. We connect through our mutual similarities. I have no clue what political party my fellow racers belong to, we come for the common joy of running. When I pass a runner on the road, I am kind, I connect, I wave, I move over or slow down, after all it is a fellow runner. Turn right again, what commonalities can I find with my fellow Republicans? If I can find this, I might be able to soften around my opinions, my fears and my Republicanophobia.