Workin’ the Other Half of the Rainbow

rainbow-3

Promising start does not equal realized finish.

Even in nature, sometimes the picture doesn’t get completed right away. Sometimes you just have to imagine the end of the rainbow that’s before you.

This is one such morning where believing in myself is greater than any challenge I may face from others. Greater than any opportunity that needs to be delayed for the moment. Greater than where I’ve been because I am ready to embrace the void of not knowing what’s next.

That footstep Indiana Jones took in “The Last Crusade” has haunted me for decades, but I’m ready to take it and trust that the stepstone will be there and my footing will deliver me to my ‘yes’.

Whatever’s next must align with my believing and my goal – the other half of the rainbow. I will make it happen.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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The Smartest Ass!

mule

Such a sensitive, attentive face!

Almost like it’s listening to what I’ve got to say before I’ve even said anything! Kind of like with the first Hillary/Donald debate.

Both Donald and Hillary had a captive audience ready to hear what they had to say. Both speakers and listeners were hopeful that what was spoken and heard would clarify which of the two candidates would be the more desirable commander-in-chief come November 8th. We listened, they spoke. But no clear winner occurred other than who won the debate.

Hillary bettered Donald in presentation and points made. But neither candidate could convince the majority that they’ve come this far in the race to be a woman or man “of, by and for” the people. Now they’ve got less than a month left in which to do just that.

And since then we’ve had to wade through embarrassing informational reveals of both Donald and Hillary. Not to mention, the reveal of their running mates’ debating and legislative shortfalls.

So, I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to these next two debates and hope either Hillary or Donald can conquer our lack of confidence in their choice to honor the highest good of the people who’ll elect one of them.

Kind of a lackluster, backasswards “horse race” if you ask me. Maybe the smartest ass is the one in the picture who listens, watches and waits but says nothing. At this point, what else can a smart ass do?

 It’s ‘pray’ or ‘bray’ time, ya know?

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Transformation

butterfly-on-ground

First thing right out the front door on a brand new day.

There it was. A beautiful butterfly. Still and grand with wings fully spread, the butterfly stayed put as I leaned in closer to see why it wasn’t fluttering away.

It let me pick it up!

butterfly-finale

What an unexpected joy to start my day! Gratitude had wings in that moment. Not knowing what phase of flight the butterfly might be in, I carried it to a low lying branch of a bush and watched to see if it might be ready to fly. It lingered motionless but fluttered briefly.

butterfly-and-flower

I waited a little longer, brushed some drops of water on its face and legs then let it remain on the bush. Checking back, it had stayed there and was now folded up and lying on the bush.

Joy can be so fleeting but palpable and vivid in the moment, and with what it leaves behind – a beautiful image that brought aliveness into that moment and blessings to the heart that will remember and cherish it.

 

 

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Mattering Equally Matters

Danger Zone

Some things don’t change that much with time. Like this curb in Norman, Oklahoma or the testament it became to a special friendship.

It looks the same as it did that day in 1958. I was nine years old and waiting there for the city bus to take me home after school.

Mother, my younger sister and I had just come back to Norman after moving away to Kansas City, Missouri for three months. Mother had a falling out with her long-time boyfriend and I guess she wanted to see if he’d miss us. He did. They got back together.

But for a while on our return to Norman, we had to live in a downtown apartment. I’d wait for the city bus. It stopped near James Madison Elementary, the same school I attended before we had moved. It was just a month before school ended for the summer.

At Madison things had pretty much stayed the same. Some friendships were intact, some less so than before.

Then there was Michael.

He had come to our school the year before. The only black kid in the entire school of roughly 200 students of 1st through 6th graders. It wasn’t easy for him at first. Recess could be hazardous for him or anyone he played with. Chasing horned toads or playing tag  through the tall grass on the wide prairie of a playground landed more than one of us in the sticker patch at the hands of our fellow classmates.

So instead, our third grade teacher Miss Durkee said we should just play tetherball or jump rope or swing where she could keep an eye on us.  Jane Foster, Lawanda Collette, another girl whose name I can’t remember, and myself all played together with Michael. Our favorite was tetherball but on Parents’ Day (the last day of school), we performed a synchronized swing act together.

Fourth grade was taught by Mrs. Pryor who was very fair but strict. Nobody dared get on her bad side. The five of us stayed friends but recess became more about playing jacks or drawing, something inside or close to the classroom. This was not a high intensity kind of thing, just an awareness that Michael still had only marginal acceptance from the other students.

We went on a field trip by train to Galveston but I don’t remember if Michael went with us or not. He probably missed it because of the way things were with race and public seating, etc.

Anyway, about the curb. That generic-looking piece of ground became a testament of true friendship. With so many such places and moments playing out today on tabloid TV, it resonates as much now or more so than then.

My 1958 Nancy Grace moment happened as I stood there waiting for the city bus. A carful of three drunk college guys pulled up to where I stood, with me wishing the bus was closer than five minutes away. The guy in the back seat opened his car door and began reaching toward me to grab and pull me into the car.

Out of nowhere came the squeals and roars of a banshee from behind me. The guy shrunk back slightly and I turned to see Michael roaring up on his bicycle, full on ready to stand by me. Startled, the three took off. Michael waited with me till we could see the bus nearing the corner, then he waved goodbye and pedaled off.

I never saw Michael again.

A few days later, his parents came to school to collect his belongings. His mother was crying. Our principal, Mrs. Minter solemnly escorted them into our classroom then back outside. As they were leaving, I tried to tell Mrs. Minter about the three drunk guys but she said “It doesn’t matter now”. She was wrong. It still matters.

It mattered watching Michael’s parents walk away. It mattered seeing his mother cry. It mattered that I felt duty bound to obey school rules and not follow after them to tell them what I knew: their son had been my hero and savior, and there were three college guys who needed to be held accountable. It mattered watching Michael’s parents drive away with no way to tell them about it later.

It still matters in my heart that those three drunk guys – among so many smug, self-entitled legions of males from that moment until now – inflicted their will at the expense of Michael’s wellbeing and called it ‘good’ and, as far as I know, have never paid a price.

Michael inherited my Nancy Grace moment and paid the price I would’ve paid if he hadn’t stopped to help. In our innocence, we thought we had vanquished the attempted perpetrators. Sadly, we didn’t count on them doubling back or waiting for Michael up the street. Whichever scenario it was, these moments happened then because, even if it had been reported, the guys most likely would have walked away free.

Bike Reminder

These moments still happen because, to this day, guys in particular don’t hold each other accountable to honor all people equally. Instead they indulge their buddies’ exploits by listening to how those buddies chose to harm or diminish others for recreational or other self-entitled purposes. Then they treat the information anecdotally as though no ethical or societal breach has occurred. By virtue of their silence, they share in culpability and further perpetuate the selective classism practiced globally as a rite of the male gender. Some women and girls can also be guilty of self-entitled behavior, but the vast majority of incidents and offenses belong to the guys.

And for that reason, Nancy Grace moments will continue to occur because, generationally, males pass down to their sons and other males by mantra and example that certain classes of people are acceptable targets for purposes of getting the action they need, whether it’s sexual or some other type of criminal harm they choose to perpetrate. How else would there continue to be so many Nancy Grace moments to report?

Imagine a 9-year old girl on that grassy curb expecting to catch the city bus and go home. Imagine three college-aged guys who saw that little girl as an opportunity to get some action. It wasn’t their sister or anyone they knew, thereby voiding any social contract to protect or honor her wellbeing. Likewise, her “colored” friend held no intrinsic human value due to their learned disregard and targeting of his race. And no doubt, in pre-civil rights America, their culpability would’ve been pretty much nil if they’d been caught.

Here we are almost six decades later. Granted these types of incidents are no longer hidden when they’re found out, but they are still so common and the level of justice so random that, in effect, it’s still borderline 1950’s for women, girls and other marginalized classes of citizens. Male activism needs to spread beyond the chest-thumping, sign wielding, armed-and-dangerous yahoos who show up for public displays of support. We need legions of the calm and steady, there-for-you-no-matter-what types even more.

The acceptance of each other’s equality still has a long way to go, especially in the centers of power, money and law. It’s hard for most guys to let go of historically preserved and Biblically endorsed male self-entitlement. but the reality of what works for the good of all people globally is treating each other as equals regardless of gender or any other discriminatory filter.

And, if the current global social hierarchy and its choices were working, would Jesus really need to come back?

Let’s choose to be our best and highest selves for each other like Nobody’s watching – or having to.

Sharing Zone crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Personal Bests

How about those Olympics? All that ‘personal best’ stuff happening night after night. And here I am, no blog posts for over a month, and I make ‘personal bests’ my topic of choice. Go figure.

Just wanted to share a thought about what ‘personal best’ really means. While the world celebrates and acknowledges the Olympics and its level of high achievement, this also serves as a reminder that ‘personal bests’ are not limited to athletic accomplishments. And let’s face it, these athletes competed on a level playing field kept clear of war zones, national political processes and, for the most part, external classist behaviors.

This brings me to the rest of us. The “us” that, once the Olympics are over and before football season begins, wind back down into “status quo” mode. We may let the highly broadcast and transcendent personal best of others overshadow the significance of our own lives by giving in to the everyday ennui of not feeling in the spotlight.

We fail to celebrate or see the significance of our own personal bests which may have nothing to do with fanfare or fame or awards or wealth; or even of anyone else knowing or noticing what we’ve accomplished. And, because of this, we may choose not to acknowledge our everyday personal bests because “Hey, it’s not making the news.”

Let’s think about that in a global context.

Which serves the greater good of humanity? A week-long  broadcast of phenomenal athletic prowess or the everyday commitment by the majority of our global citizens to overcome economic and political adversity while continuing to function and set a worthy example of how to stay out of the news?

So maybe it’s not as electric, exciting and fun, but it’s what actually keeps the world going forward in a good way, in a humane way. It’s what makes the news we watch a reminder of how humanity goes south when we give up on doing our personal best.

Instead of honoring our better natures and mattering in quieter, more sociable ways, some of us allow other people or forces to disrupt and corrupt our better natures. The dark side of fame lures and claims us to where we commit heinous acts that we obscure or ask others to overlook and follow us anyway. We give up on the idea that our personal best really matters; that we matter just because.

With or without a spotlight, our personal bests do matter. When we give our personal best, it’s a vote for humanity, a belief that we all belong and deserve the best from each other. It’s a vote that we’re all equal and the same, that no one has more rights here than anyone else.

Doing our personal best to maintain our personal bests is the only mindset that can ultimately save humanity – no matter who’s in the spotlight or how they got there.

Personal Best Photo

 

 

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Playing Outside Humanity’s Comfort Zone

Blog post for yesterday, Friday, July 8, 2016:

I had a God experience this morning.

Happens a lot. Somewhere between the latest feed on the internet this morning and the residual carryover from last night’s signoff newscast, I reached my saturation point for “What’s not to understand about ‘We’re all the same’!”

So, Kumbaya already, guys. Does it take a village to get that acting out of self-entitlement and mis-imagined superiority takes us all down the path to You Know Where? Let’s be God for a moment – no, for real. Not the puffed up version of Him we let ourselves get to in our own heads, but the real deal.

God, who could perform a global-wide smackdown at any given SECOND for the horrors and hurts we perpetrate on one another, in total violation of the mission He’s sent us on and, on many, many – too many – occasions, in His name! As if!

Religion is our enemy. So is any type of categorization that allows even one person to exalt himself or herself above the collective mission of humanity: to honor and accept one another’s spiritual beliefs and to find a way to live in harmony regardless of physical and philosophical differences. He never said we had to like our mission, or even agree with the terms of it. But the mission is still the mission.

Those who want to point to the inevitability of Armageddon and Revelation are missing the bigger picture: the fact that we’ve had free will going for us throughout our and our ancestors’ time on this planet. Instead of us recognizing that choosing or allowing greed, hate and power-mongering to rule us, we point to the sky and wonder why God hasn’t “transformed” us and our situation yet! Or fixed “those people” yet – whichever particular batch of “those people” we subscribe to.

Hello!!

This lighter tone does not lessen the gravity of what happened in Dallas last night, or in Minnesota or Louisiana or any of the other many places injustice and hate flare up and overpower the collective good and consciences of others.

We are our own enemy when we allow the concept of “lesser than” to be applied to any person or group of persons on the planet. Or to advocate or indulge an evening up of the score between sides, when the payback is randomly and unjustly inflicted. Smite for smite, taking a life for a life equals a whole lot of subtracting from who we’re capable of being or becoming. We fulfill our own judgments of “lesser than” and, collectively, we are ‘it’.

This is where we decide if we’re ‘all in’ as part of the global community – where ‘us’ means ALL of us – or if we’ll fold Humanity’s hand instead. Just stand pat on the cards we’ve got ‘cuz we refuse to play out of our comfort zone with the “lesser thans” at our table. Or if we have to fold ‘cuz the Game gets called for cosmic reasons beyond our choice. I’d say ‘control’, but we all know better.

I say let’s deal one more hand and all of us be ‘all in’, ‘cuz, without it there’s no way any of us are going to win. Ya know?

Lesser Than Party Pair

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keep America Bernin’!

Flag in Storm

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America – even though that’s not allowed in as many places as it used to be.

And to the Republic for which it stands – still and in spite of our Congress and other governmental agencies,

One nation under God – which God that is seems more open to discord than once upon a time,

Indivisible – although a little less so now,

With liberty and justice for all – as if! Still working on it!

So, about Bernie.

Just making a pitch to keep America Bernin’ and alive. Yeah, maybe Hillary’s got Obama behind her, but who’s got the back of the American people? Doubt it’s Hillary.

If Hillary is so incensed about women getting paid less, how about her upping and equating the salaries for women at the Clinton Foundation? I hear earnings there are the same percentage less as everywhere else so . . . ?

Campaigning for Hillary is not an option for me. If I have to, I’ll vote for her over Trump. But until she’s walking her talk, I’m staying with Bernie until HE says he’s done.

Until then, I’m keepin’ a light turned on the  whole show until there are no more shadows or shell games to expose; until there’s the best candidate standing victorious for ALL of us.

Go, Bernie!!

 

 

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The Consequence of Saying “Yes”

As I lay on my bed trying to come up with this morning’s topic, I kept going over my ‘to do’ list in my head as well.

Not pretty.

We’re talking major pileup of the “must do’s” vs. the “not nows” or the “maybe laters”. We’re looking at planning out which “must do” to do first and which will follow after, knowing that the subliminal agenda every day is “What do I have to do to get to the things most important to me?” And, having acknowledged that, knowing that I may not give myself a “Yes” for quite some time until I’m done doing what I must or have to or need to do.

Just saying “Yes” would mean others would have to wait for what they want me to do. It would mean accepting “No” as a reason to not have what I want now. “Yes” might mean freedom. To fly, to fail, to acknowledge and accomplish my “yeses” would mean letting go of what is, choosing the unknown vs. the known, jumping aboard the yet to be. Taking a chance that the yet to be is the better option in the face of the theoretical fault line running up, through and around where I’m currently standing.

The fact that I recognize a fault line where I’m standing is the very reason why “safe” is not an option no matter which choice I make. And the one thing that has always been a sure fire motivator for me is my absolute aversion to the feeling of standing still in my own life. I may not get to leave town or do a major seismic shift in occupation but I will find ways to alter my course, if not physically then mentally or spiritually.

Changing the thought is everything to changing your reality. Choosing ‘yes’ helps the universe open up the new possibilities of who you want to become and where you want to be. It’s also believing that saying ‘yes’ won’t take away the support for those people and things that you have tended to but, for the sake of yourself, you must now relinquish some of your engagement and connection with.

So, now I say “yes”. “Yes” with no tagbacks. Let’s see what comes.

Road Trek.

 

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The Proof, Vol. 2

PROOF THRU THE ROOF

Judgment.

It’s a conundrum. We need it to figure out right from wrong, but then we let it turn us into finger-pointing, unforgiving fools when someone goes backasswards and causes harm or strays from the cultural norms of the dominant society. Or it appears to be so.

Whether that difference is philosophical, religious, biological or psychological, we let judgment diminish us all as co-inhabitants of this universe – the one God designed then assigned ALL of us to.

We let a snapshot or an overheard comment become the sum total of what that momentary encounter of a person or event must be about. We live in a time of quick pic, snap focus understanding of a situation or person according to what we’re told or guided to believe is true, so our attention can move on.

We’ve allowed our powers of discernment to be hacked into and conditioned by the media, the internet and those institutions or figureheads who hold power and influence over us. Rather than taking the facts and interpreting for ourselves what’s true, we’ve become accustomed to being told what to think, who to like, and which side of a person or story to believe.

Then there are the stories which speak to each of us with no need of breaking down what really happened; where our level of judgment is equal to who we are as human beings once we’ve heard or experienced the details.

This is when we either learn to overcome our senses of entitlement and perceived social superiority, or we diminish ourselves with our pretense that we’ve been delivered through a more spiritually or politically correct alliance with God.

This is where judgment meets the road of “What’s Next?”.  Peace, love and a global community of healing and activism, or finger-pointing, trash talking fools wondering why God isn’t here yet to fix what He – and we – got wrong.

Judgment. It’s a gift. Thank God for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Proof, Vol. 1

GENDER NATURAL ZONE

Critical thinking.

Where did it go? Any ideas, anyone?

Guarantee you it’s not outside the restrooms in Target or any other public restroom. Anybody tricked into policing an issue that was discreetly resolved decades ago should question why this was suddenly thrust into the national forum of IMPORTANT issues to address.

Really, America? That’s all we’ve got? Pepper spraying female transgenders for trying to second guess which restroom would be the least disruptive to use for mandatory biological functions: the men’s room dressed as a woman, or the women’s room where you at least match the dress code? And vice versa for male transgenders.

Please don’t cite religious concerns here. Jesus has got to be shaking his head over the pitifully un-Christian like behaviors we have chosen in addressing this SUDDENLY overwhelming social issue. Like I said, this was discreetly resolved decades ago. No need for legislation, judgmental craziness or self-entitled smackdowns of others. The most physical Jesus ever got was overturning money lenders’ tables, not the money lenders themselves!

If we’re claiming to stand on Christian principles, could we actually FOLLOW his example, please?

And if we could just get our legislators to be as instantaneously vigilant and proactive about job, food and housing budgets and bills as they’ve been on public toilet usage, or in serving our corporate citizenry’s agendas . . . Oh right, it’s not ‘table turning’ time yet.

Or is it? And does Jesus really have to come back for us to get how we all should behave and treat each other, or who to hold accountable for causing our economic strife?

SMH! We all should be!

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