The Reverse Side of Being

tree-love-1

Remarkable.

Just driving along on an errand. I park and there it is. A beautiful tree in the last throes of autumn, standing its ground in quiet grandeur. How many others saw the same tree but thought nothing of its presence there? Just another tree among many.

Yet there it stood with its branches open wide to all the elements, come what may. Its story the same as the many other trees standing there. But something in its stature and its attitude (yes, trees can have attitude) made me stop to take its picture and reflect on why its presence had called to me.

So often the essence of being – our own or that of others – is lost in the “noise” of the moment. Whether it’s due to bystander status on a train platform, a workplace, sport or social activity, or just because we’ve tuned out everything except the play by play cacophony of our internal dilemmas, we often miss so much by not noticing or exploring the greatness of the being next to us – or even recognizing our own.

It’s not necessarily the loudest, most obvious among us. It won’t trip us up to be noticed or wow us with its outward perfection. It’ll just stand there in its strength of purpose and self-assured presence, confident in its mission to be a “tree”, regardless of whether anyone else notices.

Yes, trees are everywhere but greatness thrives within – even when our beings miss noticing or getting its picture – or maybe even a ‘selfie’.

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Color Shards

It’s a weaver’s call as to which color goes where. Her work, her call.

Workin’ and weavin’ a rainbow is no small task, but it’s a worthwhile project to see through to the end. I’ve been working my life’s rainbow for a very long time. I’m seasoned enough to get it right this time. And determined that this will be it – the big payoff of time for my perseverance and talent. Just wish I were more adept at managing my time which, let’s face it, at my age should be a strong suit, not a random, ‘still wishin’ and hopin’ kind of thing.

Yet giving up is not an option nor has it ever been. As Langston Hughes once said (still have the poster of it with seagulls flying!) “Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life’s a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” It has been my ‘go to’ mantra for decades now. No end to the serendipity of seeing a seagull in flight at certain key moments in my life, even living away from coastal regions.

No doubt serendipity shall remain a companion as long as I stay connected to my dream, and committed to the colors I aspire to contain in my life’s rainbow, whether by broad, bold brush strokes or piece by piece collage.

The beauty is in the finished result; a testament to the journey accomplished.

 

 

 

 

 

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Believin’ No Matter What!

believin-to-vote

Yeah, I was believing on last Tuesday. A lot of us were.

I was believin’ that I would vote for Hillary in spite of my inclination to vote Jill Stein. Still wanted Bernie. And it should’ve been Bernie accepting the presidency. But . . . NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Sigh! So, we’ve all been Trumped instead! Now what?

Right now it’s public displays of dissent and protest. L.A. rioted and destroyed property, becoming what we all feared would happen to America if Trump’s supporters lost.

Here where I live in Texas, the locals had a different idea for protesting, one that actually made a statement: a Trump piñata!

trumped-up-3

And instead of busted human heads, property damage and criminal charges . . .

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There was a gleeful, celebratory release of anger – and CANDY!!! Much better than real busting of heads and irreversible damage and consequences. Or becoming the personification of hate, evil and fear.

Let’s face it, busting pinatas or busting windshields or worse does nothing to address or solve the difficult times ahead. But having the right problem-solving attitude and an unsinkable will to hold ourselves and our country’s leaders accountable for any deviation from honoring ALL of us citizens equally will serve the highest good not just here in America but around the world.

Let’s be the light we’ve assumed our country to be, and persist in showing our greatness even when our leaders choose to promote agendas and laws that do otherwise. As for making our country great again, that’s We The People’s call to make. Our leaders serve at our discretion. Let’s remember that and make them remember as well.

Greatness will happen when we honor all of us, because we ARE all stronger together. And that’s how we want America to roll!

Peace and let’s get busy! It’ll take all of us to believe.

Some further thoughts spoken at the link shown below:

http://kristisclicks.wix.com/words-and-pics#!__believe-poster-page

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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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