Monday, August 20, 2012

Living With No Place to Hide, by Kay Halsey

This insightful essay is full of observations about life. I think you will relate to Kay’s experiences.

            “Hide and Seek” or “Kick the Can” were favorite games of mine when a child.  My cover may have been small, but the excitement of seeing someone come to discover my cover was real fun.  I felt like I was winning over my opponents.  We even got rewards for discovery - points, or change of role, or a chance to hide again and be “it.”

            However, as I grew up my experiences became more complicated.  Fear, anger, pride, or distrust take over.  Sometimes I felt I couldn’t cope any more.  I felt boxed in and nervous that survival was to hide my real thoughts and feelings, to deny human reactions which caused hurt.  I felt obligated to present a happy and positive presence which hide the real truth.  Life wasn’t all “roses.”  Sometimes “bad” things happen that you have to acknowledge and there is no hiding place.

            Denial is no answer to the real truth.  Your inner spirit can direct the mind off the problems to let your body release its tensions caused by conflict of situations.  Meditation and focus on the inner spirit have good outcomes.  The cause of the inner emotions requires inner work.  You can’t accept that someone else is making you feel this way.  Life’s game is played in direct relation to what you bring to it.  When you let go, you are free to react in a positive way – joyful, happy, positive.  Each day is a gift.

            What a gift and joy to look forward to planning an exciting and open experience.  Where will you go and what will you find when there is no more hiding and waiting for good things to happen.  You are “it” and anxious to find all the things that are happening in your world when you have no place to hide.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where I’m From, By Barbara Sparks

Here is the second in our series of “Where I’m From” poems. This one, from Barbara, reveals some insights into her past and piques some questions. One of the fun things about these poems is that they don’t give all the answers, but they are full of intriguing images. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.   

I’m from Sunday School, Bible Study, Spirited Preaching and Gospel Music.
I’m from Country Breakfasts, Church Picnics and Special Sunday Dinners.
I’m from meals that say “I love you,” and “Welcome to our home.”
I’m from solitude, laughter, colorful language and wonderful noise.
I’m from generations of storytellers weaving family tales from the past.
I’m from writers of journals, making sure that our stories will last.
I’m from fishing trips to the Colorado River, Ensenada, and the dangerous break water in San Pedro.
I’m from starfish, abalone shells, crayfish and other creatures of the sea, lake or other forms water,
Detached just for me.

I’m from boringly long baseball games, wrestling and boxing matches at the Olympics,
The Globe Trotters, and a hunting trip that caused me to refuse to eat rabbit.
I’m from rodeos, circuses, zoos, and the Pike in Long Beach.
I’m from elaborate Christmas Displays on neighborhood streets, in Santa Monica, and stores in Downtown L. A. 
I’m from wonderful visits with a grandmother
Who drove like a maniac, but managed to get us safely to
See Red Skelton and Rose Parade Floats at the park.
I’m from Red Car rides to Grand Central Market and the delicious Fig Newtons that we would devour on the trip back home.
I’m from “Don’t embarrass yourself, your family or your race,”
“A hard head makes a soft behind,” and “Nothing beats a failure but a try.”
I’m from a loving family that taught by example how to live life.
I’m from a mother who always said, “What did you do to contribute to the problem?” “Tomorrow is always a new beginning.” “Don’t let anyone take your joy away from this day.”
I’m from the strength of a family that survived many hardships but knew that love, laughter, family and prayer was the mortar that holds people together.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

“I am from!” By Maria Zeeman

A couple of months ago I shared a poem with the class and challenged them to write a poem of their own, loosely based on the format of the original. The poem was “Where I’m From,” by George Ella Lyon. You can read it here. The result was just plain wonderful. This is one of the poems. You will be seeing several more of these in the weeks ahead.
I am from oceans fresh & endless & clear
From flowers and boats
I am from a big white house
Cool, roomy, with many people around me
I am from tulips & fresh air
My lime tree
Whose long gone limbs, I remember
As if they were my own.

I’m from closeness and games
From loving parents and many siblings
I’m from good card, monopoly & charade games
And from competitively fun squabbles

I’m from the apple tree, I like sugar & spice
And songs in my own language
I’m from love, sharing care for others

I’m from Indonesia & from Dutch heritage
But love Indonesian Food; spicy & sweet treats

I’m from 3 little girls, playing and acting together
Dressed alike and enjoyed by others

I’m joy in heart & head
Ready to take life’s challenges.