Symptomatology

Reflection--Photographer unknown

He over-eats because he’s nervous.

She over-sleeps because she’s sad.

He hits because he doesn’t know another way to show he doesn’t understand.

Her stomach hurts when there’s a test

His when a certain uncle comes.

She ‘checks out’ when her parents fight

or students raise a hand.

He cries with every little scratch.

She’s stoic with a shattered arm.

Their eyes glaze over at the sight of checkered shirts

Or painted nails

A hairdo

A certain aftershave

Or lip balm.

He can’t sit still.

She won’t stop day dreaming.

He mopes. She cries. He pouts. She flies

Off the handle

If someone meets her eyes.

He wets the bed.

She carves red lines into her thigh.

He fights because he’s scared.

She spits because she’s feeling trapped

and

flirts because it is the only way she knows

to interact.

They’re judged

For all

Of the above

When in fact

Their behaviors speak a loud broadcast

Of unabated stress

And lives

That turned

Hard

To survive.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

What You Call a Thing

name

 

What you call a thing, may well become it.

What you name a person, may weave itself into their cells.

What you title, leads a story.

What you tag, may stick around.

Definitions matter. Meanings become truth implied, rehearsed, accepted; whether it is hidden from a awareness or intensely shown.

Words create reality and shape semantics.

What we say becomes a part of who we are and what we stand for. What we give or take away in voice is woven through the tapestry of those around us: how we see them, how they are intended to be seen by themselves and others.

How we label people, places, power, actions … What we tell to whom and how. All these not only make us, but format the very being of our children. Our labels inscribe children’s spirits and knit into the fibers of every connection made, be it bathed in kindness or in less than kind.

May we be aware, and tender what we mean and how we use it.

Words matters. Every time.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Ascend

 

Cavedale Photo by Keartona

Cavedale. Hope Valley, UK

 

 

Conquer worry, vanquish panic

Climb peaks of improbability

And do not let what is or isn’t feasible

Take the best of what

Is possible.

Master hope

Defeat all hate

Into compassionate submission.

Ascend into yourself

As you were meant to be:

A part of all that is

Uniquely interconnected

No better and no less

Than any other who draws breath.

 

For The Daily Post

 

Controversy: Friend or Foe?

heart-stone

In the current climate of contention, many seem to see controversy as indication of animosity or ‘wrongness’ rather than an entry point to discussion.

What is that turns a difference of opinion or even heated disputes into declarations of allegiance or betrayal?

How does dissent become a call for combative rhetoric, rather than an invitation for conversation and possibly a point of understanding where one might’ve been wrong, been wronged, been blind, been blinded, yet can still find growth?

Why do so many find arguments a threat and varied views a sign of weakness or enmity?

Where have we gone so wrong, so long, that we forgot what we should already know?

In the give and take of conversation, even very young children learn that not all share their point of view, and that they cannot always get their way (not should they). They hopefully learn how to persuade as well as how to accept that not all persuasion means they’ll get their heart’s desire … That they aren’t wrong to have wishes even if those did not manifest, and that to not get their way doesn’t make them weak or ‘losers’, nor does it make the other ‘stronger’ or a ‘winner.’

Living as part of a healthy society requires we accept differences and listen to more than just the echoes of our personal view chambers – be it in the small groupings of family, classroom, playground, and work environment; or in the bigger congregations of towns and cities, countries and religions and cultures and the whole blue marble we’re all traveling on.

How much do we lose if we refuse to engage with anyone who sees a different perspective; if we attack any who disagree with words that are meant to silence, put down, dismiss, disown, distract?

How much do we limit our humanity – and our children’s, for they are watching – if we divide the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’; into those in the ‘right’ and those in the ‘wrong’ (and any who do not share our views we place automatically into the latter …). If we split the world into those who are ‘with us’ and therefore somehow morally superior, and those who ‘must be against us’ if they challenge things to not be exactly as we see then?

Controversy is the soil of growth. It can be made good use of, or it can be muddied into insult-slinging till it buries up real issues under heaps of refusal and refuse. Dissent can offer new space and pathways, or it can become no-mans-lands where any who dare venture risk a wounding and the blame for encroaching their view point onto another’s walled-off boundary.

I listen to children negotiating play: who will be whom, what the rules would be, how best to proceed, who gets to ‘be whom’ for how long, how far to push the limits of roles and imagination and possibility … And I think to myself: It is from the mouths of babes we should re-learn how to engage. How to take turns listening. How to accept that we do not hold absolute truth about almost anything, and that our views do not give us the right to hurt, to harm, to wound, to bully.

Much power is already cemented into viewpoints. An ossification of attitudes as proof for battles ‘won’ or ‘lost’ in pseudo-righteousness tips the balance of discussion so it loses any common ground and becomes blind to shared humanity and understanding. It is past time we all re-learn, remember, and take on added practice … for how to keep open hearts to and amidst controversy.

negotiation--prepare2play

Photo by: prepare2play

 

For The Daily Post

Learned Instinct

churning

What do you do when you are worried?

How do you act when you feel harmed?

If angered, wronged, misheard, left out?

What do you do when someone threatens?

How do you manage double binds

That tangle up your mind?

 

Do you cower away?

Do you lash out?

Do you curl into a ball under the covers

And turn off all reaction, action, light?

Does your body compensate

In sweet diversions

Or does your gut churn ire

Into acid

And shuts down?

Do you sob, mope, break down

Break something

Break someone?

 

Does your heart thunder in your eardrums

As your blood pressure spikes red

Behind your eyes

Or does it plummet

Grayish

Into numb?

 

Do you respond in kind

To wound another

To give as good as you had gotten

To show who’s boss

To cut to size any potential bully

So they stay down?

 

Or do you shrink

Into wall flowered corners

Get by through fading into

Silence

Till all turmoil passes

And you can seek the bits you hadn’t managed

To protect

And tentatively try to

Patch life up?

 

When feelings flood, how do you manage:

Float on? Hold tight? Spit out? Swirl dizzyingly in the eddies?

Drown?

 

What is the language of reaction

In your body?

Does your mind

Command

Reflexively

Or does it find a pause

Between a stimuli and action

To weave insight to choice

And sort true danger from benign?

 

Do you collapse

Into outdated paths

Formed by a not-good-enough childhood

And unhealed histories

Still near

Or has your palette widened

To allow volition

Over instinct

And

Kindness — to yourself, to others —

To find courage

Over fear?

 

 

For The Daily Post

Imagine

This brand new, amazing rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” is salve on humanity’s self-inflicted wounds of separation. It is a celebration of tone, tune, and the powers of creative resonance and connection that make humanity so incredibly precious and so vulnerably strong.

We can all make choices: To connect or turn away, to embrace or spurn, to accept what makes us into a tapestry of humanity … or to force false borders and invent pseudo-hierarchies of power or worth.

We can weave patterns of light or dig trenches of fear. We can live harmony or feed chaos.

This much I know: Humanity’s beauty is in its humaneness. In all forms of Kind.

 

For The Daily Post

Think Deeply

 

Think deeply about life.

Hold people closely, gently, in your heart.

Think deeply of the things that nourish:

Care and hope, compassion, truth, light.

Think deeply about what you know

And what you still would like to find out knowledge of.

Think deeply of the seeds you plant

In your soul’s soil

In others’.

Think deeply of the past and all its lessons

Of the way it can shape future histories

Or repeat woe.

Think deeply of the power of both joy and sorrow

Of the choices that can lead to more of both

And which one matters more.

Think deeply of the path you walk

The roads you pave for children and their children’s children

For this Earth.

 

Think deeply of all this

And think beyond it

Yet above and through and in between all of this

Thinking

Breathe in light

Breathe out hope

Offer comfort

Cultivate love.

by Buddha doodles

By Buddha Doodles

 

For The Daily Post

 

In The Vivid Light I See

photo-by-kristin-manson-on-flickr

Photo: Kristin Manson

And in the vivid light

I see

People divided

Anger, glee.

As in the storms of

Right or wrong

The spaces in between

Are shorn.

Confusion swirls

Known facts to eddies.

Certitude dyes

Friends into enemies.

I see the children’s eyes

Bewildered

As lessons taught to them

Turn riddles:

“Be kind” but watch the adults bully.

“Be calm” but let grown-ups live cruelly.

“Be patient” yet role models tantrum.

“Don’t fight” as those who said

Not to

Attack, throw barbs, play foul

Speak awful.

Their little foreheads crease

With frowns

Which do they follow:

Said, or done?

And

In their vivid light

Do see

The path glows clear

A road to be.

Past time to wash away

The livid rage

Recall the lessons

Of their age:

Hold space to listen

Pace to learn

Revisit patience

Drop hate

Stop spurn.

 

 

For The Daily Post

A Hope To Quicken

energy

 

There’s a quickening of energies around the world.

Like all currencies, energy itself is neutral–it is what’s attached to it and how it is used that qualifies it into positive or not so, into what builds or what destroys, what mends or inflicts more wounding.

The Earth itself still rotates in the same general blinding speed it had for millennia too numerous to grasp. It hurtles through dark space with indescribable abandon, tethered by invisible forces to the star that keeps us all alive.

The overall mechanics of life and gravity hasn’t changed. Our awareness of it may have. Should.

With energies accelerated, we feel the rushed pulse of days, sometimes of mere moments. We sense the rotation of possibility, the immense power that can be harnessed, the twirl of time.

All is moving, quickened by both ignorance and understanding.

What we do with it–with the potential–is up to us.

Do we let slip down the slippery slopes of power-hunger, fear, and divisiveness … or do we harness good to raise our mutual consciousness, our moral compass, our social empathy to the reality that we are and always have been, One?

Do we take the historically familiar roads of vilifying those we do not care to get to know, of quantifying suffering of others as less painful and less necessary to end … Or do we truly recognize that hunger is still hunger, pain is pain, sorrow is more sorrow, that hate and violence beget only more of same? Do we resolve to do differently, not ‘again’ but in new ways?

Life has quickened. Bits of information spin around the globe in speeds now faster than the Earth itself. We are no longer separated by illusion.

Open eyes see clearly now.

We can, should, understand:

All. Is. One.

 

 

For The Daily Post

The Line

1656118_10151850678430989_893349416_n

Photo by: A. Barlev

 

They walk the line as morning comes

As new day draws its dawn,

They walk as night approaches close

And sunset sinks alone.

They walk the line of now and then

Of sand and rock, death, growth,

They walk as footsteps mark the soil

And press it deep with hope.

They walk where many walked before

With others not yet born,

They walk in dust of those who passed

Of stories told and torn.

They walk to sew new roads to life

Connections old as time,

They walk a line of young and old

Their hearts as close as mine.

For The Daily Post