Soul of Soil

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Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Do not soil the soul of soil

With harm

And hatred.

Do not foul the loam of life

By sowing death.

Walk gently on the earth

That holds the lot of us.

All water that flows on

And under

Has flown everywhere

Before

Belongs to no one

More.

Do not soil the soul of soil

With war.

It is unholy.

Antithetical

To growth.

It stains all harvest

Red

With tears

And broken hearts.

Enriches only

Pain

And sorrow’s scars.

True stewardship

Demands

We find

Uphold

Maintain

A common ground.

 

 

For The Daily Post

“A Case of Constant Disastering”

Geiger Counter

What upsets your cart? What throws you off? What drains your battery of oomph and energy? Do you get riled up in a flash but calm down glacially? Do you struggle to maintain the smallest bit of equilibrium while others seem to swim in zen-like Flow? Have you been told off for “over-reacting” and being “overly sensitive”? Does it, indeed, seem to be that e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is just too much to process, let alone appreciate and thrive in?

That is how life is for a teenager I know.

She calls herself “a case of constant disastering.”

Her days are spent in never ending rush to keep up with assignments that don’t get done because she is too stressed to focus on them because she already worries she won’t manage and then doesn’t. She feels mired in conflict with her parents who she says don’t understand why “every little thing” throws her off. She struggles to attend to all the balls she perceives are in the air and thinks are hers to juggle (only to find out later some were not, and that she’d dropped the very ones she shouldn’t have) …

Her body swings from all out anxious to shutdown and molasses-like, weighed down by overwhelm. She blames herself for both, which only feeds the shame that feeds the stress that feeds more “constant disaster.”

She hates this about herself. She wishes to be someone different.

“I wish I could be stoic,” she says. “Strong, you know.”

“But you are strong,” I respond.

She shrugs. She knows. Some days more than others.

She understand how her body’s calibrations had gotten to be quite so delicate: born very prematurely and with serious medical issues that required many painful interventions, her nervous system (and psyche) could not really process the overwhelming stimuli she was exposed to. Her reactions still mirror some of the pathways that became the foundation of her default. Of her survival formation. Her parents, too, were terrified and anxious. Oh, they did their best in love and caring, but they, too, were scared. For her. For her future. Of hurting her. Of disconnecting something. Of something worse than disastrous.

Panic was real and tangible. Babies in that NICU die. She almost did. Twice.

They were all of them scared. Much of the time.

Is it a wonder, then, that life wobbles precariously tentative, at the smallest reminder?

“But I’m not a baby anymore,” she points at lanky limbs that have long ago outgrown any crib or incubator.

“I know,” I smile.

“Now I’m just a Geiger meter,” she complains, “and my body beeps ballistic at the smallest variation.”

“Tricky,” I nod. “Also … kind of skillful.”

She pouts, but then a smile pushes a small corner of her mouth and the other corner joins in and she grins, eyes atwinkle. “Yeah, like a full-on skill at constant disastering.”

 

For The Daily Post

Grit of Will

up up and away

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

They don’t give up.

They push on, they keep trying.

For the plainest of skills.

Simple tasks need endurance:

Every sentence’s a summit

Every speech sound’s a triumph of will.

Such tenacious young children

Built of grit and forbearance

Marathoners of life’s endless sprints

All uphill.

Oh, how deeply they teach me

The depth of true mettle

In courage, in hope to succeed.

Their indomitable spirit

Forms a marvel:

Pure resolve wrought from steel.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Cringe Detector

Outlawed Hope

“…None of anything is half nearly as organized as you’d want it to be, Aimee.  … In the end, child … all that matters is what your own skin and neck hairs tell you.”

“My skin and neck hairs?”

She chuckled. “And your gut, while we’re at it. Think of that Watchman who was up to no good in a hurry. How did he make you feel, not only in your head with thoughts or worries but in your body?”

“He made my skin crawl. … ” Her meaning dawned on me. “Oh, and I felt the hair on the back of my neck standing on end, and my belly flopped all frightened.”

“Exactly!” she smiled. “I knew those Matrons could maybe get you to obeying and to keeping your tongue quiet—not that anyone would know it now, from all your chattering—but they did not manage to squelch your instincts for detecting the real kind of wrongness. If you follow clues already in your body, you’ll see through titles and claimed importance. Just make sure you follow your body’s signaling and steer away from those who get your sensors to this kind of itching. Nothing but trouble in those people, and no amount of reasoning will make it worthy.”

(Excerpt, Outlawed Hope)

 

 

For The Daily Post

When I Grow Up

“When I grow up,” she said, small face determined, adamant, “I will make sure no one is hungry and no one feels lonely for a hug.”

(S.J. age 5)

determination
Photo: Pinterest, Kay Anderson

 

 

For The Daily Post

Whew!

shrinershospitalforchildren

 

For the child who finally got a clean bill of health, long enough into remission at last, after three bouts of cancer, four surgeries, five courses of chemo, two collapsed lungs, a resistant infection, and more invasive treatments and hospital days than one can count (though I’m sure her parents had counted. Every. Single. One.)

Whew.

We’re so relieved.

You rock, little one!

 

 

For The Daily Post

Father Kindness

fathering

Photo: C. Moriah-Gibor

 

Be a father to the vulnerable

Guide the path of those who need

A lift

A helping hand.

Be a father to those seeking

To find shelter

Who need help to

Understand.

Show the way.

Provide

Kind counsel.

If by biology or presence

Be the best

Model

You can.

For it is by kindness

That fathering

Takes hold

And

Grows children

Strong

In body, heart

And mind.

 

Restore Reality

expose

Be brave.

It’s time. It’s been time for too long. It feels eternity.

Take heart … tune off naysayers … and remove the grime of fakery and deception. Speak fact to polish off stains of misinformation, so Truth can once more spread its wings to sunlight, unburdened from prevarication.

Expose the burnish of veracity from under messy piles of perfidy.

Be kind, be firm, and wipe clean fib to showcase verity.

Reality awaits. Impatiently.

It is past time.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Dis-pro-portion

radiate pinterest

photo: Pinterest

 

There is more good than bad in our world,

yet often bad shouts louder.

There’s more that’s beautiful than not,

though ugliness might steal the hour.

Love holds truth far more than hate,

and radiates the brighter.

So … be mindful of the disproportion …

as dark creeps in to dim what’s lighter.

And know:

Hearts will out-sing cacophony when led by hope,

even if fear may prowl the farther.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Radiance

She lights up every room with her smile.

He effervescents joy in a dimple.

She casts love spells all around her.

He melts everyone to a puddle.

She makes your heart sing.

He ropes your soul in.

Their laughter makes right

Glow full bright

From a fizzle.

Their giggles shine rainbows

On sorrow

And drizzle.

They heal hope.

Luminesce peace.

They remind why it matters

We take care

To Insist.

(All photos from Pinterest)

For The Daily Post