pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


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And now a word from our sponsor…..

ImageSERIOUSLY!   News reports on returning lost wallets, saving people from accidents, “paying it forward” and “random acts of Kindness” are you kidding me?  How horrible and corrupt has the human soul become when what makes us who we are becomes news?

I cannot think of the number of times (and WHY SHOULD I??)   when I help people, reach out, and make little children smile, be there for someone in need or offer help.  DUH that is how you are able to live your own life, sharing with another and continuing on the journey.  How is it that this is actually news anymore?  That has to be the saddest thing I can think about.

If you were on foot with supplies and a beautiful day, would you go out of your way to kick the dirt, step on the flowers or hurt the wildlife?  Would you ignore a fellow traveler who asked for a drink of water or if you saw a small animal would you not move it from the road?  So why is it so hard in life to do the same thing without a crowd, hope for reward or pat on the back?

Recently a trio of young boys found a season package of sport tickets not far from where I live.  They asked around and found out where they belonged and returned them.  But roll that footage!!! We had to have a reenactment of the event, including the owner when the boys returned her tickets, and interviews “WHY” they did it.  For the love of………. really?

Instead of hoping a camera will catch you doing something good and you’ll get 15 minute of fame or a reward, how about trying something really unique – pretend the damn camera is on you all the time and the reward is what you feel inside when you close your eyes at night.

If you need to be reminded to “pay it forward” you are already bankrupt so don’t bother, because having a conscience and a soul is the best “Anchor” team your broadcast will ever have.  Maybe it’s time you checked your ratings and changed your channel, before you get canceled and all those in your life have to remember are some occasional re-runs.

“We are all in this life together” that means taking turns helping each other, not waiting for the other one to appreciate you.


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Mike Wallace is here to see you

ImageI can think of very few sentences my generation would hear that could cause more fear in their business and professional hearts more than those seven little words.  You see, for those of us who grew up having to explain ourselves, having morals and a compass that pointed in the right direction, 60 minutes of reflection had to be above board, and for the good of everyone we met.  Sure, there are news shows now that run around with hidden cameras trying to catch everything from cheating spouses to sexual offenders, but they just don’t have the right stuff – ask Mikey, he’ll do it.

But he was just a man – why did he matter?

It wasn’t who Mike Wallace was, it was what he was and what he brought to the table – Sunday dinner time usually.  He reminded us of the courage to stand up for what was right, to listen and ask the honest questions and most of all to try and right the wrong  when it was standing in front of us.  I guess in many ways, he was the conscience most people forgot they had, regardless if he did it from the make believe world of TV – he did it honestly.

Life doesn’t come with the option of re-runs, we don’t get to run back and unring the bell or blow out the fire after the house has been consumed.  We have to live each moment in the real time zone and not the twilight zone, where we blame all our faults and short comings.  I’m truly hard pressed to understand when human nature started to molt, and its conscience slowly faded to extinction.  I’m sure Mike would know, but it’s too late to ask him now.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if we all just took 60 minutes or better yet 60 seconds, to look at what is on the plate in front of us?  Our relationships to loved ones, marriage, employment, and most of all ourselves, and do the right thing.  Live up to the promises you made, accept who you are and not a fantasy of who you might be, that leaves everyone damaged in the wake of your selfish failures and always reach out to those you can help or share something with.  It can’t be that difficult even for the most selfish of us out there – after all, it is just giving what you want in return isn’t it?  Like Mike would say, there is no such thing as a free lunch, you gotta give to get.

There was another show before 60 minutes that explored the aftermath of your actions; it was called “This is your life.”  And, although it was more of scrapbook of love moment, it nevertheless was one where the person had to stand back and see what their life had accomplished.  I think I would prefer that version in this life, so I have the time to change a few things I can, before I leave life and have to face the real book of my life, with only excuses as to why things happened.

God Bless you Mike Wallace, I know when you made it to heaven and they announced you were at the door, for once it flew wide open and a voice said, “Come on in Mike, glad to see you.”


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Not my finger George, Pull the Thread

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It’s no laughing matter – Yes, Mr. Bailey got a wonderful reel life however, for those of us in the real world, it is more of a thread that some of us hang on to and from, instead of following.  I never really stood back and saw this as clearly, as I did on April 17, 2011.  That was the day my mother died.  I stood in her bedroom that morning, looking as she slept forever against her floral pillowcase, and tried to grasp that her life had ended.  Looking at my father’s chest of drawers, which we had brought from her home when she could no longer stay alone, I saw her devotional calendar.  If there was one thing she did religiously, right up until she died, it was flipping the page on her calendar before going to bed. Looking at the date on that morning, there was no Christian cheer-up, bible verse or spiritual enlightenment.  On the day my mother left, Carole King’s “Tapestry” was lyrically printed, and it could not have summed up her existence any better.

  My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue

 

Then I remembered I always wanted to be 14.  Most kids have an age that means something 13, 16, 18, 21 all the top favorites associated with some rite of passage.  For me however, it was 14 and that year I had a 70’s cool art teacher who played Carole King’s Tapestry album while we worked.  It was also the first album I ever bought and wore out, along with the Columbia House cassette tape.  In many ways my life was the liner notes, and until mom died, I hadn’t seen the tied off thread on her tapestry – but it was there – waiting.

Tracing family trees has become a new entertainment venue, as well as multi-million dollar industry.  Everyone wants to know who they are and where they came from, pulling at every loose end they can uncover.  The irony is, it’s not pulling at the ends that will give your soul the answer it is looking for, it is simply following the thread to see how it is woven.  The picture you will see isn’t who you are, it is why you are, and unlike the over dramatic and costly searches, the answer is so simple it is usually overlooked.  George realized it was rose petals, and Indian Jones knew it was a wooden cup, but the majority of us are looking for the profound moment of realization with Darth Vader as a father, against a galaxy of heavenly stars.   Because of that, it is usually missed, and a sleigh ride on Rosebud is never known.

But I know, and like a wonderful family meal, I have been left satisfied with the knowledge and thankful for the stitching.  My thread took me to a police officer who my parents liked when I was 16. It then cross stitched into 14 years, 3 daughters and a job that changed my life. I was people smart, not college trained, so when an economic crossroad came for my employer, I was the one cut because I didn’t have an accounting background.  Ironic, since you don’t need numbers in life to see how things add up. However it was that people smart, which later connected me to someone I had helped while working in that job, and he gave me a chance.  That chance introduced me to a friend of his, which took me to another job, where I met a man who ironically had an accounting background.  He was unassuming and gentle, and we eventually tied the knot.

Through that knot, my daughters and I weaved the future we were destined for, one that would never have happened if I had just held onto the rolled up thread in my hands when they were born, not seeing that it needed to be followed.  One took her needs and abilities far into nursing, changing lives around her forever, another let life take it’s time until she met an older man, who eventually took her heart, sharing with her a multi-faceted journey and a daughter.  The last one, traveled with me out of state, where she met a boy, that later caused a return trip years down the road, where the man of her dreams was waiting, and the eventual love for three boys she would mother.  Amazing what a small thread can do.

I won’t lie and say I didn’t have a chance to change things for myself, there were indeed two forks along the rutted road of my tapestry; one was content and pewter and the other sparkling and gold.  I could have chosen the pewter one, stayed with the father of my children, ignored the unraveled thread, and accepted life, not hearing the voice in my soul.  But if I had, those colorful and connected stitches of life which became my adult daughters, and later their children, would have been very different.  I didn’t need a bell to give me wings back then, I knew my journey in this life was for them, and so I kept going.  The golden fork was one of those temptations appealing to every selfish human emotion we are born with.  However, as the lyrics say, in reaching for something golden, your hand comes down empty, and even though I truly tried to think of a way to make it work, I knew it never would – we all would have turned into toads, and I could never be that self absorbed.

So, today as remember the last smile on my mother’s face, I know she died pleased with her tapestry.  It wasn’t stitched in such finery that it could be hung from either side; there were frays of colored thread, and an occasional missing stitch.  However, for the most part, it was beautiful, and she lived the part she was meant to.  She had never been concerned about where she came from or who she was, because she always knew who she was meant to be, and she did it perfectly, never asking or expecting anything more.

I am thankful for the wisdom that came to me at 14, sharing a room of brilliant creativity, realizing early on, from the music in my soul there was a tapestry I had to stitch.  I have felt the earth move, enjoyed being a natural woman, cried in pain hoping I would be loved tomorrow, assured others they had a friend, even when we were so far away.  And going where I was led emotionally and spiritually, even when it was way over yonder and made no sense at the time, I always felt beautiful and made sure my daughters knew they could always come home again.  In this life like my mother, I knew who I was, and why I was, and that can be framed perfectly on either side of life.

http://www.noiset.com/carole-king–tapestry


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Satanic hors d’oeuvres please

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There is far too much whine at the table of life, no one serving and not enough hors d’oeuvres to realize it. For whatever the reason or divine plan in my own life, I have been exposed to unique and important view points and road signs along my journey, and if there was ever a reason to be thankful and feel blessed, that would without a doubt be mine.  Growing up, I thought these blessings were just a way of life, the story of the man who ran the hardware store, the down on their luck people my father helped in his capacity as police chief or even the neighbor, who lived an almost double life as dear friend, and nightly bar stool warmer sitting two fingers neat.  They all molded my character and how I eventually saw people, but more importantly, what I saw in myself.

As I grew up, life afforded me hors d’oeuvres in the form of a week-end trip once a year; from the time I was five until I turned twelve.  Traveling with my parents to new states for an annual police chief’s convention, provided the actual no holds barred fruit cup and open bar banquet for my hors d’oeuvres of knowledge, as well as people from walks of life I never would meet again.  Just like the fictional back story for Law and Order, they were their own stories.  As my young branches were bent, from glittering cocktail gowns, mug shots, ethics and pure entertainment, I began to see people as more than the sum total of what stood before me.  This journey continued into high school when I traveled to Spain in a student exchange program, and saw the stories yet again, only this time clearer, because the language was not always understood and actions did the speaking loudly.  This stage I was set upon, always filled me with respect, humanity, wonder and creativity, which in my youth I thought was simply preparing me for motherhood, and the responsibility of sending little ones off into the world, as prepared as possible.

Nope.

In between the branches, on my family and society tree, I also discovered the selfish, hurtful and uncaring actions which grew along the solid bark of my soul.  There is a reason people talk about the tree and not what grows, because the “leaves” are what usually need to go and not stay.  They forever change the tree, and more often than not for the worse.  Guess that is why a Christmas tree is an evergreen – spiritually speaking someone figured that out early.  Maybe it’s also why autumn is my favorite season, when the self indulgent are no longer sunning themselves, only heard one last time, when they fall away brittle, to make room for a hopeful green regeneration in the spring.  Yes, the tree remains grounded, the temporary is what leaves.

Walking through adulthood, my hors d’oeuvres continued, with celebrities in the media, professional sports, indigent and affluent and creative minds which were awe inspiring.  All of their ability and knowledge every bit as glittering as the cocktail gowns from my mad men era upbringing, and their stories just as intriguing.  One thing that never changed though regardless of their station in life, was that compassion and love can be polished, glitzed up or put in a five pound sack of manure, and when it is all said and done, it always looks beautiful.  I am most thankful for a Grand Wizard and a Satanist who confirmed this, although it was a given in my soul already.  You can’t say the same about hate, jealousy, anger, rage or selfishness – because without the trappings of money and some type of power, they are just a cold bare frame, devoid of anything nourishing and you are usually happy to see them leave.

Enlightenment, as I sat across the table listening to the words of Zeena Lavey, daughter of Anton LaVey, the Church Of Satan’s favorite son – so what if his name really is Howard and he came from Omaha. Hearing the Golden Rule twisted into perversion, where only the strong survive and the weak need to be annihilated, from someone in designer clothes, speaking only to further her own tarnished self image, made me lose my appetite.  Likewise, as Grand Wizard David Duke preached the glory of the KKK and ethnic cleansing from my office, I needed more than mental sorbet.  However, because we live in a country of free speech, their free will to exercise it, gives strength to those unable to feed their own minds, which even back then was disturbing, now it is flat out terrifying.

There are no hors d’oeuvres with the fast food most of us now live on, no savoring of the individual elements to prepare us for the appreciation of the main course; most of us just sustain life now and little more.  I often wonder if the Last Supper was type of harbinger for what was to come in humanity – giving us a chance to see emotions and forgiveness one last time before all hope is gone.  I can’t see how mankind can continue in this race against time with blinders on, only taking in what we must have to survive, ignoring the needs and lives of others, only content when we are selfishly satisfied by food, money, and personal power.  Just like the Lorax said, everything dies without the base of the tree.

As my time on this earth continues towards the end, I will prefer to look back at what made my life’s buffet memorable.  Like sitting in the official press room while still in high school, hearing Rosalynn Carter talk about, and later prove how humanity was more important than politics, taking notes eager to share in my school paper.  I’ll remember famous athletes with multi-million dollar contracts who worried over taking care of their mother or needing me to find a crib at the Super Bowl, an elderly dying man offering to help me in a time of need, a sculptor in Zimbabwe making treasures from the earth, feeding his family with pride for a year on the $25 from my purchase, a child looking into my eyes knowing they were loved, and a movie star who stopped to open a door for me, when we walked in the same direction.  We are all in this life together for a reason, and we have a responsibility to one another, that on some occasions we must be the hors d’oeuvre, enriching one another with experience and ability, the other may not yet have had, serving one another in compassion, and breaking bread  not bones, which have been beaten down with the random sticks and rolling stones of ignorance.