Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Sunday, December 29, 2013

9-8-13 RMB Asking for Help

9-8-13 RMB Asking for Help
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
It’s a Sunday and as I run errands, I hear the clank of a soda can left in my backseat by one of the boys. “Arrgh” I tell them over and over again that my car is not a trash can, nor a place for recycling bottles and cans, nor their toy box. Yet, after nearly every visit, there are toys and sticks in my backseat.  I swear, if they were not so firmly seated in the center of my heart, I would ban them forever from my vehicle. As it is, I collect their treasures, remembering how thrilled they were to find the perfect sized walking stick and I picture the restaurant menu they colored as I scrape melted crayon from my upholstery.
On this particular day, the sound of the clanking can takes me back to one dark night in my eighteenth year. At the lowest level of management, I inherited the closing shift of our burger joint in an ethnically mixed, not so affluent, neighborhood. The entire crew was years, sometimes decades, older than I was. Often I felt like they listened to me as a favor. “Be nice to the youngster.” If nothing else, I knew they respected my work ethic. I give thanks to Dad for that. The Marine Corps upbringing instilled: if there’s a job to be done, do it and do your best.
One evening, as we wrapped up, after midnight, I asked how everyone was getting home. They were adults, but I was concerned about those that walked and tried to make sure they paired up or gave each other rides. One young man did not live near anyone else. He assured me he could make it home on his own. I said, “I’ll take you home.”  He tried to decline by telling me it would not be safe for me to be in his neighborhood, which made me want to see him home safely all the more.
So this little, white, wet behind the ears, girl took the big twenty-four year old black man, that seemed more like a boy to me, to his home. He was right. I did not feel safe. He told me to lock my doors as he got out of the car. I found my way back to the freeway easily enough, but as I was trying to figure out how to get home from there, I had my first flat tire…ever.
I was clueless about what to do, but pretty sure I knew the direction I was headed would take me to the freeway that would get me home. I would walk home and figure out what to do about the tire in the light of day. It would be a long walk, two or three hours. But, I was confident my legs would carry me home.
A half an hour or so into my trek, my confidence waivered. I realized the freeways did not connect as I thought they would and I was off course. Hmph! I considered backtracking. I was still trying to decide what to do when a car pulled up.
“You need a ride?” An old black man yelled out from a beat up station wagon. 
“No, I’m fine. I’m just going to find a phone to call a friend.” I lied.
“Get in, I’ll take you to one.” He insisted.
“No, really, I’m fine.” Liar.
The car crept alongside me. “You can get into the back, if you want. See, I can’t reach you there.” He put his arm back over the seat and pointed to where he expected me to sit. I thought, Oh, great, it’s out in the open that I expect him to assault me, glad we can discuss this so calmly.
I weighed my options. It was obvious he was not going to leave me there. If we drove someplace, maybe we would at least be around other people. It was two in the morning and there was no one in sight. “Okay, just to the next exit. There’s probably a gas station there and I can call my friend.” I had an ulterior motive, to look at a map and figure out how the hell to get home.
My plan was still to walk it, thinking I must have made some progress in the general direction of home. I had never asked a favor of anyone and I was not about to start. Friends and family may dispute my claim about not asking for favors previously, but the stubborn eighteen year old I was that night determined I could handle this. Having recently asserted my independent status by moving out of my childhood home, I thought I was acting as an adult. In reality, my behavior was closer to that of a stubborn child. 
I got in the back. He offered to fix the seat for me. It was down and the back was full of empty cans, clanking away. I smelled alcohol and hoped it was coming from the cans and not his breath. I insisted he stay there and drive. “No, this is good. Go ahead and drive. I’m okay here.” No, I was not.
He pulled off at the next exit. There was a gas station with a phone booth. They were still in operation then. This was before cell phones. He smiled at me. “You sure? I can wait till your friend comes.”
“No, no, I’m fine.” Yep, lied again. As he pulled away I stood leaning against the phone booth, looking at the gas station, the closed gas station. I didn’t want a phone. I wanted a map, damn it!
I paced around. The gas station was in the middle of a neighborhood. It was a nice enough area, but it offered me no clue where I was. I didn’t recognize the street name. I walked a couple of blocks. I didn’t recognize the next street, nor the next. I contemplated walking back on to the freeway, but did not want to risk running into another pushy Good Samaritan.
I swallowed my pride and walked back to the phone. I called my roommate. The phone woke her. “What? Where are you???” I didn’t know. I explained where I had dropped off my employee and the path I had walked. I gave her the name of the exit we took to the gas station. “Stay there, it will take me a while. Stay there, okay?”
“Okay. I will. I’m sorry.” I was in tears, not because I was it was the middle of the night and I was scared. I was in tears because I was angry. I wanted to be a grown up able to take care of myself and I had failed. The disappointment I felt in myself seared me, burning the inside of my chest. It caused tears to boil out of me and scorch my cheeks. The temper that I often turn on myself was in full force that night.
It didn’t help that my roommate was upset with me for not finding a phone and calling her right away. I tried to explain that I could have walked, if I had known the roads better. I silently determined to study a map. She insisted I would be upset with her if the tables were turned.
That night she tried to teach me that part of being an adult is knowing when to reach out for help. She illustrated in example after example how friends look out for each other. It has been a long hard lesson for me to learn. I didn’t learn it that night. I’m not sure I’ve learned it yet, but I am grateful for her attempt to teach it and I am grateful to the man who helped a wet behind the ears white girl find her way home.
Many, many thanks,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

9-7-13 RMB Hmm?

9-7-13 RMB Hmm?
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
On this very warm Saturday I take up my friend’s offer to let the boys swim in her pool. They splash and play while I sit and think or chat with my friend.
Later, I retire to my room to write and read. I am juggling a few books now, along with your Wish You Were Here, I am reading Gerri Hill’s The Scorpion, another good book by another superb author. The crimes she describes are a bit much for me, but I know others like that kind of grit. Her characters are intriguing and the locales are well thought out. Her story lines draw me in.
I am also reading a book on organizing one’s mind. It goes more into details of how the brain works than I think I need to know. I can see this book does not hold any keys to how I can make my brain function better, but I’ll keep hunting for one that does.
In sales, I’ve learned that giving people too many options muddles the process. Give a person two things to chose from and the choice is easy. Give them three and there is more hesitation, four and they’ve lost focus, more than that and forget it. In life, we have so many choices in every aspect of living…what to do, where to go, how to act, what to think, how to plan our day. Our attention is pulled and our obligations mount. Our focus is lost; our minds muddled.
If there were one thing you wished to accomplish in this life, what would it be?
I ask myself that and the answer is clear. Write. Leave works of meaning behind. We can take nothing with us when we go, so acquiring objects seems of little value to me.
Yet words, words can echo from one plain to another, from those willing to write them, speak them and share them to those willing to hear and understand them. Something tells me that I can take my words with me, ones I gather together that hold something precious, once written, read and spoken. They will carry on. They will accompany me and others on our journeys. And perhaps, with the help of the good Lord or fate’s blessing, I will come around to meet my words again on this plain.
What will I write that echoes forward? Of that I haven’t a clue, but I feel these letters are a step in that direction, or a part of the body of work that will hold court with someone’s heart, sometime, somewhere.
If there were one thing you wished to accomplish in this life, what would it be?
There are as many answers as there are individuals, and I venture to bet most, are fun, exciting, thrilling, loving things. What if our time and our choices were centered on that accomplishment? Would we help one another? Would we be happier? Kinder? Stronger, wiser?
If there were one thing you wished to accomplish in this life, what would it be?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

9-6-13 RMB Jane and Mary

9-6-13 RMB Jane and Mary
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
It’s Friday night. tgif :)
Today the internet search engine, Google, tells me it is Jane Addams birthday. She lived from September 6th, 1860 to May 21st, 1935. Her name is vaguely familiar.
Google reminds me she was a pioneer settlement worker, founder of Hull House in Chicago, a public philosopher, sociologist, author, a leader in the woman’s suffrage movement and world peace. Those last two credits caught my eye and tugged at my heart. I dug deeper and found she was the first American woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I like this gal!
I read on. She is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States. Not one of us can do individually, what all of us can do collectively. She knew that. She “got” that… and she did something about it.
Some days I find it difficult to check all my boxes; to fulfill my obligations in the day’s span of twenty-four hours, and she accomplished so much more in a time when simply doing laundry or cooking a meal took ten times longer than it does today.
I looked to see what motivated her and what help she had in her work. I wondered what kind of support she had; if she married a rich man and had servants at her beck and call. No, there was no husband, but she did not do all of this completely on her own. My research reveals “Addams was close to many women and was very good at eliciting the involvement of women from different classes.” This reminds me of your early days forming women’s collectives.
And for Jane, there was one special woman, Mary Rozet Smith, with whom she shared a “romantic friendship” and a home. I like that phrase, romantic friendship. It was said Smith “became and always remained the highest and clearest note in the music that was Jane Addams’ personal life.” When apart, Addams wrote to Smith, “I miss you dreadfully and am yours ‘til death.” The article noting this, mentions “it is possible that she was a lesbian.” Ya think?
Interesting how they avoid labeling her outright, as if it that would be a negative statement, but then why mention it at all? Perhaps it is a good thing they mention it, pointing out an aspect of this person’s life, a person that accomplished so much, giving the word lesbian a positive reference in our history.
I am glad Smith found Addams and I wonder if Addams would have accomplished all she did, had Smith not found her. To whomever it was that saved their letters and to those honest enough to document their life together, my hat goes off to you. In a world where history slants to the “right”, it’s important that we remember life is made rich by recognizing the essence of each individual’s contribution, in every way.
Cheers for Jane and Mary,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

9-5-13 RMB Your Best

9-5-13 RMB Your Best
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
I told her, “If you think you are doing your best, be happy with that.” The young intern sat at her desk with tears in her eyes, having been raked over the coals by our supervisor. I watched her gather strength from the words. Her back straightened; her chin raised a bit. She had, indeed, done her best. She had done the work well.
In other, intangible areas, she fell short of other’s expectations, expectations vaguely defined and shifting by degrees. To me the work is always of utmost importance, eclipsed only by the will to do one’s best, regardless of the outcome. To others, there is a game of positioning. In work, as in life, often the difference between right and wrong is a judgment call. Whether we do good, good enough or outstanding, is all relevant to perception…and the composition of the person doing the perceiving.  
I attempted to instill in her the knowledge that the individual that counts most, the one who’s judgment is critical and above all others, is herself. She listened carefully and I wished I had more powerful words, ones to counter those that wounded her.
In our vast and multifaceted universe, when we find ourselves surrounded by people or circumstances causing discomfort in anyway, we can search out and find a better place to be. My issues with change cause me to struggle with this, but our young teenaged intern was easily guided by her inner compass. She gave her notice the next day.
Maybe this day and the look in her eyes haunt me because now change is afoot and I must deal with it…maybe I am just miffed because I will have to train another person. Isn’t that what everything is about, our self and how we are effected? I’d like to think I am not that shallow, but I am sure it is a part of it.
So why am I writing about this? Am I just a softy, wounded by another’s pain? This doesn’t feel like a wound. It feels like anger; anger that we must push and pull and hurt one another in our effort to move forward. There must be a better way and it frustrates me to no end that it eludes us; that even in my own circles, there are injuries, and although they are minor, everything is relative.

Monday, December 16, 2013

9-2-13 RMB Singing to the Choir

9-2-13 RMB Singing to the Choir
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Today is Monday, also Labor Day. I woke early to walk and then dove into editing and revising America. My sister and I are invited to a holiday gathering. She went. Being alone with my story, America, is my favorite way to enjoy the holiday. I celebrate with words, finding peace in solitude.
A friend says I am preaching, or singing, to the choir, that the people who read my books will already be of the open minded sort. If my goal is to open minds, I need to be more subtle and mainstream.  
I get it. She’s right. I plan to write a lot, more stories simmer, waiting their turn patiently, and none are overtly lesbian themed, like America is.
The America story was a whim that took off charging along its own path and I’m enjoying the ride. Interestingly, there have been ten or more readers of book one that would not have picked up a book with this subject matter. All have asked to read book two…singing to the choir am I?
And, hey, doesn’t the choir need to be sung to once in a while, whatever one’s cause or mission might be? Camaraderie, support, connecting with those of a similar voice, I feel that is important. In our interaction, perhaps we can refine our voice, make it more palatable, give it clarity, enhanced with stories of life and love, it strengthens and expands.
Somewhere out there, is a person at this very moment reading a book, one that sings to the choir, and thinking Hey, this makes sense to me. As a teenager and on into my twenties, I felt quite open minded and secure in who I was, but very separate from the rest of the world…it would have been nice to have read something written by someone else that connected me to other members of our universe.
That was in the eighties. If I’d looked, I could have found something to read…I could have read Rubyfruit Jungle. I didn’t because the whole subject was that foreign. It wasn’t discussed among anyone I knew, not even between my two girlfriends and me. Yes, being especially reclusive, my ambition and drive were directed elsewhere. When you work 16 hours a day at two or three jobs, there’s no time for reading.
But if it were more prevalent, if there were more folks out there singing to the choir, if the choir’s voice reached further out, echoed louder, deeper, higher…stronger, if I couldn’t avoid tripping over it for goodness sake…I would have liked that.
I’m just sayin’,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

9-1-13 RMB Believe

9-1-13 RMB Believe
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Today I spent a part of my Sunday meeting a friend for coffee to celebrate her birthday. I like people with September birthdays. They seem more clear headed than others. That could be my imagination, or it could have something to do with astrology. I don’t know the reasons, just the feelings I garner from my observations.
I sometimes read tarot cards for people on their birthdays. I remember once reading her cards, telling her she was going to be gathering with a group of people very soon, that she would like them and they would be good for her in their short time together. She could not identify the group, even when I described their particulars.
She called within days. She had forgotten about a class she signed up for and felt bad that she said she didn’t have a clue about what I was talking about. She said that my describing her in this group alone surprised her and added, “But I had to call you, because, as we stood around, I counted the people there and you were right about the number. Then I started to look at them and I could tell which ones you were describing. It was so neat.”
It’s not an insight that will save the world. The people there had a positive effect on her life in a fleeting way and that was all. So why? Why do we know things? Why do people come to me to hear such irrelevant details?
I often ponder those questions, when my insights seem so trivial, yet hold an impact of relevance to the subject. I’ve come to an understanding that nothing is what it seems in its solitary form. Everything is linked. Sometimes people need a tangible to grasp the ethereal. If I am “right” about this or that minor detail, then maybe, just maybe, when I tell them other things, the tangibles lend those other notions credence. When I tell them they have a powerful spirit, or help from above, or that they are connected to something greater than they can imagine and there is a reason for a certain day or event beyond our knowledge, maybe they will believe.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

8-31-13 RMB Write On

8-31-13 RMB Write On
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
It’s 86 degrees in my room on this Saturday night. That would not be too bad, but its 11pm, after a day of temperatures that soared way too close to 100. Night should offer more relief than this. So I’m typing America Book 2 with my iced coffee resting against my bare thigh. Occasionally I run the plastic cup along my leg so that the cold moisture forming on the outside will mix into and cool my own sweat. I take breaks to mist myself with water from a plastic bottle and across the room is a small fan aimed my way. Heat and I do not mix well.
Writing and I do mix well, and it makes everything better, the laying of words, one after another, building a story, syllable by syllable. Watching the character’s lives unfold. You can define the currents. You can see how one got from there to here and project the path from here to the next there. If only really life could be so easily deciphered…
The main character is named America, shortened to Ric. She is a charismatic, shorthaired, 5’ 7” woman in her late twenties, with a trim tomboy figure. Her mother describes her as “abnormal” and she came to accept her mother’s description because nothing about her fits into the world we know. She’s androgynous, neither very feminine nor masculine. She’s a free, adventurous spirit because she feels no need to conform to a world that won’t claim her as one of their own. She lives by no rules and does what feels good, whatever that might be. The only person she aims to please is herself and whomever she is with in the moment.
I think there is a part of all us that both feels abnormal at times and longs to be so free often.
Then there is Liv, short for Olivia, the supporting character, although my critics say I give her too much air time, that Ric is more exciting and not showcased enough.
Liv is damaged…aren’t we all. She fights battles that can never be won, because they live within her. They have claimed her and consumed her soul. She fearlessly protects others from harm.
As I envisioned these two characters, for Ric, I pictured a combination of a few people I have known, spirited people that could laugh just for the sake of enjoying a moment, a magical sound. Liz Benjamins was one of those people. A friend read an early version of the book and pointed out that the main character, Ric, was the embodiment of my ex. “And, of course,” she added, “Liv is you.” 
I did not have a person in mind when I wrote Liv. Yes, I had put elements of my ex in Ric, but she was a compilation of many people, some of whom my friend never even met. She never met Elizabeth Benjamins. As for Liv being me, I am not that damaged, not anymore, and I know I am not that strong, nor that brave, not yet.
Write on,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

8-30-13 RMB Friendship

8-30-13 RMB Friendship
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
We were trapped inside the enclosed porch of my family’s Pennsylvania home. I think my friend and I were both four years old. Bees were swarmed inside. We didn’t notice them when we entered. Our playing roused them. Did they want to play too, or were they angry? Either way, my friend and I were scared. We knocked frantically on the window. I remember wanting to climb through it, but it was locked from the inside. Memory gets fuzzy there. I think my big brother and sisters came to our rescue and we climbed through the window.  
She was the first friend I can recall having. We both liked playing in the dirt, exploring the ground, marveling at an ant colony and collecting rocks. I had an affinity for any activity that messed up the clean clothing I started out with each day. We moved away within the year and I never saw that friend again, but her presence left an impression on my life.  
What is a friend? What makes a friend family? What makes a family member a friend? The part that friends play in your stories and tenacity with which you hold on to them in your life fascinates me and prompts me to ponder the composition of friendship.
Tonight, as temperatures soared, a friend and I walked the aisles of a large store, cooled by their air conditioner. This friend and I live only a few blocks apart, but even with this proximity, time slips by void of contact, until one of us calls the other and says “Hey, what’s up? Let’s do lunch or take a walk or go to a movie or....”
As I walked the aisles tonight, I knew it had been too long. I had not heard the latest news about her business, daughter, son and grandkids. She had not heard me vent about work’s latest trials, nor brag and complain about the boys, depending on their most recent accomplishments or fiascos.
We had no urgent or important news to relay. What we did have was two lives to share through our transaction of words. And that is important. I found an emptiness filled by her stories and my own struggles lessened as I let loose my trials and tales.
There is a magic in the ability to exchange words with someone that cares. This magic is an element as real as any mineral and more valuable than gold, because it enriches the spirit. Whether you chat regularly or sporadically through the years, or simply during one of life’s brief encounters, only few family members and people we meet will truly treasure our words and our presence. Those individuals are counted among us as friends.
To friendship,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

8-29-13 RMB Little Guy

8-29-13 RMB Little Guy
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
On Thursday’s after work I take my sister to a meeting at the church which the boys attend on Sundays. The boys and I go to a park nearby and they play while I walk. Beforehand we normally grab a bite to eat at one of the many fast food establishments.
I am going through a phase of carrying a small purse-like contraption on a long string, it would qualify as a wallet, except it has that string. Before this I carried stuff in my pockets, like my ID and money. But as I lose weight my pockets, along with my pants, are now smaller, there is not enough room. Enter what I affectionately refer to as my “little guy”.
Part of the reason I have carried things in my pockets most of my life, is because I tend to be forget my purse or little guy, or whatever I am carrying and leave them various places. Fortunately I have not lost a child this way…yet, and my head is attached, although not always in top working condition, so there is no danger of leaving that, but if it wasn’t attached…
Anyway, tonight I dropped off the boys at their home and brought the sister home, only realize my little guy was nowhere to be found. I cursed myself, sure that I had left it at the burger joint. I returned to the restaurant and found that, yes indeed my little guy had been running amuck there. The counter girl remembered the boys and me. She brought it out as soon as she saw me walk in.
Thank goodness for the kindness of others. I have had things returned to me in various ways, through a stranger’s kindness.
I search for the lesson I am supposed to learn here. As I struggle with anger towards myself for being forgetful, I wonder if the lesson is kindness to myself. I have a temper and tend to be hardest on myself with it, something I find common among we humans.
A song written and sung by Helen Reddy in the seventies plays in my mind often, Best Friend. She sang it in the movie Airport 1975. It is about taking care of yourself, realizing you are your own best friend. I recall hearing it as a child, memorizing it and mentally singing it as I walked to school.
I am sure it helped me some with my own struggles, but it also caused me to consider hers. What conflict must she have endured to have searched out solace and written such words?
I have always been a big fan of hers. A couple of years ago I read her biography The Woman I Am. I like her mystical side. Not sure I follow every thread of it, but it intrigued me. Much of the things I wondered about were clarified, her struggles, her joys and her losses. I am thankful to her for sharing her story. In the grand scheme of things, hearing it from the woman that brought us I Am Woman, it is important. History will remember her and it is good to have her own words added to the mix. She is brave, for living the life she lived, for sharing her insights, for thinking outside the box.
She sang “Would you take better care of yourself? Would you be kinder to yourself…if you realized that your best friend is yourself? Who is always with you everywhere? Who is on your side when others are unfair?”
I’ll try,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

8-28-14 RMB Theories

8-28-14 RMB Theories
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Sparked by the letter about my three nephews that couldn’t get along for single second one day and how the rest of the world is in league with that behavior, as nation struggles against nation worldwide, a friend and I tossed out possible reason for the friction.
She noted the theory that everyone suffers from a “sense of lack” and limitation. Fear that there is only so much of everything causes us to fight for our own wants and needs, or else there won’t be anything left for us.
Although that matches what I see played out in the boys’ conflicts, it is not a theory I personally subscribe to, but then I am off the scale of average in a lot of ways. I voiced another theory that swings wide in the opposite direction, that we don’t really need anything, or even anyone, but I know this may be just my issues cropping up and not a theory of any relevance…In this theory we still feel an absence or a need because I think there is a place that hungers to be filled or a path that draws us to take it and that feeling of an unknown, source or destination, not sure which, pulls us.
A tug of war begins with something we can’t define and we pull and push one another, because we are here in each others’ face, a tangible entity to engage, when the whole reason for the engagement has nothing whatsoever to do with the other person…I venture to say it doesn’t even have anything to do with ourselves…but that would be speculating on something further still beyond our reach.
One thing is for sure, the answer will be found in the seeking of it, not in the disregard for the problem. Maybe reality is a better word than problem. Yes, this is our reality…and I have a problem with that.
I’d like to see us accept one another, get along, appreciate all there is to be appreciated in life, each other, nature…everything. Perhaps together we might realize that destination, or source, or whatever it is, more fully, with more clarity, with one another’s cooperation. Nah, I don’t ask for much.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

8-25-13 RMB The Butler

8-25-13 RMB The Butler
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
On a Sunday evening I joined a friend and my sister for an evening out at the movie theater. The Butler played on the big screen. I expected something lighter, something that focused on the white house and a man that worked there several years, a true story. That was all I knew about the movie.
It wasn’t about the white house, nor one man who worked there. It was about a generation of people that fought with words and fists and even silence to make our country better for everyone, for every one.
It was about the roles we play, how they affect our loved ones and how they affect our nation.
As I watched the movie, I watched it from two perspectives. From my own, a white California girl who, although warned about mixing company inappropriately, had never experienced rampant discrimination.  And I put myself in my friend’s seat, someone that had lived it, the decade or so between us and the shades of our skin, making that much of a difference in our life experience.
Movies like this are important…to remind us…to move the hearts of generations that would not otherwise feel the experience. Tears aren’t shed over history books, but in that theater, that night, tears fell.
I walked away with a stronger resolve. To do exactly what, I don’t know. To write RMB letters? To be a better, stronger, louder voice for the greater good?
As a nation we fought for equal rights, equal rights regardless of gender or color, neither of which can be hid, although some may try and a few do succeed…think of the women that fought as men in the civil war, as you pointed out in High Hearts.
Now, as a nation, we fight state by state for marriage rights for all. As Macklemore sings in Same Love, "A certificate on paper isn’t going to change it all, but it’s a damn good place to start.” Some stand on their God soapbox, not brave enough or wise enough or strong enough to speak for themselves and from their own heart. Those are angry words coming from me, perhaps even hypocritical because I am someone who depends so on guidance from unseen forces.
Maybe that is why it angers me that some use that source to enforce prejudice, because I have drank from that well and tasted kindness, not prejudice. Yet, as their words preach love, their actions promote selfishness, ignorance…treachery.
We can clearly see that equality among black and white, male and female was the right thing to do. How can other forms of equality be so hard to grasp to so many. When will we stop killing each other…and ourselves…over our differences in religion, brand of love, nationality, skin color?
Mixing causes, the variations of equality, some say they are vastly different, that Martin Luther King marched for “his” people, not “those people”. As I told my brave niece, “whenever you defend anyone against prejudice, you are defending everyone against prejudice.”
The greater good is all encompassing,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

8-24-13 RMB Imagine

8-24-13 RMB Imagine
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Today was a Saturday with three boys who can’t get along to save their lives. It’s like watching a microcosm of worldwide conflict. One must dominate, one must argue, one either mediates or adds fuel to the fire. And then it alternates. Another one must dominate and they all rotate positions. Until they find themselves where they began and the cycle begins anew.
No amount of counseling puts an end to the struggle, because when all is said and done, they are who they are. And today they are three boys that can’t get along, period.
I look at them and wonder if we are not much better than they are. In their youth they display a level of maturity that we have managed to perfect in our multi-millennia of adult years…where one nation must dominate, another argues and several others mediate or add fuel to the fire.
It exists on every level, in every neighborhood.
“Share your toys and games” I preach.
Yet don’t we all lock our doors with our gems tucked away inside for safekeeping?
Imagine the chaos we would have if we shared everything, if none were any hungrier than another, if everyone had something so that no person was left wanting?
I was too young to be a Beatles fan in the midst of the craze and didn’t really take a liking to them in the years that followed. Why bring this up now in the middle of a letter about world conflict and domination? Hold on, there is a point to this.
I listen to a lot of Spanish, oops excuse me, Latino radio (Is there a difference? Spanish/Latino? potatoe/potahtoe?). I take note of songs I like and go buy the CD. I liked a song by the two singers “Jesse y Joy”, so I now I sit listening to other songs by them, all in Spanish…except one.
The last song on the CD is John Lennon’s Imagine, written over four decades ago in 1971, as sung by Jesse and Joy in English. His words mean more to me now than they ever did before, as I sit listening to three boys argue, the news discussing a world in conflict and I attempt to see a better way, a kinder humankind…. Imagine.
From here to there,