Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Sunday, June 29, 2014

12-14-13 RMB Imagination

12-14-13 RMB Imagination

Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Today is Saturday, which allowed me some free time to try on clothing that almost fits. This ritual encourages getting into shape. I want to get into the shape that would fit in those pants. Sometimes it is easier to take a very specific goal and aim for it, knowing that it will accomplish so many others. To lose weight, to be healthier, to eat better, numerous goals will be accomplished, when I can fit into those pants.

Mid-day was spent reading tarot cards with Maria. We discover ourselves and our paths in a variety of ways, by the goals we set and the directions that pull on our hearts, in play and in work. When we stop to say “this feels good” or acknowledge “wow, I am enjoying this”, we see a side of ourselves that sometimes surprises or enlightens us.

Tarot cards can be a form of play or prayer. I look at them as both. Reading cards is a way of looking inside and all around to see where we are and where we could be headed. It is more about the feeling inside than the cards themselves, but the cards make it a fun experience, with images that awaken the imagination.

I start with the Our Father prayer, remove myself, my own judgments, fears, and preconceptions, to make way for possibilities, for the voice of spirit, the greater good and whatever blessings may come. As we seek we find. When one looks for a path of goodness, it will appear. After reading her cards and mine, we walk away with a bit more clarity that when we sat down.

Later in the evening, I sat with the youngest nephew to make snowflakes, trimming folded triangles and taping the results on walls and furniture around the house. In our winter wonderland, it can snow even in sunny southern California. Imagination makes it so.

Warm wishes,


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

12-13-13 RMB Happy Holidays Indeed

12-13-13 RMB Happy Holidays Indeed

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

This week tested my limits. My temper reared up after days of rambunctious boys in the mornings before school, new computers at work and frustrations with family. Today, one of the moms was free to deliver the rascals to school and I celebrate that it’s Friday.

New annoys me. Once I get used to the new equipment, programs and systems, I will enjoy it all, but for right now, I am quarreling with machines and people alike. The cool evening and a feeling of TGIF soothed me as I drove away from work. I looked around, trying to get outside of myself, crawling away from the cranky me and searching for peace. Flashing lights on the back of a vehicle caught my attention, but I was in another lane, forced to pass it and turn left.

As I drove through the light, my heart remained with the stranded vehicle. It tugged me back. After two quick U-turns, I pulled up behind the car that was stopped in a center lane. Not wanting to add to the backed up traffic, I headed for the nearest parking lot and then walked a short block back to the car.

I approached slowly, not wanting to startle the young woman inside with kids in the backseat. She wisely kept the window up, until I inquired “Are you okay?” 
She deemed me harmless and rolled down the window. “Yes, I just ran out of gas.”

“Do you need me to get you some?”

“No, my husband is on his way.” Her eyes scanned the street, looking for him I’d guess. Cars whizzed by behind me in the next lane over.

I considered waiting with her, but she was safe in the car. What was I going to do, hang out in the dark street in the middle of traffic? “Will he be here soon?” I saw her eyes scan the street again. “Is he coming from over there?” I pointed where she’d been looking.

“Yes, he’s on his way. He’ll be here any minute.”

“So you are okay?”

“Yes,” her eyes met mine, “thank you.” She seemed to relax and I realized that she was okay, but maybe she needed to realize that too and having a stranger ask the question, made her aware of it. I nodded and waved goodbye to her and the kids.

My work here was done. I remembered to shout “Happy Holidays!” as I jogged back to the sidewalk and I heard her return the sentiment.

Once home I watched Ben Affleck in Argo with my sister. Sometimes what others endure is beyond my comprehension. Stopping to assist a stranded vehicle, just to offer comfort, is minor compared to the lengths one man went to in order to save several strangers in this film based on a true story.

We all do what we can. As we give we receive. I gave a woman awareness of her own peace and she helped me find mine. Tony Mendez led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the Iran hostage crises, as depicted in Ben’s movie. Actions taken place in moments and days, live on in our memories and hearts.

Happy Holidays indeed,


Monday, June 23, 2014

6/14/14 RMB Ario Lynch

6/14/14 RMB Ario Lynch

Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Although I am still uploading letters from December of last year, I am flexing time here to bring forth a message from Ario. If Star Trek can bounce from century to century, I am game to manipulate my own artistry. Our only certainty is now, here in this moment, and this – his words, they are worthy of flexing time.

My enlightened editor friend, Jennifer Redmond Silva, brought his Facebook post to my attention with the preface, “From a strong and funny man that I'm pleased to have as my friend, and, incidentally, my nephew.”

My thanks to Ario for his contribution to our society,

With his gracious consent, his sentiments follow…

Attention fellow White Male Americans of the mostly Heterosexual variety:
We were gifted with traits not of our choosing. These traits, neither inherently good nor bad, were assigned privileges that became powers long before we arrived here. So many have used these powers to oppress and exploit others that true Equality among humans simply does not exist. Today these powers operate on our behalf whether we want them to or not. Just as Superman could stroll absentmindedly through a storm of gunfire or a raging inferno, we stroll through life benefitting at nearly every turn. Not to say that life is easy, or that we are free from the entanglement of inequality's thorny vines. For no one is free while others are oppressed, yeah? As the tall one in the kitchen I am happy to reach for what's needed from the highest cupboard. But, what if I can plainly see that my female companion's arms are pinned down, or that a stool is being withheld? What if Superman refused to fly, walking instead, to the mugging; or flinched when the assailant drew his gun. We, the white and the male, didn't create this world, but we are in it, and we have powers, to wield or not. And what do we risk by fighting for true equality? By always standing beside and, when necessary, shielding the displaced, the underprivileged, the oppressed against those who would deny the inherent rights of our fellow humans? By using our privilege/power to build and secure real Equality, we risk losing it. That's what equality means. No privileged group. No unearned power. We need not feel guilty or ashamed or defensive. The demand is not for our blood or our dignity. We have nothing sacred to lose in this battle if equality is gained. But until then we are truly lost. So....dudes. What do we do? How do we get there? I don't know, man, I'm one of you. Ask your girlfriend, your queer friend, your non-white friend. They may not have a quick answer, but you'll have opened yourself to the conversation. That's the first step. Please take it. And, for f*/%'s sake, do more listening than talking.
Thanks for reading.             
Be nice, be strong, be free.