Social Media,the most powerful platform for hate

22 Jan


ice storm


The internet brings our inner selves to the surface and if you think that is a good thing think again.  A mob of nasty mouth pieces are chewing the world up like gluttons at a cheap buffet.  While bashing bullies, they bully.  While discrediting hatred, they spew hate.  While expressing an ability to love those who are different than themselves, they crucify half of the population for not agreeing with them.  They label, categorize, and pronounce judgment in the name of unity.

These are surely divisive times, but division only works if one side is willing to turn against or destroy the other.  It is no coincidence that critical thinking skills have been cut from school curriculum, or that students are pushed away from a central prospective toward wildly varying extremes in efforts to coerce blind obedience to one narrative or another.  There was, I promise, a time when our children were neither pawns nor targets.  There was a time we were not girded in hatred and suspicion.

There was a time we didn’t feel so terribly entitled or supremely knowledgeable.  There was a time we didn’t excuse bad behavior by insisting such behavior was a right.

Once I said and believed I would never lose a friend over differences in political or religious points of view, but that was before I understood people have grown to deeply believe reality is either black or white, never grey; that compromise is a sign of weakness rather than strength, and that one personal opinion far outweighs all of the other personal opinions in the world because it belongs to you.

I’m old enough to remember when it wasn’t cool to fall in love with the sound of our own voice, and rather than loving a rush that comes after having verbally slaughtered or shamed a perceived opponent, we would have ourselves felt shame.  So, in deed, I have lost friends as I stepped into the new world where perspectives are carved in stone, and everyone demands validation.

But I have to say I feel empty inside; in spite of the fact that I know I am not alone.  And as I pull away to rebuild, to light once again the inner flame of compassion and trust I’ve lost, I often find tears running down my face, and I am filled with disappointment and woe for what might have been.

I don’t want a trophy or special attention because I know I’m not special, and neither are you.  We are all in the same boat, rocky as it is, and God help us as we bicker like spoiled children to see which lie we want to believe.

And God save us from ourselves.


The symmetry of summer

16 Jul

summer flower for poem

Dirt cracking open in a spray of flowers

Seamless blue sky parting for a passing cloud

Lace petals falling from swollen trees, seeds

settling between blades of grass and weeds

A dog patiently watching a cat

A hen following a rooster across an empty street

The sound of wind opening and closing


The scent of rain teasing parched distance

Secrets shared between children

The arrogance of a train shattering silence


Women drinking sweet tea in the heat of day

Men working till dusk in barns

A murder of crow darkening sunrise, a blanket of

fireflies punctuating night

Front porches and screen doors

Embroidered curtains flowing from open windows

Homemade cookies

Cold milk

Hot dogs and good neighbors

Hope boiling below the surface like hot tar on a roof


Prayers and good intentions

Strong-willed men

Resilient women

Casseroles and hymnals

Heat lightening, and

stolen kisses

The slow steady beat of summer altering patterns and

habits of earth’s most predictable beasts


25 Jun
It’s no surprise that bad news depletes rather than fills, but a sense of helplessness is only an illusion. If you want to change the world, begin by focusing on issues closest to home.
Attitude makes a huge difference and no one runs before he crawls. Instead of giving up or in, simply think.
1. Practice humility.
2. Do not confuse what you want with what you need.
3. Respect others.
4. Practice kindness while keeping true to your core beliefs.
5. Before criticizing others, repeat the criticisms into a mirror; most likely you need to hear the message more than you need to share it.
6. Never force your beliefs or opinions on others.
7. Always refuse to join angry crowds.
8. Listen instead of speaking.
9. If you ask someone a question and he does not answer, accept his silence as a valid response.
10. Smile rather than frowning.
11. Speak well of others.
12. Never boast or intimidate; there is a fine line between arrogance and bullying.
13. Do not fall in love with the sound of your own voice.
14. Be sensitive and aware.
15. Be a strong but loving parent to your own needs.
Be happy! Life is too short for anything else.  
Dream-Wisdom stone feather balance

Staying happy

18 May

“…the courage with which we bear our darkness frees others from having to carry it for us…”

John Tarrant, The Light Inside the Dark


That’s a quote from one of my all-time favorite books. The title is fairly self-explanatory and jives well with my basic life philosophy that from all things, most especially the dark or challenging experiences we encounter in life, there is great potential for inner growth.  And inner growth, when used to its fullest promise, impacts not only the way we live our lives but the way we view and interact with others.  This, of course, opens us, prepares us to achieve the highest levels of empathy and kindness which, in turn, benefits the entirety of planet earth as the love rolls outward, playing it forward.

exercising old ladies

Sometimes I watch the athletically gifted, or merely inclined, with near envy.  I was never much at outdoor activities unless it involved walking on the beach collecting shells, or sitting under a tree studying insect activities in mossy/dirt-laden carpets beneath the trees.  Usually there was a pen and tablet close by where I recorded my most profound and dramatic perspectives concerning the universe.  I wanted to be athletic, but a slight heart defect kept me from participating in strenuous activities so it worked out well that I enjoyed being a word-nerd.

Had life been different I doubt that I’d be running marathons or taking dance lessons at my age; I’m too reserved to be comfortable being Outstanding at anything these days.  Whenever there’s one handy, I still love walking on the beach, although I admit I sit gazing at the horizon more often, pen and tablet still in hand.  I love the woods more than it loves me, (I’m a flea, tick, and chigger magnet), but I still venture in to study the miracles and viciousness of nature.  And take notes.

old lady on beach

The world is full of darkness and grief; every day we see, experience or read about one extreme tragedy or another, and it’s hard to imagine when faced with horror there might be light at the end of the tunnel, let alone a potential for inner growth.  But there is.

I’m not as optimistic as I used to be but I still expect good things to happen.  I’m realistic about it though.  So if ten bad things happen I can usually find hope in at least six or seven of them.

The most important thing to me is maintaining absolute honesty with myself.  I own up to my stuff, positive or negative.  If I feel I’ve let someone down, for example, I say it out loud.  I let myself sit with the weight of that statement for a while, then forgive myself and move on.  I don’t brood anymore, and I try very hard not to dump my pain on others, although I struggle with the fine line between sharing and dumping at times.

If it’s really ugly, you can bet I’m going to keep it to myself.  Well, except for my poetry; that’s almost always tragic.

Still, I’m going to keep striving to be as stoic and respectful of others as Mr. Tarrant is.  I really don’t want anyone else to have to carry my load.  You can walk beside me, come along for the trip, but that’s all I’m really be comfortable with.  I love having goals and my heart is still good enough that I can stretch to reach them without injuring anything.





















My silence

19 Aug

A Journey Called Life ...

My silence is not my weakness,
It’s a pause, sometimes too long
when I listen to better songs on the radio.

View original post 207 more words

Sign of the Times

8 Aug

Early morning sky reveals the secrets day holds; but like many of us, the sky speaks in riddles.  Its indigo stained humidity, when seen through the lenses of a window shares the appearance of a winter storm.  It isn’t until you open the door that you see for yourself the truth of such illusion.

By 3 o’clock it will be 102 degrees and all possibility for rain, let alone a nor’easter, will disappear in heat’s grasp.  Calm will have descended; creatures will seek shelter from sweltering temperatures peering only briefly at the reality outside their hiding place.

Men will wipe their brows, push back damp hats, lean against the forgiveness of shade-bearing trees.

Women will fan red faces with the hems of work aprons as they sip yet another cool glass of iced tea.  Children on summer vacation will lean even more intently into the electronic escapes and connections they share.  Babies will chafe, cry, fitfully sleep.

The spring promise of green grasses and fruit trees bent toward the earth in bounty has been broken.  Cats, pregnant only a few months ago have grown scrawny.  Their fur is dusty and lack-luster as they bury themselves in dark corners of burnt leaves.  True to her word, summer burns.

The sky is a clock ticking subtle beats in homage to the cycles of time.  Seasons are mere minutes; tomorrow it will be winter.  Next week, spring.

The early morning sky is a predictor of gifts and challenges. It is a reminder to remember all of the things easily forgotten. Live fully; open the door.  See for yourself the truth hiding inside illusion.

morning sky

Under my Skin

13 Jul

Under my Skin.