Circling the Wagons

For some, there seems to be an impulse now to “circle the wagons.” I was at first willing to see this simply in terms of fear and contraction, but maybe there’s more to it.

I thought of quail, who for safety and protection gather in a circle, facing out. When a threat arises, they flush and startle and are able to remain safe, together.

And what did it originally mean, to circle the wagons? Wasn’t it a communal life affirming act?

And I recall the October 17, 1989 earthquake. And there was certainly a similar response. We gathered together communally for our security – it was a powerful – seemingly almost biologic – urge. We gathered with neighbors in the open courtyards during the day. At night our families felt best all sleeping together in one room. And we did. Our bodies complied with the powerful urge.

And perhaps this is similar to an impending “birth” – a process that can be seen as a crisis – scary, dangerous, messy, bloody, somebody could die, fear and pain is involved – but there’s so much more too. There is a great communal and protective urge too – to celebrate new life but also to join together to nurture and care for this precious new life.

Yesterday I was reading a book where the author (Nancy L. Bieber) wrote that “Something More” is one of her favorite “names” for God, Spirit, Divine, Life, Love . . .  – whatever name we choose to call “it.” And I kind of like the name “so much more.”

What if god was one of us?

It’s a song – of course!

And this is very new for me. My Grandma Lorraine was schizophrenic. As a child, I remember her as lovely and wonderful in her quirkiness. But, in my adult life, I have always been afraid of people who seem “crazy.” It was one of the hardest things for me about being a Public Defender. Many of my colleagues were great at dealing with people with mental illness, but it was always very difficult for me. I never knew quite what to do, never felt comfortable or confident in my interactions.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. I was attending Celebration/Worship services at St. Francis in the Foothills UMC. A thin, disheveled, dreadlocked, kind of crazy looking/acting young man walked right up to David in the front of the Center and said something like “I am a Jew, being persecuted by my parents, I don’t know where to go.” My immediate thought when I first saw this man standing there very close to David was, “He is Jesus.”

I don’t remember exactly the order of events, but I do remember stating loudly something like “this is a good place for you.” David repeated that, and also told the man he would talk to him at the end of the service, and a retired minister came forward and gently escorted the man to a seat and sat with him.

I did notice David talking to the man after the service. And later, I noticed the man sitting alone outside on a bench a bit apart from our after service gathering spot. I heard someone say that if you engaged him, he would talk for an hour.

I had a very strong sense that this was a very good place for that young man to be – the physical place that is called Saint Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. Earlier in the week I had meditated on Spirit’s Highest Vision for St. Francis and one of the things I saw was a very real “vortex” or “cone” of energy “above” the property. I also had the sense that it was a very healing energy. So, I was not at all surprised that this man was somehow attracted to St. Francis. And I, once again, felt the pull to tell him that this was a good place for him to be.

I approached him, asked if I could introduce myself, shook his hand, and learned his name is Benjamin. I sat on the bench next to his, and told him I wanted to let him know that I thought this was a good place for him to be. He was not too interested in engaging with me, stayed turned away, and said he was just waiting for someone to give him a ride down the road to the Jewish Community Center. I said something else, can’t remember what, and he again said the same thing, he was just waiting there for the ride. I told him that I knew for him, even if he was unable to know for himself, that he would make the right choices for himself. As I stood to leave, I once again offered him my hand, he took it, and I told him, meeting his eyes, that he would be very well. There was a connection. He heard me. And some part of him knew that I believed that. He asked me my name, and I told him. It sounds kind of sappy, but I must say it – I had a very real heart connection with Benjamin – and I would not be at all surprised to learn that he (like everyone, isn’t it what we believe?) is Jesus.

Matthew 25:40 The Message (MSG)

37-40″Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:45 The Message (MSG)

45″He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

Potluck

I’m taking the HEART series course and we share a heart healthy vegetarian potluck meal each time we meet. It’s wonderful! We get to “break bread” together, try wonderful new recipes and connect with each other.

We are assigned a particular category each week, but it’s pretty “loose.” One week one of the gentlemen was not able to get home to pick up his dish, so he just brought himself. One week I lost my list, and the instructor no longer had a copy so she said just bring something heart healthy and yummy!

I have been a bit concerned about what I could bring this evening because I have an appointment this afternoon which might make it challenging to get there on time, much less worry about what to bring, and keep cool, or keep warm . . .

So, last night, in my dreams, the instructor told me that I needed to bring 5 items for our next potluck. I think it was for some kind of “amend” but I can’t recall that part. I thought she was kidding, but then I realized she was not. When I woke up enough to write something down about it in my journal, I wrote about the new way (a different take on fairness or justice):

  • some bring some,
  • some bring none,
  • and some bring more.

Sounds “just right” to me. Or maybe “just us” (say it aloud, it sounds like justice).

Reconciling with Country Western Music

In her book Listen with the Heart – Sacred Moments in Everyday Life, Joan Chittister says this about music: “If you know what music it is that you can’t bear to hear, you’ll know what memory it is that you haven’t come to peace with yet.”

For me, it was country western music – the music my Dad listened to and the music my Step-Dad listened to. And this insight did help me come to peace with memories of them.

And what a joyous reconciliation with country western music I’ve experienced! I don’t know if you’d call Elvis country western, but apparently my mind put “gospel” music of any type in there too. (Or, hmmmm, maybe that’s another area where I’ve done some peacemaking with my memories.) I’ve already written about Waylon Jennings. And there’s Tammy Wynette too. And somehow Johnny Cash never got wholly ousted but I can enjoy his gospel tunes now too. And Hank Williams, Sr., Jr., and III. Wow. A whole new bright and wondrous arena is re-opened to me! Thank you.

Here’s just a few examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9lZPWdqfqc (Men with Broken Hearts, 3 generations of Hank Williams)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc-YCcP1HrU (Walk a Mile in My Shoes, Elvis Presley)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM-S6wVw8rA&feature=fvwrel (I Saw the Light, Hank Williams Sr. (and Jesus))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLhHYwqpLRA&feature=related (Wings of a Dove, Johnny Cash etc)

And, this has nothing to do with country western music but I just loved it today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv1oPvSg5G0&feature=related (That’s What Friends are For, Dionne Warwick and friends)

What if it is no longer necessary for the visionaries to be killed?

Isn’t it a beautiful question? Isn’t there so much hope contained within it? What if we have evolved as a species to the point where we don’t need to kill that which we do not understand or that which scares us? What if we are now willing to look at those fears, or whatever fears or seeming inadequacies we have, and dive into them, and discover the great freedom that lies within them? What if we as a species have already developed new ways of allowing? What if it is possible that we humans get to the point where the light pulling us forward is so bright that the darkness that is so much a part of our human condition pales in comparison, and is seen as only a very minor nuisance? What if it isn’t as hard as we think it might be? What if there are so many who are ready, willing, and able – waiting with bated breath – to befriend, and companion, and love us, and all we have to do is ask?

(I am so inspired by Russell Brand on the Rosie Show, and by the Occupy Wall Street people across the country and here in Tucson. And before I push the “publish” button, I ask myself, boldly, “For the love of God, is there any reason I should not publish this!?” And the answer I get is clear.)

Marching Song

Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1944 edition

Another gift that seems to come to me “out of time” and perhaps as part of my heredity, or a legacy. The red cloth cover is delicious. And, on the front, is me, a young girl with her folded paper hat and her wooden sword held high, leading the march. Brother Jimmy is just behind her, banging the drum. You have to use your imagination to see that the little boy at the end of the line is her baby sister Becky, playing a small flute.

The illustrations in this book make my heart sing. No wonder I have dreamt of joyfully swinging so high, of cows, of crocodile, and of Grand Adventure of every sort.

The book came to me in a dream (A Child’s Garden of Verses) and I went to Powell’s in Portland and was able to purchase the “right” edition. I think it was Summer 2010. And I seemed to remember it from my youth. Then we came home, and I had the same edition, in my closet, with all the old books I had inherited from my Granny. Maybe I read it at Granny and Grandpa’s house when I was a little girl. And I saw the date it was published and began to wonder if it wasn’t my mom’s book originally. At first she didn’t seem to remember it. Then, she thought maybe she did. Or at least that’s how I recall it. Memory is so facile (and, this happens to me a lot lately – a word will come to me and I won’t really know what it means but I’ll look it up and, sure enough, it will be “just right” – like facile).

Marching Song (the cover illustration relates to it)

Bring the comb and play upon it! Marching, here we come! Willie cocks his highland bonnet, Johnnie beats the drum.

Mary Jane commands the party, Peter leads the rear; Feet in time, alert and hearty, Each a Grenadier!

All in the most martial manner, Marching double-quick, While the napkin, like a hammer, Waves upon the stick!

Here’s enough of fame and pillage, Great commander Jane! Now that we’ve been round the village, Let’s go home again.

Living a Divinely Inspired Life

I think it was probably about two years ago that I told my husband and my sons that I was committed to living a divinely inspired life. “Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.” (Truckin’ by The Grateful Dead)

And Daughtry’s song, Home, comes to mind too and especially these lyrics “Be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it all.”

It’s all good. (I especially like the first three definitions.)         http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=it%27s%20all%20good

mothre

I’ve figured out what to do with the body. Not exactly how yet, but some ideas are coming. It will be a funeral pyre — like a moth to flame — like a Phoenix. And the body will rest upon some dried up leaves from the flower Jessica brought me last year that dessicated inside my Tacheria notebook. And I will shred the $10 bill I found in the parking lot of Faith Lutheran Church and she will rest among that too. And there will be a “stand” of some sort for her to lie upon. And the fire will be built underneath, to burn hot and bright, to turn it all to ash.

I have her dead body sitting among my journals and books etc on the kitchen table. She is a moth. And she is my friend. She companioned me through the nights at the computer and just waited patiently on the wall during the day. I first met her (well noticed her) when she circled around the desk light to show me — yes, she is just like me and can also become very disoriented if not following the true light. Artificial lights wreak havoc on her navigational system. She would hide in the shadow behind the keyboard after that to stay out of it’s attractive, but false, glow.

I found her dead in the middle of the floor Saturday morning before leaving for Tacheria. Eric had us do an animal meditation and ask for the name of the animal. I could not think what animal to choose, but then I thought of the moth. She came to me. Told me her name is mothra. And I thought that was pretty hilarious because it made me think of some hokey 50’s science fiction movie where, as I recall, there was some horrifying moth creature. Then I learned the spelling of her name — mothre. And she flew into my heart and filled the empty space that was there. And I put my hands over my heart, and I could tell it was whole.

. . . . all the way home

This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.

Last night I was telling my mom the story of my blog’s web address. I came up (well, “we” came up) with the we oui whee part, but my husband Duane added the WOW. Isn’t that an interesting masculine-feminine joining! And both of us thought we knew what the other was talking about, but we didn’t, and then we “discovered” it together. What a delightful and happy “accident.”

Last year, I had another website, not a blog, with the we oui whee name. I asked my son Matt (m@) and he got the domain name for me. (He also got Duane’s “Lemons” racing website.) Well, the account lapsed, and we lost the domains. Matt was too busy to get them reinstated, so Duane just decided to do it himself. So he called the company and got both names back. Then he began setting them up. This is all new for him so it took a few days. He said he was going to try to get the WOW part off, but I could start playing with it. Well, impatient me, was not content to wait and sent out the blog link including the WOW, telling people it might be removed later.

Now my understanding of the WOW was that the program just somehow automatically added it and he just didn’t know how to remove it and he was waiting for Matt to have time to help him with it. But, it turns out that Duane added the WOW because he thought that’s why I chose we oui whee, because the initials spelled WOW. And I didn’t even realize the initials spelled that!

The first comment back on my blog was from my sister. She said, after reading my blog, that WOW seemed just right! And Matt said I really might want to drop it because it was a common acronym for World of Warcraft. Well I laughed. Wouldn’t it be funny if someone looking for that came to my blog?!

I thanked Duane so much for adding the WOW, and I’m keeping it.

As I finished up with my story, my mom said, and it’s also “wee wee wee all the way home.”  I said yes, I know, but it’s only 3 wee’s and that little rhyme has 4 wee’s, so it’s close. She told me she says it with 3 wees. So I looked it up on Google, which led to Wikipedia, and sure enough – 3 wees all the way home! Thank you mom!

And I remember my membership class at St. Francis and David asking us for our dreams, visions, something like that. I told him about my dream of having a little home of my own. It has been a persistent and recurring deep desire for many years. And 2 years ago, I drew a “self-portrait” of me, and I was the home (my body was a house, with a window into my heart, and a door into my belly – the door knob my belly button). And at the end of August of this year I signed a spiritual Commitment that I drafted. It was another strong “homecoming.” And in September, I got back “home” from Oregon. And now, finally, I am at home with myself. And I am at home with God. And “we” are having the time of our lives.

And, of course, a song comes to mind, and it’s called “True” by Spandau Ballet:

Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
So true…….
Funny how it seems…..
Always in time, but never in line for dreams.
Head over heels, when toe to toe,
This is the sound of my soul. (This is the sound)

I bought a ticket to the world,
But now I’ve come back again.
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
When I want the truth to be said…….

Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
I know this much is true.
Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
I know this much is true.

With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue,
Dissolve the nerves that have just begun.
Listening to Marvin all night long.
This is the sound of my soul. (This is the sound)

Always slipping from my hands,
Sand’s a time of it’s own.
Take your seaside arms and write the next line,
Oh, I want the truth to be known…….

Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
I know this much is true.
Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
I know this much is true.

*break*

I bought a ticket to the world,
But now I’ve come back again.
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
When I want the truth to be said…….

Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
I know this much is true.
Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
I know this much is true.

I know this much is……..
I know this much is…….
True.

I know this much is……
I know this much is…….
True.

I know this much is……
I know this much is…….
True.

I know this much is……
I know this much is…….
True.