Revolution

It began with the neck

twisting slightly to the left

following a sound

of a heart’s bugle call.

It wasn’t smart, this turn

but blindly seeking

a missed beat, a correction,

heartflow shouting,

purpose scouting.

And what began continued,

ears open wide

to the tide

of other things

the heart should know.

Once begun

it followed through,

straining for more

of the sound

the head turned round

just a little more,

eyes tear away from the goal

of what was once ahead

and now instead

the straight ahead shifts

leftward, inward, more and again.

Thoughts spin,

pivoting focus

out of the familiar

comfort zone

to walk alone…

Away from all teachings

guidance, and direction

stepping out in faith

without protection.

Knowing that the darkness brings

either a ledge to stand on

or lessons on how to fly,

always God-led

and grace fed.

A new vista

leftward leaning

turning more

till inward facing

bracing

into whence it came;

introspection,

home again.

Stirring deep

inside the Be

learning from the God

indwelling the soul

where He made Me whole.

Turning back to the dawn

of the self

lies wealth –

not of what was

left behind

but what I find

buried deep

in the honest purity

of naked being.

At one with

maker and creation lies

the truth

of Revolution.

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The Golden Hat

A few days ago I posted the video of the story of Carly, an amazing teenage girl with non-verbal autism.  It must have looked a bit out-of-the-blue on the Singlestream!  But I have a story to share.

There is no expertise behind me.  I have no understanding beyond what you yourself have access to on the internet and in the book stores.  What I write on the subject is not based on any interaction I have had with an autistic person.  It is simply a tug that has taken hold of my heart, a human story that stirs me, and a dialogue I feel led to become a part of.

I once sat through a presentation by a pediatrician.  He was very passionately entreating the audience, and those representing health insurance companies in particular, to learn about autism, to seek out the facts and get to understand the illness, and to find a way to help the parents of autistic children to care for their children.  It was acknowledged that care for autism is not covered by many health insurance companies even now and even where it is covered the parent is faced with disqualifying features.  For example, speech therapy is limited to speech lost in some health insurance plans, occupational therapy may be covered up to six visits a year, and care for anything to do with autism falls into the mental health category which may or may not be covered by others at all.  He encouraged a deeper look at what we as a community could do for those with autism – there isn’t enough money to pick up where insurance leaves off, there is not a lot of focus on autism by charity works and public education because it isn’t a life threatening disease in the same was as say cystic fibrosis, and there is very little understanding around the full spectrum of autism.

It stayed with me, this lecture.  It has been at least two years, and I still see the man’s passion, the frustration with some of the questions (oh my goodness I myself got frustrated when one woman said she didn’t believe autism exists and that parents just need to learn to love and discipline their children!).  I remember being struck by the invitation he made to consider a different life – what if I were me, completely and precisely me inside, and yet was completely unable to communicate to my family?  What if I were unable to hold my bowels or point to where it hurts when I’m injured?  What if I was fully aware of all of this, stunningly intelligent (as I sometimes think I already am) and held back by a body that would not obey my commands?  Then he invited us to understand the parents.  What if you have no way of reaching your child, have no resources to pay for full-time care, and receive no assistance from the government, the health insurance company, the medical providers and other social institutions?  Marriages have ended and livelihoods lost to care for autistic children.  But this is your child.  And you love them completely. You will do whatever it takes for them.  But do you?

And then a few weeks back I stumbled upon the Golden Hat, a black and white picture book created by Kate Winslet and Margaret D. Ericsdottir, mother of Keli, a non-verbal autistic boy.

Kate and Margaret tell the story of how the Golden Hat came about by publishing Keli’s poetry, words that cling to you.  His most haunting is the poem about the Golden Hat.  You read the story of their determination and the mission of the Golden Hat Foundation that sprung up around this poem in the emails between the two women.  Margaret writes of her son, of his first words, of her challenges and her love.  And Kate does as I did in that lecture, puts herself in Margaret’s shoes and finds herself not very different but for the grace of God.

The story then follows the travels of the Golden Hat from one famous person to another with a letter.  Kate described her purpose to each recipient saying:

“To produce a book of photographs of well-known people all wearing the same hat.  My favorite beaten-up trilby, to be precise.  They would all be self-portraits taken on my basic digital camera, which I will send along with the hat.  It will be passed (very carefully) around the world and worn (I hope) by many.  I’ll get it to you, and collect it when you’re done.”

The photos were to be accompanied by quotes of each person considering the following scenario:

“It’s hard to imagine being deprived of the means to communicate.  Imagine a wall between you and those you love, imagine being trapped inside yourself, never able to express your desires, needs, feelings.  Then imagine the loss to those around you.  Those who love you but assume that you can’t hear them, don’t understand them, can’t relate to them… what would your words be?”

The Hat also travelled from one non-verbal autistic person to another.  Their photographs are published with their first words.

I was so touched by Dov Shestack’s first words at 9 years old when he was first given a letter board.  When asked “What have you been doing all these years” he replied “Listening.”  Josh Andrus first said “Try to fully understand my condition, because I get so lonely.”  Keli, the little poet, first said at age 10 “I am real.”

These pages, populated by beautiful people, made me weep.

I entreat my readers, do what you can where you can to learn, know more, love and contribute to the lives of those among us who need that much more and have that much less available to them.  But for the grace of God it could be me or you.

Please visit the Golden Hat Foundation by clicking on the link below and have a look at the beauty of this story and perhaps find your place on the Golden Wall.

Bulletproof Babes

We were taught to be independent, strong, self-sufficient, poised and in-charge.  We were told by our mothers, themselves the daughters of bra-burning times, to suck up our fears, manage our emotions, never let the bastards see us cry and never ask for help as long as we can help ourselves.  Lessons were passed on that high-maintenance is for bimbos and dignity and class cannot co-exist with it.  Being demanding is as bad as promiscuity in the estimation of our lady-teachers.  We are to serve with strength and selflessness without thought to our needs and in return we will be respected and loved.  We are a wellspring of power, woman hear us roar, and we can supply the whole world with what it needs.  The ironies that were passed down from grandmothers, aunties, teachers, family friends and mothers abound.

We associate being honest about our needs with images of weak, victimized, or morally bankrupt women.  And so, to not be seen as a doormat, a loose woman or a gold digger we put on a persona of needlessness that then results in us becoming more… NEEDY.  Think about it.  If we deprive ourselves of food telling ourselves that we don’t need it don’t we become more and more… hungry?

But there comes a time when a Bulletproof Babe says “So what if I have needs?  Of course I do!  I’m human!”  We come around to the question of how are we to expect ourselves to provide selflessly for the needs of others when our needs are not met?  Even in the airplane instructions before take off we are instructed to put on our own mask first before helping the person next to us, child or no child.

I am learning through my own experience as a woman that low maintenance women, like strong buildings and towers, without support and care suffer in structure, appearance and strength from neglect.  Without support and TLC they crumble, crack under pressure and become inhabited by bitterness.  They lose their value – how they value themselves diminishes and is then projected out to what value others see.  Others react to what they see, convincing her further of the lie that started her shrinking view of herself in the first place.

But it starts with her.  What does a guy have to offer a girl who refuses to acknowledge she has needs and flaws and vulnerability and needs someone to lean on once in a while?  How many times do we Bulletproof Babes find ourselves lonely and disappointed because a friend wasn’t able to read our minds and be there for us because we didn’t know how to tell them how to support us and that we needed support in the first place?  How many times have we let a slight pass and pass again and pass again until we blow, totally surprising all around us?  Why does it have to fall apart and be blatantly obvious and beyond the point of deniability for us to accept a helping hand?

We don’t have to be bulletproof to be beautiful, rigid to be respected, nor do we have to be low-maintenance in order to capture the attention of someone who could love us.  These are the ways we trick ourselves into being someone who attracts human leeches, persons who seek to take without giving, because that is what we put ourselves forward as willing to accept.  Think about it… “Oh she doesn’t need this from me.  She just wants someone to give and give and give to.  She doesn’t expect anything back, bless her little cotton socks.  Goody!  Free ride!  Why would I EVER leave?”  Except, of course, we don’t want that type around either, do we?

To the beautiful Bulletproof Babes out there, let us support eachother and drop the act.  Being strong doesn’t mean having no needs.  You deserve to have your needs met, not ignored.  But the first step to making that happen is to not ignore them yourself.

Feminism (Motivationalpostersonline.blogspot.com)

Elevation

Over the past year there has been some revolutionary movement.  The earth has shifted and the world I live in will never be the same again.  There is something about the steps that one takes through the passage of time that leaves something that cannot be erased, corrected, reviewed, edited and makes every second unique and different from the last.  It has been a step by step climb up a steep mountain.

Have you ever done one of those hikes that are marked as “amateur” routes on some tourist map but make you question the sanity of the map-makers half-way up?  I did one a few years back with my parents up Stickle Ghyll in England’s gorgeous Lake District.  My mom and I focused on our feet and hands, step by mountain-stone step, handhold by craggy handhold, looking only to the next step.  About an hour in we stopped to catch our breath, share twiglets and suck down a swig of water from my pack.  It was shocking to turn around and see the world sprawled below!  How far had we come looking just one step at a time!

That is how the month of July has been for me – near physical collapse from pushing too hard past challenge after challenge I’ve come across a small ledge, a respite.  It’s to small for me to get comfortable here, I am permitted a short break only, and then it’s time to climb again.  But MAN OH MAN what a view!

This weekend I’ve been knocked out with the flu and some deep reflection on how far I’ve come in one year.  There will be much writing done in this quiet moment and some of my recent findings will be flipped through and dissected, perhaps even making it on to this blog.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  And embrace the growth that each step has for you!

One step at a time up Stickle Ghyll, these “walkers” will be shocked at how far they have come when they stop to rest ~From Geograph

Haircuts

Last night I heard the story of how my aunt Lina cut her hair.

It was 1981.  She had had two children.  She had lost all the weight and was as fit as could be.  Had the look of shining health I imagine – even today she is the picture of a healthy life albeit with a cigarette.  She walked into the salon one day and said cut it off!  It was GORGEOUS she says.  I was HOT!

She was telling me how she wore a pair of those sexy jeans that had a zipper at the bottom and a lacy top the day she met Mick Jagger.  Her hair freshly cut.  That was the first tour she went on.  They became fast friends for life. She tells me that rock’n’roll keeps her young.  But if you sleep with anyone they never invite you back.  She’s glad she never crossed that line.  Sometimes frigid is a good thing.

It’s a beautiful thing, a haircut.  The best thing in the world to transition from one stage of life to the other.

Another thing she told me is that as a Scorpio I am a woman of power.  The seat of our power is in the genitals… therefore scorpios make great prostitutes (and here I choked because I thought she was gonna say lovers!) but she discourages that direction.  I am told that I will re-invent myself every few years (as I have been known to do to date).  I have the nature of the phoenix – rising out of ashes as good as new with the power to do great things and soar above it all.  She switched from astrology to numerology and made my head spin but there it was, the number 8.  Near the number of God (didn’t know before that God had a number).  But my allergy to numbers prevailed and the details left my brain as soon as it touched down.

At the end of it all I looked at her hair and I looked at mine and decided, there are worse things than being a woman alone.  We could do worse!

 

A B****s Prayer

Father prepare me today

to deal with smaller minds

and people who neglect their brains

and think with their behinds.

I pray you give me wisdom

to keep my smart mouth shut

and be reminded as I go

that lofty words can cut.

Please help me to see

that always somewhere in Your plan

You’ve had a role for stupid folk

since the day that time began.

Guide me to understanding

its Your will that will prevail

and if it were left to my lesser wit

all of Your plans would fail.

Steer my thoughts to comprehend

earthly bright as I may be

all pales in comparison

to Your perfection and beauty.

Remind me that our enemy

loves a brainy beast

and uses more the smart than dumb

to herd prey to his feast.

Father prepare me today

to deal with smaller minds

and people who neglect their brains

and think with their behinds.

Wicked Little Wisp

Last night I had a dream

that has begun to haunt my day

a visit from a little wisp

with claim that she was here to stay.

The little wretch was cute

in the way small things can be

but the closer that you looked

the clearer you could see

that the little thing was darkness

and her wings were tattered skin

she smelled like burning evil

and her words were full of sin.

She flew around my fingers

and up around my face

saying “get used to me lass

because your life is my place.”

Try as I might to shake her

I couldn’t make myself free

but she flew up to my fighting shoulder

and stung me like a bee.

I slapped her and defied her

as her fluttering wings from hell

tore up the air around me

and rose a stormy spell.

I prayed God get me loose

from this awful little witch,

get her out of my head

and let me dream without a glitch.

Sleep would not return

and so I rising sat

and saw my dogs had gone to town

and pooped all over the mat.

I came downstairs and found

another awesome mess and more

of soap dribbled through a grocery bag

to puddle on the floor.

As I bent to clean the messes

my dog raised his leg again

and honest to goodness it took all of me

to not murder and skin him.

As I wiped and cleaned and corrected

the pain up in my shoulder

throbbed and ached and gave a sense

of muscles getting older.

But then it came to mind

that right in that spot I’d had

a fairy sting the night before

by the wisp that I’d made mad.

The morning rolled on forward

and other matters shown

to be broken, spilled or not quite right

as I plodded on alone.

When finally I bewildered sat

with coffee to a chair

I drew a line upon the day

and made it very clear.

“Little malevolent spirit

my life is not your home

but my day belongs to me

and to my Lord alone.

To save your rotten wings

I suggest you fly away

before he rises with the sun

and burns you into yesterday.”