Grandpa’s kind eyes

He was a quiet man who twitched and hesitated as he spoke.
I don’t remember his words, only the sounds between them
and the tone which gave away, if not his disapproval
then most often his uncertainty.
But his actions were always kind, filling us with pancakes
doting on my grandmother, moving around the house
like a friendly ghost.
Only his eyes had something else to say
and you were drawn to them like a soft light in a dark room
hoping they would reveal something more.

He was an old man with a twitch who seemed to vanish in
and out of the rooms he occupied. He had very little physical presence.
The only times I ever saw him move quickly was in his church
popping up and down during prayers
making sure he was the first on his feet
or the first on his knees. He did it as if he needed to convince his god
that he could follow directions and maybe even lead the crowd
if he was quick enough.

I never noticed that he had ever been a younger man.
I never even saw him as a father to his children.
He never even left me wondering who he was,
until he was dead.

Now I have only the things he left behind to know him.
His children have kind eyes like him and walk quietly.
At his funeral his life history did not show up on their lips
only in boxes in the basement for me to find.

His photos reveal a very present man. A man that may have had
a sense of humor, that may have had something to say, a man
who may have loved deeply. But in his photos I also see my grandfather
tilting his head saying maybe not.

Sioux Falls South Dakota

Give Founding Mothers a chance

Aunt Sally wants you to think about peaceIt’s about time we integrate some “Founding Mothers” into our political process! Let’s make it a requirement that henceforth any official gathering whose purpose it is to pass judgment, make laws, determine patriotism, set political agendas or put into effect national security measures, should have to include at least three mothers. Better yet, three of the gathered officials’ own mothers.

These mothers would be required to be part of the review board, or sit in key positions in the assembly, in such a manner that their opinions and positions would be factored into the process.

Imagine that! Mothers, guardians of life, standing side by side with our elected representatives deciding legal limits on pesticides, cutting funding for education, re-appropriating money for defense spending, or voting on whether to go to war.

These mothers would, by their mere presence, alter the dynamic of any male dominated, testosterone driven group. These mothers couldn’t help but change the course of history. True to their very nature, these mothers would stop the next war now!

Female paralysis e-mail warning

Please take a minute to read this.
This is very scary and COULD HAPPEN TO ANY OF US.

A few days ago a woman received an e-mail. Like many of the e-mails she had opened before, it contained important information about a woman much like herself who fell victim to yet another violent crime.

This woman read the e-mail twice, carefully taking it all in. She thought of the many times she too might have fallen prey had she been at the wrong place at the wrong time. She heeded the warning. She inhaled the life saving advice making sure to store it in the reptilian part of her brain where she could find it quickly if she ever needed it.

The woman then forwarded the e-mail on to her friends. There was nothing else she could do. After all she was helpless. Only a woman. Now incapacitated.

She couldn’t stand up to protest against war that condoned killing. She couldn’t speak out against organizations that blamed women for men’s actions. She couldn’t even lift a finger to turn off the TV when she realized her son was watching the very things she feared – for entertainment purposes.

She had fallen victim to her own paralysis.

But this doesn’t have to happen to you.

Do something about it while you still can. Stand up against systems that tolerate hatred. Rise up against violence and prejudices. Raise kids to be peacemakers. Take back your bodies. Demand the right to walk freely, unharmed instead of being a prisoner in your own world.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world could be a different place if we just didn’t accept things the way they are.

Power of prayer

I do not understand how people who preach so much about God and faith and blessings choose to ignore the most universal message of all prophets and spiritual guides – Blessed are the peacemakers.

There are far more spiritual people actively pursuing peace measures, speaking up for human rights, considering the implications of war on the world as a whole.

Religious fanatics have done nothing for peace and everything for war thus far. Please stop preaching and start listening. Stop asking from God and start asking from yourself.

E-mails about God sitting on his throne and ready to bless people’s finances is hardly what we need right now.

And would someone please tell me what exactly are the new revelations of god’s love and power?