Saturday, November 19, 2016


Although I have not lost any of the drive and determination to fight discrimination and injustice, my morning meditation took me in an interesting direction today. Since 1995, I've used a small daily devotional called Pocketful of Miracles (Prayers, Meditations, and Affirmations To Nurture Your Spirit Every Day of the Year) by Joan Borysenko. I'll begin by telling you that I don't do a devotional every day. I'm fairly fickle, in fact. So when I do open this devotional, I often feel I've been led to a particular message.

Today, the message was about forgiveness. More specifically, it was about admitting to myself that what qualities I find most deplorable in others, I may discover in myself, if I am willing to release my defense mechanisms and honestly examine my own heart and soul. This is not the first time I've heard that message, of course. But I willingly followed the thought.

Today's devotional used Hitler as an example. Certainly, Adolph Hitler was a horrific example of how one human can lead others to commit atrocities on an immense scale. His behavior and the actions of his followers should be condemned in the most emphatic language possible.

But in looking at myself, the devotional suggests that I view Hitler as an aspect of myself, as one more altar of God. So as I began my prayer and meditation, my thoughts went immediately to Donald Trump, which is ironic because I meditate to calm myself and Trump has repeatedly raised my stress levels. So there I am, incredulous, looking at his face in my mind and wondering what I'm intended to do with THAT.

The answer came, of course. Trump dismisses women as being worthy only as measured by their appearance. Who do I dismiss? Trump often denies his history or rewrites his history in a more palatable version. What of my history have I rewritten? Trump belittles people, openly mocking their physical attributes. Who do I belittle and mock? Trump dismisses whole swathes of people, signaling his willingness to ignore their humanity and right to exist. What group of people do I dismiss?

I see the altar there. I understand what I'm meant to do. I need to let go of my pride, my judgemental nature, and any likelihood I may have to make broad assumptions about people BEFORE I approach the altar. But when I think of Trump and those who happily follow his horrible example, I can see I have many repetitions of this particular meditation ahead of me. Yes, I am a stubborn woman. I fight personal growth. I hold on to the deplorable within my heart and soul. But God's message is that there IS hope for me. I just need to keep the image of the altar in my mind.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

asked him twice

When I came downstairs the next morning, the door to the master suite was ajar and there wasn't a noise to be heard. I called out Michael's name, but there was no answer. In the kitchen, I started a pot of coffee. I checked the fridge for creamer. Milk would do. Where was Michael?

I opened the door to the garage. Michael's car sat beside my own. I closed the door. The wonderful smell of freshly brewed coffee greeted me. Is there anything sweeter? I poured a cup, added milk, and gazed at the door to Michael's room. If he was awake, why didn't he answer?

Were you guys lovers still?

No. Well, yes, but not like before. I had my own room on the third floor. We agreed we could each date other guys. But we still fooled around occasionally.

But not that night?


Go on.

So I walked over to his door and pushed it open. (pause) The first thing I saw was blood splatter on the wall above the headboard. Only I thought it was paint, and I wondered why Michael would do that. I decided to wake him up. I could see he was in the bed. There was a pillow on his head. I lifted it up and tried to make sense of what I was seeing. It was totally unrecognizable as a face. It was destroyed.

Is that when you left the house?

(Nodding) I panicked. I knew I needed to call the police. But we had weed and quaaludes and acid. I gathered it all up, jumped in my car and drove out to the lake and hid it under some rocks. Then I came back to the house and called the police.

Why did they arrest you?

The neighbors saw me leave and come back. The police were convinced I'd thrown away the murder weapon. I had to show them where I'd stashed the drugs before they believed me.

Paul, we've known each other a long time. I know you loved him. Are you sure you didn't snap and do this terrible thing?

(Long pause, then quietly) If I did do it, it wouldn't be good for you to know I did it, Jackie.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

desert dessert

After the drought, and that mourning quiet,
you come to me in sweet expectation.

I drink in the breath of sighs and smiles,
and feel my desiccated soul grow plump with love.

I'll never feel normal again.
I'm on the other side of loss.

But your kisses remind me I'm still alive.
And your touch keeps me nourished.

Each time we wind ourselves around each other,
I'm a little farther from my pain.