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ALL THINGS

all things brought to life continue

not the least

thoughts, words

and actions

 

 

from A Summer of Seasons by Lilie Allen

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EXPERIENCE

At an early age, I sought differences, was highly attracted to them, had to know, curiosity.  In my early 20s, I was plunged into an occupational world that held much diversity in acquiring knowledge, languages, cultures, traditions–a banquet.

And, I always thought I had to keep a secret:  I thought I wasn’t patriotic.  That admission in my country will not be followed by asking questions or listening – no logic involved – you will be boiled in oil.

Why not patriotic?  Well, in my occupation, I saw people from other countries, educated academically in other countries, in other traditions/languages/customs/cultures/religions who were intelligent – brilliant even, talented in many fields, kind, compassionate, humorous, wise.  Those ‘strangers’ came to teach something, to give us (the US) something of their experience/knowledge/art.  I got to witness that, be in on that, marvel at that.  I believed people of all countries had something to offer.  I believed many countries had come together and made unimaginable, heartwrenching sacrifices so that they could begin their journey to freedom and equality; that many helped mine continue that journey.  I believed that all countries were made up of human beings, living beings and they wanted freedom, just like I did.  I love the richness of traditions, cultures, languages, knowledge, art and I don’t think, to love my country, that I have to think any other is less, inferior.  That is deemed unpatriotic, heretical and a few other terms.

To love who I am, what I have, where I live, I do not have to think anyone is less.  To appreciate and express gratitude for the life I live in the place I live, I do not have to think anyone is less.  I love the ideals and principles for which I strive:  To be a good person, to do good to self and others.  I’ll do that anywhere and love who’s around me, and acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices they made so that I am free to pursue that.

May there be compassion.  May there be awakening.  May there be freedom.  Thank you for taking your time.

Love, Lilie

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IMPORTANT, IS THIS WAY

“Who is she when she’s in ‘er ‘ouse”, George Harrison in The Beatles movie, Hard Day’s Night.  Talking about a ‘posh bird’ who was a trendsetter.  The phrase stuck with me.  I don’t know why.  Seemed to mean something I couldn’t quite catch at the time.

Then, a sharp, single strike sound against the windowglass of our front screen door.  ?  I didn’t immediately go to the door.   Thought maybe some religious folk dropping off literature.  But, it was such an odd sound.  I looked out the window.  A bird.  Lying on his side, eyes shut, beak half open.  Oh no.  I went out.  Oh no.  I ruffled his chest feathers a bit, he was alive.  I went and got a clean washcloth and lifted him upright, carefully, gently.  One eye opened.  Some dishcloths and a box,  he was laid carefully in.  I had heard that if you put them in a quiet, protected place, from which they can escape, they may recover from a stun injury and take off.

We are renovating our porch, so it is a mess.  My husband came home and we moved the box a bit more out of the wind.  We waited an hour (well, we checked, checked, checked and checked).  Then we checked.  The bird was bright-eyed and at the edge of the box like, ‘hey, out, please’.  I folded down the side of the box, out he came and off he went.

It hit me what that expression was about, what turned inside my head when I heard it:  Only it read:  Who is he when he’s in his house.  A statement not a question.  Lately, my country is enveloped in every single move, drop of sweat or twitch our controversial head of country makes.  Mostly for the infotainment value, for surely nothing of dignity, compassion or value is learned.  That was it.  Here before me (the small bird) was important.  Not a small act to this bird.  And a heart enlarging experience for this human. I’ve been watching (on YouTube), Bealtaine Cottage by Colette O’Neill.  She’s my news replacement.  I learn something; I witness kindness and compassion; I hear some truth and spend those minutes with someone who says the thoughts in my mind, who makes me believe the world I learned about, believed in, is true, possible and to keep trying.

I am so glad the bird survived.  The incident, though some may consider minor, profoundly affected me.   The vulnerability of a small creature, the immediate dependence, I hope I don’t forget that.  We, each other, need your and my kindness in every moment we are privileged to breathe.

Thank you for taking your time to read this, I hope it carries a blessing and that you are one for the next person.   With Kindness (and Tea and Toast), Lilie

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TAKING TIME

Ok…uh oh, here she goes, again. Many years ago (yep), I had an experience – – I had left a dinner with fiance and friends early so I could come home and watch a late movie. I put my young son to bed and went out into the living room, the only room we had a tv in at that time (shocking, I know). Fiance was working night call that night. At some point, I fell asleep, missed the movie. I suddenly jerked awake to see (probably heard first) someone’s arm reaching to get the chain off the door. I jumped from the couch, leapt probably more like it, and kicked the door shut as hard as I could. The person yelped and ran. Took me a while to get it together and call the police. Report taken, not much hope of finding the person or, even if they did, getting an arrest much less any redress. A few days later, a detective came by. Asked more questions. He sat down with me, looked me in the face and said, “you are going to be kicking that door closed for a long time”. It was like everything fell into place, the brain relaxed. Yep, I had been kicking the door closed pretty much every night in my dreams and jerking awake, unable to go back to sleep.

But, once this detective made sense of that moment. The reliving started to fade. Pretty soon, it was only at times of anxiety (happy or otherwise) and is now just a fact, a memory of my history.

I wish this for others who suffer from PTSD. There are many, more than soldiers, who do. It pains me to see them offered the dangerous protocol of drugs, when what they need is for their brains to catch up with what their minds have witnessed. This has now been proven to be true and there are many well-trained practitioners out there who can provide that assistance and the potential to use these tools for a lifetime of better mental and physical health, for them and their families. There is a place for medication, yes, but too often it is the first line of defense and provides no address for the issue, and no lasting relief.

And for those who think this was a fairly casual experience for PTSD. Honey, I got a list for you. This was the tamest of many experiences. For me, it was the work of allowing my mind to catch up to the questions my brain was asking, to face events and make sense of them and accept that they are there in the great storehouse of experiences. I can choose, now, how they display. Hope it helps someone.