Saturday, December 29, 2012

The past is past . . .

All your past 
except its beauty 
is gone,
and nothing is left
but a blessing.

A Course in Miracles, Chapter 5

One of many quotes I have saved. Don't remember where I first saw this, but it spoke deeply to me. At the time, I was in a very dark place. Full of condemnation and self-loathing. Looking anywhere and everywhere for some piece of verbal light and assurance. I needed to know, or at least to acknowledge, that somehow everything I had experienced had some meaning in my life . . . that these things, however heavy, or hurtful, or terrifying to revisit, had somehow brought me to be who I am. 

While rifling through murky memories of times long gone, it has been a comforting surprise to find that during sadness and suffering, light and beauty have kept my soul safe.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Daughter's Love

Yesterday marked seventy-seven years since the passing of my maternal grandmother, Mae Blanche Hazelton Main Hargrave.  On the day of her passing, my mother was just three days past her 13th birthday.  My grandmother became ill on Mom's birthday.  She had been tending to others who were suffering from a flu and pneumonia outbreak and  the weather had been cold and damp.  In addition to her own mother being seriously ill on her birthday, my mother started her period for the first time.  My Great-Aunt Clara told my grandmother about it, and my mother was called to my grandmother's bedside.  She took my mother by the hand and said, "I don't have any more babies . . ."   The house became busy with nurses tending to my grandmother and the doctor stopping by to check on her.  My mother remembers she couldn't stand all the activity.  At some point the doctor announced there was nothing more to do but wait . . . my grandmother was dying.  Mom remembers carolers singing, "Silent Night, Holy Night" and to this day cannot hear it without remarking, "I hate that song."  
A few days ago I spent several hours with Mom, just listening to her talk and tell me the same stories I have heard my whole life.  But this time she told me something new, something different.  She told me that she can remember the funeral as though it happened yesterday.  She remembers standing by the graveside and holding her father's hand . . . and her eyes were closed.  She said she didn't want to see her mother there . . . in that coffin . . . knowing she was to soon be buried . . . and physically gone from this world.  She said she didn't want to believe that it was real.
Mom has been remembering her mother a lot these days.  She said that not one day goes by that she doesn't think of her mother in some way.  Mom has told me that her mother was vivacious, fun-loving, kind, gracious, and never spoke a harsh word.  She has told me how when she or her sisters did something wrong, that their mother would call them by their full name and tell them to take a seat in the parlor.  And their mother would calmly and lovingly address their wrongdoing, her disappointment, and then tell them to go upstairs and think on what they had done.  Mom has spoken of her mother having bridge parties, telling jokes, making beautiful clothes for her daughters, wearing pants in downtown Petersburg, and even smoking cigarettes in front of the grocery store.  
So today Mom and I marked today as a day of remembrance by visiting the graves of her mother, father, and aunt at Blandford Cemetery.  We left a single red rose on each grave.  
My mom's life changed forever in many ways the day her mother died.  She remembers with great fondness her life up to that day, and I hope she remembers how much her mother loved her then.
And I hope she knows how much I love her now.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Teeth and Applesauce

It's Friday night, and so my daughters and I went out to dinner at our favorite local Italian non-chain dining establishment.  We're just sitting there, enjoying our salads, well those of us who were having salads, and just chatting . . . and somehow Daughter 1 is describing someone with no teeth, or who has questionable orthodontics . . . let's be straight here -- the person being described is lacking some key teeth and rather noticeably.  Daughter 3, out of the blue, says, "You don't need teeth to eat applesauce."  Rather droll, matter-of-fact, actually quite serious.  There I was, engaged in serious salad mid-chew, thinking that was the funniest thing I had heard all day . . . "You don't need teeth to eat applesauce."  And now, the more I think about that casual, off-hand remark, the more I truly believe it can be applied to life.  Think of all the things we tend to overdo, over-plan, over think that really just need quiet meditation, or introspection, or just a few moments of reflection before we start . . . chewing . . . masticating . . . sinking our mental teeth into something that just needs to be . . . taken in slowly, savored,  mulled over lightly, with little thought or question.  Too often we jump the gun, taking offense where none is intended, assigning blame where there is no wrongdoing, casting aspersions on those who are just trying to be the best they can be given a finite set of circumstances and experiences.  Much like using teeth to eat applesauce . . . more work, and thought, and emotion than is really necessary.
So the next time something is said, or written,  especially in a casual exchange, that leaves you feeling a little . . . sideways -- stop -- and before you fire off a regrettable verbal round or volley, think to yourself, "Do I really need teeth to eat applesauce?"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Give me . . .

. . . love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope with this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you with
Heart and soul

My Lord

Please take hold of my hand
That I might understand You

Won't you please
Oh won't you

Give me love . . .

Such a simple, and simply lovely, sentiment.  Loving-kindness in word and practice.  
So pure and sincere.

Thank you, George . . .

Namaste ~

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Light a candle, curse the glare . . .

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."   

Peter Benenson, Founder of Amnesty International

Personal introspection is hard work.  Relationships are hard work.  Being human is . . . hard work.  One of the hardest things to do in order to bring light and understanding into any of these arenas is to bring those parts and pieces of our psyche, which we would much prefer to keep hidden away,  . . . out . . . into the open . . . exposed . . . It's uncomfortable to see, or hear, long forgotten memories, dreams, experiences out in the open where others might see, or hear, them.  We become afraid, anxious, insecure . . . but why?  

Perhaps these things that have caused us so much pain and anguish throughout our lives have become comfortable to us.  Perhaps some of these things have been shared with others only to result in our being ridiculed, or humiliated, or worse, to have those feelings, those memories, those dreams, those experiences, exploited or held against us in some way.  

In order for us to continue to grow, and evolve, and heal, we must allow for light to come into those dark places we all seem to have.  Those painful memories, those questionable experiences, those long lost (perhaps just misplaced) dreams, need some light, and air, in order for us to lose the fear, the anxiety, the insecurity.  Bring it up and out, let it surface, hold a candle to it,breathe on it,  name it and know it for what it is . . . something that is holding you back.   Reach in . . . reach out . . . learn . . . grow . . . heal . . .

And try to keep a little grace. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mama . . .

My mom and dad on their wedding day 68 years ago.  Mom will be 90 on December 19!  Aren't they a striking couple?  Hard to believe that my dad was once so vain as to have his military uniforms professionally tailored to fit him perfectly.  He passed away 21 years ago.    Mom had long, dark, deeply wavy hair, and her dress in this pic is so very stylish even by today's standards.  Mom lives alone in a senior apartment community, and still does her own housework and cooking.  She no longer drives, and really isn't up to going out much.  She spends a lot of her time reading Nora Roberts books, and she cannot understand why I don't . . . but that's okay.  She has started getting a little confused by some things, like her cable bill -- "Why do they keep sending this?"  And she has given up on keeping up with her meds ... that's okay, too, because I can do that for her.  My job is to check on her, take her to doctor, get her groceries, take out her trash, talk to her, and listen to the same stories she has been telling for all of my life, and that's okay, too.  Some days she makes me crazy, and that's okay, too . . . she's my mom, and I love her.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Be still . . . be vibrant

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.
Indira Gandhi

This takes a lot of work!  When working on some things, I do tend to be very focused, and working only on that one thing.  If someone comes along and distracts me from that work, it takes a second or two to switch gears and re-focus, and I can be a bit blunt, something I like to refer to as "speaking in bullet points."  A few people have had their feelings hurt because I'm not my usual convivial self, and then I have to try and explain that is just how I am when focused ... "it's not you, it's me."  
Ah, but repose --- my greatest challenge!  Even when my body is not in motion, my mind is full-steam ahead.  Thinking of a million things, making lists, looking around to see what to do next.  But then a funny thing happens ... I begin to question myself, wondering why don't I just get up and do something, why I'm not getting the laundry, or cleaning the bathroom (which is something that actually delivers a decent feeling of accomplishment ...), or dusting the credenza (don't have one!), or spanking the tapestries (don't have any!), or taking care of something ... or someone.  And then, nothing gets done and I castigate myself for being lazy, or yes, lethargic.
However, there have been times when I do feel a great sense of peace and stillness within my self during times of great activity ... or challenge.  And for those times, I am grateful.
And there have been times of repose during which I have felt so alive ... and joyful.  And for those times, I am grateful.  
Breathe . . . be still . . . be vibrant . . .

Friday, December 7, 2012

Giant steps . . .

As part of my quest to not be so lethargic, and as part of a promise to take better care of myself, I have made an appointment to see a primary care physician!  It's been a long, long time . . . I know there will be other appointments to make . . . and not looking forward to any of them . . . cold stirrups . . . cold hands . . . cold stethoscope . . . cold -- well, you get the picture.  Oh!  And let's not forget the booby pancake photo shoot -- what fun!  Anyway, as someone who is hardwired to take care of others, it is now time for me to take care of me . . . physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  For how can I care for others if I do not care for myself first?

Let the katharsis begin . . .

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Be soft . . .

Stumbled upon this gem by Kurt Vonnegut . . .

"Be soft.  Do not let the world make you hard.  Do not let the pain make you hate.  Do not let the bitterness steal away your sweetness.  Take pride that even though the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."

I am grateful for the people in my life who help me to stay soft and to keep the hard edges away . . . who help me to not hate . . . who help me to keep bitterness at bay . . . who help me to remember how beautiful this world can be . . . who help me to love . . .

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Preparing the way ...

Today is the first Sunday in Advent as celebrated by Western Christian churches, specifically Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Methodist, and Presbyterian.  It marks the beginning of the liturgical calendar for these denominations.  For believers, it is the time to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ.  Bright, vibrant colors are used in the church, and there is a spirit of hope in the air.  Here's a link if you want to learn more:

I was raised Methodist, which became United Methodist during my childhood.  As an adult, I switched to Presbyterianism.  The two are similar enough, though I'm sure someone would love to discuss the finer points  that divide and differentiate the two.  Quite frankly, both have redeeming qualities, though I no longer attend church anywhere.  However, I do miss some things about attending church -- the music, the cadence of a well-read verse, the responsive readings & chants from the Methodist church, the occasionally inspiring sermon, the people (some, not all).

One of my favorite hymns of all time is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, the music of which I recently learned was arranged by Thomas Helmor from a 15th century funerary processional by French Franciscan nuns.  The words date from as early as the 9th century.  The tune as sung in Methodist and Presbyterian churches is so haunting, and redolent of the mourning of the exiled Israelites as they await their messiah, their deliverer:

O come, O come, Emmanuel, 
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

The historic and current applications of these words to the state of affairs on this earthly plain remain relevant.  Whether you believe in God, or Christ, or any particular faith or creed, to hear this hymn well sung is deeply moving.  We have all felt lost at some point in our lives, waiting for deliverance, hoping for rescue, desiring relief . . . lost . . . waiting . . . mourning the darkness . . . praying for peace and light in our lives.

We have work to do.  We must prepare the way.

Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel

Friday, November 30, 2012

Your balls, sir . . .

Mentioned in an earlier post is the fact that I collect quotes.  I have a file where they are kept against the day when inspiration, or encouragement, or some kind of something is needed to get me out of a fog, or a funk, or a rut, or a . . . you get the picture.  Oh!  And sometimes the quotes come with pictures . . . 
Well, as I was adding a quote to my collection, this one drew me in yet again.  Seems to kind of go along with my last post - or actually the post before that, which was a YouTube video of Katie Makkai performing at a poetry slam and expounding upon the power we give - most oftentimes unknowingly - to the word pretty.  Katie Makkai is a strong woman.
Strong women . . . we all know at least one.  Or perhaps we've seen one somewhere, like at work (too often this woman is referred to as a bitch 'cause a lot of times she's the boss), or read about one, such as in a magazine article about lady politicians - Hillary Clinton comes to mind, or we've seen one in a movie -- my favorite is Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner in The Terminator ... especially in that final scene with that pump shotgun - yea, girl.
The fact is that strong women are everywhere.  We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, backgrounds, and ages.  We bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, clean the house, pay the bills, take care of the kids, feed you when you are hungry, heal you when you are sick, and of course, make a man out of you . . .  At least that's what Peggy Lee tells us.  Mostly, we are strong when we don't want to be.  We are strong when we are so tired that all we want is to crawl into a nice, warm bed, throw the covers over our head . . . and sleep like a child.  We are strong when we know that payday is once again almost two weeks away, and we still have to have gas for our car so we can get back and forth to all the places we have to go to after we go to our jobs.  We are strong standing in line getting groceries for our parents.  We are strong when we are at the doctor's office with someone other than our selves . . . and we know we are the one who should be seeing a doctor.  We are strong when we keep sending in job applications hoping that the right someone will see ours and schedule that interview so we can get that job with better hours and much, much better pay.  We are strong . . .
Some people say they don't care for strong women . . . and it's usually a man who will say words to that effect.  Poor thing, he just doesn't realize how weak that makes him.  He's afraid of a woman who has a mind.  He's afraid of a woman who expresses herself cohesively and succinctly.  He's afraid of being without all the things that a strong woman can do . . . which is everything.
Hey there, mister, I've got your balls right here . . .

“I've always loved strong women, which is lucky for me because once you're over about twenty-five there is no other kind. Women blow my mind. The stuff that routinely gets done to them would make most men curl up and die, but women turn to steel and keep on coming. Any man who claims he's not into strong women is fooling himself mindless; he's into strong women who know how to pout prettily and put on baby voices, and who will end up keeping his balls in her makeup bags.” 
Tana French, Faithful Place

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Mom, am I pretty?"

I believe it is safe to say that all young girls go through an awkward stage . . . a time when all you want is some reassurance that you matter . . . that your existence counts for something, somehow, to someone - especially to someone meaningful in your life.  I am the youngest of five -- four girls, and one princely son.  I can remember quite clearly standing in our kitchen -- my mom was at the sink, and I was standing by the door that led to our very small screened porch (that led to our utility room).  I can still remember my voice --in my mind it was so small -- as I asked, "Mama, do you think I'm pretty?"  All I wanted to hear was, "Yes, you are pretty ..."  Maybe I wanted to hear more, but that would have sufficed.  But, what I heard was, "Pretty is as pretty does; ugly is to the bone.  When pretty fades, ugly holds its own."  And all I could hear from that was the word ugly ... u.g.l.y.  I asked my mom, "What is that supposed to mean?"  And she went into this halfhearted explanation that pretty doesn't last, but ugly does ... blahblahblah ... if you aren't a good person, but you're pretty, well, you'll get old one day, and people won't remember that you were once pretty, they'll remember you weren't a good person.  But ugly -- now that is forever ... you can be ugly, but a good person, and people will remember what a good person you were.  So, I thought it over, and then I asked, "But what if you are pretty and a good person?"  And she was stumped.  So, I asked her again, "Am I pretty?"  She didn't know that some boys at school had said I was ugly and flat-chested.  Her reply was, "What difference does it make?"  

Hey, thanks Mom!

Did I mention she was always on me about my skin and my weight, too?  Which I admit that I had a real battle with my skin for a while.  The weight though ... I was skinny -- some would say slender with an athletic build.  Had a boyfriend who was always on me about eating and my weight ... he didn't stay my boyfriend for long.  When I married, I was a slender 115 pounds ... which is skinny for someone 5'6".

Fast forward to today.  After visiting with my mother, going over her schedule for the week, reminding her that I would be by Tuesday to get her grocery list -- she is somewhat housebound and shopping for her is confusing and wearing in many ways -- checked her mailbox, got her trash together ... and as I was gathering  everything to leave ... she asks, "Have you lost weight?"  My reply, "Yes, Mom, I have lost some weight."  And she can't let it go -- even though I have repeatedly asked her to never question me about my weight -- or anyone else's weight, for that matter -- and she asks, "How much?"  And as I was going out the door, I said, "I don't weigh myself."  Those were my parting words.  I left feeling as defeated as I did when I first asked her, "Am I pretty?"

So, to every young girl, every woman -- big, small, tall, short, thin, fluffy, flat-chested, full-chested, old, young ... to my daughters ... YOU ARE PRETTY ... pretty amazing ... pretty smart ... pretty wonderful ... pretty damn important to this planet.  AND I LOVE YOU!!!

Katie Makkai - Pretty

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A beautiful life, interrupted

So, it is the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The house is quiet, with the exception of the tv blathering on in the background.  Caught a segment on "Today" about a lovely, brilliant young woman named Suleika Jaouad, who has been writing about her experiences with cancer.  You can read more about her on her blog:

If you take the time to read through her blogs, you will find that Ms. Jaouad is positive and optimistic. She is quite realistic and graciously honest in her writings, though she has chosen to be a catalyst for kindness and enlightenment in her journey through the cancer matrix.  Recently she wrote about the additional challenges one must accommodate when Mother Nature decides to dance upon the waves with the wind as her partner.  While some take a lighthearted approach to hurricane watches and warnings, people with seriously life-altering diagnoses must also consider whether their treatments will be affected, and if so, for how long.  

Kudos to you, Suleika Jaouad, for bringing a very sobering point of existence into the light. 

For this, I am grateful . . .

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mean People

They come in many forms, sizes, shapes, colors.  Their backgrounds and experiences are diverse and broad.  Sometimes they profess to be religious or spiritual or enlightened.  They are so many things . . .

. . . and they are mean.  They generally aren't physical in their approach to meanness, they just kind of sneak it in . . . to a conversation, a business or staff meeting, a relationship.  Some practice meanness as a way to level the playing field -- whatever that is supposed to mean or accomplish.  Some practitioners are insecure, but some truly believe they are better than others.  Some are proud of their meanness, some try to explain it away . . . "that's not what I meant" . . . "you're too sensitive" . . . "i was just playing"  . . . "what's your problem?"

 If you are a mean person, you may not be able to recognize in yourself.  But if you can recognize that you may be someone who practices meanness for whatever reason, then stop it . . . now.

"Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Deliverer . . .

I collect quotes.  Not just quotes, but creative lines of all sorts.  A few hymns are part of the collection.  One hymn that is part of my eclectic collection is "My Deliverer Is Coming" by the late Rich Mullins.  There's really only one line that I particularly find to be strangely comforting:

My Deliverer is coming;
My Deliverer is standing by . . .

Origins for these lines are found in Psalms,  many of which were written by or attributed to David, slingshot wielding giant-slayer turned king.  For all of his particular faults, David remained steadfast in his faith in a protective, merciful (though based in harsh judgement), occasionally vengeful, though mostly distant, god.  The kind of god that if you are a good, well, more than good -- more like perfect -- boy or girl, you will be rewarded with protection, favor, vengeance upon your enemies (where does that fit in with perfection?). 

But these lines are so telling in their repetition.  And I admit to being somewhat stymied by their application to a Christian god -- the God made manifest in the teachings of Jesus Christ . . . the God of grace, compassion, tenderness, kindness, and peace.  But still, the repetitive refrain found in this hymn points more to a good person trying to reassure herself that things will be okay, that life will get better, easier . . .

What are You waiting for?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Don't take a knife to a gun show . . ."

Good advice!  Though I know you meant to say, "Never take a knife to a gunfight."  Personally, I wouldn't go to either one - a gun show or a gunfight.  Just a personal safety preference.  Though I do admire that katana wielded by Michonne . . . nice.  What a strong female presence -- apparently she never wasted time waiting for some man to rescue her . . . or did she?  What secrets lie beneath that battle-hardened scowl 'n swagger?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Elections have consequences"

Yes, they certainly do, as do most things in life of any real, well, consequence.  This was posted outside the local shooting range which is on the way into, or out of, the fair city in which I abide.  Bet I can guess which candidate the poster supported, and would love to hear this particular pronouncement explained.  I am glad, and certainly most thankful, that our country is tolerant of divergent viewpoints.  Or, at the very least, most people are tolerant of divergent viewpoints.  When political points start looking murky, or when people attempt to explain their extremely selfish political views (the old "what about me? what about my rights?") I turn to the one quote that has helped me in times of trial and travail . . . "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."  Yep, Vulcan philosophy spoken by none other than Spock.

I wonder what he would say about this statement.  I believe we would stand in agreement.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Get out and vote . . .

. . . and no talking while you are waiting in line.  Why do people think it's okay to chitchat in line with strangers while waiting to vote?  People might be thinking . . . like Ralphie when he's approached by the weird kid while waiting in line to see Santa in "A Christmas Story."  Well, this particular annoying person is a local politician's wife.  First, she tries to bypass the whole line and just walk up to the voting officials at the table.  Then, she complains that she is "just so used to the old way."  What way would that be?  The arrogant way?  The rude way?  The "I don't give a toot about you because my husband is a mentally unhinged lunatic AND he's on city council" way?  Then squinty-eyed politician's wife gets in line and starts chatting up the man behind me.  It took everything out of me to not turn around and tell them, "Hush!  This is a holy moment!"  Which I am sure would have gotten me a few looks, but wouldn't have bothered me in the least.  So next time you vote, stand in line and be quiet -- people are thinking.  Oh, and you people who work inside the voting area -- hush.

Fast forward to this evening as I was waiting to pay for my mother's groceries -- Tuesday night being the night NannyBoo's groceries "get made" (if you don't know that term, you are not from a mid-Atlantic seaboard state, or as some refer to Virginia, the "South").  There was a lovely young woman in the line beside the one I was in.  She was young, quite shapely, or at least her bottom was shapely, with a kind, attractive face.  Oh, and she was wearing black leggings, which served to enhance her charming figure.  The bagger - henceforth referred to as "the bagger" - in my line was chatting up the register clerk with some rather explicit remarks regarding this young lady -- who, by the way, was accompanied by her husband and young child.  I won't go into details, but "the bagger" made several rather crude remarks, with most remarks followed by, "I just call 'em as I see 'em."  One very special remark was, "Hey, if she didn't want anyone to look at her, she shouldn't dress that way in the first place."  My first thought was to turn to the kind lady's husband and say, "You might want to ask this young man regarding his observations concerning your wife," but that might have caused things to escalate rapidly.  So, I just paid for my groceries, and thought about calling management once I got home.  But, I decided to call from my car, and was able to speak with a manager.  Since I couldn't describe the bagger with laser-accuracy, the manager met me at the door, and from there the perpetrator was positively identified.  I hope he gets fired.  I don't care if he has bills to pay, or a sick anybody he's responsible for -- he's a sexual predator. Judging by the remarks he made, he likely thinks that when a woman is raped, she was asking for it because of what she was wearing.  And he also likely believes that when a woman has a strong opinion, or is smarter than he is -- both scenarios being exponentially probable, that she just needs a good hard f***, and he's just the man to give it to her.   When we get to know each other a little better, then maybe I'll share what I would do to him if given the chance -- and it ain't pretty.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Beginnings . . . am I good enough?

Well, here we go . . . or rather, here I go.  This is something I have threatened myself with for a very long time.  And now, it's time.  Time to get the thoughts out of my head -- thoughts that are at times deeply spiritual, and at other times, quite hilarious, and sometimes even bawdy.  I get bothered by big things, like close-mindedness and bigotry.  But you know, sometimes those little things can just really do me in . . . like when people post things on Pinterest -- you know, because they are so hip and cool and clever . . . but they just cannot be bothered to spell correctly, and so their pictures of some shapely miss in sassy lingerie is labeled "boudior" -- yep, i kid you not. So, don't use the fancy words unless you can spell them -- and pronounce them -- correctly.  And inspirational quotes . . . I used to get a daily email of inspirational quotes, but they were just stupid, and by no means inspirational, just underwhelming.  I'll be offering up my takes on some of those quotes that have left me at times thinking, "wth?"  Note to reader(s) -- 'cause there may be more than just myself -- I am not trying to win the grammar-bee, just free-thinking and getting the crap out my head.
So -- I hope to keep up with this, and I hope someone, somewhere, will be inspired to put their thoughts into words, on a page, a canvas, a blog, in a song, a story, a verse . . . hell, even a prayer.  And if you are ultra-sensitive, and get your feelings all in a twist over something I post on my blog, well, you were warned. 
And so it begins . . .