Tag Archives: believe

The Gate

This image is borrowed from Dan Anton’s blog: nofacilities.com with his permission.

It had stood as a barrier for so many years that people forgot why it was there in the first place.  And then, there was no one left to remember.

It stood proudly for many years.  Shiny and strong. It was a barrier yes, for a while but it was also an acknowledgment: This is my place. You may be welcome. The gate did open.

Over the years, lovers traded stolen kisses across that gate.  Recipes were exchanged and broken hearts mended.  Friends passed through the fence a thousand times and arguments ended with a slammed gate, a thousand times more. But everything moves on, inexorably. Children become parents and grandparents become ancestors.  Generations.  Families. Years become decades.  Everything dies.

Alone. The once shiny posts turned brown with rust and there was no one left to scrape it clean. Hinges broke and the fence fell. In time it was absorbed by the forest.  A forest that once was kept at bay by the shiny new fence. All that was left was the gate.

There was a sense of pride, a sense of a job well done. You see, the gate was not inanimate.  It may have been created by the hands of people but spirits are alive in places that we do not know and cannot understand. But it was time.

The Spirit from within the gate felt the life force beginning it’s final journey and it remembered.  Laughter and tears, wild eyed curiosity and astonishment.  Life was a strange and wonderful experience.  For a time.  Now, sleep.

A Stranger Calls

Bbrrrrrrrnnnnnggggggg

Bbbbbbrrrrrrnnnnnnggggg

“Oh! Shut up!  I’m working!”

bbrrrrnnnnnnnggggg

“Ok, ok, I know it may be important. Who ever invented the telephone should be shot!  Tomorrow I am definitely buying an answering machine! Hello!”

“Thank heavens you’re home Evangelic, I only have a minute, but listen, this is important.”

“Excus . . . “

“The diagnosis was wrong Evangelic; you don’t have cancer!  It’s true!  Some technician messed up the samples.  Don’t give all your possessions away!  Hahaha I’m so happy.  But I have to run, they are about to call for the plane and I have to be in St. Louis by 3. Benson and Hardwick don’t like tardiness.  Evie if this job interview is successful, we will never have to worry about money again.”

“Listen I’m not . . .”

“It’s ok, my love, everything is ok.  You can reach me at the Mayfair and I’ll be home in three days. We can start to make plans now.  Love ya babe!  Bye.”

Lilly held the receiver in her hand for a moment and listened to the single tone that indicated the party on the other end had hung up. She shook her head and then replaced her handset.

“Well, as wrong numbers go, that was a beaut.” She chuckled and return to her computer. After all she had responsibilities too:  the next four chapters of her latest book were due in her publisher’s hands by the end of the week. Except, something was nagging at her:  she couldn’t stop thinking about the strange phone call.  Obviously, the call was from a man who had misdialed.  What’s interesting is he didn’t check to make sure he was speaking to the right person before he imparted his information. Who did that? He was certainly excited; except he was telling someone he loved that she didn’t have cancer.  Which means the party he thought he was talking to didn’t know she didn’t have cancer.  And now she wouldn’t know for at least a couple of days.  He seemed concerned that she find out right away. Well there was nothing Lilly could do about it.  She didn’t know his name and while she knew the woman’s name, it didn’t help her find her.

Lilly couldn’t stop thinking.  It’s what writers did, they thought.  And Lilly thought that maybe she could figure out who the man was.  She knew he was calling from the Toronto Airport, she knew the phone number, and she knew where he was going to be later on that day so maybe the people at the hotel could help her find him.  This is going to be fun!  The writing wasn’t going very well anyway.

So, Lilly made herself a cup of her favourite tea and sat down in front of her computer.  She had a string to unravel and it started in St. Louis.  Stalking was way too easy in the modern age.

With a flick of a few keys Lilly expected all the information she required to be boldly displayed in front of her, it was not. There was no Mayfair in St Louis.  Not deterred she kept at it, something was not right, something didn’t make sense.  Lilly was sure he said Mayfair and St Louis.  She had good hearing and . . .   Then she read: “Built in 1924 . . . The hotel was sold in 2003 to . . .” The mystery deepened. Lilly kept reading. “ . . .  reopened it in 2014 as the Magnolia Hotel St. Louis.That explained one part of the puzzle.

Lilly had a thought.  She looked up how long it would take to get to St. Louis . . . anywhere from 4 hours and a bit to almost seven hours.  Plus time to collect luggage and book into the hotel.  She didn’t have to rush.  But her mind couldn’t get over the urgency in his voice.  She had to do something.  Maybe the Mayfair/Magnolia manager could help. It wouldn’t hurt to ask. So, she looked up the phone number and placed her call.

Now when someone takes the time to make a phone call there are certain expectations. A pleasant voice picks up the phone and an answer to your question is nearly instantaneous, on a good day.  This wasn’t one of those.

“The Magnolia Hotel, how may I assist you?”

“um, may I speak to your manager?  I am calling from Toronto, Canada and I think, there is a matter that concerns one of your guests.”  Lilly could hear the confusion in her voice.  She could only imagine what the young man on the other side of the phone was thinking.

Evidently they train their staff well.  There was no hesitation. “If you will hold the line for just a moment, I will connect you with Mr. Gordon.”

Lilly barely had time to sip her now cold tea when a very cultured voice spoke on the line.

“Vincent Gordon speaking, how may I be of assistance.”

Lilly took a deep breath and explained to a complete stranger how her morning was going. The call, the anxiety in his voice, the concern that someone needed to know that she didn’t have cancer.  Lilly spoke at breakneck speed afraid she was going to be dismissed and, and, and . . .

“Miss Lilly, are you sitting down?

Not the question she expected.

“Yes.  Um, do you think I’m crazy?”

“You are not crazy, just a few years late.”  There was a quiet sigh on the line and a chair squeaked as if someone had settled back into it.  “This may be a bit difficult to understand but we get this call, or one like it, every few years.”

Lilly shook her head, “It was a prank call?!” The quiet inflection in her voice mirrored her feelings.  Lilly was confused.

“It wasn’t a prank. It was . . . It is said that some hotels have ghosts, spirits, leftover energy. I don’t know.  I only know about Elward Harrison and his wife Evangelic.

And then Mr. Vincent Gordon told Lilly a story. It was about a man whose love for a woman survived his death.   ‘April 17, 1972 a man suffered a major heart attack and died while a guest at the Mayfair Hotel in St. Louis.  He is survived by his wife Evangelic.’

Mr. Gordon went on to explain that Mrs. Harrison had received incorrect medical information but the doctor had called and assured her, she was fine.  Mr. Harrison had called the office and acquired the information but did not stay on the line long enough to know that his wife had also been informed.  Evangelic died in 2002.

“I don’t know why he calls.  I don’t know how he calls. But the staff all expect a call on this day.

Lilly’s eyes grew wide. “The date today?”

“April 17.”

Lilly exchanged her cold tea for something stronger. She shivered. Who knows what lives just beyond our ability to understand . . .

 

 

The end

Thinking

What does an elephant think about,

As he stands inside a zoo?

What passes through his mind

As he’s looking back at you?

What does a pigeon think about,

As he soars above the crowds?

Perhaps it just a simple thing,

As he plays amongst the clouds.

A single ant is scurrying,

His job it must be done.

The others they depend on him,

The many and the one.

A crow is thinking, I can tell.

He cocks his head at me.

Is he looking at my lunch?

Does he think it’s free?

Two yellow fish are playing,

Deep beneath the sea.

I wonder what they’re thinking of,

Could it be of me?

A turtle swims beneath the waves,

A carefree life at best.

But then one day he wonders,

What about the rest?

Behind, beside and over there,

Are those we do not know.

But they have thoughts and feelings,

Just like that silly crow.

What does a person think about,

When he looks upon another?

Race and colour notwithstanding,

Could he be my brother?

This crazy world that we call ours,

We’re only tenants here.

If we make nice and play together,

There is no one to fear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gentle Moments

 

The time we have upon this earth,

So fleeting is its nature.

But still we hurry through our lives,

And miss the gentle moments.

They say that we must stop and listen,

To the beating of our hearts.

But heed I say the sound you hear,

Is deeper than a beat.

A gentle moment exists in truth,

It waits for us to notice.

Do not ignore and just pass by,

A precious instant’s near.

So bow your head and listen close,

To more than just your heart.

The sound you hear and wonder at,

Is the depth of inner peace.

Blessings to the world as we celebrate

Canada Day!

My Ark

Several years ago, there was a psychological project in one of my psych classes. It asked us to decide who you would want to share a lifeboat with. I actually don’t remember my response at the time but I’m sure it included family and friends. Nowadays I would need a bigger boat. Hence My Ark. And then I started to think a little more. I’m still gonna need a bigger boat.

So how about I change it up just a little bit more. Instead of a boat, let’s choose a world. And what kinds of people would I want to populate that world? Now the question is getting really interesting.

Of course, they’ll always be my family and friends included wherever I am. But who else? And how exactly do I classify a friend? People I care about but are not necessarily friends, I would still want them included. There are people I don’t know and are definitely not classified as friends but still I think there’s a place for them. So, let’s try to categorize this a little bit.

The world will always need its Dreamers. People to inspire us and make us look to the stars. They provide us with incentive. And then of course we will need the Scientists to help us create the perfect world. And scientists are only as good as the Workers that are able to make their ideas come to life. We will also need Engineers and Mathematicians. And Teachers to teach us the mathematics. And I think we actually need Politicians. I know it’s heresy to say that but think about it. We need people who can direct where the need is greatest. Perhaps we can come up with a different name.

We will need people who know how to make things grow and people to make us laugh. We need Doctors and Architects, Botanists and Artists, Writers, Singers, Entertainers. We need people who can play sports and those who can cook.  Every facet of life requires a different skill which requires a different person. We are all interconnected. We all need each other.

It would be easy to say let’s keep criminals off our world but how is that possible? Murderers are not born they are created. How? People commit crimes for a reason. If we take away the reason, we take away the need for the crime. Simplistic? Yes. That is why we need the Dreamers.

Of course, no world of mine would be possible without its animals. We need animals for companionship, for assistance, for food and for clothing. Remember the Bible story of Noah? I wonder what he felt like when he welcomed the mosquitoes on board his Ark? Mosquitoes are a horrible menace to us here and yet they provide a valuable service. They are food for birds, spiders and reptiles. They help to pollinate. It might actually have been a different world and perhaps not a successful one, without them.  There’s a lesson there.

We can’t pick and choose who we want to share our world with because we all have a part to play. All Of Us. This planet, this earth, this world is Our Ark. In order to make it work we all have to come together as one species: The Human Race.

 

 

 

Religions

Catholic and Anglican

Episcopal and Jew.

Different religions,

For me and for you.

 

But what is the religion,

In the heavens above?

What is the label,

We practice thereof?

 

The words that we speak,

The songs that we sing.

Are all in the honour,

Of the one who is King.

 

We sing songs of faith.

That is the beginning of hope.

Because only together

Will we finally cope.

 

Understanding will come,

We’ll be suitably awed.

Because life is the religion

Of the one we call God.

Teach Your Children Well

It is a line within a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that popped into my head the other day.  The title is ‘Teach Your Children’ and it was out in the seventies. It was good advice then and it’s good advice now.  Actually, if we don’t do it right, we are dooming ourselves, our species.

We screwed up. Racism, poverty, intolerance.  These are fixable issues.  They truly are.  So why are people still dying?    It is happening because of greed, apathy and intolerance.  Learned attributes.    So, what do we do?  We teach our children to love, how to show compassion. We teach them the truth:  we are ALL important.  Each and every one of us.  That is a truth too many try to hide with their hatred.

Many years ago, two different groups of children were introduced to each other. They spent a week or so, in each other’s company.  They only learned the other’s names, no backgrounds.  Eventually it was discovered that one group was from Northern Ireland, the other from England.  They didn’t know that they were supposed to hate each other.  They truly did become friends. I couldn’t find the experiment on-line so maybe I dreamed it but I do not believe so. I read it many, many years ago and it stuck with me.  Hate is taught to our children.  And we teach it.

Okay, okay not all of us are so narrow minded that we instil our biases in our young but it happens far too much. If we can change that, we can make an enormous leap towards global acceptance.   It is probably pretty close to impossible to change the attitude of many of the adults. That may simply be because they have lived so long with their hatred, some don’t know to survive without it.  That doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Old dogs can be taught new tricks.

With everything that has been going on in the last few weeks it is no surprise we have reached a boiling point.  The pandemic has lit the match on an already volatile society.  We are cooped up and tensions are high.  But the problems are not new ones, just old ones we refused to face.

If we want a future, a viable future, we must change. It must start with the children.  Teach your children well.

 

 

Teach Your Children

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

 

I really don’t like pink

Having said that, I do like some shades.  More importantly, I love what it stands for. The colour pink has been adopted by the cancer society to promote solidarity and bring awareness to the world.

Recently, a woman I admire greatly, told us that she is once again dealing with breast cancer. She overcame it once and I’m a firm believer that she will overcome it a second time. In her honour I painted a pink rose. I hope I have done it justice.

Cancer is a word that will send shivers up the spine of most people. My family has not escaped its tendrils. My Father overcame skin cancer, his Mother – throat cancer, his Brother – bone marrow. I have had two breast cancer scares. In each case the lump turned out to be benign. But for several days, in each case, I was left on tender hooks.

Cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. And yet the fear it instills . . . I have seen friends that have walked the path of chemo and radiation and whatever cocktail is necessary to eradicate their tumor. It is not an easy walk. But it is one that inspires those who witness it. The strength that is required is unimaginable to us who have not experienced it. The very least I can do is paint a pink rose.

Our world is presently in the throes of fear over a virus. We talk about the number infected and we talk about the number that have died. Some good news has recently been discovered: children are not as affected as adults. What is rarely talked about is that the majority of people get better. It is no consolation for the family and friends of those who did not but it does provide a little hope in a world that seems hopeless.

I am confident that we will find a cure, a vaccine. But I am not confident about the aftermath. So much fear. So much distrust. Will people once again shake hands, hug each other, trust each other? I understand the need for distance now but I hope that we will have the strength to once again reach out to each other when this is over. And I do believe it will be over, one day. I wonder what colour the ribbon will be for COVID-19?

Religion for Seniors

 

Lord I have a problem,

I pray you’ll lend a hand!

It seems I’ve lost my way again.

I don’t know where I stand!

 

I can’t remember where I am,

Or what I need to do.

I am sitting in a church,

As I was drawn to you.

 

I’m afraid I have to say dear Lord,

That book we use each day?

The print is now so very small,

I don’t know what to say.

 

My memory is getting fuzzy,

I forget some things, you know.

Perhaps a little help is needed,

Before it’s time to go.

 

As a child I knelt with glee,

And said your prayers each day.

But now my knees are aching,

For relief is what I pray!

 

I live by your commandments,

I learned when I was young.

I sing your songs of praise,

But it sounds like devil’s tongue!

 

Soon will be my time to rest.

I pray it’s at your feet,

There is one more tiny thing,

Let’s not be quick to meet!