Category: Random Thoughts


William Shakespeare wrote “Love is not love which alters, when it alteration finds. Nor bends with the remover to remove. Oh No! It is an ever-fixed mark.”

I’ve been following the controversy surrounding  statements made by the COO of a certain fast-food chain with quite a bit of interest, not because I give a fig over what he thinks. I don’t really give a fig what MOST people think, actually. Opinions are like asses…everyone has one, including me.

What concerns me most I think is that, once again, someone is trying to tell me how to think–Telling me that the way I think is wrong, and using the bible to try and prove their flawed argument. Guess what? I’ve read mine too.  The bit that sticks out in my mind is where Jesus said “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s all over the new testament. He didn’t specify “do this unless you happen to disagree with one-another’s lifestyles, then go ahead and hate the fuck out of each other.”

Who are you to tell me how and who to love? And that unless I love the way you do, that I am wrong? Who died and made you king (or queen) of the universal laws of love anyway? And why in the actual fuck should the COO of a fast-food chain even publicly state a position on same-sex marriage? Last I checked…um…he wasn’t the one in charge of the country. Every one of his supporters wants to cry ‘freedom of speech’ for him. So we’re going with a legal angle? I’m pretty sure that publicly stating a position on this issue has GOT to violate EEO laws all over the place. Has anyone stopped to think about that? Kinda makes me wonder.

People used to wonder which side of the fence I came down on, and I deliberately let them keep wondering b/c no matter how I answered, technically it would be a lie. I spent 40+ years hiding large bits of myself, denying the way fully half of my heart yearned for affection, because once upon a time someone told me it was wrong to feel the things I felt, and made me feel small, and guilty for feeling them. Well damn it! I’m sick and tired of feeling small and guilty and just fucking WRONG. I’ve had a belly full, people.

So here it is, the big reveal: I firmly believe that love is love. I don’t care if you’re male or female. If I love you, I love you. And if you feel the same way about me, and we choose to express that love in a sexual fashion, then great! It’s not anyone’s business but our own.

That said, I am not a fan of the institution of marriage, and have no plans to marry anyone ever again. Largely because I had a REALLY bad experience in a heterosexual marriage, the details of which I will spare you. But I have hetero friends who have fallen in love and got married, and I fully support them in this. Something like 50-percent of all hetero marriages fail, but neither that statistic nor my personal feelings about marriage move me to protest their love.

What I’m trying to say is my friends who are in same-sex relationships should have the same rights as my hetero friends. Let them get married, if they choose. Why not? What will it hurt? YOUR hetero relationships/marriages/families are in no way endangered by the decision of same-sex couples to marry. If you don’t like same-sex marriages, then don’t marry someone of the same sex. Plain and simple. And as for the morality/biblical implications? That’s kind of between the people in question and the creator, isn’t it? I mean it clearly states in the bible (in the 10 Commandments, Exodus, look it up) “Judge ye not lest ye be judged.” The great I Am is the ultimate judge. That’s in the bible, too.

As for the fast-food chain I mentioned? I’ve never eaten at one, and I have no plans to do so.

What I do plan to do is try my hardest to change the world by expanding one small mind at a time. I am proud to be who I am. I’m me, and that is exceptional. I will not be afraid, any more. I will not hide any more. I am who I am, and that is stronger, and more powerful, than you can ever begin to imagine.

Be fierce and strong, be fearless, be you. Take your love and spread it through the universe…

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I had a dream about my mother, just before Samhain (SOW-en). For those of you who don’t know what that is, on the Celtic calendar, it is the celebration of the autumn equinox–the time of the final harvest, when the land lies fallow, until spring. On the Christian calendar, it’s somewhere near Halloween. Among other lore attached to that time of year, the veil between this world and the next is thinnest. That part is important, so remember it.

I digress.

I had a dream about my mother. My mother passed to the other side of the veil four years ago, the past June, and I haven’t dreamed about her, until now. We were sitting at the kitchen table, in the house where I grew up, drinking coffee and talking, as we often did. She suddenly looked at me, and said in a tone that I had come to recognize as her “don’t give me any crap” voice, “Reba Lynn, clean up your mess!” With those words ringing in my ears, I woke up.

I took this to mean that I was to get on with my life, instead of floundering about helplessly, as I had been. I am a strong woman from a family of strong women. We pull ourselves up by our boot-straps (garters?) and go on.  It’s just what we do. After all, I am a Furgason (long story, but Ferguson is misspelled, I know) and a Gibbons. With lineage like that, I can’t be anything other than what I am, right? Right!? Right.

In a week and a little more, I will be 41 (or as I PREFER to look at it, 21 with 20 years experience). Having clearly lost what little of my sanity is left, I have signed up as a full time student in the AA transfer program at my local community college. I intend to study history. I am quite lucky, as I have some very supportive friends, and understanding children. I am profoundly impressed with my own audacity. I also refuse to think about how many opportunities I have wasted, in my younger years. But like many priviliged (read: spoiled-rotten) children, I fail to appreciate anything until I have to work for it. My parents paid for the first go at University, which I failed at. I will be paying for this one, and failure is not an option– Because I proved to myself what I am capable of, when I really want something, and I want this more than I want air. I can be frightfully single-minded when need-be.

I have moved back to my hometown, and am finally settling into my new home, at least for now. I miss the sunrises and sunsets and the wonderful people out on my hill, but things will be more convenient, as I am working and going to school here. And amazingly enough, the sun still rises and sets here, too. And I am reconnecting with old friends whom I haven’t seen in years. Life is coming together.

I am cleaning up my mess, mama.

 

It’s been a long, dry spell for my poor blog. Nearly a month, with no posting. I’m ashamed of myself. I had such noble intentions: a post a week, I told myself, was do-able. Little did I know that real life and my muse would step in, and prevent that from happening. It’s not that I haven’t been productive. I’ve been writing like mad! Just…not on my blog. Oops. I’ll also admit that Twitter may have had a thing or two to do with that, even though I’ve exiled myself from that, as well, as of late.

Much has been going on in the Witch’s life. I’ve switched jobs, which is probably a good thing. I start the new one Monday. Better hours, better money, greater potential for advancement, yada-yada. I’ll miss the restaurant, but I won’t miss the hot kitchen. Also, divorce-papers got filed last month. My divorce hearing is set for August 4th. It’s PIMA’s birthday. How amazingly apropriate.

So, I had this idea running around in my head, and it wouldn’t leave me alone. It kept poking at me with a rather sharp stick, whomping me in the head when I was trying to sleep, whispering things in my ear at work, etc. I sat down with my trusty MSWord program, and began to write. 22K later, it’s kind of taking on a life of its own. I’m in a sharing mood, so I thought I would share an exerpt from the first chapter of Reflections of Who We Become. That’s the working title, anyway, although I’ve been toying with changing it.  There’s a quote at the beginning of the chapter–one of my favorites–that I thought apropriate.  

Let me know what you think! I’m happy to improve myself, and my writing, however I may, so con-crit always appreciated:

“There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in it’s proportion.” — Sir Francis Bacon.

It started like any other, ordinary Tuesday morning. Nick crawled out of bed at 5:30, when his alarm went off, and let the shower and the promise of caffeine wake him sufficiently to make his way from the dorms, across the quad, to the SUB’s coffee-bar. His first class didn’t start until 8 a.m. and Mocha Joe’s had just opened, so there was a dearth of customers. It was a perfect start to a beautiful spring day. Except…

What the hell was behind the counter? It looked like the SUB had hired a new server, because he’d never seen anything like that behind the counter before.  Nick scowled. It looked like some guy had had relations with a peacock, and this was their love-child. It smiled. Yep. Newbie. It would learn Nick didn’t do smiles before 10 a.m., at the earliest. He strode purposefully up to the counter, model-perfect face set in what his acting professor called neutral-face, except for the quirk of one eyebrow, which clearly asked ‘who the fuck are you?’

“Good morning.” A shy dip of his head (yes, it appeared to be a man…that mystery was solved, at least), accompanied by a brilliant white smile framed by full pink-lipsticked lips. Now that Nick really had a chance to examine the guy, he was kind of hot…if Nick swung that way, which he didn’t, thank you very much. Nick’s cheek-muscles pulled the corners of his mouth up in a small flash of a return-smile, before he got them back under control, and schooled his features back into the neutral expression of earlier (minus the quirked eyebrow, because…well, just because).

His voice was still rough from sleep, when he spoke. “’Morning. Extra-tall cappuccino, double espresso.”  

Lipstick-boy stood there, the silver bangles on his wrist clinking together and still smiling brightly, as he tapped on the counter with his black-lacquered fingernails. Nick frowned in confusion because he was pretty sure he’d spoken English, well, with possibly a smattering of Italian coffee-speak, but the guy should’ve got the gist of what he wanted. It was too early in the morning for anything beyond that handful of words, and Nick hadn’t had any coffee, yet. And smiley wasn’t moving, just smiling and drumming. Nick tried again, scowling. “Extra-tall cappuccino, double-shot of espresso.”

“I heard you, doll face.” His voice was pleasant—slightly raspy, not too deep, and not too high-pitched, either. He had a nice face, and a beautiful smile…Nick shook his head, not going there. It was the make-up the guy was wearing. Had to be. It was throwing him off, seriously, because he wasn’t into guys. Consequently, he didn’t generally notice when a guy was attractive and smelled nice. What the fuck? Where had that come from?

Nicked rubbed his face with one hand, frustrated, and seriously in need of caffeine. “Uh, then what are you waiting for? Christmas?”

Mr. Lipstick actually had the audacity to giggle. And seriously? It would’ve been a nice sound, if Nick had had a coffee in his hand—which he didn’t. At his bewildered look, Lipstick smiled even wider. “No, doll face. I’m waiting for the magic word.”

Magic word…what? What the hell was the magic word? Was it something he was supposed to know, and didn’t? His sleep-addled brain attempted to come up with something suitable. “Abracadabra?”

That giggle came again, musical and pleasant, his eyes crinkling as he shook his head, longish blue-black hair swishing against his collar. “Nope. Didn’t your mama ever teach you about the magic word?”

Nick was even more confused now, his voice taking on a pleading note. “Um…no?”

Lipstick threw his hands up in the air in a dramatic gesture of exasperation that clearly stated the Nick’s mother had failed him completely, as a parent because she had failed to clue him into the magic coffee-getting word. Hands on hips that were slender, but not skinny, Lipstick huffed out an irritated breath, “Please. The magic word? It’s ‘please’.”

Nick wanted coffee. Lipstick was not gonna give it to him. This was irritating, to say the least. But if ‘please’ would cause coffee to magically start being made, he’d give it a shot, because seriously? He’d already wasted fifteen important minutes of prime coffee-drinking time. Jaw clenching, he glared at Lipstick-boy, in an attempt to convey just how un-amused he really was. “Fine. Please? Coffee? Now?”

Lipstick smiled again. “Sure thing, doll face. If you’ll have a seat, I’ll bring it right out.”

Nodding, because this was the strangest conversation he’d ever had in the SUB, he turned to find a seat, when Lipstick’s voice sounded again. “Thank-you? Seriously, pretty-boy, your social skills are lacking.”

Nick, caffeine-deprived and feeling picked-on, stiffened, whirling around with an ease he wouldn’t have believed himself capable of at this ungodly hour, immediately on the defensive. “Dude, what the fuck? Of course my social skills are lacking! It’s 6:45 in the fucking morning, I’ve been awake for approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, without coffee, I might add. Then, I come in here and find Miss Manners is now working here, and is keeping me from said coffee, because I have no social skills. Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ! Just give me my fucking coffee! My manners will improve exponentially with coffee. I promise!”

Mr. Lipstick had the nerve to actually look shocked, and a bit frightened at Nick’s tirade, kohl-rimmed blue eyes wide under the fall of deep-blue bangs (they were black with a blue rinse on them, not that Nick noticed this sort of thing, because he so didn’t, but he had considered doing something similar to his own hair a time or two. Perhaps it bore more serious thought…). Silently, the younger man turned and began to make Nick’s coffee.

Walking toward a nearby table, Nick kicked himself, mentally. He had sounded a little frightening. But damn it! How much was he expected to have to put up with on a Tuesday, anyway? And where the hell was Shelby? She was scheduled to work this shift, he had thought. He sighed, disconsolately. The day had started with such promise.

As if on cue, two things happened. His cell-phone buzzed and Lipstick-boy brought a hot, extra-tall cappuccino with a double-espresso shot. Face sober, instead of wearing that smile that Nick could write sonnets about (if, you know, he was into that sort of thing), he carefully placed the cup, in its cheerful, bubble-gum pink cozy, on Nick’s table, and turned to walk away, shoulders set in a defeated posture.

“Hey…uh…” Nick realized, as Mr. Lipstick stopped, but didn’t turn around, he didn’t even know the man’s name. Couldn’t very well call him Mr. Lipstick forever, “Look, I’m sorry for going off. I just…I don’t do well without coffee, y’know? I’m Nick Holt.” He peered at his cell-phone…Shelby. It figured. Boy was she in for an ass-chewing!

Lipstick-boy turned, and his dazzling smile pushed all thoughts of how many ways he was going to ream Shelby far from his mind. The cell-phone continued to buzz, as the prettiest man in Nick’s acquaintance practically skipped back to the table. He held out a hand, and Nick returned the handshake, which was reassuringly firm. “Drew Lawson. And I apologize for sounding like Miss Manners. I’m nervous, I guess. First day on the job. And, well, I kind of have this way of calling a spade a spade. ” Lipstick—er, Drew had a pleasant voice, Nick decided.

Nick nodded. Bluntness was a quality he could appreciate. The two men stared at each other, the silence becoming increasingly uncomfortable, as they searched for something else to say. Nick’s cell-phone started buzzing again, he saw it was Shelby calling back, and thanked whoever was listening for her perfect timing. “I’ve gotta get this. But it was nice to meet you, Drew. I’ll see you around?”

“I’ll be here every morning, Monday through Wednesday, and Friday. Nice to meet you Nick.” He walked away, Nick staring at his departing figure appreciatively. He’d forgotten all about his phone, until the maddening buzz stopped. Crap. Shelby. Taking a long drink of his cappuccino, he sighed, and dialed her number.

“How’s he doing? Is he doing alright? Do I need to come in?” Shelby’s voice in his ear was slightly panicked.
“And good morning to you, too. How’s who doing?” He loved Shelby, but her habit of jumping into a conversation right in the middle, leaving the other half wondering what the hell she was going on about could get annoying, at times. Like now. When he was one sip shy of coffee-less. Once he had himself completely caffeinated, he could usually keep up. But he wasn’t. And he couldn’t.

She let out an exasperated breath that reminded him of Drew’s irritated huff earlier. “DREW! How’s he doing? Do I need to come help him? How’s his coffee? Because if he sucks? Martin trained him. If he’s the best barista on the planet? I taught him everything he knows.”  He could hear the grin in Shel’s voice. He took another long sip of coffee.

“Drew? Who’s Drew? And why is the coffee-bar still locked up tight? I’m in the cafeteria, forced to drink the swill that passes for coffee, to the unwashed masses.” He managed (barely) to keep from laughing at the loud screech that came from his phone’s speaker, causing Drew, who was only a few feet away, to look up, concerned. Nick held a finger to his lips, in a shushing gesture, and winked, gaining him an uncertain smile.

“I’ll kill him! I’ll be there in two minutes. That cafeteria shit will kill you, and then I’ll be friendless!” The line went dead, before Nick had a chance to tell her that everything was going fine. He bit his lip, a guilty look crawling across his face.

From his spot behind the bar, Drew frowned slightly. “What happened?”

“Prepare for world-war-Shelby. She called to check up on you, and I kind of maybe planted the idea in her sweet little head that you weren’t here? She’s on her way.” Nick and Drew shared a grimace. This would not be good.

Ten minutes later, Nick was well into his second cappuccino when a short, blonde hurricane stormed into the coffee house with murder in her eye. She pointed at Nick. “Nicholas Aaron Holt! I am going to kill you, you asshole! I looked all over the cafeteria for you, and you’re here? Do you have any idea just how little sleep I got last night, worrying about how Drew might oversleep, or might have some problem? And then you show up, and I call to see how it’s going, and you pull this shit? I absolutely hate you! Buy me coffee. NOW!

Nick took another calm sip of his cappuccino as Drew looked from Shelby to him and back again, finally managing to squeak. “How do you want your coffee, Shelby?”

“Strong, black, with as much caffeine as you can legally force into it. And if you were in on this, so help me!” Her words were for Drew, but her icy blue gaze was all for Nick who refused to cower under her surly, blonde presence. He absently picked some lint from the sleeve of his shirt, calmly took another sip from his cup, and smiled his most winning smile at the angry woman glaring daggers in his direction.

“Good morning, Shelby. How’s your day, so far? I don’t know where you found Drew, but you definitely need to keep him around a while. He makes the best cappuccino on the planet. Even better than yours, and that’s saying something.” His relaxed voice only served to further infuriate his friend to his great amusement. Shelby had been his girlfriend once upon a time, for about three months, so he understood well the delicate process of talking her down when she was in a snit. He continued, voice still soothing, “By the way, where did you find him? I thought you were supposed to be here this morning.”

Drew carefully set a steaming cup in front of Shelby. This display of anger was so far from anything he’d seen from the tiny blonde in their brief acquaintance that he wasn’t sure how to take it. He walked away deciding it would be better to let Nick handle her, which he seemed to be doing rather well. He’d have to ask her about Nick later, because the tall, muscular frame, dark blonde hair and hazel eyes were pushing every button Drew had. He wanted this pretty man, and it’d been a long time since he’d felt such a strong attraction so quickly. Checking to see that the other two or three customers were settled, he busied himself behind the bar where he could keep an eye on the proceedings at the front table, as the friends spoke in now-hushed tones. Nick winked at him conspiratorially, and the bottom dropped out of Drew’s stomach. Did he even know how hot he was? Drew suspected the answer to be a resounding ‘yes’.

Taking a careful sip of her hot coffee, Shelby sighed in contentment. This was what she needed to calm her nerves. Nick had scared the hell out of her but now the adrenaline was fading and she felt the anger fade along with it. She still might kill him, but not right this minute. “So, I didn’t want to tell you until I was sure I had the job. You remember the strip club on the edge of town, Caprice? I got hired as a bartender, there. I had to cut my hours here because I’m there mainly on weeknights. I met Drew there, and he was looking for a second job. He applied here and he is taking over my weekday hours, since he mainly works weekends.”

Nick nodded. “That’s great, Shelby. Congrats on the new job. So that’s how you met Drew, then? He works there with you?”

“Yeah, we sort of work together a few nights. But I actually met him in my dance class last semester. If you’d bothered to come to the final show, you’d have seen him. He’s an amazing dancer. I’m surprised you haven’t seen him around. He’s a double major—dance and theatre. I figured he’d been in a few of your classes too.” Shelby was nursing her coffee like it was mother’s milk, as she spoke. Their shared caffeine addiction was one of the things that had drawn them to each other, at first. Neither of them were morning people, per se. They just got up early to feed the caffeine-junkie that lived deep in their souls, which didn’t make a great deal of sense to anyone except them.

“I don’t think so. He’s kind of hard to miss, so I think I would’ve noticed.” They shared a laugh at this. Yes Drew was kind of hard to miss. Shelby had lamented, in her journal, many times that it was really too bad he was gay.

Checking the time, Nick rose to pay his and Shelby’s tab. Drew smiled as he walked to the cash-register. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah. You just have to know how to handle Shelby first thing in the morning. The coffee was great, by the way.” Nick pressed a couple of dollars in the tip jar. “So you’ll be here tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I will.” Nick smiled broadly at the news, and Drew felt his knees grow weak.

Not sure why this news made him so cheerful, Nick nodded. “Good. I look forward to it, then. Have a great day, Drew. It was nice meeting you.”

“You too, Nick. See you in the morning.” Drew returned Nick’s wave, and the butterflies in Drew’s stomach fluttered at a fever-pitch as he watched the blonde-haired man walk away, making a mental note to grill Shelby for information later.

This coming Monday, the US celebrates Memorial Day. In honor of this, I am replacing my regularly scheduled blog post with the text of one of my favorite poems:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago We lived,
felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie, In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

–Lt. Col. John McCrae

Thank you to the men and women who have fought to preserve our freedom, and a special salute to those who have given their lives in the service of our country. You are not forgotten.

A soldier is some one who has written a check to his or her nation for an amount “up to, and including, my life”. If you haven’t thanked one, today, or stopped to remember one who died in combat, do so. Its a respect thing.

Peace.

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I don’t generally do the religion thing. In fact, there are two topics I avoid like the plague: politics and (you guessed it) religion. I don’t consider myself religious, but I am spiritual. While I do not personally adhere to any particular belief-system, I have nothing against those who do. I try very hard to respect the beliefs of others, that differ from mine, and generally, I adhere to the 11th commandment: ‘Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.’ (Don’t you just love George Carlin?) But to each rule, there is the odd exception.

One might deduce, from my user-name, that I practice paganism. This is partly true. I’ve been part of a coven. Cast a circle, or two, in my time. Do I consider myself a wiccan? No. Not really. However, the idea of a loving, nurturing god and goddess fits so much better with my world-view than that of a vengeful, wrathful patriarchal god. And the rituals involved in goddess-worship (Im talking regular, run of the mill paganism, not dark-side stuff, here) are lovely, and empowering, to both male and female. I like very much the idea of having male and female worship-leaders, rather than adhering to a largely male-dominated set of religious practices that has portrayed women as less, weak, or lacking in some way.

I have also been a ‘Christian’–baptized in flowing water, as is traditional, to “wash away my sins”. The minister who baptized me was removed from his pulpit by the church board, shortly after. For “personal reasons”. The longer I was part of various congregations, the more I agreed with the bumper-sticker: If going to church makes you a Christian, does going to the garage make you a car? Of course, there is a passage in the Christian Bible that says, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there will I be, also.” I’m fond of that passage. Here’s another bit that never quite made it to the Bible, but should have: “The kingdom of Heaven is within you, and all around you, not in palaces of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone and you will find me.” This quote was from the movie Stigmata. Touted as the gospel of Thomas, the doubter, this statement would set the Church hierarchy on its ear, if it had been included, completely undermining the tidy business of saving souls they’ve set up. Salvation with a price-tag. The more you give, the more you’re forgiven. How incredibly pious *sarcasm font*. Naturally, it would have been excluded, if, indeed, it ever existed at all. I prefer to think it must’ve.

I’ve studied, at least minimally, the beliefs and practices of a number of religions, actually. I agree with some, disagree with others, and have combined them into a belief system that suits me. The core idea comes from wicca. Essentially it is this: what you put forth comes back to you, threefold; this above all, do no harm. Its similar to the concept of Karma, in the Hindu religion. Among other things, this was ‘borrowed’, when Christianity was first introduced to the ‘heathens’. It was supposed to make the idea more palatable–See? Our religion is just like yours, only a LITTLE different. Now, convert or die! So much for brotherly love.

I raise the subject of religion because at 6 PM, today, Christ was scheduled to rapture his church. At least that is what was concluded by reputed biblical scholar, Christian author, and broadcaster Harold Camping. It’s now 6:44 PM, local time. I’m still here, and so is everyone I know. And most of them are much more Christian than I am. But Camping’s prediction raises a couple of questions, for me: Firstly, in all of the study time he put in, did he somehow fail to note Matthew 24:36–“No one knows the day and the hour…Only the Father knows.” And Matthew 24:27–“The coming of the Son of Man will be as lightning that can be seen from east to west.” According to Thessalonians, the dead will be resurrected first, following a divine command, and a trumpet-blast. NONE of these happened. Sorry. And what about those poor fools who donated to his cause? (And since when did prophecy require funding, anyway? Oh yeah! There’s a biblical admonition to “beware the false prophets”.) Perhaps there needs to be a bit more Bible included in their bible study? Its just a thought.

My point, and I do have one, is don’t let your zeal for worshiping whatever invisible being you choose override the actual worship, itself. Worship, in my estimation, is supposed to be about study, ritual, fellowship with like-minded individuals, and communion with your omnipotent being of choice. But if, in the course of that worship, you fail to actually learn about the religion you’ve chosen, perhaps you should pay closer attention to the study guide. Again, it’s just a thought.

Lest you think I’m attacking Christianity as a belief system, I’m not, really. My issues with it stem largely from the mockery most people who call themselves Christians make of it. I’m not saying I’m any better, but I don’t put on a show for people, either. I am what I am. Just saying.

I owe a debt of gratitude to @Depoetic. She mentioned the two verses from Matthew and the bit from Thessalonians. They were good for illustrating my point, so I cited them, here. This stuff, by and large, is my opinion. You are fully entitled to your own. Feel free to share it in comments. I bid you peace.

Its the small things…

I heard something, the other day, that went straight to my soul. Of all places, it was a line from an episode of the old 1960’s TV western: Wagon Train.

Let me set the scene for you: an old Irishman is dying, close to Christmas. He was supposed to play the part of Santa Clause for the children, but he knew his time was growing short. He asks the Wagon-master to play Santa, in his stead. He (the wagon-master) remarks that it’s such a small thing. The dying man says “Aye. Tis a small thing. But the small things make the BIG things bearable”. The simple truth of those words, even now, several days later, is still almost unbearably beautiful.

Let me tell you, this isn’t the blog entry I intended on writing. It is Mother’s Day, tomorrow. I had planned to write to you about my wonderful, beautiful, strong mother. I wanted to tell you how funny, wise and resourceful, loving and giving she was. How she only gave birth twice, but had many ‘children’. And how she faced the end of her life, from cancer, with a grace and dignity worthy of any great lady. How she died quietly one June morning, in her sleep, at home. It was four days past her 81st birthday. She was a lady, after all, and a lady always knows when to leave.

Unfortunately, life–and satellite television–intervened. I am playing the waiting game, right now. And waiting has never been something at which I excel. I was fortunate enough to have my mother for 36 years. My children may not be so lucky. I am waiting, as I said, on test results. There is a mass, approximately the size of a nickel, on the outer portion of my left breast, and two “areas of concern”, somewhere in my right. I am trying very hard to think positively, and not dwell on “could be” and “what if”. I will get the results next week, sometime. I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, I am choosing, instead, to concentrate on the small things, or small, in relative terms.
My 9 yr old brought me a paper flower she made, in school, with a note attached, in cursive (she’s just learning it), that reads “I love you very much, Mommy!” And my 11 yr old? She’s begun having nightly chats with me. Not about anything important, really, in the grander scheme, but just general stuff. This is a new development. And it’s appreciated, by me. The two of them are TRYING to cooperate. Also a new development. They are sisters, after all…

I have friends both online, and IRL, who have offered comfort and support, laughter and advice, prayers, distraction, and just…parts of themselves, metaphorically speaking. Invaluable gifts, one and all. Small things, but important. Thank you, each and all.

And I have my “family”. Brothers and sisters, not born of blood, but of the heart. The men and women who called my mother “Mom”, as a token of respect. Then there are those I’ve met (IRL, and online), with whom I have forged a bond. I am truly blessed. This is something I don’t stop to count often enough.

What I came away from that episode of Wagon Train thinking, was that instead of worrying about what tomorrow holds, perhaps we need to concentrate on today–the small, everyday, happy things that our children, or friends, or family do that make us smile, make us look to the silver linings, rather than the clouds. Because when the storms come, these will be our comfort and shelter.

For whatever reason, the song in this link came to mind, when I think of the Irishman’s words:

I bid you peace. Happy Mother’s day.

~Reba

UPDATE: I spoke with the Dr., Monday last, and my mammogram showed a benign cyst at the 7 o’clock position, on my left breast, and two shadows on my right which turned out to be nothing. So I don’t have cancer. This has, however, taught me to appreciate the scenery, so it wasn’t wasted.

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A brief introduction…

Hi there, dear reader. So I’m now all settled into my new, SECOND, second home. Happy to be here. I’m among friends, right?

They say, in order to make friends, one should share something just a little personal. NO, silly, not THAT personal. Just a tiny little peek at my soul, so to speak…

The past year has been interesting. I really wish I’d started this blog back then. But I was in no shape. It took a while for me to get here, but here I am. I’m not sure where I’m going, but it’ll be a fun ride.

I left my hubs of two years, exactly 11 months, and one day ago. I’ve made reference to him a few times. If you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure you are probably gnashing your teeth, and thinking “Oh, NO! Not again!”. And no. Not again. Just making note of the anniversary. It was a good decision, even though, at the time, it was terrifying.

I’ve come a long way, in a year. I write. A fellow writer asked the question, once, of his readers, ‘why do you write?’ And after careful thought, I answered because its therapeutic for me. I work out my issues through fictional characters. And while not wholly a lie, its not wholly the truth, either. So, James, here’s a better, clearer, and more fully honest answer (pay attention, dear, I’m only saying this once):

I have been a writer since I was 9 years old. That was the year I got my first journal. And the year I wrote my first short story. My teacher was greatly impressed. It was some useless drivel about a Prince, a Princess, and a Dragon. Pretty heavy stuff, for a nine year old. I wrote page after page full of angst-ridden journal entries, all through middle-school, high school, college…to get the crap out of my head. It helps me work things out, seeing them in black and white, on a journal page.

So, writing as therapy. Yeah, definitely. But I also write (at least in my journal) to hold on to memories, to share thoughts too private for anyone else to know, and, also, from habit. Its just something I did.

Until I stopped. I stopped for five years. Because I came home from work, one day, to find Hubs (who was then my boyfriend) carefully leafing through the pages of my journals. I felt like I’d been…well…raped, or worse. So I stopped journaling. I stopped writing fiction. I just…stopped. And for five years, I kept that part of myself locked away.

Of course, after the separation, it took time. In the first weeks, I filled page after page with angst-ridden (are we sensing a theme, here?), venomous epitaphs, extolling the depths to which I was surprised to see him sink. And then I remembered that book wasn’t about him. It was about me. And I began to heal. Again, writing as therapy. Better, and cheaper, than the nice doctor. A kind friend suggested I should sit down to my computer, and let my heart lead my fingers. A couple of neat little ficlets came from that weekend. And I suddenly remembered: I am a writer.

So, dear reader, I write because it’s what I am. And someday, I hope to be a published author. I write with abandon, though I’m perhaps not as dedicated as I should be. Perhaps you’ll find my stories interesting, perhaps not. But they’re mine. In the end, that’s what really matters.