March On!


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Perhaps Mother Teresa’s poem Anyway says it best when she graciously reminded us to rise above people’s comments and opinions. She wrote, If are you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

Unfortunately, many people are entertained by petty gossip and hearsay. It is never a safe pastime, but it easily fills the voids in many people’s personal lives. Every day, we hear something about what someone said or did, but the sources are often neither tangible nor reliable. It is merely inexpensive entertainment for the bored.

If we ever find ourselves caught up in the word flow, it behooves us to try to rise above it. We simply lift ourselves and float above the contentious fray. We know within ourselves what we have and have not done, and we know what is in our own hearts. However, accusatory people tend to think that others think like them and can do what they themselves would do. How erroneous!

We may even find ourselves amid some firestorm and not have clarity about the details. We feel the rustling movement and hear the fluttering of angst wings, but we are too busy taking care of our own affairs and do not give it much credence. We seem to be in the dark but maybe it is for the best. We give a brief pause, shake our heads, and think of Shakespeare’s title, ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’

After we forgive the immature babblers, we step over the Lilliputians or the little people as a dear friend advised me to do. Og Mandino wrote, “I will make allowances for his anger and irritation of today for he knows not the secret of controlling his mind (From: The Greatest Salesman in the World).

We brush off the debris left by wagging tongues and continue to plant our new gardens. We prune the weeds and unwanted growth and enjoy the fruits of our focused labor and march on!


“March on. Do not tarry.
To go forward is to move toward
Perfection. March on and fear not
The thorns, or the sharp stones
On life’s path.”

{Kahlil Gibran}


Lynn M.
September 19, 2020

Remote Learning: A Poem

Remotely we begin the year,
Pushing buttons may cause a tear.

But we go ahead and proceed.
Though frustrated, we don’t concede.

Nor give in and quit the new way,
Since Covid is having its say.

Design a plan and stay the course,
Hang in there; lessen the remorse!

Lynn M.
September 13, 2020

Ascending and Descending

Sometimes you climb the ladder of what some people might claim as success.  You get to the top rung of the ladder and you stop as you pause and catch your breath.  You cannot believe that you finally made it all the way up there.

Then, you look, stare for a while, and take in all the happenings and activity on the new summit.  As a wise one, you look before you take further leaps into limitless lineups of hoops. You should be feeling loads of exhilaration but after further study, dismay sets in to replace those good feelings.

You are not sure that you like nor approve of what is in your frontal view.  You might find yourself having a smh moment as you shake your head.  Your mind is screaming, “Noooooooo.”  You are saying, “Is this what I worked so hard for?  Do I want to be a part of this scene?  Could I ever fit in?  Do I even want to?

But you want to make sure that your feelings are on point, so you place both feet firmly on the surface of the new platform.  You walk around to become more certain of your feelings.  You walk and walk and over a period, the unsettled thoughts do not disappear.  They remain, hang, and linger as they swirl around over your head unlike a halo but more like a bad omen.

Again, the still small voice whispers, “Nope.” So, you quietly leave the scene and exit stage left.  When you get to the edge of the dramatic stage, you lean over hoping to see the ladder still propped there.  It is!  After letting out a “whew” sigh of relief, you calmly anchor your foot onto the top rung of the ladder. 

You slowly and assuredly descend the ladder as you hum a tune and think of Jacob’s ladder with angels ascending and descending like a slide ruler. You softly sing you own mantra and say over and over, “Not for me.  Not for me,” until you place your foot firmly back onto the sainted lower platform.  You think of Julius Caesar’s quote, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” You brush yourself off and give thanks that you ascended, made good choices, and descended with grace.

Lynn M.

September 5, 2020

After the Dance!

When we have climbed to the top of the mountain and successfully jumped through a series of hoops, the question arises, “What’s next?”   Robert Schuller spoke on this subject after he completed his envisioned glass cathedral.  It took years to complete it and yet, once it was beautifully standing, it gave him great satisfaction but only for a season.

He found himself asking that haunting question, “Now what?”  He discovered that the conquest pumped up his adrenaline and drove him throughout the completion of the project.  But what was to be done thereafter?

When we finish some long-withheld dream, we may be astonished to find that the inner fulfillment will last but for so long.  It is comparable to savoring a great gourmet meal.  It was great, but that chasing hunger will return over time.  The totem pole has been heightened but there is still more room at the top.

We check our calendars and our circadian clocks and realize that we have plenty of time and fuel in our personal tanks.  There are quite a few more miles to go. So, we pause and become still.   We then reach for a new draft book from our personal libraries and draw up a new plan.   Obviously, there is more to be done.

We change out of our old celebration clothes and put them neatly away into our closet of precious memories.  We put on our less formal attire such as some overalls and get busy working on that new thing.  We answer the new callings and proceed on, after the dance!

Lynn M.

August 22, 2020


 

 

Mountaintop Thoughts!

Mount Rainier
August 10, 2020

A close friend sent me a picture of Mount Rainier after she and her husband visited the site for their 41st Wedding Anniversary.  I have never seen it in person but looking at the snapshot was absolutely breathtaking!

I told her that it looked like a postcard because it was almost unbelievable that anything could be that beautiful without being photoshopped to some degree.  Only the majesty of Mother Nature could evoke this type of jaw-dropping awe!

But, when I saw the people walking in the picture of the mountain, I knew that it was indeed for real.  It is what painters attempt to replicate with their brushes and what writers try to recapture through their use of words with their pens.  They hope to have onlookers and readers see what they have viewed.

I looked at the picture for some time and thought, “Hope.  Possibilities. Scaling, Climbing.”  I even thought of the historic song, “Climb Every Mountain.”  I was immediately lifted higher from where I was in the prior moments.

I felt refreshed as I looked at the snow-capped mountain and was reminded of the coming change of seasons and the cold that will assuredly come soon. Too soon.   I also thought of the brave souls who scale mountains and risk their lives for either a personal rush or to prove some point to the world. 

But more importantly, I thought about being permeated by mountaintop thoughts where we feel encouraged to begin again and create a new reality.  Just as Mount Rainier stands there on a sure foundation, we too can optimistically rise up and do the same.  Despite what we are faced with in our daily lives, we can look at Mount Rainier and gain the courage to stare down the negativity until it moves and fades off of the scene!

Lynn M.

August 15, 2020

A Thousand Words!

In these times of limited movement due to the pandemic, it was so refreshing to see this lone boat out on Lake Michigan.  This picture gave me a sense of renewal and a reminder of what we perceive as snippets of our normalcy.

I chose to send it to a couple of friends who do not currently have access to the lakefront.  I knew that they both would enjoy it because we all have a shared history with this calm, beautiful body of water.

Each responded positively and immediately while expressing an appreciation for this early morning snapshot.  One friend called right away and wanted to know if I was still out by the lake.  I told her that I was, and we talked about a variety of things.

The other e-mailed me with a one-worder simply saying, “Beautiful!” as she wrote all the way from the Pacific Northwest.  The picture inspired her to write about her memories of spending time on the lake and the things she is currently doing to remain calm during these times.  She later added that seeing this picture inspired her to drive and sit by a local waterfront close to her home.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words and the sharing of this one picture opened the door to so many thoughts and personal stories.  One of these friends had just lost a loved one and the sky in the picture comforted her and helped her decide that that departed soul was at peace and now up there with the angels.

When we give what we can during these trying times, we help others feel less constricted and confined to smaller spaces.  We can open up and talk about our former experiences as we cling to those special memories from times gone by.

  If a quick click of the phone can capture an image that makes others recall the footsteps on their journeys, then, that is indeed a good thing. Remembering those savored times help us lift our heads up out of the seeming darkness as we happily continue on!

Lynn M.

August 8, 2020

Brighter!

I drove back to my old job the other day and revisited that area some seven years later. I had not returned simply because I was too busy moving forward. So, I paused and took a few pictures while enjoying moments of nostalgia. I had given what I had to give there, and I had abundantly received in return.

After speaking to a former co-worker who had shared that work history with me, I could really see how much I had gained from being there. Emerson wrote in Compensation, “If I lose any good, I gain some other…The world looks like a multiplication table which, turn it how you will, it balances itself.”

As I gently moved on from that closed door, I was able to see the heaps of valuable experience that I had gained but like a pair of beloved shoes, I had outgrown that place. I left armed with superfluous gifts. I was being graciously prepared for bigger shoes to fill further up the road.

Hindsight is indeed 20-20 and it all makes sense in time. I now see that the parting was for the best. Since then, I have been thrust into a new environment, meeting new colleagues, in new surroundings and using new energy with my head anointed with oil. The Scriptures remind me to, “Behold, I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19).

Thus, I am still growing and still going. As Mary Baker Eddy’s poem called Christ My Refuge says,

I kiss the cross, and wake to know
A world more bright.

Lynn M.
August 1, 2020

Free-flowing!

When helping those dear friends,
And regardless of their sins.

Real or imagined affronts,
Causing sleepless nights and grunts.

I give what I have to thee.
And no. You don’t owe me!

A farthing nor one red cent,
For all my wisdom is lent,

You don’t owe me anything,
For my blessings He will bring.

The empty well will refill,
As I reflect and be still!

Lynn M.
July 25, 2020

Cane by Jean Toomer

I first read Cane by Jean Toomer in college many years ago and I chose to revisit it after its title came up in a conversation.  Maya Angelou wrote:  “A breakthrough in prose and poetical writing …. This book should be on all readersand writers’ desks and in their minds.”   Those are her profound words about this collection of prose, poems, and brief vignettes

I am still enjoying Toomer’s book but I paused to write these words about Cane.  “This work is very lyrical.  It should be sung or at least read aloud as the spoken word to fully capture the rhythm and rapture of these moving stories and tales.”

He tells stories of people that he has either observed or met.  He truly sees them and hears their hearts whether their stories end happily or unhappily. There is an underlying beat like the hooves of feet on pavement as his characters flow through their lives.

This is such a re-gift for me during this summer’s readings because it has even greater meaning.  The words are like vintage wine that have increased in value over time.  I have matured and I can better see the depth of this writer’s craft. He was able to truly replicate life on a printed canvas.

I strongly agree with Dr. Maya and I think every writer should have a copy of Cane on the desk and in the personal library.  Jean Toomer, a writer from the Harlem Renaissance Era, has successfully put stories in multiple forms as he pours his words in a bottle to be kept as an eternal capsule in time!

Lynn M.

July 18, 2020