Category Archives: Inspiration

Cousin’s Pebbles

Delta Wings

When I think about my cousin, Shelia Lynn, I admit that she wore my name a year before I arrived and was called just Lynn.  We lived together briefly as children in Memphis.  We were all sheltered at our grandmother’s house who played Mother Goose.

Yep, both of her daughters had returned to the nest and each had four children in tow.  Eight kids in a tiny house but boiled over with love.  Somehow, it worked and lifetime bonds were tightened among us.

Later, we were reconnected as young women. Her family remained in Memphis but our family had moved on to Chicago. However, our family always returned to Memphis, at least once a year. I remember going to see her act at Front Street Theater, there.  She allowed me to come backstage with her  to her changing room. I sat there and quietly watched her apply her stage makeup.  Amazing!

By the time she entered stage right, I was sitting in the audience. I do not remember the name of the play but I do know that I was filled with awe and wonder. This would be the beginning of my noticing Shelia’s choices and I took away the parts that I found admirable. She was silently dropping pebbles for me to follow in my own timing.

Shortly, thereafter, her bravery and spunk caught my eye again when she moved to Atlanta to become a flight attendant. She graduated in the first class of black women to get their wings for Delta Airlines.  She flew with them for over 30 years! Our paths continued to cross at different intersections. 

As fate would have it, we both returned to Memphis and lived there in the early 80’s. This time, we became closer than ever as we shared our hurts, our pains and acknowledged each other’s accomplishments.  I purchased a large wall map and whenever she called me from various locations, I would put a stick pin there on my map.  She was still silently dropping pebbles and charting out new family paths.

Her colorful descriptions of places like hot Atlanta or snow-bound Boston or the tropical islands stayed with me.  She spoke of one place where she could pick fruit from the tree from outside her hotel window.  Though I was doing my own thing, I did take copious mental notes as she shared her adventures.  She was still pinning those pebbles in my mind.

As the gods would have it, I did make it to Atlanta. I lived there for two years and met life-long friends as I struggled through the terrain.  And, yes, quite like Johnny-Come Lately, I made it to the islands more that once. Her pebbles helped me to slowly make it to snowy New England. Once there, I enjoyed walking around Boston’s Back Bay as I took in the sights and sounds of the city for four years. So, all I can say is, “Thanks, cuz, for dropping those pebbles behind you!”

Lynn M.
October 9, 2021

LOL!

We all agree that laughter is the best medicine which is why we cherish our social gatherings even during Covid. Zoom meetings and now more in-person get-togethers are helping us cope with this ongoing pandemic. 

The camaraderie gained while in the presence of others helps us embrace our humanity. As the saying goes, “No man is an island,” so we look forward to those times when we can enjoy the company of others.  

Here are a few things that have made me laugh lately. On the morning news, some school children had stolen a sink from the school and then posted it on social media. Normally, we hear of Chicago expressway closings due to shootings but when I heard that some loose cattle had shut down a busy expressway, I had to laugh out loud.  

The other day, I listened to YouTube interview with a former beloved music professor who shared a funny story. He said that he discovered that his students were caught bringing the music lab piano back to its rightful place. He responded, “Bringing it back?”  He said that he had no idea that they had been rolling the piano down to their dorm for extra practice time. Hilarious!! 

Also, the things that people write in the ‘Comments’ section on the Internet can truly tickle the funny bone. Read the news feed and see what We the People think about either the person or subject. The crude trolling, disdain or back and forth can evoke a laugh as they comment on some celebrity who strives to stay relevant. Every now and then, there is some new insight into a situation that offers added information. 

On many mornings, as I wait for my next project, I enjoy listening to Wendy. I laugh! Her sharp wit may be biting to some, but I hear myself letting out a loud laugh on quite a few occasions. She calls it like she sees it, and some may say that she shoots from the hip. She is rarely pretentious nor too serious. Her show is light and entertaining, and I can listen while I engage in other things.  

During these often grave and disconcerting times, laughter still works. It adds a bit of pep to the step, and it helps us temporarily escape from all the things that concern us. Zora Neale Hurston said it best when she said, I love myself when I am laughing.”  I totally agree with her! 

Lynn M. 
September 18, 2021 

Illusive Butterflies!

In light of the loud demonstrations of last summer, which protested unfair treatment, many answers to my years of questions unfolded right before my eyes. It became exponentially clear that many invisible roadblocks had been strategically placed years ago to deter, stall and eventually stop people of color in their tracks. 

When I embarked upon this brave, new world with my newly minted college degree in hand, I enthusiastically walked out into the new frontier. I felt as if I was equipped to handle whatever presented itself and immediately fell into teaching to fulfill a teacher’s scholarship obligation. It was a rich and gratifying experience but a after six or so years, I wanted more. 

I completed another degree in hopes of entering some aspect of media. I visited printing companies, knocked on several television studio doors. I even tried advertising places and publishing companies to display my wares. Though the doors were cracked wide enough to look inside, they were not open. I heard, “Nope.” “Not today.”  Or simply, nothing at all. As one acquaintance said, “What about no response?” 

Yet through the tears, confusion, and disappointment, I was led to a variety of sages who held my hand and offered me hope. One former professor continually answered my letters and once reminded me that the butterfly is often illusive. I did not understand his meaning then and I still work to interpret it, but I think he meant that life does not always offer pat answers nor work in a straight line. 

Then, my sages begin to appear through authors of the printed word. Wayne Dyer’s Your Erroneous Zones crossed my path and I studied it in-depth. I read several of his books as I clung to his positive outlook. I was even blessed to see him peeking in a door at a conference in Rosemont, Illinois, many years later. It was as if he too was holding my hand along the way. He reminded me to always bless my shelters and every traveler needs to hear that! 

Quite by happenstance, I was introduced to Florence Scovel Shinn while browsing at Oxford Bookstore on Peachtree in Atlanta’s Buckhead section. Her book, The Game of Life and How to Play It helped me immensely. Her advice assisted me in drying my tears when things appeared bleak while the hunger pains and fear were overtaking my better judgment. 

And just in the nick of time, Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World landed in my hands from an Atlanta friend. Every copy that I have owned of this jewel of a book has ended up being tattered, torn, and coming apart at the seams from constant use. Most pointedly, he taught me to persist until I succeed from his ancient scrolls. 

The list of encouraging sages who have invisibly and silently held my hand is exceptionally long and I could never list them all. However, I absolutely must add Maya Angelou whose small and powerful book of poems found me at a bookstore in Delaware, Ohio. She taught me that I was indeed a phenomenal woman that needed to keep on rising. 

Hindsight is 20-20. I am glad that I was unaware of the dark intentions that were set up to thwart my dreams and discourage my visions for my life. As the saying goes, “God makes a way out of no way.” Michael Jackson reminds us to hold hands in Whatever Happens. Enjoy!

Lynn M. 
September 14, 2021 

As They Are!

It is our charge to accept people as they are even when we do not fully understand them. Perhaps they do not fit into our spheres of operation, but it is our duty to remember that it is what it is.

Maybe we perceive them as slippery fish, busybodies, gossips, smooth criminals or tag them with other labels, but they are all still God’s children. Folks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors while dressed in a wide range of personalities. It is, not our job to change them; however we may positively impact a few along the way that are receptive to the tools we share from what we have learned along the way.

So, it is simply best to observe others. If we find their antics overwhelming at times, them look at the pathos and theatrics and seek the comical and humorous. Remember that laughter is still the best medicine.

Here is a poem from my novella, A Golden Leaf in Time Revised that Phoenix, the lead character, wrote after an emotional encounter.

“She calmed herself and reasserted her power to move forward at
the guided and given time. She took solace with her pen and paper and
wrote the following verse:

Who’s Foolin’ Who?
Traveling on the expressway of life,
I had another unexpected blowout.
But in this world of sorrow and strife,
I won’t sit around and pout.
People have crises that run deep
’Cause they don’t know God at all.
So they try to make others leap
Or keep them blind ’til they fall.
Then they can feel that all is well
And not take responsibility for a solution,
So they try to shut out those who may tell
Of their sadness and sick pollution.
But if eyes are of deep perception
And hearts are of love for God,
Then those with the crises are in deception
’Cause no one can harm a child of God!

This is still relevant today!

Lynn M.
September 4, 2021

Speed Bumps!

Sometimes during those long, quiet meditative stretches of peaceful thoughts, we encounter a speed bump. A negative memory or some affront pops up and we may silently admit, “Ouch. That still hurts!” We thought that we had gotten over it, but we have to say, “Apparently not.” 

It is still down there gnawing away while taking swipes at our peace of mind. So, we know that it is time to pull out the soap, the water bucket and the good ‘ole scrub brush and get busy doing some more deep inner cleansing. We hope that total healing will assuredly come our way as we remember that healing is always a work in progress. 

Though we thought that we had successfully closed that chapter or era of our lives, we may discover that, “No. It is not entirely over.” It could be that there are still more lessons to be learned or perhaps we need to muster up some more forgiveness. But then, as we look down into our canteens of sensitivity, we may find that it is empty. There is no more balm to rub over things nor spread around. 

So, we may have to just live with certain pain. There is no more energy left to give to those situations. We have been depleted and we come to the final consensus that we cannot give it any more thought. Nothing. Zero. Nada. 

We cannot process any more pretentiousness, so we just shake our heads, and walk away with both heart palpitations and sweaty palms. We slow down our racing, thoughts and give thanks for the speed bump because It protected us from making poor choices. We press on after letting out a huge sigh of relief as we acknowledge that we must live with “the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly!” 

Lynn M. 
August 21, 2021 

Eyes Open!

Keep your eyes open,
Peeled back. Aware.

As you enjoy these summer days,
Which are short though sweet.

Cook, dance and sing, if you want,
As you embrace life to its fullest.

Give life a big squeeze like you hug your loved ones,
Listen to the birds sing and doing their thing!

Take a few mini naps while the cicadas hum,
Or relish in the rippling laughter of happy children.

Yet, do notice the warning yelps of the dogs,
As you stay vigilant and keep your eyes open wide.

Do not hesitate to take in all of summer’s delights,
And the wonderous joys and beauty it imparts,

But, do stay in the moment, my dears,
And most importantly, be safe!

Lynn M.
July 18, 2021

Your Business!

In Your Erroneous Zones by the late Wayne Dyer, there is a scene where a dog is going in circles trying to catch his tail.  He was instructed to mind his own business, and his tail would follow him.  This lesson has stayed with me over the years, and I try to remember to practice this in my daily life.  

When I find myself getting off course and indulging in the daily hype of pop culture and social media, I feel like pinching myself and saying, “Okay.  Enough already!!”  I tell myself to snap out of it and check out my own affairs.  Are they in order?  Could they be more intact?  What can I do to make things work even better? 

I recently had the occasion to check in on some unfinished business.  When I noted the calendar, I could not believe how much time had passed.  When I had a moment to ask what on earth I had been doing, it became quite clear that I had been minding my own business.   

I took some time to make a list of what I had accomplished during that time period, and I was astonished to see the list of things that I had done.  It was comparable to Nehemiah who ignored the detractors as he focused on building the much-needed wall for his city.  I was so immersed in the projects at-hand that time just continued to pass, as it surely will do. 

It is important to ‘keep your nose to the grindstone,’ and there will be a less likelihood of getting caught up in what Alice Walker calls, stuff.  There is so little time, and we don’t have the luxury of wasting our precious moments by staring at other people’s affairs.  Wasted energy and noses in others’ business is a sure equation for ending up with tattered, torn lives that are in disarray and shambles.   

It would behoove us to take care of ourselves just as often as we take those self-absorbed selfies. And one day, we will have a moment to pause and look back and say, “Wow!”   Remember to “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” Ecclesiastes 11:1 (ESV) 

 Stay busy, stay focused and handle your own business! 

Lake Michigan

Lynn M. 
July 14, 2021 

Continual Hope!

Following your own path, 
Though filled with twists and turns, 
Filtered with high levels of uncertainty; 
Ultimately leads to a straight line, 
Designed specifically for you! 

Though it appears to be non-linear, 
With many oblique questionings 
Of both self and others  
Strewn along the way;
There is a master plan. 

By assertively placing one footstep 
In front of the other, 
Whether moving rapidly, at a slower pace 
Or even in a tired trudge;
It is imperative to ‘keep it moving.’ 

Who knows where the journey will take you? 
If you hold on. Work in the moment. 
And when you turn that next corner, 
Pleasant surprises could be in the cards, 
If you don’t give up on that continual hope

Lynn M. 
July 10, 2021 

Looking at the Trees!

Muir Woods- California

Sometimes we must put aside our tribal differences and focus on what’s good for the greater whole.  Wayne Dyer often mentioned the whole enchilada in his talks for he realized that a bit here and a bit there rarely makes a meaningful force. 

We all harbor hurt feelings or disappointments but ultimately we see that (as one writer wrote), “things don’t just happen; they happen just,” or more pointedly, justly.  The Rolling Stones duly reminded us as they sang “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need!” 

Once we have shaken off the dust of dark, error thoughts, we thank our lucky stars that we were saved from the glittery, metallic doom that we had in view.  We could not see the thick, wooded forest because we were looking at the beauty of the trees. 

But grace reached down and scooped us up and we were saved from a greater harm.  We may have emerged from the dangers of the thickets tattered, torn and even somewhat disheveled, but we came out on the other side with clarity of purpose.  We walked out of the bush with new arms of wisdom, buckets of strength and oodles of renewed fortitude. 

We pause and give thanks.  We then delve into loads of self-care as we regather ourselves and regain our rhythm and coordinated moves. When we finally have the nerve to take a close look at our new reflections in the looking glass, we sigh, ‘Okay.  A little wear and tear but still in one piece.  Not bad.  Not too bad.” And then we think of J. Herbert Brewster’s poem, Be Proud of Your Wounds and Scars and know that we earned every wrinkle which equates the rings of the tree! 

Lynn M. 
June 19, 2021 

Going Through the Locks!

As I read a dear fellow writer’s book, Faring Forth Again on the Shoe (by Val Poore), I can easily compare it to life itself.  She and her skipper companion continually navigate the waterways and canals from the Netherlands in route to France. 

As in life, they cannot proceed on their journey without the skill and mercy of the people who open the locks.  If the operators of the locks are not on duty, are running late or if they even feel contrary, all advancement stops.  Period. 

If we are not shown grace by those designated angel helpers that the Creator has strategically placed, we too are stopped in our tracks. Sometimes, we simply must wait and ride out the tide until the lifts are up and we are allowed to carry on. 

Therefore, we learn to communicate, cajole, shuck and jive, so that we can get what we need from those who can delay or stymy our ability to move forth. Those who are wise, learn to talk the language of the people and acknowledge as well as respect their lifestyles, beliefs, and ways of life. 

I listen to Val and her friend, Koos, switch languages and truly deal with the temperaments of those that they encounter along the way. They know how to negotiate, banter, and recognize a good bargain when they get one. They have learned how to speed it up or slow it down with the keepers of the terrain as they maneuver their way through visiting lands. 

We, too must silently and prayerfully wait for the nod of the head or that gesture which waves us through meaning, “Come on.”  All these movements equate a green light which is what we want most as we advance on our paths.  Once we have gone through, we can let out a huge sigh of relief.  But just as we begin to rejoice, there lies another lock ahead. 

Questions begin to swirl.  Will the next crew be friendly or cordial?  Will it be easy or challenging?  We do not know.  But we do know that our confidence has grown because are no longer greenhorns. We are more seasoned. We feel more assured that we will know how to cross that next bridge or go through that next lock when we get there! 

Lynn M. 
June 5, 2021