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We are born into a stage of extreme longing, reaching to a distant horizon in which we have great imaginings. A thythm of dreams envelops our soul and our song beats life’s cycling tempo of ever changing wonder.

Alas, the constant interruptions of interacting life distract our inner force, unnerve our concentration, edge us toward a beaten path so old and worn that nothing grows. Some of us, wearied from the darkness, cast out on our own in search of an answer to our restlessness.

“I believe that these primal phantasies…are a phylogenetic possession. In them the individual, wherever his own experience has become insufficient, stretches out beyond it to the experience of past ages. It seems to me quite possible that all that today is narrated in analysis in the form of phantasy,… was in prehistoric periods of the human family a reality; and that the child in its phantasy simply fills out the gaps in its true individual experiences with true prehistoric experiences.”1

Let us broaden Freud!s point of view to include a superpersonal or collective inheritance in the unconscious that is phylogenetically acquired. That is to say, that in every individual, in addition to the personal memories, there are also the inherited potentialities of human imagination.

That death is not the end of life is a universal belief of mankind. The western thinkers’ belief that the disintegration of the material organism does not mean the annihilation of the spirit goes hand in hand with a corresponding belief in some kind of bond between that which is immortal and the body. Imaginative pictures are employed to make this connection palatable. The body has been conceived of as the prison or tomb of the soul. However, if we were to press the believers for a precise statement of the kind of immortality they believe in, we would surely be faced with conflicting answers from a conditional immortality for some, to heaven or hell (one or the other) for all. Just as these believers are adamant in their future immortality, they are also adamant about their past mortality.

The general antagonism of Western philosophers to the doctrine of transmigration is due to the uncompromising attitude of the Christian religion towards any deviation from its particular doctrine of immortality.

The Eastern philosophers agree in principle but differ in perception as to the plurality of the soul. Agreed in a “before” as well as an “after” present life awareness, they disagree in the concept of individuality. One faction believes the soul is only temporal and illusory forms of the

One, cosmic soul. Another is sure that each individual soul is here, an isolated principle, eternally real and ever the same. Reality, consequently, consists of an infinite number of awarenesses rather than an all-embracing Universal Awareness.

Speculation of life, we know, began as early as man learned to draw and surely long before that. If we are guessing closer to our heritage in todays space-age, technologic Here, we cannot be sure. That the becoming, the dance of the chromosomes, continues the evolution process, we can be certain. As for dreams and wonder

In the dance we experience propagation. Creation, however, is two fold: Propagation, exact duplication as in the splitting of a cell to acquire additional daughter cells, and Procreation, begetting or bringing forth offspring. The former continues a rebirth of what is, the latter evolves what becomes. Creed or religion tries to explain what begins. The process is a complete cycle.

Need to know is playing an integral part in evolution today. Witness advances in outer space flights, sea explorations, earth and rock diggings. Is the roll of God a part of our DNA? Is this that which is written “…in his likeness.” ? Or do we fancy ourselves his children, capable of creating matter? Itt s amazing to behold what man has learned and accomplished. Only our imagination can guess at what tomorrow will produce/discover.

Any theory of immortality when carried to extremes can be made to appear as a caricature. It is therefore, quite easy for unsympathetic critics to paint a ludicrous picture of any doctrine. But if we were to judge a doctrine at its highest level, as it has been held by sympathetically critical minds, we should find that it answers some of the important questions that man has always raised. Considered in this light, answers that religion offers serves its own purpose. Spirituality lifts us out of our fear of mortality. It promises us eternity.

We have yet to find the truth we seek. Let us relish the continuing challenge and fascinate ourselves with the search.

1 Freud, S. – A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, 324: Liveright Publishing

Corporation, 1935.

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Poop Aplenty

A faint odor of poop assaulted my nose which wasn’t an unlikely event since my four animals are trained to use newspaper for their toilet needs. But all the trays, we have four of them located in various rooms, were clean. Upstairs, downstairs that scent followed me everywhere I went, but no poop could I find.

Failing my every attempt at location, I stepped outside to spring’s glorious sunshine and the decadent but delicious aroma of blooms. Mostly purple.

Our yard is a seeding place for the upper neighborhood and each year we are blessed with several new crops. I brought a friend over to a bunch of new posies and asked if she could identify. She said, “No, These are not columbine. I believe they are….” And now I can’t remember what she said.

Poop! I digress too much, me thinks and so why not look to the bottom of my dilemma? My shoes. Yes, at last the source is found. Now, how far has this amazing stuff been tracked?

“Louise,” Thorny yelled from somewhere in the house. Probably his office, I thought, slamming the album of pictures shut. I was scrap booking, designing pages into works of art, adding photos almost as an afterthought. Low on paper cement I’d have to quit soon anyway. But, damn it to hell! What on earth did he want now?

I scooted my chair back from my desk in the dining room and walked into the hall. “Where are you?” I called. No answer. “Where are you, Thorny?” Louder this time.

“You damn well know where I am,” came the reply. I padded on slippered feet to my husband’s office. I found him, his wheel chair precariously perched, ready to pitch over onto the couch. His outstretched arm on the cushion was all that kept him upright albeit at a dangerous slant.

“How did you manage that?” I asked him.

“Never mind. Give me a hand here,” he said.

“You tried to get out of the chair, I’ll bet, and tipped it.” I pulled on the rubbery wheel and set him right.

“You’d lose.” He brushed his hand across his head, straightening his crop of salt and pepper hair.

“Whatever,” I said. “Is that it? Do you need anything else?”

“I need to know why I wasn’t asked if my daughter could spend the weekend with her college roommate’s family.”

“She didn’t ask. She told me that she’d been invited and wanted to go.”

“And you said?”

“Okay.”

“Without consulting me. Whenever Claire wants to do something she knows I will disapprove of, she seeks out her mother. Now why do you suppose that is.?”

I let out a long sigh, shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. I knew the drill. He’d lay a load of guilt on me, make me feel like I didn’t deserve him or my daughter because I couldn’t toe the line.

“Oh, am I holding you up from doing something? Boring you with my diatribe? You must forgive my old-mannish ways, but frankly I’m concerned about my daughter’s sudden need to visit a family she doesn’t even know. What’s the attraction?”

“A new friend, perhaps?”

“This new friend wouldn’t have a brother, would she?”

“He’s in Iraq, and besides, Claire isn’t boy crazy.”

“Get this straight–from this moment on, what my daughter does is my business. She will ask my permission to change the normal course of events. You don’t know how to say no. I will tell her in no uncertain terms, she will not ask you without consulting me first. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, sir. May I leave the room now?” I said like a child to a parent. My passport to end this gruesome conversation.

“You may fix my lunch and bring it here. Tomato soup and grilled cheese.”

I turned on a heel and left the room to do my master’s bidding.

A Sonnet

Thou art to me as the gentlest breeze
Composed of warmest breath and tender sigh.
Though rocky storms may quake the weak man’s ease
When warmest breezes toward December fly,
When all too fast the life of Zephyrs end,
And daunted, a man’s dreams to dust return,
Then all the promise of spring can’t bend
His eye to see that sunlight ere returns.
But thy wilt young forever be,
Thy strength and soft affection so combined
To keep me secure in thy company,
And infinite in love and time entwined.
Forever lasting–youth and life are thee,
Never changing–thy mold or form in me.

To my Philip
—- Thy wife

 

 

 

This is the true story of my parents early lives as they struggled for survival in New York City during the “Depression” and WWII.
 Available in Kindle and paperback format.
Click the graphic for more information.

CryinOutLoudKindlecover6_edited-7 copy C

I was at my parents’ house celebrating Memorial Day. I was playing with my son, niece and nephew, teaching them how to walk on their hands. I felt wonderful. I drove home that night with my husband and son. At approximately 1:00 am I had a Grande Mal seizure. I am told that my body was jerking, I was jumping off the bed and I wet myself. Luckily my husband awakened to see what was wrong. He called 911 and changed my clothes. I was transported by ambulance to the hospital. I had another Grande Mal seizure on the way and one more once we got there. They asked my husband if I had taken any drugs like ecstasy. He told them I didn’t take drugs. They did a CT scan which showed I had a brain tumor. My husband told me and I began to cry. Now you have to realize I have no recollection of this night. I was taken then to Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. My son’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Hefner, met us at the hospital. They did an MRI that confirmed I had a brain tumor. He said he believed it to be an Oligodendroglioma. He said that they would have to operate on my brain to remove it.

My mother was very upset . I am told that every family member was there, but I don’t remember seeing any of them. I do remember my boss, Nancy Schrum, coming to visit me before the surgery, but that is the only person I truly remember. Why I only remember her is a mystery to me.. I had the brain surgery on June 1, 2001. I don’t remember it. My husband tells me I slept allot. I didn’t even know why I was in the hospital. I asked him if a helicopter fell on me! I had a dream that a helicopter fell on me. I never expected I had brain surgery or a brain tumor. I vaguely recall walking around the hospital. My husband says one night I got up to use the bathroom without assistance and fell and hit my head. I have no recollection of that either.

I was released on June 5, 2001. I had to be watched and taken care of for two weeks, doctor’s orders. Well, I am not one for having other people take care of me much less do my housework or take care of my son, especially when I am home. It was very hard for me to let other people do these things for me. I do have to admit that I got tired easily and took naps. Dana, my husband’s sister came for a few days, then my mom and then my husband’s mom. I was so glad when the two weeks were over. Not that I minded the company, that was great. But when they lifted a finger to clean, I felt guilty. Why should I have felt guilty? I shouldn’t have but I did.

I was on two anticonvulsants, Dilantin and Deprokote and steroids for swelling after surgery. On June 14 I had to go back to Dr. Hefner to have the staples removed. And, by the way, I couldn’t get the staples wet so I couldn’t wash my hair without help. Yet another thing that made me feel helpless. Anyway, I went to get my staples out and show him the rash on my face. He had my staples removed and then told me that I was having a reaction from the Dilantin.

My Name Is Mollie

My name is Mollie. My mommy calls me Widdle and Mollie Doodle All The Day. I love my mommy most of all. She gives me yummy treats and chicken breast. She lets me lick her face. She rubs my tummy even when she’s typing and I’m behind her in her chair.

I love to run up the stairs and I run down too. My big brother and I race, but I usually win especially when he has his foot in a cast. He’s Sammy, Jr., named after our malti-poo daddy. He likes to steal my food when I hide it under my body. He’d rather steal it from me than eat it out of the dish. It’s our game.

I hate bath time and groom time. I can tell Mommy is nervous when she scissors around my eyes and nose. When Daddy helps her I can feel his fear and that makes me shiver. Sammy, Jr. hates the same things I do, I can tell. He hates going to the Vet too. He howls and whines the whole ten blocks. Mommy and Daddy say he’s a pussy. I don’t do that even though my tummy flops. I’m quiet as a mouse.

Button, the old lady Yorkie, barks in her sleep and I wonder what her dream is about. She lets me hump her backside when I feel foxy. She acts like she doesn’t even feel me there.

Sammy, Jr. and Fawn play together sometimes. They race back and forth up and down the hall. Fawn is twice the size of Sammy with big teeth and sharp nails. I don’t play with her ’cause she’s scary.

Well, I have to tee-tee so I’m out of here.

A Celebration of Life

Her name was Marlene and she was barely fifty-nine. What struck folks about her was her calm demeanor and sparkling smile. She knew who her friends were and that she could ask favors of them. And we loved her for it. She died of ALS (Lou Gehrig Disease). First she lost her voice, then her ability to eat. She was fed through a tube she poured a can of stuff in. She was a gifted quilter and a wonderful friend. Church members told us that in the end, she could only move her eyelids. Finally at peace, I guess that’s reason to celebrate.

I’ve been writing my folks memoir. They were born just before World War I in Brooklyn, New York. They lived through the Great Depression and World II. In order to write about their lives and experiences, I asked many questions and have my mother on tape with answers. That was 1980ish and I’m just finishing the book I’ve been working on for about two years. My point is there are some really neat books about different eras that are written strictly for writers. Yeah, yeah, I know there is everything you need on the internet, but imagine finding slang, colloquialisms and everyday speech during a specific era. Okay it can be found, you say, but then I need the radio shows and time aired, Timelines and specific ideas to research is a must for accuracy and depicting the essence of a period.

The book I’ve really been poring over and loving is “The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition through World War II” by Marc McCutcheon. The table of contents speak for the all-around details contained in this work:

1. Slang, Colloquialisms and Everyday Speech

2. Prohibition

3. The Great Depression

4. World War II

5. Crime

6. Transportation

7. Clothing and Fashions

8. Radio and Radio Shows

9. Music and Dance

Chronologies of history events, innovations and fads, hit songs, books and movies

Bibliography

There are a number of resource books out there geared entirely for writers, written by writers who have already done the research for you. Check out your local library’s resources.

Fear

I’ve never feared the judgement of my peers. Have always been my own person–shy, quiet, but comfortable in my own skin.
My parents’ opinion was the only one that mattered so I made straight A’s in school and was careful not to be caught doing something I shouldn’t.

When a toddler I witnessed my mother using my dad’s razor strap on my older sister’s bottom. Fear of corporal punishment made me a model of good behavior. Growng up and witnessing the death of relatives and friends made me fear the unknown.

Today I fear nothing. I watched my thirty-nine year old baby girl, crippled with a brain tumor, suffering pain I couldn’t imagine, but with a brave smile for all who visited her in her last days. Finally, I witnessed her last breaths as I lay beside her in her hospital bed.

What’s left to fear?