Maplewood Drive

Last night I dreamt I returned to the house on Maplewood Drive, where the old Oak tree spreads its branches over the front yard. In my memory the tree still keeps watch over the children playing in its dappling shade, even though it was uprooted in a terrible storm long ago, The vision of the sun on its golden leaves pierces my heart with gladness. It tells me my life was not lived in vain.

The concrete walkway which still divides the lawn, leads to the glassed-in porch rising above the bricked-in receptacle for flowers. After summer’s end the flowers will begin to die. The leaves will turn to gold and then brown as they fall, waiting for the rake to tease them into mounds for the children to laugh and leap into. Later, when the snow comes, when sunlight glitters on melting icicles hanging from gutters, the children will need new winter coats.

The house fit my vision of an older home, cheap, most likely in need of repair, but in a good location near a school; a used swing set would be found. The school lay just beyond three houses on our side of the street. An actual boon, as I often had to remind a child to watch for traffic before crossing the street.

When we bought the house its white paint was blistered by the sun, peeling randomly. Later, we painted it blue. Foreverafter, It would be called “the blue house” in a term of affection, even after it had been painted gray.

Maplewood was many things, to the children and to me. Also, in a different sense, to their father. You may later wonder why he’s left out of these passages—the reason being simple; his involvement with us was due to an act of generosity on his part, which, although bringing him gifts he hadn’t anticipated, derailed him from the life he’d sought.

When I told him of a time I’d felt downhearted but reminded myself of why I should be joyful, saying how it brought back my joy, driving the darkness away, he was shocked. “You manipulate yourself!” he exclaimed.

A brilliant man, he felt no need to monitor himself. Self-monitoring involves the ability to monitor and regulate emotions and behaviors in response to social environments and situations, being aware of your behavior and the impact it has on others.

Gratefully, I was able to cooperate with fate by modifying my lot so that today I rejoice in my memories of Maplewood Drive, knowing it was all worthwhile.  

Are You Among the Living Dead?

Napoleon is alleged to have said “History is a lie agreed upon.” But what of your personal history, the one you carry around in your head? Is it a lie? How often in recalling past events have you changed your mind about what you believe happened? Memory can be a funny thing,  allowing doubts to creep in and change your perspective. That’s because you’ve been learning new things, things which should’ve thrown past beliefs into doubt. You’re a living, changing organism, interacting with the world of people and events every day, which allows you to add the new things you’ve learned. If you insist on hanging onto what you once believed to be true in the past, in spite of new knowledge, you’re in danger of dying of old age before you’re old enough to suffer from dementia. Some people die of old age in their thirties or even twenties! You probably know some. They don’t even know they’re dead. They still carry the past, never daring to question what they once believed.

Welcome to the Age of Dissent

“Dissenters are often portrayed as selfish and disloyal, but Sunstein shows that those who reject pressures imposed by others perform valuable social functions, often at their own expense. This is true for dissenters in boardrooms, churches, unions, and academia. It is true for dissenters in the White House, Congress during times of war and peace.”  Excerpted from “Why Societies Need Dissent” by Cass R. Sunstein

In attempts to explain various periods of time, history books are riddled with AGES: the “AGE of this” or the “AGE of that”.  Will future historians call the times we are now living through the “AGE  of Dissent”? Or the “AGE of Stupidity”?

Being neither a historian nor a genius, I was led to ponder where I fit in until I finally understood I had become a contrarian—one who is, of course, contrary; we do not wish to fit in.

We’ve reached a dichotomy. The time will come soon when we must start anew. Find the best that’s in you and use it to start your New World.

Hanging On, By Golly!

Anyone who knows me, recognizes my black humor so I make no claim of ignorance about what I’m going to say. What’s all this bit about death and dying. Every thing dies, everybody dies, end of discussion.

Not exactly. What if you and your two remaining siblings have had to say goodbye to the other six, counting the brother who died at 18 days old – although some psychics claim they grow up on the other side. I look forward to meeting this dude if indeed he does exist in some nether land. That brings up another question. Is there really such a thing as life after death or have we been deluded?

Long ago my eldest brother said “Folks will really be surprised when they die. All of a sudden they have the answer. They know.” I keep wondering where that brother is now and what he found out. I was with the next oldest brother when he was in Hospice care. He saw the three brothers who had already passed over standing behind me, which evidently didn’t include the baby who supposedly grew up but then he wouldn’t have been familiar, would he?

I’m reminded of the man who said “What if you die and there is no hereafter! I’m gonna me madder’n hell!” Ha ha, him and the bogeyman. My own belief is we just roll over into a different dimension of reality. Don’t ask me to explain that, please. We each have a right to our own belief and that one is mine. So I’ll wait, while hanging onto the proverbial cliff by my fingernails, enjoying communion with my two remaining siblings. Prepared to be surprised – or not.

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 5

Decisions are hard for all of us. Which way do I go now, which path is
the right one, what do I do next, or, most urgently, where do I go from
here? Life is never easy and some decisions can be hard ones, very hard.
And, at times, it can seem as if there is no answer, although we know that
is untrue and every situation has a solution, no matter how hard it can
be to glimpse it at times.
This is where Hekate comes in. Hekate is the goddess of the crossroads.
She is also the mistress of the magic arts, and is included in the grouping
of the Moon goddesses. In ancient portraits she is shown to have three
heads and they look in each of three directions.
When we are at a crossroads Hekate is there with her torch light and
her ability to transcend both heaven and hell and her dwelling place on
earth. She can bring both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind
together, and the need to live in day to day reality home to us. She is
the one to go to for direction when we don’t know which path to take and
which road makes the best choice. Excerpt from STANDING AT
THE CROSSWOADS, Llewellyn. Co
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I find this description of Hekate fascinating for one reason. If you are a female you are presently living through one of three periods of time, all of them represented by the goddess. During childhood you are helped to grow into your onset of puberty. After which you reach a state of maturity that will enable you to take on adult responsibility. This period lasts for some time as you grow further into your womanhood. You may become a mother and/or make other choices for what you want to do with your life. The second major crossroad will lead you into the third period of your life, when you reach what is referred to as old age. Most likely preceded by menopause. This period is referred to as the age of the crone.

If you doubt the existence of goddesses be reminded they have been around for thousands of years. As a stock character in folklore and fairy tales, an old woman. In some stories, she is disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. The Crone is also an archetypal figure, a Wise Woman.

The astrologer Alex Miller has researched many asteroids including Hekate.
He also says she is sometimes depicted as a triple goddess, in aspects as maiden, Mother and crone and identified with old age. In Athens she was revered as a chief domestic goddess, protector of the home. He adds that
Hekate relates to far-seeing, prophecy and ceremonial magick; the wisdom
accrued by age; intuition; protection and guidance, especially during crucial life passages such as puberty, childbirth and menopause.”

The crone is often depicted as thin and ugly, but also as a Wise Woman. So it may behoove us to get fat and spread wisdom. But also to heed what Ben Franklin said “Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”