In the infinite pause

Deep within lies a hidden silence.

My friend, stop and listen to

the space

in between what I have said and what I have left unsaid.

What I really mean to say is never said

instead

it lies

hanging in the infinite pause

left unspoken.

In a rush to speak,

I know you feel you must but don’t.

Stop and listen.

Listen to the pause of what is between

the words

and you shall know

the secrets my soul

that have yet to be revealed

in the infinite pause.

In great solitude

Deep inside lies a new person.

A whole person.

Stop, listen.

Deep inside lies a belonging.

A place of no time or space.

Stop, listen.

Deep inside lies a Holy place.

A belonging to divinity.

Stop, listen.

Deep inside lies redemption.

A transfiguration.

Deep inside in great solitude

is bliss.

Stop, listen.

 

Awake dear soul! Awake!

You are so known you are forgotten.

Complacency and familiarity.

I see you but yet I do not see you.

The hummingbird flies outside the window

but yet I cannot stop to see.

 

Awake dear soul!  Awake!

 

I see the surface but yet not what lies below.

My soul, your soul, our soul

is covered by a cloak of time.

 

Awake dear soul!  Awake!

 

Numbing and distance.

Deep below lies a landscape unknown.

But complacency and familiarity have

numbed me to its excavation.

 

Awake dear soul!  Awake!

 

You grab my hand but I pull away.

The mystery forgotten

lost in a quiet death

not seeing for myself any longer

living in my numbed complacent life.

 

Awake dear soul!  Awake!

 

Lead me away from this deadened life to

the mystery and magic,

blessing and possibility

that lie deep below.

 

Awake dear soul!  Awake!

 

Come, let’s excavate the soul.

You let us do the driving

For my work, I get to catalog the stories of those that I sometimes help indirectly through my efforts.  This story comes from a very special place. You see once upon a time, I worked as an employee at this retirement community.  And, I loved every minute of it.  So, I got to meet Charlie first hand. In fact, I saw Charlie every day.

Now as a consultant helping them out, they asked me to write a story about Charlie for their annual report that I am putting together.

So, here begins the story of Charlie…

You let us do the driving.

“You all grew on me.”

It was thirty years ago when Charlie Domina’s daughter-in-law Val set her sights on Charlie’s impeccable driving skills. Val was UMEC’s Activity Director at the time, and she just knew that Charlie would be the perfect person with his newly acquired retirement for a position that she had in mind.

And, Charlie gave in. Soon, he found himself taking residents shopping, driving to local restaurants and other outing destinations, transporting residents to appointments, and Charlie copydoing whatever else he was called on to do.

He was having so much fun and saw how everyone living at Winslow Gardens just loved it there that in 2002 he decided to move in himself and began driving even more. In fact, Charlie drove that van for the next twenty years, all with a clean driving record to boot.

Then in 2007, Charlie decided it was time to give up his van “job,” but that wasn’t the end of Charlie helping out. He felt a need to give back to the community he had grown to love. And, so he began helping out at the Country Store.

Over the past thirty years, Charlie has given an incredible 5,867 hours of service. And, now he is finally ready to really retire.

For the past twenty of those thirty years, Charlie has called UMEC home and says that the care and supports that everyone provides there are done with such love, that he just couldn’t think of calling any other place home.

And, today at 92, Charlie who has given so much to so many over the years, is now himself being well taken care of in the place that he loves.

Most importantly though, he agrees, “It is finally time for me to retire and let UMEC do the driving!” And, after all he has done, we couldn’t agree more.

 

The dawn breaks, my soul shines

The dawn breaks.

A new day is upon us.

Light gently etches the darkness away.

Slowly barely visible until at once the radiant sun shines

and turns darkness into light.

Each day over and over.

My soul shines.

A new passageway into life.

Slowly it surrounds me

with a luminosity barely visible until at once it is found

and it flows within and around.

Each day over and over.

Dawn breaks as surely as my soul seeks

the bond within that cannot be broken.

A light and a beauty all of its own.

Just as the dawn is eagerly awaited

so too is another who witnesses the depth and radiance

of my soul.

A light and a beauty all of its own.

 

Dawn is my favorite time of the day.  Here are some that I captured.

 

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A really very frivolous blog

Sometimes my blogs are really “heavy,” or so I have been told.  It was suggested that perhaps I write about my Diet Orange Sunkist addiction.  But, I will save that one for another frivolous blog post.

Tonight I choose to write about something else.

You see, I have another addiction or let’s call it a simple pleasure in life.

Each week, I drive back and forth to Connecticut.  Soon that will be ending.  In two weeks to be exact.  On my way home each week, I have made it a habit to stop in Branford, CT.

A long time ago after my husband passed, I had a boyfriend, and we dated for four years. Can I say that they were the best four years?  Probably not.  Did I learn a few things?  Sure.  A widow should be careful of her emotional state.  Enough said.

One night in tears after we broke up (it truly was for the best), my father, a very matter of fact person, said let’s go for a ride.  You see my father evidently had been going for a ride for the last several years.

Each night he drove from his home (a nice one where my bedroom overlooked the bay – oh how I miss my bedroom)  to the Wareham McDonalds.  He said that the gals there really knew how to make a cone.  So, as all good Dad’s do, he took me to the McDonald’s in Wareham.  When we got there, he said to the gal, “Make it a big one!”  And, lo and behold, she did.

Well for an emotionally distraught female, an ice cream cone did the trick.  Perhaps that was the start of my food addiction.  One wonders. Then he liked to ride through the backroads of Middleboro and Rochester to come back home.

Much was said and not said during that ride, but one thing for sure is that I was introduced to the cone.  Nice and light, plus very low calorie too.  Probably full of chemicals, but what isn’t these days.

Like father like daughter (my mother would argue and say probably too much so), I occasionally venture out for a prized cone.  I have toned down my habit. It once upon a time was every night – summer, fall, winter, and spring.

There are these two cute gals who work the counter each week in Branford.  Never fail, each week, I arrive at the service station,  head straight to the restroom and then to the McDonald’s counter.  I proceed to order one large Diet Coke and one LARGE ice cream cone.  At first, they said, “We only have one size cone.”  I replied, “I know that, but make it large.”

This week, I made my weekly trip and stopped as usual in Branford.  As I walked up to the counter, the gals had smiles of recognition on their faces.  And, I proceeded to order one large Diet Coke and one LARGE ice cream cone.  This time they giggled.  And, I giggled back.

I always get my cup first.  I have a tendency to spill my drink if I have too many things in my hand at once.  As I turned around to get my cone, WONDERS OF WONDERS…it was large.  And, they were so proud.  Very proud.  And, I exclaimed, “Holy Moly, THAT IS A BIG ONE!  You guys are awesome!”

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Holy smokes, Batman – those women are EXPERT LARGE CONE MAKERS!

 

You see I guess there is a moral to this story.

Working in Connecticut near the New York border, I find that most people lack a general overall sense of respect for another human being.  Just this week alone, I witnessed two store clerks being “chewed out” by customers.  Feeling empathetic, I went up to both clerks afterward and apologized.  I have no idea what I even apologized for.  Perhaps just a lack of humanity.

This world we live in is frightening.  And, I don’t mean in a violent sense, I mean in an “ego” sense. We barely look at each other, we barely talk to each other, and we can’t even be civilized to another human being just doing their job.

I find that when I try to strike a conversation with a random person, they look at me as if I have two or sometimes even three heads.  I feel like the odd one.  A weirdo.

I am really saddened by it all these days.  Perhaps I am just getting too old.

Well, I will miss these gals in Branford.  I made them giggle, and they made me giggle. Isn’t that what we should be doing with each other.  I may make tons of money, and they may make minimum wage.  But, that doesn’t mean that I treat them any less than a brother or a sister, for that is what we are.  We are all part of one human family.

Their ONE LARGE CONE was an affirmation that I treated them like a sister, with dignity and respect.

Maybe this is a frivolous post, or maybe, in the end, it isn’t. I find that most of the posts I write are usually surprises at what they unearth.  And, for that person who insists on my Diet Sunkist essay, perhaps that too will have a deeper meaning.

And, Dear Dad, thank you for the many lessons you have taught.  Both implicit and explicit.

Heck, he was only a diesel truck mechanic who didn’t make it past the 8th grade.  But, that doesn’t make him any less than a genius for his mechanical abilities.  I mean brilliant. For the fact is, he was able to retire at 55 – not bad for someone who didn’t even make it to high school!

I know whence I come from.  And, I know where I am going.  I am off to love humanity and its vastness.  Then I will have my ONE LARGE ICE CREAM CONE.

There you have my one attempt at a frivolous blog post.  Diet Orange next up on the list.

 

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A girl and her cone never to be parted!

 

P.S. – Mr. Simmons, Jr., I just couldn’t keep it light!  Maybe next time.

 

The sacred touch.

The sacred touch.

You reach to touch.

Nothing intellectual.

All felt.

You try to coax me out of my world.

To come into being in yours.

Your touch says I belong.

I either let you in or keep you out.

I either pretend I didn’t feel the touch

or I envelop the touch into my world.

The sacred touch.

Makes me alive and awakened.

Healed and redeemed.

When nothing else will do.

The sacred touch speaks to me.

When your words cannot.

I either allow or deny.

The sacred touch

provides me shelter in my storm.

Or surrounds me with joy and elation.

In the sacred touch.

You become known and revealed,

mystery and possibility.

The distance evaporates.

My soul belongs

in the Holiness of your simple sacred touch.