Archive for July, 2012


I believe in a place called hope.  I believe in a place where ordinary people can do extraordinary things to help bring people back together.   I believe that people have been torn apart by their ideals, which have been co-opted by powerful people whose job is to divide and conquer.

 

I believe in a loving God.  I believe in a loving universe.  I believe in a world where Jesus feeds the hungry instead of supply side economics. How can we say we are Christian, Islamic, or any other religion and think that it is a good thing to have whole sections of the world living in hunger and famine?

 

I believe in a world where one crazy person with a gun cannot inflict so much pain in so many people in so little time.  How is it possible that in a world created by love, the right to have a gun can be used in such a way that year after year one crazy person with a gun can go on a shooting rampage and change the lives of hundreds of people?  Every person who had a child lost at Colombine has had a life that has been diminished by the loss of that one child.  Every person on the streets of Chicago who has lost a child to gun violence has had a life diminished by the loss of that one child.  Every person in Aurora who had a child killed by a man who believed he was the Joker in a Batman movie has had their lives diminished by the loss of a child.  How is it possible that a man mentally disabled enough to think he is a character in a movie is able to buy a gun in the first place?  Year after year we say prayers and have vigils and nothing gets done and more of our children die. They stopped the campaign for a day but does anybody think that either the Obama campaign or the Romney campaign will take on the NRA?  No.  We all cry for a day or two and then we think about our own rights to protect our own houses and we allow people who shouldn’t be able to buy guns to go out and buy them.  When do the gun owners who only use their guns responsibly say enough is enough and use their voices to stop the hold the NRA has on our politics?

 

I believe in a world where 19 people cannot fly a plane into a building and start a decade of carnage, greed, death and destruction so huge and so vast that complete religions which all started with the same universal laws pick sides and cheer on the warriors.  In the 10 years since 9/11 how many people have died because of those 19 lives?  How many people have decided to avenge the deaths of their children and have turned against a country which was loved in those days following 9/11 because they don’t understand why they had to lose their son or daughter to 19 hijackers a world away?    I believe in a world where we honor the military but only use their services in the way that would reflect what most people believe in.  In the 1940s a war was used to erase one sick man’s twisted version of the world.  He was able to make an entire country believe it was in their best interest to round up an entire religion and eliminate it.  I learned about that when I was in the 5th grade and yet isn’t that what we are doing to the Islamic religion today?  There are loving and peaceful Muslims who love their children enough to seek peace.

 

I could write a book on the world issues that plague us at this time in history.  There are so many things the people of the world agree about.  We are peaceful, loving people who live most of our lives in obscurity.  We wake up every morning all over the globe and love, feed and clothe our children.  We breathe the same air that blows from one continent to the next.  We make love, sleep, eat, and pray every single day with the same universal physiology.  And yet, all we hear about day after day is how different we are and how it is our rights against theirs.

 

I am a hand embroidery artist in Upstate NY who writes a blog, how come I can figure out these huge questions and people in power who can make a difference don’t seem to ever utter the words of my typewriter?  Why?  Isn’t any one of these children and any one of these families important enough to take on universal themes which all religions are based on?  I know I’m a little fish in a big pond called earth but really people why?

 

Now before you say I’m Pollyanna and only a mere mortal who embroiders for a living.  I will tell you that in my little corner of the world, I make peace with my friends and relatives who believe something different than I do every day.  I love them and look at all the things we have in common and I don’t really care whether they vote differently than I do.  I treat everyone I meet during my ordinary days with respect, compassion and a smile.  I believe every person deserves respect and compassion no matter who they are.  I practice forgiveness every day and try not to hold grudges for the most part.  I like to hug.  I get up every morning with a song in my heart and hopefully a needle in my hand.  It’s not very easy to be an artist these days.  We have become a society which values nothing except money, even Michelangelo has been knocked off ten million times.

 

But once again I have to ask, why am I writing this blog post and nobody in power has the same words coming out of their mouths?  It’s sad really, very sad.  As people we value the same things, as a society we value nothing.

How Fragile We Are

How fragile we are is a line from the song Fragile by Sting.  It is a reminder that we as people are one.  We are all fragile somewhere in our beings.  Not one of us has a stone where our hearts should be.  We can pretend that we are strong and we do not hurt but every single one of us loves something and wants to be loved by someone.

So how do we get from that feeling of fragility and love to a war filled universe?  It’s hard to imagine that this is what God expected from us when he created the world in 7 days, isn’t it?  A place where wars rage on, poverty rages on, atrocities to children rage on, a place where a fragile heart can be broken in a minute just by watching the evening news.

The only way we can counteract the terrible actions of a few is to isolate the few from the whole of us here in the universe.  To speak out in love and peace.  To start a PEACEFUL revolution.  One that sees the commonalities of all in the singular existence of one.

Imagine that there is so much more that unites an Islamic child living in Iraq and a Christian child living in Mississippi than divides them.  Imagine that every morning we wake up to the sun or rain somewhere in the universe.  We wake up, if we are able to read this then we are awake.  That alone is unity.  That alone is peace if we look for it.

At times it must make God and universe just want to cry at the divisions we make from the whole.  The divisions of location, religion, all the way down to the bully in the schoolyard.  We are taught to believe we are special from the moment we are old enough to think, and then life just washes it away bit by bit.  Either confirm to the masses or risk having your french fries called freedom fries.  It’s just a matter of words used differently.

Love is love everywhere no matter what language it is said in.  Peace is peace no matter what language it is said in.  And unfortunately war is war no matter what language it is said in.  Be love, be peace, be universal.

Words

Black, white, red, yellow.  Colors.  Up, down, right, left.  Direction.  Rich, poor, poverty wealth. Class.  American, Iraqi, muslim, christian.  War.

How do we come up with the words we use to describe things anyway?  What bearing do these words have on us and the world around us?  Do they bring us peace?  Do they bring us war?  What is the difference in the way a poet uses words and the way a grave digger uses words?  Probably not all that much, except that the poet thinks he’s a poet and the grave digger thinks he’s a grave digger.

What we think and the words we use to describe ourselves matter.  They shouldn’t matter as much as our feelings and our hearts but they do anyway.  I’d even venture to say they matter more.  The question is why?

I think the answer behind the words is they are usually put in your head from someplace outside of your head.  They were put there when you were a child.  If someone continually called you horrible names when your little brain was forming, they are probably there when you are an adult.  You think you’re a grave digger or you are waiting for a grave to be dug.  Mind you grave diggers are very important people and probably know more about the living and how important it is, then regular every day livers of life.  They get to see the regret of people every day for either saying one word too many or one word too few.

I’m a pretty open vessel the last few months and have noticed the importance of words and where they fit in the human psyche.  Words have the ability to lift you up or knock you down so far on your butt that you can’t even figure out how to stand up again.  And then you do.  And after you get up you realize that the words spoken to you say more about the person speaking them than they say about you.

So the next time you call someone else or more importantly yourself stupid, or lazy, or fat, or crazy(my personal favorite) think of what those words mean and use the words of a poet or a gravedigger instead.  Poets and gravediggers know the importance of words about life and express them both in the same way with different titles.  They know the importance of  words left spoken or unspoken.

Speak to me of love and I am reasonably sure you will get a loving response.  Speak to me of hate and I’m sure you will get a hateful response.  Speak to me of regret and I am sure you will realize that life is too short to use words without thinking.  Think first, think peaceful, be kind later.  You don’t want to be the one that meets the poet or the grave digger with regrets.

 

What is Dignity Anyway?

Imagine that you are 50 years old, have worked for a company for thirty years, you have raised your children, sent them off to very good and prestigious colleges and you thought you would have enough money to retire and have the life you really wanted.  The American Dream right?  Wrong.

For the last 99 weeks you have been looking for a job because your job was outsourced to India and you can’t find another job because you are a little bit older than the current demographic.  Your kids tuition bills are coming up, you are a month behind in your mortgage, there are several foreclosed houses in your neighborhood and your housing prices are dropping fast.  Your retirement income is now dwindling and you are trying to decided how to make ends meet on a McDonalds salary.

Where is the dignity?  Where is the respect for a job well done?  A successful life ripped away just as you are reaching your true potential through no fault of your own.  This scenario is playing out all over the country at this moment. In Washington they are fighting over healthcare.  Did I fail to mention or fail to make you imagine that the 50-year-old can’t afford his healthcare either?

It just makes you wonder where is Washington’s imagination?  Do members of Congress have any idea what the American people think or feel about anything?  Not that they have to, they can just scare you about gay marriage and terrorism while they undermine the American dream every single day with capitalism, giving tax breaks to those who shipped those jobs to India.  Or they can insist even after 6 years of proof that Obama wasn’t born in the United States and that taking health care away from a 26-year-old will somehow make the world a better place?

I don’t know if I still have a lot of hope for President Obama but not so much because of him but because of the priority in the other party for making him look like a failure.  Now I’m pretty sure that 50-year-old I am imagining has his own reasons to think a Republican belongs in the White House to completely finish off the middle class in this country.  But I can’t even imagine that.

When you have to imagine basic dignity for an entire demographic who lived most of their lives doing the right thing, there is a big problem.  But then again Walmart can always hire them part-time and for slightly over minimum wage.

Sadly I think I have a better imagination then my congressman does.  Because I’m pretty sure he will be voting to repeal health care and voting against a jobs package.  But if one 50-year-old recognizes himself in my imagination perhaps he’ll  think twice about voting for Mitt Romney and his fellow money serving republicans.  Because in reality we are all one health crisis and job loss from a loss of dignity in this country.

 

 

 

 

The Answer is Love

Whenever you are unsure of your direction in life or politics or anything in-between the answer is love.

When you imagine your own child on the front lines of a war, is the answer war or peace? The answer is love.

When you imagine your child in an abusive relationship needing outside help or a step up the answer is love.

When you imagine your child in a school in the middle of the inner-city where education seems to come with high taxes and no solutions, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child sick with a treatable disease with no health insurance to bring them to the doctor, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child picking up a wrapper some careless slob just threw out of their car, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child drinking polluted water in some third world country, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child marching on the front lines in Syria for freedom, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child sleeping in Israel or Lebanon being scared to death of the sound of bombs and hatred, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child homeless because the adults in his life couldn’t get their acts together, the answer is love.

No matter what the question is, no matter what your ideology is, no matter what your beliefs are the answer is love.

When it is your child that is affected by the actions or inactions of our government the answer is love.  Don’t accept these sorry campaign promises that get lost the minute the politician reaches his destination.  Close your eyes and think but for the grace of god that could be my child being affected by the mistakes of an unsupervised, uncooperative, unimaginative government and the answer is and always will be love.

A Soldier

I received this video in my Youtube updates.  It is a beautiful tribute to the soldiers and their families who make the sacrifice to keep our country safe.  My personal opinion is that peaceful diplomacy is a better solution than war but that does not diminish the service to country that our soldiers fight every day and the sacrifices their families make while they are gone.

The returning soldiers come back from the war with physical and mental scars and those conditions are also shared by their families.  We have to do more in this country to support them and show our gratitude, because war is not the only thing our troops work for.  They are stationed all over the country doing fine work and are first on the job when disaster happens here in the United States.

Who can forget the presence of the military protecting and guarding downtown NY after 9/11 or the Coast Guard plucking people off of the roofs after Hurricane Katrina?  So while I do not agree with war and wish there could be a peaceful end to the conflicts all over the world, I never for one minute diminish the valor and bravery and sacrifice of our troops.  Thank You.

This Election Season

I think in looking at this election season we have to think about the greater good.   Since the new millennium it seems we are stuck in some kind of echo chamber which parrots our beliefs no matter what we believe.   I think we have to go beyond that this time around.

Do you want your kids to have health insurance?  Do you want them to have a college education?  Do you want them to be safe on the streets, have food to eat, clean water to drink?  Or do you want an end to taxes?  Do you look at everything as I’ve got mine I don’t care what the kid in that neighborhood has?  IMO the last question is the easiest to answer, the answer is a large and collective no.  Every person has charity in their hearts or the majority of them anyway.  Yet we listen to the mantra of both left and right and we forget about the huge majority in the center, the large and collective no.

In my opinion, the huge majority in the center realizes that our government is broken and it isn’t working for nearly enough people.  With all the technology that abounds we are sent subliminal messages that color our thought processes and place blame on either the President or the rest of the government that isn’t working.  They are all to blame, each and every one of them.  Now the question is who do we choose?

I will choose someone wh0 picks educating our children over war mongering.  I will choose someone who believes the welfare for one who needs it is worth the welfare cheats who don’t.  I will choose someone who believes every sick child needs health care, they did not choose to be born to someone who’s unable to provide it for them.  I believe in feeding the hungry, housing the homeless.  Most of all I believe in a politician who believes in something.  Not one that can be bought by big oil, or large pharmaceutical companies, or who pits one American against another.  If you call yourself an American you should at least believe the United in United States means something. Shouldn’t you?

Who is that person?  I won’t give my opinion because it’s my opinion and everyone has one.  But ask yourself the important questions about how you would feel if you were one of the them as in us versus them?  Then the answers are very easy.  If it were your child there really is only one answer.  The politician corrupted by the system or the politician corrupted by the huge companies that call his name, look at how the extremes vote and how they talk and ask yourself do you want social justice or a class system where only productive people who have found a way to make lots of money live in a world where only their children deserve these benefits.

Eventually every child interacts with every other child, don’t you want your children to interact with children who have a future?  I do.

Innocence Lost

Today there is a story in the news about a terrible boating accident where 3 children were killed on Long Island.  It got me to thinking how fragile life is and how painful it will be for their families to go on without them in their lives.

Then I thought about the terrible wars and famines and all of the other tragedies brought upon children all over the world every single day.  Their families will miss their smiles, their laughs, the joy they bring to their families and communities.  Their deaths will change everybody around them for years or perhaps a lifetime to come.  Every single human being leaves a footprint behind when they pass on.

Every life is precious.  We can learn lessons from everyone.  It is in our best interest to think about the children in other countries that are not so privileged and not on the evening news.  If a bomb drops in a town where casualties are caused does not that flame the fires of hatred and injustice no matter where that child lives.  It’s collateral damage on a cosmic scale.  It is perhaps robbing the world of another artist, another poet, another world leader.

Children are our future and if they are forgotten what does that say about us and our priorities?  Because a child is born in Africa and dies from starvation doesn’t it indirectly affect the children here in the United States.  If a child is gunned down in Chicago doesn’t that one death leave to a shift in our morals and psyche.  Innocence is lost every day all over the globe needlessly.  The death of innocence should show us how fragile and beautiful a young life can be.   A life filled with promise and an understanding of the future.

I know we can’t handle innocence lost on a singular level but perhaps wherever that innocence dies we should send a prayer and hope for a better tomorrow. We can hope for a better future and believe in the promise of a fruitful life everywhere.  We have to understand the peace and understanding of all that is lost every single day.

 

Go hug your children and give them an extra hug for that child somewhere who was lost somewhere else in the world.

 

 

Consciousness

There is a consciousness and discourse in our every day society which is smoldering into a very dark place.  I am not a believer in end times per se, but I fear that the combination of earthly catastrophes, smoldering conflicts in the Middle East and the level of discourse during this election season has the US and the world on the brink of something very ugly.  I can’t explain it, but somehow I needed to address it.

I have a lovely little hand embroidery blog.  It’s just a collection of my work and some pithy remarks about them, and I was prompted by an especially vile anonymous remark to go backwards and read the other anonymous remarks too.  There seems to be a pattern that leads me to believe that we are on the brink of something none of US are ready for.  They seem to be a warning that rampant commercialism, greed, lack of privacy, and general coarseness are walking us down a road we don’t really want to be on.

I’m pretty sure they haven’t singled out a simple little hand embroidery blog for their venom so I’m pretty sure that most of you like myself, just delete them from their blog and moves on to the next piece of art and the next blog post.   I am also awakening to something spiritual in my life and I just had to address it and see if I am the only little hand embroiderer getting such disgusting spam on my blog.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to say beyond that but if we could all say a prayer to whatever God we worship I’m sure they wouldn’t mind.  We could ask for world peace, a beautiful creative world, fine uplifting music, a return to the spirit that made civilization thrive for so many centuries.  I know I’m sounding just a little Pollyannish but I really do have to say that reading all these comments in a row left me feeling very unsettled and feeling like I have to take a long shower to get the filth out of the words.

I guess I could ask everyone to be a little nicer to the people that surround them, maybe give them a hug or at least a pleasant hello.  Compassion and kindness are a wonderful combination and can make even the loneliest little hand embroidery artist feel better about her world.  Let people into your heart, let them know when you have a problem and let them help you if you are one of the spammers.  And by all means if you are one of those bloggers with disgusting anonymous spam, please let me know so I won’t feel so alone.

Go create something beautiful.  Love the people in your life.  Love the planet, clean out your email stash and go backwards to a time when it wasn’t so easy to just take a road you didn’t want to be on.  And pray and meditate so that whatever this vileness that has infected our computers will be washed away.

I welcome your comments of the ordinary person kind, I’ve kind have had 3 years of vileness wrapped into the last half hour or so please let me know if you get these horrid spams too.  Bless you all for reading this far and go hug a person or a tree(especially if you are a vile spammer).

 

The 4th of July is a day for independence and freedom. I h0pe you have  a great day eating hotdogs off a grill, swimming in the lake, marching in a parade and most especially giving thanks for those brave soldiers who serve in our military.  We may not believe in the wars they fight in but we have to thank them and be grateful for the sacrifices they make.  Thanks!