11.14.2017,9:20 PM
The Eternal Question
"Was it as good for you as it was for me?"

posted by Macrobe
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11.11.2017,7:38 PM
Veterans. Every day.
The restaurant  where my daughter works at in Eugene, OR, had free meals to all veterans today. She visited at the 'community' table full of vets of all ages, where they all shared stories. Some were in tears. She was in tears with them. Her Dad is a Vietnam vet, wounded in action. She understood their pain and camaraderie.

Some of you have been in war. Some of you may have lost a family member, classmates, friends. Many vets return home but are never the same, still lost.

A few veterans have told me that there is honor but no glory in war. There is only pain, of the body or the spirit. Many times both. No one wins, everyone loses.

This was also related to me by a veteran from Afghanistan, who was wounded and lost his spleen, a kidney, and part of his liver. He rode the TRE train that I rode, sometimes in the morning, sometimes late afternoon. He could not work due to his injuries which will never fully heal. He was half-Apache and lived with his sister near Fort Worth. He had severe depression since returning and had to travel to the veterans' clinic in Dallas every week for treatments.

He has been riding the train to the Veteran's Clinic almost every weekday for several years to volunteer working with other returning veterans to give them moral support. He told me that I was the first one that sat next to him on the train with a smile and a "Good morning". In all those years.

He never told me his story until weeks after we had first met and we sat together when seats allowed. He explained that he and so many other returning vets exist in a different world than everyone else. No one can know what they experienced unless they were also there. Some never talk about it and try to find solace in drugs or alcohol. He chose not to go that route because he is Apache, and that is not what his people do. But many others do, and that is why he volunteers: to help them find some peace within themselves.

I know many veterans that talk about their time in the military. My ex-husband did not; its locked away in a dark place and he won't let that demon out. Maybe that is why he is a recurring alcoholic. It destroyed our marriage.

Other than the two World Wars, our country has mired itself in wars on alien soil that don't have to be our wars. Where is the glory in wars that our governing administration has no taste of the reality of war? Are our husbands, wives, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers expendable pawns sent off to political wars and often ignored after they return? How long must this go on?

About two months before I retired, my friend disappeared from the train. I asked one of the conductors if he had seen him. He remembered him because of his limp, solemn face and long black hair. He had not seen him for several weeks, in the am nor the pm. I missed him. He was hope for strength, perseverance, and compassion.

During our last conversation, he admitted that his depression had gotten worse and no medication was helping. He asked me if I would accompany him to a movie sometime as a friend. Movies helped him escape his pain. I replied that I would be honored to. I gave him my phone number, but I never heard from him. And I worry for why I never saw him on the train again.

This is how I grieve on Veterans Day. And how I honor veterans, the  living and the dead.

For all that have served, fallen, and those that live on, may the dove be your guide.

"The dove she is a pretty bird,
She sings as she flies.
She brings us glad tidings,
And tells us no lies.

Come all you young men,
take a warning by me.
Don't go for a soldier,
don't join no army.
For the dove she will leave you
and the raven will come
And death will come marching
to the beat of a drum.

Come all you pretty young girls,
come walk in the sun.
And don't let your young men
ever carry a gun
For the gun it will scare her
and she'll fly away
And then there'll be weeping
by night and by day.

Well the dove she's a pretty bird,
she sings as she flies.
She brings us glad tidings
and she tells us no lies
She flies in the mountains
and the valley so low.
And if you live peaceful
then she never will go."

- lyrics by Ewan McCall.
posted by Macrobe
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11.10.2017,7:32 AM
What is your story?
"No matter how little you have, you'll always have your story."

If no one hears or reads your story, it's still yours. And that is what makes our lives: stories.

But those stories overlap and intertwine with other people's stories. You are the narrator of your story and a character in other stories. You read other people's stories the minute you meet them; when your eyes meet, you see the first page even though the cover may change.

Sometimes, the world around may fade into the background while you both read each other's stories. And that's all we have.

Many times, that's all we need.

posted by Macrobe
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7.21.2017,9:59 PM
Rest In Peace, Chester Bennington
Sad to hear about the untimely death of Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin' Park.

His voice and lyrics have been a private source of connection for over a decade. And the band's peace activism has been admirable.

Listened to some Chester Bennington and Linkin' Park sitting near the lake tonight.

It's amazing how music, songs, can open a locked door of memories and flood the the mind and body. And you are taken back in time, 'crawling in your skin.'  His voice was ours.

Damn. Another good soul lost.
Many of us will miss you and your voice, Chester.

posted by Macrobe
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1.21.2017,2:54 PM
Not my President!!!

posted by Macrobe
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,2:40 PM
Between Sky and Ground

I come from the places
Between the sky and the ground
Always moving
And never found.

I’ve tasted love
But like a river
It’s flowed away
Always out of grasp.

posted by Macrobe
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10.28.2016,11:17 PM
Ghosts knocking at the door
"We meet people and fall in love. And when we part, they leave marks for us to remember them by. Our lovers sculpt us. They define us. For better or worse. Like a pinball, we slam into them and rebound in a different direction. Propelled by the contact. And after their parting, we might be scarred. But stronger. Or more fragile or needy or angry or guilty. But never unchanged. Our lovers linger inside us like ghosts. Haunting the corridors and deserted rooms. Sometimes whispering. Sometimes screaming. Invisible but… always there. Waiting."
- from the UK TV series 'Being human'
posted by Macrobe
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4.23.2016,8:49 PM
The Bass Pro Siren
Forgive me, Goddess, for I have sinned.
Almost passing a Bass Pro store, the steering wheel suddenly steered left and turned into their parking lot. Struggling against a magnet, I was pulled into their front doors and pushed around aimlessly.

Passing the boot section, the tall muck boots called me like sirens. Several good 16" waterproof neoprene-top boots grabbed at me, but the plethora of camouflage made me dizzy and I had to run away. 

Turkey calls taunted me down an aisle where two older teen boys fondled turkey decoys. The cries of those poor turkeys caused distress to my ears and I escaped down the next isle. A dozen trail/game cameras looked at me with their evil eyes. And I fled down the main isle.

A little joyful Mastiif-Pit Bull puppy on a leash climbed on my feet and rolled on its back, flailing its front legs and paws pleading for tummy rubs. Falling down on my knees, I found myself muttering gibberish puppy-talk and we whined together as I was inundated with puppy kisses. 

Then turning a corner, I was confronted by numerous kayaks with their openings gaping at me, teasing me with whispers of gliding over blue water and the slip-slap of oars, slipping by green trees and birds cheering me on. Oh, the temptation, dear Goddess!! How you torment me so!!!!

Pulling away in misery, intent on escaping intact, I heard the muttering of camp chairs on top of a shelf. They sat there in their glory, judging me, knowing that I was chairless. I scrutinized each of them as they stoically sat in silence. Reaching up I pulled one down to stand on the floor. And I sat in its lap. 

Not satisfied, I pulled another down. And sat in that one's lap. Still not happy, the third chair came down, placed next to the others. After I sat in that chair's lap, I stood in front of all three. 

And pointed at one. The other chairs muttered about something called 'Goldilocks' while I helped them back to their shelf. And the giant carved wooden bear 25 feet behind me quietly snickered. 

Hurumph. I stuffed that chair in a bag and slung it over my shoulder and pushed through the menacing and salivating humanoids crowding the aisles and made my getaway. 

Through the parking lot I carried my trophy feeling satisfied that no wallets or bank accounts were injured.
posted by Macrobe
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