Atomic Haiku

ShadowsAtomic bombs here

And some atomic bombs there

Which nut will fire first?

 

Americans love

And North Koreans love, too

Why harm the people?

 

Donald and Jong-un

Do not speak for the people

Let’s lock them both up.

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Eclipse the Shadow

It was a thumb.

In the movie Apollo 13, Jim Lovell holds his thumb up in front of his face and blocks out the moon. As he moves his thumb back and forth, the moon disappears, reappears, and disappears again.

A trick of perspective let his little thumb seem to cover up the bigger moon.

Screen shot from Apollo 13 - Jim Lovell holds his thumb up to block out the moon.

I thought of that scene this past week as people across the nation stopped what they were doing to witness that same moon make the sun disappear.

The sun didn’t really disappear of course.

It was there all along…the moon only temporarily blocked our view of the sun…just as Jim Lovell’s thumb only temporarily blocked his view of the moon.

A trick of perspective let the moon seem to cover up the bigger sun.

NASA Screen shot of Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017.

The solar eclipse was a beautiful and amazing trick of perspective, and…

…and, it was reassuring.

In recent posts I’ve shared my struggle to remain positive and optimistic. I am sad/angry/disgusted/discouraged with the way things are going on many fronts – global, national, local, and personal.

It’s as if my normally optimistic self is being eclipsed by worry’s weight, hate’s heartache, and the devil’s despair.

The shadow is deep and dark; at times terrifyingly total.

So I am holding tight to the lesson of the solar eclipse:

The shadow is temporary.

My optimistic self is still here…somewhere…behind the shadow.

NASA Screen shot of Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017.

The psalm of the eclipse proclaims it:

The shadow cannot, will not, remain.

NASA Screen shot of Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017.

The light will break through – first around the edges and then with amazing power.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, shine, shine

Let it shine!

Out there in the dark

I’m gonna let it shine

Out there in the dark

I’m gonna let it shine

Out there in the dark

I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, shine, shine

Let it shine!

NASA Screen shot of Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017.

Pessimistic Pollyanna

Refrigerator magnets spell out "I just can not."

It’s not pretty.

It’s not at all pretty when a glass-half-full Pollyanna hits the reinforced concrete barrier of disappointment with the world and the overall state of things.

It’s gruesome.

I don’t want to look.

I try to avert my eyes, but I can’t escape it.

I am that Pollyanna.

I’ve hit that wall.

 

I’m overwhelmed at the degree of the hatred-of-other, apathy-toward-neighbor, and acceptance-of-lies unleashed in the world.

 

I’ve lost faith in and respect for our nation’s leaders.

I’ve lost belief in the ability of our state’s leaders to work for the common good.

I’ve lost trust in the spiritual maturity or accountability of my pastor.

 

So here I am.

Overwhelmed and lost.

I’m feeling anger, grief, despair, and – sometimes – fatigue and numb lethargy.

It’s taking its toll.

My blood pressure feels like it’s up, I think I may be getting an ulcer, and I can’t sleep.

 

The wall.

It’s been hit.

 

If it were just me, I believe I would withdraw from the world, curl up into an introverted ball, and tell the world to go you-know-where.

 

But, of course, it’s not just me.

We’re in this together.

 

Our – my! – inactions / actions affect others.

We – I! – can’t give up.

We can’t give in to anger, grief, despair, fatigue, and numb lethargy.

 

I’m still not quite sure how to proceed.

But I will try.

I have to pick up my battered and stunned self from the ground at the foot of the wall and seek a way over, around, or through it.

The Pollyanna in me, buried deep as she is, whispers to keep seeking the way.

Refrigerator magnets spell out "I just can not but will."

Wake-Up Call

Phone alert states, "Emergency Alert - Tornado Warning in this area til 8:00 PM EDT. Take shelter now. Check local media. - NWS."

You don’t need a wake-up call 

When you can’t sleep at night.

Eyes wide open.

Nothing feels right.

My cell phone shrieked, “Tornado Warning. Take shelter now.”

We gathered the dog and headed to a storage area in our basement – just in case.

We don’t get many tornados around here, so this was unusual and a bit scary.

They say it’s safest to be away from windows, but then you have no line of sight to see what is or isn’t coming. You have to rely on others to tell you when it’s safe to come out.

The weather warning expired and we emerged from the basement.


Fast forward to 3 a.m.

The rain and wind are gone, but I’m awake and on edge.

My cell phone sits in silence on the nightstand…no alerts and warnings, and it’s way too soon for the alarm clock to sound.

But my mind is shrieking, “The world is out of whack. Take action now.”

For this warning, it does no good to hide in the basement.

We need to open every single window and shine light on all the facts.

We need to creep out of our safe zones and track what’s happening with our own eyes and ears.

This is not a drill.

And we don’t need a wake-up call when we can’t sleep at night.

Oh My God

A black square with tiny print, reading, "God help us."

Oh My God!

The President of the United States is a boorish bully who has bragged about getting away with sexual assault; a state just elected a politician who physically assaulted a reporter the night before the election; our nation is on the brink of kicking the legs out from under the elderly, ill, disabled, and poor; and white evangelical Christians celebrate that this all reflects their “dream” leadership team.

God!

Where are you??

Thy kingdom does not look ANYTHING like this alternate universe that’s come.

Please, God, deliver us from evil.

Amen.

Five Minute Friday: Truth

Microsoft Windows "restarting" screen.(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Truth

Go.

Truth exists.

I believe in truth.

I want to know the truth.

I believe I even know what some of it is.

But if I truly value truth, I can’t just assume I know it.

I have my opinions about “truth” and some of those opinions are correct.

Law of averages, and all that…

But – law of averages – some of my opinions about “truth” are false.

The key is to care.

The key is to care whether my version of truth is true.

The key is to keep seeking, asking, considering, and listening.

The key is to care if what I think is the truth holds up over time.

If it holds up over a lifetime…

I do believe in truth.

I do care what it is.

I will continue to seek it.

I will continue to ask questions.

I will continue to consider other points of view.

I will continue to listen.

I will continue to care whether my version of truth is true.

That’s the key.

And that’s the truth.

Stop.

Hand written note states, "It is better to debate an issue without settling it than to settle it without debate."

Five Minute Friday: Sing

The music app icon from an iPhone with a background showing a leafless tree limb.

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Sing

Go.

How can I sing when my heart’s out of tune?

When there’s no harmony in my world?

My soul seeks to sing – to hum along and whistle.

My soul, not always knowing or remembering the words, bursts with song.

I sing because my soul chooses to sing.

It can’t not sing.

Sometimes out of tune or with the wrong words.

But I sing.

And it makes a difference.

At least to me.

Stop.