Sunday, May 9, 2021

Being Wise Fourteen


 Our purple iris--gift from Tracey, photo by Janet April 2021


Being Wise Fourteen May 9, 2021


A day for mothers, to thank them.

I’ve mothered three of my own and

a lot of other people’s. Sometimes

it was a problem. They worshiped

me and then they cast me out. Or

they demanded more than I could

give. What helped the most was

learning to read the souls of my

friends and neighbors, not to mention

my children. Some people love to

be understood. Others hate it.

Children are the real test. They let

you know how they come across.

Even animals can do that. Pay

attention to how people respond,

whether they trust you. If you scare

them, they’re probably hiding

something. If they lie, and some

people do, even to themselves, 

they may confess later. Such

defenses can be learned as children.

I myself invented my own archetype

to be and to live out. I wanted to be

Sophia, wise, and a healer. I’d 

serve the Muse, let her live in me

and shape my words. Then Penelope 

to an Odysseus, but Odysseus, too.

An explorer, one who traveled but

always came home. It has surprised

me, the people who remembered

me after years of silence, who 

returned to tell me their stories, 

who helped me when I hadn’t 

cried for help. It means I’m safe.

Some do try to hurt me or control

me, but it never quite works. I’m

going to be myself always, and

that self, that being sees farther

and overlooks what’s not important.

The game in life is to be yourself

and no one else. A challenge

sometimes, but worth the Trouble.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Being Wise Thirteen


 My neighbors back in 1998-9    Demetrius with his father Kenny and his mother Sissy.


Being Wise Thirteen May 2, 2021


Here is this time when I begin 

to feel my age. I’m not getting

stronger but weaker. My doctor

wants me to exercise more, but

I’m not doing it yet. I want to

stay strong, get stronger, stop

losing weight, but I’m finding

that hard to do. I manage my

few chores, my short walks,

my irregular sleep patterns. 

I have a few pains in my 

right foot, in my left shoulder.

I receive interesting emails

and letters. People love me.

My neighbor Harold tells

me I’m an icon in our

neighborhood. He was the

first one to welcome me

in the summer of 1998. I

came to a meeting about the

low-level nuclear dump

planned for Moncure. We

stopped it. Now they want

to do another one. Harold

hugged me those twenty-three

years ago. The child next door,

three years old, Demetrius,

also hugged me–what he could

reach–my legs–and died ten

years later in a car crash. I’m

known more now than ever

before, my name in the paper,

pictures of my books. And we

defeated the coal ash dumping,

though seven million tons of it

is left for us forever. You do

what you can. You hope it’s

enough. There are still things

you can do. Be thankful.