Veteran’s Day 2020

Brilliantly choreographed scene from my all time favorite movie about my generation…

Huge confession here…It has taken me most of my life to be able to accept, and then finally respect, the “Military”. Well, not the military as a whole, but respect for those who choose to join an armed service, especially for patriotic reasons. All that pledging allegiance as a kid, really meant something to me.

I saw my father cry exactly twice in my life. Once, for a split second, when my mother died. And once when I was very young, and we heard Kate Smith sing America the Beautiful. Talk about imprinting…

Becoming a young adult in the Vietnam War era, I was primed to join those of my generation who were loudly and sometimes, even violently, objecting to that war, but when the protesting became personal…aimed at my returning “brothers” just because they had accepted being drafted into that war, rather than fleeing their homes to run to Canada, I knew I had to find another stand for myself.

Confession: Back then, I could not understand that choice. I myself, would have easily left this country, rather than accepting being drafted to fight in a war that made no sense to me.

I’m much better at standing solidly for something I believe in, than fighting against something I hate.

In my young adolescence, I had already been exposed to the most extreme racial inequality in our country, so for a time, I let that experience impact my life to the degree that working hard for Civil Rights became my primary focus…rather than protesting against the injustice.

Then sometime in my 30’s, I went to D.C. to visit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall. It broke my heart to have to look up 17 names, but by then, I was starting to see more clearly that I was not the only one permanently inspired by our standing at attention, hand-over-heart, daily pledging as kids.

And along the way, influenced by the passionate commitment of many men and women who had served in the Military, I was able to shift to deep respect and gratitude for their choices, while still maintaining my own stand for peace.

Here’s one of my most beautiful reminders…by the wonderful Karen Drucker.

Check her out at https://www.karendrucker.com/

These are the Veteran’s I’d like to thank this year (although many of my Elders on this list need to be moved to the Memorial Day post).

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force (my best friend’s father and my adopted second Dad)

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry (my Dad)

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES (my Mother)

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force (my best friend)

James Fletcher-US Army (my soulmate and life partner)

Jimmy Schack (James’s best friend)

Mary Paananen (dear colleague)

David Taylor (first love and still friends)

Joe LaFayette (college boyfriend, still friends)

Eddie Leachman (cousin’s best friend in high school)

Ari Cowan (amazing writer waging relentless compassion against violence)

Bret Burkholder (delightful colleague)

Vince Horan (beloved colleague)

Saralee Blum (former colleague)

Jim Sorensen (incredible husband, father whose children’s birth I attended)

Ron Holst (my cousin’s wife)

Michael Adams (son of an adopted daughter)

Dale Beuning (“son” of a dear colleague, kind of like my nephew)

Colonel James Kowalski (husband of my best Blogging friend)

Kirk Boettcher (beloved dentist of 35 years)

Mriana Williams dear friend and former housemate)

Richard Hartman (neighbor)

James Malone (husband of a favorite Psychodramatist)

Shawn Dennis (wonderful housemate)

Colonel James Sampson (my best friend’s other best friend)

Steve Dryden (childhood friend, son of my Mom’s best friend)

Don Ulmer (Writer’s Group)

Lou Chirillo (Writer’s Group)

Dave Bartholomew (my Writer’s Group leader)

Jason Bogar (Son of a beloved teacher/friend)

Colonel Bill Head (married to James’s niece)

Captain Roy Gurd (my best friend’s former best friend)

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus (longtime colleague’s husband and daughter)

Carol Peringer’s first husband

Lenore (my sister) Bayuk’s first husband, Ronald L. Campbell, USMC

Niece Emily’s dad, John C. Johnson, USN in Korea

John Robertson (James’s number one long time employee)

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

Here are some posts I’ve written before about this subject.

11/11/18  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/17701

11/11/17  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/16142

5/30/16  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/4921

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/11/12/veterans-day-11-11-17/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/09/01/shiny-for-wordpress-photo-challenge/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/07/24/three-songs-for-song-lyric-sunday-7-24-16/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/09/11/9-11-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/12/03/songlyricsunday-12-3-17-courage/

Please check them out if you like and I appreciate any comments.

Another barely Political Post 11/1/2020

I have been struggling for days, trying to figure out something to write, to all those I care for, concerning this election. I have not been able to find the words though.


Thankfully, someone I have long admired, did, so I am sharing Raphael Cushnir’s words from this morning. Close to what was swirling around in my mind, but I’ve always admired his eloquence.


Also, I am sending one of my all-time favorite a-political songs. It captures my personal politics perfectly. (included at the bottom of page)


I hope you find something for yourself in both offerings.


Non-Partisan Love and Peace to us all.

 

           

Rules for Tuesday 

By Raphael Cushnir

Breathe deep
Exhale all the way
Fall out of love with your opinions
Forgive yourself for not doing more
Then do a little more
Like cultivating peace
With your smile at the checkout stand
Your new bath salts
Remember that fear masquerades as swagger
So hate the swagger
But love the scared one underneath
Stop pretending that you know what should happen
How it should happen
When it should happen
To whom it should happen
Instead
Just love what you love
Stand up for what you love
Trust your passion
Cultivate your humility
Roar
Cry
Set aside at least 20 minutes to move your body
Wildly
Without premeditation
Dance even if you don’t dance
Or think you’re not any good at it
Find every knot of tension within you
Every story about the future hiding in your cell receptors
And shake them off
Breathe deep
Exhale all the way
Lick the sweat that drips on your lip
Mask your face
Unmask your self-righteousness
Find the scared one underneath
Put your arm around it gently
Hum to it softly
Remind it:
Sorrow will follow sorrow
That’s how this works
There’s no vaccine for it
But joy, too, will follow joy
Remind yourself:
To feel the sorrow and the joy
To feel everything
Including the fear you’re holding
Until there’s nothing left to fear
But that’s long-term
Because right now, that scared one needs you still
Remind it:
The earth may die
It’s true, honey
Though not today
Justice will triumph somehow
It’s true, honey
Though not today
Today is for one thing
Voting
With a ballot, sure
But there are so many other ways to vote
Vote with your feet by walking through your neigborhood
Vote for your ancestors with a deep bow
Vote for your descendents by trusting their vision
Vote for your tribes, all of them, by affirming that you belong
If you’ve lost your tribes, or never knew them
Here are some with openings:
The trauma tribe
The healing tribe
The compassion tribe
The outsider tribe
The artists of any and all mediums tribe
The evolution tribe
The revolution tribe
The never feel fully grown up tribe
The inappropriate humor tribe
The always still figuring it out tribe
The overwhelmed, exasperated, depleted, can barely take this anymore tribe
The invisible energy that binds us all tribe
(Which you can call God, Spirit, Heart – whatever you choose)
The loves social media tribe
The hates social media tribe
The love-hates and hate-loves social media tribe
The Stop! I never agreed to any of this tribe
The nothing I see out there represents my deepest longings tribe
The hurt people don’t want to hurt people anymore tribe
The consensual pleasure of all kinds is loudly encouraged tribe
The people with privilege who want to use it for the greater good tribe
The really want to listen tribe
The really need to be heard tribe
The hanging on by a thread without hugs right now tribe
The my soft animal body is not made for this world tribe
The desperate for quiet tribe
The quietly hopeful against all odds tribe
All of these tribes exist
Even though they’re not represented by any political party
All of these tribes have openings
And you are pre-approved
So on Tuesday
And in the aftermath of Tuesday
Vote and keep voting
Join and keep joining
Because now that you know the rules
You are not just pre-approved
You are pre-whole
You are pre-worthy
You are pre-lovable
You are pre-loved
And you have already won

Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today and the Huffington Post. He has also authored six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute, the Omega Institute, and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In addition, he coaches individuals and teams at Fortune 100 companies, governments, religious organizations, and leading non-profits. For more info: cushnir.com

Copyright 2020, Heartfire Foundation

 

Lyrics: 
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
I was walking with my brother
and he wondered what’s on my mind
I said, What I believe in my soul
ain’t what I see with my eyes
And we can’t turn our backs this time
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my country is all I know
I want to be with my family
people who understand me
I’ve got nowhere else to go
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And I was talking with my sister
she looked so fine
I said, Baby, what’s on your mind
She said, I want to run like the lion
released from the cages
Released from the rages
burning in my heart tonight, yeah
And I ain’t no Communist and I ain’t no Capitalist
And I ain’t no Socialist and I ain’t no Imperialist
And I ain’t no Democrat so I ain’t no Republican
I only know one party and it is freedom
I am, I am, I am
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my county is all I know
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
I want to run like the lion
Released from the cages
Released from the rages
I said what I believe in my soul
Ain’t what I see with my eyes
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
 
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Steven Van Zandt
I Am a Patriot lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

This is not a Political Post…it’s a psychology one…

Eagles vs Crows 044

While looking for the elusive Don Henley version of this song (one I have used in therapy, often when someone has been the recipient of extreme narcissistic behavior….), I found this GEM! A wonderful cover of Henley’s brilliant expression! (All that’s missing is Stevie Wonder in the background!)

Lyrics (and credit):

You live in a house of mirrors
Reflecting your splendid isolation
You have so much of everything
Except for true consideration
The way you dance
The way you walk
The way you drive
The way you talk
The way you eat
The way you drink
The way you act
The way that you don’t think
It’s like there’s
Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
there’s lots of other people here, too
Hey now, did your momma teach you anything?
Some things still got to be respected
Is it a sign of the times, or is it just your callous heart?
How did you get so disconnected?
The way you push
The way you shove
The way you hate
The way you love
The lies you spin
The scenes you make
The grief you give
The space you take
It’s like there’s
Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
there’s lots of other people here, too
And now it’s time you did a little giving, baby
The world is not your plaything, no, no, no
Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
there’s lots of other people here
Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
It’s like there’s nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed there are lots of other people here, too
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Don Henley / Stanley Lynch / Jai L. Winding
Nobody Else in the World But You lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing
😉

A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape 10/23/2020

I knew the photos I wanted to share for this challenge right away. I love the view of the city I have from my house…of course, the view is not of the city I live in. Nope, this view is of the next city over to the West of me.

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That’s the downtown Seattle skyline, with the glorious Olympic Mountains behind.

These next shots are from an early morning walk when I just loved what the sunrise was doing to the Columbia Center…76 stories, and when it was built, it was the tallest building on the West Coast.

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This towering scraper of the sky has always fascinated me, though I had never been inside it. I rarely go into Seattle. Just not an urban type, although I guess I can hardly say that anymore, given that there is nothing left of the “country-side” my home was part of when I bought it 47 years ago.

Anyway, just a few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of officiating a spectacular and delightful wedding at the top of the Columbia Center. I adore this couple and was thrilled to be asked to marry them, but I have to admit, when they told me where, I nearly fainted. I have a more than mild case of Acrophobia.

I knew I would need to prepare myself so I could be fully present and grounded for their ceremony so I started taking pictures of the building from all over town….trying to make friends with this giant black monolith, towering tall over all it’s neighbors…

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On the day of the wedding, I arrived early to prepare for the celebration. The ride up the elevator to the very top took forever. It made me seasick and break into a cold sweat. When I saw where we would be standing…so close to the windows, I nearly chickened out, but James kept me calm by reminding me that I would be facing inward, my back to the view. (Well, that half glass of Chardonnay he brought me probably helped too. Hmm, I wonder what the Minister’s blood alcohol number is for the legality of the marriage to be in question…😋)

Once I found my footing, I could embrace and enjoy the spectacular view we would all have this day.

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I never told my sweet couple about my trepidation that day but I suppose, now they’ll know. So worth it!! What an amazing, creative, beautiful, warm, interesting wedding. And the “Cityscape” setting? Well, hard to imagine ever topping that!!

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As I was selecting photos, I noticed something! A surprising number of airliners showed up, I suppose headed for landing at SeaTac. How many do you count?

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/a-photo-a-week-challenge-cityscape/