Veteran’s Day 11/11/18

I try to write a Thank You letter to the Veterans in my life, every year on this day…also on Memorial Day.

I also have to admit when I started writing these yearly notes, I did so from a place of “universal guilt”… a cousin to that instant feeling I have when I spot a traffic cop following me, even when I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

“something happening here…”

But I realized a few years back that though many of my generations’ brothers and sisters treated each other poorly…well, horrifically…during the conflict over the Vietnam War and its Veterans, I personally never threw pig’s blood at a returning soldier.

Like many of my peers at the time, I didn’t really understand who exactly to be mad at- the military vets, or those who drafted them.

“what it is ain’t exactly clear”

So I focused my energy on Peace instead.

I was that girl with a wreath of flowers in my hair, who shoved daisy’s into barrels of the guns of local law enforcement, clad in riot gear. Young men about my same age, I have to add, who were just doing their own confusing jobs.

“there’s a man with a gun over there”

In the 1990’s I tried to open my mind to a new generation of returning veterans, so badly wanting them to have a different experience than those brave men and women, drafted or not, returning from Vietnam.

And then 9/11 happened and did a permanent number on my heart and soul. It was the birth for me of a new level of awareness. People the world over were responding to “attack” event with such dark black or white hot absolutism.

That all coincided with my father’s death so his lessons to me as a kid naturally came rushing back with a warm, loving vengeance. I considered, for the first time really, what he had been trying to say.

There is always more than one way to look at something.

“nobody’s right and everybody’s wrong”

So now, if I say thank you to a stranger in a military uniform, or when I send out my gratitude, in a note or blog post, I feel no guilt. I still don’t like or understand war, but I have room in my head and heart now for many, many more ways to fight for peace.

And I am grateful, and deeply respectful for those who choose the military (and law enforcement) as their vehicle to accomplish that.

This year, my sweet James wrote the letter below to his family. He and his siblings have had a wonderful, daily tradition, thanks to their 96 year old mother’s deathbed request. She insisted that they all stay in touch, even though they have lived across the country from each other. The emails to each other, all these years later, is one of my favorite all- time uses of the internet.

James says I can share today’s note with you too. (I have altered it only to remove other people’s personal stuff.)

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Good Morning

Today, we remember those of us who have served and died in service to freedom of expression, religion and political choice. I must admit that I am distressed by the present political situation in this country and the direction we are taking. Having said that, I honor all men and women who have participated in protecting us and giving us the right to chose our lives in a turbulent world where such freedom is becoming less and less available. I have heard from the men I served with in Nam and am reminded of the quality of men I was lucky enough to have shared that experience with. 
I had a fun trip to the islands. He picked me up at the ferry landing. We did a couple of errands in town, then joined a group of men for
The Stand Up Men Against Domestic Violence
on the courthouse lawn to remind citizens that violence against domestic partners is not acceptable as a solution to personal problems. These men have been doing this every Friday for the past four years. They organized after a couple of domestic violence deaths on the island reminded them how prevalent this problem is in our society. Two deaths were recorded there in the past twelve months so it continues to be an important issue for those who suffer at the hands of their partners. 
You can read about this amazing group here:    http://safesj.org/sum/
These guys are truly Veterans of their own local “war” against domestic violence. And they deserve to be honored, celebrated!!
Afterward, we went home where we a nice lunch and we relaxed the rest of the afternoon. About five pm, started a fire in the fire pit and we sat around with an adult beverage until men began to show up for the poker game. By seven, there were eighteen men there. We adjourned to the poker tables and played poker ’til around ten thirty, then back to the fire pit for another round of chat before everyone trickled away for home. We cleaned up the poker mess before retiring sometime between twelve thirty and one am.
(I included the description of their gathering after because it demonstrates for me that there are many really wonderful men in the world, a message not so clear in the media these days. Their “Poker Game” has been a monthly tradition in this smaller community for around 20 years. They rotate the home where it takes place. They have what they call a “Party Bag” (different from a Gift Bag) where each person throws in some of the money they win (they play with quarters) and the money is used for things like replacing the worn out felt on their vintage poker table, or, get this, a nice night on the town with the wives! These guys also golf together, and once a year, they take the Poker Game to a beautiful mountain town many miles away, for a retreat weekend of golf and poker.
I love the men in this small town. I have witnessed several times over the years, how one guy can put out a call for help (or not put it out) and the rest just show up, barn-raising style. It’s just the way they live.
James ends his letter with:
We plan on accepting Applebee’s free dinner for Veteran’s this afternoon. My worker, John is a Navy vet so he’ll get a free meal too. 
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Am I lucky or what??
Again, thank you to all who served, men and women, who made the choice, regardless of their reason. It was a precious, brave and probably unbeknownst to you at the time, a healing decision to make for all of us.
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
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SundaySongLyrics 11/11/18 Theme- Soul

Talk about SOUL!!!

Worth the watch for the drum and guitar solos…but don’t expect to hold still.

Definitely a “pump up the volume” song!!

 

Woodstock….ahh, so close and yet………(another post someday!)

 

(First version, longer but poor video quality)

 

(2nd version shorter but easier to watch)

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 11/11/18

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One Gift Turned into Three

There is a whole HUGE category of people for whom MUSIC speaks way louder and more clearly than any amount of political discussion or rhetoric! Just ask any true Hippie or Flower Child!

MORE MUSIC!!

Here is a second attempt at re-blogging my friend Karuna’s post today.

I”m going to put the main song I want to pass on directly in here, in case the re-blog doesn’t work again, but do visit her sight also. She always has great, beautiful, inspiring stuff there.

https://livinglearningandlettinggo.com/2018/11/02/one-gift-turned-into-three/

 

Living, Learning and Letting Go

A friend just sent me a link to this video. I loved it.

I decided to listen to another one of his other songs. I loved that one too.

Then this video caught my eye. It wasn’t by Keb’Mo’ but I also loved it!

Thanks Vani… for being the person who led me to this string of gifts.

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SongLyricsSunday 6/24/18 Dream

Oh, I so love the opportunity to post one of my favorite songs from one of my top 10 favorite performers. The theme Dream is perfect, although these lyrics are not my favorite part of the song, Sylvan song/Dream of the Archer, by Heart.

My favorite part is that it’s an amazing and complex showcase of this group’s talent. Just listen to these voices and the slow build up and total variety of the instrumental parts (I don’t know the correct musical terminology).

This particular video, for some reason, doesn’t play very well, so crank up your volume. (Well, that’s must when playing anything by those Wilson sisters anyway! Ann is the most talented screamer since Janis Joplin.)

I chose this version because I liked the comments by the person who put together the pictures for it. A wonderful creative and interesting interpretation of the song.

Lyrics
Wayfaring warrior soul, still wild
The archer stands
Arrow measured to the goal, sing of
Strong and living man
In his mind there is a vision wand’ring
Through the forest town
Telling of riches only given if through
The woods the way is found
Crying ah! beautiful dancers wake up
From your sleep!
Ah gentle romancers, drink of love
So sweet!
Treasure glowing in their eyes, forest
Deepens dark their dream
Keep to the pathway he advise the woods
Are more than they might seem
Heed you now the apparition bending never
Ending sounds
Call you into her mystery, are your eyes
Not sparkling now?
Sighing ahh! take you no warning,
Make no foolish fight
Ahh, think not of morning, lie here
Through the night!
Beauty take us! they call in my arms!
They hear her say
Silken web falls, mist illusion rips away
Helpless! helpless! now they scream
Helpless on the path he stands
And awakens from his dream singing string
Beneath his hand
Gentle archer ages old, release the aim
Free the goal
Roll your arrow to my soul, release the aim
Free the goal
Songwriters: Ann Wilson / Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson / Roger Douglas Fisher
Dream of the Archer lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 6/24/18

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Just found a damn good live version here….

SongLyricSunday 3/11/18 Unity

OK, see if you can follow my logic this week. Unity makes me think of the only church I have ever attended with any regularity in my adult life. I picked it in the beginning as a reaction to the oppressive and emotionally blackmailing religious upbringing I had survived. When I first found it, Unity of Bellevue seemed like the place where all the peacenik, flower children had landed.

So I stayed…well, off and on, for more than 40 years now.

I stayed for the open mindedness. I stayed because they had the Galaxy painted on the ceiling of the kids Sunday School area. I stayed because they had a class called The Joy of Sects….go ahead…say it out loud. I stayed because there were these beautiful banners hanging all over the sanctuary, banners of Jewish symbols, because Unity of Bellevue shared it’s building with a local, slightly rebellious Jewish community leaving their main synagogue. I stayed for the workshops and guest speakers, like The Three Amigos (a Unity Pastor, Jewish Rabbi and Muslim Sheikh…Listen at your leisure for a wonderful talk.)

But mostly I kept returning to the Unity church for the music. Every summer in August, they had a service that was a great celebration of music from 40 years before. My favorites were the years 1967 and 1968. It was just music and congregation members standing up and speaking about what that music or year meant to them. I totally regressed and stayed up all night making “love Beads”. Then during the service that Sunday, I wandered through the audience putting necklaces around people’s necks! (Flashbacks of Woodstock!)

Many incredible musicians at this little church but my favorite was these two women named Garnett Hundley and Beverly Daugherty. http://www.garnettandbeverly.com/

Just about anything they sang (and they had a spectacular variety) was fun or beautiful or inspirational.

This is a long way to get to my song for this week, but the following is one of my favorites  songs by those two women I would hear at the Unity church. Maybe not their most beautiful or modern piece, but the message for me is the thing!!

Wish I’d heard this as a squashed kid!!!

 

Couldn’t find the lyrics but again, their website is http://www.garnettandbeverly.com/

Thought I’d include info about this weekly challenge. 

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due and it’s honestly just a simple Google search
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to this post or my own Song Lyric Sunday post
  • Read at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

Feel free to use the Song Lyric Sunday badge by copying it into your post or add it to your site to show you are participating.

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 3/11/18

Communal-Daily Prompt from WP, uh, don’t get me started!

Communal

(disclaimer: wordpress keeps freezing on me and then I lose entire posts because it also does not save drafts for me. This is a late night re-creation of a post I wrote earlier today…and I think the original was a lot better.)

This word is my preferred way of living, by far, and not just because I came of age in the 1960’s when that was all the rage. I did live in actual communes in my late teens and early twenties, and I thrived in that setting!

But really, I was kind of raised that way in the first place.

My Mom was a single working mother and was so well-loved by all of my friends, they all called her “Mom”. At several points in my young life, there were many other kids (besides our three) who either lived with us or crashed on the living room floor in sleeping bags….this latter category often as a short respite from their own broken and painful homes. During my highschool years (before I prematurely left home myself) a few times, my Mom would even find one of her extra “kids’  passed out on our front lawn. She would nurse them back to sobriety and eventually send them to their real homes to try to work things out.

And my mother also had other single-mom friends who would be around (or not), kids in tow (or not). My tiny childhood home, when my Dad was out of the picture, was delightfully unpredictable and often filled with additional people, bringing a variety of interactions, activities, and support. There was always someone to talk to.

When I became a young single mother myself, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to open up my home to other young women in similar boats….the more, the merrier after all. That expanded to renting rooms to students from a very close-by college. And before I knew it, many years of this lifestyle flew by, and I had lived with so many people and kids and animals, I almost lost count. I wrote a post all about it for my friend Badfish. You can read about it here:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/06/13/__trashed-7/

One of my favorite experiences of communal living was on a Once-in-a-Lifetime (which turned out to be twice) extended trip to the South Pacific. Me and my six closest people, as well as a crew of four, lived together on a 95 foot yacht called the Tau, for well over a month. We sailed down around and explored the Southern Lau Islands (Fiji).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lau_Islands

We lived on the TAU (in Fijian, it means friend) and though it was a beautiful and spacious ocean going craft, it could be crowded, so we had to develop some communal living rules to live by (like honoring the silence above deck during sunrise and sunset… Oh, and flushing only 3 squares of T.P. at a time or incurring the wrath of our Captain!)

Now, in these later years of my life, I think my version of Communal Living would be more like some of the wonderful Co-Housing communities born in the greater Seattle area this last 20 years or so. But I currently have a houseful of people I dearly love (my partner, my son and two grandsons, and a long-time family friend…oh and three cats) And we will live together communally in this rustic old house, for as long as the current economy will allow.

I have some very close people in my life-my adopted sister, my son, and my best friend-(all introverts) who cringe at my chosen lifestyle, but they can’t be surprised. Co-Housing and Communal Living is in my my history, my blood, maybe even my genes.

Though I am not a Mormon, my great, great grandfather was Brigham young. If you have come across his history, you know that at least 16 of those 55 wives, lived in row houses close to the Salt Lake City Temple.

And you just know they lived communally.

 

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Anyone know where the weed trimmer is?

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Whose turn is to PAINT?

Gorge for WPC 12/7/17

Gorge

via Daily Prompt: Gorge

Here in the Northwest, the word gorge is definitely a NOUN, not a verb!

It is a DESTINATION! And surely, one of the most spectacular Concert Venues  in the world!

the-gorge

The Columbia River Gorge Amphitheater is a truly amazing  place to see a concert.

My favorite Concert there so far was Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin. What a great line up! They just drifted in and out of each other’s sets like musical butter, so smooth.

The jam they did at the very end was a once in a lifetime combo, so beautiful. Northwest concert goers are relentless in their demands for an encore and these musicians complied by first letting the stage go all dark and quiet, but after 5 full minutes of our insatiable hunger for more, Jackson Browne came back out, sat at the piano in the dark and started his cool song “Stay” (or “the Load Out”). There was an instant standing ovation in recognition from the very first notes on the piano!! The other three joined him, one at a time and they did a generously spectacular 20 minute encore! What a finish.

And it did not hurt our experience at all that we were given “Box” seats for this show. Best view in the “house”, cozy recliners to lounge in, and a button we could push to have someone come bring us wine or hot chocolate, and get this, a BLANKET if we were cold!!! We even had a separate parking area, just feet from where we sat. It was an unexpected bonus! You know how a post-concert throng can be!!

Shawn Colvin was impressive both musically and as a new Mom. To my delight as an old Hippie Flower Child, who proudly breastfed in public long before it was legal in most states, Shawn had to stop in the middle of a song to let her baby GORGE!

 

Disclaimer: I did not take either of these photos. I found them on the Gorge Amphitheater website.