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.)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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
____________________________________________________________________________________

 

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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9/11/18

A couple of years ago, on this date, I posted about 9/11. Maybe you’ll read it and let me know what you think.

It starts like this…

Song Lyric Sunday, 9-11-16

I couldn’t write this on Sunday. I couldn’t even think about it on Sunday. I do not understand why the anniversary THIS year would be any more difficult than all the other years but finally realized, for 13 of the last 15 years since it happened, I have done something on the anniversary with all that grief.

 

(I noticed, going back to find this, that the song I originally chose didn’t work so I’ll try this one here)

 

Please read my earlier post (link below) if you like and join me in remembering…..

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/09/14/song-lyric-sunday-9-11-16/

SongLyricSunday…on Friday, 9/7/18

I have had a grief-filled week and came across this song. (Thank you Carol.)

Nothing to do with cars, and I could save it until this theme comes around someday, but today is when I needed it, and there it was. It might not be new to others but a wonderful surprise for me.

The music is lovely and haunting, and the video is beautiful.

Full screen and volume up for this one.

I am resilient I trust the movement I negate the chaos Uplift the negative I’ll show up at the table Again and again and again I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen These times are poignant The winds have shifted It’s all we can do To stay uplifted Pipelines through backyards Wolves howling out front Yeah I got my crew but truth is what I want Realigned and on point Power to the peaceful, prayers to the waters Women at the center All vessels open to give and receive Let’s see this system brought down to its knees I’m made of thunder, I’m made of lightning I’m made of dirt, yeah Made of the fine things My father taught me That I’m a speck of dust and this world was made for me so let’s go and try our luck I’ve got my roots down down down deep So what are we doing here What has been done What are you going to do about it When the world comes undone My voice feels tiny And I’m sure so does yours Put us all together we’ll make a mighty roar I am resilient I trust the movement I negate the chaos Uplift the negative I’ll show up at the table again and again and again I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen…

 

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 9/2/18

SongLyricSunday 8/19/18 Theme-Fear

It may be a stretch but I knew I was going to pick an Aretha song before Helen (from https://helenswordsoflife.com/2018/08/18/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-8-19-18/) even posted. I even knew which song and then the theme she picked was perfect because even though originally, the song sounded like it was about a relationship, it was really political.

Seems to me that it’s still perfect today.

I am definitely afraid….

 

SHOW LESS

Not sure if these lyrics match this version of the song but here’s my choice for today.
Lyrics
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Think (think, think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
Let’s go back, let’s go back
Let’s go way on back when
I didn’t even know you
You couldn’t have been too much more than ten (just a child)
I ain’t no psychiatrist, I ain’t no doctor with degrees
It don’t take too much high IQ’s
To see what you’re doing to me
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Yeah, think (think, think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
Oh, freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom)
Oh, freedom, yeah, freedom
Freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom)
Freedom, oh freedom
Hey, think about it, think about it
There ain’t nothing you could ask
I could answer you but I won’t (I won’t)
I was gonna change, but I’m not
To keep doing things I don’t
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Think (think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
People walking around everyday
Playing games, taking score
Trying to make other people lose their minds
Ah, be careful you don’t lose yours, oh
Think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me, ooh
Think (think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
You need me (need me)
And I need you (don’t you know)
Without each other there ain’t nothing people can do, oh
Think about it, baby (What are you trying to do me)
Yeah, oh baby, think about it now, yeah
(Think about, ah me, think about, ah me)
(Think about, ah me, think about, ah me)
Oh, come on, baby
Songwriters: Aretha Franklin / Ted White
Think lyrics © Springtime Music Inc

And in case you missed it this week, this is my favorite video tribute to the Queen of Soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 8/19/18