Zen


Teachers are allotted only a window of time with their students.  Once the student has exhausted this learning period; the teacher’s responsibility ends and the student must go on.  The student must accept this ending and may only bow in respect to the teacher, for the opportunity to learn has now passed.  It is now the student’s time; not to mourn the absence of the teacher, but to continue the quest for knowledge.

 

 

Only with a closed mouth and open mind will a student see the multitude of offer for infinite challenge and opportunity on the road to enlightenment.  Any valid word from a student to a teacher shall be but a question posed when the time is offered for such.  Fussing over disagreement or materialism will only slow the journey, and our time is short.

 

 

The most important rule is recognition that you are but a student.  Worry not.  Close your mouth.  Open your mind.  Work diligently.  Be peaceful.  For all the while in being a disciplined student, you’ve become a teacher.

 

 

~padinkydink



Serenity


I found myself tossing and turning at 3am.  Part of me thinks it was because I went to bed at a decent hour and my body rejects a good night’s sleep.  The rest of me knows it is because there are too many thoughts swirling around in my melon.  So I am here.  I was raging against the very machine that I should be fueling.  When the urge to write hits me, I need to go with it.  This shit would be way more convenient if I was being paid to do it, but alas!  I am still here.

 

Before my mother in law Mama Judy died I had the privilege to have a 2 hour phone conversation with her, which I recorded.  I called her from our home phone, then put her on speaker and recorded us with my cell phone.  I still have it.  I have only listened to it once.  She was aware it was being recorded, because she knew her cancer was terminal and I asked her if I could write her memoir.  It was our intent to have these conversations every week and touch on subjects leading up to the day our lives intersected and forward.   I wanted a piece of her to pass along to my kids and hers, and theirs when they have them.  Unfortunately for us, my busy life and her illness progression got in the way and our first recorded conversation we recorded turned out to be the only one we would ever have.  I’ve listened to it only once.  Two days after she passed away I was home alone missing her, and I listened to it in its entirety.  I didn’t realize how much I miss her until yesterday.  It was then that I found that I can’t even talk about her to strangers without losing my composure.

 

On the day I was listening to our conversation I heard the doorbell ring, so I had to pause the playback.  I opened the door to find our postal carrier holding a piece of registered mail that required my signature.  The letter was a long-anticipated update regarding a very long, drawn-out modification involving a custody/child support modification from my first marriage.  I was ecstatic to open the letter, I rushed inside and tore it open…quickly I realized it was just the news I had hoped for, and I was elated!  I ran back to my bed where I had just been sitting before the doorbell rang and grabbed the very phone I had just paused and held it to my ear and said “Mama!  Guess what!!”…and then it hit me.  Then I cried.  A lot.  That was nearly 3 months ago and I truly thought I had been handling my grief well, if you consider ignoring it handling it.  Two days ago I was speaking to a person in the child support modification unit regarding the letter.  I had called to check the status of the case, and she said the case was being held up because they had never received the paper I signed showing that I had received the letter.  She asked me if I remembered the day I received it…well of course I remember.  I told her I knew the exact date and when I recounted the event to her I heard my voice start to quiver.  I cleared my throat and apologized, I think I made her cry too.

 

April 29th would have been Mama’s 54th birthday.  I still want to call her just to say hi.  I want to send her pictures of the kids, I tagged her in some today on Facebook.  I have accepted that she is gone, but I guess I still can’t believe it.  When I was looking through my boxes of papers recently I found several birthday cards from her.  Her penmanship looked like calligraphy.  She never missed an occasion to send a card.   She sent centerpieces for holiday meals where she couldn’t attend.  Once I had forced my way into her life, she considered me her daughter; not her daughter-in-law or some chick her step-son was married to.  She considered me her daughter.  She loved my children as if they were her biological grandchildren, and none of them are.  The most important thing about my love for James and his family is that they understand that I am not just me.  When he married me, he married 3 people.  It’s not always an easy thing to marry into an ‘instant-oatmeal’ family as my cousin Ray calls it.  Most of the time there is a difficult transition for the ‘outsider’ to come in and sometimes they never really ‘fit’ in.  It’s a risky business at times.  But not for us.  James found me and my kids and couldn’t wait to sign on.  I have never felt a moment of awkwardness and neither have they.  His dad (Papa James) was the same way; when he married Judy she also had 2 kids.  He loved Kurt and Tiffany like they were biologically his and took on the role of their dad and raised them alongside his own children.  I am thankful for many things, but most thankful that James learned this wonderful trait from his dad.

 

Until Papa James and Judy died, I didn’t believe I had ever had the bittersweet luxury of the time to prepare, as if that’s really possible.  Each of them knew they had cancer.  They each knew they were going to die, so they said all the things they needed to say before they passed on.  In hindsight, I guess we all know we are going to die.  We each have every day of our lives while we are here to say all the things we need to say, but too often it takes a tragedy to awaken that part of us.  I’ve always been a passionate person.  I’ve had the unfortunate experience of losing many people I’ve loved dearly, and as a result of that I know that when you have something to say, you should say it.  It requires strength, courage, and sometimes embarrassment because people sometimes tend to think you are a weirdo, but I do it anyway.  My main goal in this life is to be good.  I am not always good at it, but I try nonetheless.  In order to become enlightened one must absorb all facets of their surroundings and truly be alive and aware inside each moment.  Stop for a second.  Really think about that.  Today, appreciate beauty in all things.  Listen when people talk.  I mean REALLY listen.  Don’t just nod your head and wait for your turn to speak.  Find comfort.  Find peace.  When you do all these things then you can share all these things.  I feel love and happiness in my life.  I am blessed with memories of those who have transcended to a different place, and comfort in knowing I am loved by my husband and children and many family and friends.  I am still here.  I am putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward every day.  Sometimes the days go by so quickly and others seem to creep by, but inside of each moment I try to find peace and serenity.  It isn’t always easy, but that’s how life is.

 

I know today will be a good day.  If my heart were a magic 8-ball and I asked it if today would be good…it would say ‘It is decidedly so.’

 

~P

 

 

 

 

 

 



4 Things


I just want to preface my little belch here before I ruffle any feathers. I don’t want to offend anyone. We live in a country where we all have the right to speak freely about any topic and we can all have different opinions, I for one am thankful for that, because wouldn’t this world be a boring place if we were all alike?

In my adult life I have noticed four topics that are rarely spoken of. People don’t discuss these things unless they are sure they are in a safe setting where everyone will agree with them. I find it very disheartening when I encounter people who hold their beliefs so close that they can’t open their eyes and see that there may be another angle from which to view things.

We live in a cynical, yet somehow politically polite world where we all try to say the right thing at the right time, so as not to offend anyone around us. What a shame. I rather enjoy being offensive. It just doesn’t pull down as many laughs as it used to, instead it brings about awkward silences and ill placed segways into other conversation. Pity.

Ok…I am rambling, where was I going with this? Oh yes, the four things.

Abortion
Sexuality
Politics
Religion

You can relate all four to one another on some level. In my experience, I have found that people generally have a strong opinion about each. Most of the time, our views are largely based on how we were raised. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we hold the same views as our parents. The way I see it, we have choices. We can become “like” our parents, (that’s the easy route), we can do things our own way, and there’s a happy medium in there somewhere. I do not bust my ass to be poitically correct by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t go out of my way to offend either. That being said, if you are offended by any of this – please accept my apology. I don’t have any specific person(s) in mind as I write this.

Abortion

Abortion. Webster’s defines abortion as the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus to end a pregnancy. May as well get righ to the point here. I am pro choice with some limitations. I don’t agree with the practice of having unprotected sex, then using this approach as birth control multiple times. I don’t condone partial-birth abortion. I believe that nightmarish shit happens sometimes that some of us can’t even fathom having to live through; and I am thankful that there is a way to handle it. I believe this practice should remain legal, and if there should ever come a day when it isn’t, I believe people will find a less sanitary, no- guidelines way to do it and that is much worse than the way it is done now. In my opinion, people who adamantly protest abortion (in some cases) have not been faced with the difficult decision. It is difficult for me to respect the opinions of those who speak about things they have not experienced.

Sexuality. I don’t really understand why this is a controversial topic. If you are heterosexual/homosexualSexuality, you were born that way. Nothing “turns” people gay or makes people straight. Think of this society and how difficult life has proven to be at atleast SOME point in the life of a homosexual person. What kind of masochist would choose that? I grew up in a small town. I have gay friends who grew up there too. I can’t even begin to imagine how torturous it must have been for them as they were struggling with the realization of their “taboo”. I can not imagine what it would be like having something that comprises so much of who I am – stifled to that extreme. It is the equivalent of me trying to hide the fact that I am short. There are laws preventing gay marriage. Why is that even a topic? Why do people get to vote on that?? How is any one human who was born heterosexual more significant than someone who wasn’t? It’s really just a roll of the dice. Why can’t all people just have the same rights across the board? If you are of the age of consent to be married, you should just grab the hand of the person you want to marry, ask them to marry you, then go get married. Period.

PoliPoliticstics. This is a pretty broad subject, but I am talking in general about Democrats vs. Republicans. To me, it’s just one more label to slap on each other, and it’s all about someone else having control over you. It’s kinda like high school, being a Prep or a Dork or a Jock or a Skank or whatever you called people at your high school.

I am conservative about very little, and pretty liberal about most things. I don’t believe in “good old fashioned” much. I love my family and I go to work every day to make money to provide for them. At the risk of sounding unintelligent I will say that I don’t really see the importance of being committed to one party over another. Did you ever see the episode of South Park where the choices for the election are the douche bag or the shit sandwich? That’s pretty much how it is anyway. No matter who we elect, that person made promises to you that he/she can’t keep. There is no way to please everyone all the time. How can we be so simple as to think that one person can really take care of ALL the crap they promised on their campaign?

We have a habit of making celebrities out of people in this country, and most of the time, they can never really wrap their head around fame and what it does to their life. It will make or break you. Most of the time it breaks you. Most people in the spotlight cash in at some point and become a puppet in the big show, losing the beliefs they promised to uphold to avoid the risk of becoming “unpopular.” The toy inside rarely resembles the picture on the box. It isn’t their fault. Fame is just bigger than life, even when you are a politician. Imagine that pressure for a moment. Imagine signing up for that!

Last but nReligionot least, Religion. I believe this one ties the other three together. Most of the beliefs people hold regarding abortion, sexuality, and politics are based inside their religious beliefs. I was raised Baptist. So basically I can quote half the bible, King James Version, and I can drink and lie about it. Beyond that I was raised with basic morals that I still carry with me today, but I no

longer take the bible as literally.

I was raised with the concept that all Christians were trying to get to one place, then I met some Catholics who thought it was really fun to poke fun at me for being Baptist. That really opened my eyes to the fact that Christianity can’t possibly be the only way to believe. I have tried to learn as much as I can about all sorts of different religions. I have only attended Christian churches, and the other religions I know a scrap of anything about I learned from reading.

I will say that my most recent finding is that Buddhism is the closest “anything” that resembles what I believe, (it’s not even technically a religion.) It is difficult now for me to abandon all the things I learned as a child and to flat out say, “I don’t believe in God.” Mostly because as Christians, we are trained to believe that it’s blasphemy to say such a thing, and the moment it rings aloud people instantly go to the other extreme an assume…”You don’t believe in God, so you worship Satan.” It is a very difficult thing for me to say out loud, but after much soul searching, it’s how I feel, and based solely on what I have seen in my life and things I have experienced. If you believe you are a good Christian, you may feel the urge to pray for me. In my experience, instead of praying for someone or trying to “bring the lost sheep back to the fold” non-believers are abandoned and shunned by fellow Christians for not believing. They are harshly judged and mocked and disallowed. Practice what you preach people!! Take a good look in the mirror. Some of the most judgmental people on earth are religious. “Soldiers in God’s Army”, the same son of God who has sent you out to spread the gospel – the good word that tells you we are all equal; and if you only believe in Him you will have everlasting life…but they will drop you like third period French if you don’t believe what they say and think like they think. Seeing is not believeing. Belief is blind faith. Belief is not witnessing, instead it’s thinking that what you have heard about is real. Seeing is proof. I have not seen therefore I do not believe. I do trust Kharma. I do know that what you do in this life comes back to you, not always in the same form. So be good to each other.

If we all treat one another with equality and try to be fair, we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes before we act on our impulses. If we do that, we reciprocate respect. If we do that, this world we live in becomes a better place.

As I said before, I am thankful for the forum to be able to use my voice to say what I believe and be able to do it in such a wonderful country. I am thankful for the freedom men and women have fought for so I can say all the things I just said and not have to look over my shoulder in fear of my life or security. I have opened myself here and shared what I believe about very sensitive top secret stuff. I still have an open mind. I hope you do too. I have not put these things out there to try to sway anyone to believe as I do. If you are my friend you will appreciate my beliefs as I do yours.

Peace.