February 12, 2013

Goodbye All.

Wandering and Wondering has been a great experience. I've always loved to write and this was a wonderful arena for exercising that part of my brain.

Lately, I've been very angry and anger, mixed with clinical depression makes for some pretty unattractive writing. I don't want to put more ugliness into the world. There is enough of that out here already.

If I can't write words that inspire or words that lift the spirit then I don't want to write at all.

My mom always told me "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!"   If you knew my mother you would know that she was a great believer in "Do as I say, not as I do!"  I rarely remember anything nice coming out of her.

In a previous post I wrote how words are like swords, when the sword is pulled from the sheath it can be used to maim, slaughter or bestow knighthood.  Until my words can bestow knighthood, I refuse to use them.

I will miss you all. Thank you to those who have read my blog and shared your thoughts. I will still be checking in and reading your blogs.

February 11, 2013

Monday, Monday

Gratitude Journal `

I am thankful that I did not post what I had written this morning.

I have been treated for severe clinical depression for almost a year now.  It hurts to be inside of my own head when I have been so depressed and lacking in hope and faith.

Even more painful is to witness your grandchild while he struggles with depression. It hurts to not be able to reach in and show him what a good man he is, what a good soul. It hurts that you can't erase the ugliness and pain he has endured in the past couple of years. It hurts not to be able to erase the self-doubt instilled in him in the past couple of weeks.

Last night I witnessed my grandson the most distraught he has ever been.   I am thankful he wasn't driving last night. I am thankful he was with us.

February 05, 2013

Mr. Hall ~ What A Mentor!

Yesterday I posted a blog about some experiences from high school. It reminded me of Mr. Hall, Mr. John Robert Hall, my drama teacher at Campbell High School in Campbell, California.

What a man, what a mentor, what a wonderful human being. I met him on the first day of my freshman year. He taught English I - Drama. My family had been very involved in plays and musicals. My mother helped found the San Jose City Children's Operetta Guild. I helped with make-up and costumes and backgrounds, so I thought that Drama would be fun.

Little did I know what a huge impact this class and this man would have on me and every other student in my class.

English is not often thought of as an exciting way to pass an hour of study in high school. English was definitely an exciting hour in Mr. Hall's class, from day one.

We studied plays. We didn't just read them, we devoured them. We tore those plays apart and studied the psychology of each character. We talked about the possibilities of what those characters might have experienced as children or young adults, as wives, as husbands, as mothers, as fathers to make them act the way they did in their roles.

We studied "truth," all the different modes of truth, universal truth, your truth, my truth, their truth. Perspectives of truth. We discussed if there were, indeed, moral truths.

He taught me how to speak to a couple of hundred people as if I was talking to a friend across the table.  He taught me how to laugh at myself.

Sophomore year, I took English II - Drama. Junior year, I took English III - Drama.  Each summer he convinced a couple of dear friends of his to come up to Campbell for the summer and help us with a summer production of various musicals. First year we did "The King and I". I played one of the wives but the best part was sitting in the seats of the auditorium talking about the different characters, the choices they made, the consequences of those choices, how those choices affected the other characters. We talked about how our choices impact our lives and the lives of those close to us, even the lives of our unborn children or the partners we would choose in the future.

I learned how to apply stage make-up. I learned how to build sets, I discovered that I was an artist and had some real talent.  I discovered that I could sew and I sewed some pretty spectacular costumes and props.

We presented Brigadoon. What wonderful music, what incredible dancing and singing but that all took a second place to the joy. Joy of creating, joy of being a part of a team. Joy of having an adult who believed in you, pushed you to be a better you.

I remember Mr. Hall's laugh. I remember his smile. I remember how he always called me by my last name, called everyone by their last names unless he had a nickname for you. Once he called you a name, Twiggy, Hammerhead, Circus, it stuck with you.  I have found that at school reunions I remember nicknames and have a hard time remembering given names.

Senior year in our high school, the only English class available was English IV - Literature. Mr. Tarr;s class (another incredible teacher but that will have to be another blog).  BUT, there was an elective class available to Juniors and Seniors. Theater Arts. The first year it was offered was my senior year. We seniors always thought Mr. Hall created it just for our class. You see, Mr. Hall's first year at Campbell High School was our first year too.  We felt like he felt like we were his kids, though he called us his clowns or his clunkers.  I think he felt that he would miss us as much as we missed him if we couldn't share that hour a day discussing "the bigger picture."

Mr. Hall taught us about life. He walked us through it.  He helped us test the waters of life through drama. His impact on all of us was unmeasurable.

I still talk with friends from high school (45 years later) and they will often make a comment about how "Mr. Hall once said...", "Mr. Hall told me...," "I didn't do it because I remember when Mr. Hall said...."

I tried looking him up about 35 years after graduation. I wanted to thank him for his time, his dedication, his "Mr. Hall-ness" in my life. He had passed away. The person I talked to told me that Mr. Hall and his wife had never had any children of their own. I knew better. Mr. Hall had several hundred children of his own and we loved him very much.

February 01, 2013

...and He shall be called Yeshua

Do you have your candles ready?

It is Candlemas, Imbolic.  Today is the day (or tomorrow if you prefer) the ancients lit candles to welcome the light. The days were getting lighter. I believe Imbolic is Celt for "in the belly".  Many farm animals would be gestating at this time. Plows would be blessed. Longer days celebrated and homes blessed. It is the Festival of the Lights! A time of hope and faith and and looking forward.

Tomorrow is also the Purification of the Virgin celebration.   Women who had just given birth couldn't go into the church for 40 days. They were unclean!  It will be the anniversary of Yeshua or Jesus being named. In the time of his birth babies were not formally named for 40 days because they couldn't go into a church for 40 days. Can you imagine, Mary, the mother of Christ being considered unclean? It will be 40 days since His birth; December 25.

So, tomorrow will also be the anniversary of when the baby Jesus could be exorcised and the Virgin Mary could be purified and again, enter the church.  Babies could not be named until they had received an exorcism.

If that little bit of news hasn't torked your sensibilities, maybe this will. If a woman gave birth to a girl baby, she was unclean for 80 days!

I try understand this ancient way of thinking. I can see how frightened men in ancient times would fear a woman who was bleeding with out a wound and surviving. A man could not bleed unless he was sorely wounded, nor could he bleed as much without becoming gravely ill. But I don't understand why churches today observe the view of women being unclean for 40 days after birth and not being allowed to bring a new baby or herself into the church for 40 days. I believe that Eastern Orthodox still practice this  tradition. It surprises me that Eastern Orthodox churches have any women left attending but I, for one, would have moved on to a tradition that honored the birth and newborn babies. But, hey, that's just me.

I am a Christian and yet there are times it is easier for me to understand and respect neo-Pagan or ancient Celtic traditions and ideas than I can Christian traditions and ideas.

I am thankful that the days are longer.
I am thankful for the buds on my lilacs.
I am thankful for mid-day naps in the sun.
I am thankful for the aroma of chicken soup from the kitchen.
I am thankful for Friday evenings with my granddaughters.