July 23, 2013

What Do You Ache For?

Monday, as is typical, started with a little list of "to do" items.

Not many, write a letter, post office, make a couple of phone calls,  and continue on a research project. Rex, my shedding border collie, rode shot-gun and we completed the away-tasks and headed home to work on the at-home tasks.

I was driving my husband's little chevy...shedded dog hair doesn't show up as much on darker upholstery! My husband's little chevy has darker upholstery.  As I pulled into the driveway, the speaker on Frank's CD asked a question; a question I cannot get out of my mind.

He asked, "What do you want to do so much that it makes your heart ache?"

After a short pause, he states, "Then do it!"

What do I desire so much that it makes my heart ache not doing it?"

I would have to break that up into several categories....ah...but isn't that just another way of putting off what I ache to do?

First, I'll make a list, then prioritize it, make a "world" column, a "self" column and a "family" column.
Who knows how long that would take to complete, maybe could keep the ache going for a week, maybe more.

Then there is the list of tools and preparations....why, I could keep the ache in my heart and put off living the dream for months, for years!

Why do we do that? Why do we keep the ache and puttoff the "doing"?

You know what I want to do so much that it makes my soul, let alone my heart, ache? I want to feed the children of the world. I want each and every child to feel safe and loved. I want, I ache, for each child to realize self-worth and self-empowerment!

What am I doing about that? Truly, what am I doing? I can't fix all their little lives but what can I do today and tomorrow for one or two children?

I want to write, I want to create, I want to paint. I want to move out of the city, I don't belong in city limits, I can't hear crickets and frogs over the trucks and the helicopters.  I hear sirens every day and every night.

My heart aches that I am surrounded by so many people who believe the path they choose to follow is the one, the only, the true path to God. According to them, there is no other path, so they find it right and just to be cruel, judgemental and many times, down right ugly to journeyers on another path. My heart aches when their religion is used as a weapon.

My heart aches when I hear a door slam.

My heart aches that we surround ourselves with fear and accept the seeds of more fear, greater fear, from the media every day. My heart aches that we don't choose to feel joy...

What do you ache for?  What do you want to do you long for so bad that it hurts not to do it?

July 19, 2013

How Long Since....

Photo Courtesy of milibrary.com
When was the last time you wrote a love letter?

Not a little "I love you" at the bottom of the grocery list:

Raisin Bran
luv u!

I don't mean the 8 or 9 words you scribbled on the birthday card as you sat in the parking lot of Rite-Aid?

A Smiley Face on a lunch sack doesn't count either.

When was the last time you dug out a beautiful sheet of stationary, sat quietly, putting pen to paper and wrote:

My Dearest Love.....

My Darling.....

Did you tell her how you much you love the way she touches your back until you fall asleep?

Did you tell him how awesome you feel when he places his hand at the small of your back when you cross the street together or how you love how he holds your face when he kisses you?

Have you shared with your lover how wonderful it is to reach out in the middle of the night with your foot or your hand and feel their warmth and their presence?  Have you put it down on paper what a blessing their presence is to you?

Have you written a love letter to your child? My Darling Daughter, My Dearest Son?  What a blessing you are in my life. Have I ever told you how much you mean to me?

When you take the time to share those marvelous moments with someone you love, it truly says:

I love you, even when I can't see you, even when I'm not with you.

Pick up that pen. Cut out a sheet of paper from a grocery sack if you need to, but write that letter!

Don't wait until tomorrow!

Half Past Early

One of my favorite things to do is jump out of bed before dawn. Jump in the car and drive east.

I like to find a vantage point where I can observe the eastern mountains take shape as the light gently appears behind them. The silhouette of a mountain range is glorious. Wakey, Wakey, Mountains!

This morning's sunrise did not disappoint. My pup, Rex, sat at attention, watching with me.

The air?  Motionless.

The surroundings? Serene.

Nocturnal beings had all returned to their daytime abodes; birds had not yet left the safety of their night time perches.

The gradient colors of the sky slowly shifting from dark purples to lilacs to oranges to and, finally, with one big burst from behind the mountain...blue!

Show over. We turn the car west, to home.  As I drive, I wonder what else is as affirmed as the sun rising every morning....

Potential. Abundance. Hope. Love. Dreams. Possibilities....oh, yes...and sunsets!

Where will you be at sunset?

Will you be watching?  Will you observe alone or with your arms around a loved one?  Will you stand at the side of a lake and skip rocks into the sunset?

Will you sit on the beach and listen to the waves accompany the sun's departure?

July 18, 2013

Power of Vision

Remember when Bing Crosby played the mechanic who hits his head and wakes up in the days of King Arthur?Hank Martin was the mechanic's name; the movie is Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court from the book written by Mark Twain.  One of my favorite quotes from the movie is  "“You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

In today's world, I believe a lot of imaginations are out of focus.

Matthew Kelly, a motivational speaker and author, tours the states with a program he calls Passion and Purpose. On one of his CD's, he describes our culture with a litany of metaphors. The one that really sticks in my mind is  "our window displays are full but the stock rooms are empty."

The commercials on television tell us how "cool" or "number 1" we will be if we just purchase   new cars, new clothes, visit fancy resorts and own the newest phone. We see women in tiny undies and bras that push their breasts all the way up to Maine!  Television and movies teach us that values and character are archaic shadows of the past.

The Real Housewives of Wherever teach us to gossip, back-stab and purge!  Reality shows knock home the message "the end justifies the means" and "MEAN" is the key word!

Can you imagine a world where no child goes hungry at night?  Can you imagine a world where a child is safe and warm at night? Not just your child but child! This world can happen if we change our focus from our display windows to our stock rooms.

Can you imagine a world where teachers, the men and women who are with our children every day, 6 to 8 hours a day, for at least 13 years,are paid a quarter of what an NFL or NBA player makes?  Can you imagine a world where an NFL player, who makes millions of dollars a year, can use a grammatically correct sentence when interviewed after the game?

Our "Window Displays" are full of bright, shiny new trucks, sweatshirts announcing our allegiance to teams from Green Bay or Seattle. Display windows are filled with men and women in $2000 suits and big smiles, promising changes in the Senate or Congress; Bankers with private planes and second and third vacation homes.

What is in our stock rooms?

Look into the shadows of those rooms.  See if you can find integrity, compassion, honor?  Look hard and see if you can find any boxes the word "VISION" stamped on it. Look for a crate that might be labeled "INTENTION"!

Now these boxes may be small but if we (WE meaning men, women and children) use our power of imagination, we can fill the stock rooms with values, with character.

Remember, the power of vision is not just what you see.  The power of vision is what you feel, what you believe, what you dream.  When you feel it, believe it dream it, then put your shoulder and your intention into it. Lean into it. You will be powerful; we will be powerful.

We are the caretakers of this earth and each other.  Our allegiance cannot be so focused on money, on winning, the Dallas Cowboys or Exxon, the bottom line, that we toss each other aside.

Ah, yes, another thing we've learned from reality tv, "Throwing each other under the bus!"  That seems to be another one of our new themes.

Our culture has made it a joke that after a woman has paraded across the stage for millions to see her in her bathing suit and a designer gown, she is interviewed. We ridicule the possibility that she may answer an interview question with the statement "World Peace!"

What is wrong with world peace? Surprisingly and sadly, there is plenty wrong with World Peace!

World Peace doesn't ad $ to the already bulging pockets of the rich, world peace and protecting our planet does not fit into the long range plans of the corrupt. World Peace is not a phrase that many Corporations like to see or hear.

I've got news for some of you, Corporations are not sentient beings....I don't care what state has declared they are!

That brings me back to one of the best quotes from Connecticut Yankee.

It's good old Hank, the mechanic who shares his wisdom, again.  He states, "“My kind of loyalty is loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”

We are the "country", "We, The People"! As many astronauts have declared, Earth is home! There are no boundaries from space. "We, The People" it should mean all of us!

Let's use our imagination. Let's combine our vision and intention.  Let's expect a miracle!

July 14, 2013

Oops! Getting Snarly

Snarly! Good word, though I am not sure it is a word....if it isn't it should be!

Snarly is how I'm feeling. I can feel the skin on my nose scrunched up and wrinkly, my upper lip is curled, showing those sharp canine teeth (actual word is cuspid, but it really lacks drama....there's no teeth in it, if you know what I mean).  There is a furrow between my eyes.  That sounds snarly to me!

I can't be nice and I can't want to be nice!

Seems that in the last week or so, I am focused on a lot of ugly, unfair stuff in the world!

There is an unending number of choices to make, right now, to change my focus and mood. I've narrowed them down to two:

1.   Blow stuff up....(too messy and I'd probably lose fingers which would really piss me off!).

2.  Go back to journaling gratitude....(what the hell! Just hanging around scowling anyway!).

I am thankful that when I snarl, my lips, nose and furrow don't stay that way like Mom said they would!

I am thankful I don't live in Florida, humidity, hurricanes and cockroaches the size of short stocky....wait, Toni...positive thoughts here!

I am thankful that Granddaughter One is awesome at softball and loves it.

I am thankful that Granddaughter Three quit softball because some of the adults around her made it not be fun. Stand your ground, Katie Rae!

I am thankful for whole wheat toast, red potatoes roasted in rosemary olive oil and fried eggs.

I am thankful for choices.

Snarly or Joyful.....hmm.

Let's take a closer look.

Snarly, according to Dictionary-dot-com, snarly is defined:

 1. an adjective, meaning knotty or tangled;                                    
 2. Snarl, a verb, to growl viciously
 3. Snarl, a vicious growl or facial expression

Joyful, let's stick with Dictionary.com:
1.glad, delighted.....bringing or causing delight.

Well, hell, I guess I'll choose Joyful.....but I am not making any promises!                                                     

July 13, 2013

Is it Just Me?

One week ago, 29 students were killed in an attack upon a school. The vicious attack, just before dawn, when most of the children and teachers were sleeping. The monsters attacking the school. not only lit the school on fire. but they cowardly shot children in the back as they ran away from the burning school.  Twenty-nine children died and one teacher.

Reports say dozens of children ran into the bush and have not been seen since.

The United Nations Children's Fund, according to the Washington Post, states that Nigerian extremist leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau,  denies killing students, yet 48 children have been brutally killed since June. He and his sick rebels are also responsible for the death of 7 teachers. Boko Haram means Western Education is sinful!

Children being shot in the back, shot in the chest and burned alive...is that sinful, Mr. Shekau? I thought the Islamic religion did not allow harming of women and children.

Children being burned alive in their beds because they are attending a "Western" school instead of an Islamic religious school.

What are we going to do about this? Do we sit back and let another holocaust happen in our world?

Let me tell you how concerned we are about what is going on in our world.

Yahoo reports that the trending searches today are:
Anne Heche, George Zimmerman, Prince William, KTVU apologizes, and (OMG) Food Stamps!

Google's trends for this month are facebook, youtube, google, free, you, hotmail and on and on with mundane keywords.

Bing, oh yeah, Bing's search engine is being used for much deeper searches. Popular searches for the day: Britney Spears, Leah Remini-Scientology, Andrew-someone, Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington.

This is taking place in Nigeria. Are we doing nothing because Nigeria has no rich resource that our nation is interested in?

So many people are glued to the television to see what the results of the trial of Zimmerman and the death of one child but what about the deaths of 48?  Is it not important because it's "over there"?

I can't directly quote this, can't recall who initially stated it, but I am feeling it today.

"Just between you and me...."

Can we discuss confidentiality?

My family has a long history of secret keeping! Wait, let me tweak that just a tad to make it more accurate, my family has a long history of whispering behind closed doors and in the shadows about assumptions of other people in the family.

I am not talking about my immediate family, but generations of whisperers.  There are so many "secrets" floating "out there" that we could drown in them if we gave them any attention or credence.

"Just between you and me, uncle said this about....." 

"Don't tell anyone but...Great-grandma said this one day about...."

"Keep this on the down-low but word is that your dad......"

"Don't tell Toni but Mom said...."

Having grown up with secrets slowly sucking the life out of me; defining myself by ugly secrets and being taught how to lie and disguise my authentic self, I am making a stand and an announcement, here and now.

I said it before but I am making a Public Announcement. Don't tell me anyone's shit!

If you want to confide in me, something about you, how you are feeling, something that you are scared of, something personal...I will honor it. What you have shared with me will go to the crematorium with me and up in smoke with everything but my titanium knee.

But if you were told something about someone else, in confidence, and you want to "share it with me," think again. I don't want to hear it. If that's what you do with someone else's confidence than tell them upfront, "Don't share that with me because I can't keep a secret!"  Be honest!  There is no shame in honesty.

If someone told someone who told someone who told someone who told someone to "keep it between you and me" and the last someone tries to share it with you, call them on it.

What is the trade off?  Lets see, Integrity vs Knowing-some-thing-someone-said-about-someone-else-who-said-it-about-some-one-else.  Doesn't seem like much of a dilemma to me.

When you repeat something ugly that someone said to a third person you are spreading an ugly cancer in our world. If someone trashes someone else and you have a burning desire to share it then call the person talked about, not a third party.

When you have already told a third party and it gets back to the person who the crap was about, it feels like a martial-arts kick in the gut.  And don't get all "Hey, I told you that in confidence" and don't bullshit the subject of the crap by trying to tell them "don't make a big deal out of it!"

YOU are the one who made a big deal out of it when you shared it with someone else.

July 12, 2013


Yesterday evening, there we a slight breeze blowing through the tops of the trees.

I was in the pool, floating on my back.

For awhile I had my eyes closed and as I floated I could hear,only, my heartbeat and my breathing.
When I opened my eyes, the monterey pine was just above me, branches gently swaying. The movement seemed to be in synchrony with my breathing and quiet beating of my heart.

From the pool, I could see a tall Mimosa type tree, the pine, a tall palm tree and a tall stretch of cypress trees.  It was so peaceful to float in the clear water and watch the leaves and branches sway according to their own weight and energy.

Blue sky, water, nature, breathe....life.  It was beautiful.

July 10, 2013


Communitatem, Latin for community or fellowship comes from the root, comunis, meaning "common, public, shared by all."

The World English dictionary defines communion as a noun meaning
"1. an exchange of thoughts, emotions, etc.
 2. possession, or sharing in common
 3. strong emotional or spiritual feelings"

The additional definitions are religious based and for the purpose of this writing, I am leaving them out, though I believe in communion with the Divine and, as a Catholic, I receive the Eucharist on Sundays which is also called communion.

"An exchange of thoughts and emotions, sharing in common, strong emotional or spiritual feelings."

What a blessing to have relationships, any relationship, where communion is an aspect of the bond.

Synonyms for communion would include fellowship, harmony, intimacy, rapport, participation, togetherness and, my favorite, unity.

On the other hand, the antonyms read like a late night cop show; antagonism, contention, disagreement, discord, division, hostility. Add that all up, sounds like Disunity!

So, how do we find communion in a relationship?  Do we keep our "exchange of thoughts" to what we know our friends, family or, more importantly, our spouse will agree with 100%?

"Wow, hot outside!"

"You look good today!"

"Did you hear about the fire on the hill?"

"How about those Niners?"

If they ask you, "Hey, what do you think about....?" Do you jump to the defense of whatever you think they are attacking or do you share your ideas, even if you know your ideas are different from their's?

 If you just go along for the ride, keep conversation neutral, tell them what you know they want to hear, what do you think would happen to your soul? Would it wither? Would you wonder about the honesty of their love for you?

If you've asked the question and the response is not aligned with your thoughts about the subject, do you listen and try to understand? Or, do you raise your voice and belittle their response?

Now, A bigger picture.  Take those people, friends, family or spouse who don't have communion. They  swallow who they are and keep it buried for fear of conflict or hostility or Disunity. Now add Community to the mix.

Ow! Sounds like hell to me.

How do we commune with the old guy across the street if we can't be open, honest and ourselves with those we love?  How do we commune with the lady from a different country who dresses different? How do we exchange ideas if we are afraid to open our mouths?

How do we learn?

How do we grow?

I am realizing, more and more, that quiet contemplation with the Divine is, truly, a good idea.  Monks and Nuns have found a place, within, where real communion can happen. If I have questions about God, about Good, about Evil? I can close my eyes and ask God and then listen for the answer.

I have just two more questions, Dearest Creator.
1. Is religion supposed to be an axe or an invitation?
2. What is more important: truth or peace?

Oh, wait, there is a big debate down here about truth, everybody seems to know what it is but me....can you help me out with that too?

July 09, 2013


Years ago, too many to divulge in public, I was pregnant with my daughter. I already had two young sons; oldest was 4, youngest was 2.

My baby bump was more of a small vertical mountain rather than a mere bump! Baby girl was due anytime.  Walking is a good way to pass the time when you are carrying a 12 pound baby, as sitting is most uncomfortable!

As long as we were going to be walking, we took the boys to the San Francisco Zoo. Formerly called the Fleishhacker Zoo, you can see why the name was changed...I'm sure it made German speaking animals very nervous.

The day was beautiful. No fog, clear skies, ocean breeze.  All the inmates....I mean, residents were in their outside spaces. 

We approached the gorilla enclosure from the south side. It was a large round space, half of it open to the elements with trees, rocks, grass, the other half was protected housing.

A female gorilla left her position in the shade of a tree and slowly started following us around the perimeter. She kept her eye on me the whole time.

My boys were enjoying watching the big guys and the babies so we really took our time.

As we reached the north end, we stopped again. The female gorilla then laid on her back on the ground. In that position it was very evident that she was pregnant, we were twins, though I was slightly less hairy!  She patted her tummy and then pointed to mine, then patted her tummy and then pointed to mine. I patted my tummy and then pointed to hers.

I've often wondered if it was just a female moment of sharing joy of being ripe with child or was she asking me to help her child from being born in captivity. Maybe I am making too much of the moment but it was, indeed, a very moving moment. It was one of those events that touches your heart. It speaks of connections, of bonds. So much more than the joyful bouncing around our border collie does when we say the word "walk" or "treat"!

So, this morning, I am watching One Lucky Elephant, a documentary about a circus producer who is trying to find long-term housing for his elephant.  She has been with the producer for over 24 years and is heart broken when he gives her up to a sanctuary. Quietly, she watches him leave.

Photo Courtesy of Afrigalah
After the producer walks away the elephant acts out in wild abandon. Abandon, yes, abandoned! She knocks down fences and tramples gates.  She rages!

An animal psychologist is brought in and announces the diagnosis of PTSD! (Is that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or could it actually be Pachyderm Traumatic Stress Disorder?)

Now I'm wondering, having PTSD myself, how would that precious giant greet me if I visited the sanctuary!  Would we both stomp our feet?  Would we wave our arms (or front legs) in the air and trumpet our pain?

Would we just sit together in each other's aura's, forehead to forehead, sisters, in a world that sometimes hurts?

July 05, 2013

Excellent 4th of July

We've been going to the same spot as a family unit to watch fireworks for about 6 or 7 years.

Wonderful spot for visual, across the river, away from the congestion of the civic center. Each year the fellow attendees get more questionable. We have young ones with us and really don't want to subject them to that "element!"

This year we debated off and on through the day where we would go to watch. Many good suggestions were tossed on the table.

In the final minutes before taking off to watch, the decision was made. My husband and I opted to stay home. We have our grandson's two puppies and our border collie and wanted to make sure they were okay. Our home is very close to the launch.

I turned on the television and discovered the NYC fireworks display. Fantastic. Music was excellent, fireworks glorious, but we were missing the explosive percussion we all love so much.

Only one way to resolve that issue. Every now and then one of us would smack the other one in the chest.

A little bruised this morning but, all in all, a very excellent evening!

July 02, 2013

If You Ever Find Yourself In A Fairy Tale

Neil Gaiman has a great rhythm in his writing. As Yoda would probably say, "Enjoy him I do!"

His book Stardust was fun to read and when I told my granddaughters about it each one of them told me they had already read it....years ago!!! The movie is fun too, but, as is often the case, my mind did a much better job creating the picture and making the story real.

I believe I might have posted Mr. Gaiman's poem, Instructions, a couple of years ago but I love to revisit it.

The following are instructions to follow if you find that you have landed in a fairy tale. They are quite accurate, having found myself in one or two tales!

You really should print them and carry them in your purse or wallet, just in case.

By Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before.
Say “please” before you open the latch,
go through,
walk down the path.
A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted front door,
as a knocker,
do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat nothing.
if any creature tells you that it hungers,
feed it.
If it tells you that it is dirty,
clean it.
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can,
ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads to winter’s realm;
there is another land at the bottom of it.
If you turn around here,
you can walk back safely;
you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the wood.
The trees are old. Eyes peer from the undergrowth.
Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She may ask for something;
give it to her. She
will point the way to the castle.
Inside it are three princesses.
Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the caste the twelve months sit about a fire,
warming their feet, exchanging tales.
They may do favors for you, if you are polite.
You may pick strawberries in December’s frost.
Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-man will take you.
(The answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to leave the boat.
Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;
hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one’s lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.
Remember your name.
Do not lose hope—what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall)
Ride the silver fish (you will not drown)
Ride the gray wolf (hold tightly to his fur).
There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem much smaller than you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
Or rest.

          *    *     *     *     *     *     *

Now, I can tell you the items that I have found to be profoundly true.

Dragons do have soft spots. Hearts are easily betrayed (and most often betrayed) by tongues.
Most importantly, "Do Not Lose Hope!"

Epiphany #644

Photo courtesy of www.kansas.com
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I had a serious debate regarding our religious schooling.

He attended a Catholic private school (K-12) and I was a public school student. Even though my education was in public schools I regularly attended Catechism twice a week from 1st through 12th grade. Saturday mornings and one afternoon every week after school we walked to the church for religious education.

Our debate became quite heated. I was sharing with him how I felt being born female in a Christian/Catholic world. I told him the things I was taught about being female in Catechism.

I was taught that women, as descendents of Eve "first to sin, second created," would never be equal to man. They taught us that it was because of a woman that sin was brought into the world. It was because of that original sin that women would be punished forever by having pain in childbirth and their children would all be the bearers of original sin. I was taught that woman was made for the benefit of man and, because Eve, a woman, was the first to sin and then introduced the forbidden fruit to Adam and made him to eat of it, that women would, forever, be unworthy.

(Never mind that Adam was the first spineless man in the world and couldn't make up his own mind and threw his mate under the bus when God admonished him for eating the fruit and he pointed to Eve and said "she made me do it!).

I was taught that in the beginning of the church the men debated whether women even had souls and then when they decided (for us) that women did possess souls they debated whether those souls could ever be "saved"!

Funny how many men throughout the ages, see a woman's body and react physically and blame their lack of self control on the woman. St. Augustine especially hated women and believed that they should never be looked upon and never, ever touched or sin would hop right out of her and spoil the manly soul.

So my devout Catholic husband became pretty upset and told me that I was never taught that. Not that he was never taught that but that I, me, could not have been taught that.

We got out the bible and I showed him the print! I didn't even show him Timothy 2:11-14: "Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men. She is to be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

We never did resolve the debate but quietly let the dust settle. I did, however, let him know that he can't tell me what I was taught and what I wasn't taught.

Could it be, because he is male, that he never heard the message with his heart and soul like I did?
He was never taught that God saw him as "less than" or damaged goods.

Could it be that he just was not "present" in religious class, thinking of riding his bike or airplanes or clouds?

Yesterday, as I was floating on my back in the pool watching the crow at the top of the tree watch me watching her that I had a huge epiphany!

My husband was taught by Immaculate Heart Nuns in the Los Angeles community.  Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were a rare breed as far as religious orders were concerned.  They believed in equality, they didn't believe in being held down because they weren't born without, you know, The Package of Privilege!

Immaculate Heart Nuns taught elementary, middle and high school as well as college classes.  They laid a foundation of works that promoted "truth, dignity and full human development," of course, in the 1960's, promoting full human development for women, especially women in habits was described as radicalism!

In the late 60's, they became very angry and protested that Bishop in the Archdiocese should not be allowed to dictate their lives, which included bedtime, prayer time and method of dress.  After all,  Pope Paul VI had challenged all religious orders to examine rules and regulations to assess if  their original missions were being met in the modern world.

The sisters took a stand, refused to wear the habits, wanted to go to bed when they wanted to, pray when they wanted to. The sisters held fast, the Vatican refused to take sides.  The Bishop insisted that the sisters could not be good teachers or good role models is they did not follow the rules he deemed necessary for a community of women. (Notice the lower case "h" in he!!!)

The majority of the good sisters were divested of their vows.  They got the holy boot!

About 10% remained and followed the rules set by the men, the rest founded a community of women and men that they named the Immaculate Heart Community. They are still out there, teaching, nurturing, inspiring and they wear what they want, pray when the spirit calls and go to bed when they are tired!

The Bishop's timing was very poor for my husband and other students in his high school. Without the nuns to teach and no one volunteering to step into the IHM-revolution, priests were brought in from Italy to teach. A few of the Italian priests spoke very little English, the majority spoke no English at all. My husband went from a straight A student to, well, to not-so-good.

So, the blessed Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary didn't teach my husband the same things the Dominican Sisters taught me.  It would be interesting to see if any of the women taught by IHM nuns are in the 14% of Fortune 500 top management who are women!