Crossing Borders and Boundaries

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

find comfort sunrise

It’s been quite a year.  It’s only April.  My furbabies are curled up on either side of me as I sip my coffee and write these words.

It’s been quite a week.  I am ready for a new one.  Blame it on the planets or the ocean waves or the storm that just blew through.

riptide

My daughter lives in Costa Rica.  The adventure she is living is enough to write a book all on its own.  She keeps this mama on her toes-She went to Panama by herself for the first time.  Nothing stops this girl

costa rica 1

I spent the entire week hunkered in from the storms brewing outside.  Just like the days gone past living in the mountains of California.  Sometimes even going days without electricity.

 

At times like these, the best place to play, is in the attic, pulling out relics from the boxes of memories that are stored there. Good memories.  The best memories.   Since I also have a penchant for good wine, this was the perfect opportunity.

single6

Sometimes people show up in our lives to show us how strong our boundaries are.  Mine were not set in place like they should be, and the Universe was screaming at me, telling me.

You give someone an inch, they take a mile. 

The storms outside were whipping and hollering…calling out to me….begging me to get caught up in the eye of the hurricane.

adventure

No.  I am safe in the attic, with my memories.  They fill my mind, my heart, my soul of the promises of the sun and warmth that comes when the storm finally passes.

I could faintly hear the scratching of the fingers of treacherous winds that were retching and seething outside my door.  But, my door was securely locked and bolted from such storms that cross this path.

The hours became days, the days became a week.  Finally, it gave way.

find comfort blankie

I survived the storm with the comfort of my fondest memories wrapping their arms around me like my favorite blanket.  The clouds have cleared. The sun is shining.

For today anyway…

Until the storm shows itself once again.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

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Finding Comfort

The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.

Norman Cousins

 

It was a beautiful sunrise; she could feel the warmth creeping over her makeshift bed from the comforter with red and gray flower designs of a trend gone past.  Her backpack that was filled with her most prized necessities, made a perfect pillow.

find comfort sunrise

Wondering what day it was, got up-put her shoes on, rolled up her bedding and wandered to the nearest gas station, so she could rinse off the days gone past.; feeling the urgent, familiar gnaw in her belly.

homeless

 

She walked to the area of divergence as the bite of the morning chill overcame her.  She pulled her jacket around her with more intent to ward off the frosty morning.  She found her usual perch, saw the familiar faces of those that come looking for a fix, or the schizophrenic carrying on, or the walking man, that just walks, all day long.

woman 5

 

She waits patiently for night to come.  Maybe she will get lucky today, and enough passersby’s will give her enough change, so she can get 4 tacos from the nearby taco stand.  Those damn panhandlers that stand on street corners and gas stations- they ruin it for us folk that just want a bite to eat.

She doesn’t dare go to the mission or outreach-they just take without permission.

Finally, the sun is setting.  She walks over to the usual lamp post on the corner and waits for just the right one.

find comfort lamp

Here he comes, in the light blue Beamer, head to the usual motel, where this is common.  She devours her fish and chips and asks, as he stares at her in awe, “Are you gonna eat that?”  She finishes both plates, proceeds to the shower.  As the water runs over her malnourished body, she washes away the hunger, cold, sadness, even if only for a few moments.

find comfort bath

Hangs her freshly washed garments on the towel rack to dry; takes a long whiff of the clean bathrobe while memories briefly flood in.

find comfort blankie

She shakes it off, walking reluctantly and climbs into bed as the robe falls to the floor.

For a night, she will find comfort.

Earls Nilo-Making a Statement

 

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Can one man’s dream make a difference?

 

I choose not to watch the news-especially what is posted on Social Media.  Folks just have such a strong opinion one way or the other; and just because it is written-doesn’t make it true.

single 3

On my way to work today, I overheard a conversation with a young kid, in his twenties, I would assume – and an older gentleman.  Earls Nilo wanted to know the best  place to promote his sign, which said “Single”.  No, he wasn’t looking for a date.  He was making a statement.

As I listened, I started to understand what he was trying to do.

 

single 6

 

I Have a Dream

 

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 through 1968. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

 

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

 

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and the SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

single 4

Socialism in the US?

 

The history of socialism has its origins in the French Revolution of 1789 and the changes which it wrought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 just before the Revolutions of 1848 swept Europe, expressing what they termed “scientific socialism”. In the last third of the 19th century, Social Democratic parties arose in Europe, drawing mainly from Marxism. The Australian Labor Party was the world’s first elected socialist party when the party won the 1899 Queensland state election.

 

In the first half of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union and the Communist parties of the Third International around the world mainly came to represent socialism in terms of the Soviet model of economic development, the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production, although other trends condemned what they saw as the lack of democracy. In the United Kingdom, Herbert Morrison said that “socialism is what the Labour government does” whereas Aneurin Bevan argued that socialism requires that the “main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction”, with an economic plan and workers’ democracy.  Some argued that capitalism had been abolished.  Socialist governments established the mixed economy with partial nationalisations and social welfare.

 

By 1968, the prolonged Vietnam War (1959–1975) gave rise to the New Left, socialists who tended to be critical of the Soviet Union and social democracy. Anarcho-syndicalists and some elements of the New Left and others favored decentralized collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers’ councils. At the turn of the 21st century in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez championed what he termed socialism of the 21st century, which included a policy of nationalisation of national assets such as oil, anti-imperialism and termed himself a Trotskyist supporting permanent revolution.

 

single6

A Slave to the Corporate Machine

Have we lost focus on what is important?

 

Television Programming- on any given day, I would bet that the average person knows more about the Kardashians than how many homeless people there are in America.

BTW, in 2017 it was 554,000.

single 5

 

People chasing the status quo-fancy cars, name brand purses, shoes, jewelry, make-up for ridiculous prices.  Credit card debt grows higher and higher.  American consumers are over 1 trillion dollars in debt.  The ever growing need to ‘have it all’; and now each and every one of us is stuck on the great hamster wheel of life, the vicious cycle of working for the machine, so we can pay off the machine.

When does it end?

It takes a village to make it work-what happened to love for humanity?

 

Maybe Earls is on to something here…..

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

This story is written from the eyes of Earls Nilo.

 

Information on Martin Luther King, Jr and the History of Socialism were acquired from Wikipedia.

Stats on homeless-motherjones.com

Consumer debt in America-nypost.com

Central Meadowbrook

 

 

I really am fortunate to be where I am right now you know.  My mind is NOT filled with the busy-ness of the rat race and the matrix of society.

I am so grateful the experiences that I have- I get to see so many things.  I have seen the worst in humanity and I have seen the best.

my sunset

I live in an area, the town Mayor or some city official decided to call Central Meadowbrook.  It’s in the eastern central part of town.

 

In a low income apartment building, with the faint smells of the overflowing dumpster behind us and the sewer line that seems to keep plugging up.  I take a small trash bag with me whenever I take the little ones for their walk and pick up as I go along.

overflow

My babes haven’t been to the groomer in a very long time; they are looking a little shaggy, but Olive wouldn’t have it any other way.

olive 2

I have learned to use natural remedies to keep the fleas at bay, and they actually welcome being sprayed down.  It soothes their skin.

I have made best friends in a very short amount of time.  We are a village-we take care of each other and share what we got.

share

 

The Spur always takes me to a new adventure.

I am seeing so many things and meeting so many people.

 

I know I will have to go back to work the 8-5 – and when I do, I hope I don’t forget how to really live.

 

For those that read my stories, Thank you.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Elizabeth Joy

 

 

I was feeling off when I got up this morning.  I woke up at 5 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep.  It was still dark outside, so I did an early morning meditation in hopes to re-ground myself.

pups

When it was light enough out, I took the furry ones for their walk and continued to make coffee and get dressed so I could make my bus by 8:20.

It was threatening rain, so I grabbed my rain jacket, my lunch( I made extra for those that I would be sharing with), my tea and my bag with all of my other goodies that I carry with me.

spur bus

The bus driver got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and decided to take it out on my knee.  As I was looking for a place to sit, she punched the gas pedal and I fell into the metal frame around the seat.  Ouch….

At my transfer, I asked the next bus driver if she could tell me when we would be at the number 4 transfer so I could make it to my doctor’s appointment; she gave me a blank stare.  I sighed…climbed on the bus and hoped maybe I would see it.

When I realized I had gone too far, I felt that uneasy feeling climb up my insides.  Yep, I was going to miss my appointment.

smoking

I got off the bus, and asked a gentleman for a smoke and that is when the tears fell from my eyes.  I sat there for a minute, regrouped, called to let the medical office know I wouldn’t be there, she was very nice and rescheduled for me.  Since this was my last bus pass until I get paid, I would have to wait until next week.

I decided to go ahead and get my lab work taken care of at the clinic I was at and continue on to see my new friend at the Goodwill to see about job offers.

She wanted me to go back that afternoon to talk to another lady about an office position, so I agreed and then decided to go to my favorite water gardens to eat my lunch(literally) and maybe some fresh air would do me some good.

I took some more pictures and found a nice serene spot that was cool and peaceful.  I closed my eyes and let the wind wash away my irksome morning.

reflections

When I was finished eating, I headed back to the bus station and sitting on the ledge was a lovely young lady playing the violin.  The sounds of the bow caressing the treble strings flowed through my soul and I had to sit and listen as the calm washed over me.

violin case

I dug through my wallet only to find enough change that equaled maybe 50 cents.  I put them in her case with the rest of the change.  She stopped playing, stood up, faced me and belted the most beautiful song A Capella.  The tears streamed down my face as her expression filled my very being.

When she was finished, she gave me a hug and said “Everything is going to be alright, you are a strong woman”

I smiled and asked for her name.  Elizabeth Joy.

I wish I knew the song…….

I went back to the bus depot and as I was waiting, there was a car parked across the street with the words ‘Hope’ on the side of it.

hope

I went back to Goodwill with a smile on my face and a knowing-

Everything IS going to be alright.

And I did share my lunch with the young lady that is going to classes to get her G.E.D.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

The Spur

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

 

I was waiting for my bus Sunday morning to go my little job.  I am finally getting more weekends-yay!

e. lan

There was a gentleman talking with another and in the distance I could hear the beautiful chimes of a nearby Church; just loud enough to drown out the sounds of the cars and voices that were happening around me.  I closed my eyes for a brief moment to let the countenance of the nearby Sanctuary wash over me.

love

 

When I opened my eyes, my attention drew nearer to the man standing by the bus stop bench preaching to the other sir.  I agreed with what he was saying; because, after all, it is what we have conviction for is what defines our Faith.

spur

We climb onto the Spur and venture on our way to our destinations.  The bus was getting pretty full, so I shared my seat with a young man in his 30’s dressed in a very nice suit, wearing a handsome tie, with the poignant tie tack so strategically and properly placed.

We travel through the area of divergence, and I notice a fellow fixing himself up on the curbside, just so he can get through another day.

My mind wanders off deep in thought of things I no longer remember, and this dear old man, my guess in his late 80’s dressed in a suit- I would assume he was of Scotch-Irish decent by the fading red hair.  He wore his Crucifix, St. Christopher pendant and another that I couldn’t quite recognize with his Rosary Beads firmly gripped in his fingertips.   He carefully placed a newspaper down on the seat and chanted the Mantra of the Catholic.

church downtown

My mind focused on this gentleman, completely out of place and I wondered why he had no family to take him to the dated Cathedral downtown.

 

 

As I arrived at my place of employment, I smiled within myself.  Even with all the dissemblance happening in the world, we still have a chance of coming together under the Grace of Divine Spirit.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane