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Freedom From Terror: MLK JR’s Legacy


“Your father and his brother, the mayor, came into the kitchen with a rope. They said a black man had raped a white woman and they were going out hunting for him. I was terrified.”

Until I was an adult, my mother had told me nothing about her dashing, handsome husband, my birth father.

She asked me not to look for him because he was “dangerous.” I honored her request until I was forty-seven years old, when I searched for and found my father, an old man living in South Georgia.

Mom was a beautiful, small town Northern Pennsylvania school teacher who had spent years caring for her sick mother. He, a charming Southern soldier on leave, had swept her off her feet. They married on a whim. On their honeymoon, he took her to visit his traditional, southern family where she discovered his true identity.

With a flare towards the romantic, mom picked her china pattern, ‘The Georgian’ by Homer Laughlin,  learned to make Southern Biscuits, got on a train back to Pennsylvania and seldom saw the man she married until after WWII.

He returned to discuss divorce, disown me, and disappear. He never appeared in our family story until I found him in his kitchen forty-seven years later.

“I always wondered what happened to you, but I never did anything about it.” sad words from my elderly father, as I sat at his knee bawling.

We spoke on the phone several times and then three months later he died. The end.  Yet my work was just beginning. I needed to forgive the trauma and loneliness, depression and anger that remained in me.

When I read this article, I remembered him again and thought about the terror he was responsible for in that Southern town so many years ago.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/29/1011562/-Most-of-you-have-no-idea-what-Martin-Luther-King-actually-did

The Imam and the Pastor


National Church of Nigeria, Abuja

National Church of Nigeria, Abuja (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Abuja National Mosque

Abuja National Mosque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some friends of ours work with this organization. We’re pretty impressed with their work.

They shared the following DVD with us. Tell me what you think.

Seth’s Blog: Insulate yourself…


Seth’s Blog: Insulate yourself….

A Hole in My Head


Post-Gala ExhaustionExhaustion

I have a secret that most people don’t know.

I can travel the world with very few problems, but after a few hours of normal physical work at home, I feel just like these photos look.

Regardless of whether I’ve chopped veggies and prepared a meal, cleaned a room, run errands or sorted files, I’m utterly exhausted. It sometimes takes me days to recover.

My fatigue has been increasing at an alarming rate since around 2005, but I’ve always chalked it up to (horrors) advancing age, arthritis, a mysterious virus etc. With my husband’s help, and lots of rest, I’ve managed pretty well. Fortunately, with a few hours/days of rest I can practically return to normal.

At last, my favorite (and only) Neurologist, Dr. Jody Stackman, has looked at my MRI and found that I have a growing hole (somewhere in my head??) leaking Cerebral Spinal Fluid (to somewhere???). He’s sending me to a Neurosurgeon in December to confirm his diagnosis, and hopefully, help me out.

What I have may be a bit rare, but not fatal as far as I can tell; it’s not Cancer or a tumor at all.

After living with exhaustion for so many years, I feel incredibly grateful to be on my way to feeling better.

Stay tuned!

If you’re interested in this Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak check the links below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_cerebrospinal_fluid_leak

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1688

Help In Pain


Pain

Image by Michelle Brea via Flickr

What has been helpful to you when you’ve been in pain?

Have you or a family member ever heard shocking news that would alter your way of life in such a way that it can NEVER be the same?

An amputee feels this type of shock.

I’d like to hear your stories.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/08/21/10-things-to-say-to-a-sick-friend/

Grey Days and Bad Posture


Illustration of the pain pathway in René Desca...

Illustration of the Pain Pathway by Rene Descartes 1664

I woke up this morning wracked with pain, anticipating another day of spasms up and down my neck, back and legs. The illustration is identical to what I just described to a specialist the other day.

I’ve not been writing much, mostly because it’s painful to sit long enough at the computer to finish an original thought, or edit those thoughts.

This has been going on for around one month, since I set out to improve my posture through neck and back exercises and yoga. (For days after the gentlest yoga, I am miserable and forced to take Aleve).

I’ve been prone to back spasms since one day in the 80’s when I went out to jog in Madiun, Indonesia and returned incapacitated with pain. Long story.

However, this attempt to improve my posture, and thus prevent Migraine headaches, is just weird. It is especially bad on grey, cloudy days like today.

Are the severe back spasms and pain now, a result of last winters’ living dangerously slouched on the couch in Delaware pounding away on my laptop as I developed my blog? A sports medicine expert who got me going on this posture pursuit suggests so. He also suggests my habit reading in bed is a culprit.

So, will I survive my posture training? This morning, as I returned to bed, after a walk around the yard, having bent over to pick a few weeds, I doubted it. As my back tightened I cried to God, “What is going on?” Help me!

Huddled there under my serape (I’m in Colorado!) I couldn’t think what to do, besides cry.  As the pain subsided, I thought, of pain meds, hot shower…more back exercises.  And so here I am, an hour later, back again at my laptop…sitting properly.

Like most habits, or addictions…I miss sitting slouched on the couch, in front of “Morning Joe“, drinking strong coffee typing furiously on my laptop in response to what I’m hearing.  I miss writing in general.

Hopefully, my years of bad posture will eventually be transformed into new muscle patterns and I will avoid a “dowagers’ hump” and maybe some Migraine activity. I sure hope it’s worth the pain of retraining these bad boys.

Where Do You Stand?


My husband shared this poem with me when we were first ‘going out’. It set the pattern for the rest of our life together.

It was written by Sam Shoemaker who was an Episcopalian Minister and a Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Rev. Sam Shoemaker

I Stand By The Door
By Sam Shoemaker

(from the Oxford Group)

I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out.
The door is the most important door in the world –
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.
The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door – the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
And put it on the latch – the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.
 

Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it –
Live there because they have not found it.

Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in –
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics.
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture in a little farther,
But my place seems closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia
And want to get out. ‘Let me out!’ they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door
to tell them that they are spoiled.

For the old life they have seen too much:
One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving – preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door
But would like to run away.
So for them too, I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door.
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.

Where? Outside the door –
Thousands of them. Millions of them.
But – more important for me –
One of them, two of them, ten of them.
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.

I had rather be a doorkeeper
So I stand by the door.

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot’s Domain

http://www.barefootsworld.net/aasamshoemaker.html

http://www.calvarypgh.org/sermons/plavan013110.htm