Tuesday, September 1, 2015

On Gardeners, Murderers, and the Virtue of Patience

I used to think that there are just two types of men, rapists and gays. Luckily, time heals all wounds and I changed my mind. Now I think that there just two types of people, those of Service to Others (STO people) and those of Service to Self (STS people). I borrowed this distinction from someone else, but I do not think that person would mind. In any case, the STO people focus on loving, forgiving, and helping others. The STS people are on a mad power and resource grab... In other words, the STO people are gardeners: they care for, plant, and support the little seeds of love. The STS people are murderers: they destroy, uproot, pour salt water on wounds, and take what is not theirs to take.

The trouble is we are vacillating internally between these two extremes, the gardeners and the murderers. The challenge is we have to become more positive, and content; to live without attacking anyone for not being as "good" as we see ourselves to be. (Wishful thinking we mistake for reality, but that too, does not matter)... Without judgment and condemnation - the two favorite past times of the human species. Especially, if the judgment is followed by execution. At least that's what we see on TV, or Netflix, if you watch those crime shows, or just any shows: they all have somehow become very dark and cruel and focused on the victory of crime in the recent decade.

Sometimes, even when trying to plant and care for a plant, a rose bush, a tree, the gardeners may fail and out of the goodness of their hearts, hurt what they purport to care for. The challenge here is not to get discouraged by this challenge. It is to stay focused on what's above, what's calling,what's spiritually and personally more uplifting and inspirational. It is to be kind in thoughts, words, and gestures. "Grace" in Christian Bible was translated "loving kindness" in the Jewish one and I, for one, like that expression better.

So... what acts of "loving kindness" have you committed recently? In your mind, in your heart? Did you say something nice to someone really tired and frustrated? Did you open yourself to love?  It is neither easy, nor fast: "Love is patient, love is kind..." People write about the Bible as if the Book was  just made up by a bunch of scribes, without knowing that the Book, our Book is alive and speaks to us directly, if only we really need an answer and ask for guidance.  Then, the challenge is to remain patient and keep listening, in serenity, in silence.

The Waiting

She opens the envelope – a letter
With a newspaper clipping
A bouquet of red roses and a story
About mortgage fraud on the back

He rubbed his soap along the edges
She breathes in his scent after the shower

Three phone calls while she was away
Eight after she sent him that letter
Admitting  what it meant to her –
That hot July day, under the tiger sky

Press five if you accept this call –
Stay on the line – Stay on the line

Breathing – dreaming – searching – hoping –
A lifeline – A lifeguard – Her lifeguard –
Stay –

Lush buds open on a dormant branch
The half-forgotten fragrance
The taste of his sweat on her lips
Heavy drops falling from above

The aroma of his bronze, spicy
Body – his touch on her skin
A sudden swell of emotion
An irruption of the past into the present

Stay on the line – accept this call
From an inmate at Avenal State Prison

A long-lost love awakens
With a whiff of newsprint ink
Mixed with a faint echo
Of what once was, could be, will be –

When they meet on God’s mountain
When rosebuds open into a scarlet cloud
That makes the fortuneteller blush
As she sees their future in her Tarot cards

“My love” – he says – Thirty second left –
Stay on the line – Stay on the line 

(c) 2014 by Maja Trochimczyk. With thanks for many wonderful comments that helped streamline and clarify this poem, to dear friends from Westside Women Writers: Millicent Borges Accardi, Lois P. Jones, Madeleine Butcher, Georgia Jones-Davis, Kathi Stafford, Sonya Sabanac, and Susan Rogers. Published in the second half of the special issue of Clockwise Cat, called Femmewise Cat celebrating women poets and artists, pages 93-96  http://issuu.com/clockwisecat/docs/femmewise_cat_part_ii?e=13963388/11675756.

Westside Women Writers at McGroarty Arts Center:
Susan Rogers, Sonya Sabanac, Maja Trochimczyk, Lois P. Jnes and Kathi Stafford

I recently read that poem at the "Westside Women Writers go Eastside" at the McGroarty Arts Center (August 23), so I thought of reposting it here.  Then, merely a week later, at the Poetry Palooza event at the same Former home of California Poet Laureate John Steven McGroarty  (August 29), my other poetry group, Village Poets, read my even older poem, "The Veil, the Weave" is a religious poem, inspired by a line from Isaiah. It us stylized a la Vladimir Mayakovsky's poetry of the Soviet Revolution - with broad gestures, dramatic exclamations, and the spacing of the words all over the page. In addition, I colored the words and phrases, to designate the four or five different readers needed for the performance. Caps in black mean everyone is reading those lines.

The Veil, the Weave

“On this mountain, God will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, / the web that is woven over all nations:  He will destroy Death forever.”              
                                                                                        ~  Isaiah, Chapter 25, Verses 7-8

the veil     that veils    the weave      that is woven

break them                      tear them                   shred them         set us free

the veil that obscures   distorts true meaning    disorients           and stifles

obfuscation          dilapidation               obliteration                abomination

the weave of sticky thread
is a trap to capture the unwary
                                the weave of shiny thread
                                is a snare to entangle the greedy
                                               the weave of sweet-scented thread
                                                is a seduction of beauty into nothing
                                                                                             the weave is woven
                                                                                            where is the weaver?
where is he hiding?
                       this maker of imitations
                                               the master of mimicry
                                                                      the creator of absence
the weave holds us tight
                              in the habit of hours
                                                   in the rut of the known
                                                             in the suffocating thickness of lies

that are woven             
                      that are told!

break the veil    undo the knots    free the mind

to see the blessings of infinity
                                to hear the music
                                                 of sing-song lullabies
                                                                calming us for the night
for the first gleam 
                         of stardust 
                                              for awakening 
                                                                    in grace

when the veil       and the weave          are gone

© 2008 by Maja Trochimczyk                             

The Veil of lies and deception that we have been shrouded in, and sometimes willingly accept, seduced by its shimmering, illusive allure, spreads out all over the world... But what happens, if the Veil is broken and we are able to see as we have been meant to see?  Angels dance, and we dance with them:

An Invitation to  the Dance

And the angels are dancing.

Did you say dancing? Yes, dancing. Making somersaults 
and jumping two hundred yards in the air.

Air? Are they here? I thought they lived in infinity,
Or eternity, or the great beyond, or whatchamacalit.
No. Here. They are laughing their heads off.  Giggling,
smiling, smirking, guffawing. Laughing.

What’s so funny? Nic. Nada. Naught. It is just that they are so happy.
So incredibly,  exorbitantly, blissfully happy.

Why?  Oh, because of that quirky thing from the country song.

What thing? Don’t you know? Have you not heard
that love conquers all?  That love triumphs
over lies, fear, anger, shame and despair?
That it is? Love is. True love. Our love…

It blossoms in us, through us.
It opens its petals.  The world is more tranquil,
serene in the luminescence of our love.
New stars are born and peace comes to earth when we
are together, immersed in this love. When we
find it. Return to it. Share it. Cherish it. When we
are not giving up. No matter what. No matter how hard.
No matter how late.  Simple, very simple.
Impossible? Yet, it is here to stay.

So what about these angels, then…
Oh, yes. Would you like to go dancing with the angels?
 Boogie-woogie, waltz, tango or salsa? 

(C) 2015 by Maja Trochimczyk 

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