Back in the country I started out listening to poetry of gospel songs.
Some were about joy and peace: It is Well With My Soul, Take Time to be Holy, A Beautiful Life, Peace in the Valley. As a youngster I sang my heart out performing Heavenly Sunshine at various churches in California.
I learned of work and service from Work for the Night is Coming.
Then when I needed healing and comfort: A Balm in Gilead and Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.
Hope was basically an idea for the afterlife: I’ll Fly Away and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.
Contemplation: I Walk Through the Garden Alone
Fellowship: Will the Circle Be Unbroken
and even Technology! The Royal Telephone
My family used to go to Singing Conventions every few months, and every night after supper we sang shape notes from Southern Harmony while my sister played the piano.
I’m the only person my age I’ve ever run into that picked cotton as a child. My goal was always to get to the shade tree at the end of the row, and I was disappointed that my bag wasn’t as big as the rest of my family’s. We also picked pecans after my dad climbed the tree and shook it to make the nuts fall.
I cut my teeth on Thoreau, Emerson, Twain and greeting cards and Ideals booklets at the library and store. I learned of abuse early on as my preacher father had issues with anger. So I sought solace in my Bible, reading, poetry, and music. Thus my poetry grew to be what I call “folksy”, or low-brow if you please. Poetry just occurs once in while, if you can catch it before it’s gone.
I write some for parents and teachers, humor, grief, bibliotherapy for children, teaching tips and vitamins (hi-brows would call them words of wisdom…) I started writing on a New York City roof–the first time I’d had time to myself that also felt truly safe.
Some people take vitamins. Sometimes I write them. Here’s some Vitamin Soup:
- Life is a weed, but it doesn’t have to be. Love it, care for it, and it’ll be fine like a tree.
- The is our one last Earth–stay here and thrive.
- Parenting is a holy job.
- Don’t use a trickle down theory. Choose to Siphon Up!
- Underscore your life by underwriting your death.
- Trim your life like you trim dead leaves from your plants. Use sharp decisive movements, and water well afterwards.
- Watch expectantly for new growth–it lies neath the ugly.
- My life’s motto: Cheer them UP when they need it. Cheer them ON when they don’t
- Let all enthrall, as we all freefall.
- Allow your mind out once in a while to run and play.
- Sing in the shower–it’s soup for the soul.
- Let your conscience be your guide, but don’t throw all thought aside. It’s a dance of feelings and fact. Both must be included in the pact. Work to train your conscience right. And hold it safe in the truth of light.
- Learning what life is for is like holding a piece of paper and wondering what it’s for. The harder you squeeze it, the less value it has. Yet paper can be written on. Write your own script of life and beat your own drum.
- Inspire, don’t require.
God is a Hammock, not a box. With God I’m not in locks.
Jesus, and Santa did some pretty neat things. Santa brought gifts. Jesus cared for all, associated with outsiders, and welcomed folks, offering love and responsibility to all. He served goodies and goodness, and came regularly to visit to sick and troubled. He inspired many with his teachings.
A good recipe to use when you have a sore soul: mix some love, kindness, helping others, and stir well. Serve warm if it’s cold outside.
It is a good pathway to take when a problem spurts out:
*grief and pain
*sweat and fear
After a good serving you may see an opportunity for hope or even joy.
My brother always told a story about a guy just arriving in town. He asked the cab driver how the people were around there. The cabby said, “How were the folks where you came from?” The traveler said they were just wonderful people. The driver responded, “About the same here.”
The next fare to be picked up asked the same question, to which the taxi driver came back with “How were the folks where you came from?” That traveler replied that they were just terrible, hard to get along with, never friendly, no good people. The cabby again replied, “About the same here.”
I never forgot the influence attitude has on our experiences in life.
On Valentine’s Day I had the kids make Kindness Books, clarifying times when they were kind to others or people were kind to them. It was worth the time to catch a glimpse of the power of kindness in all our lives.
Just as Vitamin K aids in bone health, Vitamin Kindness can be vital for the functioning of your soul.
Smart Alec Theology
If one is suspicious of organized religion, does it then follow that they prefer disorganized religion?
I imagine God gets a good giggle out of that one:-)
When we gather with friends to eat, chat, and tell puns, we’re really doing jazz talking. Maybe we could call that a jam session, or, since there’s no music would it be a jelly session?
May you jazz speak your way through this one life on our one earth. When times are bad, moan musically. When times are good, howl in harmony to high heavens!