Sunday, April 23, 2006

What's in a Name?

I feel sad this morning, but peaceful. It's not an "unpretty" feeling at all. I alternate between a cat licking her fur, and a dog licking it's wounds. On one hand I feel good about myself. On the other I am sitting quietly recognizing that wounds have occurred and that they will heal. Sorrow is much prettier than anger. I'm accepting that I have become a person that I have wanted to be, against all odds. The glory in that goes directly to God.

If I were to die today there would be some who would say, "She died young." There would be other's who would say, "She lived a full life." At fifty-nine, I realize that I may have many years ahead of me, but I also realize that there are a lot more years behind me, than what may lie ahead. As I see it, all of my days are extra now. I've married, been widowed, raised children and nursed my parents unto death. Home and family has always meant more to me than anything else. I've had my heart full in that area, and I've had my heart broken. Both things taught me a lot about love.

Fifty-nine is an odd age. It's not quite old, but certainly not young. "Old enough!" is the way I think about it. The world has changed a lot since I was a girl, so I'm not having the experiences I would have liked to have had at this age, but there are just enough people who cherish and respect, for me to be glad to be alive.

I am a homemaker without a home, a wife without a husband, a mother without children and a daughter without parents...yet here I am, still Beth. I have no particular plan for my life, for plans, obviously, haven't proven to work well for me, but I do have a loving sense of direction.
There are grown men and women now who call me "Mom" and from the way they respond to me, they truly mean it. They cherish. They respect. I fill with awe when I think of them, just as I used to do the same when I looked upon those I gave birth to. The feelings are identical.

Throughout my life I have been severely criticized for being true to myself. There were those who criticized me for marrying young, but when my husband died when he was only twenty-seven, they stopped. There were those who criticized me for striving to remain home when I was raising my children, and those who criticized me for keeping my parents out of a nursing home, and not worrying about what would happen when they passed. My father died in 1992. My mother died in 1999. I'm still alive. I've found it odd that I have been more strongly criticized for the things I have done right in life, than for anything I did wrong. There were always plenty of people willing to encourage me to do something wrong, and a lot fewer to encourage me to do as I felt needed to be done. I think the only reason I have found that odd is that I really have been true to myself. I wouldn't have wanted to face myself in the mirror if I hadn't done what was on my heart to do.

Life hasn't been the way I would like it to be, but I've become the woman I want to be. There are many contrasts in life. Things that I don't like seem to make things that I do like stick out more. There was a time, years ago, when I didn't want to live and was too much of a coward to die. Today, not only do I enjoy my experience of life, I like myself, even when others don't.

Amazing grace. An Awesome God. I continue to write about Him, and about what He does with me, which makes me Oneamazingwriter.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sarcasm the Cutting Edge

I entered into an online discussion today in which a man had ridiculed Christians saying that their belief that worshipping throughout eternity was shallow. It struck me funny. I saw no depth in a grave and said so. The man said I had attacked him. Apparently those who like to ridicule do not like having pointed out that they have said something humorous. He replied "How Christian of you."

Those who want to hate, are going to hate. If I have learned anything I have learned that. I feel no need to defend my Christianity to that man. It's my Christianity that defends me against such people! "Fight this battle for me please, Lord."

Those who resort to sarcasm as humor laugh as they stick in knives. I never saw stabbing as something to laugh at. A quick retort simply shows a mind that doesn't leave room for the humanity of another. As a Christian I pray to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. That works just fine for me. My laughter is that of joy. It is a simple thing based upon the ability to see how human and humor truly go together. Taking myself too seriously makes no sense to me at all.

I have been told by many sarcastic people that I am not logical. I see no logic in sarcasm. It makes not sense to me to build oneself up by putting another person down. I laughed at the illogic of the man's statement. I felt sad for the man when he decided that I wasn't acting Christian enough for him. He didn't say that his name was Christ, so I didn't worry about it. I am puzzled at times by those who aren't Christian trying to tell those of us who are that we aren't doing it right. And then I laugh again. I think it's funny! Things that make no sense often strike me funny. Slap stick humor and I get along well.

If cutting edge technology means dehumanizing oneself, I think I will settle for old-fashioned living. I can do more good with a feather than with a knife. I prefer to tickle people. Becoming a meek geek is a challenge. I've always enjoyed a challenge.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Forever Love

Camera shy lady
Mother's precious child
Just one photo
To remember you by

Tug at my heartstings
They are secure
You have a longer leash now
But I'm still on the other end

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Extreme Geek's Beginner's Guide to Dating Part I

1. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but if there is a mountain between the two points, and one is walking, there are times that going the long way around may prove to be, not only less exhausting than trying to go in a straight line, but also, in the long run, the shortest distance. True, one could tunnel through the mountain, but by the time that operation is completed the reason one was traveling from one point to another may no longer be valid.

2. 2x1=2 1+1=2 I can work on a project on Saturday and Sunday or I can work with another on Saturday and we can both take a break on Sunday. If I feel restless when I have a whole day to myself, I can work on a project by myself on Sunday. I could also make plans with the same person that I worked with Saturday and find something to do that isn't work. When loneliness is factored out, good humor often rushes in to fill the void.

3. A dog is not as intelligent as I am. I cannot teach calculus to a dog. The dog does not care what I know or don't know. The dog will, though, do what I train it to do within it's capabilities, regardless of my manner of teaching it. The dog wants to learn. I can experiment with the dog. I can watch it's expressions and see what posture it takes as I try different tones of voice in giving a command. The dog can be used as a firewall to keep intrusive humans outside the home and away from my computer. If I laugh, cry or occassionally pet the dog, it won't tell anyone. My sense of emotional privacy will remain intact.

4. A woman is more intelligent than a dog, but not as predictable. (Refer to #1) A woman will place an expectation that we spend time together away from my work. (Refer to #2) A woman will care more about the tone of my voice when I speak to her than what I have to say. (Refer to #3) At this point it is important to reconsider the dog. The same dog that acts as firewall may now act as a buffer between a woman and me. If the dog likes the woman, there is a chance that I might, too. If the woman likes the dog, there's a chance that she may like me. If I like the woman, the woman likes the dog, the dog likes the woman, but the woman doesn't like me, the dog will still like me anyway, and the two of us can go off alone together and keep one another company.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Love's Path

How does one communicate the path of a soul? Can one communicate the path of a soul? Does one need to communicate the path of a soul?

Questions like that were on my mind this morning. My path has brought me to write this page. Your path has brought you to read this page. I've decided that it's most important to simply make certain that love is the path and the action on the path. Where that path leads either one of us is love's decision. Why confuse myself with further inquiry?

Hi! there! 'Glad we can connect for a moment in time! It's a trip; isn't it?
Whatever we can agree upon will cause us a moment of ease, and whatever we disagree about will send us in different directions. Both attraction and repulsion generate energy and supply direction.

So what brought you here? Me? I'm writing because it's an especially quiet and incredibly pretty day. I have no desire to physically go anywhere at the moment, my head is already full of things I have been studying, and my thoughts are on someone that I have never met.

Like I said, it's a trip, isn't it? Holding people in thought whom we have never met isn't new to any of us who use the Internet to connect with one another. In my case I go through the whole phenomena of having a crush or "falling in love" at times. Journeying in mind and spirit has an effect on one's emotions. Sometimes there's simply that special "click" and the curiosity that follows it sets me on a new course.

I analyzed the sensation for as long as I felt the need to do so several years ago. Then I let go and laughed. Attractions keep me interested in life. Repulsions help me to better define my preferences. When I am attracted I forget about myself. When I am repulsed I learn more about myself. I decided that both must be necessary, so I enjoy both.

I have more time than most to simply sit, think and feel. I love to write, so I record some of my thoughts and feelings. It's my hope that in doing so, those who have less time than I do might find some answers for themselves. I like things that are both pretty and practical.

If something "clicked" in you as you read this, take it and run with it. It's free. It's my intention to share love indiscriminately. If you were drawn here, then you are meant to feel loved. Please do!

Life is just too short to spend too much time quibbling over what love is and who gets it. Take it with you! It will tell you who you are...for love tends to define us, rather than allow us to define it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Promise to a Child

Over twenty years ago I wrote The Adventures of Francis T. Bear for my children. Each day I would sit at my IBM typewriter and Francis would record more of his antics so that I would have something to share with my children before they went to sleep at night

Now an eight-year-old in Boston, Massachusetts and a seven-year-old in Sydney, Australia, who met on the Internet through their mothers, are having an adventure with a tooth fairy. On Friday night, once a week I go online and read their latest adventures to a child in Adelaide, Australia, from a microphone connected to my computer in Trenton, New Jersey. The stories are for her Saturday morning listening pleasure.

Times change. Characters change. But the love in the writing and telling doesn’t change. It still protects the innocent, and it will travel half way around the world in a flash to do so.

I’ve promised the child who hears the story to publish a series of books as the girls and the fairy have their adventures together. I told the child who inspired these stories that I would dedicate each book to her and she would see her name within each. She has no idea how involved finding a publisher and competing against thousands of other writers will be. She doesn’t need to know. She’s a child.

The story will write itself, as it has been doing, but the publisher won’t come looking for it. Research, query letters, submissions, rejections, the blood, sweat and tears of the real world, will all have to be faced and surmounted.

A promise to a child is a promise to keep.

Friday, April 14, 2006

All Debts Cancelled: Paid in Full

It's been a while since I smiled at you, so I thought I'd do that this morning. What am I doing sitting up after 2:00 am ? Good question!

This has been a remarkable day in a continuing series of remarkable days. Oops! 2:00 am? OK. Yesterday was a most remarkable day! I have no doubt that today is, too. I'm simply sitting up to finish glowing about yesterday. Those of us who have known deep sorrow, tend to know deep joy.

I have some special women friends who are younger than I. They have trusted me a lot and have often asked for guidance. Being in a position to guide another adult is a most humbling experience. What if I am wrong? What if I miss something and suggest something that will set the other person back, rather than encourage her forward? I feel the depth of my humanity when I am asked to enter into another's confidence.

Yesteday I had the opportunity to spend time with each woman, and to see and hear things that added to the glow I already had. Their eyes shine. Their smiles are wide and real. They are making their dreams a reality! I knew they could do it. I didn't know if they would do it. I am gleeful!

Have you ever tried to sleep when you are gleeful? It's a lost cause. Joy begets joy begets joy. (No. That's not a typo! The repetition is intentional. It's called overjoyed!) The stuff has no limit, and refuses limitation imposed upon it. It will have it's way.

I always forget that I receive what I ask for others. Now there are people who believe that I can achieve my dreams. Chivalry is not dead. Men are holding open doors of possibility for me, and running block for me so that I can walk a straight path. Women are being kind, thoughtful and outright nurturing! They hug me and let go, placing no claim on me or my life.

Unconditional love.

It cannot be earned. The price was paid over 2,000 years ago. A gift both coming and going, it's a win-win option.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fire Power

Years ago I opted to pursue character building over comfort and maturity over sophistication. What I didn't know at that time was that a degree of comfort and sophistication would come along with the package! Well, I'll be...! It's truly a very good thing, for I found that I have a defective martyr's gene that doesn't function well at all. I serve because it's fun and it's my idea. When someone tells me I MUST serve I become the stereo-typical red head. It fits my personality to a T. While I enjoy mellow, I "do" firecracker easily. POW! and then I'm just fine and ready to be mellow once again. I figure mellow simply means that my fuse has grown as I have aged. It takes longer for me to blow. The explosion isn't any greater than it was when I was younger. I'm not dynamite...just a firecracker. I live, though, in a world full of reactionaries, who are use to far more fire power and expect the explosion to continue. I chuckle as I walk away.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Land of Geek

This week I was welcomed into the fold in the Land of Geek. To me that is Paradise Revisited. I feel the same as I did on my very first day of school at the age of five. Miss my mother? There was a building full of people and there were new things to learn and people who were going to teach me! I think my first experience of separation anxiety came at the end of the day when I had to go back home and couldn't return until morning.

What, you ask, is the Land of Geek? It's where people fight like children in a play yard, challenge one another's statements and opinions, laugh as if everything is just fine in the world around them, and rush forward to answer any question asked. It is where there are as many perspectives of life as there are sets of eyes. It is where people use their God given intellect, even if they don't believe in God. It is a place where those who don't know the fine art of relating are related to anyway, and those who do know, do their best to pass along simple communication skills.

The Land of Geek is a place of sharing, where you can learn more than you need to know, become aware of more than you wanted to know, and find someone to agree with you against all odds.

It is my considered opinion that it is the Geeks who will keep the world intact so that the Meek can inherit it. Having lived at least half of my life already, I am very interested in helping to hold this world together for those of the generations after me. I entered in to learn about them and to hug them, and found myself as they embraced me.

My goal in this life is to be a Meek Geek. When intellect rules emotion and the two walk hand in hand, Love reigns supreme.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Right To Be Wrong

I was informed of my rights today (or rather the lack thereof) but since the person sharing the information wasn't a police officer or judge, I chuckled. When communication breaks down to one talking about apples and the other talking about oranges, I do what I can to make a fruit salad. Taking myself or life too seriously has never given me any sense of well being, so I don't do that any longer. I thrive on good cheer, and I'm all for me thriving!

A lot of people have helped me along the way in life, or I wouldn't be all that cheerful now. They shared coping skills with me that I wouldn't have thought of on my own. One lesson in point of view is something that I love to pass along. A man took out a coin and held it between us and asked me to describe what I saw. I told him that I saw an upside down man's head. He said he saw something very different and described it to me. He explained that we could both fight about that, or we could each look at the other's point of view and get a clearer picture of both sides of the coin.

Another man shared with me that we all have a right to be wrong. I replied, "Huh?" (Being told something that is entirely different than any message I have received in the past tends to cause me to temporarily put on my dunce cap.) It took some time for me to digest that and to see how thinking that way would impact my life. I tried it out. I liked the effect. I decided to hold onto it. What works for some doesn't always work for others, but that one worked well for me. It got me off my own back and helped me to allow that human beings learn as they go along. I may not agree with what some choose to learn, but I don't have to agree. I am also free to open my mind and see where I might be wrong, and not dwell on it, but rather be happy that I can correct myself.

A woman told me, "Opinions are all like belly buttons (she used another word). We all have one." I learned from that to freely express my opinion and to listen to the opinions of others. It seemed a good way to let people get to know how I think and it helped me to get to know how they think. Some have expressed their opinions about me or what I choose to think in the negative and some in the positive. That has let me know where they are "at". The opinion that counts the most to me is mine. I have to live with that one.

I learned from another woman that words have different meanings to different people dependent upon what feeling each one associates with a word. I learned to listen with my eyes as well as my ears. That doesn't help much online, so I laugh often and say, "Well, that didn't work!" My laughter is at life, not at any one person, other than myself at times.

Ah. Communication. I remain impressed that any of us are able to connect and understand one another at any given moment! Since the only safe way to live is to hide in a cave somewhere, I won't be living safely in this lifetime. I'm committed to blundering my way through. I'm also committed to experiencing a lot of joy and my ulterior motive in relating to others is to take as many with me as I can. I can laugh alone, and I do, but it's more fun to laugh with others.