Views of life

Right now I am deeply grateful for the varied glimpses of life I’ve experienced and observed, based on living in different locations around the United States, and being a reporter who covered numerous topics including religion and politics.

Reporting city council meetings brought me face to face with good folks on all sides presenting their cases on why city leaders must approve certain actions. You want disagreement? You’ll find it in the council chambers!

Sitting in varied religious places of worship where I focused on the elements we held in common. Whether in a Christian church, or mosque, or in a synagouge, beauty, prayer, reflections on the sacred writings are taking place. Along with little ones who are squirming to get free of parents and go run!

Yes illegal actions must be challenged. Stopped. Corrected.

Yes people’s rights as human beings must be affirmed and re-affirmed.

Certainly differences exist between us human beings. We all have differing views on life based on our experience, genetics, and views on life.

I writhe with frustration when these disagreements are played up to the max — possibly fueled by misinformation. No bridges of understanding allowed for. People saying “either you agree with me or you’re wrong wrong wrong!”

I can only speak for myself. My choice is to focus on we hold in common — and to show respect even when I don’t agree with the other person’s conclusions.

Peace be with you.

(C) 2017 by Mary Louise Van Dyke. All Rights Reserved.

For London

The Peanut Butter Years

For you in London, today is the day  life shifts

Tessaracts with the speed of light.

As unaware  you open the door

See the person who stands there

Sorry etched in shadowed eyes

Stumbling words poring out that mean nothing

Nothing!

But your heart quivers breaks rhythm

This is not real.

Beating thoughts rush through you of nights together

And this morning’s you saying pick up a gallon of milk while you’re at the store

And. All. Oh God all you wanted to say tonight

But tonight the supper already fixed will become rubbish fill

The comforter on the bed stay smooth

But there won’t be any comfort Not tonight. Maybe never again

As you plunge into the pit of unreality

Heaped on your heart.by those stumbling words

Of “I am sorry to say this… ”

By Mary Lou Van Dyke  © 2017

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For London

For you in London, today is the day  life shifts

Tessaracts with the speed of light.

As unaware  you open the door

See the person who stands there

Sorry etched in shadowed eyes

Stumbling words poring out that mean nothing

Nothing!

But your heart quivers breaks rhythm

This is not real.

Beating thoughts rush through you of nights together

And this morning’s you saying pick up a gallon of milk while you’re at the store

And. All. Oh God all you wanted to say tonight

But tonight the supper already fixed will become rubbish fill

The comforter on the bed stay smooth

But there won’t be any comfort Not tonight. Maybe never again

As you plunge into the pit of unreality

Heaped on your heart.by those stumbling words

Of “I am sorry to say this… ”

By Mary Lou Van Dyke  © 2017

Remembering the aunts

I am feeling the awkward tug of time as I realize I have one aunt left who is alive.
True, this is a reality for those of us who dwell in the middle years. Elderly relatives drawing breath a final time as they depart on their forever journeys.
Similar to Frodo and his uncle Bilbo’s leaving behind their home in Middle Earth In Lord of the Rings and setting sail for the Grey Havens and eternal rest.
His friends Sam, Merry and Pip are left to mourn and remember, and continue on with their lives.
aunt-connie-001
Aunt Connie
I am experiencing those shadows with the passing of the last aunt from my dad’s family. While feeling quiet joy at being newly reconnected, via FaceBook, with my mother’s only sister.
Last night I spent the wee hours, mulling over my aunts’ influence on my life. Each was mother to several children, two all-male clans, and the third and four to families of all daughters.
Being aunt must have been sliced in between those realities. For the most, part our interactions were limited to “hello’s” and “may I’s” when visiting their homes and playing with cousins.
But there were a few longer visits. What stands out even now were the books they kept at their homes, wandering through the woods, and berry-picking.
The only time I ever got lost was during a long visit to my maternal aunt when I was 9. My parents were away on a trip of reconciliation (that didn’t last long) and my cousins and I lugged “home” buckets of blackberries to be made into pies. A fragile, brown-covered book drew me into the saintly world of a little girl from the past.
The large woods close to their house beckoned and I decided to go on a walk there one afternoon. No cousins or brothers allowed. I soon found myself in shadowy, unfamiliar territory, and getting lost. Was that tree with its gnarled trunk familiar? Where did that path lead?
My woods at home was spread out over a hill.Up meant home. Down meant wandering territory.
These trees of huge pines, oaks, and alder spread out over a single level and those clues didn’t mean anything. It seemed like hours before I finally spied a familiar landmark and reached my aunt’s home and safety.
The other aunt I was closest to lived in the country and I gladly plunged into the role of “country girl.” on visits. My aunt must have chuckled at my early risings to mend torn linen dish towels with a needle and thread. Haul wood in for the wood stove. Feed the turkeys named Thanksgiving and Christmas and go through the woods to gather berries and view the wild mountain fed river that marked the far edge of their property.
I renewed my relationship with her in my early adult years, sad that a long-term illness confined her to her apartment. Her resilient spirit stayed upright, and her willingness to try the too crisp cookies baked by a little girl. Dunkers, she called those cookies.
There was never enough time for long visits in the final years — a fact that still frustrates me — but she is forever so close in my heart.
I so miss her. I miss each aunt in quiet ways. And I am happy to have this opportunity to relink with my last aunt before she is called away. . . .
(C) 2017 by Mary Louise Van Dyke. All Rights Reserved.