Christmas Poem

Christmas Poem

 

I have been alone on Christmas.

I have leaned my forehead on the kitchen window

Melting the frost outside until the water  

Ran down the glass in rivulets.

Sick with grief, I could only think if I’d been better

Christmas would not have escaped me.

Years later, I am still fragile,

But I am now stronger than the night,

And my heart burns brighter than Venus

In the early morning sky.

I know now, I am not alone. 

The heart of the Christ child will 

Always guide me and point me to

The Star of Bethlehem. 

 

Note to ALL my Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Wiccan, and LGBQ readers: I wish you safety, joy, good health, peace, prosperity, a million belly-laughs for 2017, and the joy of creativity. Most of all, I wish you love. xoxo

 

 

 

An Open Apology To Dolly Parton 

I’ve always loved Dolly. She is an example of all that is good in humanity.

Rawe-struck

Dear Dolly,

10040291_300x300I’ll be honest. I used to think you were a bimbo. I used to think you flaunted your big boobs, teased hair, tiny waist, and your syrupy-sweet southern accent just to sell yourself and your brand as a country singer. Granted, I was raised in the Midwest and lived as an adult for many years in the Northeast. I didn’t get you, much less the South.

For example, I’d heard about your origins as a poor girl from the hills of East Tennessee, and when I learned you’d created a theme park in your native Sevier County I rolled my eyes. “Really, a theme park?” I thought. “As if rollercoasters will really help the people of rural Appalachia. Why not create something truly useful to give back to your community, like a library.”

Oh.

You have created a library, actually, and possibly in a bigger and more…

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I Want to Ride a Butterfly to the Moon

My friend and mentor, B. Aline Blanchard’s poem, I Want to Ride a Butterfly to the Moon, inspired composer G. Paul Naeger to write this wonderful orchestral piece. Here, Aline recites the poem with the Orchestra on the Hill behind her. Such beauty!

 

Composer G. Paul Naeger
Performed by Orchestra on the Hill

Poetry, Narration and Photographs by B. Aline Blanchard

Animation by Chris Florio and Caleb Owen

Thanksgiving 2016 – With THANKS Being the Operative Word

Thanksgiving 2016 – With THANKS Being the Operative Word

As the United States gets ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’ve had to take a step back and catch my breath from the political comings and goings of the last year.

America, I’d like to ask you a question. Have you ever seen Plymouth Rock? That’s the stone upon which the Mayflower Separatists (also called Pilgrims) first set foot upon when arriving in the “New World” in 1620. Their counterparts had arrived at Jamestown in 1607, and initially it didn’t go well. I live about five miles from where the Jamestown settlers came ashore, so like or or not, I’ve become well schooled in their suffering. I’d like to point out, however, that the suffering the white Europeans brought upon the First Nation was a billion times worse. Think smallpox, etc. I wish I could, but I can’t undo the past.

Back to Plymouth Rock. About five years ago, I was with Barbara and Arthur on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. Arthur pulled the car up to the curb and asked me if I wanted to see the Rock. It had a huge monument over it, so I got out, and walked over. Peering down, I saw a suitcase-sized white stone. I could have fit it in the trunk of my car. That was it. That was Plymouth Rock.

Throughout my life, until that moment, I had envisioned the Pilgrims stepping off the Mayflower onto a large outcropping of rocks. In my mind it was an enormous rock. So, I was very surprised when  it turned out to be so tiny.

We as Americans have some not-so-tiny issues ahead of us over the next four years. But in the spirit of peace, I and my loved ones will break bread on Thanksgiving, and we will pray for truth, we will pray for strength, we will pray for justice, and we will pray for peace. And we will ask for God’s blessing upon for all of us, regardless of our beliefs, now and in the year to come.

 

“Non-Racist Trump Voters” Have a Moral Obligation to Stand Up to Hate

Dear Trump Voters, I’ve seen a lot of you being very angry at being assumed a racist. I’ve seen you claiming you love everybody and believe your “rough around the edges” candidate really does too, …

Source: “Non-Racist Trump Voters” Have a Moral Obligation to Stand Up to Hate

It’s Election Day

It’s Election Day

My wish for us all is that we exercise our right to vote, and that we respect each person’s right to vote as they see fit. 

I am calling upon St. Michael the Archangel to protect us in the polling place, to protect us from each other, and to remind us that as human beings, it is incumbent upon us to be kind and respectful to one and other. This is what continues to make ours a wonderful nation. We care about each other, regardless of our beliefs. Please remember this. 

I’ll see you all tomorrow morning, bright and early at the polls. I will not be following the results, but I  prefer to wake up Wednesday morning and simply get on with my life. 

Peace out.

Nice Looking Trail…This Was the Flat Part

Nice Looking Trail…This Was the Flat Part

Even as a little kid, I hated walking uphill. My grandmother would herd me and my contingent of sisters and cousins, down the hill to the Little Beach. I knew I would have to retrace our path on the uphill if I ever wanted to see my teddy bear, again. And so, I climbed. 

I still hate the upward stroll, even while I invoke it on my treadmill (though not by an inordinate incline).  I can cover the flat lands on foot for hours, I can pedal a bicycle for miles on a flat surface, but climbing stairs, or walking uphill kills me. I climbed to the tourist spot overlooking Paris in Notre Dame cathedral when I was 25 and thought I was going to die half-way up. 

Two years ago, Greg decided he wanted to re-visit Crabtree Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was autumn, and it sounded very enticing. We rented a cabin and set out with high expectations. Or, at least Greg had high whatever. I just looked straight up the mountain path and thought, “Oh, Lord, this doesn’t look good.” 

One foot, two foot, red foot, blue foot; hours later after what I can only recall as vertical climbing (you can see from the photo how bitterly exaggerate…) we were no closer to the Falls than when we’d started. Suddenly, a car with four college students rounded the bend and asked us if we’d like a lift to the parking lot at the foot of the mountain. And, just as hopefully as it began, the climb was over as I fell asleep in the back seat of that Suburu.