November 30, 2006
Wailoa Stream, in Wailoa Park Hilo Hawaii
Post written November 27, 2006
Hoku, its so strange, its like I cant remember... it all seems unreal now that we have settled down. Mike has his old job back and we see our son... People cant believe that we'd leave Hawaii, they have this idea that its perfect there, you know...But its strange, like a dream I had that I cant quite remember... you know what I mean...
I know what she means perfectly well. Like the times I search for a word in Hawaiian that I used all of the time but cannot now remember... unless it is triggered by something elss... like a sound or a smell. Last night on Extreme Make Over they had on a Tonga family
and we both Woody and I found ourselves relating to the situation as though we were sitting in Hilo...Two things about that show. First we have seen Polynesian people live like this often. Not because they are trash, but because homes like the one they were living in were mansions compaired to what they left and they do not know as a rule how to handle home maintainance. In the Islands often you have cinder block on a slab, or post and peir single wall construction. Both nearly always have a none insulated tin roof. In Utah these folks had winters where the pipes froze, Composition roofing that ripps off or loosens letting snowmelt seep in unseen, causing rot and decay...Also I think the father that had died was too proud to accept help from his church and the people around him. Once the need was known, between the new home, all that went into the home and the commercial kitchen that was installed... was 1.25 million dollars poured into the lives of this family. Thats a miracle...
But I say all of that because so much of the story triggered memories that I am fighting hard to keep. Good things and bad things. There were so many good things that I want to never forget. But like Claudia said "You wake up and think..."was I really in Hawaii for all of those years, or did I dream that?""
I dont want to forget life lived in a different world, that ran on a different clock. The sense that you were living on the edge of the world 2750 miles from anywhere, at the center of creation where Kilauea's lava was in constant motion creating new land at a record rate. I want to grab onto and hold onto the memory of dreaming a big dream and seeing it flow into a reality, only to be challenged by that reality to cling to the Unseen Reality of a God bigger than any problem I faced, that would come to my aid when it was His time and in His way... not mine... I dont want that to fade away into the bottom drawer of my memory...
But daily more and more things press into me and its hard to remember the truth of Hawaii. That its beauty is more than skin deep. Most people just take the skin, but I have seen to the bone into the heart and soul of a place people just dream of and never see.It is a part of my very being now, I will never look at life quite the sme way again after living on an island full of unique places and people... I want to carry that with me, that while "Aloha" has come to be a casual greeting, it really means "to be blessed with the breath of God" to be loved by That which is greater than anyone or anything that comes against me.
Labels: Faith, Hawaii
November 28, 2006
Curing the Common Desk Rage
The Hamakua Coast Big Island of Hawaii, the sure cure for desk rage is this view
Have you ever had a sort of "Eureka!" moment when looking on the internet? I did when I saw this article
on MSN. " Desk Rage: Workers Gone Wild
. It discribed "Thisplace" my employer to a tee and frankly, I wondered if they had sent covert reporters into our office, since they cant get into the WalMart home office down the street from here to spy.
Today marks my 1st anniversary with the firm and everyday I find myself thinking how different working in the Transportation business is now than it was 11 years ago when I left. I remember then, fighting having to carry a pager, "the electronic leash" I called it, and highly resented getting phone calls at 2 am regarding this trailer or that box... What can I do about it from the comfort of my bed? One night I didnt answer my phone so the foreman came to my house, which was just down the way from my office there and pounded on my front door to my little house. He was of course told to never do that again by my boss, but still... I think having 24-7 survailance as we do now, with cel phones and GPS watching our every move... and so do a lot of people as stated in the article
And it's not hard to find something to be unhappy with in the modern workplace: heavy workloads, long hours and technology that keeps workers constantly on call. "They never get a break from their work responsibilities," says Enyeart.
With laptops, PDAs, cell phones, e-mail and pagers, there is an ever-widening gap between the amount of information people are expected to keep up with and the amount they can reasonably process, says Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz, a psychiatrist and founder of the Boswell Group, a corporate consulting company in New York City. "The technology is outstripping our capacity to use it," he says.
I feel the pain of this. I have thought that should I need to stay in this sort of job I am going to have to go back to school. But by the time I am qualified to do whoppdido spread sheets on Excel they will have replaced it with something newer faster and more complicated... sometimes I feel like I am faking it through my job, sliding through as I struggle to keep up with those that have managed to learn the skills I never did.
I think this leads to desk rage. Then as you struggle and fight and try and finally you think that you have arrived... you get a pink slip as a reward. Downsized, pushed out, un needed... that sort of thing makes me crazy and makes me vow to myself that as soon as I can I want to work for myself. This turns honest decent people into raging nutjobs pretty quick. I know... I are one.
Then its the little things. As you know, about a month or so ago I got transfered into one of the Dilbert-like cubicles with 6 other yakking females. they move us all of the time which I hate from the start, I so dislike disruption in my space... I couldnt think clearly and was sure that I was going to freak out. Well two weeks ago God took pity on my plight... impossible account to deal with on the phone and surrounded by nice but noisy Cube-rats that were making me crazy.. I think I just feel so closed in by all of that commotion... and I was moved to a new account.
I am now a one man show, handling some business for Thisplace that is somewhat temporory, 3-4 months perhaps then I will be on to something else. But for now I am in a semi private cube, little phone work, and that just answering questions and mostly data entry. I still am under my old boss but the playing field is a tad different, and she leaves me alone to work undisturbed. I am not overwelmed. I can handle what I am doing very well. I can hear myself think and (best of all) I can listen to my Ipod all day long. Bible on Pod, Prayer on Ipod, EWTN Podcasts,IHOP podcasts, plus I have music lots of music...pretty amazing. ( I also have some books on Ipod, but that hasnt worked out as well) So my mind is being fed and with all of the turbulence in my life this is a welcome change.
I think the other reason that people freak out at work is that they are bone weary. Parents... How do they do it? Work commute take care of the house and do kid stuff. I cant even handle my life with Woody and the cats... I amazes me and hats off to all of you especially if you are doing it alone as a single parent. I salute you!
We dont get enough sleep... I saw the sleep doctor today and will have a sleep study at the first of the year. I will make sure and write about that as I was facinated by the info the doctor gave me and a bit upset that likely I will be tied to a damn machine the rest of my life. But I am so weary, that right now I would take any cure offered to try to sleep better that I am trying to keep an open mind about it all. Woody needs this too and once I go maybe he will too and we might have a better relationship if we had the means to cope with us!
But back to my subject. A third of the people I work with either have this sleep disorder or have a significant other with it... and boy if your mate sleeps badly so do you right? I suppose its epidemic and like so much else in our modern world we push ourselves so far from what we were ment to be that no wonder we freak out and throw things, if only in our minds, when we are pushed beyond our limits...
I am praying that God will show me what He wants me to do... I still feel very unsure about the Jewelry Repair business. Woody had a horrible month and they are laying guys off at the car lot. I dont think he mad enough to cover his draw and December with its incomming ice and snow promises to be worse. I cant quit this job now. It would be dumb. Really dumb. I just need to accept what is. Release the resentments that I have about not being home taking care of my house, and go with it and be grateful that I have it as good as I have it. Certainly a heart filled with gratitude has to be a good prescription against desk rage...along with a sense, a good strong sense of the absurd....
November 26, 2006
Psalm 138 ~ Give Thanks To God
Carroll County Farm Near Garfield Arkansas
Psalm 138 Give Thanks to the Lord
A Psalm Of David.
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.*
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.*
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
November 23, 2006
Thanks To God a Thanksgiving Hymn
Harvest Garden, Descanso Gardens, La Canada CaliforniaGive thanks in all circumstances
. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!
Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!
Words: August L. Storm
, in the Swedish Salvation Army paper Strids-Ropet, 1891; translated from Swedish to English by Carl E. Backstrom
Music: Johannes A. Hultman
, in Solskenssanger, 1910 (MIDI, score)
November 20, 2006
I Love My Job
The shining building on the hill, "thisplace" Like as not I will get sacked for this...
A tribute to my beloved home away from home "thisplace" courtesey of Mother Jones, RN at her blog, "Nurse Ratched's Place
I Love My Job
By Dr. Seuss
I love my job, I love the pay!
I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss, he's the best!
I love his boss and all the rest!
I love my office and its location,
I hate to have to go on vacation.
I love my furniture, drab and grey,
and piles of paper that grow each day.
I think my job is really swell,
there's nothing else I love so well!
I love to work among my peers,
I love their leers, and jeers and sneers.
I love my computer and its software.
I hug it often though it won't care.
I love each program and every file.
I'd love them more if they worked a while.
I'm happy to be here. I am. I am.
I'm the happiest slave of the Firm I am.
I love this work,
I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job -
I'll say it again -
I even love those friendly men.
Those friendly men who've come today,
In clean white coats to take me away!!!
November 19, 2006
Philippians 4:5-20 Rejoice and Give Thanks
Autumn Mailbox on Highway 62 near Beaver ArkansasPhilippians 4:5-20
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!
Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.
How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn't have the chance to help me.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
But even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this.
Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once.
I don't say this because I want a gift from you. What I want is for you to receive a well-earned reward because of your kindness.
At the moment I have all I need-more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases him.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Now glory be to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.
November 18, 2006
We've Done It Our Way- An Anniversary Card
Our Bench Descanso Gardens, La Canada, Californai. Woody and I spent many many hours sitting on this bench, that overlooks the "fern grotto" and is near a tiny stream that runs when it has rained some, mostly it is dry...We would sit and talk, in the heat of summer and the chill of winter... amid the Black Oaks and Camellias in this beautiful garden, one of the great unknown treasures of Southern California. From the time I could drive well enough to navagate the tricky interchanges and horrendous traffic of downtown Los Angeles this place had been a part of my home (and my heart) just slightly detached (by about 40 miles) from the rest... I loved comming back here this past September, we sat on the bench together. it creaked and groaned in protest of expanded waistlines and we were more grateful for it being right there on the path where we needed to stop and rest...It began to mist on us as the gardens are on the cloud line altitudewise. It was refreshing and we remenised about our lives, the times we came there alone and the times we would load my Mom up and bring her here, with her camera... I accepted Woody's marriage proposal near by under a shower of golden ginko leaves on a autumn day not unlike the day we visited...
We've done it our way
We've trusted in
the reason of our hearts
insted of following
the well worn path
and relying on
the "tried and true"
We've followed our instints,
what's right for
may not be right for us
in each other
and in the
Power of God
to take us
in the direction
of Our dreams...
from a card given to me by Woody in 2001, We were living in Waikoloa waiting to get into our home in Pahoa on the other side of the island. It was after 9-11 and we were comming to grips with our Hawaiian Dream becomming a gritty reality that you, my longtime readers, are well aware of...Like the masthead of my blog which shows a tiny Ironwood tree growing out of "a'a'
"lava rock pounded daily by the surf of Laupahoehoe, the card shows an iris growing and blooming out of crack in a cobblestone street. I loved the card so much that I have it framed and hanging in our home. It reminds me of a truth, that God must be in it (where it says "power of God, it once said "Power of Love" but Woody scratched that out saying that God was more in this than him...telling isnt it....)
And so I salute that today on this our 11th anniversary. No it may not be love, at least the love that I find myself longing for on a dreary afternoon at the office... but it is something. We have survived a pounding that would have killed most marriages, illness, financial crisis, relocation (twice... once will do it to you....) death of parents and heartaches caused by them while still living. Childlessness, loss and renewal even change of faith.
Here we are still standing... I think because we havent, as the card says, listened to everyone else and just gave it another day, another shot. Both Woody and I
So a toast...to giving it one more day... God Bless you, Woodster...
November 12, 2006
Psalm 20~Trust in the Name of the Lord Our God
Glorious Sunrise... The Greens at Tanyrad Creek, Bella Vista Arkansas
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah
May he grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
O Lord, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.
November 11, 2006
A Prayer for Our Military
Sailor folding the flag
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
Lord guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!
Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.
Return from Iraq guard of honor
Lord, stand beside the men who build,
And give them courage, strength, and skill.
O grant them peace of heart and mind,
And comfort loved ones left behind.
Lord, hear our prayers for all Seabees,
Where'er they be on land or sea.
Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
And those who on the ocean ply;
Be with our troops upon the land,
And all who for their country stand:
Be with these guardians day and night
And may their trust be in thy might.
funeral at sea
Creator, Father, who first breathed
In us the life that we received,
By power of thy breath restore
The ill, and men with wounds of war.
Bless those who give their healing care,
That life and laughter all may share
God, Who dost still the restless foam,
Protect the ones we love at home.
Provide that they should always be
By thine own grace both safe and free.
O Father, hear us when we pray
For those we love so far away.
Arlington National Cemetary Arlington Virginia
November 09, 2006
The Twelfth Of Never
Woody walking away Eureka Springs AR...You ask how much I need you
Must I explain
I need you oh my darling
Like roses need rain
You ask how long I'll love you
I'll tell you true
Until the twelfth of never I'll still be loving you
Hold me close
Never let me go
Hold me close
Melt my heart like April snow
I'll love you 'till the blue bells forget to bloom
I'll love you 'till the clover has lost its perfume
I'll love you 'till the poets run out of rhyme
Until the twelfth of never
And that's a long long time
Until the twelfth of never
And that's a long long time
(Words & music by Livingstone - Webster)
"When I hear this song... he comes back to me vividly, in my mind... How long does this pain last? When do the spontanious tears stop..."
I looked at her...and said..."If you're lucky, they dont..."
I have begun to attend a greif support group at my church. This is a new group, and includes people that I know and a few that I didnt know at all until now...This isnt group therapy, moderated by a professional, other than our Pastor, himself bereived of a beloved sister nearly a year ago, very suddenly...she was 38 and left four young children. I thought that was really rough. But a bit less formal and because of that I feel a touch restrained... I know how to unload as you all know, having read this blog for a while. I dont feel right doing that sort of unloading in this situation...
I am the youngest (only by a few months, Pastor David and I are the same age) but in this church membered by mostly retirees, as you can imagine, most of the berieved are older, and have lost mates of a lifetime's love and devotion...some quietly others by inches as they battled painfull illness and old age. However, some are greiving the loss of their children and grandchildren... Illness accidents and sadly, homocide. Their pain is so great, for it is against nature for one's children to die ahead of you, and the loss of grandchildren... It is beyond understanding
I am the newest berieved and the only one grieving a parent, or rather parents...and perhaps a loss much deeper than that. The loss of any potential to rectify the past.
As I listen to these dear people greive as they tell their stories, I feel so unlike them. I am not so much sorry that my Mother died, death is a part of living. What I am sorry about is that we didnt have enough living... not by a longshot...
I fear that I need to go back into real counseling. I feel all crushed out, like a orange with all of its juice squeezed out. I dont feel like I have much inside me. Dwelling on my mother's life has caused me to think a lot about my own and how so many of the negative things are repeating in my own life. I vowed that wouldnt happen but it has and here I am...44 living with someone who for most "practical purposes" is still a stranger after 12 years of marriage. I fear that a professional would delclare "Ditch the Woodster" but where would he go and what about how he feels?... Working at a job that for the most part.... I feel like I am faking it. So much of what they want me to do is impossible so I press in through my days, not confident about what I am doing...I fear being found out.
At the group, I feel like I cant talk about what troubles me. How I feel like a statue. Standing in the elements, the wind and sun have erased my face leaving me a faceless, being. My Mother's death closes a whole chapter in my life, and as I go day in and day out, I have no future, it is formless, like a dream when one just wakes up and it seems like I have no hope of having much more than this vagueness in my heart.
November, in our church, it is given over to "Last Things" Life, Death, Heaven, Hell, and Judgement... /we are meditating on these things. I find myself thinking about my own feelings, and realize that I am doing well enough. I find that daily I grow more and more centered and I am living in the present moment more intensely than ever. So much so that writing is very difficult. Blogging, Letters and other forms of communication are semi shut down...I just pray hard that one day The damaged parts grow back and that my ability to write returns.
Until then I will struggle along, keep praying, keep busy keep petting a kitty when I am down, I sing the "Twelfth of Never" to Mak and Nani, and they purr back.
Spring will return...eventually
November 05, 2006
The Fruits of the Spirit- Galatians 5:16-26
Pumpkin Descanso Gardens
Living by the Spirit's Power
So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.