The How’s & Why’s

Last Sunday I spent time with my grandchildren, as I do every Sunday. My 2 year old grandaughter has entered the “why” phase of her development, engaging in rather lengthy conversations (for a 2 year old) where every “answer” prompts another “why?”… Personally, I love this phase, as I have spent a lifetime learning “why’s” and am always eager to share what I’ve learned. So I was happy to indulge her curiosity, remembering fondly her mother’s “why” time, and even much of mine…

My daughter, overhearing our conversation, thought to apologize. I laughed, telling her what I just told you, and she had a curious response. She pointed out that my grandson (now 7) never really went through that phase…

That got me thinking… (uh oh!)

And I realized that they are two very different kinds of people, my grandchildren. (Duh!) But, seriously, I think they may represent very different groups of people currently living in our society – the How’s and the Why’s…

How people are thinkers, builders, problem-solvers and creators; they want to know how things work, and then they use that information to create new things and ways of doing things. I’ve often said my grandson has an “engineering” bias, fascinated as he is by discovering how things work, and resistant to imaginative play. He wants to build things. And when I try to play make-believe with him, he always calls me out on fantasy projections, telling me how “that’s not real!” When I encourage him to pretend, the best he can do is take known facts and cobble them together into outlandish possibilities. Like he explained how he would build a time machine, not in terms of how it would actually traverse time or when he would travel to, but in terms of the door, the shape of the vessel, the materials needed, the types and numbers of dials and buttons. All very precise, while still being pure imagination…

He also happens to be exceptional at math, science, music and karate (having won first place at his tournament this week). And yes, that is a shameless plug…

My grandaughter, however, spends much of her awake time in imaginative play, happily conversing with her stuffed animals or the friends that only she can see. She also shares a love of nature with me (and her mother) that her brother does not feel in the same way. (The first time we took them on a walk through the forest to see the fairy houses, my grandaughter was entranced while my grandson was bored, except for when we got wondering if trolls were “real” or not.)

Why people seek purpose, meaning, understanding. They tend to be naturally empathic, as if carrying within themselves some basic concept of unity. (The first time she “met” a tree in person, she ran up to hug it with her baby arms. She also talks quite coherently now to plants and animals, with absolutely no fear of any animal she’s ever seen.) They look for ways to bridge problems and obstacles, seeking through similarity, metaphor and analogy another way around or over. They are the “big picture” people.

A couple decades ago, I would have classified them as left and right-brain biased, and I wouldn’t have been “wrong.” But those descriptions no longer seem adequate, as both children are exceptional problem-solvers (requiring both creativity and critical thinking), but each approaches those “problems” differently; my grandson wants to “fix” them, while my grandaughter wants to “understand” them. But together, they are pure genius! My grandaughter (the instigator) comes up with a purely “imaginative” goal, and my grandson immediately applies himself to creating the means to achieve it…

I suppose there are also Who and Which people, as well. The Who’s would be the community builders, the networkers, the connectors, figuring out who should be paired with whom to get the most productive results. And the Which’s then would be the decision makers, the organizers, the “leaders” if you will; their ability to rapidly compare and contrast multiple scenarios on the fly makes them ideal for that role…

And I think the When’s and Where’s are accounted for by the actual environment in which all of us have gathered. This is, after all, a 3 dimensional world of Time and Space…

Not sure why any of this is significant right now, except that it relates to a conversation I once had with my “teachers” about the different factors at play in “reality,” and their function in creating it. And since we clearly need a new perspective on reality (and by “we” I mean “all of me”), perhaps it’s time to revisit these concepts.

Hmm… Maybe my grandaughter will know why it’s important, and my grandson can figure out how to use this information. I’ll have to ask them this weekend… ;D

Poetry, Reflections, Visions

“Say My Name…”

A voice whispers nearby, though I cannot see its source

it speaks my name…

And there is love in every syllable

embracing shadow, light and shame…

And suddenly I’m not alone anymore

on this journey I have chosen…

I am not judged, for triumph or failure,

only acknowledged for my wholeness…

And there is peace beyond measurement

in that act of remembrance…

rectification, validation and atonement…

in the silence that once spoke my name.

Out of sight, but never out of mind

just say my name, and I will come…



A Battle of Conscience…

Sitting here, actively ignoring every news report, opinion piece, or intuition regarding what is happening in the world. And still my guts are churning. Because truth will track me down and find me, no matter how deeply I bury my head in the sand…

So, I walk away from every device that might “poison” me today. I seek solace on our deck, in our private little copse of trees, with the wildlife it protects and shelters. And immediately Blue Jay is on my ass, yelling at me. I’ve seen only a few this year, and heard them only occasionally, but suddenly they are everywhere. Loud and obnoxious, the meaning is clear (for me, anyway), they come to remind me of the “proper use of power.”

And finally it occurs to me that I’m fighting for my very character here. Who do I truly want to be?!

I’ve “suffered” a lot in this life. I’m not alone in that. I’ve likely suffered through many lives here. And every trial, every abuse of power, every betrayal, every injustice has taught me about the “proper” use of power.

Until now, when empathy is more than just a word for me; it has become a way of life. Forgiveness is the rule, rather than the exception. The “high road” is the one that calls me forward. Always… I don’t even have to think about it anymore; it just happens.

Because there are always at least two sides to a story. There are always lessons to be learned. And forgiveness is what’s best for me. It puts me back in the power seat; it erases any hint of victimage. It puts me in charge of my own destiny…

That’s “good,” right? That’s how it should be. Right? Or am I missing something vital in this equation?

Because I don’t want to take the high road today! I am ignoring its call. I don’t want to forgive today! Some things are unforgivable. If people of conscience continue to do the same thing, making the “correct” moral choice, over and over again, then how is anything ever going to truly change? It reminds me of that quote (by whom, I do not know), that “true insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”

So, today, rather than questioning whether those “in power” should pay, I find myself questioning how? I hear my own words, thrown out in rage last week, returning home to me now, ringing out in the voice of my own child: “let’s grab some of those NRA protected guns and seek our own justice, for the system has failed us for the last time!”

So I’m questioning now who we should kill with those guns that we grab? Obviously those currently in power, right? Let the revolution truly begin, and let it begin with those closest to me, including myself. Let those of us without dependents step up and face the consequences, taking down as many as we can along the way!

“But…,” I hear myself hesitate, not because I lack courage or commitment, but because I lack knowledge and skill. “How do I get near enough to any of them to act on my plan?”

So I start thinking perhaps we should go after their loved ones first, for they are less protected. And personally, I’d like to see them suffer first. I’d like them to get just a taste of what it feels like to be powerless today!

Or maybe go after those in lesser circles who still exhibit the traits of power and privilege, preventing that next generation from claiming its place in the halls of power?

“But no,” I hear myself saying. There is a difference between vengeance and justice. I do not wish to become a vigilante. I just want to stop what is happening. And voting won’t change a thing, really. The “bad guys (and women)” need to end; it is the only way to stop them. Remove them from the equation, and let others have a chance. That is justice…

“Yes, Blue Jay, I hear you!! But today, I simply don’t care!”


“Red Daze…”

Awash in a red haze

full of rage

but impotent

unable to enact, or expect,


Injustice rules

the few stand mighty over the rest

engendering distrust

and weakness…

For who should be held accountable?

How might they be justly served?

Who shall mete out punishments?

Who shall judge their worth?

Hypocrisy, double standards…

A refusal to acknowledge such,

even by those most affected

by the criminals who stole so much!

This cannot be the way it ends!

For Life demands balance…

Yet Nothing tips the scales back

toward center mass…

Nothing changes in the end…

*** ***

So let it end already…

Let Nothing have its day.

Let darkness rise among us,

overwhelming this red daze!



There is a place not far from here,

sitting on the edge of town.

It calls to me across the miles,

like a siren or a clarion call…

I cannot resist my curiosity,

a compulsion welling from within,

to seek this place of gathering,

to understand this whim…

So I drag myself out to my car

slip it into gear

and follow the road that leads who knows where

out on the edge of town…

Long before I arrive, I sense the others there,

each led by their own compulsions,

their own urges,

their own reasons to be near…

I feel the giddiness that permeates the space;

the restless energy pervasive,

and persuasive,

pulls me ever closer to that place.

A reckless undertone puts me on guard

that not everyone is true.

Hiding something behind the masks they wear,

uncertain if it’s hope or fear.

Traffic thickens as I approach,

surprised by how many have been “called,”

worried now that it can’t be real

however sure I might have been.

Neon lights blaze from the place

so bright they hurt my eyes.

But illuminating nothing really

in the moonless, starless night.

A storm smell weighs upon my senses,

a pressure of impending rain.

Cold chills race down my spine

chasing away the heat of daze.

A golden glow on the horizon,

a hint of dawn? Or dusk?

Feeling so completely disoriented now,

I can’t tell east from west?

A kind driver in the long line of oncoming cars

allows me to cut in front.

Turning left, I enter

what appears to be a parking lot…

So very many people here now

some headed in, and some out.

A parking space opens up before me,

so I gratefully pull in.

Getting out of my car I realize

how heavy everything is…

The air is dense and hard to breathe,

each step a measure of will.

Feet dragging in the dirt

too gravity bound to even lift.

I should be happy I tell myself

like everyone else is pretending to be.

But all I feel is weakness

and trembling in my knees.

The door looms large in front of me,

a line queues out in front.

A headless snake meandering

in this dusty nowhere lot.

And finally I see the sign

flashing in and out.

Some bulbs lit while others fade,

the name difficult to make out.

I stare thoughtlessly, giving my inner sight free rein,

to decipher and fill in the cryptic code

dancing in the patterns of light…

“Ahhh, I see. I get it now,”

I whisper into the wind…

“Transitions is the name of this place!

I guess that explains it All!”