Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Madeleine's Manuscripts: Global Tel Link Is A Racket

Madeleine's Manuscripts: Global Tel Link Is A Racket: I received a letter from my son today who should be hospitalized, instead, he is sitting in jail deteriorating as I write this blog.  His l...

Madeleine's Manuscripts: The Hands of Prayer

Madeleine's Manuscripts: The Hands of Prayer: If heartache wrote the story, then surely I've seen my share, but I am an eternal optimist and still believe in prayer.  It does not me...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Shadow Soldiers


Have you ever seen a soldier cry or wiped a tear from his eye? Was his face resolute void of emotion? Were his eyes distant and his dreams dashed? To heal the soldier from within just observe the actions, don't question why. You see it is time for a river to flow. Our wounded warriors are coming home with broken limbs and painful minds where time has taken them in a far off wind. The soldiers here who cannot fight because their preordained by God as Sensitive Soldiers who feel the pain who cannot bear arms because of the disdain. The ones who remember humanity and cringe at the destruction of Terracotta and cry for the youth once enjoyed, but never let go of the setting sun because of the way life begun.  Tears of snowcaps engulf the World because babies cry while their parents die.  A motherless girl who envisioned the world peacefully, lost her innocence in burgundy skies when hilltops shed the wounded and the dead.  Visionary dreamer feels obliged by her upbringing and her place to expound the knowledge gained or is it the rambling of one insane that longs for peace in a world of hate?




Thursday, September 24, 2015

Backbone Mama

Ain't gonna break this backbone

Oh no

I've seen heartache and pain

But I know how to rise again

Like a Phoenix in the sky

You won't see this baby cry

I'm gonna rise

Oh rise again

Like a Phoenix you can

Depend on it

Ain't gonna break this backbone

Ain't gonna tear her down

I've seen heartache and I've seen pain

But I know how to rise again

I so can tell you wow so many stories

But I've finally found my own

Two feet planted on the ground

Ain't gonna break this backbone

Oh, oh no

I've seen heartache and I've seen pain

But I have learned how to rise again

Like a Phoenix in the sky

You won't see this baby cry

Like a Phoenix in the sky

I will rise

I will rise

Got my feet planted now

Got my mind in control

Know where I'm head'in to

And I ain't gonna depend on you




Note:  I will provide chords later. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dance

Dance is the emotional expression of life.  The cadence of the platoon.  The tribal ones who rally for a moment to hear their elders chanting in the distant wind.  The plea for peace from the harshness of the street.  Dance is the misinterpretation of meaning trapped in the norm of religion.  Wings of freedom demand dance to set the heart at ease in the forest and jungles of a mind trapped in time.

Dance is the choreography of the painter's pallet released in Tahquamenon Falls. The spirit driven soul to survive the wind and cold.  Dance is the child's moment to gleam in the shadow of. Mr. Bojangles. Dance is the commune of spirit.

Dance is generational  the story told without words, but through actions that reflect the culture, the influence, the life of those who've stretched a hand to share the story of ancestry.  Dance is the transcendental womb song. The tear that flows from the pores and eyes of the one, who slays his fellow man in the congruent moment of destiny, that grants one life and the other death.

Dance, the cobbler's shoe, lost in the field of a new generation. Those who fail to see, the art upon the foot, restored by the artisan, who understands the dance of movement.  The shoe shine man told the tale of hard times, but kept a smile on his face despite the task at hand.  Let not the stories be forgotten of a by gone era. The street sweepers moving in unison to retain jobs in desperate times.

Dance is the purest reflection of self.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Culturally Challenged

Though I am white, the line from Maya Angelou's book, "I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings," resonates with me:  "Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, that must be satisfied, is the unshaking need for an unshakable God." p.26.  Maya's brother served that purpose for her. My God, in my youth, took a more traditional Christian view being that of Jesus.  I never prayed to God as a child, I prayed directly to Jesus.

My father's traditional stop to the chapel religiously at the orphanage reinforced the need to pray.  In his day God was an almighty being filled with fire an brimstone for the common man.  Masses were said in Latin.  My God, never, had those images, as the Nuns taught me of a loving Jesus who would be sympathetic to the common man.  Father Tom, who would say mass once a week at the orphanage served as the visual equivalent of what Jesus must have looked like.

One sermon of his, in particular, stood out with me then as it does with me now. He told the story by Shel Silverstein's, "The Giving Tree."  I remember how the tree gave everything to the little boy, finally offering no more than a stump to rest his body upon.  In my life, I lost everything including my home.  It took time, but good people helped me get to the point I am in my life, and now I have an apartment.  Another story, from the Bible, that Father Tom spoke about, was the one of three individuals with various given gifts.  One of those mentioned buries his gift so it is unable to prosper. Sometimes, I most identify with this person, as in my youth I wrote songs and played guitar.  I chose at the time a path, I felt was more secure for a family by working as a substitute teacher and writing for local papers. Time will tell if I made the right choice.

I also recall the story of Easter as taught by Father Tom.  We would have a reenactment of the Easter Vigil including a donkey, which Father Tom would ride. One year at Easter, the orphanage had a flood, and the children were brought out on the donkey.

Reflecting again on Ms. Angelou's book, "All adults had to be addressed Mister, Miss, Auntie, Unk, Uncle..."p. 28, which we were also taught at the orphanage in the 60's and 70's.  All of the maids were to be addressed as Miss like Miss May, Mr. Willie and Miss June M. Brown who was their daughter, and was sixteen. I loved her as an older playmate, and she taught me not to get angry like the Nuns did as well.

In my days at the orphanage, I only had one black social worker.  There was no such term as African American being promoted back then.  There had been a cultural shift from the use of the term negro to black and black power, black panthers and other terms of solidarity and strength were beginning to be used.  I liked her and her name was Mrs. Espy.  My twin brothers, played with her name and called her Mrs. Espionage.  They were only a year older, and I didn't even know what espionage meant.  I don't know if the name calling originated with them, or if started with older boys, because I was only about five at the time.

Around 1974, I had my first black cottage worker, or, as they are called now child care worker.  Her name was Miss Butch.  She was very young and had a baby.  I liked her as well.  I was beginning to learn about the black experience and the struggles of slavery.  I asked her if she was able to know anything about her black heritage.  She acknowledged that it was difficult.

Something I have always regretted from my childhood was an incident while I lived in St. Vincent's Cottage.  I really did not think it was wrong to have a knife from home because my Dad gave it to me.  It was a Girl Scout knife.  I knew other girls who had knives over the years, and I never said anything because I figured it was what they grew up with, and we all understood they were not to be used for violence.  My one friend in Immaculata showed me her sharpening stone.  I believe she was Native American though, I may be wrong.  We were taught many Native American traditions.

My friend Marilyn, saw that I had a knife and apparently reported it to Miss Butch. By this time, I was going home on weekends.  I simply took the knife back home when I realized that Marilyn had reported me.  Marilyn was upset with me because Miss Butch could not find the knife.  I didn't want to be in trouble so I played dumb.

Later when I went to see my social worker at the time.  Somehow Miss Butch came up in the subject. I always felt like maybe I cost her her job because I alluded to Miss Butch being prejudiced when asked, which she was not.  To tell you the truth, I don't know if Miss Butch lost her job or not.  I just always felt badly about what I had done.

That week, Marilyn was furious with me when Miss Butch could not find the knife, and Sr. Helen was afraid she was going to beat me up.  I don't know if  Sister knew about the knife incident, as she never asked me.  Sr. Helen sent me to another cottage where I took care of an adorable little black baby named Christmas. She had ebony eyes and a beautiful smile.  She also had a cast from hips down.  I was good with children, and I learned then how much I enjoyed taking care of kids. When I asked Sister what happened to Christmas, she told me her father had thrown her against the wall.  I couldn't believe that a little innocent baby would be harmed by her own father.

Marilyn and I stayed friends, as eventually she got over being angry with me.  I left from St. Vincent's Cottage to come home for good in 1975.  The period is semi-vague.  I remember going to my social worker's house and being told I was going home.  My two friends Edna and Angel were with me at the time.  Sr. Helen also took me to another girl's home where the girl had been a resident of ours.  She had a broken back and was now living at home.  For some crazy reason her brother beat her up and caused her broken back.  I never asked her the details.  Her younger sister and I had been good friends.

In the ten years, I lived there, I never volunteered why I lived there, nor did I ask anyone why they were living at the orphanage.  There were times by happenstance that I learned things, but I never divulged the information.

I pray, that if I ever meet Miss Butch or Marilyn again, I can say I am sorry for what I did as a child. It was a crazy era.  When I was very young and really hadn't been out of the orphanage, some of the kids had taught me a rhyme that I didn't know the meaning of when a white kid and a black kid got into a fight it was said, and I sang it on the bus when were headed to a camp we used to attend.  Miss Lucille knew I had no idea what I was saying and said do you know what that means, and I replied, "no."  The terrible taunt, was, "there's a fight, there's a fight between a n and a white." To this day, I have to ask myself, why was it that when I had almost no exposure to the outside world at that time and was not even in first grade, why did I know this taunt.  Like everything else, I guess, I must have learned it from the other kids.  Thankfully, Miss Lucille who was stern didn't get angry with me, but she made me aware that it was really a bad thing to do.

Miss Lucille, did on occasion get mad with me and on one occasion during lunch hour,  she put me in a small closet in the room next door that was completely dark.  I don't know what I had done.  Mrs. Buckley, who was from India and was my teacher, never knew, as I did not tell her.  Miss Lucille used to make us sing hymns on the bus when we went to camp, otherwise, it was to be quiet. Miss Lucille never shared anything with me about her personal life.  I just knew she watched us at nap time at the orphanage and road with us on the bus.  Some of the kids were really afraid of Miss Lucille.  I think it was just her way.

Miss Angelou's book states, "Nobody with a smidgen of training, not even the worst roustabout, would look right in a grown person's face.  It meant the person was trying to take the words out before they were formed." p.29.  I have been misunderstood before because I would not look one in the eye.  I was taught it was disrespectful.  It was extremely confusing to me when I had two doctors from India.  One was a doctor, who had lived and practiced in the States for some time.  He would tell me to look him in the eye.  I could not, and I told him it made me uncomfortable.  A younger doctor also from India, but a traditionalist became my treating psychiatrist with whom I could relate much better.  He never forced me to look him in the eyes, and I felt much more at ease with him.

To this day, I have difficulty with people wanting me to look them straight in the eye,  as if it were a window of honesty, I think that is a US thing..  I experienced this most recently with a woman.  I felt like in order to look her in the eye, I would have to look through her, into the eyes of the abyss. Though it made me uncomfortable, I got through it.

I studied business at both Oakland Community College and Eastern Michigan University.  My Professor at Eastern asked for someone to come up and shake his hand.  I didn't know there was a business handshake even for women.  I shook his hand like the Queen of England does.  He said that was not how to do it, and kindly explained in business you extend your hand out and shake the other person's firmly.

I played the YMCA song for one of my reports, but I didn't have the lettering on my poster board stenciled, so I received a lower grade.  I learned the lettering had to be professional.  I had been the store manager at YMCA Camp Ohiyesa,  Dakota, and had to organize the small store at the camp.  I was doing fine selling the items and making change in my head.  Then low and behold a register came.  I was only taught one day by an outsider, a man with little patience, on how to use the register, and I didn't get it.  I tried studying the book all night, but I needed a teacher, who would have gone more slowly with me.  So I resorted to what I understood, type in the exact amount as though they had given it to you that way, and make sure you give the correct change.  I let the office know what I had done, so they could do whatever they did to account for the money.  Fortunately, my first reporting job came up, and I was able to quit.  I am afraid of registers to this day because I don't feel I can learn them fast enough.

I was also taught by the same Professor at Eastern to either keep the soles of your feet on the ground or cross your legs without ever showing a heel, as that is a sign of disrespect in many cultures, especially in the Middle East.  If you have short legs and may be a little chubby, perhaps it is easier to keep your legs together and your feet directly on the ground.

I never had business outfits.  I never had the money, so I would struggle when I was trying to work. Thankfully, in my news reporting positions, I could get away with jeans.  Although, one time in Brighton I was embarrassed as I did not know they televised their council meetings, but I posed my question anyways.

I do have some slacks now and some tops, so hopefully, my situation in seeking employment will improve.  I still believe there is a God, I just can't assign my God to any particular religion or give him any ethnicity.  I guess I still give my God gender.  I don't know if that practice will ever go away.

I respect Pope Francis for his efforts, I just can't believe in the Church especially when they are teaching things about Saints and blessing dogs.
















Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Global Tel Link Is A Racket

I received a letter from my son today who should be hospitalized, instead, he is sitting in jail deteriorating as I write this blog.  His letter is convoluted and lacks cohesiveness.  The jails in the "U.S. have 10 x the population with mental illness housed in 5,000 jails and prisons." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/us/a-psychologist-as-warden-jail-and-mental-illness-intersect-in-chicago.html?ref=topics&_r=0

A tremendous mistake was made when the U.S. collectively made a decision to close mental hospitals.  Many of the mental hospitals were horrible and lacked humanity; however, now a great populace is without proper mental health services and no place to properly care for the mentally ill.

To add insult to misery, family members are treated poorly by the system.  Global Tel Link is the service provider for family members to provide credit card information to, if an individual is to receive phone calls.  Here is the horrendous injustice.  If one, such as myself, owns a cell phone with unlimited minutes, which I have paid for, Global Tel Link wants their share of the pie and being that I am out of state, the charges escalate.  The amount of money to start is $25.00 + 4.10 taxes + $8.00 service fee for a ten minute call, which initially the guy said was for a fifteen minute call.

If, Global Tel Link, is incapable of having their facts straight from the get go.  One must realize there is a racket involved.  It is pathetic that supposedly in the U.S., we have a capitalist society, which does not permit monopolies.  Hmm, mm, I guess this does not include jails or prisons.

Global Tel Link, profits from individuals who have done no wrong.  They are the lone provider for telephone services.  Additionally, if I set-up an account with them, I would not be able to call to the jail, I would have to wait for my son to call. By the way, I made the decision based on my income that I could not afford this ridiculous set-up.  What pains me, is that I received a letter from my son, where it is apparent his health is declining. I can only pray that he will receive care and is moved to a hospital soon.

Once, he is moved to a hospital using my cell phone without additional fees, I can call him.  What kind of world are we living in?  I know, provided an opportunity, my son can turn his life around. All my siblings and myself have attained higher education.  I have struggled the most, but I am not knocking myself out of the game.  I know what it takes to bounce back, and I must be the example for my son and daughter.

Watch out world, my children are diamonds in the rough.  With proper support, they will thrive.  I know, they are mine. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/global-tel-link/  Copy and Paste to web browser for this news story.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Hands of Prayer

If heartache wrote the story, then surely I've seen my share, but I am an eternal optimist and still believe in prayer.  It does not mean my faith is intact, only that I still believe, that when my book is complete, God will have a better place for me.

I have no complaints in the life I've had thus far, as I am doing much better than many that I know.  I never took the vow of poverty and charity, but it seems my path was semi-predestined, as troubles have come my way.  As an Irish Colleen, I must keep my sense of humor and laugh beneath my breath that success will probably come posthumously, if ever at all.

At least, I enjoy the process of writing and have enjoyed some journalistic accomplishments.  The biggest joy; however, besides having two kids who have showered me with my grey locks, is knowing that I have been able to help a few people and teach them the skills they seek.  Some cannot read or do simple math, while others lack confidence, and I am able to listen.

I may not don the habit, but I do try to be charitable.  My personal life strays from the Catholic Church, but I am happy in the sense that I am now a free thinker.

For those mothers, who are struggling with their children, in whatever capacity, it is with you that I most identify.  My son and daughter as well as myself have had to come to terms with mental illness. Sadly, now despite my best efforts to protect my son, he languishes in a prison cell because the system is so out of touch with needs of our young people.

Last year at this time, it was in the State of Washington, that my daughter walked aimlessly amidst the streets, lost in a state, she did not know.  For three days she was missing.  She was released from a hospital without a proper plan.  She was homeless 3000 miles away from me.  I did what all mothers do, if they have been raised with faith, I prayed.  Now my son is in Washington State 3000 miles away from me, and I can do nothing more, than what I have done, which is to trust the public defender to provide my son the best counsel, knowing that I have given him every bit of detail that I can.  I knew my son needed help and for three days I reached out along with family members by contacting Providence Hospital in Everett, Washington and law enforcement to try and get him help. I knew he had stopped taking his medication, but know one in authority was interested until there was a crisis.  Please join me in advocating on stopping the insanity.

I implore all of you who are mothers or fathers or those who don the judicial robe, legislators and care takers, please aid me in advocating for change in the system at both the Federal and State levels, so our children as they enter adulthood have the proper treatment and skills necessary to forge a better life for themselves.

I know my children.  My daughter, at age 16, was a Student Ambassador and traveled to France, Spain and Italy.  President Dwight Eisenhower recognized the impact war had on our people and began the People to People Student Ambassador Program to help bridge new alliances and cultural understanding. My daughter was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary Jr. Girls.  She is highly intelligent and feisty.  Now at age 26, she is developing her sense of purpose and thinking about going back to college.  I know she can be successful, provided the proper support.

My son was in college and was working full-time as a manager when this latest incident occurred. Like many young people he has struggled with things that have complicated the matter.  As a student, he was doing well, but when you have a chemical imbalance, some things need to be left alone.  He is a young man, who contemplated joining the Navy, but the same day he was to sign the paperwork in Michigan, he lashed out and was placed in jail.  In one of our latest conversation, when he had been attending school, he talked about how upsetting it was to watch the world chaos and listen to his professor in a World History speak.  He pulled out of school that semester because the class was too much for him.  He went back just prior to this latest incident took an English class where he studied Anime and Japanese culture along with math.  He was pleased with his English grade, but disappointed in his math grade because he had to work the day before the final.

The school is working with my son and is aware of the situation.  I can only pray, he is granted the opportunity to finish, as he indicated he wants to be a teacher.  I know he will be an excellent teacher and mentor.  He is social and well liked.  He is 22 now and struggled to earn his high school diploma, but he did it.  He is intelligent, but has dyslexia.  Help me raise awareness on a national and international level concerning mental illness.  If properly treated and monitored, anyone can enjoy success in life, as long as medications are adhered to.

Our children are the future of our nations, and we must bequeath them a better life than the international crisis in the world we have today.  We must believe in our children to have the backbone to be the men and women who will lead our countries to Peace.

War is temporal in time and place, and yet, its destruction leaves minds and hearts forever changed. Our Veterans lay in all continents with dreams unfilled. May peace be upon you, السلام عليكم.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Soul Mountain By Gao Xingjian Translated By Mabel Lee

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to read the book Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian translated by Mabel Lee.  Later in the year, I had the opportunity to view a late night interview with Mabel Lee, which truly made me embrace her as a translator and individual.  Lee had me laughing along with her in the interview as she inadvertently fell in and out of Chinese to English and visa versa.  She laughed each time she did this, which endeared me to her. She became a real personable individual that I felt was sitting right across the table discussing Gao Xingjian's book Soul Mountain with me.  I don't understand why some of the best interviews happen so late at night?

Soul Mountain was an excellent read written by Xingjian, who ultimately won the Nobel Prize for Literature.  What I initially found most difficult to understand was the use of "I" as the pronoun was declarative in identifying with the people his character happened to be associating with at the time. Somewhat like Charles Dickens had done in his use of the name "Jack," in identifying with the movement in, A Tale of Two Cities.

It is critical to have an open mind when reading Soul Mountain as it is one man's journey and yet, the journey of so many more individuals.  The book in its translation by Lee offers and understanding of the Chinese culture and the various dynasties of the time.  Sadly, most Chinese may never have the opportunity to appreciate Gao Xingjian as he wrote a work, which reflected on Tienanmen Square Massacre.  Hence, Gao's work is banned.

Soul Mountain will challenge ones' understanding of morals, values, ethics, and religion.  This book is an excellent read for those wishing to discover and question the status quo.  The book offers a window for free thinking that one can either choose to walk through or close the book without understanding the complexities presented within each chapter.

In 1989, I had just given birth to my daughter and suffered a bought of post-partum psychosis.  I was watching was happening in China.  I was horrified by what I was witnessing.  In that moment, I saw the horrors of Kent State in Ohio all over again.  How could this be, our own inhumanity?

Later that year, I wrote the poem dedicated to the Tienanmen Square Massacre. My heart is in poetry and prose like many writers.  The words flowed from heart to paper like an intercessory controlling my very thoughts.  That particular poem emerged within minutes not hours or days like other works.

Some day, the young people who have become soldiers of ISIS will have to reconcile their actions and deeds should they survive the movement.  The children of a new generation are growing up in an era of war.  An era, I had hoped would be less violent.

Soul Mountain offers a temporary reprieve from today's events and grants one the opportunity to explore the meaning of life in its beauty rather than death in its cruelty.


Note:  To view my earlier work on Tienanmen Square type into the search engine on my blog Insurrection in China.

Friday, July 17, 2015

I am a writer who has discovered living on the other side of the rainbow

I have the privilege now to view my world on my terms.  I choose to enjoy every day regardless of what is happening in my personal life.  It took me a long time to recognize I have control over how I respond to my immediate family.  I used to ride the roller coaster right along with them until I recognized I have a choice in the matter.  I am grateful that I finally have the ability to respond in a manner, that is healthy and positive.  It does not mean that I am unsympathetic to what is happening with them, only that my personal response does not have to place me into crisis mode.

I believe that my life skills were halted in great part due to my experience living in an orphanage for ten years, and clearly it played a huge role in my inability to recognize how to manage situations within my marriage that were clearly unacceptable.  The Catholic Church also played heavily on my mind though I had given up practicing the faith long ago.  There were many pressures for me to remain loyal to a Church, I simply could not believe in.  I respect the nuns who raised me, but I do not agree with the dominance the Church has over its members.

I am grateful to be where I am today, though I am poorer now than I ever been.  I have a roof over my head and food in my belly.  I have an editor who is trying to work with me, and I am rich in friendships. Indeed, I am truly blessed.  Time dictates who we become.  I choose not to remain stagnant in my life and to be pleased for the opportunities that are presenting themselves as I discover who I truly am.

My memories used to haunt me, but now I realize they are not present day occurrences.  I am grateful I have control over my life, and I do not have someone dictating what I should think, eat, and believe. Do not be mistaken; however, I do believe there is a God who allowed me to have my personal struggles to make me a better person.  My personal life has given me great empathy for those with special needs.  I have functioned both in their world and outside of it.  In my present circumstance, I am not paid, but I have more opportunities to teach than ever before, yet, I also remain a student in life.  My peers are those with special needs, who help remind me through their struggles how very fortunate I am.   I am the voice of the silent, the advocate of the weak and the friend to others that so many shy away from because I am one of them.  I have been homeless, insane, lonely, angry, tired, weak, lost and on occasion abused, but now I am the champion of my life.  I am happy to be me and grateful to have gone through my life experiences because I have insight on so many levels.  If I fail to smile when you smile at me, forgive me, I may be deep in thought.  If I fail to make eye contact, please do not hold it against me, it is not what I learned.  I will try to think of these things when I meet you.  Thank you for reading my life adventure and may your travel improve as you traverse this great world of ours.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lesson Learned

I never knew I had the strength within to combat fear when so many things in my life were out of control, but in the last two weeks I have discovered, the me, I need to succeed.  I realize my children are adults and their choices are theirs' to make. I do not have to fall apart when something is desperately tragic in their lives.  It does not mean, I am not sympathetic to their situations, but it means I need to function despite the difficulties they are facing.

Medication is paramount in combating mental illness.  I used to have a spouse, who thought everything could be solved with vitamins.  Unfortunately, this is not so.  Mental illness involves a chemical imbalance of the brain.  Often there is an over production in dopamine.

I look forward to the advancements in the human genome project, as I am certain, one day, solutions will be found to modify the gene(s) responsible for mental illness that has loomed over my family for generations.

I am the product of a generation that believed in life upon conception, yes, Catholic.  I personally do not practice the Catholic Faith, but I do appreciate what the Daughters of Charity provided for me when my parents were unable to.  I had a roof over my head and food in my belly.  Some nights it would be cold and lonely, but I was cared for, and it was far better than living in the streets, which would have been my lot in earlier times.

At times, I must confess, I had thought it would have been better not to have been born.  Now, however, I embrace who I am.  I have a college education because so many people believed in me.  I have avenues arising as I write this blog.

I have met individuals, who change the course of our existence though they probably do not remember me.  I have the opportunity to meet sport professionals and singers.  I appreciate artists on whole different level because I am one.

I have also learned to respect my God given talent for the written word and to do my best to exemplify not only my thoughts, but thoughts of others.  There was a time, no doubt that my faith was in question, however, those times have caused me to have a greater faith than ever.  I now say my God has no face or religion, but the moral and ethical principles I try to live by are the doctrine that dictate my actions on a daily basis.  I am loyal to the cause of Peace.  I am a believer in children's rights, however, I will never dictate to another woman whether she should carry an unborn child.

I abhor the atrocities that are occurring with ISIS, but Muslims are not to blame for the actions of few who are not practicing the true Islamic faith.  I have attained the age of freedom of thought and for that I am grateful.  My hair is grey though colored, my hands are showing age, but my mind is clear of negative thinking, which the Catholic Church unwittingly bestowed upon me.  I felt liked I sinned when I came into the world as it was taught on a regular basis.  Good Heavens, a babe is not a sinner.

I take responsibility for my actions today, and I live with my choices and consequences.  I understand finally who I am and what I am about.  I love my country, though not everything my country has done.  We are a nation of evolving people, who are learning the importance of recognizing the differences within our land.  Hopefully, as time progresses and continued changes come about like taking down the Confederate flag and placing it in a museum, healing will occur. Now, I must confess if the flag were given a burial, I would actually be happier. They could give the flag a 21 gun salute, and I would not have to see again.  Well, at least it is down for now.

My family is that of orphans.  We are all one, but of different nationalities.  I have blood sisters. Their experience is my own.  Their wounds, mine and their challenges I know as my own.  We are slowly finding one another again thanks to technology, but my home---the one I knew for years, St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Home, stands as a shell of itself on a parcel of land in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Jobs remain difficult to find here in Michigan, and the homeless are plentiful, but no one wants to discuss that.  Far better, to highlight the travel, indeed we are a beautiful travel destination state, but we must find a new industry.  I am blessed to have a home, but hopefully this writer will start seeing the fruits of my labour, for it certainly hasn't been for a lack of trying.  I certainly am like many who do not want to be on the welfare roll.

I look forward to my continued endeavors and the prospects for a brighter future,and to you my fellow bloggers, may inspiration serve you well as you pen your own words for the world that we writers read.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Queen Bed Blow-Up

There are many things to get upset at in life, but then there are times when it is so ridiculous because you're poor, laughter is the best thing.  Now, I have a friend who thought it would be a genius idea to rent a U-Haul and buy a queen size bed for about $350.00 on sale.  The problem was he did not ask the right questions. That bed was to be purchased on a credit deal, which would have locked the price into a year contract that is actually sold by Big Lots to Progressive for payments. So what would happen is that bed would actually be close to $650.00 by the time it was paid for. If one wanted to buy out the contract, there would still be a ridiculous amount to pay.

So when things went wrong, since the truck had already been rented, it was time to just make the best of the situation.   We went out to eat and he had White Castle for a little over $7.00 and I had Burger King for $4.11.

I couldn't help laughing; however, when that queen size mattress became a blow-up mattress purchased at Wal-Mart along with an electric pump.  The mattress came in a box and when blown-up was 8" high. The solution, stick cushions from the couch beneath it along with the twin mattress from the old bed.

So many questions had been asked about the U-Haul and whether because trucks were not available could the U-Haul van accommodate a queen size mattress that it just was hilarious when the van wasn't needed at all since the mattress fit in a box 14"x 3."  Since we were at Wal-Mart, I picked up a bike pump.

The good thing, it was actually cheaper since we only drove about six miles to have rented the U-Haul rather than a car.

Have a Happy 4th and tip your hat to a Vet.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Snares That Entrap The Already Disenfrachised

In the U.S., one would think having Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance is a wonderful thing; ah, but one would be mistaken.  Youth in the U.S. are covered by their parent's Blue Cross Blue Shield, if a parent has this type of insurance, through age 26.  The insurance always presses physicians for early release from medical treatment even when the doctor believes it is not in the person's best interest.

An additional calamity exists with this insurance when a young person is an adult and the co-pays have not been paid.  Medical bills often mount furthering complicating the life of a young adult. These medical bills are reported when delinquent to collect agencies and are posted on credit reports. Additionally, if a young adult lived on their own, but had a medical problem, which caused them to break a lease for an apartment, it is difficult to resolve the matter.

When a woman has been covered under Blue Cross Blue Shield, but goes through a divorce it is difficult to find a full-time position if she has always been a part-time employee.  A women often is forced to accept food stamps, medicaid and medicare.  It takes a long time to get back on your feet and especially if you have had any kind of medical condition such as mental illness to move forward.

Additionally, if you have resided in a group home and that home failed to properly provide your medical information such as a correct spelling of a name, one can also find medical bills that should have been covered, but are disputed by the serving medical party and the insurance company and guess who pays in more way than one, you got it, the client.  Oh, and yes, this too goes on your credit report.

So what does one do, I guess like I am, just keep plugging along and try to be diplomatic so that you can resolve the problems.  Maybe I am not meant to be rich, but at least you will know I always put my best foot forward.

For another perspective on problems in this country, read Mind the gap, from The Economist http://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp.  You may need to copy and paste the site into your browser:  highlight the site, then press Ctrl C then press Ctrl V.



Saturday, June 13, 2015

Navigating to a Better Life

The United States has a welfare system that is designed by its very nature to oppress those who attempt to improve themselves.  How does one navigate through the system to a better way of life? What is wrong with the design of the system as it stands currently?  Why is it ethically incorrect?  I will attempt to explore all these questions in this blog.

Department of Housing and Urban Development or Hud is wrought with problems by its very nature. Though the rent is based on 30% of the income, there is truly no incentive for an individual to maintain the property, unless it happens to be a part of one's disposition.  Incomes vary for individuals living in subsidized housing. Often Hud properties are fraught with individuals who have some form of illness, substance abuse or mental health issues.

If one has been in a group home, and moved to a Hud unit, often there is inadequate supervision to ensure the well being of the individual.  I have personally witnessed prescribed medications being dispensed throughout the apartment units from one resident to another resident, especially narcotics.

I am certain when President Reagan envisioned and presented the idea of opening up Senior low income housing to the disabled, his plan did not include the medication dilemma.  Sadly, helpful programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon are not advertised or easily accessible to residents who would benefit from such programs. Veterans are struggling with addiction and their is not a program that is accessible for them either.

I would urge the Federal Government to make such substance abuse programs available within Hud housing or at least provide books that address the issues. Computer accessibility would improve the lives of those who were trying to advance themselves.  Sadly, however, I am discovering many individuals are unable to read.

I have a unique inside track because I live in one of these units.  I can relate one to one with those who are here.  I listen and try to understand the difficulties presented by the environment.  I am immensely grateful to have capitalized on the opportunities outside the unit such as being within walking distance of a Church where I was able to obtain training in adult tutoring acquiring a certificate and am close enough to a library to walk to it and volunteer there.

Additionally, I have recently made contact with the local paper and will be freelancing.  I am blessed to have a young resident who suffers with cerebral palsy assisting me with one of the articles I am working on.  My hope is to open this opportunity to others as my business hopefully prospers and grows.

I realize I have digressed a bit; however, I felt it was necessary to point out that there are opportunities, but sticking points are that some individuals remain in their rooms because they are not easily ambulatory and suffer from depression. Some are cognitively impaired, but again I believe with the proper support and providing a collaborative effort, these individuals could be direct contributors to the workforce.

So why am I talking about work, because, it has been repeated to me over and over again that work provides not only a source of income, but a sense of self-worth.  Often individuals in the American Society who suffer some sort of disability are made to feel they are second class citizens.  Try and live off of an allotment of $42.00 a month in cash for your outside expenses, which many individuals are forced to do because food stamps do not cover taxable items such as toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo or other such items.

The young man, I alluded to earlier in this blog, is very grounded in his belief system.  He is an inspiration to me.  He is not ambulatory, but he manages to navigate in a scooter.  He has suffered personal losses one after another, but again he remains steadfast in his faith.  We relate to one another because both of us had grandmothers who were important in our lives. Though he cannot easily hold a pen, he works diligently with me to express his opinions and ideas on the things we do together.

Another lady I work with is unable to hear well, but she is dedicated to learning. She wants to properly pronounce each word as she reads, and she feels self gratification by accomplishing each new word.

One student I may have temporarily lost to the gang world, but I hope one day we will have the opportunity to work together again to try and improve his situation. This young man suffers from dyslexia and finds it difficult to break apart from the gang life where he has found acceptance.

Many in my building have suffered unimaginably losses that many people would find it difficult to overcome.  I am pleased to have a roof over my head and be a part of something that is bigger than I. My hope is to improve the lives of others while improving my life as well.

One of the obstacles in the social security system is that individuals are actually penalized if they want to be married.  The system actually cuts benefits to individuals who are already making a nominal amount of money if they choose to marry.  Many choose to co-habitate while paying on two units at the reduced cost while management and caseworkers look the other way.  In essence, the units are fully occupied.

Additionally, many choose not to fight with the Department of Human Services when their food stamps are cut because the paperwork is so overwhelming and monies are wasted securing proper documentation for continued benefits.

Many individuals in the State of Michigan cannot afford a car because of the insurance rates for residing in the red-line zone, which pertains to a high crime rate. Cars are already horribly expensive without the additional costs. Transportation often comes down to the bus, which many employers don't want to learn someone is using as a method to get to work.

Bottom line, individuals with disabilities or of low-income need to have opportunities for improvement in their lives.  The young man I am working with on writing some articles speaks about how Christ chose to embrace the ill and the infirmed as a part of His teachings.  Many in America choose to isolate the ill and the infirmed.

Let all of us throughout the world unite for improvment in the attitudes,while changing the hearts and minds of individuals who fail to recognize each individual is a blessing that once born must be recognized for his or her worth because he or she represents life itself.




Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Review on David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

I originally became familiar with Malcolm Gladwell through a CBS show 60 minutes.  I was impressed by his mannerism.  When he spoke his words were thoughtful, and he himself expressed an amazement at his own success in the literary world.  I was once again reminded of Malcolm Gladwell and the book David and Goliath through linkedin.com.

The presentation of the Biblical story in scientific terms made perfect sense to me. I even remember my eldest brother having a sling shot when he was young. Though the sling shots of old were different, the objective remained the same, hit the target to survive.  I am fully able to accept Goliath may have had a malady, which affected not only his large stature, but that caused his inability to see clearly.  Thus, when Goliath asked David to step closer, David was no fool and refused while shooting his target with one launch of a rock that killed Goliath.

Sometimes determining how to use a strategy is the greatest task.  Goliath thought he would be fighting an army and was insulted when a mere boy was sent to do the task.  Time and again in the book, Gladwell presents instances where the underdog should not have won, but circumstance and attitude work in the person's favor.

The beauty of Gladwell's book is should you read all the chapters in order as I did, you will see how the storyline builds upon itself to reveal comparisons that allow the underdog to win.  You may however, begin with the chapter on David and Goliath or read the section about Martin Luther King's struggle during the civil rights movement or read about the IRA and the protestants and the struggles during British rule and still gain an understanding of the book.

For those who struggle with dyslexia and recognizing how one learns may prove beneficial.  Jumping right into the dyslexia section may be the best place to begin to understand the difficulties faced by individuals with this as a very real part of their learning experience.

I am currently tutoring several individuals with this problem and I am on a learning curve because of the challenges presented to me on the way each has learned to cope with dyslexia.  In particular, I have one student who loves music and rap.  I am trying to use Muhammad Ali's book Ali Rap, which is filled with photos of his career and the wonderful raps he gave before each bout.

The section on WWII where it was predicted that those of London would fall apart at the first bombing proved false because it only strengthened their resolve to survive and not be negatively impacted by what was occurring around them.

I was particularly impressed with the statement that dealt with fear, which essentially states, once you have experienced fear in a particular situation and learn to deal with it differently then fear no longer serves as an obstacle to what you are attempting to accomplish.  I was also impacted by the chapters that dealt with those who were raised by single parents or were orphans.  Though I am not a true orphan in the full sense of the word, I was raised at an orphanage for ten years.  During that time, I learned how to survive.  When I went home at the age of twelve, I was forced into adult responsibilities, so my sense of the world was different.  I am not wealthy monetarily, but that is not the wealth I seek.  What is important to me is impacting others and having a sense of community and lasting bonds of friendship. When I spoke with my Russian Jewish friends they too alluded to the fact that having friendships make you wealthy.

There are chapters that simply cannot be read out of order, in particular, those dealing with the success of treating leukemia in children and the independent determination of a doctor to prove his theory correct.  Once you have also been reading a section that deals with a particular conflict in a region it is best to finish that section.

Police officials may find this book useful in recognizing how too much force actually can impede their objective in working with a community and in trying to bring calm to a situation.  Joanne Jaffe success in Brownsville New York serves as a platform for demonstrating how dealing with a community differently can change the outcome in a positive manner.

Ultimately, I think this book is a quick read that one does not have to be a reader to enjoy.  If you are not into to statistics, that is fine as the concepts are simple enough without the graphs.  I highly recommend this book for students who are college bound or in their first year of college as it is a terrific historical work.  The content is diverse and is perfect for students seeking direction in identifying a career he or she may want to pursue.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Only 45 pages left to go on David and Goliath

I will be posting my review this weekend.  Are you about done reading?  I look forward to sharing my impressions with you regarding the many events provided by Malcolm Gladwell.  So get out your reading glasses and your notes to compare with my impressions.  Until then, have fun completing the book.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Update on Review of David and Goliath

I hope you are continuing to read the book, David and Goliath, with me.  I am on page 140, as many things occupy my days, but, so far, this has been a worthwhile read.  A full review is yet to come, so keep reading, Malcolm Gladwell's book.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

David and Goliath

For those who are interested, I am about to read David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.  Join me for a review.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

If I Were A Comedian

I tell you there is so much material available in the real world,  I think I could make it as a stand-up comedian.  Learning to have the confidence, timing, and stage presence is something I definitely would have to master.  President Obama, seems to have a handle on timing.  He comes in soft and low and knows just how to the land the line.

This will be my effort to express the hidden humor.

Let's start with men.  Have you ever noticed how men, the fix-up guys, designated car parts, plumbing parts and other parts with names, such as: female fitting with male end, that sob when the thing won't cooperate, hose bib, c-clamps, sill cocks, ball cocks, plungers, monkey wrenches and any other things that you can think of?

Now what if we were the handy women?  I'm not saying I'm handy, but I do try. Plunging a sink seems to have been my latest challenge.  I was just as good at plunging the water out of the drain as having the sprayed water give me a new hair dew.  I have; however, recently re-discovered hair color. I decided having my hair colored was a better master plan than my God given early gray hair.  At least, I could cover that flaw, while I work on trying to bring the sagging belly back in shape.

When I lived in Fowlerville, Michigan, I had to learn how to handle a tennis racquet, but instead of volleying with balls, it was 2:00 a.m. session with bats.  I waited 22 years for the house to be sealed against bats, but it was a lower rank than my ex-husband's car projects. Have you ever heard the sound of bats in your walls?  Not only do you hear a high pitched noise, you get the added benefit of hearing them scratch on the other side of the wall right when you're trying to sleep. I probably could have volleyed a short time with Venus and Serena Williams with the number of years I spent smacking those damn bats.

I promised I'd share that earlier bat story with you.  The darn bat tenants were not the culprits of my rabies problem.  It was a lone bat, who leaped out of a tree during daylight hours and made a noise, in my right ear.  My ex-husband grabbed a shovel and smacked the bat.  My neighbor saved me from an ugly demise, by informing me that the bat should be taken to the health office, for testing. Sure enough, the bat was positive for rabies, so began my series of shots. Well, I am already certifiable, I didn't need a bat to emphasize the point.

Let's talk about duct tape.  My house was the poster child for duct tape.  Instead of proper borders for the drywall, you guessed it, my bedroom was lined in duct tape.  If duct tape couldn't fix the problem, there wasn't a problem.

When we first moved into the home, there was no operating toilet, and do you think the plumbing was right, of course not, we had our own personal waterfall. Our house could have been the show house for the movie, "The Money Pit."

There were good times at the house, but I am glad the people who purchased our home had the time, money and patience to make it look nice.  I had a new roof put on the place.  We had circuit breakers placed in the home along with a water heater and a porcelain sink, but it takes love to keep a home and that had faded over the years.

Now that I am living in an apartment, I really don't have to do maintenance work; however, I am pleased when I am able to accomplish minor things.

Taking situations and seeing the humor in them may take time, but realizing life isn't so bad is truly important.

My father was the master of humor.  When he attended my brother's wedding, he placed a sign on his walker that said Cadillac Brome, (Brougham), spelling was never his forte.  He enjoyed laughing and so did the people around him. Occasionally, the whiskey was a bit too much, nevertheless, he was a funny man who loved to sing especially when a bit intoxicated.  He would belt out the Irish song "Harrigan."

Mother's laugh was intoxicating.  Most often she was without expression when Dad was up to some antics, but when he got her laughing, the whole O'Connor Clan would be in an uproar.

I'm glad I am able to reflect on life with my own sense of humor, as there is no doubt, it has saved me.  I try to never look back and  accept the person I've become.




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Post titles

The Temptress On You Tube Still A Work in Progress
Temptress (Thought About Using It In Film About Mary Magdalen)
Flowers for Mom
I'm A writer Not A Fighter
Street Angel
Strengths of Government Housing vs Pitfalls
Draft (Not printed yet)
Rebel Man
Baby I'll Be Your Beacon
Woven Dreams
Two Bullets And A Chair
A Slap In The Face
Great Movies
Draft (not printed)
Clayton Klein Passed Away On Sunday
Coincidence
Graphic Visual Video I Accidentally Viewed
Resume Gap and Finding A Job
Libraries Are The Refuge of the Homeless
Oh for the Young
www.facebook.com/Angelicguitars
Protecting Self: Do I Hold Back?
John Lennon's "Imagine"
Tags On My Clothes
**Believing In Yourself When The World Says...**  (I recommend reading)
The Veterans You Never See
Father David Survived A Bullet
I Closed My Father's Eyes
Suicide of a Friend
New Year's Eve 2014
Holocaust: Jewish Russian Eyes
Oliver Twist and I could have been Soul Mates
The Potential Within
Babushka
Homelessness comes to my door
Voice of the Troubadour
One of Many
Old Man
Cultural Crossings
Realities of War
Reflections On Growing Old
Heaven's Child
Muhammad Ali
Insurrection in China

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Temptress On You Tube Still A Work in Progress

My daughter has collaborated with me to bring the song I envision in a movie about Mary Magdalen of the Bible in modern times.  My hope is to collaborate with others to produce a film about how women wind up in the streets and human trafficking.  The film will also address how those of different Faiths and different countries respond to such a situation. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+temptress+michelle+graham

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Temptress (Song Needs Work: Thought About Using It In Film About Mary Magdalen)

The Temptress by Madeleine Graham
Em               G            D           Em    
I'll be your illusion if only for awhile

Em                 G                  D                      Em  
There will be no confusion in the morning light

Em                       G
Come and dance with me

D                    Em
I will set you free

Em                       G           D               Em
Come and dance with me no responsibilities


          C                                       Am
(R) This temptress will undress you

      Em                                        C   Cm                                    Em
      dream of the lover that you see while you have your way with me


Em             G            D                    Em

And in the daybreak you can walk away

Em   G      D                        Em

No words you will have to say

Em             G                 D                Em      
I will play the part and never break your heart.


(R)


Em        G   D              D
In my arms you can let go

Em        G   D          D
In my arms no will be told

Em                         G
You can rest your fears

D                        D
I'll be your love child


(R)

Em       G           D                        Em
No obligations, commitments or ties

Em                 G               D                          Em
Release your inhibitions let your mind run wild


(R)


Em                    G     D                Em
In the morning light simply slip away

Em                     G                       D                  Em
You'll have the memories of the love that we made


(R)


Em       G           D                        Em
No obligations, commitments or fears

Em           G     D                       Em
I'll be the love who simply disappeared

Em       G            D                       Em
No obligations, commitments or fears
The Temptress by Madeleine Graham
Em           G                               Em
I'll be the love who simply disappeared.



*Written for guitar, may be listened to on Myspace.com under "Temptress" Madeleine Graham  https://myspace.com/manage/music

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Flowers for Mom

A part of me always wanted to rescue Mom from the troubles that forced her into institutionalized living for the majority of her life.  It took me a long time to reconcile my emotions to the fact that sometimes it is not possible.

Though my father, too suffered from mental illness, he was, despite hospitalizations, able to retain a position in sales with J.L. Hudson's.  He wanted to advance his career to management, but was unable to do so because of the restraints in his life.  He also had thought about schooling, but his responsibilities were many.  He was a lifelong member of the Disabled American Veteran's (DAV), which provided the means for him to care for us as best he could.  There was disappointment in Dad's life, but his faith sustained him in the face of adversity.

As I indicated before, all of us, children, were placed in an orphanage until we matured enough to take care of ourselves.  I was twelve when I went home.  It was truly a traumatic experience.  I never shared with my folks how overwhelming it was.  On the last day at the orphanage, I was so stressed I punched a girl who was my friend.  I begged her not to tell and she didn't.  I was running to look out the window for my parents and quickly dashed back to the playroom, when I saw the car, to act like nothing was happening.  At seven, my parents were set to have me go home, and my mother had even taken me to see the school where I would attend.  On my birthday, she again became ill; however, so I could not go home.

There was a time that I was hospitalized at the very same institution as my mother though in different wards, but I would see her.  The sad thing was she really did not acknowledge me.  There was a lady my mother felt comfortable talking to and she essentially ignored me.  We actually had a class together where we took a test on medications and drugs.  I got them all right and Mother missed one. The one she missed was that smoking was actually a drug.

I came to realize I could not help Mom get out of the hospital by being in it with her, so I followed the steps and was released.  Imagine how messed up my thinking was on that one.  Mom had also been hospitalized at St. Lawrence, but not at the same time as myself.  When Mom passed away in August 2005, around the same time as my birthday, I went through the motions of going to the funeral and paused over her casket at the back of the Church before it was closed.  She looked beautiful, with a pink suit-coat and skirt.  Her hair and makeup were perfect.  I had not gone to the funeral home deliberately, because it would have been too much for me.  I didn't want to have to talk to anyone at the funeral home. For those of you who are not Catholic, a funeral is usually a three day event.  

I had been attacked by a rabid bat, and had forgotten to get the last shot, but I was only a day or two late when I remembered after Mom's funeral.  The story of bats will have to wait for another day.  At any rate, December rolled around in 2005, and yes, I spent Christmas hospitalized, but I was unable to express to the staff what was going on.  I had my meltdown from Mom's passing.  I was upset while at the hospital because the occupational therapist was not putting newspaper to cover the brand new white tables when projects were being done.  I was washing each table to try desperately to keep them clean.  I took styrofoam cups and made crepe paper flowers for Mom and placed them on each table.  I could not explain to the staff why I had done it.  The flowers stayed on the tables for a very long time.  Again I was released.

On another occasion, St. Lawrence Hospital did not monitor my response to medications close enough and I nearly died. The nurse called, Dr. Barberio, who actually did not support her, at the time, I know because she later told me.  I don't blame him, he's human.  Thankfully though, she had enough sense to call an ambulance and have me transferred to their medical facility.  My family was called, and they were informed to say goodbye at Sparrow Hospital, where I had been transferred. Well, God must have a purpose for me here because once again I survived.  I suffered neuroleptic malignant syndrome from Zyprexa. When I was transferred back to St. Lawrence, I was released with no medications after three days.

I am in a good place emotionally now and 1000 mg of Depakote sustains me.  I take 500 mg bid at night, and I am good to go.  I do drink coffee (2) cups and I am trying to break my addiction to diet soda where I drink (1) a day because I know my bones are rotting.  The soda is very difficult to break for some reason. 

My life seems to be coming full circle now.  I am divorced, but my children know that though my marriage was not what I desired for them or myself, I have emerged as a better person.  I am the skipping stone who will always be listening for their voices no matter where I am or where they are. When I am gone and a skipping stone is sent threw the water, I will be the ripples sending frequencies far and wide.  I believe we are our brother's keeper and my commitment now is to improve the lives of all by being an example of solemnity to my experience, while a champion for human dignity.





Monday, April 6, 2015

Street Angel

My Angel roams the streets tonight
And I do not know where she sleeps
She's not a woman of the streets
Come home to me woman child
My Angel child
Come home to me woman child

My Angel roams the streets tonight
And I do not know how I can help her
Where she sleeps or who she sleeps with
Who's she's with
Or if she is alive or dead

My Angel roams the streets tonight
And I cannot sleep
So I write this song
With the heartache in my soul
For the little girl
I raised and I know

Her mind confused so she does not know where to go
My little girl who has grown
The system let her down
And she does not know where to turn
So she wanders in the night
My Angel girl I do pray for  you to be alright
safe and warm tonight
I cannot protect you from what you'll see
My Angel girl I do pray
That you are alright safe and warm tonight

My little Angel girl
My little Angel girl
One day I hope you'll share your story
Let the world know what is wrong

But for now my little girl know that I am near
Praying for you little girl
At this hour I do not know
But I believe one day
You'll come back to me
But I believe one day
You'll come back to me

Oh, Oh
Minds in a world wind and I don't know how to help you
Minds in a world wind and I don't know what do to help you get through
My arms are open wide for the little girl I call my Angel

I believe you'll come back to me
My little Angel Girl
I believe you'll come back to me
My pretty blue eyed babe
My little Angel girl
I believe you'll come back to me



*This song was composed on actual events.  No parent, especially a mother, should have to be burdened with a missing child (adult or otherwise).  The mental health system is broken on so many levels that it is a travesty.  I am fortunate that My Angel found her way back to me through a series of difficult events. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rebel Man

Rebel Man I hear you're knock'in at my door

Rebel Man I hear you're do'in it once more

You claim that you've changed

That you're not at all the same

Rebel man I hear you're knock'in at my door

Rebel man I hear you're do'in it once more

But how can I know just what is my guarantee?

How do you state your plea?

Rebel Man I hear you're knock'in at my door

Rebel Man I hear you're do'in it once more

But how do I know that you're a man in control

Your eyes reveal that you're a man whose been healed

Rebel man I hear your knock'in at my door

Rebel man I hear your do'in it once more

Rebel man I hear I won't stop you any more

I won't stop you any more



Note:  This song I wrote for guitar many years ago.  It was written in four four time, but I envision riffs behind the music that catapult the lyrics to the forefront.  Once again anyone is permitted to use this song.  Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Baby I'll Be Your Beacon

Baby I'll be your beacon

In the troubled hours 

Feel my arms around you 

There will be a better tomorrow

And in the silence of the night 

Hear my voice in your dreams

I'll be holding you closely

By the light of the moonbeam

Cause I'm your warrior 

And I'm your friend

I'll be your beacon

Until the end

Cause your my warrior 

And your my friend

You'll be my beacon until the end

Though we may be apart

You are always in my heart

A starlit sky

The gems of the night

Crystallize our emotions

In desert sands

I'm your warrior 

And I'm your friend

I'll be your beacon

Until the end

Cause your my warrior 

And your my friend

You'll be my beacon until the end

I feel the warmth from your eyes

Together we will take a stand 

A fortress built on what we believe

In distant lands and overseas

I'm your warrior 

And I'm your friend

I'll be your beacon

Until the end

Cause your my warrior 

And your my friend

You'll be my beacon until the end

If something happens 

We will know:  our part we did

Our love did show

For the sociable lapwing will share its song

While prospering and growing

Understand the quill 

Americans unite to temper guns

There are times to kill

But for me is to write

Of a peace be upon you

Not as misconstrued by some

But as practiced by those of true Islam

I'm your warrior 

And I'm your friend

I'll be your beacon

Until the end

Cause your my warrior 

And your my friend

You'll be my beacon until the end



Note:  This is a re-write of a song I wrote many years ago.  It was originally composed for guitar with the refrain having a Native American emphasis in its note placements.  Music is something I enjoy, but my forte is writing.  Anyone wishing to use this song/poem is welcome to do so. I ask only that it not be misinterpreted: this is a song of Peace.  


Friday, March 13, 2015

Woven Dreams

In my eyes

See generations

Hair:  displays a part of me

Hands:  reveal the work I've done

Feet:  the path I've traveled on

But, listen to my words and you'll hear

The people I've met through the years

Hopes, dreams of what is yet to be

Despair on bent knee

Head:  bowed  in reconciling

Urn of life unclaimed on a shelf

Unmarked graves of the fallen

Longing arms of a child for love

Tears of the homeless

Nomads of the world

Street Poetry unparalleled

Virgin Prose spoken, but few will ever hear

For the streets require a special ear

A beat reporter who's crossed the line

Touched the dark and danced in day

Seen the troubles

Felt the bitter cold

Brethren of the street, the peddler already knows

The dance of angels on desperate wings

Sings the song of solace and of special dreams

Where hearts cling to hope

An illusion of a home, a mansion made of stone

Flight of angels work in unison

To rescue spirits of lonely ones

Temper the madness

A catalyst never dies

Spirit driven soul survives

Despite the winds and torrid skies

To fain not, in spite, of what one sees

To capture the moment

Not to plea

The hour that beckons the night cast her shade

Still the writer plugs away

Voice that resonates deep within

Spell that speaks tis not a sin

Kindred spirits walk the course

Touch time on a divided line

Where the hourglass is the metronome

Of the life we hold so dear

The music of the wind

As we say goodbye




Monday, March 9, 2015

Two Bullets And A Chair

Two Bullets And A Chair
A woman riddled with despair
The life she chose was not safe
And one day she payed the price
When bullets rang through the air
Now her home is in a chair
Her mind confused as she is dazed for another love has seen the grave
Tatoos on neck and arms she does bare
Apart from gangs and family
Isolation is her presentation

She looked at me with forlorn eyes
And said, "I don't know my purpose in life"
Passing thoughts she did have on an early departure
But I said to her, you have so much to offer
Dig deep within and remember when your train was on the track
The family member, teacher or friend who tried to keep you in a positive mode
She shook her head, but said "I listen, but it is all so confusing, I don't know who to listen to."

T-shirt inside-out jeans slipping well away from her hips
Pelle Pelle jacket in her lap
She told me her jeans could not touch the chair
As if somehow were they to be up on her all the way
She would have to acknowledge her damaged spine
Or the life she left behind
Hiking boots upon her feet, no laces in them though
As she pulled her left leg with her hands
Placing her foot better on the footstand

Attentively, she listened as I tried to engage her
I did not mince words as I felt that would be unfair
I said these are your cards now, and you need to move on
For you see like me, though I am not in a chair
Never have I been shot
And I do not have tatoos
I have a mind that I have had to re-direct
To stay positive when things are so out of control

I am not certain if our conversation will make a difference
Time will demonstrate that
But I would like you to know
There is a woman in a chair
Who is fighting despair
If you have a moment or two, I ask you say a special prayer

For only God can heal the mind
And bring the peace found in time
Her hope for now is a power chair
But you see, I believe, there is so much more for her
When she discovers that her smile
Has already touched someone
Her purpose in life has just begun!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Slap In The Face

Well here is one for the day. I made a sincere effort to write an impassioned plea for the Meijer's store on Pierson Road in, Flint, to remain open by citing that Kroger's had just closed, the unemployment rate is at 8.1%, many residents in the area are on foot, seniors and the disabled frequent that store.

I also indicated that perhaps they could approach the Economic Development Council for funds for upgrades, as it was brought to my attention there was a sewer back-up issue. I also proposed the store could be kept opened from 10 to 10. Imagine my response when I opened my email, only to discover no one actually read my email, it was an auto response. The response thanked me for being a loyal customer and informed the store would be closing. Now, that is just stupidity.

My father worked at J.L. Hudson's for 40+ years in the Downtown Store and the Oakland Mall. My father was a salesman all of his days, but he knew Joe Hudson, as Joe did not remain in a glass office. He actually would come down and speak with my father to ask about the store. My dad would kid around with him. You see there used to be an ethic in the workplace where the employees were valued and their input was taken to heart. As for the auto response, I hope you will take the time to circulate this posting so Meijer's realizes employees and customers count.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Clayton Klein Passed Away On Sunday

Unbeknownst to me until this evening when I was on the computer, a friend informed me, Clayton Klein, the author of many books and former owner of Wilderness Adventure Books passed away. The title of my last piece was "Coincidence," where I spoke briefly about Clayton. Clayton actually passed away on Sunday, the day I published the piece.

I met Clayton when I first moved to the Village of Fowlerville and was working for myself at Madeleine's Manuscripts housed in the offices of Lodden Technology. Clayton called and asked if I could help him with a small writing assignment, which I did.  He also offered me the opportunity to present my drawing to him for a book, but the author was looking for a different feel.  I was okay with that.  I draw now on occasion, but generally not with such detail and mostly it is cartoon in nature.

Clayton had a way with people with his contagious smile.  I remember the last walk I had with him in the summer of 2011.  Clayton was walking his usual circuit at the Fowlerville Park. He was walking at his same usual clip, much faster than I. In fact, I had to cut across the hill to meet up with him. We talked about a lot of things including his travels overseas.  

Clayton told me as a child he had been overweight and so when he got older, it had been a part of his natural routine to follow a nutrition plan and exercising daily.  He was an adventurous man and had been on many long canoe rides.  In later life, it was always walking from Hell, Michigan to the Mackinaw Bridge.  

Clayton gave back to his community in so many ways.  He was there to walk with Genesis House Members for individuals who were coping with mental illness. Some of Clayton's children even walked with Clubhouse members as well. Life was about living for Clayton. Marjorie had been his friend and support in life until her passing.  

If you ever needed a hand or someone to lift your spirit, you could count on Clayton.  He was one in a million.  I shall miss you my friend.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Coincidence

I am sure we have all had funny things happen in our lives that we simply could not explain. Yesterday, a fellow who is part of a fun chess group gave me some books. I had never told him anything about Clayton Klein, a fellow, whom I have the pleasure of knowing and worked for years ago when he owned Wilderness Books. The chess fellow gave me a book of Clayton's, "One Incredible Journey." I never mentioned to him either that I had just posted about WHMI.com interviewing Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield regarding their new ABC series "Secrets and Lies." The other book, you got it, "Secrets and Lies."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Graphic Visual Video I Accidentally Viewed

I actually have a headache tonight as a posting was placed on my Facebook page of an actual be-heading.  I was shocked and horrified, as I had made a point of not watching any of these. When the page scrolled down, I did not know what I had seen as the video was already in play.  I re-played it not understanding what I had witnessed, and I about threw up.

I have not seen such graphic images since the Vietnam War when I was a young child or of individuals who have set themselves on fire when I was young adult. Those images were displayed on television.  I never want to become anesthetized to the horrors of violent deaths.

I shielded myself in my own reporting by photographing images such as a train accident that occurred in Fowlerville by focusing my lens on the vehicle. The only image alluding to the fact that a person was inside of the car was that I allowed my lens to capture the person's gym shoe. For me the story was the devastation of the impact.  I made a personal decision not to photograph the person who survived, but had life altering injuries.  I also had to photograph the skid marks on the road for the police.    

Writing about things helps me let go of things that I have witnessed.  My headache is now disappearing, but let me share with you what the Facebook video addressed as I understood it.  The person who posted the video believes be-headings are an appropriate punishment for rape. Personally, being raised in the United States of America with our judicial system, I don't have a firm grip on the matter, and I don't know what you would do with a repeat offender.  I have always held a stance of non-violence even in the most difficult situation.  I was taught forgiveness by the Nuns, but blocking images that cause me duress is also an effective tool even when I have been violated.

I have to be able to sleep at night, so I try not to think about things that cause me difficulty.  Sleeping has not always been easy with all that I have witnessed or experienced, but I am learning how to cope. I am a reporter always even when I am not collecting a paycheck because I believe in humanitarian efforts.  I have an ethical and moral responsibility to do the best I can to lead my life in a manner that will ultimately be for others good as well as my own good.  Have I messed up, absolutely, no one is perfect.

I am engaging in dialogue with those of other Faiths to try to educate myself not only on religion, but on cultural, political and ethical values.  I am not God, therefore, what I try to bring to the table is an open mind to try to understand their perspective without trying to interject my own, though at times this is not easy. Personally, I find cultural differences is where I have the most difficulty because it seems when I learn about the culture, it follows that I am also learning about the political and then the religious. I don't understand how women are viewed in so many cultures and so I am trying to learn to listen.  I want to be like the wind and hear everything before settling a single leaf.

I am forever a student as well as a teacher, but always a student first.  My life may never have a big impact unlike when I was young and had aspirations to be in politics and settle world affairs.  My goal now is to be the best I can be and to discover how to re-introduce myself to society by saying no matter how much life has tossed at me, I have a moral responsibility to pick myself up and set my thoughts in order, so I can make the most of my life, while setting a positive example for my family.

I have no excuse.  I have an education.  I may not have transportation at the moment, but I will secure employment once again, and in the meantime, I am going to be the best tutor I can be.  I do desire to get back into reporting on some level, but this may take time before it happens. Most of all I am fortunate to have so many people who care about me.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Resume Gap and Finding A Job

I have been working with a person who has been indicating for some time that he wants me to work on a grant with him for autism research.  I have been waiting for additional information, but he has been slow to provide the details.  I am beginning to think that I should be looking for work in another direction because this same person also indicated he wanted me to work on his thesis with him in terms of editing.  I have been seeking opportunities that are within walking distance because I do not have a car and bus trips add to my expenses.

This leads me to another problem, I have always written, but I have not earned a paycheck in three years and have been on disability.  I want to return to the workforce, so I am planning a course of action that I hope will lead to employment. I have always been dedicated to whatever community I live in.  I am happy with my new apartment, and I have found a program that is dedicated, to certifying me as a tutor in reading.  I am excited about the prospect as my degree is in English, language and literature.

This is a unique opportunity because when I worked as a substitute teacher, the lesson plans were always provided for me.  This time, I have to design the program around the adult student.  I must admit, I have some butterflies about whether I will be successful in figuring this out, but my plan is to be flexible in identifying what I need to do to work with the student.

I have been informed that lighting, heat and environment are all critical issues to the student's success.  I have also been informed that if distractions are an issue, I will have to work around those issues by working out a program that fits the adult reader.

Identifying the goal for reading is critical to keeping the reader involved.  The adult student may want to fill out a job application, read to a grand child, earn a high school diploma or g.e.d.  No matter what the goal, it is my responsibility to help the reader attain the reading objectives.

I am excited about the prospect because I remember when I was in first grade, I had a nun who I actually liked, but I gave a very hard time to because the school environment was so frightening to me. My schooling up to that time had always been at the orphanage.  My nursery school teacher was from India.  I also had kindergarten and then transition before moving on to first grade because according to one of the nun's, "I liked to play too much."

My first grade teacher was very patient with me and discovered how to help me read by having me sit in the back of the classroom in a booth with earphones over my ears while I followed along. A blue overlay was laid atop of the screen as the book was read aloud.

By the time I left the school, in fifth grade, I was reading well above my grade level.  The school worked off of a program called Student Reading Laboratories (Assessments),  (SRA).

I am working through a book called "LITSTART STRATEGIES FOR ADULT LITERACY AND ESL TUTORS." For this Saturday, I have to identify two strategies I can possibly use to instruct the adult learner and my two sessions of  6.5 hours of training for certification will be complete.

My plan is to work with the Disability Network. 
 The mission of The Disability Network is to promote freedom, choice, opportunity and equality for people with disabilities through advocacy, education and employment.

Both scenarios provided assume that I have spoken with the provider.

1) By understanding the mission of the Disability Network, I am able to have some insight into the objectives of the program. I understand from last week’s session that I am to have two strategies prepared for how I am going to try to tutor the student in reading.

I have selected Strategy 14 Pre-Reading Survey, however, I will first introduce myself and try to understand the goal or the objective of the student in seeking tutoring for reading.  I have prepared a plan for a student who would like to attain his/her G.E.D.  

1) I will have the student read from pg. 4 while understanding if the student has not missed more than two words, I will move the student up to the next level.
2)  I am planning on using the word families to assist the student in reading unless I am able to determine the student has the ability to understand phonics.
3)   My hope is to identify methodologies that work with the student in the process of  his/her learning.
4)   I will be using a combination of tools to assist including 3x5 cards and a binder.
5)  I will also inquire specifically what kinds of interest the student has and what the  student would like to learn more about.
6) I will try to determine if there is a movie the student has seen that he/she has liked and we could perhaps get the book.
7) I will pose questions to determine if the student comprehends what I am sharing and knows what the material is about. The questions will be general in nature.
8) I will over the course of time have the student provide an experience that could be documented.
9) Temporary spelling as outlined in Strategy 50 will also be used, if it proves helpful.

As for my second strategy, again, I am looking at a student who would like to learn how to read, however, this time it is to earn a G.E.D.

1)  I have examined potential free materials that are available to assist in understanding what the student needs to know in order to complete the requirements for a G.E.D.
2)  My hope is that I can make the student feel comfortable enough to share the difficulties he/she has experienced in the past, so I don’t repeat the mistakes of the other instructors.
3)  If I identify that the student is a tactile learner, I will try to use a magnetic-board to assist.
4)  I will determine to the best of my ability if mapping is a way to reinforce the material.
5) Ultimately, I understand the instruction is always in flux, and it may take time to determine what works and what does not work.

On Saturday, February 14, 2015, I officially received my certificate to volunteer as a reading tutor in Genesee County.