Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween at the Beach

I found myself on Huntington Beach as the sun sank beneath the horizon tonight. I've often felt a great pull toward the ocean and loved the spiritual power it affords. It calls to me, beckoning me into the waves and directing my thoughts upward to God. As my children sprinted haphazardly toward the water I followed pensively in swimsuit and pants, inhaling the peace of the scene before me. Wet sand kissed my feet and yoga seemed appropriate. Casting away my jeans I handed my dad a camera and dropped into lizard pose.

Switching poses in the California sunset brought me a new and delightful experience. My little ones frolicked in and out of the water, letting the tide playfully chase them to and fro as the camera clicked away. Finally the light faded, the camera lay abandoned on the ground, and I sank my knees wide apart into the shallow water and surrendered into frog pose. Relaxation flooded through me and my mind wandered from my kids and earthly dad toward my Heavenly Father's will for me.

We are all children of God and He has much impressed upon my mind the importance of clinging to the fact that I am His daughter with divine potential and a moral right and need to embrace womanhood in a manner that transcends this world's understanding. We are beings of light and tonight I felt new plateaus open up that intensified my comprehension of being a woman. In a world that confuses genders so villainously I am grateful for the opportunity to sink into the essence of femininity and continue to deepen my appreciation of it. Gender is a gift and blessing thoroughly worthy of our respect, contemplation and mental exploration. Femininity is a part of who I am that is so eternal that I believe I am only now catching a glimpse of what womanhood means in an eternal perspective. We were created to experience joy. We were created to be filled with light, happiness, and fulfilling the measure of our creation and I am grateful for the journey on which I find myself toward exploring my eternal nature and glorious destiny. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Six Tasks

I have contemplated whether or not to commit this experience to print, but I feel impressed so to do and when God commands, I obey.  My gentle reader undoubtedly knows that my children practice martial arts and I hold fast to meditation of any uplifting kind, but recently my son had the opportunity to take his discipline to a higher plane and I sneakily followed in his wake.

Apparently our dojo requires a student approaching black belt complete six specific tasks illustrating character and discipline within 45 days.  My son, though yet an orange belt, decided to take the opportunity of meeting this challenge head on right now.  The tasks include fifty acts of kindness, fifty chores around the house without complaint, five days without junk food, practicing a given karate technique 1, 000 times, reading two martial arts based books, writing ten handwritten letters and delivering them in some way, and mentoring students of a lower rank ten times.  Such may prove difficult to an adult and my little son is only eight.  We were neck and neck in the thousand repetitions of crashing elbow but since he won our race a few days before I crossed that particular finish line.  When he abstained from junk food I abstained with him but to make it harder and fair I followed the advice given by the sensei to avoid all sugars, including fruit.  Tomatoes can become an absolute delight under such circumstances and after finishing that task I found my "need" for sweets had diminished considerably.  I felt calmer and more stable in general and though I do eat fruit now I have not been in a rush to continue my bittersweet Ghirardelli cocoa breaks.

I hit a snag in the mentoring task since, as I am not even a white belt I have no rank or authority of any kind in the dojo it proved physically impossible for me to complete it and was about to simply finish five tasks without doing the last.  However, upon some prayer it dawned on me that I volunteer in my son's class every Monday and mentor children every time I go.  I suppose it will have to do.

I am grateful that my son gets recognition in the karate school.  He more than deserves it.  Each time he completes a task he receives a corresponding patch to sew onto his uniform.  I have finished all of the tasks save mentoring four more people and finishing the second book I chose entitled The Book of the Samurai. The first was The Five Rings - an excellent read.  I don't need the recognition and as for the award, well I don't have a gi on which to place it anyway.  But isn't martial arts more about building character and less about external recognition?  Wouldn't it be more fitting to simply do the work silently and know within yourself that you did it?  Indeed, for that reason I would not write and post this but if God would have me hit the "Publish" button, then His will be done and not mine.    

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Night at Camp Cooper

*I wrote this by request of my fourth grade friends after joining in an overnight field trip with them.  I very rarely accept requests but am generally willing to render special services where children are involved.  

I traveled 'longside little ones
Who sang their hearts to me
As mountains rose to glorious view.
Sonora set us free

From ugliness, polluted streets,
Technology and care.
We'd soon create experience
And memories to share.

We hiked in rain and turned our thoughts
To predator and prey;
Then after s'mores and skits we went
To finish up our day

In happy cabins.  Laughter rang
Across the darkened earth
While kids made friends and parents too
In peals of joyful mirth.

When morning rose we cleaned our place,
Played Moser/Sifu Said,
Then on the bus we crowded close
And from our campsite fled.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Limitless Universe

Dedicated to Ms. Franklin's Fourth Grade Class
And All the Fourth Grade Students at Ironwood Elementary
I don't often enjoy the blissful opportunity to put my degree in English Education to use so when my daughter's teacher invited me to teach her students about the art of writing and editing I naturally accepted with a smile.
The kids were wonderful as always, and I'd like to share with you a little of what we discussed together, as I truly do believe that all children would prove better writers and enjoy writing more if they came to the table with a proper understanding of what they were about. 
Sometimes we feel powerless in this world.  Decisions often affect us when we ourselves had no say in the making of said choices.  Sometimes life proves unfair and there is nothing we can do about it. 
Or can we?
Do we have power to change our situation, our nation, and our world?  Absolutely!  All it takes is a piece of paper and a pencil.  We can throw this world entirely away and create our own.  I told my nine year old friends about my often grumpy older brother who relentlessly gave me a hard time, and then described for them a story I created on another planet, in another galaxy, where a young lady had an older brother who mercilessly teased her.  By the end of the story she had proven right and he had proven wrong. 
Charles Dickens wrote a marvelous story in which the villain randomly explodes and suddenly the good people he threatened find freedom.  Why not?  Dickens's stories also proved powerful enough to capture the hearts of his countrymen and change laws and prisons throughout his beloved England.  
You see my friends, I have chosen to create a new idea - a blog post.  I have readers in different states in America, as well as readers from Australia, Russia, England and the like reading this very post. I could have written about anything, so I chose an extremely important subject.  You.  You are important.  Your power is amazing.  You can create anything when you place pencil to paper.  You can craft a story, as we discussed, of a banana walking down the street.  Nothing can stop you.  No laws of government or gravity can hold you back.  The entire universe is yours to command and control.  Why would I write a post and dedicate it to my dear Ironwood friends?

I did it because with language I can do anything.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Evening Poetry


* I was just scribbling and felt impressed to share. I do not know why but when the Lord commands, I obey. I did not even bother to give this work a proper name and I hope to write a cheerful conclusion. Have a beautiful evening, all!

Once I thought I might be only
For a moment in my lonely
Sad surrender, torture o'er me
But I find it now eight year.

How I hoped, I dreamed and prayed
That my curse might e'er be stayed
And events my heartstrings played -
My emotions did life sear

In the gruesome laugh of nighttime,
In the brash and injured daytime.
How I begged relief come sometime,
That pain's end might yet prove near.

I have come to know the glory
Of the fated martyr's story
And have often begged my Lord He
May now neutralize this fear

None to save nor none to rescue?
Where the hope to which my heart flew?
What the answer that my mind sue?
What kind hand can find me here?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Armageddon

The ground seemed to tremble in anticipation as my brother and I stood gazing outward into the Valley of Armageddon. He does not profess any religion but I recall he said on that occasion that one could feel the power of that place and certainly could not deny that something earth shattering would one day transpire on that now peaceful and beautiful terrain.  I couldn't help but agree and we remained in unified silence, consumed by the spiritual magnitude of this display.
 
Recently I have witnessed another kind of Armageddon, but instead of a beautiful field it has taken shape in the events of several lives.  Long years have carried with them many misdeeds, overwhelming and to a great extent unrepentant.  I have watched, prayed, pleaded and sacrificed to help people draw nigh to Christ only to find their behavior abusive toward me and irreverent to say the least before God.  These people have repeatedly and maliciously conspired against me while I have attempted to exercise patience, kindness, long suffering and charity toward them.  But finally their day has come.  They dug a deep pit in which to throw me and I find them tripping over their own feet and falling into it, and none can save them.  This band were united in hatred toward me and now their own malcontent has turned them to destroy and feed upon each other, and though I would prove Christlike if I could, their own behavior has so tightly bound my hands that I cannot reach out and help sufficiently to save in their much needed spiritual rescue. 
 
There is something profound in watching those who have injured you and sought to injure God finally hit rock bottom and have to live or die with the consequences of their own behavior, especially if you, like me, have given your all to forgive and uplift them.  I think to exclaim as Mormon did near the end of his life as he turned painful eyes upon the massacred of his people, "Oh ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if you had not done this, ye would not have fallen...but behold, you are gone and my sorrows cannot bring your return...O that ye had repented before this great destruction had come upon you.  But behold, ye are gone, and the Father, yea, the Eternal Father of heaven, knoweth your state; and He doeth with you according to His justice and mercy." 
 
My gentle reader, I cannot urge you enough to lay down your sins today!  Lay them down and forsake them every day!  Many of us look toward the future with fear and trembling for the events prophesied in the Bible concerning the last day and its horrors.  Awake, for it is already upon you. It may not come in the form of nation fighting against nation, but a man or woman's life may be torn apart, come unglued, and find itself in ruin without the media batting an eye or those they thought friends and partners in devilish schemes caring in the least. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Michael

During my last temple visit I had an extremely profound impression about Michael the archangel, as I described in my former post entitled "Michaelle."  I felt much impressed to write poetry recently and this was the hardest, most emotionally challenging poem I have ever written.  It also consumed two days of thought, which is much longer than I have ever spent on any poem of this length.  I cut the poem rather short because it was so emotionally difficult to write. 

Within the temple's sacred, blissful wall
I felt my anguished panic's frightened tears
Course down my skin into abysmal fall.
The labor of my life's ambitious years
Had crumbled into failure most complete.
I searched for healing balm to quench cold fears.
As lessons preached, a name rose to repeat
Inside my wearied mind, creating peace,
Destroying doubt with promise to defeat
Its pain.  And angel armed with pow'r to cease
This hell's rebuke appeared before my face.
He kissed my soul and promised to increase
Celestial joy, replacing pain with grace.
A soldier - there he stood with royal air
Magnificent, outshining all the race
Of men. A guardian of metal rare
Protecting righteous kin, I find my heart
Within his gentle arms of precious care.
In taking soul's defense into an art
Great Michael patriarch inspires me
To share this work, surrender doubt and start
      Redeeming all within my reach to save
        Throughout my life and even to the grave.
 

Unrepentant Soul

I wonder how immortal man
Can prove now so confused
In grasping sin, unholiness,
Redeeming love refused,

Here, after angels, God and man
Plead wayward soul to cease
His wretched, wrongful acts of vice
Extending up to peace

He flings away their hallowed words
Til Satan with black chains
Binds up his will, and lashing hot
Destroys his charred remains.