Who Chose Passion Over Security

Grandmothers

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to forget.

She had Grandmothers
Who longed to remember.

She had Grandmothers
Who shipped their infant
in a shoebox
To a childless sister in Sanpete County
With a note:
“Sorry to trouble you, but he don’t want kids right now.”

She had Grandmothers
Who were desperate from betrayal and
Killed themselves by diving

Head-first into a rain barrel
After carefully placing their glasses
On a clean hankie.

She had Grandmothers
Who left the pots and pans
To ‘soak’ under the lilac bush.

She had Grandmothers
Who took early retirement,
Who chose passion over security,
To make time for an affair
With a childhood sweetheart.

She had Grandmothers
Who joyfully greeted the dawn.

She had Grandmothers
Who braced themselves for the day
With valium, coffee and TV news.

She had Grandmothers
Who were uprooted by their grown children
And moved to an old

Barrack on the edge
Of a windswept nowhere
Where she spent twenty years
Sipping Black Jack Daniels and
Reading condensed editions of books.

She had Grandmothers
Who loved other women openly
And with devotion and she had

Grandmothers who did not speak,
Even to their daughters,
Of their love of women.

She had Grandmothers
With ample pensions who moved
To a retirement village
Where a dark haired young woman reminded her
To take her pills
And where someone came twice a month
To clean the wall of mirrors
That made her room look bigger

She had Grandmothers
Who loved the smell of babies and bacon,
And of coffee, oranges at Christmas,
Wet horses in the rain, and men.

She had Grandmothers
Who trailed the scent
Of rosewater, whiskey, and coal oil.

She had Grandmothers
Who reeked of smoke and patchouli.

She had Grandmothers
Who were beaten, berated, and betrayed
By their daughters.
She had Grandmothers
Who were raped by their sons-in-law.
She had Grandmothers
Who seduced their sons and their nephews.

She had Grandmothers who read out loud
And who sat on the stoop and taught the children,
Even the boys,
How to thread strings of lilac.
She had Grandmothers
Whose grief and pain was bottomless.

She had Grandmothers
Whose laugh was contagious.

She had Grandmothers
Who left Sweden, who left Scotland, who left Wales.

She had Grandmothers who were born, lived
And died in one time zone.

She had Grandmothers
Whose brains and blood were splattered
In the snow and on car windshields
In the supermarket parking lot
On the day her husband
Was served the restraining order
And came and shot her in the head.

She had Grandmothers who packed imaginary bags
To take imaginary trips to visit people
Who had died 40 years ago.

She had Grandmothers who were vegetarian.
She had Grandmothers who were Unitarian.
She had Grandmothers
Who slowly drank warm water for their constitution
And she had Grandmothers
Who snorted cocaine.

She had Grandmothers who played cards
With the same group of women
Once a month for thirty years
Who called themselves the “humbugs”
Who didn’t know that they were a “moon lodge”
And never once called into the four directions.

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to forget.

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to remember.

She had Grandmothers who said
We would be better off not knowing.

She had Grandmothers
Who whispered lies.

Julien Puzey
Spring Eqinox 1998

On this day we honor our Mothers, I share this favorite poem by Julien Puzey.  I chose the Argentine Giant Cacti during flowering for the accompanying  photos as this delicate bloomed but tough, resilient, often prickly cacti reminds me of the Mothers , Daughters, Sisters, Grandmothers, Nieces, Cousins, and Aunts within my own family. For generations, a fair bunch of rascally women if ever there has been one. Proud of, Grateful to Each and Every One. Happy Mothers Day!

 

 News/Music: Lady Madonna- Beatles

Your Sunrise and The Wind

What is the good
Of your stars and trees
Your sunrise and the wind,
If they do not enter
Into our daily lives?
E. M. Forster

Belhaven North Carolina Sunrise

Belhaven North Carolina Sunset

In response to this Week’s WordPress Photo Challenge- Rise /Set

May joy fill Your hearts, may You travel Your days in Safety and Confidence, and may Peace rise with You in the Morning, and rest within You at dusk.

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News/Music- Handel’s Messiah – Sir Colin Davis- London Symphony

“Curiouser and Curiouser”

“Curiouser and Curiouser.”
― Lewis Carroll,
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
& Through the Looking-Glass

What fun to look back through the year’s photographs. So many ‘favorites’ and the opportunity to pause and recall many an excellent moment from this almost gone year. Have enjoyed sharing so many of those moments through photographs with you.

In response to  Word Press Photo Challenge: 2017 Favorites

News/Music: Fatboy Slim: Weapon of Choice, The Worst Antiscience BS in 2017-MOther Jones

 

“You Can Observe A Lot By Watching”

“You Can Observe A Lot By Watching”
L.P.Berra

A quick curving ascent of pavement above the City of Flagstaff Arizona, just before dusk.  A visit to the  Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona on the day of the Geminoid Meteor Showers.

Here is how the Lowell Observatory describes itself:

Lowell Observatory, founded by Perceival Lowell in 1894, is a private, non-profit institution dedicated to the research and education in astronomy. Home of many important astronomical discoveries including the first evidence of the expansion of the universe and discovery of the planet Pluto., Lowell Observatory continues as an active major research observatory today. Sharing our founder’s conviction that scientist bear an obligation to convey their work in a way that all interested people can appreciate, the Observatory also offers educational programs to school children, and the general public.

Here is how I describe the visit to the Lowell Observatory:

A day to savor as a time so filled to the brim, overflowing with wonder and  cool.  Of humans embracing and chasing curiosity, talent, and the very universe. Being at the Lowell Observatory opened me to both remember and consider anew about just how much bigger the Story unfolding is than my own experience.  A day full up with a strong infusion of inspiration

First we attended lectures on The Solar System, and another Stars and Galaxies. The young women who presented  were knowledgeable, well spoken, and passionate about their love of space and exploration. Learned so much, including that the, much photographed by me, moon was once a part of the earth and broke away;  the three qualifications to be considered a planet are : It is in orbit around the Sun. It has sufficient mass to assume hydro-static equilibrium (a nearly round shape). It must also  “clear the neighborhood” around its orbit which means it is  gravitationally in charge in its vicinity in space.

Next visited, the Putman Collection where the Science Library, artifacts, and collections are offered. Just a glimpse of a few of the displayed treasures:

Including the  centerpiece in the lobby –  Percival Lowell’s 1911 Stevens-Duryea automobile. “Big Red” was Lowell’s state-of-the-art “horseless carriage” which still appears in local parades:

Then to the telescopes to see what is currently in the sky!

The McAllister Telescope, a reflecting telescope with a Cassegrain optical system featuring a 16- inch primary mirror. The largest telescope I have personally ever seen.  The dials and mechanics mesmerize and dare me to figure out how they work together to show the very stars. Once again a Guide to knowledgeably/ enthusiastically explain, and assists in using the telescope. Adrenaline push and a happy dance;  then yet another look  into timelessness  with gratitude and high spirits step out into the cold fresh high altitude pine scented Flagstaff air. A short  walk to The Clark Telescope Dome:

The Clark Telescope Dome was built in 1896 by local bicycle repairmen Godfrey and Stanley Sykes. There is much local Ponderosa Pine in the construction and has the look and feel of love, artistic attention as well as sustainability of  Italian Cathedrals.  The Clark Telescope surprised me with it’s size, dwarfing,  the just minutes ago largest ever I”d seen,  McAllister Telescope. The Clark Telescope built in 1896 was the instrument used when the first evidence of the universe expanding was discovered. To have the opportunity to not only photograph this beautiful piece of equipment, but to watch it in motion as the dome is opened. Consider the Sykes brothers as chains, wheels,  and gears smoothly swing the scope into the place and yet another set of instruments to be adjusted and set. Then the  Guide offers a look, and there I am gone clear through space to see clear to turquoise blue Uranus. That’s right ! No words to use to describe to you the positive sea-change shift that such a look into space gives. Using the telescope that was used to discover the expansion the universe. Can you give me an Amen!

The night continued with a careful drive down Oak Creek Canyon with raccoons,deer, and skunk on the move and the Geminid Meteor Shower in dazzling full swing overhead. The energizing fullness and wonder of this visit to the Lowell Observatory remains.

I wish to take this time to thank you for your support, kind words, and interest in the success of JoHannaMassey.com in 2017. I enjoy visiting with you here, and on your websites whose quality challenge me to do better, teach and inform me daily, surprise me and make me laugh and provide a very real sense of a global community through WordPress. Such a diversity and exchange of ideas and people to appreciate and consider. May each and everyone  of you experience and share Joy and Peace during  this Holiday Season. Again, thank you. – JoHanna

Music/News- Alex Cross- Mad World, What the United States Could Have Done With Trump’s 1.5 Trillion Tax Cuts for the Rich…

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In The Best Way We Know How

“We return to you, O earth,
The things which you have given us
Willingly and most graciously;
With our hearts,
Hands and minds,
In the best way we know how.”
― Taj Mahal

 

 

There’s Hope

There’s hope
It doesn’t cost a thing to smile
You don’t have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that”-
There’s Hope: India Arie

Getting out that door to witness and be part of this sunrise on the morning walk about felt baptismal.

Music/News

A safe and excellent day to one and all.

Instant Illumination

There are very few human beings
Who receive the truth,
Complete and staggering,
By instant illumination.
Most of them acquire it
Fragment by fragment,
On a small scale,
By successive developments,
Cellularly,
Like a laborious mosaic.
The Aspen leaves  were certainly singing and dancing high above our heads, and the entire forest was filled with their music. I’ve never scaled an Aspen Tree.  Soft wood, many of these tower above over  80 feet, live 150-200 years, and reproduce by seeds or roots sprouting and creating colonies of clones.

 

Lots of people were up at the Snowbowl in Flagstaff Arizona to view the Aspens this year, and a full school bus number of children were in the midst of a shared ecstatic experience, rolling about in the golden leaves, hugging the trees, laying with arms and legs stretched out,  gazing upward singing along to Aspen tunes. Laughing out loud , carefully selecting fallen leaves to pocket –   talisman’s for their journey.

Wishing an excellent week to one and all.

New Oxford American Dictionary:
verb [with object] 1 climb up or over (something high and steep): thieves scaled an 8-foot fence.2 represent in proportional dimensions; reduce or increase in size according to a common scale: (as adjective scaled) : scaled plans of the house.[no object] (of a quantity or property) be variable according to a particular scale.3 North American estimate the amount of timber that will be produced from (a log or uncut tree).