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1LinerWednesday – Switzerland

“I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives.”– Billy Connolly

D-M Commons, Wenger EvoGrip S17, CC BY-SA 3.0

This caught my eye this morning because we have so many of these little knives lying around the house. Several people in our family have surrendered them at airport security when forgotten in the front pocket of a man’s trousers. I never carried a knife but I did have a credit-card-sized plastic case that had all the similar gadgets.

When I went to Switzerland, I bought a wood carving — not a knife.

Many southern men always carry a pocket knife. I borrow hubby’s and use it more than he does. I can always rely on him to have one with him — except when we fly.


1LinerWed is brought to us by Linda Hill. For all the rules click here ===> Linda G. Hill

Be sure to read all the comments and see how others handled their one line.

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Behavior Unbecoming

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I did not want to taint my retreat story with this observation so I decided to wait until tonight to post it.

When I flew home Sunday, I was the first in my row to board the plane. Unfortunately I had a center seat which is never my favorite. I was just getting settled when a young woman turned into the row and said “I am sitting here and you need to move, you are overflowing into my seat.”

Coming from a very relaxed and zen state of mind, this threw me off. It seems the corner of my unzipped jacket was touching her seat as I put my overnight case under the seat in front of me. I moved my jacket as she slammed down the armrest perhaps to serve as a barrier.

Within a few minutes, a woman somewhat older than I stopped and indicated she was seated in the window seat. We stood to let her take her seat. She was similarly brusk.

The flight was completely booked so space in the overhead compartment was limited. Two people tried to rearrange the small backpacks these women had in the overhead bin to which both these women became very irate about not touching their bags. Voices were raised, the young woman telling people to shut up and the older woman also raising her voice to anyone who touched her bag.

I will not go into the detail of the verbal exchange, but the behavior was uncalled for on both their accounts. I donned my noise cancelling headphones and watched Netflix for the duration of the flight as the passengers around us rolled their eyes in disbelief.

I find this type of behavior unnerving. After returning from a retreat where women dig deep to get to know each other and go out of their way to help each other, seeing two women behave in such a way was certainly disconcerting.

Why must people be so rude? What is the cause of the chip they wear on their shoulder. I think they could use a retreat, but I do not think either could lower their defenses long enough to make any progress.

All I kept thinking is that the young woman on my left would most likely grow into the older woman on my right. What a miserable way to go through life.

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Retreat Retrospective

Being an introvert, making the decision to attend a women’s retreat can be daunting. Spending 3 or 4 days with women I have never met might be enough to convince me to give the whole idea a hard pass. I may never understand fully what called me to attend the Seasons of Surrender retreat, but I am glad I listened.

This gathering of 7 women from throughout the U.S. was amazing. I witnessed sturdy walls of self-protection crumble around me. I was allowing myself to be seen which normally exhausts me and leaves me feeling empty. So what was different this time? I think others in attendance had similar experiences which somehow filled the void with compassion, empathy and a growing trust in these women.

The retreat was hosted and led by Kim Halsey. It is difficult to find the words to describe Kim so that you can understand the magic she is able to create around healing ourselves. She created a place of trust and safety and held space for each of us to come into our own for which I will be forever grateful. I can never thank her enough.

As many of my readers know, part of my desire to go back to New England was to reclaim that part of the country and release the trauma I experienced there. Arriving in Boston I felt the glorious chill of fall. A severe storm was threatening 75 mph winds and rains capable of flooding. Everyone was anxious to get out of the city before the weather shifted. I boarded the Dartmouth Coach which transported me in style to New London, NH where I was picked up and transported to the AirBnB which would be our home for the duration of the retreat.

I arrived at dusk but the gold and red hues from the trees were still evident. We had storms that night but never lost sleep or power — unlike many in Boston. The house was warm and welcoming. We were surrounded by fall color and a view of Lake Sunapee which was most relaxing! We even had an evening around the fire pit where we released the drama of our lives.

Throughout the retreat there was abundant laughter peppered with tears of acknowledgement as our eyes were opened inward. It was remarkable. I learned so much about myself and about the other women who are traversing the same landscape of being a woman in present day America.

We participated in a very powerful exercise about our place in our family and how those family interactions have followed us throughout our lives. It was more revealing than I could have imagined.

There were pockets of free time and I took advantage of a few walks to take in the fall color. It was glorious. I discovered a new love for New England.

We each had a choice of a free float in a sensory deprivation tank or a Reiki session with Sarah. I chose Reiki. Sarah has a gentle and welcoming aura around her. It was a beautiful and relaxing session in which I saw intense colors moving and surrendering to the higher power (my interpretation). I was filled with gratitude and appreciate this gift of herself that Sarah gave each of us.

Throughout the retreat we shared our experiences of being a woman in this world — both the opportunities and the limitations — and how we are capable of shifting our paths through our own awareness.

We concluded the retreat by revealing our dreams and allowing each other to be our dream team in helping us find our way through the obstacles that have held us back. It was the perfect way to end our time together — in support of our individual dreams.

Throughout the weekend we were treated to an overabundance of home cooked food — everything from chili to stuffed pumpkins to soup to s’mores. No one went hungry.

I had a chance to meet my long-time online friend, Lauren (who also practices a daily gratitude blog) and it was so wonderful to meet her face-to-face and strengthen our friendship. She is a wonderfully sweet and kind soul and meeting her was something I had really looked forward to. We will be friends for life.

I hope that more women have such opportunities. This is Kim’s passion. She is authentic and skilled and allows herself to be vulnerable alongside us as we all grow together. I am sending positive energy into the universe as she does this work with other women.

To the women who shared this experience with me, I thank you. I hold nothing but love for you and wish you success on your upcoming journeys.

SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – The Message

I am waiting on my flight at Boston Logan so what better way to pass the time than to jump in on Song Lyric Sunday. SLS is brought to us each week by Jim Adams from A Unique Title for Me.

This week we have Lean/Sit/Stand for a prompt.


The first song I thought of last week was the song Walk Right In. But, I have been on a women’s retreat and noticed John Holton snagged that song and did a right fine job with it. So, I felt compelled to dig into the memory banks and see what I could come up with.

The song that surfaced is The Message, co-written by Melle Mel and
Ed “Duke Bootee” Fletcher, performed by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. This song became an anthem for the inner city struggle in the 1980s and stays relevant today. Many believe everything this song changed the direction of Rap music.

There was a struggle surrounding the writing and rightful credit to the song. I can not do it justice so I will refer you to this article if you are interested.

I was living in Alaska when this song came out and I had a lot of African America friends. I think I heard it for the first time when we went out one night and my friends took me to a “private club” which was predominately African American. I did not know such places existed which was one of my early acknowledgements of the cultural divides that can exist among the closest of friends.

This song holds special meaning for me.

 

The Lyrics from Songfacts.com:

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

Broken glass everywhere
People pissin’ on the stairs, you know they just don’t care
I can’t take the smell, can’t take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat
I tried to get away but I couldn’t get far
Cause a man with a tow truck repossessed my car

[Chorus]
Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge
I’m trying not to lose my head
It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

Standin’ on the front stoop hangin’ out the window
Watchin’ all the cars go by, roarin’ as the breezes blow
Crazy lady, livin’ in a bag
Eatin’ outta garbage pails, used to be a fag hag
Said she’ll dance the tango, skip the light fandango
A Zircon princess seemed to lost her senses
Down at the peep show watchin’ all the creeps
So she can tell her stories to the girls back home
She went to the city and got so so seditty
She had to get a pimp, she couldn’t make it on her own

[Chorus]

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

My brother’s doin’ bad, stole my mother’s TV
Says she watches too much, it’s just not healthy
All My Children in the daytime, Dallas at night
Can’t even see the game or the Sugar Ray fight
The bill collectors, they ring my phone
And scare my wife when I’m not home
Got a bum education, double-digit inflation
Can’t take the train to the job, there’s a strike at the station
Neon King Kong standin’ on my back
Can’t stop to turn around, broke my sacroiliac
A mid-range migraine, cancered membrane
Sometimes I think I’m goin’ insane
I swear I might hijack a plane!

[Chorus]

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

A child is born with no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind
God is smilin’ on you but he’s frownin’ too
Because only God knows what you’ll go through
You’ll grow in the ghetto livin’ second-rate
And your eyes will sing a song called deep hate
The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alleyway
You’ll admire all the number-book takers
Thugs, pimps and pushers and the big money-makers
Drivin’ big cars, spendin’ twenties and tens
And you’ll wanna grow up to be just like them, huh
Smugglers, scramblers, burglars, gamblers
Pickpocket peddlers, even panhandlers
You say I’m cool, huh, I’m no fool
But then you wind up droppin’ outta high school
Now you’re unemployed, all non-void
Walkin’ round like you’re Pretty Boy Floyd
Turned stick-up kid, but look what you done did
Got sent up for a eight-year bid
Now your manhood is took and you’re a Maytag
Spend the next two years as a undercover fag
Bein’ used and abused to serve like hell
Til one day, you was found hung dead in the cell
It was plain to see that your life was lost
You was cold and your body swung back and forth
But now your eyes sing the sad, sad song
Of how you lived so fast and died so young so

[Chorus]

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

 


Jim Adams provides the weekly topics that serve as the inspiration for Song Lyric Sunday. Check out his blog for the rules and read some of the other contributions in the comments section.