Live, While I Wait….

I am

In space.

My energy freed from a fragile shell of skin and bones.

I am.

More than I’ve ever been, I am now.

Time is of no consequence,

It’s iron chains no longer weigh upon my conscience.

Part, now, of the infinite universe.

Free as I once was, returned to my original state.

live

photo credit to n a s a

No longer tied to a planet,

No longer driven by the sun.

Holy stillness.

Peace, pure and perfect.

Silence, beautiful and consoling.

This is the death that awaits me,  and I live for it.

 

 


Impotent Nation

Yesterday,  I wrote a little blurb about taking a step back for a minute in the wake of all the recent shootings.  I spoke about letting reason overcome our fears and that there is room for compromise and discussion.   Yet as I typed those words, and even hoped for their fruition, I realized that we probably won’t allow ourselves the opportunity to discuss and listen and come to a middle ground, we’ll most likely continue down this path of shouting matches and shooting matches until we destroy one another.  We’ve been rendered impotent you see, unable to discuss and engage, unwilling to lay down perceived notions and take up another for even a second.   As a democracy we are currently unreachable and unteachable.   I hold the Koch brothers, our current President, and our 111th and 112th congress entirely, utterly responsible.

A nation is only as good as its leaders and our leaders have robbed us of the ability to have any sort of national discussion about anything.    Consider Mitch McConnell’s message that we need to make sure President Obama is only a one term president (I know there are arguments over the ‘context’ of this comment, I’m not buying them.  Actions, in this case, back up the literal interpretation of the statement, I’m inclined to believe that he meant exactly what he said.)  There’s been time after time the past eight years where congress has not just failed to communicate, they’ve refused to communicate altogether.  President Obama’s unwillingness to open up the TransPacificPartnership for examination makes an absolute mockery of the democratic process for which our soldiers ostensibly fight.

During the writing of the Magna Carta, in the aftermath of the storming of the Bastille, when the forefathers of the United States meted out a document intent on keeping a balance of power and enabling democracy – compromise, not stubbornness, led to growth and vitality.   Enlightenment, openness,  and opportunity guided the ideals and produced healthy nations that went on to become world leaders.  To the shame of our democracy, we currently witness political leaders on both sides of the aisle who blatantly and very publicly refuse to bear the burden of their democratic duty and moral responsibility of engaging in public discourse.     They are goaded thusly, thanks to secret meetings comprised of Wall Street’s elite of the elite where strategy sessions for the best way to gain and keep control of the government include this very  notion of an uncooperative spirit. (See Jane Mayer’s most recent work, “Dark Money,” Doubleday, New York, 2016). The results have manifested themselves in the form of a stagnate economy and an obviously broken society.

So while I wrote with hope and an admittedly idealistic tone, I lamented with each letter and form of punctuation.   I fear we are too far gone.  I am deeply concerned that we’ve already dug our heals in considering the actions of our leaders who have proven to possess an inordinate inability to engage and compromise, and accounting for the echoing sentiments of the ‘us vs. them’ narrative ubiquitous on social media the past several hours.

Today, I write about a new hope.  I hope that I am mistaken about my conclusion.   I  hope we haven’t crossed some point of no return and we can muster the strength to empathize. But if the last decade of leadership and our own reaction to these most recent events is any indication, we are now an impotent nation with regards to conversation and meeting in the middle, and my hope is in vain.

May I be proven wrong….

Frankie

 


Challenged

There’s not a one of us right now that isn’t sickened and saddened by the events taken place the past few days in our nation.  More acutely, there are women mourning the loss of their husbands, children trying to understand that daddy will never come home, and mothers who will never feel their son’s strong arms again. One wife watched her husband die after being shot, the other heard about it on the local news.  One child could smell the sulfur from the recently discharged gun, the other fearfully watched his mother fall apart after hearing that her husband was “one of the ones”.   Both mothers struggle to understand how another human being could be so hateful as to shoot their son in cold blood.

We are a mess.

As social media blows up in the wake of all of this, one thing stands out to me among  others:  we must not dig our heals in.  We can not allow ourselves to become so divided that we pass a point of no return with a strictly ‘us and them’ narrative.  There is room for talk and discussion.  There is room for compromise.  There is room for both sides to admit that work can be done within each community to bring us closer together.  There is a time (I would say that this could be it) that we say to one another “We are better than this, let’s work this out.”

Our instincts would tell us to fight.  They would have us defer to adrenaline and emotions and fear in the face of a threat that has no name and moves like a ghost among us.  Can we step back for a moment?  Do we have the wherewithal in ourselves to take a deep breath and allow reason to prevail?  Are we mature enough to understand that we can overcome our initial instincts in order to examine the causes and treat them, rather than just slapping a band-aid on the symptoms out of a hurried reaction?  Can we employ thought and dialogue in a healthy way to strengthen our nation?   Most importantly, can we summon grace from within ourselves at this moment and dole it out in great portions to one another?

I hope.  I hope dearly and I hope with every breath that I take that we can somehow manage to open our ears to each side, look at the evidence with impartial eyes, and feel the pain of every wife, child, and mother out there who today must accept the fact that they have lost a part of themselves.  This is our challenge, may we rise to it for the sake of one another.

To grace, and our nation.

Frankie

 

 

 


Mac’s Gig: The Formation of a Transgender Character

Caysee needed a sidekick.  And I had a deep desire to make this a story about friendship as much as freedom.   I wanted the message to get across that friendships are imperative; they deepen our life experience and keep our souls renewed.   Mac originated from these premises.

But he had to have his own story, his own motivations.   As I let the storyline and Caysee’s character guide me, Mac showed up and his past along with him.  I wrestled with the idea.  I knew that by keeping true to his original appearance I would perhaps also be creating a provoking manuscript, one that opens up entirely different kinds of conversations, and I wasn’t certain I wanted to pursue them.  I thought about some other way for him to have the kind of conflict that would drive him out of the house, or get him on the street.   I could not make him fit any other shape than the one that I presented.  I felt I had to be true to his essence in the way it teased itself out of the ether.

I purposefully didn’t do any research about transgender issues other than an occasional light peruse of headline stories.  I wanted to sniff out a reasonable reaction to the sort of prison in which Mac was living.  Most importantly, I wanted the character and struggle to be composed entirely on my imaginings, with as little influence from the real world as possible. This approach felt right and authentic to me.

Upon reflection, I’ve observed that Mac’s story can serve to inspire.  How many others, identity aside, find themselves in circumstances less than optimum?  How many of us understand the impossibility of thriving when our environment keeps us focused solely upon the task of surviving?  It could be a job or a relationship and maybe we inadvertently put ourselves in the situation, but I’m willing to bet that there are others out there who will be able to draw strength from Mac’s need to be staunch about where he could give up his sense of self and where he couldn’t, as well as his need to find an atmosphere that provided him opportunities to be free to express himself.  At least that is my desire.

When I made the decision to become a writer several years ago, I did so with the goal of always challenging people to think, myself included.  It doesn’t matter that a reader necessarily agrees with my point of view, I am content if I have caused another to at least consider an optional idea.  Even if there is disparity in the final analysis, we are all better for at least having weighed the other side of a thought. My hope is that Mac’s character, and the book as a whole, have achieved this endeavor.

Thank you for reading…

Frankie

‘Caysee Rides: A Story of Freedom, and Friendship’ is available for FREE on Amazon’s KDP Select  for three more days.


Newest Published Work

Finally…after a nightmare editorial experience and much research about ebook
publishing, I have released my newest work, “Caysee Rides” today. I decided to publish on Amazon since it has 75% of the ebook market reach at the moment, which means it is FREE FOR THE NEXT FIVE DAYS if you are a Kindle Unlimited member…just in time for the long holiday weekend.  Click here to link.  Happy reading…and thanks for all your support!

CayseeRides_Final_resized

Cover art by Aaron Phelps

 

 

 

 

 


Examination of Death, by an Atheist

Just a few days ago, my siblings and I gathered together at an idyllic place in the mountains and, one by one, scattered the remains of our beloved mother.

Many of my family take solace in the thought that they will see her again someday ‘across the River Jordan’.   Yet as my husband and I discuss heady topics such as parallel universes and quantum entanglement, I am instead, solaced by the thought that my mom is more alive now than she was while bottled up inside a frame of skin and bones.   This is the examination of death, by an atheist.

Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, so sayeth science.

restingplace

Photo credit to E.W.

This is the reality in which we live. It is incontestable, it is there in the math as assuredly as one plus one equals two. So when the essence of a soul, whatever energy is caught up in our being, is no longer caged by the laws of physicality, then we have to conclude that our energy is dispelled and scattered again throughout our universe, to be employed for newer enterprises (nature is brilliant at recycling and repurposing).   There is great comfort in the thought that my mother is not relegated to just here and just there.  She is all around now, freer in a manner that none of us can conceive, able to effect any number of possible outcomes.  She is life, and that more abundantly.

I will miss her, make no mistake.  I have keened for her passing and will do so again in days to come, I am sure. I will never again feel the sweetness of her kisses upon my lips nor hear the admonishing tone of her voice when my wild nature conflicted with her demure soul.  And while in days past, I might have taken comfort in the hope of ‘seeing her again,’ today I am pacified by a more solid idea.   My mother is ever with me, in every breath I take, in each word I write – in all manner of ways that her energy is now part of the universe itself, I am ever a recipient of her freedom.  Though I may be heartbroken; I am content in this examination.

Yours,

Frankie

In Remembrance:  HEA


First Perhaps, Not Best However

You are the first, but you are not our best.  I know this with certainty, there are others with greater integrity and deeper loyalties – it is difficult to miss them among your repute.

You deliver promises from a podium and smile kindly at the masses.  I see a facade, I watch body language, I follow the money. Your words and warmth are alien compared to your deeds and transactions.

You have shattered a ceiling, but you have not fooled me.  I watched you keep the one who betrayed you so you could break that glass.  In doing so you betrayed yourself and each of your sisters, including your own daughter.

You may have seen this coming a long way off, for you have planned, colluded, devised, manipulated, coerced, and twisted yourself into this role. Methinks it looks like Cinderella’s shoe forced upon the foot of one of the ugly stepsisters: contorted, deformed, repulsive.

You will revel in the moment, claim a solid victory, and think the world astounded.  But history will bring justice and reality will reveal:  The moment is artificial.  The victory, merely a shell – like a hollow chocolate bunny.

I cannot concede this milestone, it is marred and scarred with the illness of selfish motives.    It is clouded from the pollution of the process you employed.  It is weighed heavy with the baggage you bring.   It is tainted by your dishonesty and false propositions.

You may be first, but we are not a better nation for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Promises

Losing a child is an unfathomable event, but these things I promise you:

You will feel like your body has failed you.  It hasn’t.  And someday it will prove this to you.

You will feel as if the darkness inside has no end, and no matter how bright the sun, there will never be a light in your heart again.  But the darkness will eventually give way to light, time is your friend.

You will feel that you will never be able to manage a genuine smile again.  A day will come, though, when that smile crosses your face and you realize you have survived somehow.

You will feel like no one can understand your pain.  You will be right, but there are those who would at least help carry it for a minute.  There are those who will at least validate your heartbreak.

You will feel robbed, indeed you have been.  Yet, there are gifts that arrive with the pain – deeper understanding, greater appreciation of joy, the ability to live in the moment.

You will be tempted towards bitterness, it can’t be helped.  The human spirit however, is strong and resilient, you will be able to find peace instead.

You will be angry.  It’s okay.  There is nothing fair or right or just about this, anger is justified.

You will die inside from grief, but I promise you will live again one day for happiness.

 

 


#Harambe: My Sorrow and Sense

He was a beautiful animal.  He had a reputable character.  Yet when faced with the probability of him causing harm to a young boy – no matter how the child ended up in the enclosure – Harambe’s life was ended.

It is a shame, I agree.   But his death isn’t sense less.

I say this from the perspective of being bit by an unknown dog just a few days ago.   It and a partner were happily minding their business and I, having never seen them before despite almost daily travel of this particular path, veered to the far side of the path as I approached them to give them plenty of space as I passed.   I took maybe four or five steps after passing them and just thought to myself that we had navigated each other successfully when I was surprised by a pair of jaws latching onto my back upper right thigh.   During my research into dog bite trauma and care, I found that most dog bites occur between known animals and their victims – that is family dogs.

Even those animals that we’ve spent thousands of years domesticating and deem our ‘best friend’ can be unpredictable and dangerous.

There’s the realm of possibility, where anything can happen.  There’s the realm of probability where the odds favor that certain things will and do happen.

There is no way of knowing what would have happened, we can only estimate the probability of what could happen with Harambe and the child.    In this instance the probability that the boy was in danger was infinitely increased due to the age of the child – I’ve helped raised three boys, a four year old man cub is almost as unpredictable as a wild, albeit reputably gentle, gorilla.    The combination of the two was volatile and that is why Harambe lost his life.   Statistically speaking, the zoo personnel used common sense.

I am sorry that Harambe had to die, especially in the way his demise came about.  It wasn’t

harambe

photo courtesy cincinnatizoo.org

graceful, it wasn’t befitting of his life testimony, it wasn’t dignified as he apparently was.  I understand the anger expressed at his untimely death.

However, the probability that we would be having an entirely different conversation surrounding the death or severe injury of the boy is high if any other course of action were taken.   As I can readily attest, even our most domesticated friends are unpredictable at times, let alone a gorilla facing the stress of a stranger in its enclosure, an anxious audience, and a scared child.

Yours,

Frankie

 

 

 

 


Beginning Notes: For My Niece on Her Graduation

 

madgrad        Graduation is a ceremony celebrating your academic accomplishment, but it also marks the beginning of adulthood and entrance into a world where second chances and do-overs are rare.  I humbly offer a few notes to you upon this beginning – born of my own observations, mistakes, and experiences – in order that you might have some tools to help along the way.

 

  • Nurture yourself, starting now.  We girls are really great at supporting everyone around us; our friends, family, significant others, the stranger who needed a hand with her groceries.  What we don’t realize is that we must also take care and nurture ourselves – mind, body, and soul.  Neglecting to do so will result in depression, burn out, and unhappiness.   So right now, I hereby give you permission to be selfish to the extent that you claim time to do this.  Maybe it’s a solitary walk, or a night in with just you and your favorite movie, or an afternoon alone in the park, make time for your self.   This note is first and foremost for a reason.  It is imperative.

 

  • In our digital age the pressure to be ‘like’ someone is immense, and burdensome. Be ‘like’ yourself.  This is your life after all.  Concentrate on figuring yourself out, and own your strengths and weaknesses.  Put your experiences and truths into action instead of someone else’s.   It is the only way to live a full life.

 

  • Do these things every day:

Wash your face before you go to bed.

Shave your legs and use lotion.

Do a set of squats before you get in the shower and another when you get out.

Meditate.

 

  • Know that there is a difference between sex and sexuality.   One is about the act, the other about how you express yourself.    Be free.  Embrace your likings and disliking’s, communicate with your partner, enjoy the intimacy, use birth control.

 

  • Choosing someone with whom to share your life is much like choosing the right pair of shoes.   They have to fit just right, and look good with the rest of the outfit as well.   They have to last a while; a girl must be economical above all things

Build a solid foundation of friendship…

Chemistry is everything…

 

  • Take time to be with nature.   Admire a sunset.  Smell a flower.  Watch children play.  Listen to a bird’s song.   These moments will keep you grounded.

 

  • Therapy/counseling is useful sometimes.   Life is messy and rarely turns out the way we imagined – an objective opinion, a neutral voice, and a sympathetic ear help immensely to sort out the chaos.

 

  • You are accountable only to yourself, with the exception of a few loved ones around you.  You owe no one an explanation.   However, this is a heavy burden.  It means acting with reason as much as possible and taking the hits when you haven’t.  Learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same mistake twice.  Know that others make their own mistakes; therefore we should dish out grace as generously as we dish out homemade ice cream on the Fourth of July.

 

  • We live in a competitive world and in a most competitive time, but we must support each other as women.   Be kind to each of your sisters.  Be a good leader by finding ways to cooperate and opportunities to congratulate.

 

  • Setting up a house means more than just buying furniture.  You will also need curtains, towels, silverware, cleaning supplies, mops, and a thousand little other things for which you never knew your mom went shopping.

 

  • Recycle and Repurpose.  Use a credit union instead of a bank.  Hire someone to do your taxes.  Check the oil, water, and tire pressure of your car regularly.  Pay your bills on time.

 

  • Love.   Love yourself first or you’ll have nothing to give.  Love your family next because they are blood and support you no matter what.  Love your friends with reckless abandon, they enrich your life.  Love your work or find a different job, time is short.  Love romantically – give your heart over entirely at least once to someone else – the pain is worth it and you’ll learn things about yourself you’d never learn otherwise.  Love every sunrise, it means you have another day of life.

 

  • Reflect the beauty you see around you, and you will be beautiful.

 

I am excited for you to begin your life.  There’s a fresh paved road ahead of you, you are the very first to make footprints upon it.  But there is no end in sight, there are no helpful markers along the way, and there are people who are watching you to follow your example.  As much as I’d like to be there for every stumble, fall, or broken bone, I cannot. So take these notes with you, they might help from time to time, and remember that you are loved dear girl, there are people that have confidence in you.    Auntie.

 

 

 


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