Thursday, August 28, 2008

Peace, Integrity, Freedom of Speech & Money

What do you value? What is of relative worth & importance to you?
This is what I have been asking myself.

Money??'s fleeting. It starts from within & it emits out, often times getting bounced right back, but every blue moon you come across that soul who would grind it down to see if they can turn it black like a lump of coal. be true to one's word thus allowing others to have faith in you
Integrity...having cohesiveness between actions and good moral values. be open without any coercion.
Money...a medium of exchange for value.

In my little world, that's kind of how I see these things & lately I have been questioning what stands where with me.

My current conundrum is that all but one seem to trying for the number one slot in my personal value system....but it seems as if sometimes these things come with the opportunity cost of another.

Several weeks ago, I received a letter stating that I was going to be sued for my words here and on sites that are designed for customers to review businesses.

I responded, stating that I would gladly oblige any valid requests to remove incorrect information if they could clarify in writing my factual errors & provide documentation of such.
Although I have not received anything in the mail as of yet, I have received a couple of phone calls from the person represented in letter.

In the first phone call, it was stated that they didn't want to sue me and that they didn't really want money from me but they would because they had spoken to lawyers and had been guaranteed that they would win. I listened to the bulk of bantering for just over 15 minutes and got off the phone with the understanding that they would fax me documentation showing that I had written falsities & that if in fact I was in err, I would make amendments & honor their requests.

The second phone call, 35 minutes later, resulted in a voice mail where I was advised that they would not be faxing me anything, as their lawyer supposedly had advised them to save it for court.

I guess the decision was made that one would rather sue me than work with me towards a peaceful end.

I should have known...

Now, I have not met nor spoken with a lawyer.
I have not been legally advised of squat.

I value the truth.
I value integrity.
I value peace.
And, I value our freedom of speech.

Based on good faith, having no evidence of their words' worthiness, having stated clearly my opinions & my experiences...I again exercise my freedom of speech in the name of p-e-a-c-e.

This time, I have pulled down blog posts, comments & words. I have edited online reviews, where allowable, so that my words don't seem so 'mean & malicious.'

I have done this, not because I have been provided with any evidence of possible errs, but because I am trying to balance my values of peace, freedom of speech & integrity.

Again, I have offered repeatedly to retract any legitimate requests to remove any factual errors, as it has never been my intention, nor my understanding, that I have made errors.

As far as opinions they say, they are like assholes...we all have 'em.

I think they should be ashamed of themselves, top to bottom. Based on my experience with them, I don't trust them with a ten foot pole and would never advise a friend, peer, neighbor or co-worker to do business with them...the bottom line is in my opinion, the entire ordeal could have been completely avoided with a little bit of honesty & integrity... some clear, open and honest communication married with fair & reasonable practices. I would never want anyone else to have to go through anything as ridiculous as what I went through for a used stinking car. It has all been absolutely ridiculous.

Actually, maybe now would be a good time to patronize them. Take a mechanic, get everything in writing and tell them Skinny sent you.
Really, they make me sick...

Sir Daleheim would say ''Sue on, Sue-etta."

Sister Sing always says ''In the end, peace wins...I'll meet you there.''

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Love To Be...





Friday, August 22, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Totems of the River, The Rocks, The Heart & the Great Heron

Fluid, moving & changing it course with time.
All together at once, yet completely distinct.
Life-giving. Life changing.

Looking down. Reflections of oneself. Reflections of the skies above.
Looking again, through clear green-tinted karma... life.
Elders, grand-fathers, heart-shaped rocks.

The Great Heron watches over me. Stares at me. Escorts me. Nothing I do goes unnoticed. So, I do nothing.

Floating in peace.

Following the Great Heron's lead, I watch, I wait...I listen.

Squirrels , badgers, beavers, chipmunks, birds of all colors and sizes....swooshing, scaling, dipping, climbing, digging. Chirping, clicking, calling.

River flies, moths, water skeeters, giant yellow butterflies and dragonflies of blue, green, white, red, purple & gray...flitting, floating, buzzing and humming.

Turtles ducking under the water & fish leaping out...
I just float along.

I know that right now this is where I am supposed to be.
These are the waters I am supposed to travel through.
This that surrounds me now, grounds me.

Mother Nature tells me to have patience.
Father-Time tells me that when it's time to dive...dive right in.

The Great Heron plucks one well chosen fish from the natural farm at his feet & gives me a sideways glance. Time.
One, two, three, four, five dragonflies perch upon my leg, my toe, my knee, my elbow and my finger.
This is PEACE.
Lost and found in the
eternity of now.

When the time is right I paddle off to the side & perch myself upon some rocks, just as the Great Heron had perched himself atop fallen trees & the dragonflies had perched themselves upon me.
With a gazillion stone elders, 'grandfathers' as Spado once told me, at my feet...
and the biggest yellow butterfly I have ever seen on my shoulder...
I found them...
Just Like Me...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gifts from God, Mother Nature & Father Time

We never expected it. Never imagined it. We didn't plan for it, didn't prepare for it.
Life isn't always fun, but when it can be ... it should be.
So, when we realized that the constellations would be throwing eye candy our way, we went with the moment.
Gifts from God, Mother Nature & Father Time.
Outside of the moon & the stars, sea turtle nesting found us in complete darkness come nightfall.
A desolate beach. Paradise.
No high rises. No condos. No surf shops. No liquor stores. One gas station/bait and tackle/grocery that closed at seven.
We stayed up all night, night after night.
We took catnaps by day...
Although we may have slept, here and there, by was at night when we got our rest.
We laid sometimes side by side, sometimes head to head & sometimes toe to toe. Sometimes we even flopped ourselves into the ten o'clock/two o'clock position, draping our knees and feet over one another.
It didn't matter that we had no blankets, nor any pillows.
In fact, nothing mattered.
Utter Peace.
Magnificent Beauty.
Pure Awe.
One shooting star after another.
Purple, pink, blue, white, yellow, red & all shades in between.

Parts of Africa, Eastern Europe, India & the Middle East will get to witness a partial lunar eclipse tomorrow. In the Western Hemisphere, we won't get to see it, but everyday brings something special...if we just open up to it.

May the Beauty of Peace, Love, Mother Nature & Father Time bless us all.

If interested, check out this constellation's beautiful! The software is available for free download. Although my computer too old and stuffed or something to download, they say that you can enter your coordinates and enjoy the nights sky in 3D from your home computer.

(photo:compliments of NASA)

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Voice...Celtic Woman

A couple of years ago, the man that lived with me had the TV on. He was in one room, I in another...the TV echoing out to us from yet another.
We heard this and met in the middle...
When she lets out with 'I am the voice of the future, bring me your peace
Bring me your peace, and my wounds, they will heal,'

I can't help but believe in the truth of the past, the promise of the future & all things meant to be...
The Voice.

I hear your voice on the wind
And I hear you call out my name

"Listen, my child," you say to me
"I am the voice of your history
Be not afraid, come follow me
Answer my call, and I'll set you free"

I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice, I will remain

I am the voice in the fields when the summer's gone
The dance of the leaves when the autumn winds blow
Ne'er do I sleep thoughout all the cold winter long
I am the force that in springtime will grow

I am the voice of the past that will always be
Filled with my sorrow and blood in my fields
I am the voice of the future, bring me your peace
Bring me your peace, and my wounds, they will heal

I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice

I am the voice of the past that will always be
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice of the future
I am the voice, I am the voice

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Stray Dogs, Whoopings and Peace Man

He had a scruffy little head, which he tossed to the left when he wanted to get his dirty blond hair out of his eyes.
He loved to play soccer, as did I... but unlike me, he considered himself to play very well.
We both wore corduroy Levi's and faded t-shirts.
Not Bobbie or Robbie. Those names were to laid back for him.
A formal full name for an informal guy.
We had been friends in the years before...
Sometimes riding bikes or throwing the football, walking the creek or feeding stray dogs.
But Field Day came & saw a change between Robert & I.
We bounced on balloons tacked to chairs and made long jumps as far as we could. We ran in sprints and played tug-of-war. A thousand kids with a hundred things to do. Surely a place where there was room for everyone to be winner and for everyone to be a loser.
The line of kids to do pull-ups was short, perhaps the shortest of all the lines.
I got in it, along with Helena.
The boys, including Robert, heckled us as we stood in line.
We put our hands on hips, popped some hi-shine flavored cherry gloss on our lips & rolled our eyes.
When my time came, I pulled up on the bar and did as many as I could in my 60 seconds and then I moved on to the next activity.
When Friday came and all of us sixth graders were due to get our awards and honorable mentions for our physical efforts on Wednesday, I anticipated enjoying the 'free time.' Time spent at school...not doing school work.
What I did not anticipate was getting the award for the most pull-ups achieved in the 6th grade. Nor did I anticipate that Robert would be the runner up and, as our teacher, Mr. Dooley, pointed out... falling 'double-digits behind a skinny little thing.'
That was it.
War was on.
Robert now despised me.
He saw everything I did as competition.
When we played soccer, he'd rather lose the game than share the ball with me. If I scored, he cursed me. After the games, he'd want to argue with me about what I did or didn't do.
At first I tried my rolling of the eyes trick, but that didn't last too many days.
Mom said 'Sometimes a lady just lets a boy win.'
So I gave wise ole Momma's trick a try.
This led to Robert just giving me an increasing hard time. Finally, after one particular game, I had had enough of his laughing, shoving and name-calling.
Before I had time to think about what I was going to say, I was speaking in a flat, low and very grave voice...
'You dumb ass. I freakin' gave you the ball and when you fumbled, I got it back...ran with it, then gave it back to YOU could score! So YOU could feel better about yourself! Not so that you could give me crap.... you're such a loser!'
I saw my words sink in. I saw his eyes level. And then I saw a fire inside of them of the likes that I had never seen before.
'You bitch! I ought to kick your ass!'
'Go For It!'
Tangled in a whirlwind of sandspurs and sand, spit and fire...Robert and I were in a rolling ball of adrenaline, intent on the moment until our coach finally broke us up.
Afterwards, the boys were laughing & the girls were appalled.
Robert & I both were taken to the office.
The principal said he could either call our parents or give us a paddling.
I got six licks across the bottom with the paddle of my choice and Robert got eight.
Before the school year was over, I ended up getting paddled many more times.
But the last time I got paddled, I got paddled alone.
The dew was still wet on the grass and I stood in the quasi-daybreak outside of my classroom door. I was at school early, in fact even before the teachers and buses arrived.
There had been a stray dog, seemingly starving, that I had been feeding and taking water to for a couple of weeks. He'd meet me in the field just off the sixth grade wing. I would sit indian style in the grass and watch him eat and drink, then let him curl up in my lap until the bell sounded. But this morning he was no where to be I stood alone with my paper bag of stolen morsels and metal bowl from home waiting for the day.
I heard the sound of people and knew that the first buses had arrived. There was laughter. I heard it all, but really couldn't be bothered to turn around. I was too intent, looking into the woods that lined the field, hoping to spot my stray dog.
All of a sudden SLAM! I stumbled downwards and forwards, all along having my shoulder ground into the rough, brick wall.
Before I had time to register what had happened, I heard Robert's sarcastic voice.
'Oh, excuse me.'
I was able to keep myself from falling, but my paper bag and books went flying.
Dog food scattered across the walkway.
The howling began....'Look! Skinny brought her lunch today!'
The heckling continued and I said nothing.
As I picked my books up, I looked across the field.
There he was! On the edge of the woods! Sheepishly looking out! Looking for me!
I gathered all the morsels of dog food and threw them in my bag. I stacked my books by the door. I filled my bowl from the water fountain and walked out across the field.
The first bell rang, then the second and there I sat, indian style with a peaceful little bag of bones in my lap.
Finally, Mr Dooley came out to beckon me in.
I watched as the mutt slowly meandered his way, tail tucked between his legs, back to the edge of the woods. Poor little fellow didn't seem like he was doing too good.
At lunch time, I opted for the 'paper bag' lunch, which usually had a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit, and white milk.
I took my bag to the sixth grade wing and looked to the woodline. There he was, just barely in the shade of the trees. I ate some fruit and he had a sandwich and milk.
Seeing the kids pile up in front of my classroom door, I knew that lunch time was drawing near it's end & having been late in the morning, I ran across the way.
When I got there, Mr Dooley had yet to return.
I tapped Robert on the shoulder.
When he turned around, I kicked him in the shin with all the might I had in me.
As I watched him crumble to the ground, I said 'Oh, Excuse Me'.
No sooner had the words sliced their way out of my mouth, then I felt Mr Dooley's hand grab me by the back of my neck.
I showed the principal my scabby shoulder and arm.
He apologized, but stated that no-one had witnessed it.
And that was the day that I got my whippings alone.
A couple days later, I was out in the field with my peaceful stray dog, as was our morning ritual.
Robert snuck up on me & he was alone.
'What do you want?'
'Nothing.... sorry you got whooped alone. I should have been whooped too.'
'It's Ok. I deserved it as much as you deserved getting kicked.'
'That hurt!' and he showed my the yellow green egg on his shin.
I looked down towards my scraped shoulder and arm. 'Well, I found out we're moving on Friday. You won't have me to fight with anymore.'
Robert just looked at me, then at the nameless pooch and finally back again...'Skinny?'
'I promise, I'll come early everyday, even on the weekends...I only live a block away, and feed your stray dog.'
'Yeah. Promise. Swear.'
'Ok. Thanks.'
'What's his name?'
'I call him Peace-man, but I guess he really doesn't have a name.'
The next morning, Robert was there before me.
'I saw him, but he took off into the woods.'
I sat down, indian-style, and motioned for Robert to join me.
'Come on Peace-man. Hungry?'
After several minutes, he came. And over the course of the next couple of days he warmed up to Robert.
Lost and Found.