Rooms, So Many Rooms . . .

Rooms, rooms . . . rooms, rooms, rooms.
In rooms we laugh, in rooms we cry,
In rooms we’re born and in rooms we die.

But that’s just part of the story, for even children are aware of the ‘feel’ of rooms. The ‘feel’ that affects us, for with nothing said, children know if it’s part of a ‘home’ or just a ‘house’ and if the people there are up-tight, or relaxed, and open.

The rooms we grew up in, and those we now live in, silently but surely shaped and continue to shape our lives, for we fit inside them like a hand in a glove. If the glove is soft and comfortable, or stiff and unbending as steel, the lives lived there become the same. We mentally ‘freeze’ in rooms that are furnished in the stark manner of a hotel room, or by being so precisely planned and decorated that they belong on a magazine cover. surely not for real people.

So impersonal that if I try to picture a tousle-headed child running in from play, wanting to share something stupendous with his mother, I wonder if that child would be welcomed or chastized for bringing ‘all that dirt into the house’.

I scan such rooms, to see if there is some corner where you could curl up with a child, book, cuppa tea, some knitting, or, instead, if people would drift off to a den or bedroom that might have a more friendly atmosphere.

I like rooms with furniture and decorations that people and time have touched. I lovingly use many of Gram’s things, items that knew Brad’s hands, a wall of bookshelves my Dad made, handwork of Mom’s and gifts from friends. No decorator planned my rooms, they just grew as people, time, and deaths left their treasured marks.

I have a fireplace, rockers, pillows, knick knacks, books in every room, and the sun is free to splash over my floors and carpets. Crazy Cat, sits on the window seat and children can mingle with adults in a friendly give and take .

My Dad and Gram, whose partners had stepped into one of God’s Next Rooms. will always be part of my kitchen. I see them with tea, coffee, leftover pie or cookies, while talking of the days when they were young. All while I would be doing my stuff, and two young boys played with their toys as the warm winter sun shown upon them there at our feet.

A room where there were uncountable koffee klatches with the artist, Beverly Wheeler Mastrim, who lived next door, and who will remain forever a part of my rooms.

We remember the rooms we grew up in, those of our own first home, and the sweet smelling rooms of our grandparent’s homes. Our heart can break in some room, and then in perhaps the very same room, where we took a deep breath, pulled ourselves together and decided that after all, life was still worth living.

And finally when our years are finished, we die in a room, and go on to some other of God’s Rooms. They’re all ‘living’ rooms, so be loving as you furnish yours because they will shape those who will dwell there.

But my mind wont let well enough alone, and more thoughts come to me and this time my mind goes to my unknown ‘before’ and ‘after’ rooms.   All babies are born, in pretty much the same way, but where did I, the Spirit come from?     ‘Tis said, “God created Heaven and Earth”, and I think that speaks of Rooms, and not only Eden, but far away rooms. like our continents, as well as distant ‘planet rooms’ that make our solar system look minuscule.

So, this just-born Ethel entered this Human Room, fine, fine, fine, but where did that Spirit come from, and with absolute perfect timing, slip into that Machine called Ethel, and shock it to cry out, and give it Life with its first wondrous deep breath of air? And when that joining doesn’t take place? Did someone make an error of timing? Or what?

I don’t know, but then when I leave this body? Well, of course, the Ethel part of me will be buried or cremated, but what happens to the Real Me? I think I, and you too, will be guided to some yet unknown Room. A different Room where I can learn more of what God wants me to know, or to ‘fix’ spots where I’ve erred in this Human Room.  So many trillions of Spirits have lived here as humans and we’re all so different in experiences and reactions that surely we all are not destined for the same next Room.

God must have created many more Rooms awaiting each of us. Rooms that have compassionate and loving learning to give.  I think so, for, you see, I know I’m far from being a ‘finished’ person, and yet have no idea of what it is I need. But God does, and I think there must be the right Room awaiting me. And the right one, also, for you, and you and you.   Hope we see each other there.


Depression or Joy – Pick One

Depression is a common malady at any time of the year, and during the Holiday Season, it can almost become an epidemic.

 And, as a result, we wonder if we are merely feeling the ‘push’ of a crowded schedule, worry of gift-giving expenses, wondering if ‘we’re doing enough’, or if we should resort to the medication that TV ads tell us is the answer to all our maladies.

Happens to everyone, and a month or so ago, feeling what used to be called ‘down in the dumps’ , I found a pamphlet giving the words I’m using today. They made sense to me and if you say you’ve never had feelings of depression? Well, lucky you, lucky you.

The article gave the following Questions and Answers, in order to check on ourselves. I did and decided I was just having ‘one of those days’, and that all was well with me. Anyway, here are your Questions.

Have a pen handy and make your answers:
1. None or little of the time.
2. Some of the time.
3. Good part of the time.
4. Most or all of the time.

No one is looking over your shoulder, so answer honestly and those answers, if you’ve been worrying, will probably relieve your mind. or give you the push to get a doctor’s help. Just, as the article said, as if you had a bad cold. Here we go.

1. I feel downhearted, blue and sad.
2. Morning is when I feel the best.
3. I have crying spells or I feel like it.
4. I have trouble sleeping through the night.
5. I eat as much as I used to.
6. I enjoy looking at, talking to, and being with attractive men and or women.
7. I am losing weight.
8. I have trouble with constipation.
9. My heart beats faster than usual
10. I get tired for no reason.
11. My mind is as clear and sharp as ever.
12. I find it easy to do the things I used to do.
13. I am restless and can’t sit or stand still.
14. I feel hopeful about the future.
15. I am more irritable than usual.
16. I find it easy to make decisions.
17. I feel that I am useful and needed.
18. My life is pretty full.
19. I feel that others would be better off if I were dead.
20. I enjoy the things I used to do.

Well, that’s it, except there is a special blank which asks if you have recently or currently thought of suicide. We are perfectly normal if, occasionally, there are days when we feel life just isn’t fair to us, and all that stuff.   So relax and go read a book.   In other words, quit worrying.

Truly, there are those who absolutely dread the time from Thanksgiving on through New Years, and would like to close the door, take the phone off the hook, and pretend they’ve left town. And, the experts say, most of that, is normal along with the ups and downs of our family life and how circumstances change. And this is why many older couples take a vacation trip at this time of the year.

If any of these is just once in a while thing, you are NOT clinically depressed, but probably merely reacting to the changes life brings to us all, and a doctor, therapist or some Pill are not needed and might even make things worse.

But look at your answers, make allowances for your age, what’s going on in your life, and then, if you feel you do need help, it’s available for the asking and to be asked for with no more guilt , the article stressed, than you would feel for getting help with any ailment. We all, at times,  feel like we need that help.

And if you think not, call some good friend, and once you get started, let them talk, too, and you’ll find you have good company in your feelings, and that we all have times of being down in the dumps. Life changes and sometimes we don’t like those changes, but changes are not depression.  We’ve been constantly changing since the time of our conception.  And will continue to do so, too.

Doctor’s offices are busy in December with people who are struggling with what they think is Depression. And the answer for 99.% boils down to the fact that we are no longer  children, and yet, unknowingly, we struggle to duplicate the decorations, excitement, whispered secrets, we experienced in childhood.

All that fantasy is a lovely myth formed for the child we all once were, and as adults, strive and wonder why, no matter how much money we spend, how many gifts we give or receive, or parties we give or attend, that remembered joy is beyond our reach.

We are no longer children, so why don’t we, as adults, stop trying to be a child again, and instead, remember Christmas is a Spiritual Holiday, and not allow Store Sales, TV commercials and hoopla, to twist our minds into thinking that the answer is in how much money we spend.

Let’s give The Day back to children, and Special thoughts upon that Special Child who was born long years ago in Bethlehem. Let us stop acting and thinking like the children we no longer are, and instead of depression, our hearts and minds will soon be overflowing with  peace of joy, contentment, laughter, and love. After all, that’s what Christmas is. 

A Cure For Cancer? I Don’t Think So

This Time the Golden Goose will be kept alive . . .

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, our elected Leader for Four Terms,  was crippled with Polio and lived most of his adult life in a wheel chair.

The Press never showed that view of him, but he never ‘walked’ without wearing unseen, heavy braces, and a son, or some strong man at his side. It’s said that if he were alone in his private rooms, and wanted to get around, he crawled. Of course he could have had help, or used a walker, but FDR purposely chose that discipline for he feared a fire, and that no one might know and not come to help him. So he exercised and his upper body became very powerful.

Polio is no longer the crippling disease it once was, because the March of Dimes, was organized in his honor, and year after year we donated our ‘dimes’ to fight Polio, and sure enough Jonas Salk, in the early 1950’s ‘found’ the Vaccine that finally prevented that disease. And the world rejoiced.

But, there had been an awfully lot of people, organizations, hospitals, researchers and such behind that triumph and when the Salk Vaccine was made, suddenly, there was no need for any of those people, their jobs or organizations.

Yes,  the dreaded Polio was gone, a thing of the past, but as a result, thousands of people became unemployed, because scientists, doctors, and others in Research organizations, were no longer needed. The battle had been fought, conquered, and almost overnight, there were no new Polio patients, and only caretakers for those suffering with the disease were needed.

It wasn’t long before there were long  news stories telling of the stunned men and women who, over night were suddenly unemployed because the reason for their  work had been solved, and an entire industry had been made absolutely unneeded.  Polio was a thing of the past and is now only a Shot your children are casually given along with other childhood Shots for  medication.

It was then bitterly stated, and has been re-stated over and over since then, that there would never be cures ‘found’ for Cancer, Aids, HIV, and other dread diseases because too many people are earning too much money from that ‘battle’, to ever allow such a cure to be developed. Search for their cures has grown into World Wide Businesses, and they have   no plans of going out of business, either.

But I’d be willing to bet that securely, secretly and locked in deep Safes are more than one cure, shot, or method of controlling any of those dread diseases we now fear. A cure for any of those diseases would create a world wide tsunami destructive wave of people, soon unemployed in hospitals, researchers, (see above) if a cure for cancer were suddenly found.

Think about it. A world wide wave, with a domino effect upon jobs, and research groups no longer needed would arrive. Take but a quick glance at what happened with Polio, and know why there are people over the world w ho do not want that to happen again. With whatever disease.

The method is to control what is being produced. So every new method of how to control diseases is examined and automatically deemed ‘Not worth further investigation’. The idea is then purchased, and silently shelved. as ‘unusable’, locked up, and never again to see the light of day, much less on your pharmacy’s shelves.

Institutions to care for those with the disease? Yes, yes, yes.   Insurance for their care?  Yes, yes, yes. Care for their families?  Yes, yes, yes. But to get to the core of it all???? No, no, no and no.

We know that money is Power and all one need do is look back on what happened to the many medical people and research groups that once were built around Polio, and how suddenly they were dissolved into nothingness, and the answer is clear.

Succinctly, too many people are earning too much money to ever again allow cures for such wide spread diseases to appear. The world applauded Salk for developing Polio Serum . But it was a bitter/sweet triumph for the industry to take, for little by little they knew they themselves had perpetrated the entire sequence, and had no one but themselves to thank or blame for what happened. .

So, with good memories, there were those who silently swore to not let it happen again. Yeah, they killed their own Golden Goose once, and as it’s been stated, over and over again, “It will never happen again”, and so far they’ve managed to do just that.

The First Time

Let’s revisit those first times again . . .

Our lives are full of ‘firsts’, from our primal yell until our last sigh. Which will actually be a both a mighty ‘first-and-last’. But don’t get me mixed up. You know what I mean, and so I go on. There’s the first tooth, first step, first day of school, and all that stuff, But some of our ‘firsts’ go deep.

How about the first time you traveled alone? Planned the trip, bought the tickets, and then, in a strange city, with no help from anyone, you made your train or plane connections. Even called a cab and arrived at your hotel . . . all by yourself.

Remember the first time you applied for a job?   Ho, ho, ho, that was a big first, and then, for heaven’s sake, don’t forget about the first time you were fired. And if it never happened to you, well, I hope it never does, but I remember once being flatly told I was hired to work not to goof off, and so I began to work. Some of our firsts are also great teachers.

Branching out, I’ll always remember my first time in a really nice restaurant. I was stunned, though I tried desperately to look unimpressed. It seemed like the room shone. Lovely chandeliers made the silver and crystal glitter on the white linen, and there were tall plants around the room, large pictures on the walls, draperies at the windows, and a waiter with a napkin over his arm. Just to help me. And I felt as if I should not speak above a whisper.  Almost like in church.  Oh, my I remember.

We don’t soon forget the first time death, that ole hypocrite, came into our life, either, and when we stood at the edge of that deep earthen hole, and knew that any remains of our loved one, who was talking and laughing just days ago, has now been hidden deep in God’s earth. And knew that death does not happen just to others, but to you, too. And the second or third times come no easier.

And as I spoke of the ‘end’ of life,  I now take us to the beginning, the first time we made love. Yes, we women remember, and whether it was a time of wonder and bliss, or sadly, if far from all romantic words we’ve read, we still remember. I don’t know about men and how their memories work, but for the rest of our lives, women never forget.

And in this day and age, it’s perfectly correct to ask, if you remember your first marriage? And if there’s been only one, you are either outstandingly lucky or are maybe living in a marriage you really ought to change. And, once more, I write of the other side of the coin, how about your first divorce?  Oh, me, oh me, oh me. What I don’t think of, but that seems to be such an ordinary part of today’s life, and not to be ignored.

Then, do you remember that lovely first moment when you held a newborn child in your arms and knew that between you and God, you had made this bundle of life. Oh yes, some man had a momentary part in the wonder of wonders, but you, within your own body,  carried that child for nine long months and then gave it birth. And this is one of the times when the emotion that fills you is really ‘Love beyond words’.

And there was the day you moved into your first home. Might have been no more than a rental of only one or two rooms , but it was yours. All yours, and the thrill of later ones, no doubt far more sumptuous, would never be recalled like that first one.

And ultimately we all have startling firsts, like when, for the first time, we realized we were moving up in the generations. First you were the youngest, and then, to your dismay, you saw younger children born and then for a long, long time you were in that comfortable middle zone.

But relentlessly you saw yourself not only taking care of a younger generation, but at the same time realizing your parents might one day also need help. Happens to us all.

Yes, ultimately, your parents die, and that is a first you never forget for with it comes the realization that you are now the oldest generation. By chance it happened to me when I was fairly young, but, do I remember. It was a shock for it seemed such a short time since I had been the youngest of the family, and then, there I was of the oldest.

Oh, and then the glory of the first time you dropped into really deep meditation, into another time and space, and you knew that the stories told by those ancient seers and sages are true and you were blessed to find them and their Teachings.   And forever afterwards, the phrase of Thank You, God, became a constant part of your thoughts.

Do you remember your first emergency? Perhaps when one of your own children was hurt or in an accident and there was no one else to take charge? Remember how you chose not to panic, straightened your shoulders, did what needed to be done, and if you fainted it was not until the child had been cared for, and all was well again.

Firsts, firsts, firsts. Our entire life is made of them. You have yours. I have mine and I hope most of yours were wonderful, just as most of mine have been, too.