You Can’t Take God Out Of History

Thousands of people have and are trying to take God out of History, but it won’t work. And on January 20. 2017, at the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th United States President, that sacred name was used reverently, over and over doing all 48  hours of that unique span of time, and from both sides ‘of the aisle’, TYG.

Those who know me even slightly know I am not a religious person, but those same people know also that I am a deeply spiritual  person.

Most of us skirt around the name of the Deity, and MCs at most public ceremonies are uncomfortable, not knowing whether to pray or not to pray and I can’t blame them, when we find the subject matter given on some of the programs they are asked to present.

In ‘olden’ times, it was accepted that we give thanks to some Higher Force at Public meetings and inasmuch as most were Christian, the name of God was used, and our coins still say, “In God We Trust”.

What we do in private is our own business, but publicly it has become another story, and with the name God beginning to be removed, our history books are changing and showing signs of becoming nothing but ‘once-upon-a-time’ tales.

If we go back and scan our history books, however, we’ll find that every battle, war, Crusade, or tale coming from both, or any side, claim their instructions, and motives for war, were received from their God. And the names cited were many and varied.

So, if the name of God, the driving Force,  is removed from print, within a generation people would not learn of the Pilgrims, Amish, Quakers, Mormons, or such. Thanksgiving would naturally, and nationally, more and more  become Football Day, and Christmas no more than Rudolph and Santa.

The Crusades of the Middle Ages would have to be left out of our books entirely, for although they spanned several centuries, . . . every Crusade, even the Children’s,  were fought to take The Holy Land from the power of the infidels, who called their God, Allah.   And you can’t relate even history without mentioning the main Character, which, era after era, time after time, area after area, has been God.

The Koran, re-written with each   new conqueror,  has, at times, been almost decimated and scholars of old manuscripts would have to go back to their ‘beginning’ when the Angel Gabriel ‘gave’ the words to Mohammed. And, unless such a group could be found, and given that freedom, the result would remain as it is today, in the hands of the World’s  strongest Economic Power.

Without God, Utah’s Pioneer beginnings would be lost, for history would simply say that thousands of people traveled west, and groups would stop at different places to make homes.  Our Twenty-Fourth of July celebration, would, more swiftly than ever, become a larger and fancier rodeo.

Not mention God in history books?? How then could anyone explain the Dark Ages when those daring to differ with prevailing beliefs were ‘tortured and burned at the stake?  Joan Of Arc would be even more forgotten,  and who would dare tell of the Wise Men who outlived Christian enemies and so were able to keep our Bible pure(?) for you and me.

How can the plundering of towns, cathedrals, cities, and Jewish Pogroms be explained without mentioning the name of God? How can we tell of missionaries who went into the wildernesses becoming the very first outposts of civilization with their staffs and Bibles.

How can literature be studied without referring to the most powerful books in the World?? The Holy Bible, The Koran, the Bahgavad Gita and China’s  Book of Changes? They all tell of that   Unknowable Force, calling it by such names as God, Jehovah, Providence. Allah. IT. Brahma, Old Heaven, All Our Relations, The Lord God, The Unknowable, or as our scientists euphemistically say, The Unknown Factor.

But. by whatever name you know IT by, you should also know that there are those who are attempting to make laws to prohibit any mention of God in schools, school books, TV, history and certainly not in public meetings.

Take that Imponderable out of our history books and how can our children know about the Amish, Quakers, Mormons, Jews, Muslims . . . or, finally how are they to know of our Pledge of Allegiance and             join in singing our National Anthem? It came home to me forcefully back in the 1990’s, at a National Press Meeting, where, in their effort not to offend anyone, or to break any law, the Prayer was nothing but a hooshmi of words, and when it was over we all looked at each other as if to say, “Is this where our laws have taken us?”

Use whatever name you will, but the history of the world cannot be written unless the Cause, or the ‘why’ of it all is given. Our scientists euphemistically have called it, the Unknowable and, Einstein, who gave us so much of our basic, essential Knowledge, called IT Pure Essence. I call IT God.    And while respectfully recognizing all the others, still stick to my beginnings, and  never even think of any other Name when I think of My Diety.         And so, TYG.  with naught but reverence from Ethel.


It Might Have Been Otherwise Redux

Here is a poem from my refrigerator door.  It has been there many years and I wish to share it again . . .

I got out of bed
With strong legs
And an alert mind.
It might have been otherwise.

I ate cereal with fresh yogurt,
Juicy blueberries
And home-grown walnuts
It might have been otherwise.

I drove to the office
And did chores
Others could easily do,
But for now they are mine
And I did them.
It might have been otherwise.

I sat at my window
Seeing fields and mountains that
Generations of Bradfords have also seen.
It might  have been otherwise.

I spoke with and laughed
With Robert in Maine,
Emailed Ken in California
Bob in St. George
Dewey in Santa Monaco
Laurel in Mesa,
And chatted with LaRee
Just across the valley
It might have been otherwise.

I did my nightly yoga
Murmured words of praise,
Slept in a bed in a room
I’ve slept in for sixty-odd years,
And whose walls hold
Beloved paintings and words,
Fully aware that one of these days
It will be otherwise.

(This poem was written by Jane Kenyon.
To reflect MY life, I  have changed
Every single word except the last line Of each verse. )

Read it again and put your own
Actions where I ‘ve put mine.
Made me a bit more aware of
Just who and what I am.
Good luck.


The tools of our soul . . .

Our hands are tools we use every moment of our day, and, no matter how large or trifling the task, our hands do what’s needed.

Yes, I know,the mind gives birth to what we accomplish, but it’s our hands,  tools we seldom even give a thought to, that do the work.   Unacknowledged,  but from the most delicate stroke of an artist, to knocking down some unneeded wall, to  the almost thoughtless act of scratching an obscure itch . . . we turn to our hands to get the jobs done.

The first hands I was aware of were my father’s.  Basically they were well formed, but a life-time of carpentering, plus the   manual labor that came with a farm,  and  its fields, and animals, had toughened the skin and nails until they were rougher than none other I ever saw.

Yet, Dad’s  hands were sensitive.  I remember him  gently feeling the edges of a piece of wood to see if it needed more smoothing.  Saw his hands follow the grain of  wood to make certain he had maximized its beauty, and it was then that I became aware of the beauty of polished wood . . .  and of the hands holding it.

I didn’t know how he could feel any roughness,  but Dad’s  work proved me wrong for his work would rival  the best of  today’s fine wares. I recall seeing him, almost without thinking, reach out to gently touch some fine piece of furniture.  I sensed it then, and  could not have named the feeling, but now know, that his touch was a caress.  Yes, worn or not, his hands were  the sensitive, sensual hands of an artist.

And  then I remember Gram’s hands.  I heard her once say, that when she wanted a job done well, she had to ‘get her hands into it’.    And I see  that dear woman’s hands with nary a fumble, go from stove, to fridg, sink, counter, and table to serve the meal she had prepared.  Each movement sharp, clean and precise.

And perhaps most vivid of all, because it seemed so ‘out of character’,  was when she used their ancient Remington  typewriter, But, incongruous as it seems,  she sat at their dining room table, and  with her two ‘pointer’ fingers, completed  her husband’s, (Gramp’s), weekly reports to be mailed to the Smelter’s N.Y.C. office.

My husband’s hands were far more beautiful as a man’s than mine as a woman’s.  I had seen those same hands on his father, and then on one of our sons and knew that the genes ran straight and true.

When our son, J.R. still a teen, reached across the dinner table,   I, for one moment  thought it was the father, not the son reaching out.  Yeah, hands follow the blood line as any other feature.

I watched young Michael’s  hands, of a later generation.  They had lost their baby shape, yet, I knew his hands would be replicas of Gram’s. And  I smile, for though Gram is now long gone, I am reminded of her as I watch Mike, her grandson, reach out with a gesture in the same delicate manner.  Hands that seem to never be meant for menial tasks, yet Gram did many such a chore and I’m sure Michael now does the same.

Then there was Stan G. whose supple fingers brought the keys of his piano to life in a way that. even in memory, brings goose bumps to my skin. And, in a different manner,  I watched Bob Prince, down at the old Murray Printing Company, where, swiftly and surely, he, with his hands,  put togeher a full-page  ad for Allied Development (6400 So. State, remember?) in the manner it was  it was then done.

Oh, and the hands of Brad, my husband; Spencer, my brother; and Bill, one of my sons; as they each, in their time. made their fingers bring life to the dots and dashes of their Morse Code Keys.  Yes, only a changing  jumble ot clicks and pauses  to the untrained ear, but also into a clear sound track to the knowing  ones.

I  see  the magic of my Carol’s hands as she makes beauty from thread and a crochet hook, and recall John Nuslein’s hands  as  he bent over his cello and pulled one’s heart strings with the beauty of hands and music.

Yes, I watch  hands . . . and pray God that, someday, when we will all meet and perform beloved chores in another of His   Rooms,  that  the Heavenly Music will still need talented hands to make it possible.  Please God, what joy, what joy,  what joy

The Ten Commandments plus One

Nothing new under the sun.  Except for Me . . .

It’s too late to call these Resolutions, but these words are too good to wait for a year, and so  while I’m no expert on Life, but after we live a while, we find that whatever our life is, it has been of our own making. And that if we don’t like what our life is, that we, and no one else, can change it.  We define the events that come to us, or those events will define us. Shiver, shiver, shiver.

  1. Take time to work.   Each day you have 24 hours to use, two hands that need something to do, and ‘work’ is the answer to each. We all need the satisfaction of a job well done, and ever since Eleanor Roosevelt set the example, even every First Lady has done volunteer work. And our tired bodies sleep better at night, knowing “Today I saw a need and tried to help.”
  1. Take time to play. It is the secret of youth and while youth in years cannot remain, youth in spirit is ageless. The old, familiar words still ring true. “There are ‘old’ young people, and there are ‘young’ old people.” Take your pick.
  1. Take time to read. The wisdom and humor of people from all ages and climes are in books, free of charge, on any library shelf. Oh, read, read, take time to read, for a life’s pathway without books can be sterile and empty. What a difference a book makes.
  1. Take time to think. The Mind is a Power source and the power I speak of is the power to master and control our own lives. Milton knew all about that back in 1666, when he said: ‘The Mind can make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven”.
  1. Take time to worship. The pathway to inner joy, doesn’t mean just sitting bored on some church bench, although it can happen there. It can happen any place and no matter what task you are doing, take time to remember that Adam, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, et al, had no fancy clothes or buildings for worship. In times of labor, play, relaxing, or in a crowd, no one will know what your mind is doing. Worship.
  1. Take time to make friends. There is no life as barren as one so full of busy-ness that no time is found for friendship. Lover, spouse and ‘significant’ other, often come and go, but friends are friends before, during and after such changes. Make friends and don’t let them get lost. Ever.
  1. Take time to love. It is the most sacred sacrament life can offer, and if you limit your love life to the sexual aspect, you’re missing a lot. There are  other kinds of love, and marriages flounder unless young love develops into deeper realms. Marriage without sex would be sterile  and boring, but marriage for sex only is doomed from the start.
  1. Take time to laugh. It is Balm of Gilead for life’s burdens. A great big hearty laugh that rocks the room is so healing it relaxes places you didn’t know were tense.
  1. Take time to dream. Dreams lift you to the stars, and don’t ever apologize for your dreams. Because every accomplishment on earth, from going to the moon, to writing a sonnet, began with ‘just a dream’. Ah, yes, take time to dream.
  1. Take time to plan. It is the secret seed for all the rest. You know the adage, one found on many a refrigerator door, or bathroom mirror, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”
  1. Turn Off the D= = = = TV. Its hypnotic with unending fake laughter, people giggling and trying to persuade you to buy something, or discussing subjects they know nothing about. Foolishness by the hour, obviously doing anything just to fill those 24 hours a day, day after day, and ends up with at least 22 hours of pure trash that no one wants or needs.   Turn it Off and find out what you think. And don’t let your kids grow up thinking TV is the answer to all life’s questions.

Yes. All are good, and some are easy and some aren’t, and the ones that will be ‘a piece of cake’ for you , will probably be the ones that broke my back. And while they might not make a new person of you, they’ll make the most of the kind of person you already are. Be happy.  And isn’t it great that the choice can be ours? Especially that curse of today that can be cured quickly by simply pressing one button. The OFF one to Television. It’s all our choice.


My Secret Dreams

You tell me yours, but I won’t tell you mine . . .

And so we dream. Every night you have your dreams and every night I have mine.

We joke about them and often our first words at the office the next day are,   ” My gosh, I had the craziest, (weirdest, saddest, wildest, sexiest, puzzling, etc.) dream last night’ and then we go and tell about them.

Once you begin in understanding the meaning of your dreams, however, you stop broadcasting them to the world, for it’s much the same as disrobing in public.  Indeed, you learn to share them only with someone you trust implicitly, or you save them in your dream notebook so you can later ponder them in the silence of your own heart.

Because our dreams . . . the experts tell . . . are of the unconscious part of a person, trying its best to communicate with the conscious part of the person. My dreams are the wiser part of Me, talking to the more foolish part of me. Your dreams are the wiser part of YOU talking to the more foolish part of you. And not to be taken lightly.

The Native Americans say, “Cherish your dreams for they are the children of your Soul, the blueprint of both your achievements and you deepest hopes.” They (the dreams) are trying to tell us what is missing or out of balance, in our daily lives. Dreams seek to put balance and harmony into our lives.

If my life . . . I am taught . . . is too free, undisciplined and unstructured, then my dreams will be structured, disciplined and with restrictions. And vice-versa.

If my life is restricted and hemmed in by laws and customs. then in my dreams, I will be free. Free and untrammeled as any bird and I will fly and dance far and wide. See, our dreams seek balance.

Our dreams also reflect the culture and thinking of the era we happen to live in. Freud dipped deeply into the dream’s life and came up with the theory that almost all (95%) of dreams were concerned with sex.

And he was right . . . for his day and  age . . . for you see, when he did his exploration of dreams, the world was an inhibited place to be.   Sex was not spoken of.  It was a no-no. restricted, Unmentionable, and most certainly ‘not nice.’ So. quite naturally, his clients, in such a locked-in- atmosphere, had dreams of freedom, sexuality and sensuality.

But along about the 1960’s, the era of the Baby Boomers, therapists tell us, our dreams again began to change. Dramatically. The world as a whole, was living with a lack of discipline never before experienced in the modern world. And our dreams???

Yes, yes, yes. They told of balance, balance, balance And even today, our dreams are, as a whole, becoming more and more disciplined.

Home, picket fence, garden, man and wife, children at play. The old idea of family and cottage with no divorce or retinue of lovers. No drugs, no partying. Structure is what the basic dream of today points toward. Balance, for when the pendulum swings too far our dreams tell us it’s time to pull it back.

The experts tell us to look at our dreams carefully, for they are all in symbols, and have no printed  sub-titles.  They are to be pondered and thought through deeply. silently and privately..

Keep a notebook by your bedside and in the moment of waking from a dream,  quickly make note of the important parts, and in the morning, the details will fall into place.

And if you have a partner you can share   your life journey with, take turns being the sleeper (dreamer) and the one charting the course. The waking one watches the sleeper’s eyes, and when the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) period occurs,  the sleeper is immediately wakened and the dream related.  It’s a sure-fire way to catch your dream but a trusted person must be found. REM is the clue to when a sleeper is dreaming. Always

But remember, your dream’s symbols are explicit. Terribly explicit. Surprisingly explicit. Horribly explicit. So when you decide to figure out what you are trying to tell yourself, don’t hide half the dream as being not ‘nice’. Don’t laugh about it and say,  “I’d never do that”. Look closely, because some part of you would do exactly what your dream is trying to show   you,

Get yourself a good dream book and begin to listen to yourself.  It’s doing the best that part of  you  can do,  to bring balance into your life. It’s sorta fun as well as one great big eye opener. And a helper, too.   I rely upon “The Dream Book” by Betty Bethards. You’ll get a good bargain at AMAZON on the Internet,  Get a copy and find out what the wiser part of YOU is trying  to tell the   ‘other’ part  of YOU.    Give it half a chance.