It’s Too Big for Words

I know.
I can’t find the words.
It’s too big for words.
So much seems too big
for words these days.

It’s hard to wrap my head around
the fact that we live in a country
where we are all at the mercy
of other people’s religious beliefs.

Just know you’re not alone.
You have a world of mothers,
and fathers, aunts and uncles,
and sisters and brothers
standing right there with you.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Why Watch This?

Why watch this? That’s a fair question. It’s caused some self-reflection here, and that’s always a good thing, I think.

Why did I watch?

-I still feel traumatized by what I saw on television on January 6th. I saw heroes in capital police uniforms holding the line at risk to their lives to keep our democracy alive. I saw a Republican vice president and the Republican senate majority leader make the choice to stand by their oaths of office and finish the job of counting the electoral votes right after their lives and the lives of other other legislators had been in peril. I saw bullies and thugs trying to force what THEY wanted on the rest of us (the majority of whom elected Biden president in a legal election). I saw bullies and thugs chanting to “hang Pence” and threatening the lives of public servants who were just trying to do their jobs.

– I wanted to see the heroes publicly acknowledged.

– I wanted to see the bullies and thugs publicly exposed for what they are.

– I wanted to see the liars and cheats publicly confronted with their lies and cheating, and I wanted those who blindly believed in them to finally come to see they’d been misled.

– I wanted to see the insanity and terror of January 6th publicly addressed.

The United States should not be run like it’s some organized crime syndicate by a mob boss who expects his “underlings” to “find him 10,000 votes” – and is surprised when they don’t go along with his insanity.

Spoiler Alert: This Has a Happy Ending

Spoiler Alert: This has a happy ending.

I have felt really stretched and fragile and on the edge the last little while. I know the last few years have been challenging for all of us – and we each have our own slant and perspective on the challenges. A lot of my perspective comes from the point of view of someone who is hard of hearing.

Imagine being someone who depends on hearing aids and smiles and reading lips and facial expressions to communicate with others. And then imagine lips and smiles being covered, voices being muffled through masks, and hearing aids getting all tangled up in mask strings and falling out. I have been conscientious about wearing a mask when I knew it was helping others and helping allay fears – I felt it was something I could do for the good of my community. But I think two years of feeling shut off from the voices and smiles of others had slowly pushed me to the breaking point. So when a loved one suggested I wear THIS kind of mask because it had THESE kind of strings that wouldn’t get tangled in my hearing aids – I reacted more strongly than I might have two years ago. NOOOOOOO!!!!! No, no, no, no, nope. I pointed out to my loved one that he has hair that’s an inch long – and I have hair to my shoulders – how was I going to get those strings through my hair? And and and… earrings, hearing aids, sunglasses…. NOOOOOOOOO…. it was, like, the last straw for me. I told my loved one I never, ever wanted to hear another word about masks. I’ll wear them when I need to, but I don’t want to talk about it. He got the message and we moved on to happier topics.

So a couple days ago a friend called for a chat on the phone. I have to take off my hearing aid when I’m on the phone so it doesn’t whistle at me. I was sitting in the dining room, picked up my hearing aid from the window sill, and moved to the family room while I was talking to my friend. And somewhere between the dining room and the family room I lost my hearing aid. I mean. It completely vanished. Disappeared. Poof. Gone.

I felt like I had finally broken. I wondered if I was going crazy. I had a kind of panic attack about it. I might have made a sort of cursory prayer about it – “there is nothing lost that won’t be found” and “nothing is lost to God or outside Her consciousness” and “everything is exactly where it needs to be – nothing is misplaced in God’s universe” – but really, I felt like I couldn’t even deal with one more thing right then. So I gave up and went to bed and hoped for happy dreams about smiling unmasked faces.

Fast forward to Father’s Day. We’re all sitting around the table – the husband, the sons, and the sons’ wonderful wives – and I start talking about my missing hearing aid, and my youngest son gently taps me on the arm and says, “Kyla is wondering if that might be your hearing aid over there?” And I look over to where the son is pointing – and there’s my hearing aid! – sitting on top of a candle on the window sill!!! My daughter-in-law, Kyla, had been listening to me tell my story and her eyes had gone to the window sill behind me and she saw the hearing aid sitting right there!! (Insert the music of a heavenly choir here and rays of light shining down on the hearing aid.)

Hugs and rejoicing all around! For me, that hearing aid had come to be symbolic for my life, and it was found again!

Amen.

My Father-Mother never stopped loving me,
or took a break from being All-Good, everywhere.
She is always now, always here – Love Be-ing.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Father’s Day: Public Tribute to a Private Man

public tribute for a private man –
thank you for your love for us –
thank you for sharing in our adventures
and helping us clean up our mess
after our misadventures brought us less
or more than we’d anticipated or guessed

thank you for helping us laugh
in a world that sometimes seems daft
and thank you for your perspective –
for helping us see what seems
huge is just a mole hill in the grand scheme
of things – a small blip in the human dream

thank you for being with us through
the joys and the terrors of living
thank you for your constant being and giving
and not running away
when we needed a hero who would stay
with us and be our safe place –
our stable base –
in a hurled, spinning world

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

circa 1995

It Is Time, My friends

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

It is time, my friends. It is time to blast the world with over-the-top joy. It is time to roll out our big cannons of jocularity and good will and rain humongo missiles of love and kindness upon the mental landscape. It is time to step up to the front and lock arms with one another and protect the battered, bullied and beleaguered with the unbreakable shield of Love and Truth. We are in control here. With Love leading the charge, we are not the beaten, but the unbeatable. May the bullies, bigots, and busybodies be transformed by your unbreakable courage. May the stodgy and stingy be transformed by your irrepressible good will to all.

The time for the kind-hearted has come!
Amen.
Karen

 “Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.”
Mary Baker Eddy

Flower Doodle by Karen Molenaar Terrell

Rembrandt, I Ain’t

This is what happens when you give a little kid (me) a virtual pack of crayons. Rembrandt, I ain’t. But I needed something cheery on my wall, and I ain’t apologizing.

The promise will be fulfilled –
joy, peace, love, hope – all of
creation living in rainbow light.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

The most romantic, over-the-top feel-good marriage proposal I have ever seen in my life. Ever.

This is an old blog post (September 14, 2013), but it came to my thought just now and I thought maybe Pride Month was a good time to repost it:

Okay, I just watched a youtube clip that still has me wiping the tears from my face.  I was so moved by this clip – so completely inspired by it.  It went waaaay  beyond your typical proposal of young man on bended knee proposing to young woman – no, this proposal included a choreographed dance to Billy Who’s upbeat song, Somebody Loves You, and an ensemble cast of parents, friends, youngsters, oldsters – all there to support the handsome couple. This marriage proposal was testament to the power of community and the power of love. And part of what made the proposal so extraordinary, for me, was that the couple wasn’t a man and a woman at all – the couple was a man and a man… in Salt Lake City… Utah. And… did I mention that their mums and dads were there? Friends? Little girls in pinks tutus doing cartwheels? Babies? If you haven’t seen this clip, you gotta watch it – you just gotta!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4HpWQmEXrM

This is the way it’s supposed to be. Acceptance. Support. Celebration. Love.

I look forward to that day when every citizen can share in the exact same rights as every other citizen of our land. 
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Gift of Being Trusted

It was a busy intersection in bustling mid-day traffic and I’d just pulled up to a right-turn yield sign, ready to slide myself into traffic when there was a break in the flow. I glanced to the right and saw a young Black man with a shopping cart full of belongings, waiting to cross to the island on the other side of me. He saw me look at him – I think I smiled – and he pointed to the island – he was asking if he could go ahead and cross in front of me. I smiled and pointed to the island, too, and raised my eyebrows and nodded my head – indicating that he was good to go. He nodded his head at me and crossed in front of me – trusting me – and we gave each other a “have a good day” wave.

And I know this seems like just a litte thing, but I can’t tell you what it meant to me that this young man trusted his life to me as he crossed in front of my car.

That’s how communities function, isn’t it? We’re all trusting each other with our very lives – every day of every month of every year that we’re out there, moving amongst each other.

Dare to Live

Dear young friend,
I remember thinking my life was over
at your age
when he no longer loved me
I couldn’t imagine how I’d go on
how it would be
what the future would hold for me
I thought I’d never find anyone else
who would love me like he had
I imagined going through life alone
without love, without connection,
without a family or home
of my own

I wanted to die

And now here I am forty years later
and so grateful that relationship
didn’t last
because I wouldn’t have what I have now –
my family, my home, my career –
if that first relationship hadn’t crashed
and all the time between then and today
all the distance traveled
all the lessons learned
has made me see
what a laughably small part
that relationship held in my life
or my heart

dare to live
dare to move on and see
all the magic life holds yet for thee
as long as YOU can love
you have a reason to be
-Karen Molenaar Terrell