You Know What to Do

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

Whatever it is you’re going through – you are not alone. You’ve got a legion of people beside you who care, and who believe in you. You are making a difference. Every kind smile, every act of courage and self-sacrifice, every gesture of wisdom and good will is making our world a better place. There will be challenges today – “friends” may falsely disparage your character; you may be treated without consideration or appreciation – but you’re above all that. You know how to invest your time and energies. You know what you need to do and be to heal our world. Go out there and work your magic!

– Karen

love-hath-made

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Stealing Integrity

So you want to force people to stand for the anthem
whether they want to or not?
You want to force them to pretend to believe
what you believe?
You believe you can force respect from others
by stealing their integrity?
How do you see this happening, exactly?
All the players standing in a coerced line,
hands super-glued over their hearts?
Simons says. Puppets on a string.
With no right to disagree or question
or protest what they feel is wrong?
And how is this going to help anyone?
Or make anything better?
Wouldn’t it be better if we fixed the system,
healed the hurts, so everyone wanted
to honor the symbols that represent freedom?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

A Time of Innocence

It was a time of innocence, wasn’t it?
The before times.
There are moments I wish
we could go back to those days –
I see the before-movies
with the towers in the background –
Working Girl, The Thomas Crown Affair –
from a time when the chief concern
was winning.

We were there a month before –
smiling and laughing with our
fellow tourists, and the people of
New York, walking the same streets
as the best-of-the-best writers, actors,
business people, artists – the energy
and rhythm of the city filling us with
ambition, and possibilities.

Before we left I gave my unused subway
tickets to a businessman – I think he said
he worked in the Towers – he thanked me.
And a month later we watched
the towers fall, looked at our souvenir
mugs with the skyline emblazoned
on them – and knew the world had changed.

We returned two years later, wondering
what we’d find. Would our New York friends
be beaten down, lost, defeated?
No. We found resolve. We found generosity.
We found people who’d been tested
and come through with more than
“winning” on their minds.
We found nobility on the streets
of New York. We can’t go back.
But we can honor those who died
that day by living our lives
in a way that brings peace
and healing to New York,
to our planet.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Brush of Angel Wings

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Magic!

Yesterday I stopped by my folks’ former home, an assisted living place, to see if there was any old mail to pick up. When I got there I realized the annual silent art auction for Alzheimer’s was going on. I sauntered around, looking at paintings – and one, in particular caught my eye. It was bright and vibrant – a painting of houses and boats reflected in water – and the artist – the signature read “Kelly Anderson” – used a technique of blocking in sections with different shades that was really cool. This painting called to me.  I didn’t bid on it then – I thought if I was still thinking about it the next day (today) I would come back in and make a bid.

Today I was still thinking about it. So I drove back to the assisted living place to take a look at the painting again, and put in a bid. But once I got there I discovered the auction was already over and the paintings were all gone.  I was disappointed, but figured it just wasn’t meant to be.

As I was getting ready to leave I saw one of Moz and Dad’s old friends walking by and re-introduced myself to her. She seemed happy to see me and we gave each other a hug. I told her that I’d come in to bid on a painting, but it looked like the auction had ended yesterday. Yes, she said, it had – she’d actually won the bids on two paintings which had been delivered to her room that morning. She said she’d also been given one of my Dad’s paintings which had been found in a rummage sale – but it hadn’t been signed by Dad. I told her I could ask Dad to sign it for her. Her eyes lit up at the idea of that, and we headed up to her room to retrieve Dad’s painting.

Dad’s painting was leaning against the wall on top of a soffit.  It was too high up for me to reach so I started looking around for a chair that I could maybe stand on to get the painting. When my eyes scanned past the couch, I did a double-take. Sitting on the couch was the painting that I’d seen yesterday and that I’d been hoping to bid on! “That’s the painting I wanted to bid on!” I told my friend. She told me that was one of the paintings she’d won in the auction. “We have good taste,” I told her, smiling.

She said she’d give me this painting in exchange for Dad’s autograph on his painting. But I asked her how much she’d paid for the auctioned piece, and then gave her a check for $10 more than she’d bid. I was so excited to be re-united with that picture!

We didn’t find a chair for me to stand on, but my friend used the painting I’d just bought from her to nudge Dad’s painting closer to me until it dropped into my arms.

She was so pleased to use the one painting to get the other, and I was so pleased to have the painting I’d set my eyes on yesterday. What were the odds?! “Magic!” I told her, and she nodded her head in happy agreement.

Kelly Anderson Foss painting

 

Wealthy Beyond Belief

This morning when I stopped to get my breve at the Sisters Espresso, Brooke sang the birthday song to me. The lady ahead of me in the line thought Brooke was singing to her, because it was HER birthday today, too – isn’t that cool?!

In the afternoon I realized that a part of me had been expecting a birthday phone call from Moz today, and it hit me – this is my first birthday without Moz. She always gave me flowers on my birthday, and a card, and sang the birthday song to me.

And then… my dear friend, Teresa, asked me where I wanted to go for dessert – and she took me up to Bellingham – and she bought me a bouquet of roses – she said she felt Moz telling her to do that – and she bought me CHOCOLATE at the Chocolate Necessities and Gelato shop. And her gesture was so sweet that… I’m tearing up right now just writing about it.

I am so blessed – my life is so rich with family and friends. I am wealthy beyond belief.

butterfly luminex this one

photo of butterfly by Karen Molenaar Terrell

“…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
– Matthew 6:33

“Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth Life, and Love are substance…man should wish for, and in reality has, only the substance of good, the substance of spirit, not matter… To ascertain our progress, we must learn where our affections are placed and whom we acknowledge and obey as God. The objects we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint…”
– Mary Baker Eddy

I Don’t Have to Feel Anything

Epiphany –
I don’t have to feel anything
I’m not required to judge
every experience, every encounter,
every moment with a happy face
or a sad face or a thumbs up.
I don’t have to feel angry or sad,
aggrieved or offended or put upon.
Sometimes I can just let it go
and live through it
and take it for what it is
and be.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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Sunset in Skagit County, WA (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)