A Tiny Scrap of Existence

We have just a tiny scrap of existence here
– a miniscule piece of our eternity –
to love and learn and live
and leave something good behind.
Let’s not waste it on nothings.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

As I was scrolling through Facebook I saw a post by a friend, sharing that she’d just lost her mother. Her mother had gone into the hospital on a Wednesday and was dead on Sunday. Her death was a surprise to everyone. As I looked through my friend’s pictures of her mom, I realized that her mom was probably about my age. That realization brought me up short. Whoah. And then I thought of the loved ones I’ve lost in the last several years – some of them my age, and some of them younger – and it gave me pause.

I am not afraid of death. I’m maybe afraid of the pain involved in death, but I’m not afraid of death itself. If, as I believe, my consciousness will continue on and continue to learn and unfold – that would be fine. And if death is really the end – that would be fine, too – I mean, I won’t be around to feel one way or the other about it, right? No, I’m not afraid of death – but I hope that what I do here, during my time here, will make a difference for the people who come after me. I hope my time here will mean something, you know? I don’t want to waste even a minute of it on ridiculous rivalries, and empty quests for fame and wealth. I don’t want to waste my life on nothings. Life is too short. We only have one shot at this.

“John says of the world, not that it is wrong, but simply that it ‘passeth away.’ There is a great deal in the world that is delightful and beautiful, there is a great deal that is great and engrossing, but it will not last. All that is in the world, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, are but for a little while…Nothing that it contains is worth the life and consecration of an immortal soul…You will give yourself to many things; give yourself first to love. Hold things in their proportion.”
– Henry Drummond

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell, taken on a hike in the North Cascades.)

butterflies on my shoe luminex

Butterflies on My Shoe

Politicizing COVID-19

I’m guessing that pretty much all politicians – including the ones we like 🙂 – have found a way to politicize this current challenge. And I don’t blame or judge any of them for doing it – that’s what politicians do. But I think we need to be aware of it – and I think we need to each be honest with ourselves about our own biases, too. Wouldn’t it be great if people just wanted to do right by each other – without concern about political parties and agendas?

love is what is true

I Most Miss…

I most miss open smiles and hugs full of love.
I miss the waitress at the Colophon Cafe who takes
my order for African peanut soup as the music
of friends chatting and laughing at the other
tables washes over us, and bathes us in their joy.
I miss stopping to chat on the boardwalk and
meeting old friends, and new. I miss getting
to know people as we wait in line at the store,
and running into former students in the aisles.
I miss buying mochas for the stranger standing
on the corner. I miss the buskers and their music,
and the color and energy of the Farmers Market.

Here’s what I will miss when this is over –
I’ll miss the quiet roads and clean blue skies.
I’ll miss the No Car Days and the time at home
with family. I’ll miss the weeks without a schedule
and losing track of time. I’ll miss the stillness
and peace and time to reflect. I’ll miss this time
alone. I’ll miss the uninterrupted time to create
and garden and sing and think. I’ll miss the time
to catch up with correspondence, and the time
to sort and recycle the flotsam and jetsam that
washes from the mailbox and onto our kitchen
counter Monday through Saturday.

I’m going to remember to be grateful for what
I had then, and grateful for what I have now,
and grateful for what I’ll have tomorrow, too.
– Karen

I’ve Been Looking at Polls

I’ve been looking at polls
looking at graphs
trying to determine
if our world’s going to last.
This poll says this
and this graph says that.
Does it look like the curve
is starting to go flat?
And which of our leaders
is gaining support?
What type of leader?
What flavor? What sort?

I guess I could spend a lot
of time looking at graphs –
looking for hope there
looking for laughs.
But maybe instead I should
go right to the Source –
go to Life, Love, and Truth
and feel the Force.
Everything can change
in a moment, you see.
But I don’t need a poll
to know Love is the key.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

love-is-with-you

“I don’t have a license for this thing.”

In celebration of Mother’s Day, here is one of my favorite Moz stories (from October, 2016):
Took Moz (88 years, 10 months) to the dentist this afternoon, and ohmygawd – it was like going to a comedy club! We’re filling out all the forms in the waiting area, and Moz has to put her signature on another one. “Again?!” she asks, exasperated. Laughing, I tell her to behave herself, and she says, “Don’t make me laugh – I’m trying to sign this thing.” She finishes signing the paper and hands it back to me. “You know,” she says, “I’ll get all these papers signed, and then next week I’ll die.”

Missy, the dental lady comes out to get her, and Moz gets up to follow her with her walker. “Watch out,” she says, “I don’t have a license for this thing.” Missy starts cracking up.

Missy gets Moz situated in the dental chair, and turns the light on to start working on her teeth. Moz tells her to feel free to pluck any chin hairs she finds. Missy starts laughing. She hands Moz a glass of water to rinse. She asks Moz how she’s doing. Moz tells her, “I’m full of it.” Missy grins, and asks, “You’re full of it?” Moz says, “Water, that is.” And Missy cracks up.

Missy and Moz find out they were born three days apart at the end of December. “When you’re born at the end of the year, everyone always makes you a year older than you are,” Moz complains. And Missy adds, “Merry Christmas and happy birthday!” Then they discover they’re both left-handed, too!

Then Hansrolf comes in. Hansrolf is my favoritest dentist, ever. He’s like a stand-up comic. He and Moz immediately take to each other. Moz tells him she came here for the entertainment. She tells Hansrolf he should give Missy a raise. Hansrolf says what he needs to do is get all of us out of there – he is out-numbered and we are ganging up on him. Moz responds with some smartassery, and then she notes, “I probably shouldn’t have said that, eh?” And Hansrolf says, “Not just before I start working on your teeth, no.” Moz is still embarrassed about her chin hairs, and Hansrolf grins and says, “Don’t worry about any chin hairs. We’ll just work around them if we find any.”

They end by telling each other Norwegian jokes. Here’s Moz’s: “Ole says his wife is an angel. Sven tells Ole, ‘You’re lucky. My wife hasn’t died, yet.’” Hansrolf laughs so hard he almost falls off his chair. 🙂

(Here’s a photo from Moz on her honeymoon. She and Dad were about to climb a formidable spire somewhere in Colorado.)

 

young moz

I’m pretty full of myself right now. :)

My photo is on the back page of the June/July Mother Earth News. My picture is the one with the red barn and the rainbow. (This is the fourth time Mother Earth News has used one of my photos – I’m pretty full of myself right now.  )

Ahmoud Arbury’s Murder

I’ve been struggling to find some way to respond. I’ve been tempted to stay off the internet, dodge every source of news, isolate myself in every way from the world. But I realize none of that is going to make this go away. So. Yeah. Here we are.

When Ahmoud Arbury was chased down a suburban street in Georgia and shot in broad daylight – that was murder – plain and simple. He was innocently jogging. He had committed no crime. He had done nothing wrong. The only reason he was chased and killed was because the people who killed him didn’t like the color of his skin.

The murderers were (finally- months later!) arrested. And now there’s a group on Facebook called “Christians Against Google” that supports Ahmoud Arbury’s killers. There is so much wrong with that I can’t even wrap my head around it. “Christians”?!! What part of Jesus’ simple instruction to “love your neighbor” is so hard for his professed followers to understand?

The group’s description says: “These 2 God fearing men were only trying to protect their neighborhood” and “this man… did not comply with simple commands.” WHAT THE HELL?!!! Ahmoud Arbury was under no obligation to “comply” with the commands being given by these racist sociopaths intent on killing him – and if you’ve seen the video you know it wouldn’t have helped Ahmoud Arbury to “comply,” anyway.

The inhumanity, the hatred, the insanity, the sheer brutality and senselessness of it – there is no way for this to be justified. No excuse for Ahmoud Arbury’s tragic murder.

It needs to stop. There’s no place or time for racist hatred in our world. We were all made for better things. We were all made to be DOing better things.
– Karen

Universal Love