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

“This Moment I Lived and Breathed and Loved and Was.”

This moment you’re living and breathing,
loving and wondering and being.
Take note of this.
Mark it on your calendar with a grateful kiss.
“This moment I lived and breathed and loved and was.”
Because.
I could.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Let’s Say We Had a Choice

So let’s say we knew, for instance, that our world was heading towards its doom. Let’s say, for instance, that a superpower had invaded, unprovoked, a neighboring country and was pulling other nations into a world war. Let’s say that a tyrant had somehow managed to build a following and get himself into power in our own country, and, after losing a legitimate election, was doing everything he could – criminal, illegal, dishonest things – to get himself back into power. Let’s say that there were more guns than people in this country (120.5 for every100 people, let’s say) and that it didn’t look like our country’s leaders were going to try to get control of that any time soon. Let’s say that more than 311,000 students had experienced gun violence in schools since Columbine. Let’s say that plastics, fossil fuel consumption, overuse, misuse, and abuse was destroying our oceans, land and air. Let’s say that even the basic right to have control over our own bodies was being threatened. Let’s say there was talk of Civil War. Let’s say things looked like complete crap here.

What then? Would we give up? Would we just resign ourselves to our collective fate and spend our time here shivering in fear, waiting for death, holed up in our hidey holes? Or… would we use our time here to try to find solutions? Would we view every new day as another chance to love and be kind and to make a new friend and make something beautiful?

Let’s say we had a choice.

Not What’s Past, Nor What I May Dread

not what’s now, nor what’s ahead –
not what’s past, nor what I may dread –
not what I’ve gained or what I’ve shed;
nor what’s living or what’s dead;
neither the foot, nor the head;
neither what follows, nor what led;
neither what’s read, or said –
alpha or zed –
separates me
from the All that is Good
and mine to claim
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(This is a piece of another poem that I re-worked to turn into something new.)

Feel the Almighty Presence of Love

feel
the almighty presence of Love
enveloping you in strong Father-arms
in a gentle Mother-embrace
protecting, holding you close
and dear

hear
the voice of Life in your ear –
laughing with joy,
singing in sweet harmony
conducting all of infinity
in a symphony of never-ending
celebration

see
all of infinite creation
within the murmuration
of Mind – moving at His will
never outside the One –
Source of all movement
and animation

smell and taste
the fragrance of Soul’s creation
pure and clean and kind,
healthy and whole –
the Word of Truth sustaining,
nourishing, maintaining
all that is good and true
for you
and all.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“O taste and see that the Lord is good!”
(Psalms 34:8)

Sunrise Over Skagit County, Washington. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.