Kindness Is a Powerful Thing

I told the woman who was wrapping up a sandwich for me at the supermarket that I really liked her earrings. She thanked me and then looked at my earrings and told me she liked mine. For a moment, I’d forgotten I’d even put earrings on that morning and reached up to see what I was wearing in my ears. “Oh! These are a pair of my mom’s earrings that I found in her jewelry box after she died,” I told the woman behind the counter.

The expression on the woman’s face softened, and she said they were beautiful. She handed me my sandwich and said, “You have a good day, hon.”

And as I walked away with my sandwich I found myself tearing up.

Kindness is a powerful thing.

Using My Highly-Honed Detective Skills

Here’s a link to the podcast.

There are all these TV shows where there are detectives and body guards and lawyers who are constantly on the alert for suspicious activity – I enjoy these shows. Sometimes I try to imagine myself as an observant detective, myself. So, at the supermarket this morning, I decided to observe – only I decided to look for evidence of good things.

As I stood at the end of a long line at the cash register I had a lot of time to observe. I saw cashiers who were friendly and efficient. I saw people smiling at each other, and making room for other customers to go around them. And in front of me in line I saw a little boy sitting in the shopping cart, reaching up to hug his mom. Oh, it was so sweet and beautiful – that little hug. I felt my heart melting at the sweetness of it. I leaned in and told the young mother that I was a mother of sons, too, and that I remember those precious moments when my sons were little.

Then the little boy got out of the cart and turned to me. He had important things to say to me. He pointed to the Oreo cookies in the shopping cart and told me these were his favorite type of cookies. I told him they were mine, too! So we talked for a bit about the wonder of Oreo cookies and the proper way to eat them. Then the little boy pointed to the primroses in my cart and told me that they were pretty. I asked him which one of the primroses was his favorite, and he said he liked the pink one best. He told me his name was “Benjamin” and said something I didn’t quite catch about “Georgia.”

By this time, his mom’s groceries were all packed up and they were ready to go. I thanked Benjamin for chatting with me, and he said, “Good bye!” and waved at me.

I was so tickled by this happy exchange with young Benjamin.

My highly-honed detective skills helped me find just what I needed this morning.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Feedback for *Cosmic Connections: Sharing the Joy*

Feedback from Writer’s Digest for Cosmic Connections: Sharing the Joy:

This book is exemplary in its structure, organization, and pacing.

Very nice pace, with the narrative gliding along, a healthy forward pull in the structure. We see no jumpy parts or dropped-off parts. Just great transitions between sections. Watch out, though, that if you’re taking blog posts and turning them into a book, you have to say, ‘I’m starting this book’ instead of ‘I’m starting this post’. That happens right up front, throwing the reader, and also throughout. Give the book the identity of a book, not a repurposed collection of blog posts.

This book has spelling, punctuation, and grammar corresponding with the region of the world from which the author hails (ex. British English or American English) or with where the book is set (including slang, vernacular, or dialect). These choices are intentional and implemented consistently throughout with few, if any, errors.

Good work in making sure that typos are edited out of the manuscript, so that the reader is not distracted by this as well.

This book is exemplary in production quality and cover design. The physical materials, printing, and binding are of professional quality and traditional industry standards. The typesetting and page layout (including illustrations, images, or figures) are easy to follow, thoughtfully designed, and error free. The cover appears to be professionally designed and is compellingly related to the content/genre of the book.

Lovely cover with the butterflies on her vibrant running shoes. That ties into the book’s title, with serendipitous events such as this feeling like it has to be a cosmic connection.

This book is exemplary in its choice of topic or theme of the story. It is unique but still has strong appeal for most readers in its intended genre.

Overall, the theme is kindness, and connection. Author brings together so many signs and forces of positivity. Author walks us through her days as she notices things about people, establishes connections and questioning of others. We get bright energy and some surreal moments like we’ve gone through a time portal. Very fascinating and high energy that keeps us immersed. Well done.

This book is exemplary in its voice and writing style. It has a unique voice, and the writing style is consistent throughout. The style and tone are also consistent with or will appeal to readers of the intended genre.

Author writes with a bright energy, lifting us with her voice as she elevates the narrative through enthusiasm and eye-opening observations. It’s a feeling of impressive presence here in the story, as author paints so much realism and sensory detail.

I love how the author brings out the little details like a pumpkin spice latte and snow geese. Author paints a gorgeous setting and populates the story world with remarkable detail. Nice work. I love how several of the segments open with a breathless excitement: ‘something really amazing happened.’ I saw that a few times, and it had such a great energy to it, a nice opener. Very nice choice for last page’s entry. Sensory details stand out.

In the Body of Life

sustained
and maintained
by the body of Life –
we are nothing less
than the whole
perfection
projection
reflection
affection
of Love
held in the never-ending
connection
with all that is Good
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Blue Cosmos by Karen Molenaar Terrell

Traveling Companions

I wake in the night to a light coming through the curtain
I pull it aside and see the moon shining down on me
and a bright star underneath her
I watch the moon move slowly from one side of the window pane
to the other
and feel connected to the moon
and the star
and the universe beyond the star
and my home 2500 miles away
We are both travelers – the moon and I –
traveling companions in the night
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Blue Cosmos (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

Cosmic Give and Take

Here’s another poem from my latest book, Since Then – when I remember this day I still get a smile on my face:

Cosmic Give and Take

He was waiting outside the store
when I came out with my groceries
and I said hi. He smiled and said hi back.
Give and take.
Who taught him to smile? Who taught me?

I started to wheel my cart to my car
mentally scrolling through my shopping list
to see if I had anything to share with him.
Tangerines!
I rolled my cart back towards him.
You want an orange?
Sure!
Can you catch it?
Yeah! And he smiled at the idea
of a game of catch.
I tossed. He caught.
Who taught me how to throw?
Who taught him how to catch?
My dad? His dad? And now our dads
are connected in our give and take.

As Scott drove west, a train engine
went west in reverse. Our car
passed the train as the engineer
sat facing me and I smiled across
the tracks at him and he smiled
and waved back to me.
I caught his wave and returned it.
Who taught him how to wave?
Who taught me?

All the cosmos connected in a giant
give and take.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell


Embodied in Love

I’m nervous about this one. It’s kind of wordy and “out there.” But I just had this amazing cosmic experience and I had to share…

I wake and feel Life quivering
around me and through me.
The presence of Love is here
and I am within the presence,
connected to the Cosmic Body.
Not a “Borg” body –
not a matter-body of
computer chips and nanoprobes –
but the Body of Spirit,
the Body of Love.

You are embodied in Me, too – not embodied in “me” – but embodied in the one Me – the one “I AM.”  We are cells of the same Body. Not competitors. Not separate. But connected. Inseparable. What is good in you – all that is smart and courageous and beautiful and graceful – is good in My Body, too – for we are in the same Body, and have the same Body. All that is wise and kind in you – is mine, too, for we are in the same Mind. And all that is good in me is your good, too. We can claim all that is good – all that is OF Good – for our own.

Faces pass in front of my vision –
loved ones who’ve died and loved
ones who are with me, here.
And I’m connected to all of them still
– not separated by time or space or place
in this Body of Love,

.And then other faces pass in front of my vision – people I’ve thought were my enemies, my rivals, my competition. And I see that they are embodied in Me, too – not the little me, but the big Me, the Cosmic Me. And the cells are distinct, but not separate. And I love them, too – we are all in the Body of Love.

I feel Earth breathing through my window
smell her sweet breath of dew and life
and know she is embodied in God’s body, too,
and we are connected – all of God’s creatures and I.

Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Yes, Jesus is embodied in Me, too, and we are embodied in the one Body – not the body of the human Jesus, but the body of Christ – the Body of Love.

We are nothing less than the perfection of Love.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.”
– Matthew 26:26

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 2:5


For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
– I Corinthians 12:14-18, 21, 25-27

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent…”
– John Donne

“The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

Blue Cosmos (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

The Connections that Come from Sharing

It occurs to me that if I hadn’t agreed to sing at that wedding back in December 1982 I never would have met Scotty. If I’d never gathered my courage and published my first book I never would have stumbled into the Amazon forum and met all those amazing hooligans who have since become such an important part of my life. If I’d never put my photos out there I never would have connected with my fellow photography buffs. If I’d never shared my stories about my drives with Dad I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with the dear people who have entered my life in the last year because of those stories. And If I’d never started this blog I wouldn’t have met YOU. Even if nothing more comes from my creative endeavors than these connections with others, my life has been made so much richer because people opened their hearts and let me share with them. And my life is so much richer because YOU all have had the courage to share your gifts with me!

Thank you! ❤

***

More about the Humoristian hooligans –
So back in 2007 I was checking my first book out on Amazon and at the bottom of the book page I saw this list of Amazon discussion forums it was suggested I might be interested in. I thought I’d take a peek and see what was going on there. I stuck my toe in one of the forums – the “Christianity” forum – and my toe almost got bitten off right away – there was indignation and huffing and puffing and sermonizing and talk of hell and… yeah… so I pulled my toe out of there and tried out the “Religion” forum – and that is where I found my home – a wild and wonderful mix of atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, pantheists, and all flavors of Christian – Mormons, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, and at least one Christian Scientist – and what these people all had in common was the ability to laugh at themselves and get along with each other. They weren’t afraid of talking about their beliefs and debating them – they weren’t easily offended if people questioned them, and they could talk about stuff in a way that was straightforward and genuine – and they were willing to listen to what other people had to say, too – It was like a micro United Nations.

I started my own religion on there: Humoristianity. Here are the tenets:

1) You must be able to laugh at yourself.

2) You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others.

3) You must want nothing but good for everyone, everywhere in the universe.

4) You must have a natural aversion to meetings, committees, and scheduled events (as we will be having none of those).

5) You must enjoy the humor of… (here we had some internal conflict within the faith – but if you’re a Jerry Lewis kind of guy, you might want to think about starting your own religion – although we wish you nothing but good).

I met some of the most amazing people on there – and I still consider these people my dear friends – they got to know me, and my beliefs and thoughts, in a way that a lot of folks in my off-line life weren’t able to do – I mean, how often do you talk about religious beliefs with your co-workers and neighbors, right? All of them were writers, too, and together we wrote a book, The Humoristian Chronicles.

And some of my Humoristian friends I’ve actually been able to meet in the person! I shall include a collage below… along with the cover from my latest book, and a picture of the evening sky from last week. My offerings for today…

 

To the Cottonwood Tree

To the cottonwood tree near my work:
I listened to your brothers and sisters
as their leaves sang in the breeze by a river .
I met your cousins in the Grand Canyon –
they gave me shade on a blistering day.
I know your kin well. They are my friends.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Recognizing Our Kinship

Walking through the waking waiting area
at Pittsburgh’s airport – a kaleidoscope
of faces zooming in, zooming out – a mix
of colors – cedar, cinnamon, and taupe,
peach, pink, carob, caramel, and coffee –
his face stands out – he looks like Ram Dass
in The Little Princess – and he’s looking at me
We smile towards each other as we pass –
recognizing our kinship in the mass
of humming, hustling, hurrying humanity
– Karen Molenaar Terrell