quote by M. Gandhi
Hope, Loss

Can We Move Towards Hope and Peace with a Hug?

quote by M. Gandhi

Like many others, I’m trying to understand what’s going on in our nation.

As a person who has been on both sides of the thin blue line (stopped over 50 times in my youth and a 30-year career in  criminal justice) it’s not difficult to understand how wounds fester and people get frustrated and beyond.

But to sniper kill police officers during a peaceful demonstration can never be the answer to an already wounded community and nation.  

To empathize with police officers and other law enforcement doesn’t mean we don’t empathize with peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.

To take a stand for one doesn’t mean you can’t take a stand for the other. One can be “pro cop” and “pro black lives matter.” It doesn’t have to be “either/or.”

One part of me understands the frustrations, the other part is sickened; the whole of me feels that the fear and worry will separate us more, but it is at this precise moment that we have to create hope.

I want to share this video which shone a light on an otherwise sorrowful week. This occurred after an interfaith prayer service in Dallas on July 8th. This YouTube video is from the Free Hugs Project.

 

 

We have to address systemic racism.

We have to find a way to work towards community and peace.

I don’t have the answer on “How” to do this but I know it can be done and it starts with individuals.

It won’t be easy but it will be worth stepping towards hope.

 

Encouragement, Hope, poetry

The Insanity of Hate-Poem

alvaradofrazier.com
alvaradofrazier.com

 

Yesterday morning, CNN broadcast the first service at the Emanuel AME church. The Rev. Goff said:

 

“The blood of the Mother Emanuel Nine requires us to work until not only justice is served in this case, but for those who are still living on the margin of life.”

His quote is an attitude of love in the face of hatred.

The gunman said he was going to start a “race war,” to which the Rev. Goff addressed in his sermon:

“Lots of folks expected us to do something strange and break out in a riot,” Goff said.

“Well, they just don’t know us,” he said, as the congregation stood and cheered.

The tragedy of the Charleston shooting remained in my thoughts and showed up in a poem during the dead of night. 

The Insanity of Hate

Hate is an acid
erodes humanity,
dissolves innate morality.

Hate misshapes
eats away reason
from the slow drip of racism
fed by stereotypes
begat by fear, blame, otherness.

Hate eats the heart
throws up paranoia
irrational rationalized thoughts

Hate takes a gun
commits violence, destroys
turns world's upside down.

Hate is a four letter word
so is LOVE,
motivated by HOPE,
fueled by WORK,
for an end to violence.



 

 

Hope, poetry

Daylight Savings Time – Poem

Crocuses at Sunrise, flickr.com C. Eikhert
Crocuses at Sunrise, flickr.com C. Eikhert

Advance the clocks.

Groggy at first

there is no spring in my step,

no possibilities

that I can see.

But I do have another hour

to keep my eyes ahead

to days of flowers

birthed by freezing rain

buried deep in snow

pushed upward for me to see

that yes indeed

I can spring forward

to another day

into a year of possibilities.

Breast cancer, Cancer, Empowerment, Faith, Fear, Healing, Hope, poetry, Stories, Writing

Empowerment through Poetry

 

And-in-the-end-its-not

Lately thoughts of cancer have floated through my mind. The word is still with a lowercase ‘c’, but it’s there, in my daily life.

I’ve learned to not stuff disturbing thoughts down into my body or heart. They always pop up somewhere, like an evil jack in the box.

When I try to stuff the thoughts, the feelings associated with the word ‘cancer,’ morph into capital letters until the word is entirely in CAPS like it’s screaming out.

I remember a phrase I read from a book whose author I can’t remember:

Feelings are energies that can be moved and transformed.

When I first read that sentence I thought “Wow, that’s empowering.” I get to direct my feelings, move them around, and create something else.

I can stop the stories in my head and create a new story.

So I grab a piece of paper and write out my thoughts, examine them, and try to figure out if I’m feeling anger, grief, fear, or all three.

Many times it’s not necessary to find ‘the answer,’ only to feel the feelings and examine the threads that make the word stand up in my mind.

Sometimes I thread those words together until they become something else, something not scary or ominous.

 

Lowercase cancer

I remember when

cancer had me by the breast

the slash, poison, burn

 a bald toxic dump.

Nurtured by family

powered by faith

seeds of hope planted

until a garden grew

a wasteland no more.

Dare you to try again

been there and back

you will meet defeat

little c

because now I’m not afraid

to die, after I’ve lived

If poetry isn’t your thing, you can also examine or deal with negative feelings by practicing meditation, deep breathing, journaling, listening to your favorite music, drawing, or reading something inspirational.

The point is you can stop the negative feelings in your head and create a new story in your heart.

Make new stories this weekend.