MLK Day

“You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day one of honoring his life and legacy by applying his principles to our actions. Although his famously inspiring speech was fifty-six years ago, we still need his words to inspire us to do better.

Here are two quotes from MLK, Jr. which resonant with me today.

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized, cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.

 

Nathan Phillips, an Omaha tribe elder, confronted and mocked by Catholic high school students 1-19-19

 

This screenshot from a video is disgusting when one sees the smug look on this teenager’s face who mocks Nathan Phillips, an Omaha tribe elder, and Vietnam Veteran.

The other boy has an open mouth, no doubt yelling in support of his high school buddy and MAGA hat wearer. This group of over 100 students jeered and shouted, “Build that wall.”

The group had been yelling at African American’s representing another group a few minutes before they turned their hate on the indigenous people’s group.

It’s 2019, to far along in the millennium and decades from Martin Luther Kings, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream Speech,” on August 28, 1963.

The hate’s still there. The age is younger, blatant, conceited and entitled.

Nathan Philips continued his drumbeat, his chant for peace.

“It was getting ugly, and I was thinking: ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,’ ” Phillips recalled. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way, and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.”

Phillips kept drumming and singing, thinking about his wife, Shoshana, who died of bone marrow cancer nearly four years ago, and the various threats that face indigenous communities around the world… Washington Post

For decades, Mr. Phillips has gone to the Arlington National Cemetery every Veterans Day with a peace pipe to pay tribute to the soldiers.

“They’re (the boys) just responding to a president that is giving license to racists and bigots who have no place in our society,” he said. “I wouldn’t even wish ill will on those kids,” he said. “My job has always been taking care of the fire, to keep the prayers going.”

This isn’t an isolated incident of hate crimes. You can Google ‘hate crimes’ and see all the conflicts this month: a Sikh man in Oregon attacked, Somalian immigrants in Kansas City targeted with a bomb to their apartment, and the list goes on.

But the purpose of this post isn’t to harp on the negative because hate cannot win. Everyday people can make a positive difference, whatever their age, ethnicity or race.

Today, promise yourself that you’ll seek social justice in whatever way you can. Be an inspiration. Find out about other cultures and ethnicities through conversation, reading, and exploring connections with others.

This is something you can do on MLK, Jr. Day:

Take yourself and/or your kids to any of the many MLK celebrations in cities and town throughout the USA. Take your kids, nieces or nephews, grandkids, your favorite kid to the library and have them read any of these children’s books.

Children’s Book on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahalia Jackson

 

You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.

Encouragement, Family

Summer Solstice and Hope

 

Twittering birds began their rabble-rousing earlier than usual this summer solstice morning.

I enjoy listening to their conversations and energy as I wake.

This morning I’m praying for a better day for the thousands of detained immigrant children spending agonizing days and nights without their parents or someone to comfort them in their distress.

I’m praying for the moral treatment and morale of our country to do better.

I’m thankful for the hundreds of organizations, thousands of Americans, and others around the globe signing petitions, and calling on elected officials to do something more humane for refugees/immigrants.

My own personal problems are minuscule by comparison. There is no comparison for babies and children ripped from their parent’s arms.

I’m heartened by those who are showing up at airports, detention centers, and their elected official’s offices to show their support of the refugees and their anger about the existing law.

I’m grateful for the many organizations who are helping refugees and those who are using social media about the places to donate. (One organization is Raices).

As the quote above states:

Let all things live with loving intent.

Today, all things seem possible. I’m praying more people will live with compassion and loving intent.

Make your summer solstice day one of random acts of kindness, a supportive word, a hug, a smile.

 

 

Travel

While Waiting In New York

Do you know what the term “it’s in the waiting” means?

I first heard the phrase in the song, “Take Courage,” but the exact line is “He’s in the waiting.

The He refers to Christ.

The phrase means, to me, there’s value during the in-between time.

The in-between time is when one needs to have courage and hope.

That’s the positive take.

And I’m trying, desperately, to hang onto the positive.

For the past 100 days I’ve had an apartment under contract in NY. Closing was due weeks ago and postponed to June 1.

My daughter and I came up to NY from California on June 1 thinking we’d help my son, due in on June 4, to move in and get settled.

June 1st has come and gone and we’re not closing until I don’t know when.

What to do except call the agent who has no recourse; out of his control.

In the waiting, we’ve visited several sites and I decided to blog a travel log of our time here.

A favorite, so far, has been the Metropolitan Museum of Art, especially the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion in the Catholic Imagination,” exhibit. A stunner.

Several designers created gowns for the show:

Versace

Another favorite place was Central Park, a refuge from the heat and humidity of Sunday.

Walking through the perfumed roses and trees of Shakespeare’s Gardens took me away from the blaring horns of police cars, ambulances, and construction.

The lake had a rowboat traffic jam but was still enjoyable because the guitarist playing in the surrounding grassy area sounded so good.

We visited the 9/11 Memorial which is quite emotional both inside (museum) and the outside water features.

Along the way to these sights we took the subways ( yay we haven’t taken a wrong one yet) and had a chance to talk with other travelers and native NY’s.

An elderly woman with crooked lipstick (like my mom) and a voice like Katherine Hepburn offered us directions when we stopped to glance at google maps. We were looking for Strawberry Fields.

Her old dog had trouble trying to squat because his hind legs were shaking so. We chatted about her dog who she said was a good boy for a lonely woman.

She pointed us in the right direction, smiled, and told us to enjoy the music that was sure to be at the site.

A mob of selfie taking people were at the John Lennon Memorial, posing on the site, so unlike the first time I saw the place in 2001.

This is someone else’s photo:

A man wearing a hospital gown, scabbed sores on his arms, some cuts on his face, sat in the subway car while another man talked to him about giving up his drug use.

The man spoke to him in the most compassionate way, gently but realistically painting the picture of his future if he kept using drugs.

I caught the date of birth on the man’s hospital wristband, 49 years old, but he looked 75.

The man handed him a sandwich and a bottle of water, patted him on the shoulder.

“I tell you because I care about you,” he said as he got off on the next stop.

Tomorrow, we’ll travel some more and keep hope alive for a closing date.

Send me some prayer and good vibes 😉.

Thanks for reading.

Encouragement, Writing

Feel the Hard Things, Focus and Write

Feel the hard things, focus and write.

Sometimes you need a push, a big one, not a nudge.

After a week of online writing classes, two (what was I thinking?), I felt drained, ready to throw the pen, shut the laptop down.

I needed to get still for a day, shut out the noise on the TV and my head.

If you’re lucky, it’s in those times when the universe, sends you messages and you listen.

The first message was a quote from Stephen King:

Writers and writing

I shared the quote on the closed Facebook group for the writers online class. If I felt like I couldn’t go on, I was sure others might feel that way, too. Many did.

The second quote came from a manifesto written by Courtney E. Martin. I read this article today, by Maria Popova, in her weekly Sunday newsletter, the wonderful Brain Pickings. Go to her site to read her inspiring post.

Courtney E. Martin, author and Wendy McNaughton, illustrator.

 

The poster is available through Etsy with proceeds benefiting Hedgebrook, a writers residency program. On Popova’s site, there are three different illustrations with links to purchase a framed poster.

Have a great week and keep creating!

Brain Pickings website: Creative Resilence and the Artist Duty

Inspiration, Social Justice

Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

MLK Jr. Quote on Racism, Truth, Love
MLK Jr. Quote on Racism, Truth, Love

In the midst of hateful name-calling, bullying, and divisive words from the POTUS these past months, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. a man who walked the walk of peace, stood up to oppression and injustice, and died much too soon.

Celebrate this day by demonstrating compassion, be kind, share peace. Wherever there is an injustice, use your words to speak up, to write an email, or to sign a petition for justice.

Be of service to others, refuse to give up hope, and work to make our community and nation stronger.

Martin Luther King, Jr. quote on his dream