Image

Finding truth in the “me too” movement

This whole week has been about the “Me too” movement. Women are standing up and expressing the sexual harassment and trauma that they have carried with them since they were young. Secrets hidden deep in their minds and hearts and in their DNA code. Once young and hopeful becomes used or disrespected or even (as was the case for me) violated. I once wrote in a diary that “men rape in many ways.” They rape with indifference of feelings or respect, they rape with rejection of heart and spirit, they rape physically as well. Rape being used in the vernacular of power, disregard for the other “An act of plunder, to strip something of resources”  is one definition. The act of seizing and carrying off, violation or abuse”  is another. So yes, rape is mostly understood as sexual violation, without consent, but I venture to say it goes further. Violation of vows strip the marriage of its resources. Violation of trust strips the relationships between a parent and a child as it strips the relationship of its much-needed foundation. We are careless with our relationships. We pledge to protect, care for or nurture another (either through parenthood or marriage) and then we plunder the very soil we have planted our lives in. We have lost so many human values of kindness and decency in our society. We are without filters, blurting out anything our over worked and stressed minds can conjure up and when people recoil, we blame them. No acceptance of one’s own responsibility in the matter. No accountability or soul-searching to see how we might have harmed another. Accountability is a rarely used word or action any longer. Kindness is lost in the stress of offense. Where do we find our compassion for one another? How do we forgive the unforgivable? I have had a lifetime of “unfair stuff” and so I have had a lot of time to think on these things. When I first heard about forgiveness in the bible “Forgive your enemies. pray for those who use and abuse you.” I thought WHAT? Why would God have me forgive the abuser? The rapist? The neighbor who made our lives a living hell? Why should I forgive my ex-husband who cheated on me two weeks after our vows were exchanged in the mansion covered in ivy where we pledged eternal love? OR the Dr who broke my neck, the neighbor who raped me in some bushes. How is that fair? WHAT possible reason would God have for that? How about all the people who sprayed pesticides and herbicides and forced us from our home after saying they wouldn’t? (Never to be able to return) Why is any of this forgivable? I have had to forgive my abuser in my childhood (my Mom) and help care for her at the end of her life. I had to forgive my closest and dearest parent (my dad) for not believing me about my mom. I remember bathing my mom and turning to see her looking at me with hate in her eyes. I remember something Mother Teresa said about caring for the unlovable. She imagined them to be Jesus and she was tenderly caring for Jesus while she cared for them. It’s what I did with my mom to the best of my ability.

I think God commands us to forgive others because UNFORGIVENESS brings poison into our own life. It’s called a bitter root. I once heard it said this way “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  It does me NO good to hold unforgiveness and anger against those who have wronged me. It gives them power that holds me in chains.  I am smart enough to realize that the greatest gift I can give myself is to forgive someone else. 

So in this time of “Me too” I want to suggest that to hold anger and resentment and hatred towards those who sexually harassed us, or touched us inappropriately or even those who rendered us mute with the suffering and trauma of being held against our will and violating us, those people need to be released. They are holding us in chains if we don’t. They are poisoning our lives with our unforgiveness and we can never be free if we don’t or won’t forgive. Forgiveness is not condoning or accepting that what was done to us  was ok. IT wasn’t and it never will be. Forgiveness is saying “I release you because I love me. I know that I am going to be ok and I am strong and that you are released to GOD and I am blessed because I am the stronger and the better for having released you and your act. You will one day answer to God for what you did to me. It’s enough to know that day will come. I release you to God, to be blessed and to be changed. Amen”

 

Image

A House Of Sharp Stones

With the up coming release of Lynn Schriner’s latest book called, A House Of Sharp Stones  we wanted to peak your interest a bit by sharing a few snippets from the book. First the book is divided into three sections. The first is called The Lovers Chapter, the second is called God Thoughts and the third is called Wandering Words. Each brings Lynn’s unique way of expressing her world. For instance from her poem Sugar lips comes this line : “I thought, bring me your prayers and your sugar lips, entwine them on my heart with a kiss.” Or this one from In the Dark, “We mark our souls like dogs mark their yard”.   And from the God Thoughts comes this line ” It’s church and Christmas eve, sugar coated people in distress”. Finally from the Wandering Words comes this line from the poem If My Heart Were A Garden “And when my time is over on this earth, let those who loved me best come and sit, listening for the heart of my soul and to breathe in the scent of all that was good in me”.

Coming the end of June 2017 A House of Sharp Stones

Image

Notes from the second story(Daisy)

On my chest bone lay the daisy. There was something so promising in the dead of winter, laying across my heart, her face lifted and her petals soft. “My daughter” said my mom, “Is no rose.” she looks at me as I begin to react “You, are a daisy.” My mom never told me she loved me, she never held me tenderly, she just called me a few things that stayed with me. “A whore.” was one thing “A daisy.” the other. The longer I live, the more I see my Universe expanding. I can see myself seated in a little white church with a cracked bell, I can see myself flying above the village on wings that sing. I am a mystery of words that hang in the air and turn cartwheels in my mind.  I can still see her standing as straight as an arrow, with red nails on long fingers. I can still feel my heart beating in my chest, hoping for her touch.

In the end I bathed her. I felt her fly away with a flock of geese, that February day. I heard my father cry out. “No, oh no!” I wanted to wrap him in a cocoon, shelter him from his fractured soul. I feared he would leave with her. I feared I would be the only one left. I didn’t know what to do, I just watched my band of family  gather around him and weep. I stood as I always do, a little to the right of where I should be. I had leaned in and asked her to fly away, right before she did. I said this to her after a lifetime of indifference and raised voices of critical expressions, an occasional head banging on a wall, a slap, a grab and a tight squeeze while being dragged.  “If you ever loved me, you will not die on my birthday.” Her gift to me that day, the day before I was born, 59 years later, she flew.  The geese came over her hospice bed and she was gone. I felt her leave. I didn’t cry that day…nor for years after, not until today, when the daisy lay on my chest and I heard her say “you are a daisy.” I will take that to mean I loved you. In the language of flowers I loved you. In the creation of designer dresses and a touch to your eyebrow, I loved you. In the way of a sack lunch, or a freshly ironed shirt, I loved you.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe all these years of never thinking she loved me at all, she did and now it’s too late. I am breathing deeply, pushing back the pain. My lungs are breathing in disappointment. I am not supposed to dwell on the negative. I am not supposed to entertain thoughts of pain. Not any more. It needs to be the language of colors and flowers and balloons that float on wicker seats in the forest. Anything but the pain. Don’t stroke the well-worn path of loss. Remember this new day dawning is a gift. Ignore the pain in muscles and in marrow and in memory. Turn your eyes upward and take a breath and breathe in goodness and breathe out the darkness of history. Blood and skin and bone history. “Nothing to see here folks!” moving on.

I awaken in the dawn, sweating and throwing off blankets. My dreams were about a man I know in spirit, but have never met in flesh. He writes, I write. We stand in solidarity against something unspeakable coming. We fight with words. He actually speaks volumes by saying very little. I have read enough about him to sense a kindred. We are serendipitous. I kiss my husband good morning and wonder why the dreams are about someone far, far away. I wonder what that might mean. I roll over and see the daisy’s my sister gave me for no particular reason. I pluck one out and lay it across my heart. The scent is summer and the memory takes me down the rabbit hole and back up. Use the neuro training you are learning to stop the falling. Take back the ground and smell the daisy’s . Focus right here, right now on your flesh and blood husband who smells like salt and can make me laugh. Focus right here, right now on the new day. Count the blessings. Electricity on the wires above.

 Let it be. 

 

 

 

Image

Modern day poet & writer/ a love story

Sometimes love stories are images in our heads, rumpled sheets, half empty wine glasses, rose petals on water, clothing shed.

It’s ice and snow here, in our hearts and in our dreams. We are paradise searching, footprints in the sand wandering, while the waves take the road map and we can’t follow one another home.

I want walls in our beautiful house to sing-to be privy to the sounds of laughter and not tears. To hold our secrets in it’s creaking floors and not loud voices flung to the moon afraid that this time it’s really too late. Lonely in my bed, but settled as the moon watches me struggle.

I want to hold hands walking mountains of goodwill and changing seasons, as soft brown hair and an old mans face dances on lines of wisdom, laughing.

I want the broken pieces of change upon our lives, to come together and create a soft, rounded mosaic of our time together, instead of splinters in our feet so painful we wear shoes and socks and put blinders on and won’t look anymore at the pain-

There is still heart and stubbornness and some tentative steps towards talking and we bow our heads and pray for change, as we linger, hoping for renewal and sometimes our eyes still meet in the middle and they are kind. We are not done reaching, and we are too afraid to touch any wounds left bleeding. So we stay, praying for the balm to come and the laughter to return and to know that deep place of peace-

                              &

we will kiss, naked in warm water and tasting of summer and peaches and start over writing our love story.