Saturday, February 25, 2017

How Is It ...

If you live long enough, eventually you will get sucked into the world of medical tests which are basically various tortures that cost an immense fortune. I have been lucky to enjoy good health most of my life - knees not included - but recently I had the experience of a heart sonogram. Images of my beating heart were visible on a screen in real time. It was the first time I have seen my own heart. It was dangerously close to a spiritual experience. I immediately considered the cavalier manner in which I have taken my heart for granted all these decades.

It was sobering to see how hard my heart works and to instantly consider the hearts of every living being on the planet. I marveled at the engineering that designed such a tireless, enduring muscle. It commences beating before we even have a brain! As I watched the images of the valves and chambers of my own heart tirelessly fueling my life, I felt a great regret for all the abuses I have committed against it physically and emotionally.

My mother's heartbeat was the first sound I heard in this life. I recalled the thrill hearing the first heartbeats of each of my unborn children. I remembered the times I lay with my ear against my husband's chest, lulled by the booming rhythm of his big heart. I thought of all the times I could feel the mighty pulse of my heart in my temples when working too hard or running or swimming or laughing or scared or mad as hell. Our hearts are merely along for the ride with us - for good or ill.

At some point as the technician was examining each chamber and valve and artery of my wonderful heart, she would switch something then the blood flow appeared in various colors - red, blue and magenta. As the blood entered into the next chamber, the colors mixed dramatically. It appeared as lightning within my heart. Now when I watch an approaching thunderstorm alive with lightning I will certainly recall my own beating heart.

How is it that we forget that our bodies are truly marvels of engineering? How do we forget that our lives are spent on an inexplicable living planet hurtling through infinite space filled with thermonuclear stars boiling light and energy into an endless universe? How do we forget that there is lightning within our own breast?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Invoking The Grandmothers

I usually avoid writing anything specifically political because that is not the purpose or focus of Spiritcreek. Politically charged issues carry a heavy and painful weight in these "generally wretched times" that I would rather not mix into the silliness of this particular blog. Despite certain issues weighing quite heavily in my mind, and my conviction that we are literally in an extended battle for our country's soul, I have refrained from opening my big mouth - for the most part. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and women...

When Mitch McConnell and the Republicans voted to silence Elizabeth Warren, when they refused to enter Coretta Scott King's words into the record - in the very highest halls of the Land of Free Speech? - I nearly exploded. 64 years of being interrupted, man 'splained to, talked over, ignored, ridiculed, dismissed, cussed at, yelled at, lied to and argued with came to a metaphysical boiling point. No, Mr. Mitch McConnell, you soulless bastard. No, Mr. Lindsey Graham, you whining, big-mouthed short man. No.

Elizabeth Warren does not speak for all women, but she damn sure speaks for a very solid percentage of American women, and quite likely a solid percentage of real men. Her voice is the only feminine political voice we currently have so get used to it, you old bastards! YOU are not the only people allowed to speak in this country.

Women are sending postcards to Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell and Mr. Lindsey with this message: Nevertheless, we persist. When I sat down to address my post cards last night, the names of my grandmothers came instantly to mind. Maybe for the very first time in my life I felt the actual spiritual connection to my ancestors. I know the maternal grandmothers' names far, far back, but I included only the generations of Kansas women. Marilla Jane, Mattie Fern, Mary Ruth, myself and my daughter - five generations of women who, living or dead, are mad as hell. Well, I am not certain spirits can actually be angry but they can certainly weigh in on matters of spiritual significance. My grandmothers weighed in on this deal in a very clear way.

Marilla Jane would not have been able to vote until she was 47 years old. Mattie Fern could just vote by the time she was 21. Mary Ruth voted her entire life. I first voted at age 19 (in 1972). Our votes matter. We are equal under the law and our voices will not be silenced by a bunch of old, soft-handed white men who think far more highly of themselves than anyone else thinks of them.

I know there is a fine line between the meanings of the words invoke and evoke, but I had to look up the definitions to determine whether I evoked my grandmothers, or invoked my grandmothers. Evoke means to draw forth, usually memories or feelings. Invoke means: cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument. As it turns out, I did both.