Friday, July 13, 2018

Are We?

Thought for the day: What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. [author unknown]

Huh! So It's Friday the thirteenth again. Not that any of you guys are superstitious, right?

Me, neither. Actually, I rather like the number thirteen, and the only superstition I harbor is a more personal one: never ever comment about how well the traffic is moving in Atlanta, because believe you me, it will revert to its normal bumper-to-bumper misery before you've even got the words out of your mouth. (It might not even be safe to think about it...)

I guess I could re-run one of my Friday the 13th posts from the past... or I could write about superstitions... but I don't feel particularly motivated to do either. I'm still having some difficulty summoning up my usual enthusiasm for just about anything these days, and as it turns out, my lethargy may be medical in nature. (It's called laziness.) My blood pressure is reeeeally low, for some reason. (Maybe I need to drive through Atlanta traffic a few times...?)

So I'm gonna do something a little different. (Who... moi?) I'm going to share a poem with you. It's one of the ones I wrote for Old Broads Waxing Poetic. 




I can't help but wonder if I'm the only one who feels like this, or if some of you have these same feelings from time to time.

[image: morguefile]


                                                               Am I?

                                                             Is it horrid to be happy
                                                             When so many are so sad;
                                                             And heartless to be filled with peace
                                                             When war’s all some have had?
                                                              Is it wrong to sing a joyful song
                                                             When others live the blues;
                                                             And crass to count sweet blessings
                                                             When some have none to lose?



Is it selfish to eat chocolate cake
[image: wikipedia]
When others have no meal;
And callous to be healthy
When some will never heal?
Is it hateful to be wrapped in love
When some are all alone;
And sinful to leap and pirouette
When others cry and moan?



[image: morguefile]


















I lift my arms in gratitude
And admire the morning sun,
Humbled by this gift of life,
Thank God for giving me one!
Yet I know I wield Excalibur
While some hold only air;
Life’s a wondrous miracle,
But it isn’t always fair.






Is it enough to love our fellow man
And do our best to share;
Is it enough to empathize and pray
And to always to show we care?
It is in some ways troubling
And foolish to pretend;
In light of others’ suffering,
I ask of you, my friend ---

                                                  Am I heartless to be filled with peace
                                                  When war's all some have had;
[image: wikipedia]

                                                       And horrid to be happy
                                                       When so many are so sad?
                                                                       
                                                           ***************

You ever feel guilty about your good fortune? Please tell me I'm not the only one who makes do  rather than buy new, because I don't want to be greedy or self-indulgent. I mean... why replace our nasty-looking well-worn 40+ year old bedroom carpet when there are people in the world who have no carpet at all... or no house. Or am I just nuts...? (Maybe just a little bit.)

                            Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

                          P.S. In case you're interested in some of those superstitions...




51 comments:

  1. Happy Friday 13th! I love your poem. Life isn't fair, some have more than others, and some have it better. But I think it's important to be happy with what we have and to be positive and help others. Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Happy Friday the 13th to you, too!

      Thanks. I'm glad you like it. You're right. Life isn't fair. Those who are struggling realize that far better than we do, so I guess the best we can do is help them the best we can and never take our blessings for granted. "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

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  2. My copy of Old Broads Waxing Poetic is well thumbed. You are so not alone on that guilt train. I do what I can to help and feel guilty because it is not enough. I think it is a variation of survivor guilt.
    I hope you have a wonderful, guilt free weekend - and regain some of your customary spark.

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    1. I'm not at all surprised to find you sitting beside me on that train. :)

      Good point. I never thought of it as survivor guilt before, but maybe that's exactly what it is.

      You have a wonderful weekend, too. My spark is slowly clawing its way back to the surface. I actually got some writing done this week! Woo HOO!

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  3. I haven't yet bought a copy of Old Broads Waxing Poetic. I think I should now so I can read this from you again and again.
    No, it isn't horrid to be happy etc etc, although it may seem callous to some, it's necessary, someone has to be able to feel the joy in life in order to be able to share that joy and if even one sad person can get a smile from another's happiness, then it is worth it. If that makes sense. It does to me.
    I'm another "make-do" person, although I love new things, why waste the money when what I have still has years of life left in it?

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    1. Great perspective! Thanks. You're right, of course. Better for the joyful to elevate those who are sad than to allow their sadness to bring us down. It absolutely DOES make sense.

      Yes! I'm definitely not a money-waster. Usually, anyhow. I indulged in a hot air fryer, because a friend told me how much she loves hers and said they make fried chicken as wonderfully as a deep fryer. NOT! Now I'm sorry I bought the darned thing... although it does make good french fries.

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  4. It's called cheap why I wouldn't replace the 40 year old carpet haha but I do make do, just always been that way. If it isn't broken, don't need a new one. Guilt? Who needs that though? And pffffffffffft to any superstitious mumbo jumbo.

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    1. HA! Maybe there is a tinge of cheapness involved. :) Actually, I spend quite freely on other people... I just have a very difficult time spending on myself or accepting gifts. And I've always been that way.

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  5. Ha, yes - I would be saying, well, we could get 41 years worth out of it... Or planning to replace it with some handwoven recycled project that I don't actually have time to make... And if there is no joy in the world, there's no hope, so share always but do have the cake :-) xx

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    1. The funny thing about that carpet (Would you believe it's a shag?) is it was used when we installed it. It actually doesn't look all that bad, and it would be a nightmare to move our furniture out of there to replace it. So... suits us!

      Yes, ma'am. I believe I will have a slice of cake. Have one?

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  6. Very moving poem. No, it is not bad to feel happy and blessed when others are not. We can spread some of that joy though.
    I never comment on the traffic either. It's like a curse to do so!

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    1. I suspect you've had some of these same thought yourself.

      NO! No matter where we are, we try to never ever comment on the "good" traffic. It's a jinx every time. (Seems like it, anyway.)

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  7. Happy Friday the 13th and yes, you are nuts. (Just kidding). This is such a good poem from such an excellent collection (!). And you do touch on issues I feel. But the fact that you are aware and do have empathy means that when you can, you do help others, etc. It's okay to appreciate the stuff you do have.

    Traffic .....ugh. Don't go play in it. And take care - good luck feeling better.

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    1. Happy Friday the 13th to you, too! Yeah, I know I'm a little nuts. Always have been. I prefer to think of it as coloring outside the lines, though. (Which, by the way, I always did as a kid. I'd draw and color the background of the printed pictures, so I could color the entire page.)

      Yeah, I guess your traffic is pretty bad, too, but I think Atlanta takes the cake. (Chocolate, please!)

      Have a super weekend. (Yes, it IS an excellent collection... thanks to you!)

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  8. I love the poem. Old Broads Waxing Poetry sits on my bedside table and has been read quite a few times.

    We all have our misery and joys, regardless of where we live and what we have. Even the richest of the rich suffer, of course, they are more comfortable. I also see the poorest of the poor have happiness over small things and that brings you back to what really is important. When parents teach their children empathy, they are giving them the greatest gift of all. We should also enjoy ice cream, cake, and chocolate and savor magic moments. We are all deserving.

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    1. :) I'm glad you've enjoyed our little collection of poems.

      You're right, of course. All rich people aren't happy, and all poor people aren't miserable. Attitude plays an important role, but sometimes I feel so helpless and anguished in the face of so many miseries in the world. (Maybe it's time to re-run my post about saving the starfish?)

      I'm afraid empathy is sometimes as much of a curse as it is a blessing. There's the rub... I don't feel deserving of all the blessings in my life, ya know?

      But, yes ma'am, I'll definitely enjoy some cake and magic moments this weekend. I wish the same for you.

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  9. I often feel as you do. I'm basically a happy person and there are so many that are not. Still I have to be thankful for everything I've been blessed with and so I'm happy for being me. Like you I do make do. I've got so many old things that it would be a sin not to make use of them so I don't buy many new things, but treasure the old. Happy Friday the 13th, always a good day for me !

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    1. I'm not surprised you feel the same way. Maybe it's a balance thing. Maybe the more joy one feels, the more open (s)he is to seeing and feeling the sadness and pains of other people.

      Happy Friday the 13th to you, too! May ALL your days be good

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  10. I've been trying to focus more on the positive and on being grateful - two of the few things I can control in this world.

    I hope your enthusiasm comes roaring back soon and you feel like yourself again.

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    1. Being positive comes as naturally as breathing, but those other things continue to niggle at the back of my mind...

      Thanks. It will. Almost here now... :)

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  11. You are not alone. It bothers me dreadfully that we have so much and others have so little. How dare we want more? And yet, most of us do want more. People with enough buy lottery tickets. People with plenty buy more 'stuff'. Never satisfied.
    Superstitions...just one....never say, 'it can't get any worse because, it will.

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    1. No wonder I like you so much. You've expressed my feelings perfectly. Good to know I'm not alone.

      HA! Yep, your superstition is kinda the corollary to mine about traffic. :)

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  12. Excellent poem, loved it. And, it is only wrong if you do not appreciate good fortune and be grateful and if your good fortune comes at the cost to others.

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    1. Excellent and definitive response. Thank you. :)

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  13. Your poem was wonderful.
    I take care of all I have so I do not have to go out and buy cheaper "new" things. Plus after everything you have is destroyed in a wildfire you take care of what you have.
    Love the video.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

      Understandably, the trauma of losing all of your material things in a fire would make you even more mindful and appreciative of the every single thing you have now.

      I love that video, too. Makes me want to get a black kitty.

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  14. Hi Susan - brilliant poem. Yes I often feel guilty ... about being lucky with who I am ... and I try not to buy new - as I was brought up with making things last ... my tv when I went to SA was still there when I came back 15 years later ... and lasted another 7 years. And so it goes - I try and reuse things, and keep them going as long as pos ... and treat people fairly - wherever they're from ... thanks for the reminder.

    Being 13 on Friday 13th ... I have no problem with this day of the year ... take care - and here's to many more years of being responsible ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. We may be from opposite side of the ocean, but we're a lot alike, aren't we? Somehow, I find great comfort in that. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend. Cheers!

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  15. Yours is such a honest, thought-provoking poem! I may not know a lot, but I believe with every fiber in my 'self' that gratitude is key.

    Lethargic? If I may, have you been checked for/or experience thyroid issues? My SIL's dentist claims it's so common, they should consider adding Synthroid in the water systems! I hope you feel stronger soon!

    PS - Now I don't feel so guilty for not obsessing over our own ratty carpet. It does the job and the dogs love it. Sobeit!

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    1. I agree. I think gratitude is very important.

      Last time I was checked, my thyroid was fine, but thanks for asking. I think the low blood pressure is more likely to be the culprit. But I'm scheduled for a physical in September, so we shall see.

      I betcha OUR ratty carpet is MUCH rattier than yours! :) But like you say, it does the job.

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  16. Blessings...
    The day is what you make it.
    For every positive there is a negative.
    great poem.

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    1. Blessings back atcha.

      Yes, we do have a lot of control over how days go... but not everyone does. That's what bothers me. I have so many positives in my life, and other have so many negatives. Yeah, I know. Life isn't fair...

      Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

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  17. I hopped off that guilt train a long time ago, friend Sue … cuz no one hopped on it for me when I was in need as a youngen … Nonetheless I always do help peeps and animals in need to this day … But otherwise I enjoy what I have now. Love, cat.

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    1. I'm sorry no one showed you compassion when you were a young girl, but I'm glad you grew up to have compassion for others, anyway. (And for animals!)

      Have a wonderful weekend, dear cat.

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  18. Wonderful poem, Susan. I don't feel guilty about my own fortunes compared to others, but I do feel it's important for each of us to do what we can to lighten our own little corners of the world.

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    1. Thanks, Ian. Your comment reminds me of the old hymn "Brighten the Corner Where You Are." Maybe that's the best we can do.

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  19. I love your poem. I think gratitude is a very good thing. You can be grateful for what you have and still feel empathy for those who are in need. The fact that you wrote this poem at all shows what a big heart you have and how much you care for those who suffer.

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    1. Thanks. The trick is to be filled with empathy without it spilling over into feelings of guilt, too. A trick I haven't quite mastered yet. ;)

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  20. Great post as usual, Susan. Lovely poem.

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  21. Fine poem and admirable. We were raised in a time when it was considered virtuous, considerate and intelligent to make do with a well-used minimum. I never got over it either. As to "Thought for the day", it's familiar beyond "unknown" --an Emerson essay maybe. Re; blood pressure: stay healthy this summer, dear Susan, and I'll try to do the same. Deal?

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    1. Yes! Maybe our upbringing does account for my refusal to buy new stuff just for the sake of buying.

      Good catch. It does sound like something Emerson would say. Thanks.

      Okay, dude, that sounds like a good deal. I'll take it, but you be sure to hold your end of it up, too!

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  22. I love your poem. As a happy and optimistic person, I've wondered on occasion if I had the right to be so, when others are so down. But if I were down and morose, too - would that help the world? No.

    I'm not superstitious, but I came home on Friday and our Internet was out (for two days!) and then I noticed our water heater wasn't heating water... Luckily, we now are connected to the 21st century again, and the non-heating water heater turned out to be just a circuit breaker that had to be flipped back on. But it makes you think.

    Cheap? It's called frugal, girl, frugal! And it's very in now.

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    1. You're right. Wallowing in sadness wouldn't help the world a bit. Better to try to lift someone else up.

      Knock on wood, I'm not superstitious, either, but this Friday the 13th had some fun with you. :)

      HA! Good to know I'm "in" for a change.

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  23. Enjoy what you have, and bless those you can. That's my motto these days!! I just read your latest book on a stay-up-all-nighter (didn't even know I had one of those left in me at my age, ha!). Put a 5-star review on Amazon. It was wonderful writing as usual, and I'm not going to give any spoiler alerts, but...what the what?!??! Characters surprises on so many levels.

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    1. Your motto sounds like an excellent one for us all to follow.

      YAAAAY! You just made my day. Maybe my whole week. :) I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed the book. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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  24. This is an admirable poem. Awesome post!

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  25. Such a lovely poem! I definitely don't think it's horrid to feel happy. Although there will always be someone out there who has it worse, that shouldn't prevent us from embracing the positive moments in our own lives, since those moments can help us hang on whenever darker ones happen...

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    1. How true. We never know when the sun might stop shining for any one of us, so we might as well enjoy basking in its warmth while we can.

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  26. I enjoyed your poem! I don't really feel bad about enjoying some of the nice things I've been blessed with. But I make sure that I give some to help those who are less fortunate. (I've had my share of difficulties, so I'm always grateful when things are going smoothly.)

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