Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ghost blooms

#blacklivesmatter #bluelivesmatter #alllives matter

All lives matter.

I woke up at 4:30am in a cold sweat, my sheet had somehow wrapped itself tightly around my body. Mummylike, immobile. When I blinked, my eyelids ached and slowly my awareness drifted down through my bones until I accepted that I was ill.
The last thing that I had read before turning out the light was of the ambush in Dallas. I had rolled onto my back, staring into the darkness. Helpless then, also. My sadness broke my body in two.

"How much longer will it be?" I whispered towards the lowing moon. Is this the apex of our shredded state? Through this roiling hatred, I don't recognize my country anymore. And how I chewed on those words like dice rattling, too similar, too recent.

And yet,

amidst the stillness I could feel my heart opening like ghost blooms unfolding with silent stealth,
I choose Love.
I choose Unity.
I choose Faith.
I choose Hope.

I believe. Like petals pushing on my burning forehead, open. 

Tell me we are together in this and I will take it as a balm. 
For I know you to be true and that is healing, our humanity.
Change will come.


  1. We are together in this, Heather. Let the balm do its healing and then resume pushing forward, with calm resolution. Fondly, Leslie in Oregon

  2. Love, unity, faith, hope - we must believe or our hearts will die.

  3. surely one of the circles of hell: this am, on gurney, wired, injected and more for outpatient surgery, and from next alcove, a curtain away, a patient and partner, discussing Dallas, then "of course it's all that fool Obama's fault." me: breath, keep heart beat et al normal, don't mess up planned level of anethesia, and hardest, don't wish them ill.

  4. We are in this together; we are in MANY things together and love (faith, hope and unity) will help see us through. Oh, also Ho'oponopono! : )

  5. All lives matter. I am married to a retired police officer. We share sadness for blue lives lost and also black lives; anger toward the few filled with hatred and prejudice on both sides; and a belief that with enough love and compassion we can heal this country.

    1. I was married to a police officer for thirty years. Neither he or his fellow officers killed anyone, yet, during that time four of them gave their lives protecting those some now say they brutalize. We will only be able to open dialogue when we stop pointing fingers...when we stop making judgments before we know all the facts, and then, we must evaluate and judge each case on its own merits. It begins in the White House and ends with each individual...maybe then love and compassion will have room to breath and the power to heal.

  6. This has been a summer filled with such sorrow. The only way I know to move through the prejudice and hatred, is to make sure I show others respect. It's easy to expound and rail against these injustices, but the way we treat people on a daily basis is most important.
    Offering a smile and a kind word is a good start. Let's not be dismissive of others and be helpful when needed.
    We are all in this together, so let's start acting like it.

  7. I so loved your sentiments. After all the incidents of racial hatred in Britain after the Brexit (makes me shamed to call myself British - not that I often do as I prefer to let people know that I am Scottish); the shootings in the USA and closer to home the various suicide bombers here in Saudi Arabia -like you I am in despair as to what is happening in this world of ours. Why is there so much hatred and anger? I don't have the answers but like you (and I hope the majority of people) I continue to believe in Love, faith, hope and unity

  8. You said it, Heather! Beautifully. I all too frequently do not recognize my country, which seems to be getting more polarized with each passing year. I've been in France now for over 7 years and see America through diferent eyes. Is it really "worse" than when I came here. Unfortunately, it would seem so. How do we reverse this destructive trend? There are so many of us who feel as you do, how is it that those who react with violence and hatred are able to highjack our world? Thanks for your soothing words.
    bonnie in provence

  9. You've chosen well, dear Heather.

  10. Thank you Heather for talking about it. I was hoping you would do. I was even waiting for it impatiently!

    In the following I am addressing myself not directly to you or to those who are WITH you and WITH your feelings and opinion. But I am furious and polemic will be my words:



    America, land of the free! Where white police officers are free to murder black people? Where the murder of young Michael Brown remains unpunished? Who is free here?

    You may say, "how can she talk about this, she is German"? And no, Germany is not a town in France, as the canditate of the Republicans who is running for POTUS, once said. Germany is the country where a lot of American soldiers, many black American soldiers among them, lost their lives to free the world from major evil and major racism.

    Now, did that same candidate of the Republicains with the rudimentary geographical knowledge say anything to the recent murders of the two black people? No! He said something to the killings of the police officers. Which is good! But by far not enough!

    You may say you are not so much interested in politics? You are more into beauty and nice cute Provence? Wrong! Life is politics. And racism is everywhere. In America as well as in Provence and it is right now blooming again in Europe. Sadly in Germany too! The Brexit is a result of racism, agitators and populism.

    The two videos of the recent murders in America were shown on TV in the German news. In full lenght! On the main first channel! During the break of the soccermatch France-Germany! I can assure you that nearly every German was watching TV at that moment!

    In Europe soccer is quite a serious event. Something like a replacement for a battle or more a trial of strength. And this years match between France and Germany was about racism. And I was hoping that France would win the match because the country needed this feelling of Unity. Since their Equipe consists also of players with dark and black skin. And believe it or not, two years ago, on one of those cute little verggiemarkets in Provence one of the merchants told me his disapprovement of his national soccerteam because there where too many people playing with black skin. Sadly the same discussion starts now in Germany too!

    Lets stop this! Let us all fight against racism. Let us all be political. Lets all remember the meaning of the word politics. It came from the greek word "Politeia" and is a work about Justice. I don't need to tell you cause you all know this!

    Let us not follow haters and agitators!

    Let us all be strong and face the complex difficulties of this world!

    Lets go and make a difference!


    1. People fail to understand the facts, proven by our DEPt of JUSTICE. There was NO hands up don't shoot moment, it was proven to be a lie. The BLM movement was based on this lie!

    2. "Hands up, don't shoot- moment", proven or not proven. One fact remains: ALL LIVES MATTER, black lives, blue lives and white lives.

    3. Thank you for that response, "Silke B". In response to your question (""how can she talk about this, she is German"?)?.......all I can say is that I've been fortunate in having had several (five, to be precise; two are now dead) German friends in my adult life. They count among the most socially-conscientious folks I've ever known. As you may know, all too many Americans are all too inclined, for at least the last fifty years, to close our eyes and simply listen to all the Ronald Reagans telling us that we are, somehow, some sort of "shining city on a hill" and to simply IGNORE any glaring inconsistencies in this "ideal" America.

      Thank you again, David Terry

  11. Like Bonnie in Provence, we have found ourselves in Greece looking back on America and trying to 'explain it' to others who are also looking at it with amazed wonderment - not of the good kind, by the way - and who keep asking us, "What is happening to America?" It is a question I've asked myself with more frequency of late and simply have no answer.

  12. Pray, think good thoughts, and get involved! Get involved in your local government. Does your city have a civilian accountability board to keep an eye on the police? If not, write to the mayor et al. and ask why not. Work for candidates who can make that kind of difference -- change starts from the bottom up. Get out the vote in November.
    Remind people that according to anthropology we are all Africans, where humankind originated.
    Lots of little things added together can shift the national conversation, which takes time. In spite of the horrors of the last week, I think we are on the way to that change, just that we can't yet see the results.

  13. thank you for this thoughtful post and I too hope change will come. xx-hb

  14. Yes, my love, we are all with you.
    It is truly sad here in the USA now. The political situation doesn't make it better, as it should, because we are really without leadership at this point. The Dems & Repubs will argue against each other just bec
    ause. All life matters. Our police officers need to be much better trained, trained as the military is trained, so that they make a proper response under duress. No killing is condoned. The lunatic in Dallas had military traiing, access to weapons because of it, and went unnoticed by mankind until he had killed and was, then, killed himself. Didn't anyone notice his behavior before? Like most of the other mass killers (not terrorists) they are unhinged mentally and yet none of us do anything to report them, help them, etc. in fear that we could be wrong. For the 1st time in my life I am afraid. After Orlando I am afraid. Maybe I won't ever go to a movie theatre again, I don't know. I love football and now fear will creep into going to an actual game, going inside a stadium where there could be drug-fueled terrorists or maniacs. The 2 black men who were shot by police officers were killed because the officers, themselves, were too poorly trained and/or too afraid. In an instant lives have changed forever. It is horrible. I'm praying.

    1. Thank you for that response, Marsha.

      Quite sincerely,

      david terry

  15. I don't even have words anymore. Thank you for yours.

  16. Well said. It is strange to see what is happening, the utter disregard for people's humanity. Too many guns.

  17. My only consolation throughout this heartbreak is that I can choose to love. It is the only answer.

  18. Dear Heather (and, obviously, your readers)......

    These days are, indeed, difficult to comprehend. I'm the first to admit that, while listening to the news over the past month (and more), I've regularly considered that my "problems" are as nothing when compared to those of others....many of whom live not at all "far away" from me.

    Lately?.....I try to constantly recall a passage from a letter that Fra Giovanni Gioconda wrote (circa 1530). I knew of it from my gradstoodinting/translating/linguist/smartass days during my twenties......but I don't think I ever fully appreciated it until recently:

    "The gloom of this world is but a shadow;
    behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
    Take joy."

    Some of the simplest and most productive ideas do, indeed, require the most conscious effort to accept. I turned 56 this past month and, as I went to bed (following a fairly elaborate birthday party that was thrown for me,replete with screaming and cheering friends in a friend's very nice house, just down the road in this all-too-perfect, historic town) reminded myself of those lines.

    quite sincerely,

    David Terry

  19. P.S. Julie Bresette is right.


  20. To quote Cheryl Wheeler: "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."

  21. "I choose Love.
    I choose Unity.
    I choose Faith.
    I choose Hope."

    Yes. All of us should.

    Others pray silently. Their voices are also heard.

    We should adamantly refuse to be "dead inside."

  22. It is a sad state we are in. I think there are people that stoke the embers and keep the
    fire burning. Not only our country but others have these hate mongers. THIS CAUSE'S WARS AND FIGHTING.


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