Sunday, September 29, 2013

NOTES ON THE SIDE by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Reconciling divine intervention with laws of free will /spiritual power vs. Physical/mental../religion vs. Relationship/our internal "knowing" compass.. Culture reaping what it sows...re-reading new testament with different set of questions: -and on more than one occasion I have seen people on Santa Rita with big anti abortion signs.. "abortion stops a beating heart..". -something of that nature.. And I keep considering creating a sign of equal size which reads, "God loves & forgives". -& setting up camp next to them. And I am most grateful for the direction, the new direction, Pope Francis is leading his sheep.. Toward helping the poor and needy and away from Ostrasizing pro-choice, pro-contraceptives, and pro gay marriage groups. I don't think this is true of all catholic churches or congregations or individual members.. But certainly mass media has decided to grab onto these three hot topics -to the exclusion of almost anything else- and position the catholic church in one corner, and pit them against... /other notebook: official member of pen women.. Gratitude to Charlotte Severin.. And had the luncheon in the most beautiful backyard.. Literally transformed in its presence.. The gardens! Canopy of greens, -the trees, the plants, the variety of flowers.. And the hummingbirds! So many of them.. I confess to how easily I was distracted and how I dreamed of sneaking back alone... Just me, a good book in that garden. The hostess joked about how her husband said she couldn't cook.. But she is the one who created and maintains this incredible patch of paradise.. If that was the only thing she did, she already far exceeded the greatest meal.. But, her husband prepared most of our lunch and it was delicious! So I just took it in: how I could see love in the garden, and taste love in the meal.. And it brought back that bible passage to me.. How if you do anything, but it is without love; doesn't much matter. (my spin on the passage, of course), but no matter what you do (whether it's in the yard, the kitchen, a classroom, workplace.. Anywhere/anything/anyone.. When it's accomplished with love.. You can always tell; you can feel it, see it, taste it, sense it... Be uplifted by it.. But, scientifically measure it? Quantify it? I don't believe love can be quantified it can only be experienced and shared.. Ah, and what is God? But love... So let us pose the debate question from earlier post a new way: Does science refute love? /this might be called, in today's colloquial terms, a, 'no brainer'. -pun intended.

Friday, September 27, 2013

FAVORITE QUOTES for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

In the process ONCE AGAIN, of decl uttering.. Found a journal where I'd written down favorite quotes.. Not from famous people, just from family/friends.. This one goes back 10 plus years, but it was in reference to me.. By my daughter's best friend at the time, Katie. She said, "you have a lot of arts & crafts, and a lot of books, but not one drop of food.". -nothings changed. Food remains the least important...

D.I.E. (that's funny). By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I didn't realize it would spell DIE... I was just creating an abbreviation for my Daily Ignorance Encounter... Because also very recently, my son asks me, "is there sound in space?". And I was like, "of course there's sound in space.. You've got asteroids crashing together and stuff like that..". And then my daughter's boyfriend uses his fancy phone and reads something that explains how there is clearly not sound in outer space... I don't remember verbatim, but had something to do with a lack of particles that created a lack of ability for waves, which are necessary for sound. Well! I decided in that very moment, that the whole "X" and "Y" generation labels were totally off... What we really have is Q & A... My generation is the Q generation... We have lots of questions... And my children's generation is generation "A". -because they have all the answers, -literally! In the palm of their hands. Amazing.. Anyway.. I wasn't in the mood to be wrong.. In front of my daughter, her boyfriend zeke, carol, Gail, my handsome prince, and especially my son.. I mean, he might start to question everything I tell him; and let's avoid that if we can.. So I said, "ah hah! Then.. There IS sound in space, it just doesn't have a way to manifest.". -yeah, so there... They don't call me writeousmom for nothin'. -i may not know a lot about the outside world.. But I know a lot about our insides. Well, I don't know a lot about our insides either, not like a doctor or surgeon.. The insides of our hearts.. And not our physical hearts; our spiritual ones. You know how we have the C.I.A.... Central intelligence.. Well, what I have is Internal Intelligence. An awareness of my own thoughts, feelings, motives, intentions.. And when to question and override them vs. When to pay attention and honor them. -hold every thought captive.. /passage in the Bible about that... So anyway.. I may not know whether the cheese I just ate came from a cow, or goat, or sheep.. And I may not know why God didn't allow for a way for sound to manifest in outer space... But I know for sure! That I love when my family/friends gather together for a meal, some tv, and unpredictable conversations... "thank you Jesus!". Amen.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

EVIDENCE THERE IS A LOVING GOD by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

In conclusion (and in addition) to my previously mentioned challenges put out to the athesist debate team on the science refutes God program, I offer this: my own life. I am a new creature. I have been healed and restored from a place of enormous brokenness. Or as Joyce Meyer might describe.. I have been rescued from a very deep pit (and there is no pit too deep for God to reach his hand into...) but my greater point is this: I did not accomplish this healing on my own. I did not accomplish this healing surrounded by atheists or agnostics.. This healing has been accomplished through prayer.. Lots of it.. In collaboration with God and a variety of people who teach about a loving God. I hear God's voice.. My life has dramatically improved by listening for, and honoring what I hear God say. -and so, it is only natural for me to pray the same experience for everyone.. Thank you Jesus, In your name, amen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Here's a TIP for ya... From (me!) Sandra, tvgp

But first! Let me wrap up from yesterday: in crude layman terms: I believe there are laws of free will, similar to how there are laws of nature; physics. Laws of free will are mandatory here on earth (hence the reference to law) but! When we die and leave this earth -all bets are off, free will laws no longer apply and a justice unaccomplishable on earth is now applied. So, over time, I have come to believe in a heaven and hell, and there existence, in my imagination, allows for an ultimate justice which cannot be accomplished on earth with it's free will laws. -yeah, that sums that up. Now! Here's a tip for ya... My tip stories, all true, won't wait for me to be at a computer where the spacing is to my taste; they want come out this morning, write now: history of my tips: the first tip I can ever remember receiving was .50 cents left on the table at burger king in San leandro, my first "real" paying job, where I was 15 and not covered by their insurance, so could not be in the kitchen (where we know I've never belonged anyway) but could only hostess. Which should bring a smile to your face.. I brought your food to your table and cleaned it up when you left.. At burger king, like it was a fine dining establishment. I just remember thinking it was so nice and quite a surprise anytime someone left a little change on the table for me.. I worked at other food places, but don't remember much about tips.. I was only a hostess or cashier, never a waitress or server.. My next memory -and we must fast forward, oh, around, 25 years, to find me working at amelias deli in downtown Pleasanton, my first "real" job, post divorce and mag time frame bankruptcy, where I was a cashier.. They had a karma jar near the register.. Occasionally people would leave their change, I have no memory of actual numbers, dollar amounts, but I do remember we divided up the cash between the kitchen staff, cashiers, and the most I ever brought home was $7 or so. cREDIT CARD tips were not divided. Credit card tips were kept by the owner, added up at the end of a given year, and then, I'm told, (having never actually been) that they used the accumulated tips to host an employee appreciation event at the end of the year. So, unless you are employed a full year.. You see/enjoy none of the credit card tips customers provided. -after amelias, there was ruby hill winery. Here.. You weren't allowed to keep ANY tips AT ALL, cash or credit card. They kept all the tips, and hosted an annual employee appreciation event.. So again, unless you are employed a full year, you won't see one penny of the tips customers think they are giving you. Now, let me tell you two important things: 1. Big tips are left by customers at ruby hill, and 2. I Could have used some... I was struggling to put gas in my tank and would hand over anywhere from $50 to $70 cash after hosting private parties, as the solo wine hostess, ...it seemed practically cruel.. But I did it. I did it despite co-workers telling me, whispering to me, that they kept theirs.. 'just keep it...we do'. -but I've always thought that is a very ugly set up they have there... How they set it up so that if you keep your tips you're stealing... Anyway.. Let's move now to what for me is the funniest tip story: courtyard Marriott, Livermore... Shuttle driver extraordinaire: let me tell you this important thing: there is absolutely NO correlation between the service you provide and the tips you receive. Period. So, I could for example, be a charming driver, carry many bags in and out, go out of my way to escort people safely on and off, etc. And recipients of that service might kick me $3 or nothing. I could do nothing extra, and I might get $15.. Or vice versa.. But it never had to do with service, it only had to do with the mindset of the person IN ADVANCE of taking the shuttle... Whether the person him or herself was generous and thoughtful or not.. And by the way.. My service remained pretty consistent, and was never reved up or down based on whether I thought I'd be tipped or not.. Now, here comes the funny part. -to me. You must remember my financial circumstances could be described as dire without exaggeration... And one day, we get some bags delivered to the hotel.. And my job was to put them on a carry cart for the guest to wheel up to his room (I did not even do the wheeling!) all I did was put the bags on a carry cart! And the guy hands me a $20.. I tell you here what I did NOT do... I did NOT turn it down.. I just said "thank YOU!". And then, guess what.. He hands me ANOTHER $20! And guess what I did NOT do again.. I certainly did not say anything like, 'oh, that wont be necessary sir..'. NO! I said "thank YOU!". And was internally excited I would be able to FILL UP my gas tank.. Not just 1/2 way... K, now.. You know where this is going... The man hands me ANOTHER! $20.. So, I am now receiving $60! for putting 3 bags on a carry cart.. Honey! You know what I said? I didn't say, NO... I said, "You are the most generous person I've ever met! Thank YOU,". K, then he tells me about how someone helped him on the phone in regard to receiving the bags and put them in the storage place and he asked me to find out who it was and give them some of the tip... "I sure will!" I promised.. K, now, true, true true... I asked every single front office staff member, every co-worker.. "was it you that helped mr. So n so with the bags in storage?". And every single person said, "wasn't me...". -and so I was like, "thank you Jesus! And mr generosity!". And I had a FULL tank of gas.. And probably took the kids out somewhere... Now, fast forward several months... I'm back at the hotel and there is a paper with like, smiles and highlights, posted to our employee cork board, with a handwritten "thank you!" from the general manager, about stellar serive provided by hotel staff.. The paper was a typewritten letter of gratitude from a guest... Who had lost his wallet, and one of my co-workers, an engineer, who works 2 jobs, and on average, an 80 hour week, Had eg into the trash bn to help find this man's wallet, and when the very grateful man tried to tip him, my co-worker refused to accept the tip. He didn't need to be paid for just doing the write thing. Tbc.

Monday, September 23, 2013

WELL, YOU ASKED. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"what do you write about?". "whatever's on my mind that day.". "-what's on your mind today?". WELL for starters.. I can't believe that guy on tv said there's no evidence for God! Here's my challenge... But it can't be accomplished conveniently for like a one hour tv show... Take hour of power.. There are LOTS of church tv shows, but this one serves my purposes the best because they always have a short segment where someone gives their personal testimony about how God is at work in their lives. So have someone take the 40 years worth of hour of power that has aired on tv.. Each Sunday show.. Edit out everything except the personal testimonies.. Sit in a room and watch and listen to the 5 minute testimonies, by different individuals, from all walks and circumstances of life.. Times 40 years worth of Sunday's. Is this not evidence? What are you using to define "evidence". Important to know that this represents only 1 of many, many, churches, around the whole world, where people are experiencing and sharing how God has touched there lives.. The actual number is incalcuable. Now, don't stop there.. I have a couple more challenges not convenient enough for tv... Try this: re-write the real life biographies of Both Joyce Meyer, David Meyer and Joyces father.. From the perspective of God as as a human construct; not 'real.'. Then re-write Americas history, documents, lincoln's biography, for example.. With God and prayer ABSENT. Our currency, without 'in God we trust'. -and consider if we had a president of the united states of America who is atheist.. -these Things are on my mind today... But that's not all! I'm fascinated with the size, the physical size of human beings in relation to earth and the universe.. How large we feel in our practical day to day lives vs. How tiny we are in relation to the galaxies. And I'm super fascinated with our experience of time.. How time itself is consistent, but we experience it as going by fast or slow.. And I think when we 'lose track of time' it is because our minds must be traveling at the same speed.. Know what I mean? You can only appreciate how fast/slow something is going in relation to something else... When two things are traveling at the exact same speed... Harmony. So I think our minds are in harmony with time, or lagging behind.. Or even can jump ahead... Which makes me remember: the future IS knowable... But how far into the future.. How far? Then I was also thinking this morning about 'the LAWS of free will.. How many are there, what are they specifically... Has someone written them, the way they've written the laws of physics? Of nature? I'd like to see them.. The laws of free will. In my imagination... Much of the crisis and mess and hate and ugliness in our world is the direct result of free will... But God must honor free will or we are instantly robots.. But It hurts! It hurts.. God's very own heart breaks.. He must honor free will HERE on earth.. But he sees and knows everything.. And heaven and hell allow for ultimate justice. On the other side, so to speak.. The laws of free will no longer exist.. And lastly.. I've been thinking about how every single day I seem to get introduced to another area of my own ignorance and/or incompetence.. Had a lady ask about the difference between the prism reflected from glass vs. Plastic (don't know....curious though). And which cheeses are from cows, vs. Goats, vs. Sheep? Honest to God.. I've never known, been asked, or wondered til now, at age 47, but very glad to make the discovery...goat cheese! I'm a fan... Time for work though... So, thank you Jesus! And amen. -except one more thing, one more thing.. Wish I could put together a video of my magical town, here in Pleasanton.. Show how many different churches and religions we've got going on here.. Freedom of religion and peace! No one here is murdering someone else because they're beliefs aren't the same... So, I'm extra grateful today to be a Christian here... And pray for freedom of religion and peace for the whole planet... Now, "thank you Jesus!" and amen. -for real this time...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Science refutes God? By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

This is a televised debate I happened across on a program called, IQ2 debates, intelligence squared. And I have to ready myself for work, so more later for sure. I LOVE this topic! But for now, with the few minutes of time, I've been randomly granted by particles that manifested out of nowhere and collided, and with the life energy that that somehow created.. I want to say only this: "Jesus!... Check this out.. They are debating your existence again! It's like a sitcom for heaven! ...free will hidden in plain sight....". And before every debate it is only write to declare a) what camp you're in, and B) you are under what influences. More on that later... But certainly I found myself repeating for the record: a) God cannot be reduced into a mathematical equation. And b) it is a crime of even greater arrogance to leave God out of ANY equation! -God is infinite. Without beginning or end. God's ORIGIN is Outside of human comprehension... But God may be accessed by any human. So much more! To say... But! I return to a version of this favorite quote: if you don't believe in God, nothing will convince you. If you do believe, you don't need to be convinced. /I just macked that... But I'll fix it later. And when I return I will repose a challenge I've posted before in response to the man who said, in regard to God, "there is no evidence". Oh! That makes me stand up from the couch and walk toward the tv.. "NO evidence?!?". There is twelve universes worth of evidence! ... Tbc.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

To HPH from your SDS: (me!) Sandra, tvgp

It did start out as a walk. But when Jackie and buddy spotted a squirrel... They pulled me like a kite. My feet left the sidewalk for a second there... The exact second, apparently, a man was getting in his car for work. -he spit out his coffee he was laughing so hard. And you know what it is like to feel embarrassed don't you? There I was like the flying nun on a leash, only in my pajamas, not a habit (well, you know that is my habit..but anyway,) was interesting what happened inside me: in that very same second I decided I liked the sound of laughter so much.. -I hoped the same thing would happen tomorrow. LyMyWyNyDy... LFYR... Xoxo

Monday, September 09, 2013

Dear poets, from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

It is VERY IMPORTANT to remember this: poetry came first. -before categories and labels and names for types of poetry... Poetry came first. -before the word "poem" was even conceived, or "poet". -poetry came first. Something happened to a human being... Maybe it was love, maybe it was death.. But something happened; something critical in that persons life journey.. And without a preconceived notion of any kind.. Without asking permission, without first seeking a muse.. Without any classes or instructions or books... Without anyone asking or assigning or recommending... It was the instinct, (and I would argue here, a God-given instinct) for that person to express with words, their experience... And it was on INSTINCT.. That the expression of that experience be communicated in an uncommon way... It would not come out in common conversation.. Traditional. But would demand to be set apart somehow.. Elevated, punctuated. The act of writing or speaking in this set-apart way resulted in an internal gratification exclusive to this expression; unachievable and unknowable any other way. There was no money involved, no market value, no popularity contest, no editors or publishers, no social media platforms, no teachers or critics involved or nearby when the first poem was written or spoken.. There was a human being who had a critical life experience or perhaps an epiphany about a common life experience, and the God given instinct to express the experience in an elevated, set apart way. It is how a certain (to date, unknown) percentage of the human population processes life experience. poetry then is another spiritual law in that it is applicable to a percentage of all of humanity.. Not exclusive to a specific culture or race or gender or age or religion, etc. In all walks of life... You know how I love to find the common denominators in humanity. Also.. Before I close, I remind you, that from my perspective free form poetry is NOT like playing tennis without a net.. -but much more like the tree with its roots busting out of the sidewalk cement; it refuses to be contained! Formulaic poetry is equivalent to crossword puzzles... You make things fit. My other argument regarding poetry is who can or can't call themselves a poet... There exists a certain group of insecure writers who -in order to feel worthy themselves, I suppose, like to create all kinds of "qualifications" around being a poet. God laughs. And I remind you here: poetry came first. Not the names, titles, qualifications, rules, requirements, editors, publishers, critics, etc. If you.. For any reason, at any time, under any circumstance, were inspired to write, what today we identify as a poem.. Rhyming or not, free or formula...long or short.. You, my friend are a poet. Only a certain unknown percentage of the human population are gifted with this instinct.. The number is larger than the publishing world will have you know... But smaller than .../failing here to come up with something. -but know this.. It is not 100% of the population and it is a gift you should appreciate and treasure and celebrate. I also argue here... Apparently that is my mood today.. That writing a poem, or poetry is only one thing that can serve to identify a poet.. One small thing. Poets do far more than write and read poetry.. Poets elevate everyday life with the same magical, God given instincts in which they elevate and set apart life experiences with words.. I will give one example and then must start my working day... A non-poet's attention goes to communicating with standard text which can be easily, and accurately read. Poets invented fonts. -we pretty things up. That leads me, by the way, and quite unintentionally, but perhaps divinely, to tell you about my next poetry workshop: UNPRETTY UP A POEM, scheduled for Wednesday October 23 at the firehouse art center. We are going to reverse engineer some poetry... Consider and discuss the experiences that led to the poem.. And marvel at how the poets took a human mess...and prettied it up. Then we will do the same... -would love to see you there

BUT FIRST! By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Oh! There are so many stories! The tip stories, the day @ ricks picks stories.. But I can't write these on this I-pad. They must, like a poem, be spaced precisely so... I'll need to get to the library.. Where I can't really have any spicy almonds or a cold beer sitting next to the computer.. And there is no window close enough to stare out of.. That! Was my favorite writing environment: the duplex on Augustine. Write next to the window.. The table I assembled myself.. My oversized chair with the gorgeous cushions I could sit in with my legs crisscrossed. Snacks by my side... God that was a lovely stretch. So, I fantasize now.. Especially now that I've been gifted a keyboard that feels custom made for me... To have a writing station back.. A computer.. A window.. A table where I can have snacks.. No one else around: just me. A view. A computer. My chair. My keyboard. My stories... For this I pray, amen.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Explicable happiness by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Happens around this same time every year.. I find myself a couple extra layers of happy.. Smiling more.. And, same thing every year: I pause and think.. I'm rather inexplicably happy? What's bringing this on? And every year, same realization: "the Scottish festival! Everywhere I look, men in kilts!". And what I wouldn't give to have this view everyday. Kilts in fashion here in Pleasanton, in California.. Write now, everyday.. Goodbye! Shirts and ties and jeans... How can we make this happen? I feel so powerless in the fashion world. -speaking of powerless.. There is no one person I can call to get things changed around here.. But honestly, "IT IS 2013 PEOPLE!". We should no longer be teaching any part of history in isolation; only in patterns. Let us look, not at slavery of the blacks, for example, in isolation.. But rather people from all around the world who have been slaves, been oppressed, been beatin' down.. And the patterns that result in their eventual, ultimate,uprisings and incremental liberties.. Pick a nation, any nation, pick a group.. Blacks, Jews, Chinese, women, gays, ...study the pattern! Hint from my favorite poet/humanatarian: they are more alike than they are unalike... That's all for today, "thank you Jesus!". Amen.