What is a schedule?

An opportunity to be a regular contributor to a online journal has struck my fancy.  When I saw the words:

To apply to be a columnist

I knew I had to.

A writer whose work I greatly admire has a new piece submitted everyday.  I asked her if she had a writing schedule, her answer was what I expected “I write almost everyday at no specific time”

“Stay eager and you can do it”

Do I need to discipline myself? Allot a certain time and set a timer?

I want to make this happen, I need to be out there.

What do I do?

reaching

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Presentation at Chestnut Ridge

Yesterday I spent the day speaking to sophomore students at my high school.  The presentation spent time with each sanctuary as well as my time in between and of course my time in Myanmar.

This was important for me to share.  So many years ago I sat in those classrooms and dreamed about writing and seeing the world.

Being able to share my experiences, especially to the youth where I come from was a hope I had from the beginning.

I spoke to seven classes and had mixed responses.  Some asked questions, while others I think were anxious to begin the Thanksgiving Break.

Two young girls did come up to me after class and we talked a bit about writing, they were both interested and were curious about what to do.

One even had her picture taken with me!

At the end of the presentation I explain that elephants are just one of my passions or obsessions if you want to call it that.

I kind of felt like I was standing on the soap box telling them “Go after your dreams, big or small”

This small town girl found her way.

 

Thoughts after asking

The new job is very different from anything I have ever done,  but my work with Free Mo Mo was the convincing factor to hiring me. 

I must say asking for help, writing petitions and such from the comfort of my computer is different than asking for monetary support for the issues in the country.

This job has definitely made me talk about subjects I may not know much about.

I’ve asked for support on issues I may not agree with,  but in response have talked to people who have perhaps have not spoken to anyone in days. 

A elderly woman whose husband had recently passed away told me interesting stories about her life, in between tears and asking what she would do now without him. 

Her hope was dwindling not only was her partner gone she now worried her son would put her in a home and take HER home away.

Beauty, struggle, pain and love are around us mixed together. 

I came home from that night crying for her and all who feel alone and hopeless.  They may not be able to see any light.

“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story”

Lights dimmed and drumming began, a quiet humm as the audience settled in.

I watched unable to look away,  at the women who carried with them the love, strength and relationships of the women of their family.

I wish I could relate… A hollowness has been in my heart, to see unconditional love and family traditions being passed down with such trust and understanding and feel alone.

Women had the strength of other women, the grandmas, aunties, sisters and mothers. I yearn for this everyday.

The search has not only began, I can remember the longing of having a mother-like person who I could talk to, learn from and would love me for me.

Great emptiness can bring such pain, in which I feel no one understands.

I have seen the coming together of women in villages, the laughter and sharing care of the children.  The bonds they have with each other is their strength.

While I was staying in a village in Thailand, each day as I would walk to meet with the others to see the elephants, I hoped to see my neighbor or the grandma who I was staying with.  Sometimes I did, and other times the roads were empty.

The men of the village were rarely seen, but the women would peek their heads out, curious about us, but unable to communicate.

Dinnertime was different and a woman would come and visit with us while we ate.  Eager to talk and with lots to say.

I too have lots to say, I just wish I knew the voices of the women of my past.

I seek out family, eager to connect and sad to be alone.

 

“A Thousand Voices”, focuses on women who carry forth the collective memory, traditions and beliefs of their ancestral families, clans and tribal communities. Each woman, though not speaking for her tribe, tells a story deeply rooted to her culture. . . and the “thousand voices” that precede her. The documentary brings us Native women who have chosen lifestyles carrying them into modern life and different arenas, from writing poetry about the ordinary lives of Native people to running a construction company that remodels traditional homes at a Pueblo. This eye-opening film shatters stereotypes …

Against all Odds 

I was getting ready to go to bed when a video popped up in my newsfeed.

Sidda, a wild elephant had been shot last month and stuck in water unable to move. 

The pain he endured whole fighting to stay alive is unthinkable. 

When he was finally rescued the future of this poor soul looked bleak. 

He laid down for hours at a time,  which is not good for elephants. Most of their time is spent standing and only laying down for short periods.

He also was not digesting food properly and not keeping enough water down as well. 

The future looked bleak and many talked of ending his suffering.

Tonight I received a video of him standing, not quite on his own yet.

He was also show in his huge spirit and butting the fence enclosure.

He is improving and fighting against all odds.

Against all circumstances and hope. 

Can we unite?

Last night I watched as history was made, the most bone chilling moment.  A despicable man being voted by this country as our next President.

I was stunned, disappointed and mad as Hell and still am.

I thought about the people I met while I was traveling in Asia and their reaction to me being an American.

Two years ago and now, the response is so vastly bewildered shocking, I was apologizing for the actions by my fellow Americans before the voting took place.

While I was volunteering at BEES Elephant Sanctuary, we spent some time helping to build steps for the new temple.  A monk came over to my group and asked where we were from, the two with me were from Scotland and I am from America.

He started to cheer “Obama Obama” and danced around in excitement. He had recently seen President Obama in Myanmar.  The energy this monk felt for not only our President but one I voted for and respected had me dancing around as well.

Then he purchased taro ice cream on hot dog buns and white bread for all of us.

That moment in Thailand was my happy place this morning, when I woke up and remembered that last night was not a bad dream.  We really our now at the mercy of someone who is unstable and the people around the world are questioning our sanity as a nation.

On my way to Myanmar, I sat next to a woman who had very much enjoyed the airport bar before our departure.  She was Europe and travels around the world frequently.  On the short flight, we enjoyed a Chang Beer together and talked about the craziness of the United States.  As we were getting off the plane, she grabbed my hand and said “Don’t let them let Trump win”.  I laughed it off.  I said there is no way he will win, with complete confidence and assurance in the people.

I was wrong.

 

Where is your voice?

Yesterday I traveled home to visit spend the day with my niece and leave pumpkins on the gravestones of my family.

As I was driving I looked at the numerous election signs in the yards, on the highways and outside the businesses.  A few I did not know, the one I saw the most though has been imbedded in my mind.

I wondered about the minority in not only the small town I grew up in but across America. What are their thoughts?

The assumption of rural America is the gun holding, conservative, religious stereotype.

There is more to the people than the pigeonholed scenario.

What about those who live in these towns for safety, the security of family but hold strong democratic and liberal views?

Are their voices heard, or lost in the angry shouts of the Republican elect supporters?

One highlight of my day was seeing a Clinton sign, and I happily honked the horn and felt proud.

Great changes are happening and I believe once the election is over the country will reunite and focus on what is important.

Being a nation, a country built on the hopes of dreams of those who came for a new life, a fresh start.  Where they could work, practice their beliefs and not be persecuted.

America is great, we must remember that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-glickman/dont-forget-about-rural-a_b_10377522.html

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