Life is Fragile


While remnants of Hurricane Irma bring a rainy and windy day to South Carolina. I think back to 2001. That year on this date my 92 year old grandfather had successful surgery to remove a sub dermal hematoma (blood cot) from his brain. While sitting in his hospital room my hubby & I watched in horror the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, & potentially the White House.
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I also thought about one of my oldest friendships and it being my sister-friend’s birthday. Her special day was forever changed. This happens when hideous things occur on any special day but September 11, 2001 was not a normal day.
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Also on that day was my mom’s last day working at O’Hare airport. She left work and stopped at my grandmother’s to take a nap as usual. She awoke to a world changed. Her former co-workers wouldn’t return back to work for weeks and then it was a whole different world.
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Life can change in an instant. It can be by the hands of humans or by natural disasters. Today I think of the number of hurricanes and earthquakes and think some of it is due to human’s arrogance. We all need to respect the planet because she is speaking loudly & boldly. May all who read this remember to hug & tell someone you love them today. Tomorrow is never promised.
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An Accidental Day


I’m somewhat of a planner not every day but most days.  I don’t have a set in stone daily routine or plans but a general outline in my head of my day.  My days are pretty consistent there is my morning routine, work routine, and evening routine.  Then I sleep and repeat just as most people.  Some days during the week there is a switch up.

Sunday was one of those days that I had planned out.  Regular morning worship, then stopping for a cool cup of Italian ice, then stop to see an art exhibit at my local art museum, then buy something for a pot luck poetry workshop.  Morning worship received a completed check mark and so did buying Italian ice.

I entered the Columbia Museum of Art to view the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit by Tyrone Geter.  I wove through the Salvador Dali exhibit titled “Fantastical Fairy Tales”, which I had seen but was packed since yesterday was the exhibits last day.  Entering the gallery space that contained Mr. Geter’s work, I was drawn to one particular piece titled “Homeless in the Promised Land.”  I was mostly pulled in by the message which was derived from Trump’s “Make America Great Again” theme.  The figures depicted did not appear to be doing well and it showed an America that has always existed with poor and homeless regardless of race.

Homeless in the Promised Land

“Homeless in the Promised Land” by Tyrone Geter, 2016

“Homeless in the Promised Land” is a multi-media and multi-layered piece of art.  Complex in messaging and depicting magnetic figures.  A Trump supporter, a homeless woman, and a homeless man.  There is a collage inspired 3-D effect of a blanket with a unique pattern.  Hidden in the piece is messaging that makes it clear Trump’s political rhetoric does not address the simple truth of those depicted.  Food, clothing and shelter are their most urgent need.

Stepping away from the piece, I was told by the security guard the artist was in the building.  The best part was he would be giving a gallery talk at 2pm.  I immediately was conflicted because I had a poetry workshop at 2pm.  However, how often do you get to hear a shy artist speak about his work?  I quickly updated the Facebook event for the poetry workshop to “can’t attend” along with a quick status comment.

Trying to confirm where the talk would occur, I went to the information desk to ask.  To my surprise standing next to the desk was Mr. Geter, the artist himself.  A kind elderly gentleman who had just learned he was speaking.  While standing and chatting with Mr. Geter, a museum employee approached responsible for a renovation space tour for visitors from another museum.  The best part was I was invited to tag along.  There definitely are perks to being a dedicated museum member and volunteer.

Tyrone Geter, Artist of "Enduring Spirit"

Tyrone Geter, Artist of “Enduring Spirit” Exhibition

Both the tour and gallery talk did not disappoint.  Along with members from the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC I heard about detail of upcoming renovations and expansion of gallery spaces.  The cherry on top was the gallery talk by Mr. Geter in front of his artwork.  Learning of his history and the determination of his mother who only had a 3rd grade education was inspiring.  However, above all was to hear the various muses and motivations behind his artwork.

"My Beauty is Not My Beast" by Tyrone Geter, 2016

“My Beauty is Not My Beast” by Tyrone Geter, 2016

 

Mr. Geter indicated the ultimate goal was to emotionally move those who view his work and tell a story.  His goal is definitely met with the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit.  The exhibit will be at the Columbia Museum of Art until June 11th.  The CMA is a winner of the 2016 National Medal for Institute of Museum & Library Service.  Thought provoking and current as well as historical art collections is one reason for visiting the award winning museum.  Even with renovations in the permanent galleries there is still plenty to see.  The National Medal was awarded to the CMA, primarily for its impact to the surrounding community and it does that with outreach to various youth orientated programming.

I know if you visit the Columbia Museum of Art and check out the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit you’ll love them as much as I do.  And you just may have a great accidental day as well.

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My Spiritual Journey


Yesterday, was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season for Christians worldwide.  Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran and various other denominations have a service where priest or pastors impose ashes in a form of a cross on parishioner’s foreheads.  The imposition of ashes mean many things but personally to me it is a reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Just in December Christians celebrated the birth of Christ.  And each year depending upon when Easter Sunday is determined we begin the celebration of Lent as early as February.  Quite simply Easter Sunday is determined to be the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox.  Yes, I know it had me scratching my head too!

img_8905For me the holiest of times is Easter because it is the reason for which Jesus Christ was born.  That is correct he was born to ultimately die for our sins.  I know it is heady stuff but it is the foundation of the Christian faith.  After a three-year spiritual journey, I chose to convert to Lutheranism and joined a Lutheran church last October.  This was after much soul searching and attending various churches with my husband, friends and solo.  Ultimately what lead me to the Lutheran faith was their doctrine which follows my beliefs.

I will not get into the details but I will say that each of us had to have our own faith walk.  I know many people of varying faiths.  Those who are even atheists and agnostics.  I know people of Muslim faith, my husband is Catholic and yes I am Protestant and have always been.  I know Methodist and even Buddhist.  Part of what lead me to Lutheran faith is it embraces those who believe otherwise and does not choose to condemn.

Looping back to the point of this post, I feel most serene and focused during the Lenten Season.  It is a time to reflect on the sacrifice that was made for us by Jesus Christ.  I am not a theologian and will not get into a discussion of various faiths and their validity.  I will say for me personally repenting by sacrificing something or like my husband collecting change to give to a charity cleanses our spirit.

In addition to the closeness I feel to God.  I also reflect on the life of my late mother.  She also enjoyed this time of year.  My mom made angel wings for her church’s Easter program and they are still being used some six years later.  When I was a child we enjoyed dying eggs in all fun swirling colors.  And I always received a fun Easter basket. Shopping for a new dress and shiny shoes was an adventure.  My mom died a few days prior to Palm Sunday and I chose to have her funeral service on Good Friday of that year.  It seemed only fitting for a woman who was humble and a servant of God.

Finally, I am looking forward to see where this year’s Lenten journey leads me. I have decided that the book “The Purpose Driven Life” is not something I need to read.  For the last few years I have tried reading, thinking that I would get a big reveal of what my life should be.  But I realize that listening to God and following the direction he pushes me toward, I am living my purpose.  Though I have found a new church home my spiritual journey continues and will do so until my final breath.

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Simple Savings Plan


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One of the top three New Year resolutions is to save more money.  Here is a quick and simple way to save well over $1,000 during the year.  You won’t believe how easy it will be just start with $1.00.  Yes, that is correct $1.00 during this the first week of 2017, then next week save an additional $2.00 then the third week add $3.00.  Below is the breakdown and summary of what you will save over a years’ time.

Now get to saving!

Week

Deposit By

Amount Deposited

Total for Year

1 1/6/17 $1.00 $1.00
2 1/13/17 $2.00 $3.00
3 1/20/17 $3.00 $6.00
4 1/27/17 $4.00 $10.00
5 2/3/17 $5.00 $15.00
6 2/10/17 $6.00 $21.00
7 2/17/17 $7.00 $28.00
8 2/24/17 $8.00 $36.00
9 3/3/17 $9.00 $45.00
10 3/10/17 $10.00 $55.00
11 3/17/17 $11.00 $66.00
12 3/24/17 $12.00 $78.00
13 3/31/17 $13.00 $91.00
14 4/7/17 $14.00 $105.00
15 4/14/17 $15.00 $120.00
16 4/21/17 $16.00 $136.00
17 4/28/17 $17.00 $153.00
18 5/5/17 $18.00 $171.00
19 5/12/17 $19.00 $190.00
20 5/19/17 $20.00 $210.00
21 5/26/17 $21.00 $231.00
22 6/2/17 $22.00 $253.00
23 6/9/17 $23.00 $276.00
24 6/16/17 $24.00 $300.00
25 6/23/17 $25.00 $325.00
26 6/30/17 $26.00 $351.00
27 7/7/17 $27.00 $378.00
28 7/14/17 $28.00 $406.00
29 7/21/17 $29.00 $435.00
30 7/28/17 $30.00 $465.00
31 8/4/17 $31.00 $496.00
32 8/11/17 $32.00 $528.00
33 8/18/17 $33.00 $561.00
34 8/25/17 $34.00 $595.00
35 9/1/17 $35.00 $630.00
36 9/8/17 $36.00 $666.00
37 9/15/17 $37.00 $703.00
38 9/22/17 $38.00 $741.00
39 9/29/17 $39.00 $780.00
40 10/6/17 $40.00 $820.00
41 10/13/17 $41.00 $861.00
42 10/20/17 $42.00 $903.00
43 10/27/17 $43.00 $946.00
44 11/3/17 $44.00 $990.00
45 11/10/17 $45.00 $1,035.00
46 11/17/17 $46.00 $1,081.00
47 11/24/17 $47.00 $1,128.00
48 12/1/17 $48.00 $1,176.00
49 12/8/17 $49.00 $1,225.00
50 12/15/17 $50.00 $1,275.00
51 12/22/17 $51.00 $1,326.00
52 12/29/17 $52.00 $1,378.00

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Hello!


I had a very long well thought out post. It was written after the results from the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. I sat on posting it and now it seems well not the time. There are various rants and frustrations that I still have about the thought of an incompetent individual running this nation. However, I will not allow fear or frustration dictate the coming years. I could go on and on but I won’t.

What I will say is that on January 1st a post will recap my personal highlights for the year. 2016 has had many interesting outcomes. Let the personal moments in your life determine how the year went. With that said I will say I wish all those who follow PaisleyPerspective a Merry Christmas and a positive & prosperous New Year.

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In The News


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This weekend my intent was to focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Within the christian community this is the holiest of holidays. It is the time when the promise of Jesus saving the world through his crucifixion, death and then resurrection is celebrated. However, my attention has been distracted.

Bombings in Brussels have taken me to a place of wondering why are people so intolerant? Do those doing this devastation honestly believe this is the best and only way to get their message heard? There has to be a better way to speak your mind and your agenda then the death of others. This goes across vast areas (organizations & governments) and is to deep to delve into now.

Yesterday my concentration was broken regarding the recent terrorists attacks and celebrating Christ’s resurrection. I received a post on my Facebook page that had a link to an article about the support Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is receiving from Black women. The article was interesting but most interesting was the fact my face is in the photo used with the Associated Press (AP) news story. In the photo it is a friend, myself and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about to take a selfie of us.

Today, I learned that the same photograph and story is also in my local statewide newspaper. I am sure it is also in other newspapers or other sites that run AP news stories. I am mostly annoyed by this photo not because I disagree with the story content. My annoyance is because I did not give permission for my image to be used and hence wonder why this photo was published. However, I then realize there are photos of celebrities (I am not one) taken without permission and used every day in much less flattering ways.

I am going to voice my discontent with the use of my image via a letter to the editor of The State Newspaper. However, I know that my rant will probably be for naught, since as stated if you are present during a significant news moment your image may be captured and used. I have learned from this experience to be wary of the person with the super lensed camera.

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Voting Matters


I am the product of generations of activists. African American along with Native American ancestors who consistently fought for their civic, civil, and human rights. It is in my blood to be active and present in my own existence. I first became aware of the political process in the third grade, while attending William H. Brown Elementary School in Chicago. A huge red voting machine was brought to my school. Levers and buttons were used to vote for the candidates of your choice. The machine was intimidating but it helped me to understand that my civic duty of voting might not be easy.

20140610-105237-39157510.jpgMy next experience with politics occurred the summer I turned 10 years old. I learned about a candidate for President of the United States that hailed from the state of Georgia. James (Jimmy) Carter seemed to just be a peanut farmer but digging deeper he was a man with clear political goals. A former State Senator and Governor the political arena was very familiar to him. I did not know much of about Jimmy Carter when I was a child but his daughter was my age and my parents liked him. So I decided that he was the candidate, I wanted to win.

I was a freshman in college during the historic 1984 Presidential Election. Where on the Democratic ticket the first female Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro was alongside Walter Mondale. Sadly they lost terribly to Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush but I was still proud to have cast my first vote. I knew at that point that I would always vote for the persons I thought best to hold the office.

As I stated earlier voting is not easy. It takes effort not merely at the polling place but before you enter the building to vote. Some things that are a must prior to reaching Election Day is to ensure that you are registered to vote. In some states there are voter identification laws that require approved identification to be presented upon voting. In many states this Saturday, October 4th will be the last day to register before the Tuesday, November 4th elections.

Many people do not think their vote matters but it does. It not only matters, it is your civic duty. Elected officials write legislation and regulations that impact you every day. From teacher salaries to whether Medicaid is accepted in your state to other impacts to your community, the individuals who win elections have your life and future in their hands. Voting is a right that other nations are fighting to obtain. Finally if you fall into the category of minority or are a female this right came with a struggle, fight and bloodshed. Don’t take your right for granted; remember your vote is your voice, don’t remain silent.

First published on PaisleyPerspective.com on October 1, 2014

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