Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

It never leaves, the sweat of fear.
I was lying on my bfack in the old truck, around me are my cousins and brothers. It is something we did at the country. We would count shooting stars while the house was closed and before we set off for Detroit forty miles, door to door.

But that night, my aunt and uncle had shooed us out early. They were solemn, more than usual. It seemed exceptionally quiet and we whispered the star count, making corrections if someone cheated. I always held my breath as a trail streaked the night sky.

Only the little radio in the kitchen cranked out scratchy sounds. While i could not understand it, there was a feeling. Doom. Mystery. Sadness. Fear.

I was familiar with this strageness. It starts with excluding the children, especially me. And was followed by hushed words.

What I learned later was there were reasons to worry. It was the event starting World War Ii. As a child, you learn the moods of adults around you. There are the worst times when you are virtually invisible. Like when someone is very sick or dies. You get your inside tied up inside, you stop breathing and you pull your shadow up into a small ball, hoping no one sees you.

The next time I remember there was a war brewing, raging, was Sunday, December 7, 1941. Living, attending high school in NYC, I had my own uncertainties. I stuggled to feel secure. Orphans and others who have shifting home lives, will understand the feelings.

We were spending a usual quite Sunday. After a large breakfast, my aunt rested while my uncle listened to opera on the radio. It was the kind they don’t sell any more. A floor model with both RCA radio and record player. The music had a soothing tone. My desk, and proof of study was the secretary with a drop down desk. You did have to remember to pull out the top drawer. Otherwise there would be no support to write on. Between me and the radio was the always present stack of NY Times papers and my uncle sitting, smoking his pipe.

Into such a tranquil scene, what could be so important as “we interupt this proggram…” Now we are so used
Lto Breaking News that we hardly notice. But then, to hear that America was being attacked by air in a place called …Hawaii. What could this mean for me, barely 15? I was distributing the Times at school. I decided immediately, i would save the issues to tell the story.

In time, the war either had to end or I would need a warehouse for storage. Instead we saved silver foil, used ration coupons for goods from sugar to shoes, and wrote letters until the boys came back men.

It is a time of fear again. So many fears of increasing unrest. The sweat of fear reminds me of times to become small.

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by B. W. Harwell

Dr. Howard Thurman

Image via Wikipedia

This painting was inspired by the preaching of Rev. Howard Thurman. His theme was often these words:

I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw the man who had no feet.

He was a very eloquent speaker and was available to youth groups, such as the college YM-YW conferences.

Some words stay with you and guide your thinking about life.

Who knew?

This painting, part of a group of works, was donated to a public housing community center in Nashville, TN. Other artists painted murals and provided a variety of their crafts when this building was restored. Local children and staff created tiles for the foyer.

Obelisk in front of King Chapel dedicated to H...

Image via Wikipedia

Howard Thurman's Great Hope book

Image by Fellowship of Reconciliation via Flickr

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Sad event

On September 20th, I posted about sharing birthdays with one of my two brothers. We were four years and one day apart. The helicopter accident in New York City brought back the trip I took to share my 65th birthday with him.

Many may remember the October Surprise and waking up to the stock market plummeting. It was an overcast, slightly drizzly morning. My brother, a retired educator and administrator, and I were feeling privileged with the joys in our lives. He was the Chair of the Fire Department Board and very loved by those serving as firefighters. He had planned to take me on the fireboat as exercizes were scheduled routinely.

While we waited for the weather to clear, I was introduced to several of these men in spic and span uniforms. Finally we were told the boat would not be able to go out, but we could go in their helicopter. The helipad was on the roof of one of the tallest buildings. Just looking at the edge we would fly over was exciting. With a polite boost, I was seated for an amazing experience.

And so I am sad for the death and injuries on what could have been a spectacular experience. We usually see only the narrow space around us and fail to see the horizon of our lives.

Photo from plane

"Expanding Horizons"

Who knew?
“We are chosen to bring good into the world.”
Yoruba saying recorded in one journal

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