The Balm

Because I am taking radiation, I have to rub a balm over my breast to protect the skin. If I don’t I increase the chances of the skin drying, getting a bit icky and rough. With the balm, it might happen anyway. But I do it to try to protect myself.

This morning, my psyche needs a balm and I have found it on my screened porch. It is 65 degrees, there is a mild breeze and the porch has not yet been spruced p for spring.

I just moved a brown Boston fern outside the door. Who knows, it might resurrect itself.

It might be dead. But I think that deep inside,down in the dirt, there might be a living root, a glimmer of hope of new growth. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Yesterday, when nerves were raw. A lot of hearts were broken and words flowed freely.

I chose to bake a giant, pizza-size chocolate chip cookie. My grandson wants one for his birthday tomorrow, and since rumor has it, I like to bake, his mother asked if I would like to give it a go.

Sure. My concern was the baking part … time and temperature.

It turned out fab. I learned the batter will spread … off of the cookie sheet and onto the oven floor, and smell like a burnt bakery, if you take the batter too close to the edge.

I took the batter too close to the edge.

Good thing that I practiced.

The cookie was delicious. I frosted it in a goofy way. I will practice piping today. But it was so good that I wanted to share it with the workers at radiation. So I sliced it like a pizza and put it on a nice cardboard cake-round, with doilies underneath. (I love doilies)

And off I went to let my Sunbeam do its magic.

Many of my thoughts, yesterday, were just about life. Measuring, thinking about my family, and flowers. The Burpee catalogue arrived the other day. It is time to dream and envision the garden.

I listened to the radio on my way to radiation. I listen to NPR, Rush Limbaugh, and others who are in-between. I like to know what many people say and think. I hear valid points in many forms. I also separate the wheat from the gluten. I think about agendas, if someone is trying to get a reaction, and bits of truth.

Discerning bits of truth is much harder these days. Just because people talk loudly, doesn’t mean what they are saying is more truthful.

I also read different opinions. I word the same way … putting what I read into a metal sifter, and seeing if it ends up mixing well with what I have learned, experienced or feel.

Oh, I have a photo I took this morning of one of my favorite gizmos. It is a lemon juicer and it is fantastic. I got it at the cooking store in Rookwood.

Back to business.

As usual, when I listened to the radio and a bit of tv talk, it became political. Fingers were pointed. I almost laughed. Something that has stuck with me through many, many years, is when I heard that when you point a finger at someone else, you have more fingers pointing back at you.

And then I saw the first photo of one of the victims of the shooting. Soon after, three more photos. I heard the coach who had placed himself in front of students, trying to protect them, had died.

They liked huge cookie at radiation.

An elderly black mad, with a hook hanging out his sleeve, came and sat a few seats away from me as I was waiting for my turn to get zapped.

I struck up a conversation about, what else … the weather. And we went a bit from there.

He was 84, and lived alone in his little house in York. It took him a long time to get that house, but he had done it.

My name was called soon, and that was the end of the conversation, but not the last I would think of that man.

That man and myself, and the radiologists, techs and assistants, were going about our lives. It didn’t escape my mind that there were parents of students in Florida, and loved ones of others, who were grieving and in the process of planning funerals.

I couldn’t help but think that so much of the talk I heard was cheap. It was rhetoric that has been spout over and over, with not much done because people don’t seem to agree on much of anything.

Writing what I did yesterday, was my way of coping. I process through writing. That is risky when you put your words out for public viewing, but I do. Some day, I won’t.

A couple of birds are singing. It is wonderful. One sounds mournful but the other is loud and clear. I wish I could see the bird but it is still dark.

Cars traffic and its sing-song noise are coming in loud and strong. People are going to work. School buses are picking up children. Teachers are readying their classrooms. It is another day in this country. Another day of rhetoric and agendas and bantering back and forth of people saying we must do this. We must do that. Yet, I think that deep down inside, most of us know that this problem rounds deep. These shootings, our fears, our reactions, are symptoms of many things that have gone array.

What I feel is that we, as a country, are going to have to decide who we want to be, what we want our country to stand for, and how we want to live.

What is important to us? What are we going to stand for? What changes are we, individually, willing to make, to benefit society?

Are we going to be at the mercy of politicians in Washington, or are we going to try to work this out in our communities and schools and churches?

I invite you to do something. You don’t have to share it, or you can. But think about how and why you think we have gotten to this point? Take into consideration that guns have always been around. I am not saying that is good or bad. That isn’t the point. But having said that guns have been around all of this time, what has changed in our country that has made people feel like that using guns to massacre people, is an acceptable option. (Acceptable to the shooter).

Something, many things, have triggered these events.

What has happened to the soul of our country? And what can be our healing balm?

We really must figure it out.

Susan

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