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I wrote the poem below, I don’t give permission to use this poem without contacting me first.  Hope you enjoy it.

Mary Shanti.

The mirror reveals the soul within

It is hazy water filled

In a dessert miraged heart

It is barren

Where wence it was full throttled cherry blossomed, apple cheeked rosy

The mirror reveals the soul within

Scorched embers

Still can see through the branches to a small piece

Not yet scorned

Tenderly aching but still filled with a sense of wonder

A leaf not torn

A branch unbroken, its leaves fall hoping to dance in the suns warmth

The mirror reveals the soul within

Whose lines tell stories like trees that have grown

There bark is brittled beauty

Born from moments that were swept up like wisps of air

The mirror reveals the soul within

Still standing

Still solemn

Still here.

Cherry Blossom

The following was written in memory of my best friend, the Cherry Blossom of my life. I miss you everyday.

 

Night and Day

The wind temperamental with turmoil

Misconceived emotion

Was my muse

Guided through days

Silence seeks sanctuary

In the grave of confusion that lies here

 

A tree masked

By sunlit singing birds

Whose elated tones speak

Only to those who long to hear them

The day comes

With its willowed raindrops

Weeping

Wistfully

At the strains of my lingering

Lost memories

 

Momentary scars of what was sunshine

Escapes my once laminate heart

Which I bundled in a pile

Like the stacks of wood for the fires burning

 

Cherry blossoms

Once bloomed here

Pink innocent petals

Fallen

Into ashes

That were a lake

Now just an allegory of this seemingly

Barren soul

Echo’s of what was

 

Night

Shadows

Unseen Eyes

Haunt the vision

That is blurred by the raindrops

Tiny silver smatterings

Falling slowly down the window pain

Aching to come in

Shut out from the glass that could break so easily

 

Madness meanders

Even when a howl has been hindered

Deafening ears

Plundered into deep darkness

 

Longing to understand

The whys and wherefores

Of the edged blade that sunk in through the moonlight

And tore open my sleepless heart

 

It once was here

It stood in the doorway

Asking me to come

With it bludgeoned edges

And promises of losing the pain

I turned down the invitation

 

She was the cherry blossom

That bloomed even in the night fall

Weak to its prey

She laid her head in its lap

And asked the shadow in the doorway

Took her tormented petals away

 

Leaving me with only fragments

Of a time that once was

-Mary Shanti

 

I don’t give permission for the poem to be copied or used without contacting me first.  Thank you.

A little box pops up on my Mac…Fathers Day is tomorrow.  I just stare at it.  Let it sit there for a minute.  There have been 14 Fathers Days that have come and gone since he passed away and each one is different.  The first one was very difficult and I had no idea that Fathers Day was even coming up and then I walked into a Rite Aid and there it was a huge sign, Fathers Day is Sunday June 20, 2004 with a huge display filled with cards and gifts. I stood there staring at it just like the little sign on my computer but with tears in my eyes and a twisting of my gut.  I whispered out loud, but I don’t have a daddy anymore and then remembering that the last time Fathers day was more than just a day to celebrate my dad, it was also the last day I saw my father alive.  Each Fathers Day after that is a remembrance of him and I going out to get lunch at a brewery in Irvine.  As a kid it was the day we made daddy breakfast in bed or gave him silly gifts but as an adult it was the day I took him to get him food and something related to beer.  This time he sat with a large tray of beer samplers.  I don’t drink beer, so they happily were all his.  He sipped and commented on the mix of odd hops from pumpkin beer to super dark brews.  He was happy as we sat and talked.  He had recently taken to letting my mom take the helm and work and him being the stay at home husband.  He would fix things, do laundry, watch a little tv and talk to me sometimes while I was on break from my working for a large corporation from 9 to 6.  I wasn’t immersed in my work, it was okay but I was bored and unchallenged by it.  I did like he money but hard to spend it when working 14 hours a day.   The company was noticing my lack of drive but I didn’t realize it until one day I was asked in a meeting, do you like your job.  I instinctively answered, of course, I love my job.   Knowing somewhere inside the real answer was, no I am not challenged enough and need to express some creativity soon or I will burst.   My boss nodded and said, well okay but I don’t think he was buying it either.  I think my father sensed it also, he would come and visit from time to time, everyone in the office loved him.  He had a huge child like smile and would brag about his youngest and how proud of her he was (that is me, if you didn’t get the reference yet).  I was so glad he was proud of me, I hadn’t always been the best daughter in the world but at least now I felt like I wasn’t letting him down or worrying him about my financial status.  I think parents always worry, even if just a little and a good parent like him, wants to help out even when I was financially taken care of.  When he would come to visit he would fix things, he even changed he handle on my refrigerator door so when I opened it and was standing at the stove, I could just reach in, grab what I needed and put it back.  He wanted to help his little girl and it was so sweet and I loved it but what helped me more than anything was our talks.  Was him opening up about his experiences, his childhood and those rare moments when he would talk about what it was like for him being my father.  Those are the conversations that stick with me, those are the things that on Fathers day I remember.  I only wish I had taken more video of him, recorded his voice more or written down every moment where we connected.  One in particular conversation stands out, the last one we had while sitting in that brewery.  We were both relaxed, and enjoying our food and I asked him what  being at home was like for him. He said he was enjoying it and then he told me the words that stuck with me, “I spent way to much time chasing money instead of my dreams”.  I knew in this was some regret, I knew he had wanted to do more sailing in his life, had wanted to teach but he seemed to be in a place of more calm than he had been in.  He seemed less stressed out.  I knew he was right and that life isn’t all about money but it is about memories and doing things that make us happy.  I also knew he was a good father and he worked jobs he may not always have loved because he wanted his wife and children to be taken care of and he was wiling to sacrifice some of his dreams to provide that for us. I had a great respect for him now and I saw him as wanting to be happy and at peace in his older years.  His children were grown and he didn’t have the same pressure.

Shortly before his death a month later, in a one on one meeting with my boss, I was asked the question again, do you like your job and I blurted out No I don’t.  He paused and looked at me and said, we knew this and were trying to figure out what to do.  It was discussed and we both agreed that I didn’t fit in at this job.  He said to me that I was like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole and it just didn’t work.  We decided I would stay for another month, giving me time to train someone new and look for another job.  Then my dad passed away and they graciously let me stay for another 2 months while I worked through emotions and looked for work.

Now 14 years later I have discovered so much about myself, that I love being creative, that I cherish times over things (though sometimes I do miss being able to just randomly buy a nice purse or a pretty new dress), that I can survive more than I thought I could and that I am happiest when being creative.  I think my dad would like my artwork, I think he would still say he is proud of his little girl.    I am not sure where my path with my artwork is leading me, but it is what makes me happy and I know he would want me to be happy.

I walk into a Rite Aid now and see all the Fathers day signs, cards and gifts and I smile at his memory, I know I still have a daddy, he may physically be gone but his heart, words and love are always with me.  Thank you daddy for all you gave me and still give me.

I scrolled and scrolled, and I was being reeled in like a fish who couldn’t resist the tie line.  It had me in it’s grip and with each new post about Trump, Bannon or Devos I tapped on the article and read it like a soap opera addict, I couldn’t wait for the new plot line to come out each day.  However, unlike a soap opera which isn’t real, what I was reading was and I became engrossed in it, scrolling to find more stories and replying with intensity and a sense of feeling I was doing my duty in trying to get others to see what was happening to this country…but was I? or was I just involving myself in heavy drama and having this be a focus to steer me away from the death of my best friend.  Whatever the reason being, I noticed that I was experiencing stomach pains and nausea while I would be engrossed in political conversations and that when I stopped writing and got out of Facebook, my stomach started to calm down. I was having Trump stress pains and it wasn’t good.  I decided this wasn’t worth my health, it wasn’t worth getting so upset that I wanted to kick something or reach through my computer and yell at certain people who refused to see the hatred, it was causing me to be angry, that which I was upset for seeing happen, was happening to me. I decided to pull away.  I wondered, what will it be like if I change my role here?  What if I just become a silent observer? Can I do this? Can I read a news story or a post about something that infuriates me and not give my opinion about it?  It was time to find out.  I also wanted to know in this world of “socialness” what would happen if I stopped being social.  Did the world need to read about my viewpoints or see my posts on my dating foibles or viewpoints, I wasn’t sure but thought it would make an interesting experiment to not say a thing.  The exception to this was I did allow myself to post in the classified sections of Facebook.  I sell things here and there and didn’t want to stop myself from being able to make a little money here and there.

 

The silent journey begins….

 

The first week was hard, I would read a post and immediately click on the comment button and start to furiously write but then I would stop, hit back space and take a deep breath.  I would remind myself that I didn’t’ have to give my 2 cents on everything out there.  I just became about scrolling and reading and taking it in.  It was hard though to not comment when people would post a picture or video of an event that they were participating in or a birthday they were having.  To those birthdays I haven’t written a Happy Birthday to , I apologize but I am sending you hugs and love.  I would still watch cute cat videos but this time not post them. I would still look at the posts that asked all sorts of questions but not answer them.  Three weeks in and it was a little bit easier.  I would still get notifications but now they were mainly for classified ads or groups I was a part of.  The content on my page also changed drastically, from showing friends videos to showing more stories from 22 words and the Los Angeles Times.  My ads even changed, for some reason Facebook thinks I am bulimic because I must have read a story on it…and no I am not bulimic or anorexic.   I noticed that my friends still thought I was online based on answers they put on the questionnaires the filled out.  You know those posts that ask you things like name 4 places you have been, name 4 of your nick names.  These almost always have a question at that bottom saying name someone you know will respond or repost this.  My friends, even a month and a half after I stopped posting, still put my name.  I didn’t respond or say anything but I was amused by it.  I felt like the girl who wasn’t invited to the party but everyone keeps acting like I was there.  Oh you remember when so and so did this at the party and it was so funny and my response being, no I don’t know I wasn’t there.  They give you that inquisitive look, no, no you were there, I remember.  You shake your head and say flatly, nope it wasn’t me and they aren’t sure what to say because they really thought you had been invited or had been there but you weren’t.  I did have one friend who wrote to me on messenger, about 2 ½ weeks after I had stopped writing. I almost always replied to her sweet posts about her children and wonderful mate and she wanted to make sure I was okay.  It was very touching to me and I wrote her back explaining what I was doing.  I did write to her on and off through out the 2 months.

Not being contacted or having most people notice I was gone made me  wonder about my presence as a person and how strong is it really?  Not very when it comes to social media.   It hurt to some degree but I just took it in and realized it was something I needed to work through and figure out.  How I do this I am not 100% sure of but I know I am open to growing and also open to connecting with people on a deeper level.

I do need to note that I have certain people on Facebook, such as Family and close friends that I talked to outside of the Facebook world.  It is interesting because none of them said anything to me about not posting or not seeing me not commenting on their feeds.  I wasn’t completely void of connection with people.

In the last few weeks of not posting on Facebook, I find myself wanting to comment on certain posts of people who are going through specific things. I have a friend who just had a baby, a beautiful boy. I am so incredibly happy for her and her husband. I love seeing the pictures even though I think she worries she will be one of those moms who is in overkill mode with the pictures, she is not and believe me with all the trauma going on in the world, seeing a sweet baby sleeping in his father’s arms is something I want to see more of.

I am ready to enter the world of Facebook again but this time realizing that it is just a website, not a home. It is social…yes but more in a acquaintance sort of way. I also realize that in life I don’t want to be a part of a lot of the surface stuff, the how’s the weather conversations or what is considered to be small talk but I also don’t want to be in a war all the time with the political turmoil that is all around us.  Peace within myself and my body is more important now. It is more important to connect with people who want to go somewhere and have coffee or who want to connect and see how each other are doing.  I step back into this wondering what is next with it….How do I use this social media to enhance my life?  Do I use it to report to those I know what I am doing, after all a lot of the people on Facebook that I am friends with don’t live in the same city or even state, some don’t’ even live in the same country so it is not like I can sit down and have  a coffee with them. One of the reasons I love Facebook is for just this reason. I can see the people (whom I used to hang out with when they lived in LA ), what they are up to, what their children are doing.

The world we live in now has connection through online means.  It is a vessel but it is not the complete ship, I have realized that I need more, more people to laugh with, more people to sit across a table and see their smile light up or be in a movie theatre eating popcorn together and bonding over our love for the Jedi’s.  This is a connection that isn’t the same through a screen, it can’t hug me or bring me food when a friend has died and these are the connections I seek.  I love Facebook for the people, for the funny cat videos, for the inspiring stories and for seeing people whom I love dearly and miss across the miles but it is time, time for me to be in a non virtual world so that I can one day post about me and my friends being at a dinner table and laughing and connecting, instead of scrolling though my feed and seeing others do this and wishing it was me.

In Between

I rarely just post my thoughts or observations on here but I am going to attempt to.  Here goes:

I realized to day that I am in an in between place in society.  That is to say I don’t have a group that quite fits.  I am in my late 40’s and most people my age are married with kids, living in a house that they own or rent. How can I relate to these people at a dinner table….(conversation), Oh we took out a second mortgage on the house today so we can start paying for Michael juniors college.  We are hoping he gets into UCLA.  ….hmmm, well what do I say to this?  I am going to community college let me talk to your son.  That is the other aspect of my life that is different.  I am surrounded by young students in their late teens and early twenties.  They are just starting out in their life, they grew up in the 90’s the years of grunge and teletubbies, and I grew up with The Jetsons and bell bottoms.  They like to play beer pong when they have a party, in my day we did shots (usually tequila) but those days are long gone.  I laugh when they tell me they are old and they just turned 21.  What the heck does that make me, old geiser.  I suppose in some of their eyes I am.  At times I feel that way too.  I have fun when around them, most of the time but can’t really relate to some of the antics and the laid back attitudes.  In my younger years we went dancing on Friday and often Saturday nights but they like to hang out, play beer pong or drink beers.

Here I am, not sure where to go or how to find a group of people that fit.  I don’t own a car so it isn’t always easy to go to things at night, it can be scary coming home at 12:30 in Los Angeles.  A lot of my friends have moved or are very busy with families of their own.  I find myself having less and less people to do stuff with on the weekends.

I suppose I need to join groups on meetup.com or something similar to that.  I have gone to a few events with them and they keep me busy but yet to connect with anyone.

In between, middle aged with a child like heart but an adult mind, both in spirit.

The Most Addictive Sites

          surf the  world wide web-www-http Stock Photo - 3541755

Bored on a Monday?  Going to the web and checking all the usual stuff, Email, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter but wondering what else might be out there?  More, I need more, give me more.  This was my plight and I found this side that helped me out a little, maybe not a complete earth shaker but took up some time and I found some great places to go to have some fun and be entertained (isn’t that one of the biggest reasons for the web?)  This is the link, hope you enjoy.

http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/weirdwebculture/tp/The-Most-Addictive-Websites-of-2012.htm

M*A*S*H* celebrates 40 years

Ever since I was a little I loved M*A*S*H*.  I didn’t fully understand it as a young girl in the 70’s,  I loved watching Hawkeye, BJ and Frank and their antics.  I couldn’t decide who I had a crush on more Hawkeye or BJ.  They were both delightful in their own ways.

As I got older and continued to watch I grasped the show and what it mean’t to me.  The show connects to life.  To its sorrows, joys and craziness, which we  get through with laughter and pain.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of what is my favorite show.

Here is an article from Examiner.com about TVLand which celebrated the anniversary on the original airdate, September 17th.

TV Land to celebrate 40th anniversary of ‘MASH’ with marathon, reunions, trivia

TV Land is set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of "M*A*S*H."
TV Land is set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “M*A*S*H.”
Credits:
TV Land/CBS

On August 31, executives from TV Land revealed details about the network’s plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the TV classic “M*A*S*H.” The month-long celebration will include a 10-hour marathon on Labor Day and re-broadcasts of the 20th and 30th reunion specials. Plus, the network will add in some “M*A*S*H” trivia on its website and Facebook pages. It all adds up to a great September for longtime “M*A*S*H” fans.

The celebration kicks off on Sunday, September 2 with the airing of “M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion” and a day-long marathon on Labor Day, Monday, September 3 from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. ET/PT on TV Land. The 20th reunion special, “Memories of M*A*S*H” is set to air on Sunday, September 9. The “M*A*S*H” pilot and 3-hour series finale will air on Sunday, September 16. Throughout the month of September, episodes of “M*A*S*H” will air on weekdays.

“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was the 251st and final episode of “M*A*S*H.” It first aired on February 28, 1983 and was the most watched television broadcast in American history from 1983-2010. An astonishing audience of 125 million tuned in for the final farewell. It was finally passed in total viewership by Super Bowl XLIV, but not in ratings or share.

Based on the 1970 Robert Altman film of the same name, “M*A*S*H” revolved around life at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, where wounded and sick soldiers were treated. The show centered around…

  • Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda) and Dr. “Trapper” John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers), two brilliant surgeons often preoccupied with attractive nurses, practical jokes and merry-making, all while disregarding military decorum.
  • Dr. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and Lt. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit), whose secret love affair was no secret.
  • Lt. Colonel Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson), the camp commander who gave “Hawkeye” and “Trapper” free reign, further irritating Burns and “Hot Lips.”
  • Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff), Lt. Blake’s lovable assistant.
  • Corporal Max Klinger (Jamie Farr), a doctor’s aide in the operating room who wore women’s clothing in hopes of being discharged.
  • Father Francis Mulcahy (William Christopher), who ran an orphanage and served as the unit’s chaplain.

“M*A*S*H” ran for eleven seasons from 1972-1983. The series won a total of 14 Emmy Awards, plus seven Golden Globe Awards, seven Directors Guild of America Awards, a Peabody Award, and two Humanitas Prize Awards.

Fun trivia about “M*A*S*H”:

To get set for the 40th anniversary, here is a bit of trivia about the iconic series, from IMDB.

  • By the time the series ended, three of the regulars were promoted: Klinger (Jamie Farr) from Corporal to Sergeant, and Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) from Lieutenant to Captain. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel when he was shipped back to the US following Margaret’s marriage.
  • Radar’s teddy bear, once housed at the Smithsonian, was sold at auction July 29, 2005, for $11,800. (It was originally found on the Fox Ranch, where the series was filmed, and became part of the show.)
  • Tom Skerritt was approached to reprise his role as Duke Forrest on the series but he declined, because he felt a TV version of the movie would be unsuccessful.
  • Harry Morgan, who played Col. Potter, had an earlier guest appearance as a crazy General named Steele.
  • Jamie Farr and Alan Alda were the only two cast members to have actually served in the US Army in Korea. Both of them did their tours of duty after the 1953 ceasefire.
  • “M*A*S*H” stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.
  • Gary Burghoff’s left hand was slightly deformed, and he took great pains to hide or de-emphasize it during filming. He did this by always holding something (like a clipboard), or keeping that hand in his pocket.
  • All of the replacement characters (BJ, Col. Potter, and Charles) lasted longer then the characters they replaced (Trapper, Henry, and Frank).
  • Alan Alda had a running guest appearance on the TV show ER in which he played Dr. Gabriel Lawrence, who reminisced about being a doctor in a war.
  • Klinger’s attempts to be thrown out of the Army by wearing women’s clothing were inspired by Lenny Bruce, who received a dishonorable discharge from the Navy by dressing as a WAVE.
  • The ubiquitous helicopters were military versions of the Bell 47. In the real Korean War, the OH-13s evacuated 80% of American casualties.
  • Much like their onscreen counterparts, the cast bonded and became a “family” on the set, in response to the relative remoteness of the Fox Ranch and the cold weather when filming began.
  • Klinger was only going to appear in one episode. However, he proved so popular that he became a regular.
  • Both Major Margaret Houlihan and Cpl. Max Klinger were married (Margaret in person, Klinger over the phone) and divorced during their service at the 4077th. They shared the same wedding dress.
  • On Sesame Street, Big Bird’s teddy bear is named Radar. This is in homage to Radar O’Reilly’s teddy bear.
  • Alan Alda was the only actor to appear in every episode.
  • Dr. Michael DeBakey, the physician largely credited with the creation of M*A*S*H units for the U.S. Army, died in July 2008. He was two months shy of turning 100 years old.