Category Archives: Spirituality

Me & my Songbrain

I have what can only be described as a “songbrain”. How it works:  a certain word or phrase will be used in my presence, or a mood will strike me and a song starts up between my ears. It’s like a have some kind of jukebox that clicks on just the right song to match what’s going on with me emotionally in the moment. I don’t have to will the song to play, it just does. 

Now, readers who are familiar with my blog surely understand my deep and abiding love for music. I have been known to wax nostalgic about music from my growing up years  like I did here: Song Stories

I’ve also shared my love of making Google playlists for myself, like I did here: Music Therapy

Suffice it to say:

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Bottom line

 

This is the song that runs through my head on days when my 50 year old body is crack ‘a lacking and I forget what I came down to the kitchen pantry to get. Today, truth be told, is kinda one of those days. Thank the good lord I have a massage scheduled later.

 

This is the song in my head when I’m feeling sassy, playful, and I’m having a particularly good hair day.

This is the song Hubs and I could very much relate to when our spawn were, at 14 months apart, in the throes of those oh so fun teenage years. It allowed us to daydream for a bit. Thanks, Fastball.

This is a song I recently discovered while listening to The Current, a MPR station out of the twin cities, which has a show on Sunday mornings entitled “United States of Americana”. This is a song that really makes me think and feel. Now when I am reading or watching news reports about young black youth being harassed, beaten, or killed (as in the case of Trayvon Martin in Florida), I hear this song in my head. “With a pocketful of Skittles”. That line, to me, is the essence of the entire song. He was just a kid.

“My Sweet Lord” by the late, great George Harrison is so beautiful to me. It comes to mind for me when I’m feeling present, aware, and grateful for all of the blessings I have in this life of mine. It’s both comforting and worshipful to me.

Blessings for Bobby

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I would like to present to you the reasons for good lord that we as Americans need to offer blessings for Bobby Mueller.

I do realize his name is Robert. However, I recently saw Tim Weiner (pronounced “whiner” not “wheener” like this dude below) on Rachel Maddow’s show refer to Mr. Mueller as Bobby, so I’m going with that. It seems more relatable to me to refer to this potential American hero using this likeable nickname.

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Mr. Weiner is a former New York Times reporter, author, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. I think it’s fair to go with the assumption he knows Bobby on a personal level.

I write this post as a relatively well informed (politically) American, whose faith, often informed by my chosen religious denomination of the United Church of Christ, can’t help itself from co-mingling with my politics. Yes, my faith and my politics are colliding.

Not like the way a baseball bat collides with that dumb pinata from your kids birthday party that simply will not break open and supply you with all the sugar needed to line the pockets of your neighborhood dentist for eons. More like this:

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I am not telling you to pray to God. Or Yahweh, El, Allah, Dude, or any of the other monikers your religion dictates they be called.  But if any of those are your jam, by all means go for it.

I am by no means even directing you to pray. I believe atheists are good people too.

I am encouraging you to send this man positive energy, as you personally see fit. It might be in the form of meditating on a positive message for him along Boulder Creek on a cloudless August morn. It might be in the form of baking cookies that you deliver to him in person (I am going to be in D.C. soon). It might be making a giant, lit up, lawn sign that says “Find the Truth Bobby”. Whatever floats your boat.

My point is, this man needs all the good juju we can collectively send his way.

Fact is, he’s got a long, hard road ahead of him in his search for the truth. And regardless of where your political alliances reside, all of us as Americans will benefit from the full truth being brought to life.

So here’s my go at a prayer for Bobby:

Dear Infinite Spirit,

Are you there,  Creator? It’s me, Real Rhonda. No, this is not going to be me lamenting about my impending menopause.  As you are aware, I am fully ensconced in AARP land here in Colorado with my Hubs. And I believe in you.

As you undoubtedly are aware, the United States is in turmoil. The man narcissistic bully con-man serving as POTUS has turned everything upside down. He has recklessly pitted Americans against each other with his non-inclusive rhetoric and agenda. He appears hell-bent on taking this great country of ours down in flames. Most importantly, it appears he, along with his cadre of reprehensibles, have not only worked in cahoots with the Russian government to obtain the power they now enjoy, they are also likely benefitting financially from their evil endeavors.

Bobby Mueller needs your guidance, your strength, and your grace.

Please provide him these tools so that America can survive this assault on our democracy and begin to thrive again.

Please be present for him as he hires staff to help him with this investigation.

Please be present for him as he prepares the questions to be asked of those he subpoenas.

Please provide him with the physical, mental, and spiritual energy he will need for however long it takes for him to find the whole truth and present it to the American people.

Please provide him with the fortitude to successfully prosecute all of the individuals who are found to have broken the law.

Please, God, bless America.

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Can I get an amen?

5 Things Learned Along The Way

Hey all! I’m baaaack! Yipee!

Our big road trip visiting family and friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin came to a close when we landed home last Monday evening. The trip had it’s share of ups and downs. The downs are why I have not posted anything on this blog since our return. I, for lack of a better term, needed a “vacation from my vacation”. I realize that is utterly a “first world problem” but given my emotional/mental state after this two week journey, it is 100% true. I assure you, however, that there were more ups than downs.

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Surely this was the biggest and bestest “up” of our vacay!

It is so absolutely flipping awesome to be back home again in my happy bubble in Colorado. Back to our own comfy cozy bed. Back to my wonderful microwave that pops my popcorn to perfection with one small tap on the “popcorn” button. Back to counting bunnies on my (mostly) daily strolls around our neighborhood. Back to my weekly volunteer gig at our local food bank, where I have the pleasure of directly helping those in need while not being responsible for navigating the day to day trials and tribulations of my clients’ lives (as I did as a social worker in Wisconsin for years). Best of all, I’m back to blogging.

Time spent in the car traveling through Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin provided me with ample opportunity to do some personal pondering. I took stock of the varied life experiences I’ve had and how they have informed who I am in the here and now.  That said, here is a by no means comprehensive list of lessons learned during my life as a girl and a woman. These lessons, in small and sometimes big ways, led me to become the 50 year old creative writer/optimist/politically aware and engaged/spiritual/feminist/truth-telling broad/hot mess I am now.

First lesson learned: There are truly good guys out there-you just have to be patient. And I deserve respect, dammit!

Moment: I was the girl in college who, thank-the-good-lord, chose to not stay with and/or marry the boyfriend who referred to my breasts as “clangers” (as in “hey honey, your clangers are looking fine today”). I shit you not. I met Hubs in the nick of time.

Second lesson learned: It’s okay to look like a fool. And you feel better about yourself if you resist the impulse to run away, crying in shame. And it’s okay that you just gave your fellow Zumba pals a funny story to tell over margaritas later. 

Spoiler Alert: I may have learned this lesson from a goofy lady who annoyed Bob Barker.

Moment: I was the woman who at 40-something  decided on a lark to join a Zumba class. Probably 2 classes in, I tripped over my own feet while attempting to keep up with a fast paced number, landing ever so gracefully on the floor with a thud. Shortly thereafter, I popped back up to continue the dancing festivities. I think this was the moment I decided to stop caring if I looked like an idiot in public. I imagine I may have looked a little like this:

 

Third lesson learned: God is among us.

Moment: I was the UCC’er (United Church of Christ) who experienced the most spiritual moment of my life when, at Hub’s and my one and only year of attending Lay Academy, our group was re-baptized under a sunny blue October sky in Wisconsin while singing the hymn “Here I am Lord”. The connectedness to the spirit and humanity in that place was palpable. Growing up, and as a young adult, I could not have imagined myself in this scenario.

Third lesson learned: You can survive the ultimate embarrassment of your mother doing this:

 

As a pimple faced, awkward 14 year old with a bad perm,  I miraculously survived this epic mortification. Even in spite of the knowledge that all of my high school classmates got to watch it when it aired during the school day (it was a moment of civic pride for our small Minnesota town), I managed to keep my head held (somewhat) high.   Thankfully I got to stay home with my family for a private viewing. I am ever so grateful my mother’s 15 minutes of fame happened in ye olden times before the advent of social media.

Fourth lesson learned: At the core of true friendship is kindness. 

Moment: I was the 13 year old girl who desperately wanted to follow her big sister’s footsteps and be a cheerleader (Go Agates! Yes, that was our sport teams’ name. You can only imagine how much crap we got for that).  My best friend, Therese, was also trying out for cheerleading. When she was picked and I was not (mind you, I had the voice and enthusiasm but absolutely no other cheerleading skills such as doing the splits or a cartwheel, so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise), she offered to decline the position in order for me to snatch it and bask in the glory of the cheerleading life. I refused her offer. To this day, this may be the single most kind thing another human being has done for me. Did I mention that all of the girls trying out made the team but me? We had a small high school. Don’t judge.

Fifth lesson learned: Choose your friends wisely, and treasure them always.  And cancer sucks the big one.

I was the bride who had the good sense to appoint the best possible personal attendant in my dear friend Gail.  She arrived armed with necessities such as safety pins and kleenex. She was a skilled wedding dress hoister-upper while I peed and smoked a cigarette to calm my nerves in the bathroom at our wedding reception. She passed away from cancer 5 years ago and I think of her often and miss her so so much. Cancer is such a cruel fricking bastard. This is why I will support political candidates who believe in financially supporting medical research. I wish everyone could have a friend as special as Gail was to me.

How about you all? What moments in the timeline of your lives contributed to the life perspectives you have now?