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  • Dr. Ted Klontz

Random Thoughts - April

I was reminded quite painfully recently that the size of my wishes often exceeds the size of my wallet.

I was wondering the other day what exactly is inside the bags below my eyes. It made me want to poke a hole in one, but so far I have resisted that urge.

While in Hawaii I noticed something. They don’t just say somethings once; they quite often use the same word twice. Lomi Lomi (a type of massage); Nawiliwili ( a town); Waikiki (a beach); Nene (A goose); Ulaula-(A fish company); Honohono (A grass, also a type orchid and the name of a maritime vessel); OnoOno –(A Hawaiian BBQ Restaurant); WikiWiki (a shuttle); HulaHula(a way of cooking chicken); MahiMahi (a fish dish); LikeLike (a highway); Kamehameha (a school system); Honolulu (a city). I decided it must be a kindness extended to those of us who don’t hear as well as we used to. Rather than us having to frustrate them with a “huh?” they preempt that maddening exchange by saying it twice for us. Thank you. Also, it seems like we have forbidden them to use more consonants in words than vowels.

All I can truly know of another is but a cross section, a slice of who they actually are. And even then, each time I look (IF I take the time to look) I see a different “them.” Sometimes a slightly different, other times a profoundly different one. It’s as if what I might call “life energy” is a force that slowly changes the kaleidoscope that is them. When I fail to recognize this, or when I want to ‘keep’ a particular manifestation or rendering of them, or us (“never change,” our childhood classmates said in our yearbooks), or I forget that I am looking at just a slice of who they are, that becomes the source of my trouble. Quantum physicists suggest that the universe is expanding, are they not a part of this expanding universe as much as I am? And, if I give myself the grace to have been what I was and embrace who I have become, they automatically are given the same grace I give myself. As a loved one gently said when I was wrestling with the belief that I would never be satisfied, “I think it is called growth.”

A good friend, Susan, allows me to pass this message on. She was speaking to herself, of her home. “You have created safety, now make the effort, take risks, venture out of the safe walls before they become a prison and then your tomb.”

My darkest fears appear as dreams of loss and disaster. I have a hunch it is nature’s way of working around my waking hours censoring process.

I wonder what the long-term effect of ingesting the equivalent a credit card’s worth of plastic a week is.

I heard a friend say to another, “You can never fully know how much your love and companionship have eased my loneliness.” I’m thinking that is one of the best uses of this gift of being human that I have ever heard.

I was reading the first-person interviews of the children who were survivors of a school shooting. They were recalling their “moment by moment” experience. I found myself weeping. Seems like my right to possess a weapon is by far more important than the right of your children to live. And it touched my own grief for the group insanity that I am a part of and am witness to. I often wonder what someone visiting us from another part of universe would think. I wonder what I would tell them if they asked me to explain what is going on; how this makes sense. What do I tell myself? What do you tell yourself? What do you tell your innocent ones?

When I was a high school teacher (for 30 years) the “weapon” that the disaffected kids (rarely) brought to school was a knife. Weapons that are commonplace today were not available at the time. If they were I am sure they would have brought them instead of the knife. There are at least 200 factors that have been identified as figuring into mass killings. Why do we argue over one or two? I guess we all have our favorite bogeyman to argue about, while little ones continue to die. Maybe arguing about the causes keeps me from actually doing anything about it.

I have wondered (and been asked by others) why I might be moved to say something about something (like mass shootings), when I realistically know it won’t change anyone or anything. I ran across this quote from Elie Wiesel who wrote so eloquently of his experiences as a holocaust survivor and his undying efforts to make sure that it wasn’t forgotten. “In the beginning I thought I could change man. Today, I know I cannot. If I still shout today, if I still scream, it is to prevent man from ultimately changing me.” Boom. Got me. What I take from his comment is that if I don’t speak up, I risk normalizing, becoming immune to, insensitive to, and unconscious of, the very thing I am motivated to speak up about. Much of what used to be shocking, unheard of, outrageous, and unbelievable behaviors have become a norm; a non-issue these days.

“Warriors, to me, are not restricted to what others might envision when they hear that word. The warrior is not just someone who fights. The warrior is one who sacrifices themselves for the good of others. Their task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity. —Sitting Bull (c. 1831 - 1890), Hunkpapa Sioux. Maybe another reason for speaking up.


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