Friday, March 28, 2014

Bingo the Man, Not the Game, AND CERTAINLY NOT the dog!!

He had discovered that his lower spine was basically collapsing in on itself.  The nerves were malformed into his legs.  This was causing him incredible pain.  Sometimes the pain was so severe that he couldn't walk.

One of his teachers in college begged him to play a small role in a play.  Nyle Smith was his name.  Acting was his passion.  He was rather embarrassed to play a tiny role in a play that was in a tiny theater.  He was used to accolades for great big parts in important plays.  He decided to put a NOM DE PLUME (a fancy way to say false name), on the program.  Bingo Smith sounded like a name that NOBODY that knew him would recognize.

Nyle was embarrassed by his mobility issues.  They set the blocking of the play in such a way that he didn't have to move much.  He basically stood in one place to deliver his few lines.

"There are no small parts, only small actors," is a quote commonly used by those who love acting.  Nyle proved that quote totally, completely true.  He did so well that he was reviewed in newspapers across the region. 

Then came the exciting news.  He had been nominated for an extremely prestigious regional acting award.  The "Irene Ryan Award" was coveted by any college student who felt that theater was not only in their blood but it just might BE the blood, the substance that flowed through their veins and gave their body sustenance.

Oh wait, let's change that...Nyle Smith had not been nominated.  Hmmmm...what name do you think they used?  Oh wait, the name on the program.  BINGO SMITH was heartily acknowledged for his acting talent! 

Nyle was unsure whether to laugh or cry, and I believe he did a little of both during the agonizing process of waiting, waiting for the process to be followed.  He did not ultimately win the award.  Being nominated was a HUGE thing in the uniquely insular world of college theater. 

The problem was that NYLE SMITH was NOT nominated.  No, much to his everlasting chagrin "BINGO SMITH." was the nominee. 

That nickname stuck to him like a burr on a fluffy dog (wait, isn't there a SONG about a dog named Bingo?)  Nyle grew to enjoy that nickname. a nickname that I called him from time to time. 

Thank BINGO SMITH for being such an astounding actor, but better still, being an astounding man!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Mother's Hands

Remarkable contrivances hands.  They help you to scratch, eat, clean, write, and about a million other things.  Just for a minute hold your hands up and look at them in the light.  Now stop and think, what do YOU do with your hands?

The child was about 7, nervous, speaking in his Primary group at church.  (Primary is like Sunday School for children of 3 to 12 years of age).  He stumbled along in his speech for a minute, and then it happened.  He looked at the group and froze.  Full on panic filled his young features.

Before someone in the group could rescue him his Mother was by his side.  I had not noticed that she was there silently observing, and sitting with a group of young children.  A long standing Mom myself of two beautiful daughters my memory quickly reached backwards.  I remembered the way that I had handled such terror.

Then an ordinary thing made me catch my breath, and tears welled up in my eyes.  This young, lovely Mom did not rush in and take over her son's speech.  He looked up at her with love, she looked back at him with love.  Then she put her hand on the boys shoulder and just stood next to him.

Encouraged by his Mother the boy finished the talk.  When he stumbled a bit at the very end she did lean down and whispered the last words to him. 

I was playing the piano for the children to sing.  I had a very difficult time playing the next songs.  My eyes were misted, my soul filled.

My Mother is 95 years old.  She weighs around 95 pounds.  At 5 ft. 6 in. that is far too thin.  She is frail, she is weary, she is longing to return to my Papa who passed away 23 years ago. 

Last night I went to visit Mama at bedtime.  Living in a Retirement Center she doesn't live far from her family.  She was already in bed slightly asleep.  I awakened her gently.  As always she smiled up at me.  I happen to know that I AM her favorite child.  At least until one of her other two children are around.  Then THEY are her favorite children. 

The bedtime ritual that our family practiced has become reversed.  For all those years that Mama would come to OUR bedsides, sing, tell stories, pray, we now come to HER  bedside, and sing, read scriptures, and pray.  At first I thought it was to comfort her, and I suppose that there is a little measure in that.  I have come to realize that comfort flows to ME as I tuck her in.

I use some comforting oils on her hands, her forehead.  I massage those Mother's hands.  They are so frail now.  The veins stand out like mighty highways on the land.  The skin is elegantly wrinkled about the tiny bones.  After I massage her hands she touches my cheek.  At 57 she still brings me peace, just by touching my face with those hands. 

I sing to her, I pray for and about her, and then I prepare to leave.  I hug her, and we don't want to let go.  The everydayness of life invades our quiet oasis of peace and love.   I leave reluctantly but gratefully knowing that there are people there that will care well for her. 

As I drive home I think of how those hands, comforted me, held me, guided me, and a few times chastised me by swatted by backside.  My soul fills with joy at the exquisite beauty of a Mother's hands!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Casual Sex???

Casual sex.  The connection of these two words drives me slightly mad.  Casual, meaning not formal, with no commitment or long term concern.  Sex?  Well if you are not certain what that is, please close this post...quickly!

Here is the practical aspect of this idea.  I go on a date (still really, really weird to even consider after being married to the man that I love for 27 years), and we have a lovely dinner, speak about our various likes and dislikes, and then we go to one of our homes and get naked?  REALLY??  First of all, NOBODY in my lifetime will ever be frightened by the sight of my naked verging on elderly body.  But more importantly, to me this action is far too intimate to share with a partial stranger.

Oh I know some wonderful young people might read my blog and say, "It's not like that for us.  You're only young once.  It doesn't hurt anyone as long as it's consensual.  This lady is just an old prude." 

Let's examine the possibilities that sex brings.  Creation?  Does anyone stop and think that this activity has the possibility of creating NEW LIFE?  In my life there has been nothing more powerful, connecting, and magical than the loving action between my husband and I as we created our beloved daughters.  They are grown now I still look at them and think of the love that created them.

My sweetie used to say, "I will NEVER create another human being to come to the world with less than perfect circumstances.  Any children that I create will come to a family filled with love."

I'm stunned and appalled when I watch all the television shows that the sobbing women are there to determine the paternity of their children.  They don't know for certain who the Father is, because they had sex with multiple partners during that time.

It does seem practical to me to say, "If you're going to risk creating a child...make CERTAIN who the Papa is!  There is a way to do that you know.  Monogamy may be considered old fashioned in today's world.  So let's look at the physical consequences of multiple sexual partners, not my ideas about morality.

Sexually transmitted diseases are a threat that have multiple heads.  It rather reminds me of a Greek myth where there was a creature that when you cut off it's head it would grow two back.  There are so many dangers out there.  Aids?  Herpes (which can lead to cancer), Unwanted pregnancy, and ever so many more. 

I have been told ad nauseum that it is simply impossible to save sexual experiences for after marriage, or at the very least until you are in a committed relationship.  I have a very old fashioned word to say to that idea...BOLOGNA!  We are sentient creatures with opposable thumbs.  We ARE CAPABLE of reason and intelligence.  We do not HAVE TO be dictated to by our hormones.

Now there is a group that says, "Sex is a very healthy activity."  They have forgotten the most important part of that comment, "Sex is a very healthy activity, when it is engaged in with a committed, connected partner!"  When you participate in sex with multiple partners you are literally playing Russian Roulette, not knowing when a random bullet will catch you with a deadly consequence.

Repression?  For nearly 60 years I have heard over, and over, and over again that remaining celibate makes you repressed, unable to fully experience life.  I would say again with force, BOLOGNA!  I still enjoy listening to pop music in America.  I enjoy most types of music.  On the other hand some of the lyrics make me extremely cross.  "Let's go all the way tonight, no regrets, just love?"  Or here is a goody,  It begins, "Tonight, we are young, so let's set the world on fire..So tonight, when the bar closes and you feel like falling down, I'll carry you home my love."  He carries her home because she's too sloppy drunk to return home on her own power.  Loving isn't it? 

How many times will the young be sucked in to the idea, you are only young once.  So you need to experience sex, drugs, drinking, cigarettes, anywhere that your hormones, and desires lead you.  The fallacy of this is obvious, because that attitude may insure that not only are you only young once, you probably will never GROW OLD!

There is an enormous difference between love and lust!!  LUST is the drive, the throb of your hormones telling you, do whatever you want to.  Have sex with anyone.  How many times have we all heard the line, "If you loved me you would...?"  So to prove your love your partner expects you to compromise your values?  That is lust. is what makes you pull together as a couple after 21 years of marriage, and 22, and 23, and 50 and 60 etc.  Love is the power that gives vitality and support to this life. Last night I visited the Care Center where my 95 year old Mama lives.  My girls and I took her for a spin in her wheelchair.  There was a lovely couple in the hall and we began to chat.  She was in a wheelchair.  He was pushing the wheelchair, even though he was 89 years of age.  He told us, "I've been married to this lady for 60 years.  I love her more now than I did on our wedding day."  NOW THAT, is love!

Lust?  Lust is a very cheap shoddy imitation of love.  Lust drives otherwise intelligent human beings into all sorts of compromises.  Lust is as old as the earth.  This idea is well illustrated by the story of King David in the Bible.  He had EVERYTHING!  He was ridiculously wealthy, he commanded a kingdom.  He had countless wives and concubines.  Yet on one, "I'm bored," kind of nights he strolled on the roof of his palace.  (It was much cooler up there in the night breezes than it was in his enormous palace.

Across the street was a very large home.  There on that roof, where he could see, was his neighbor Uriah's wife taking a bath.  (Seems like it's lacking privacy to me, but again cooler up there.)  Good old fashioned lust hit him with a vengeance.  He lusted after his neighbor's wife, even though he had HUNDREDS of women already committed to him!

His neighbor had only ONE wife.  David had his neighbor, an officer in his army (and a good one according to the narration), put at the front of the action so that he was killed.  Then he proceeded to marry Bathsheba.  Does this seem like a recipe for LOVE?  Or a result of LUST?  He never forgave himself for killing a neighbor, a friend, to take his one wife.  So he spends the rest of his life miserable, even though he is married to Bathsheba.

I give this example to show that this situation is NOT NEW!  It is as old as the world.  If I could just reach one person...young or old, and prevent them from facing unnecessary consequences due to giving in to lust instead of practicing love, it would make me ever so happy!

I wish that I could shout in a voice loud enough to be heard all across the world, "Lust is NOT love.  There are ALWAYS consequences when sex is considered casual."  Lacking that power, I will write a post in my blog hoping that someone, somewhere will read it and change their lives. 

I have not even started on the emotional, spiritual consequences of casual, nothing really matters.  , types of sex.  I will write about that another time.  Please friends in the world, WAKE UP!  Making love is a beautiful, connecting action, one that can create family.  Do not EVER take it lightly.  Remember it as an incredible gift that must be used ever so carefully!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Buoyant Bum?

Language is constantly changing, rearranging.  The English language in my lifetime has exploded.  Or maybe it's the American language that has grown so very, very fast.  Whether English or American I think you'll agree that it has gotten really, really BIG! my childhood referred to both a homeless person AND to your gluteus muscles both maximus and minimus.  In this post I'm going to use the later definition of bum.

As a small child my Father determined that I WOULD  learn to swim.  There were two impediments.  #1.  I was and am allergic to chlorine.  #2.  My bum.  I think I just heard someone say, "Your WHAT?"  Please refer to paragraph two above.

My parents were the type of people who believed that little things like allergies were not permanent blockades.  They believed that there was some way, some possible way to control my symptoms so that I could live a relatively normal life.  Thank Heavens for parents like that. 

So back to my bum.  My first swimming lessons were scheduled before I reached the double digit age of 10.  That one did not work because I developed pneumonia, possibly from swimming in chlorine...hmmm.  The 2nd set of lessons (we're not going to let a little thing like pneumonia stop us, right?) went much better.  Medical science had developed better antihistamines.  I did very well indeed until....until I discovered that I could not physically dive head first into the pool. 

Oh I COULD put my head into the water first.  That was the easy part.  The hard part was getting the rest of me to follow.  The minute that my bum reached the point in the water where it was supposed to follow my head, neck, and torso under the water, my buoyant bottom floated gleefully to the top of the water and the rest of me followed. 

I repeated this experience, over, and over, and over, until my 20's when I determined that for whatever reason I was not going to be able to dive in my lifetime.  On a positive note (my parents were all for focusing on the positive), I probably would not bottom was more successful than a life preserver at keeping me atop the water.  On the downside, (tiny little pun intended) if I was in the water face down, my bum would keep me buoyant, but my face would be down in the water!  EPIC FAIL.

Of course any one that reads my blog knows that I am extremely fond of drawing analogies.  Here is the analogy.  Life has a very nasty way of pushing us down, down, down, and down, possibly a thousand times or more (depending on if you live to be 95 like my Mommy or 54 like my husband).  What happens when you are pushed down under that water?  Do you just stay there?  That would be a negative choice, unless dolphins have learned how to read and are now reading my blog.  Dolphins would be OK under water....there may be another analogy in that thought, but I think we'll skip it.

My buoyant bum is a wonderful gift to me, because it never allows me to STAY down.  It makes me pop up from the water like I have a life preserver attached.  That is as it should be.  We need to keep a spirit of buoyancy in life.  Nobody can survive for long in this life without knowing how to bounce back up from the tragedies, and sometimes just the plain old everydayness of life.

If you are NOT blessed with a buoyant bum...(so sorry for just kidding) put buoyancy in your heart, or in your head, and just keep popping up from the watery trials of life, over, and over, and over again. 

If you feel that life is hopeless and it will never get are wrong.  After all...the antihistamines now are amazing!