Monday, July 10, 2006

Things That Made Me Smile Today...

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...the image above

...seeing a rabbit run out of my neighbor's bushes and hop across the street

...receiving and reading a thank-you letter from my mother and father regarding their 50th wedding anniversary celebration dinner, and the poem that I wrote and the donations that we made in their honor

...hearing a Barry White song on the radio, turning up the volume and dancing across the kitchen floor with only Max, the dog, for an audience

...seeing my children leave this morning, happiness on their faces at another day in camp, another day of adventures

...watching my husband interact with my kids this evening, listening how nicely he talks to them, seeing how much patience he has with them, and just watching the warmth that exudes from him towards his offspring

...the humorous writing style of a particular author, whose romance novel I'm copy editing

...watching Max the dog run outside in the rain and head straight for protection under the patio table

...finding out that the adoption of a baby went through for a couple that I know

...seeing a glorious full moon about 25 minutes ago when I walked the dog

...reading Cruisin Mom's "Jelly Belly" post

...reading the human emotion behind Neil Kramer's latest post about his late father and his collectibles

...feeling inspired to write posts and poetry


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Last week I wrote a post in a humorous vein about lack of comments; it's not the first time I've written about that topic, and I doubt it will be the last time.

But this week, while panning through my fave blogs, I suddenly realized that I, too, am guilty of the same thing that I'm pointing out about others. I often read these posts of favorite bloggers, but if I have nothing to add to the "conversation" I will move on without leaving a comment.

Can they tell that I've visited? Can they tell if I read their recent post in detail or skimmed over it? Can they tell that I sometimes feel inadequate just because I have nothing to add to a thread of comments, that I don't know enough about what is being talked about to be able to add my two shekels?

So, slap my wrist for writing that "Are You Being Served?" post. I guess I just somehow associated lack of comments with lack of readers. But I realize that lack of comments might also just represent "a comfortable silence."

A Poem-in-Progress

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I was recently given a gift of an informative, coffee-table-style tome of Holocaust chronicles -- a pictorial, journalistic timeline of the Jews, as their decline began to be marked as soon as Hitler came to power.

It is a powerful book, both in its detailed information and in its photos, and one can sit for hours with it. But there is a dilemma similar to a "push me, pull me" one. One wants to read the book, one wants to lay it down because it is so graphic, one picks it up again, cautiously turning the pages in fear of what one will read or see.

But I did pick up the book, sat with it a long while, slowly turning the pages and reading bits and pieces here and there. In a sidebar, I read about "Canada/Kanada."

Kanada, the storehouse where confiscated belongings from prisoners arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau were kept and meticulously catalogued — clothing, toys, shoes, eyeglasses, prosthetic devices, gold teeth, wristwatches, jewelry, pots and pans, books, shorn hair — anything that might allow a dehumanized slave to feel human, anything that could be used by the German people, craving both luxuries and essentials. Prisoners working in Kanada were lucky; they could sell confiscated items to the S.S. for special favors or food.

The Nazis nicknamed the storehouse "Kanada" because they considered Canada to be a land of limitless bounty and wealth.

I could not shake off the thought or image of this other "Canada" and was inspired to begin a poem. This is my poem-in-progress:


There were heaps and heaps
of discarded goods,
discarded lives,
discarded souls
tossed upon each other.

Nestled in a storehouse
amidst the bloated bellies,
the hollow cheeks
of human mankind.