Tag Archives: keeping hope alive

The Power of Music

Carol A. Hand

Do you ever awaken from a dream where you’re singing a song? That’s what happened to me this morning. It was a song that I see as a little silly in the context of what’s going on in the world today. But it’s a catchy tune that captures some of the troubles that produce such angst in our teens. Those years are long gone for me but not for my grandchildren who remind me what it’s like to be young.

Here Comes My Baby – Yusuf/Cat Stevens

Thankfully, finding the song on YouTube led to me to another song that echoes the yearning of my spirit in the unrelenting cold of this mini-repeat of the polar vortex we’ve been experiencing. It awakens hope by reminding me that even on a cold winter’s day, it’s a new morning filled with possibilities. Spring will come. There’s a different kind of beauty to the winter dawn.

Morning has broken – Yusuf/Cat Stevens

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Wishing you all a blessed morning wherever you are.

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Winter Dawn (Pixabay Public Domain Photo)
Winter Dawn
(Pixabay Public Domain Photo)

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I Remember …/ A Reblog

Originally Posted on November 10, 2014

by Carol A. Hand

I remember other storms approaching – the wind silent but the air filled with the electricity of threat and possibility. I survived. But have I worn the grooves of hope and love deeply enough into my spirit to weather the storms that I know are coming? As I sat on my doorstep this morning watching the first of the snowflakes begin to fall in the darkened landscape, I wondered what the winter of these times will bring. I can feel the beat of my heart quicken with a mixture of fear and exhilaration.

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Photo Credit: Duluth – Morning – November 10, 2014

My thoughts are transported back to an earlier time, the first warning of storms to come. I was standing in the Connecticut cottage where I lived with my infant daughter looking out of the picture window toward the trees and down at the river that flowed past the front of the cabin. Then, as today, the air was filled with the electricity of an approaching storm. Yet in the past, I awoke from a dream remembering some of the images and insights of a guide that sometimes speaks to me through dreams. “A storm is coming,” the guide said.

“Times ahead will be hard. The earth has shifted on its axis and the polarities of the earth’s gravitational fields are changing. People will not know they are being affected by these shifts, but polarities will be amplified. Those on a path of light will glow brighter while those on a path of darkness will grow stronger in their quest for control and destruction. You have a choice. You may leave now. You don’t have to stay to face the storm.”

How could I leave an infant to face the coming storms without a mother who loved her? I certainly wasn’t a perfect mother, but I loved my daughter enough to choose to seek the light again and again. I would fail again and again, but decades later, I know I did the best I could. I’m not a perfect grandmother either, and I’m unsure what I can do to help my daughter and grandchildren prepare for the coming storms, but I trust that whatever comes, love for others and for this wondrous and beautiful world and universe are what will matter most in the years ahead.

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Reflections on the Morning After

Carol A. Hand

It’s a new day and the sun has risen
The sound of morning traffic hums seemingly unperturbed
Students head to school just like any other day
Still, the world feels different
It’s electrically charged with uncertainty

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In times of great transition, the old systems tremble
Will we awaken with compassion and reach out to reconcile divisions?
With inquisitiveness to explore new possibilities?
Or allow old patterns to lull us to sleep again
hoping that we will be spared the fear and discomfort
that shifting positionalities and changing times always require?

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Only time will tell if we can find the wisdom and strength within
a foundation for embracing others to build inclusive circles of caring
to survive the changes ahead…

A reminder from an earlier era:

 

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Tapping into the Power of Myths

Carol A. Hand

The day before Thanksgiving, I watched a movie that left me bereft of hope and shattered my belief that change is possible. The documentary, Silenced, describes the devastating experiences of three whistle-blowers – Thomas Drake (NSA), Jesselyn Radack (DOJ), and John Kiriakou (CIA). Their attempts to raise public awareness about post-9/11 policy shifts made them targets of unrelenting government attacks.

It’s always hard for me to accept the fact that some people deliberately choose to destroy others. But this movie reminded me that it does happen. It’s happened to me on much smaller scales. For periods of time the likelihood of reprisal did silence my voice temporarily. After watching this movie, I honestly wondered if anything I write or do makes any difference at all.

I awoke on Thanksgiving morning still feeling that hope was futile. And then, a funny thing happened. Well, not really funny at the time. I’m still living with the consequences. My computer wouldn’t turn on without a security password. The problem was that I had shut off my computer after loading Windows 10 before visiting the old email address I had used as a contact. The locked screen made it clear. There was no way I would be able to unlock the computer without the password they emailed to that address after my computer was off.

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Photo: My old “sacred” writing space

Luckily, I had finished and verified the 50K words for NaNoWriMo earlier that day, and all my book chapters were backed-up on a flashdrive. But I had no access to email or the internet. My PC was my only connection. And I don’t remember my old password, anyway. I didn’t need to. It’s saved on my PC. So what could I do?

I went out on my back porch and sipped my morning coffee. Instead of feeling distraught, a sense of peace came over me. I realized that one way or another, I would solve this problem. And then a thought flashed through my mind – something I learned during the study I have been writing about in the first chapters of my book.

I remembered the answer that flashed through my mind when I faced five faculty members to defend one of the questions I wanted to explore in my research study. “What is the best you can imagine for the children, families, and tribal community in the future?”

How can you possibly find that out,” one faculty member asked. I already had heard the answer although I didn’t realize it until that question was asked. Whenever Ojibwe community members had shared their stories, they always mentioned memories of the good old days with elders before they were removed from their homes. Their voices took on a softer tone and their eyes were focused on long-past days. It was the past they romanticized and a future they longed to see manifested again.

Then, it struck me. The myth of America is similar in many ways to the romantic memories of the Ojibwe people who shared their stories with me. A day of thanksgiving, a place of equality, freedom, and brother(sister)hood. The strength of this myth for mobilizing people can be seen in the popular response to Bernie Sanders. He touches that place in people and ignites their hope.

Of course, the system can’t be changed by any one man or woman who is merely a figurehead of a monstrous bureaucracy that has had centuries to indoctrinate those who work there. But it’s the hope that the myth ignites in thousands of people that makes change a possibility.

It’s something energizing to think about, anyway. Today, it gives me hope. And maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to have my old password reset by a technician and sent to me at a newer email address. It’s one I can access now from the old PC I figured out how to connect to the internet today.

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Photo: My new writing space

It may be a while before my system is functional, so please be patient. Until then, I send my greetings and my promise that I will keep working toward the best future I can imagine for all of us. I know you will all keep doing so, too.

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Scent of Sweetgrass

Carol A. Hand

Suddenly, I awake when I’m in your presence –
The scent of sweetgrass
My attention is sharpened and focused,
I feel peace and hope and joy surge in my heart.

You appear at the strangest of times.

sweetgrass

Photo: Sweetgrass. ( Source – Four Sacred Medicines …, Kade M. Ferris )

I’m not sure what I am doing just before
Your delicate essence drifts by,
A gentle wake-up call to become aware
Of the beauty of life that surrounds me.

Even in a world where people are suffering
And fighting pointless endless wars
For things that will never bring them happiness or peace.
Your presence gives me hope that peace is possible.

Chi miigwetch for reminding me of what really matters,
For reminding me to breathe deeply
To be present, to love and to celebrate simply being
During the fleeting moment of this life.

 Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.