Sunday, May 9, 2021

It's Been a Minute

Hello again from the blog that took a pause. 
Writing has been personal for me since the pandemic began last year. It's been a bit like the ancient days of unlocking the mystical teenage diary and scribbling in screams instead of peace, love, and blue jeans. 
Words come in spurts and fits. No cohesion or unity. 
And then I lock it back down again with my little gold key.

But perhaps that is perfection in a pandemic world.
The ride has been jolting, hasn't it? Instead of a roller-coaster it's been more like sudden stops and emergency braking for deaths and miracles all in the span of a day - except the day never ends.
 Emotional whiplash. Physical inertia.
 Soul-searching salvation.
Yes, that too.

I won't say that I now see that light at the end of the tunnel - it's such a tired phrase. 
The Light has always been there. We tend to forget that the light made its way through the darkness to the end before we even entered the tunnel. We're not supposed to reach for and steal its strength: we're supposed to find our own along the way. I see remaining slivers of illumination cascading from crevices in the tunnel wall. That is what I reach for. They stop me in my tracks - reminding me that the end game is never the peace we seek at the conclusion of our journey. It's all the places and spaces we've seen on the road that matter as much. 
It's how much light of our own we left in the tunnel. 
How much peace we leave for others determines how much peace we find.

That's why the Light at the end is so brilliant.

I hope you and your loved ones are doing well. 
Let me hear from you. I want to know how you're doing. 
Much love from Bloggingham

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ A Legacy of Wisdom

Today we celebrate the incredible life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Most of us think of him as a warrior for social justice.  And he was.  But roots in his character and associations suggest that at the heart of all he was, he was first and foremost - a peacemaker. 

In 1964 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end racial discrimination and segregation through the avenues of civil disobedience and other non-violent means. He was also awarded the Catholic Pacem in Terris Award (Peace on Earth).  It is awarded "to honor a person for their achievements in peace and justice, not only in their country but in the world."

Four years after his work for social justice began in the streets of Montgomery, forcing social issues to the forefront and into the American and international psyche, he began to focus his energies on stopping the Vietnam War and ending poverty. He started a process of shifting, re-sifting, toppling norms and ideologies long held by establishments at odds with anything resembling human dignity and justice. These monumental shifts in the soul of our nation and the world are largely attributed to his courage and his voice.

Oh, but there was more to the man.

I was reminded today that he was inspired by the writings and teachings of another such activist.
When Dr. King visited India in 1959, he came away with a profound respect and understanding of the non-violent teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

He later reflected, "Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation."

He knew how to connect spiritual laws with scientific laws, science with morality, spoken words with unspoken fire, and generations of spiritual evolution into threads of commonalities within all cultures and religions while steadfastly holding to his own. Intrinsic ideas and truths became actions and deeds.

It is always the intrinsic that matters the most.
What I admire and appreciate about Martin Luther King, more than the amazing dream speech, more than his courage, more than his learned theological spirit, and even more than his political and social causes of injustice and equality, was his ability to intellectually intertwine all of those attributes and aspirations into powerful common sense purpose.  The sum of all those parts made his greatness.

Sometimes we focus on a few shining moments of publicity and grandeur so long that we forget what made him great in the first place. He knew who he was. He stayed in his lane. That was his true genius.

Dr. King surrounded himself with learned men, intimate and scholarly mentors, often controversial, books and a love of words, prayers, and a burning desire to pour out what was inside of him in letters and essays to the rest of us, even from a Birmingham Jail.
Because he honored the wisdom of others, to his credit, we not only find a profoundly cerebral giant among men, we find humility.
We mostly remember a speech, a bullet, a march, a statue, a remarkable iconic individual - and all those things are to be remembered, mourned, and revered about the man - but what lay underneath is more important to me, because without that brilliant, questioning, analytical ability to connect the dots and eloquently espouse them into one cohesive truth the whole world could understand, there wouldn't have been a march, a speech, or a movement.

The rest of his legacy would have been impossible to achieve and he would have become not a shining human light upon a hill of ugly darkness or a seeker of truth in Gandhi's shadow, but just another speech maker, noise maker, rabble-rouser and activist marching down roads at the whim of every wind with no direction and no clear path. No leader can lead walking blindly around corners of pivotal change and unrest, and take others with him, unless he already knows what lies ahead.

So today I celebrate Martin the man. The thinker. The preacher. The spirit. The leader.
And a man who understood who he was, where he'd been and where he was going.
This is one of my favorite quotes by Dr. King:

"All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." - Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.

How I long for a time when the leaders we see before us in the world today, humble themselves before voices of wisdom gone by.  
May we find ourselves worthy of his fine example. 

Edited and reprinted from a previous version of Mimi Writes

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Monday, December 21, 2020

COVID Christmas? I Don't Think So.

Dear Peace Bloggers,

I am releasing the peace globes this week of Christmas 2020.
Covid Christmas? Crazy Christmas? Unprecedented Christmas? Stressful Christmas?
All. of. the. above. 
I'm struggling to keep my head and heart and body protected as well. 
But we can't let the presence of the virus steal our joy or our hope. 
I can't let the virus take me to a dark Christmas.


It will make you and this community feel better.
Pick your favorite one from past launches or make a new one. Post peace globes and words of comfort all over your blogs and social media during Christmas Peace Week 2020 starting NOW through New Years. If you don't know how and would like to join us for the first time, contact me or visit for templates and instructions.  Here are a few from years past during Christmastime. 
Encouragement. Peace. Love. HOPE.

Let's do this. 
We mourn the passing of so many people around the world. Our friends. Our loved ones. 
They would want us to keep the faith. They would want us to speak love and hope.
Things will change. It WILL get better. 

Miss Bee of The High Seas

Sanni in Germany

Skeezix the Cat ~ RIP ~ He still makes me smile.

Templates on this page and at

#peaceglobes #blog4peace #peaceonearth #christmas2020 #CrazyChristmas #CovidChristmas2020 

Free template to us
Dona nobis pacem ~ Grant us peace

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Sunday, November 29, 2020

I Am Sure, Quite Sure, That Today is NOT My Birthday

In the year 2020 on the 29th day of November, ye olde calendar ("olde" being the operative word) has declared that the Queen of Bloggingham is having a royal birthday. As a wise man once said to me upon the eve of my 50th some light years ago, "Mimi, it's just a number." I'm trying to remember those words today. Since it is the year of horrors and crisis, I think I should be grateful that I'm able to celebrate a birthday at ALL. And coincidentally, that same man is here today to help me get through another ...umm....number. Our relationship/friendship/relationship/friendship etc etc etc has been a revolving door over the years, but always open and changing as we travel in and out of life seasons. And this is one heck of a season! Let's face it, alone is never good during a birthday OR a pandemic. 

So, last night, just when I thought my birthday was going to be a flop and I would end up researching Make-Your-Own-Birthday-Cake videos...DING DING!! the doorbell rings and in walk two very live lobster fellas not even realizing they're about to meet their lobster-Maker in the form of a big shiny pot of boiling water. " Surprise! We're having lobster for dinner!" said the Lobster Killer.  
"You remembered!" said the Pencil Skirt with a flash of memory in her head.
Just like the first date we ever had back at the dawn of blog-civilization, I ran screaming from the boiling pot of squirming life forms as he expertly tossed them in and made a baked potato. He told me not to look and to stop taking morbid pictures. Some things never change.
And just for good measure and sweetness, he handed me these...

Anyone who knows ANYthing about the Queen of Bloggingham knows she's addicted to Cheetos.
Major points, my friend, major points.

It was a very happy birthday indeed. 

I will mail you a bag, Homer.......

Join us for BlogBlast For Peace Nov 4 Like Our Facebook Page ~ Peace Store How To Get Your Own Peace Globe"

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ The Fedora in the Window

Welcome to the 15th year of BlogBlast For Peace aka Dona nobis pacem in the Blogosphere
Our theme this year is Peace in the Time of QuarantineYour words are powerful and never more important than they are in this global moment. Please sign the Mr. Linky at the end of this post so that others may visit you and see the beautiful peace globes. Remember to tag me on Facebook or wherever you are on social media. Thank you for being part of this community of peace bloggers. May we lift and encourage in our quest for peace in the world - even in the middle of a pandemic.
Our motto has always been: If words are powerful...then this matters.
Dona nobis pacem ~ Grant us peace

The Fedora in the Window

In a small and sterile room that looked out onto a concrete rooftop, my body knew sickness, fever and pain. The year was 1978. I'd been in the hospital a couple of days when I watched a medical team of nurses descend upon my ginger-ale world with the precision of Ninja warriors; stripping bedsheets, unplugging oxygen machines, pulling curtains with lightning speed around the bed of my roommate - an international traveler who'd brought some mysterious illness from a faraway land to MY hospital room. No one could figure out what was wrong with her. Before I knew it, in a whoosh of sterile gowns and nauseating sanitizing sprays from ceiling to floor, her exotic germs were swiftly escorted out - bed and all - to leave me alone in petrified peace.  Hmmmphh! I thought. That was a close one. The kind sickly lady from a desert-rich continent was gone and I was left with a group of worried mumbling people still mulling about like a tactical team of strategic warriors. 

"Why are you running? Why is everyone in such a hurry? And whyyyy are you wearing masks?"  I asked. Strange whispers and strange looks. 

"It's the fever," I heard them say. "She's talking out of her head."
 "Ohhhhh. You must have found out what disease she has...and you don't want me to catch it, right?" 
"Actually, we're not protecting you from her. We're protecting her from YOU."

Then the anemic hysteria started

What??!! What is wrong with me??! 
"You have no hemoglobin to speak of." 
"Seriously? I've lost my hemoglobin?" 
Only I could lose a hemoglobin.  I've lost nails and cars and husbands and shoes, but never in my experienced age of twenty-one years had I lost a hemoglobin. 
Yet, there I was in

with a life-threatening case of viral enteritis
(aka a really bad case of the flu with complications)

facing transfusions, IVs and cranky people who were tired of cleaning the dust off the dust off the dust to keep me alive.

For nine days I had no visitors and a lot of green jello. Quarantined with no one to talk to. Shut off from the rest of humanity wondering if I've ever again see the light of day.  Oh, the drama! Who can rest with crossbones and skulls on the door? No one to hold my hand. No familiar face. Only masked nurses in sterile gowns right down to their covered shoes and gloves that smelled like inexpensive rubber. Uncertainty. Loneliness. 
To know that I was a contagious risk to everyone else and they were a risk to me, made me feel like an outcast. It was the worst kind of alone I'd ever known. Just when I thought it was safe to jump out the window and steal away home, I noticed something moving in the high horizontal window at the top of the hallway door. 

It was the hat that gave him away.

He wore it with such precision.

 I was familiar with the tip and the swagger, you see....the way it dipped and bobbed in conversation, dancing in a silent movie script outside my door. Why is it, when you're sick, everyone "discusses" you without your permission? It wasn't long before he'd developed a system to get my attention through the high glass. I could turn my head a certain angle and see his worried face staring at me. He wore a gray hat, sterile gloves, and a whitish-gray surgical mask. Standing and standing and standing, loving me with his eyes, only to stand longer. When I fell asleep he was still there when I woke up, winking and waving, darting eyelashes back and forth behind the mask and readjusting the familiar hat to steal a glimpse of the ninety-pound girl he guarded so closely.

 "How long has he been there?" I asked.
"Every day this week," said my saviors in white. 
"He won't let us in until we tell him how you are."

No one could hold sway over that hat, I thought, you might as well give up the ghost. It was the same hat he wore out and about in the town where we lived. The same hat he removed every day precisely four steps inside the house when he came home for chicken and biscuit gravy lunches.
The same hat he let me wear when I sat on his lap
Oh, it wasn't the wearing of the hat that caused such a stir
It was the removing. 

It always began the same way, "Dear Gracious Heavenly Father..." That hat heard more unspoken petitions over the top of it than it had a mind to tell you. But I remember...and to this day I can feel the hush in the room when he said those words. Four steps to the kitchen. Four words to Heaven. It didn't matter what came after, those four words opened portals. Pine-railed altars, kitchen tables, or hospital hallways - it mattered not. His voice was low and reverent, but the presence of God was instantaneous. I knew what wars he waged out in the hallway of freedom. They had no idea who they were dealing with.

Papa could only get as close to me as the hallway, 
but that Presence came all the way in.

And that's how I knew that I knew that I knew that I knew
that the only reason he would wear his gentleman's hat inside a building to the quarantine ward
was just so he could remove it

It was his greatest weapon. 

And that is why, in this time of corona, when worlds are fragile and time yearns to be redeemed, that we are going to have to call on our better angels to remember us to peace. Until we can hold our loved ones and touch their faces without cloths and barriers, we're going to have to conjure up a memory, an emotion, a touch.
And maybe a hat....

One night not long ago, as I was quietly finishing up a nightly ritual with my grandson (four drops of lavender oil behind both ears) he happily and sleepily whispered,
"Say the words." 
"You need more lavender?"
"No. Say the words."
"The words?"
"Yeah. Say the words, Mimi."

I never realized he was listening to the words. 
Blessings and prayers for a good night's peaceful sleep deliberately wielded with precision. And he smiled himself to sleep.
It is my greatest weapon.

Papa taught me well. If you believe that objects are alive with molecular energy, 
then toss Papa's hat in the ring.  
It was brimming with memory.

The girl eventually healed and found herself walking in a quarantine world some forty-two years later, with all of you. How are we sane in this world of no touch?
 I submit that what lies within us is much more tangible than what we can actually see and touch.  When I remember the fedora and the four thundering whispered words (Dear Gracious Heavenly Father) I feel my grandfather's touch, swiftly moving through time and space, held in a memory of a room with no view, heard in the footsteps of one-two-three-four and seen in the graceful donning of felt.  

Because I walked in that presence under Papa's tweed jacket in the space of our lives, I can still feel safe under the crook of his arm. He only needed four words to reach a place so real its essence travels eons through my memory from quarantine to quarantine.  It was the presence, you see, the presence. A place where no separation exists. A place where love can wield peace through barricaded windows.
 He taught me how to find it by his example, so that when he couldn't be with me, I could find it myself. 
That is how we teach our children to live in a pandemic.
 It may be our first, but it won't be their last. 

 Because I remember so vividly the feel and the faithfulness of felt,
I am not alone.  I want my grandson to remember the smell of lavender all his life.
I want him to remember the words.

 How do you love people through a pandemic when you can't touch them?
You stand at the door.
Don't worry. Love will walk right in.
Four steps
Four words
Four drops

Feel free to continue to post the peace into the coming week. There's an election I heard of that's grabbed our attention.  We will keep sending out that powerful vibe. 

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Monday, November 2, 2020

The Doll Box

It is tradition to re-post The Doll Box during peace week. 
Some kind of magic comes over Bloggingham this time of year. We need to remember...

The Doll Box

“Put them in the pot, Mimi, just that way.”

I planted the last black-eyed Susan in the clay pot on the deck, richly purple and staring at me with an eye in the center of royalty's colored fall beauty.
I dug and rearranged and poured in fertilizer. Watered. Played in the dirt.
"Plant one more in the pot, Mimi. She'd like it that way."
"They remind me of her," I said out loud. "The dark ones she loved best. The black-eyed ones I don't care for, but I plant them anyway because she loved them so. I think they look disheveled and untidy - if a flower can be that way - and as she could be in the morning times. Her hair a mess and a cigarette over coffee, frying bacon at 5am so you'd have a great start to your day, wrinkled robe and a smelly kitchen. One bright spot of colorful charm – like my black eyed susan - was you, Papa."
I stopped planting.
I looked up.

My Papa stood looming over me with that jovial smile of his, a burst of sunlight behind his balding head and a brightly gleaming twinkle in the midst of the smile I adored. I was still unbalanced with a trowel in one hand and a pile of dirt in the other which prevented me from jumping immediately into his arms, but it didn't seem to matter; a warm wind blew straight through the curl hanging down the front of my right shoulder and moved it behind me to rest on the back of my sweater. I was sure of it. My Papa was always telling me to get my hair out of my face. No surprise to me now.

“I've been watching you, Mimi."
I laughed.

"Well you know she had to have things just right. Two purple here, one pink there, large petaled, small-petaled and a very straight row or you had to start all over."
He laughed.
"I remember."

I fixed my eyes upon the face of the man who held the key to my heart ever since the day I took my first breath. I put the trowel down, the dirt fell from my fingers and I found myself sitting in the fall sunlight, listening to leaves drop playfully from the trees that surrounded me. I watched them fall almost on command at his huge overgrown feet that were firmly planted in front of me. Steel-toed shoes, huge shoes, painful shoes, important shoes.

It would take him forty-five minutes in the mornings before work to lace them up. Rheumatoid arthritis claimed his quality of life, pain a constant companion, everyday tasks a monumental chore - and yet he rarely missed work (thirty-three years in a furniture plant) and most days he tilled the garden out back in the evenings. For today, I was content to sit at his feet and plant flowers. He was there to give me a warm breezy hug. Of course, I knew he wasn't really there.

Was he?

Resigned to never again help him unlace the knotted shoestrings that strangled too tightly across his tender feet, I turned away to wipe a tear.
I miss him still.
"I've been watching you - you and the peace globes" he said.
I smiled and stood up. He was right.
Pansies could wait.

"I know, Papa. I've known for some time. You always give me courage when I need it, inspiration when I've lost it, and the biggest laughs....I get the most joy from your far-flung sense of humor. It is with me still." He roared a belly laugh I thought I'd never hear again this side of Heaven. It nearly rocked me off balance, causing me to drop the flat of pansies on the deck, so deep it was, so rich. So Papa.

"I need to ask you! Papa! I have so much to ask you. I don't know what to do about.....
Will you stay?"

"Mimi," he said with that tsk tsk expression, "I need to ask you a question."

I sat back down, wondering somehow if I'd done something wrong. Had I gotten it all wrong? Does he want to talk about the marbles? Yes, that must be it. The marbles. He wants to tell me how he made them. He'll tell me and I'll tell my readers and they'll tell people and he'll explain it all.

I waited.
His eyes to me looked young, as young as he must have been the day he married my pansy-stricken grandmother. They were in the prime of their lives and so in love, both prepared to begin a new life. And now, they were both gone. I had her pansy pots and her azalea bush and her quirkiness. He had memories not to be shared with a granddaughter but memories I saw playing behind the youthful grin. I did not let on. But I knew there were stories he must - he surely must - somewhere - somehow - still share with her.
"Ask, Papa. I'll tell you anything you want to know,” digging a new opening in the dirt for one more yellow pansy.

"Why? Why, Mimi?..........why do you need so many?"

"Because she said if you planted enough of them really close together it would make the bouquet brighter and....."

"No, Mimi. Why do you need so many peace globes?"

I stopped digging, puzzled.

"I don't need them, Papa, they just keep coming. Through my mail and in the back way. In the middle of the night. In the morning. In the evenings. All colors, all creeds, all walks of life. All species, all reasons, some frivolously made, some seriously woven and others with a single signature. Those I like, too."
He sighed.

Had I disappointed him? Was that the wrong answer? What does he want me to say?

If there's one thing about my Papa that was always the best thing - it was his deliberate ability to cut through my facade and get to the truth -usually without a word, never with a scold, and any "serious conversation" he made with me always came on the palpable presence of one who loved me so unconditionally I could never have doubted his intent for my good or his wish for my clear understanding. Laden with well-worn common sense wisdom, I soaked it up often, playing carefully at his painfully laced shoes which criss-crossed in front on me in the living room floor at the bottom of the old leather recliner he loved.
And today, I felt much like that seven-year-old.

Papa had one more story to tell.

"Do you remember the dolls, Mimi? The 100 Dolls?"

"Oh yes, Papa. I still have them. I keep them in the box for safekeeping. They are in perfect condition though the box is yellowed now and torn on the edge. I still see your address, your name, the paid postage stamp and the tape."

He suddenly got a serious look. "I remember the day you asked me for them. We were thumbing through a catalog and you squealed with delight. "One hundred dolls!! How could 100 dolls come in one box?" you asked.

“I remember,” I said. "They costs one dollar and we had to send away for them all the way to New Jersey and add our postage fee. I was so excited and couldn't wait to get them in the mail. I think I was seven? Yes, just about that age."

"Open them, Mimi. They hold a secret. Open the box."

I'm writing this story at my usual perch at the table but of course, in my mind's eye I am there, on the porch with my Papa and we are planting pansies and the sun is hot and the leaves are falling and I don't want to leave. We are having such a lovely day. All is right and he has chosen to visit me now. I don't want to break the spell. I don't want to open the box.....but it is there. It is there in front of me, on the table.
I picked it up, put my reading glasses on, trying to make out the fine print. I reach for a magnifying glass to help but for some reason, I put it down. I couldn't. I couldn't look. I just couldn't.

And when have you ever been able to disobey him? Never. And when have you ever disappointed him? Sometimes. And will you do that today? No.
I picked it up again.

Bulk Rate. US Postage Paid. Newark, N.J. Permit No.4396.
100 Dolls Dept R
285 Market Street
Newark, N.J

What's so special about this old box of dolls? They're plastic and probably a few are missing. Pink. Flimsy. Tiny little things. Not at all like I.....

"Right," said Papa, " you were disappointed. You were disappointed when they arrived a few weeks later. I could see it in your face. I never forgot how cute it was when you said, "NOW I know how they got so many dolls in one box. They don't look like the picture in the magazine at all. They are very small and I think I might even break them." "So you sat at the kitchen table night after night and lined them up. Trying to figure out which was a cook and which was a nurse and which was a girl and which was a boy. I told you that they all have a face and they all have a voice, even if they are on the small side. You made up stories to go with them and then, once you'd brought them to life, there was a sadness about the way you stored them away. Back in the box. Back in the box. Always back in the box."
He shook his head.

This was not going to be easy. What does he want me to see? There won't be an obvious blue world globe-like marble sitting there this time, we're talking about prissy dolls for a prissy girl who turned into a prissy woman who has no idea why she's crying at her keyboard in the middle of this unfinished story.

I decided to open the box.

And there it was. 
Something I'd forgotten about. On top of my dolls in the lower right corner was a matchbox size toy. He'd sent away for that too. It came with my dolls. "Tricky Dogs" They were magnets. One white dog. One black dog. When you start to play with them, they always gravitate toward each other. After forty years the magnet is still strong. I turned them over in my hands I read the back of the box.

Directions: Place one Tricky Dog on a surface (polished wood or glass) Push the other Tricky Dog up to it from behind, or sweep the second Tricky Dog in a half circle around the first one. Watch them twirl!

My tabletop is made of glass. I took the black one and put him up front, made a sneak attack by the white one and voila! the black dog began to spin in a circle - in an energetic frenzy - and aligned itself with the other one smashing into him, wagging their magnetic tails and gravitating together: smooching, the way only magnets can. Most of the time I played with the dolls, but Papa......he would rather I lay aside the Barbie doll brain and chase my dream around the glass top. He was like that. Always dropping life lessons in my lap, at inopportune times like today, when I'd rather be planting pansies.

I laughed. I'd forgotten the hours of entertainment we'd had trying to make the dogs do something else. I tried to separate them so many times - so like me to want to even argue with electrons and atoms - but they always ended up smacking into each other no matter what I did and the twirling little dance always ended with a dog collision. Inevitable. Worked every time. Without fail.
The globes, Papa. They all spin their own way and yet they eventually make their way towards one another spinning together and with one purpose. Is that right?

Now my grownup mind understands such things. I know there really is no "trick" - I know they're just heavily plastered metal toys with magnet skates on the bottom - but I'm not a grownup today. I'm a seven year old on the floor with my Papa and we are playing from the box he mail ordered for me in the 1960's. And I am laughing. The dogs still make me laugh.

I sighed. This observation is just too obvious. Magnets. Globes. Spinning earth balls. Earth Science. I get it. I get it. I turned to him and said, “I know all about this little analogy. I went to college and got a degree since you've been gone ya know. And anyway, I need to finish planting these pansies and get them all in a straight line the way she would....the way she would.....Papa?”


He was gone.

And I was left with a tabletop full of little pink dolls piled on top of each other, delighted to be free of the box, crisscrossing on top of one another and laid crosswise in the jumbled life of another doll, too many for a seven year old to count, too tiny for a middle aged woman to see in great detail and yet.....somehow I knew they'd been waiting for just this hour to make their second debut into my life. Pink. Plastic. Fragile. Soft spoken. And yet....when I put them all together they make an enormous pile.

Like my globes.

“Why? Mimi why? Why do you need so many?”

I never answered his question. That must be why he left. I suppose he is angry with me. I'll have to tell him another time about the blogger from Hong Kong and the man from Singapore and Idaho met Japan and tomorrow Italy promised to email Turkey....Israel and Poland and Tennessee and Michigan is helping Ireland make a globe and it doesn't matter how small their blogs may be, they all have a face and all have a voice and they just want to speak their ....oh never mind.
Hmmm.....It's been forty years and I still haven't played with all those dolls. No time like the present.

So, I took them out of the box.
 One by one. 

A nurse, a dancer, an Indian man, two clowns, Spanish people, a ballerina, a little girl, a man speaking, a roping cowboy, a smiling cowgirl, a Buddhist monk, a Chinese man, a Mexican hat dancer, a Gypsy girl playing a tambourine, Bolero dancers, Little Bo Peep, all nationalities, all creeds, all expressions, all costumes of origin and a world of imagination at my fingertips that now played alone without the fumbling arthritic hand of the man who gave them to me so long ago.......a Peruvian girl, a small child playing ball, a colonial doll with a full skirt taking a bow (My favorite. She bowed a lot in those pre-pencil skirt days). I remembered how his hands were so large and gnarled, fumbling with the small creatures as they fell in his lap. I would laugh and we would start the dance again. The Buddha man would twirl with the Peruvian woman while the little boy with the ball - perhaps it was a jack-in-the-box - sat quietly in the middle of it all. They all got along in my peaceful box universe. The dolls in my box lived in one world, dancing and spinning around. "I'll get that for you, Papa,” I said, “ the lady from Spain would like to dance with the Russian ballerina now if you don't mind........Papa!?”

I looked up from the land of pink twirling peace and saw a tear roll down his cheek and land on his steel-toed shoe. I could tell he longed for our pink doll world of friendly global dancers and I so wanted to never see him sad again. “My life went sailing by," he said, "like a thin silk pansy leaf falling on the wisp of a breeze. I blinked and it was gone. Not much older than you are today. So much left to do. So much left to say. Many more flowers to plant. Many more stars to catch. More dances to dance. My work was not done...... But you knew that, didn't you, Mimi?

I did?

“All I know, Papa, is that I wasn't there that day. I canceled our outing and you left without me. You and grandmother went to the doctor and after that day, I never saw you again. Not ever again. I was angry because you did not say goodbye. I was angry that I did not say goodbye. And I longed to tell you all my tales and all my stories. I've waited for you to tell me what to do. “

I put down the dolls and looked at his wisdom worn face, anxious for the answers that I needed. But he had a way of making me figure it out for myself. This day was no different.

“You do not need me to tell you what to do. I am proud of you and you are doing just fine. Just remember one thing: It takes all the dolls in the box to make the world a beautiful place, Mimi. . They can't hear what the other one has to say unless you introduce them to one another and set their feet to dancing. Take them out of the box.”

Just take them out of the box.
That's it? That's the secret? Take them out of the box? But what about the globes? And the marbles? I jumped up to give him a hug the way I always did but he was gone.

In the bottom of the box I found a piece of yellow paper. It had my name on it, folded, in my grandmother's handwriting. I opened it. It was a speech I'd made in church for a Christmas program when I was 3 years old. He'd tucked it away in the bottom of my doll box. I smiled as I remembered that the best part of that day had been running down the church aisle and jumping into his white-sleeved arms for a hug and a kiss. If I ever doubted what my grandfather gave to me, and continues to instill in me even now, it is the simple power of love and a respect for all creatures large and small - pink and Peruvian.

And that, my friends, is all we need.

Join us Wednesday, November 4, 2020 for the 15th year of BlogBlast For Peace.
Our theme is "Peace in the Time of Quarantine

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