Monday, September 14, 2020

AND SO I PRAY


(I thought of another prose that could be part of a concept album, touching on the topic of bringing the sacred to our Earthly experiences. Find it in your discount bins at any participating Tower Records.)
 
On the surface we may suffer, as we ride the wild rides
Falling and scraping our knees, in the playgrounds outside
The fragile frames fight gravity, from the cradle to the grave
The body can be the home of the free and the brave
And yet tragedy can strike it down with one fatal blow
As we push and pull our way along the pathways we go
Disease and viruses can attack, and force decay
And so I pause … and so I pray
 
Relationships continue the glory of the wicked unknown
Revealing secrets about ourselves even we had not known
There is he and she and then me and we
Pushing us beyond barriers, so we can be who we can be
Discovering new hearts, new eyes, open to see
Uncovering the truths that shall set us free
But first we may walk through darkness, as we fight, separate, betray
And so I pause … and so I pray
 
Communities, societies, nations hold hushed destinies
Broken systems, politics, prisons, crimes, felonies
A shutdown shuts us up and then shuts us down
Corruption now normal, once hidden underground
Children abused, misused, or even missing out of sight
An empty swing set, squeaks and sways silent in the night
What is our birthright, what do we all deserve
Leveraging leaders forget the masses they are supposed to serve
The power of the people must stand up and have its say
And so I pause … and so I pray
 
Moving from the outward to the inward in one brief motion
I see where I must first put my energy and devotion
Delusions – a free-for-all for the sickened mind – hold no power
As we evolve … in the end … in the final hour
We hold out for the truth, and we envision the best
The illusions dissolve and die, and are simply laid to rest
I’ve got to get out of my head, out of my own way
And so I do what I must do, even in this passion play
In contemplation and meditation, the chaos and static simply fades away
Because I pause … and because I pray
 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Sixth Sense

 

Spoiler alert: The Sixth Sense voted film with best twist | Film | The  Guardian
 

I wasn't really looking for a sign or anything.

Just a simple connection.

I knew such a connection could come in various forms. When you are talking about the "other side," there are so many ways to go beyond the veil and connect: meeting up with a loved one in the dream-state, a sensation when a song comes on the radio, an emotion arising from out of nowhere, a communion during a meditation, an actual apparition.

I was looking to make contact with my mom, but no big deal, no big drama. Perhaps just a simple hello.

It was last Wednesday. I was at the dentist. 

And the thought came to me. "Oh hey, where are you Mom?"

You see, once upon a time, when I was a kid, my mother would take me to the dentist. Like any mother would, I imagine. And during those very scary times, with my little body and mind filled with fear, I held solace knowing that she would be near, if even just sitting in the close-by waiting room reading a magazine or looking at the fish. 

Flash forward three years ago - not too long after she had passed away - I was sitting in the dentist chair again. This time as an adult. This time in San Diego. Though I still held a similar anxiety and dread. In fact, this dentist visit was downright scary, as I was having some surgery done. Because I felt the same sort of fear I held as a kid, wouldn't you know it! Out of nowhere, my mind was filled with a childhood memory, and the room was filled with a presence. I recall sitting there as emotion rushed up in me, thinking - no ... knowing - my mother was once again here for a son going through one of those tough times. 

I started to tear up out of love. The dentist asked, "Are you OK; am I hurting you?"

"No, you are not."

That visitation from my mother was so real to me. I really could feel her presence. Some may scoff, think it a figment of my imagination, and that's all right. I know what I know. And I know my mom's energy and her presence. I know it so well, that in other subsequent visits to the dentist, I have thought of her and then asked, "Hey ... where did you go?"

Included in these other visits was the one last Wednesday, which didn't hold the same fear and dread as previous visits. And since I didn't feel my mother's presence, I figured the easy-peazy procedure did not warrant a long-distance trip to some dentist office in San Diego. 

Coincidentally, earlier that day, at breakfast, my wife Jennifer and I were talking about current affairs that included a childhood memory of mine - how my mom used to put my milk money into an envelope, so that I wouldn't lose the two coins in my pocket as I walked to school. Remember milk money? Did you ever have a mom who put your coins into an envelope for you? 

Mine did. And that memory, talked over breakfast, brought back good feelings of loving support. 

On the dentist visit later in the day, the thought of my mother did indeed cross my mind. But nothing too grand. I thought she may have other things going on. I don't know her current schedule; I've no access to an online calendar or anything. Even so, I did float the idea that it would be nice to connect somehow ... you know ... if it works out. 

Upon leaving the dentist office, I thanked the office staff there, grabbed my phone, knelt down to tie my shoe, picked up a random nickle and penny at my feet, put on the headset of my phone and get to my car. After getting home, I recounted the story of my dentist trip.

Not even fully noticing what had happened there, Jennifer had to remind me of our previous conversation - how my mother would place into an envelope my milk money ... a nickle and a penny.

Six cents.  

Not two nickles. Not one penny. But a nickle and a penny. 

Six cents. 

Doesn't sound like much. Not too much to find on the ground. I mean it couldn't even buy some milk nowadays. Not even close. 

But it was nice to find. It was a pleasant memory, a lovely sign from the universe. It was a wonderful connection to rekindle.

 The Six Cents - Patrick M. Kelly's Bulletin Board

 

Friday, September 11, 2020

It Will Come Upon Our Shore


 
You've heard the song before. It speaks of the tragedy, darkness and ugliness that happens in a location that is - thankfully - far away from where we stand.

It all happens over there ... over there.

Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming
Everywhere
So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We'll be over, we're coming over
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there

This was the sentiment, here in the United States back in the early- and mid-20th century, when war took place in far-off lands, in a foreign theater that would not be observed except in newspaper clips, photojournalism, history books, some TV news segments, or war stories. The results we could view in the ticker-tape ribbons streaming down the parade on Broadway in New York, in victory. Or in the PTSD of those returning from the likes of Vietnam, in defeat. 

The most we would see of war came in documentaries on WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam, sit-coms like "MASH," and on the news segments if we could stomach it. Even then, though, it would be taking place on a small rectangular or square flat screen, from which we could turn our gaze and once again be in a family living room. 

Home sweet home. Safe. 

Yes, in 1941 there was that initial shock of being hit at "home," on our own territory's soil, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in the famous day of infamy. Shock-waves ushered us gladly into WWII. However, somehow even with this close-to-home hit, we still knew war, battles, bombs and terror took place ... over there.

It wouldn't be until September 2001 when the real wake-up call would come - on a Tuesday morning, sunny, clear sky.

Suddenly in the flash of a newscast, broadcast time and time again, over and over, we realized it could happen anywhere. It wasn't just "over there" any longer. Terror and war could arrive in our own backyard. It could come upon our shore. It could happen here.

No longer would there be the cinematic image of just dust being kicked up in the desert, or jungle villages being blown up with foreigners running for their lives, sometimes terrorized and naked.

Now it was a large US city - skyscrapers collapsing under the weight of the unknown, and bodies jumping towards their final release. It was here. Or at least nearby.

For those of us not living in New York City or Washington DC or in an empty field in Shanksville, PA, we still may subconsciously and even consciously think to ourselves: well, it didn't happen here. It was over there in another part of our country.

Still not in the backyard. Still not on our shores.

That was until 2020 came along and the terror of radicalized "protestors" decided to take their "protests," campaigns, angst, and hired directives, towards other target cities within our country. Hell, even the small, quiet town of La Mesa, a neighboring city to my own, was the site of rioting, looting and burning. It was right there in my backyard. While visiting my bank in the late afternoon, I was mere feet away from the marching crowds that became, a few hours later after being joined by the mob, menaces designed to destroy and terrorize.

Yes, terror. The terror is here. The terrorists are here.
 
Innocent people walking down the street being screamed at, being struck from behind, being shot, being killed. Those with a sane mind would have no trouble defining such actions as terror-filled.
 
Here. Right here. And getting closer. 

And so - if this is the case, what can be done?

Perhaps it all comes down to defining the word we've been using all along in this piece. "Here." If we used to consider horrors happening over there, how would we define this term "here?" 

I would imagine we could determine that "here" would start and end with a border - at Canada to the north, Mexico to the south and some form of ocean to the left and right. I guess that would be the case if you consider yourself an American, with US borders defining you. 

And yet.

What if we expanded ourselves to include other countries, other nations, other continents? What would "here" look like? What if we embraced the entire globe as our own, with its inhabitants not "over there" somewhere, but here ... on the planet on which we stand? 

Now I'm not suggesting we dissolve borders of nations, just as we don't dissolve bodies when drawing healthy boundaries around our persons or homes. 

But if there is an underlying interconnected quality between us all - can we really be left without impact when another nation falls or experiences disaster, drought or devastation? 

Perhaps our salvation will come when we no longer feel safe because trouble is something that takes place far away in some distant land. But rather, our salvation and safety can come from embracing the reality of our unity. 

A tall order. 

But it's the only option that ushers us out of the slumber of separation that would have us go careless in the face of cities and humans left in rubble and trouble. 

We have to create a new paradigm, and live from that heightened state of mind. We are all connected. And everyone counts. When our brothers and sisters are harmed, it can impact the collective humanity, just as when our hand hurts it impacts the human on the whole. 

Someday we may all wake up to this. 

Maybe when it really counts ... when it's really real.

Maybe when it truly comes upon our shore.

James Anthony Ellis is at www.LegacyProductions.org a lot of the time. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Pencils and Straws

This one about the freedom of expression, in the form of pencils and straws. That's right; you heard me.


Go crazy boy, let your expression bust the sky
Life, such a joy, when your depression is just passing by
Freedom is forever here, freedom is right now
When you sever with your fear, living in the wow
May your conscience be clear, your spirit always young
The presence now appears, the future just begun
You play to your own beat, your energy riding higher
Now say you are complete, your energy will never tire
May your arms not grow weak, your fingers not go raw
The mad drummer on the lead ... with pencils and straws
 
Yes – pencils and straws – that’s what I said
Breaking no laws, why use drumsticks instead?
No matter what you pick, you create some more rhythm
A finger, a pen, a stick – orchestrate your momentum
You choose your instrument; tap it on the nearest “drum”
We’ll know just what you meant, as you slap it just for fun
Oh you silly one, with the fidgety innocence so pure
Communication fully done … will be, in a sense, the cure
It’s what the artist sees; it’s what the prophets saw
Banging on shins, ankles and knees … with pencils and straws
 
So perform your part, and do all that you can
Fully and from the heart, even on that old trashcan
Free your self and soul, play everything full out
Be yourself, be bold, learn to twist and shout
Use whatever you need, whatever might be nearby
You just might succeed, when you give it the old college try
Soaring in your joy – with every session, you fly
Go crazy boy, let your expression bust the sky
You reveal as you choose, beyond any failures and flaws
How can you lose – with all those pencils and straws
All those pencils and straws

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The World's Latest Arrival


My niece Grace and her husband Cody, first time parents, today. Yup, today...
            ______
 
Well welcome here – welcome to this world
7 pounds 1 ounce – a healthy baby girl
So happy to see you, happy you came along
10 fingers and toes, almost 20 inches long
Born July 30, 2020, 2:10 in the afternoon
Right on time – truly not too late … and really not too soon
Gosh – what will be your story, your fairy tale?
Sweet little one … sweet Abigail

Your folks are so happy, smiles ear to ear
The world’s latest arrival – so precious and dear
The sky opens up; pathways stretch ahead
Memories of the infinite fill the heart instead
The marriage of your spirit has caused you to create
An extension of your love, destined to fulfill a fate
Born amidst harmony, among those cradling peace
Here comes the grand celebration of a great, great niece 

So what have you in store, any wonderful plans as yet?
I’m sure you’ll be funny and sunny, with gags you’ll give and get
Of course, it’s all wide open; it will ultimately be up to you
Everywhere you’ll go, and all you’ll see and do
Of course there will be the pratfalls, you know, those times to stumble
If anything like your parents, you’ll be gracious, generous and humble
There need be no opposition; there is no need for rival
For you, newcomer here, the world’s latest and greatest arrival
Gee – a lovely start to your journey, on into this chosen world
Born just this afternoon – a beautiful baby girl
Yes … what will be your story … your holy fairy tale?
Sweet little divine one … sweet Abigail

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

This Land


 
 
(A parody prose reflecting on current crazy events, as sung to the tune of “This Land is Your Land.”)

This land is your land, and this land is my land
From Left Coast Coolsville, to the New York mob squad
From the Congress fortress, to the deep still waters
This land was made for you and me

As I went blocking cars on a freeway
I saw above me a police copter
Saw below me a fallen comrade
This land was here for you and me

I rushed and rioted, and I've followed my stampede
To the sparkling fireworks thrown in the darkness
All around me a mom’s voice screaming
My child was killed for you and me

When the sun come shining, then I was so shocked
The buildings burned out and the dust clouds billowing
A voice was moaning as the flag was simmering
This land was torn for you and me

This land is your land, and this land is my land
From churning Seattle to burning Portland
From Chicago’s death march, to the lawless New York
This land was wrecked for you and me

When the bricks were soaring, then I was ducking
And the punches flying, the bodies piling
The propaganda chanting and the morgue was filling
This land was spoiled for you and me

This land is your land, and this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulfstream waters
This land was made for you and me

This land is made by you and me


James Anthony Ellis is a writer found at www.LegacyProductions.org.
 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Discernment - The Final Frontier




"We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

         ~ William Casey, CIA Chief 1981

Today I had to do it! I could not wait or wonder any longer.

I so fervently needed the absolute truth, that I had to simply go to the ONE SOURCE of all things real.

Yup, I had to go to go there: to SNOPES at Snopes.com!

This online service is a one-stop shop for the recognition of reality, especially in these days of conflicting reports, haywire news-wires, social media memes and "conspiracy theories."
 
With a healthy appetite to get to the heart of the matter, along with my share of doubts, I've been a searcher and researcher my entire life.

I was 19 days old laying in a crib when our 35th US President was murdered in Daley Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Yes, that's my alibi.

And that also means for my entire life, I was raised in an open-minded environment with a father who dug into the JFK murder cover-up, basically offering me a foundation of intrigue, inquiry and suspicion. I grew up KNOWING it was OK - actually necessary - to question any official narratives spoon-fed us by those who could benefit from our lack of knowledge and awareness.

A “magic bullet” traveled to and fro - up and down and all around - before striking different bodies on that fateful November day in Dallas?

Ohhhh kay ... what - evah!

Whether that bullet bullshit is true or not - let's be open-minded about this - the very fact it can be questioned completely blows open a life of investigation and discovery.

If the JFK one-shooter non-conspiracy conspiracy theory is fake, then what else is fake? Oh man, should we even go there? It could be a scary venture to part ways from the commonly accepted broadcast. But what else can you do but GO THERE when searching out for the truth?

I remember when I was in third grade, we'd have these Thanksgiving celebrations. We'd have a meal or some cupcakes; we'd make turkeys out of the outlining of our hand, and hear the story of the Indians and the Pilgrims. I recall the story of how well the Europeans and the Natives got along, chowing down mashed potatoes and green beans and bread and maize-on-the-cob. I remember giving this quizzical look as if to say, "Are you sure it happened this way?"

I guess I was always wanting to burn through the BS and get to what's true, to something holding what could be called the "absolute."

But where could a human go for this level of knowledge: something without opposite, something that carried the underlying reality for all ... a rock to hold onto?

I went many places:
  • School - Teachers wouldn't lie ... would they? I mean these were adults, bigger people. They passed out the history books, the dustier the better, found also in libraries with big, long shelves, delineated through a Dewey Decimal System. But who wrote these books? Most likely humans who won the wars.
  • The Red Writing - I remember in reading through the Bible, that it was the red print that I was attracted to, believing this was divinely inspired expression, carrying the way, the truth and the light, beyond debate, or the failings of man.
  • Science - I learned about some laws of physics, ones that could not be bent by thought or belief, even if those pioneer scientists were executed by over-reaching royalties who didn't like such heretic-led discoveries.
  • Movies, TV and Art - Heck, the X Files told us "The truth is out there." Could that be so off base? Though some films truly opened the mind ("The Matrix") and the heart ("ET"), I'm a bit hesitant believing all that comes from La La Land Hollyweird. I mean yeah, aren't they paid to make shit up?
  • The News - As I was schooled in journalism, I held the industry in high regard for so long. That was until anyone with a blog, an opinion and an ass was a “journalist,” and anyone with an iPhone was a “reporter.” Plus any news media that takes sides is not true journalism.
  • Fact Checkers - Right now, this post may be checked for accuracy. If they find any of it "wrong," does that make me a liar? And who hires these fact checkers, and with what ground-rules?
  • Courts / Cops - In the old days these were the havens of black-and-white law and order, and "just the facts maam." Now I don't know. I went up against a judge who seemed more preoccupied with moving things along and covering his butt than getting to the rock bottom truth.
  • Politicians - God help us all.
  • Thought Leaders - Oh there are a ton. And if you ask them, they indeed have all the answers. One I actually have looked up to is a non-apologetic truth-telling seminar leader Justin Sterling. He really lays it on the line with some truisms about men and women that no one in the politically correct world would touch. So either he is right on or absolutely appalling. Or both.
  • Philosophers - My favorite along these lines is Descartes - this crazy mofo postulated that nothing from our limiting senses could offer us the truth, for these mutable five are, by nature, subjective and ever-changing. Descarte found within rational pursuits, such as mathematics, that there would be static and unchanging realities that did not alter over time and space. He may have been the first to utter: "Two plus two always equals four, dammit!"
  • Music – Ah, my albums, CDs and cassette tapes! I love them. They don’t make these any more, do they?
  • Mystics and Psychics - Hey, don't knock it until you've been around a true mystic who sees beyond the veil and brings some far-out realities no one could reasonably guess. These folks must be in touch with something bigger and something higher! Though then again no one is perfect, and rumor has it everyone on planet Earth, so far, is human.

So where does that leave me? In all of these endeavors in my search, I have desired a reality transcending opinion and belief.

This is why I decided, after all this time, to just bypass all these other sources and go towards the Big One. That's right: Snopes.com. I mean they say it themselves: "We are the internet’s go-to source for discerning what is true and what is total nonsense."

Thank God! They even sound beyond human, beyond mistake, beyond beyond.

Hoping to confirm a certain matter, I was researching this idea that Google was playing some tricky games again, with its algorithm searches. A couple weeks ago, some folks were saying that when you typed in ANY THREE DIGIT figure into a Google search, the first item at the top of the page would always be the number of reported COVID virus cases. Meaning, type in 223 or 432 or 695 and you would get THAT exact number as the number of reported cases in the top search. 

I recall after first seeing the claim, I did my own test on that, typing in my three numbers over and over again. I was amazed to see that it was true. IT WAS TRUE! What is up with this craziness? How could that ever be the case? After seeing the claim again yesterday, I wondered what Snopes had to say about it. Snopes noted that the claim was a “conspiracy theory” and labeled it all “FALSE.”

I went to test it again on Google, and the search no longer held the same results.

And so there you go.

My experience revealed indeed something to be true, and then Snopes went ahead and put its proverbial foot down with a big fat FALSE, while Google changed its algorithms for some unknown reason.

Now what?

Perhaps many of you have landed in this place. Now what?

What have we got to navigate our way through the world of form desiring some sort of absolute truth?

In the end, we may just reside in what we all were given since the beginning:
  • Our gut
  • Our intuition
  • Our discernment
Discernment - the ability to judge well - may just be our own go-to source for knowing what is true and what is nonsense. This just may be our one-stop-shop, our last-ditch effort. 
 
Our final frontier.

And maybe, as we make our way - manifesting the life we truly want here - that’s just how it should be.


James Anthony Ellis exists therefore he is ... and can be found at www.LegacyProductions.org.