Category Archives: Peace

Overheard in an Alley

color029_sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50 Boy building a model airplane as girl watches. Robstown, Texas, January 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Voice One: The guy with the hair; what’s his name again?

Voice Two: I forget.

Voice One: They say he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Who says he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody.

Voice Two: Really?

Voice One: Yeah, really. So Whaddaya think?

Voice Two: About what?

Voice One: Is he guilty?

Voice Two: Who? The guy with the hair?

Voice One: Yeah.

Voice Two: Guilty of what?

Voice One: I don’t know, actually. It must be something awful.

Voice Two: Why do you think that?

Voice One: Well, because; He won’t defend himself.

Voice Two: Did he say why?

Voice One: It didn’t make much sense, come to think of it.

Voice Two: Okay, but what was it; what’d he say?

Voice One: Something about turning his head or something like that?

Voice Two: Could it have been about turning the other cheek?

Voice One: Cheeks, yeah. Turn the other cheek. That was it. Whaddaya think he
meant?

Voice Two: Well you were there. What did you think?

Voice One: Beats me.

Voice Two: Then why do you think he’s guilty? You don’t know what he’s guilty
of but you think he’s guilty. He doesn’t defend himself and you seem
to think that this is evidence of his guilt. And now that you’ve heard
his reason for not defending himself, you don’t know what he means
but you still think he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody else does.

Voice Two: What he said was that when someone wrongs us or metaphorically
slaps us across the cheek that it is better to turn our cheek and let
the offender slap the other cheek than to have our revenge with him.
His reason appears to be that it is better for only one person to suffer
than two.
And you know yourself that when you argue with someone it is rare
for anyone to come out on top.

Voice One: Well, I still think he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Why’s that.

Voice One: Because, Silly; everybody knows he’s guilty.

Voice Two: And that’s it?

Voice One: What can you expect from a guy like that?

Voice Two: A guy like what?

Voice One: Well ask anyone; everybody knows he was born in a barn.

Overheard in an Alley

color029_sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50 Boy building a model airplane as girl watches. Robstown, Texas, January 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Voice One: The guy with the hair; what’s his name again?

Voice Two: I forget.

Voice One: They say he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Who says he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody.

Voice Two: Really?

Voice One: Yeah, really. So Whaddaya think?

Voice Two: About what?

Voice One: Is he guilty?

Voice Two: Who? The guy with the hair?

Voice One: Yeah.

Voice Two: Guilty of what?

Voice One: I don’t know, actually. It must be something awful.

Voice Two: Why do you think that?

Voice One: Well, because; He won’t defend himself.

Voice Two: Did he say why?

Voice One: It didn’t make much sense, come to think of it.

Voice Two: Okay, but what was it; what’d he say?

Voice One: Something about turning his head or something like that?

Voice Two: Could it have been about turning the other cheek?

Voice One: Cheeks, yeah. Turn the other cheek. That was it. Whaddaya think he
meant?

Voice Two: Well you were there. What did you think?

Voice One: Beats me.

Voice Two: Then why do you think he’s guilty? You don’t know what he’s guilty
of but you think he’s guilty. He doesn’t defend himself and you seem
to think that this is evidence of his guilt. And now that you’ve heard
his reason for not defending himself, you don’t know what he means
but you still think he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody else does.

Voice Two: What he said was that when someone wrongs us or metaphorically
slaps us across the cheek that it is better to turn our cheek and let
the offender slap the other cheek than to have our revenge with him.
His reason appears to be that it is better for only one person to suffer
than two.
And you know yourself that when you argue with someone it is rare
for anyone to come out on top.

Voice One: Well, I still think he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Why’s that.

Voice One: Because, Silly; everybody knows he’s guilty.

Voice Two: And that’s it?

Voice One: What can you expect from a guy like that?

Voice Two: A guy like what?

Voice One: Well ask anyone; everybody knows he was born in a barn.

A LOVELY SPRING DAY

lafayette compound 012

A LOVELY SPRING DAY

What a lovely spring day. The sun is warm, the birds are singing, and the wispy clouds are adding a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day…

(Actually this is one of the hottest Arizona days ever.)

A few dawns from now the mornings will cool and habits will change. This springtime affirmation is from a story I wrote once and is the first thing I tell myself at 6:45 a.m.

My alarm  wakens me with a recording of Pachebel’s Canon in D. There are many variations of this rondo after centuries of exposure to those creative minds who unsatisfied with the gift, may tweak the tempo or add a flute solo. The version which lazes its way into my consciousness each morning has been used to back a lyric I wrote in the seventies, a mellow, dreamy poem, beginning with spoken, trance-inducing words which can lower the effects of mid-day stress or help the early morning listener to waken gradually, suggesting a stress free, creative day, “a lovely spring day”.

“Maybe you were in a park one lazy afternoon and as you lay there on the grass a butterfly came along and landed on a wrinkle in your jeans and at that precise moment you realized that this butterfly had a secret that you knew once, long, long ago.”

I began my search for peaceful living in the eighties after living unsuccessfully with dyslexia for a couple of decades. And I earn my keep by writing about Love.

I no longer drive. I live in a neighborhood with a Beverly Hills appearance in a tiny, well designed studio in what was once an extremely pricey condo with an attitude, located on a street trafficked with BMW’s and new pickemup trucks, pulling trailers containing shovels and hoes.

On each side of the street there are two bike lanes; two because landscapers and lawyers often block the lane near the curb. The bicycles which often cost more than a five -year-old Audi are highly respected and the riders rarely hit the brakes for they have the right of way; a common sight is to see a biker slow for an intersection already populated with four, waiting vehicles. The rider continues with the aloofness one might expect from the only human for blocks.

The other commuters continue on their way.

I do not ride a thirty-thousand-dollar bicycle or even three-thousand-dollar version ; I am a practical fellow whose reputation keeps people guessing; my two-wheeler is a beautiful creation of French-Chinese manufacture which cost little and looks as though it belongs on my street. It gets me to the local shopping center owned by a former vice-president. I shop at the Grocer or park my Motobecane and catch a bus.

We are getting to my adventure of the day (public transportation has many surprises for the adventurous). I transfer to an inter-city rail, placing my hands around the cameras dangling from my neck as I board while reciting my “lovely-spring-day” mantra. I proceed cautiously while watching two men fist-fighting. A braver man might have recorded the event on a smart device. I moved to the next car.

Hours later, an outdoor art exhibit in my wake and a bagful of library books in my cotton TRADER JOE’S bag, I ride the rails once again, stopping at Wendy’s for a salad, moving afterwards to a shaded bus bench. Hot, hot, hot (…a lovely spring day…) Pulling out a crossword I began looking for a synonym for irony.

Two clues later I realized that I had company. A twenty year old lady said “Hello, do you mind if I smoke?” and sat down.

“No” I replied “as long as it isn’t around me.”  (…a lovely spring day…).

I returned to my crossword page for another clue.

Suddenly I heard music. It was loud enough for me to dance to despite the fact that the sound was being teleported directly into this poor girl’s brain. (…a lovely spring day…).

She must have thought I wanted to dance with her because her plump self suddenly began burning calories, every section of her body wiggling in its own direction.

I waved my hand to get her attention; she began to sing. I tapped her bare shoulder and she removed the earbuds and said  “WHAT?”

“Please don’t do that”.

“F****ck you”.

Unsatisfied with her answer, I rearranged my statement into a request. “Would you please, don’t do that?

“F****ck you”.

“IT’S A LOVELY SPRING DAY”.

“F****ck you”.

“IT’S A LOVELY SPRING DAY”.

 What a lovely spring day. The sun is warm, the birds are singing, and the wispy clouds are adding a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day…

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LeeBroom

SOUR, DOUR, DOWN-IN-THE MOUTH (OR NOT)

lafayette compound 012

SOUR, DOUR, DOWN-IN-THE MOUTH  (OR NOT)
For as long as I can remember I have dreaded waking to winter mornings.

Obviously there is a connection in my brain that has sought , selected and agreed upon, which has developed an understanding about lower temps and wrinkled brows.

Still, I prefer rising from my staple cotton, zafu-like mattress at around 5:30 A.M, the norm for my warm-weather wake-up call. My inner light says “get up, Lee Broom” and my inner voice says “leave me alone”, so I sleep another two hours and awaken angrily regretting having made such a bad mistake.

Yesterday I remembered that when my noisy, nocturnally motivated, overhead-condo-neighbor awakens me at 2:30 A.M. hanging pictures or banging drawers and doors I simply rise from my bed and play back my dreams if any were interrupted, then move to my desk where  I write,

In the middle of the night I happily  research and tap away on my keyboard; perhaps I write about “That Dream”.

And rarely under such circumstances am I sour, dour or down in the mouth; I am happy because I am doing what I most enjoy doing at a time that is not foggy from wintertime over-sleep.

So…

Last night I set the alarm to allow for only a five-hour snooze:
 
 I awoke with enthusiasm and went straight to work.
Not very objective but I will continue with the experiment.
lee_broom
Lee Broom

Overheard in an Alley

color029_sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50 Boy building a model airplane as girl watches. Robstown, Texas, January 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Voice One: The guy with the hair; what’s his name again?

Voice Two: I forget.

Voice One: They say he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Who says he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody.

Voice Two: Really?

Voice One: Yeah, really. So Whaddaya think?

Voice Two: About what?

Voice One: Is he guilty?

Voice Two: Who? The guy with the hair?

Voice One: Yeah.

Voice Two: Guilty of what?

Voice One: I don’t know, actually. It must be something awful.

Voice Two: Why do you think that?

Voice One: Well, because; He won’t defend himself.

Voice Two: Did he say why?

Voice One: It didn’t make much sense, come to think of it.

Voice Two: Okay, but what was it; what’d he say?

Voice One: Something about turning his head or something like that?

Voice Two: Could it have been about turning the other cheek?

Voice One: Cheeks, yeah. Turn the other cheek. That was it. Whaddaya think he
meant?

Voice Two: Well you were there. What did you think?

Voice One: Beats me.

Voice Two: Then why do you think he’s guilty? You don’t know what he’s guilty
of but you think he’s guilty. He doesn’t defend himself and you seem
to think that this is evidence of his guilt. And now that you’ve heard
his reason for not defending himself, you don’t know what he means
but you still think he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody else does.

Voice Two: What he said was that when someone wrongs us or metaphorically
slaps us across the cheek that it is better to turn our cheek and let
the offender slap the other cheek than to have our revenge with him.
His reason appears to be that it is better for only one person to suffer
than two.
And you know yourself that when you argue with someone it is rare
for anyone to come out on top.

Voice One: Well, I still think he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Why’s that.

Voice One: Because, Silly; everybody knows he’s guilty.

Voice Two: And that’s it?

Voice One: What can you expect from a guy like that?

Voice Two: A guy like what?

Voice One: Well ask anyone; everybody knows he was born in a barn.