Joe Bradshaw:

A very wothy and honorable cause we can all take part in and make a difference right here and now with just a little effort much good and kindness can make a great difference.

Originally posted on everyday gurus:

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“Peace is not something you wish for, it something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away.”–Robert Fulghum

In an effort to actively do something to create more peace in the world in 2013, I am dedicating a number of my posts specifically to peace. I invite you to join me. We can call ourselves “Bloggers for Peace.” Everyone is invited to join. The requirements are simple and flexible.

  • Devote at least one post a month to/for/about peace. If you write poems or fiction, write a piece about peace. If you take photos, post a photo or gallery that reflects, symbolizes, defines, or creates peace. If you write rants, rant at something that disturbs the peace or rant about something that promotes peace. If you are into zen, post a blank white page. If you are an artist…you get the idea. Feel free to…

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Still standing


This deep dark pain the tears fall like rain

Every drop of blood flowing in my veins

Forever broken like  broken glass in a window pane

Replaced yet never the same

Please take away the pain

 

Your mercy and your grace

Can take away the bitter taste

I ask on bended knee your mercy and grace

As tears roll down my human face

 

Chasms of hurt deep and wide

Mountains of destruction foolish pride

Now not a friend nor earthly bride

Empty and hollow deep dark pain inside

 

Your mercy and your grace

Can take away the bitter taste

I ask on bended knee your mercy and grace

As tears roll down my human face

 

Laying broken on the ground

Flowers blooming all around

Love grace and mercy found

Me standing on a world that’s round

   I hesitate to share this yet I am moved to share and express myself. The holidays are my favorite part of the year and as my Holidays have so radically changed in the last few years it has been a gift to enjoy them on a much deeper level within myself. The last two years I have spent pretty much in solitude, my best friend having left me both of those and my children far away. I do have family close by and spent Christmas Eve with them,  we are all outspoken and sometimes lack tact I left before the family drama.

I share my poem and a little of my story after Christmas and before New Years as a way of sharing the path of one mans journey and depth and love of himself to be true to his being. It has been a gift especially this year that I have found me and learned to truly love and embrace who I am. That gift is of the divine for with no inner love and faith my prayers and sacrifice I would be a truly lonely and bitter man.

My lessons learned have begun to bring true detachment and true love to my being and given the gift of depth to my love for the divine and all of its creation. It is my true hope that as we move into the next year we may begin today to share the love we all have within.

I thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts and feelings in an artful form. I hope we can all share a smile share some love and make our world a better place for all we share it with. Please share a smile share your love and be the change positive. Thank you again!

Sand


Flowing gently sands of time

Hour glass of the Divine

 

Internal joy from sorrow

Love deeper today and tomorrow

 

Precious, grains of sand many yet few

Moments gifts of love shared with you

 

Peace and tranquility in your mind

When within you connect with the divine

 

From love and devotion, tranquility in motion

We can each bring peace across oceans

 

Precious sands of time crossing every line

Every continent every creation every mind

Passes through the hour glass of the divine

 

Flowing gently sands of time

Living with love what’s left of mine

 

I am grateful to have opportunity to share a thought or two. It is a gift to read all the wonderful posts on here as well as in our world as many share great acts and small acts of love every day helping make our world a better place. We all contribute in one way or another it is as it is. I do however take encouragement in the fact that so many are indeed being such positive beings and role models for others with their inspiring words and actions.

Thank you for sharing your time and a smile. I hope we can all be the change positive and help our world become a netter place for all we share it with. Please share a smile and share your love it all starts within, share a smile and let the change begin.

 

The Gift of the Magi, by another of my favorite artists O. Henry


One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pierglass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.”

“Will you buy my hair?” asked Della.

“I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.”

Down rippled the brown cascade.

“Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

“Give it to me quick,” said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

“If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?”

At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

“Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”

“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?”

Jim looked about the room curiously.

“You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

“You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

“Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.”

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!”

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

“Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.”

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

“Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ‘em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.”

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Literature Network » O Henry » The Gift Of The Magi

 

I share this special piece as it is the Holiday Season and this is a Beautiful story of Love and Magic. I am working double shifts this week to have next week off so I am a little remiss on posting likes and responding to comments. I do however read your posts through out the day on my not so smart phone. I will catch up over the weekend.

 

Thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts and the gift of another of my favorite artists. I hope we can share a smile and share some love making our world a batter place for all we share it with. Please share a smile and be the change positive it all starts within and a smile is an easy place to begin.

True Friends


Gentle and strong, the love we share helps us carry on

Softly speaking sometimes, silent, like the pause in a song

 

Gently carried in the wind, rain falling softly on your skin

Music of enchantment, your act of kindness, plays within

 

Quiet hope and simple dreams, gentle kind love shared

Your gift to me a treasure, ever in my life simple yet very rare

 

One of great feeling, knowing you care

Gentle and strong, the love of your kindness shared

I share a thought as I was given a gift from one I was not expecting one from. In fact as it is the only actual physical gift I received and the person it was from reaches the very depth of my heart and is in a way one of the most cherished kind. Hope…. In love there is always hope. Even more important is the basis of that hope a true friendship one of a deep unknown bond, to me a divine gift.

I hope we can all share a smile and some love helping our world become a batter place for all we share it with. Please be the change positive it starts within and is shared easily with a smile. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and perhaps a smile.

 

Winters Share


Flowers blooming

Tranquility looming

 

Birds singing

Joy to our hearts bringing

 

Leaf falling

Gentle and kind

 

 

Winter bare

Love and share

 

 A thought I choose to share as I respond to the great number of comments and thoughts shared. I am working on responses and appreciate the understanding if I have yet to get to your note and the smile as well as the love shared. Thank you!

I hope we can all share a smile and share some love making our world a better place for all we share it with. Please be the change positive and share a smile.

 

Gifts


 

 

They are not so rare they are everywhere

No special days not a Holiday to share

 

They do have to be given with care

We all have inside the thing we can if we dare

 

Is the gift of a smile, a word or a hug

The gift of giving love to even a bug

 

We share them with those close and those far

The more you share the bigger you are

 

As small as a human can be

Although smaller than a Redwood Tree

 

Big enough to destroy all we see

 

Strong enough to know how small we can be

Each one of us knows the power of a smile, a kind word or a hug

Individually love shared is positively Changing our Humanity

I share a thought or two and wish to thank you all for your taking time to visit my pages and with hope a smile shared. I hope we can all be the change positive and share our love with a smile and an act of kindness here and there for our fellow man and make our world a better place for all we share it with.