UNWRITER Ron Berry

February 3, 2009

Valentine’s day

Filed under: humor — unwriter1 @ 10:22 am
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Valentines day is just around the corner. Everyone thinks it’s for lovers, but it is much more than that. I’ll go into that in a bit but first I want to share some inside information. As most of you know, I work with a lot of kritters. Because of that, I was allowed, one time, to share a few tidbits.Cupid and the Easter bunny share a house. I was given a virtual tour a while back. I’m sorry but I’m not allowed to say where their house is. In the basement, Cupid practices his arrow shooting. Every once in a while, he misses and hits some of the soon to be Easter eggs. That is why some of the eggs seem out of place with romantic saying on them. It doesn’t happen often but every once in a while you’ll find one. Cupid on the other hand, borrows some of Easter bunny’s tricks for hiding Valentines gifts. He does leave subtle hints though, like, “DON’T SIT IN THAT CHAIR” or “Stay out of the refrigerator until Val, er, the 14th of Febuary”. When Giorgio and Horace aren’t practicing for their one-day of yearly fame, they just chill in front of the television. Horace bunny hates his name. He figures mom must have gotten some tainted carrots the day she named him. So please, only call him Mr. Bunny or the Easter bunny. Anyway, you can usually find these two chugging carrot juice and munching chocolate while arguing over the remote. Giorgio, as would be expected, sits with a large industrial sized box of tissues as he watches sappy love stories. Mr. Bunny on the other hand prefers mysteries and comedies. Who would guess?

Life at home was rather placid until the year of the great draught. A couple of the local elves (Elmer and Ellis), were tending their clover field and noticed that not one single one had four leaves. They did the same thing as always, by using their special fertilizer, but this year it just did not work. Oh what were they going to do? They needed these four leaf clovers to keep the St. Patrick’s Rainbow glowing. They contacted Cupid and were invited to come live with them. They could grow their special clovers in the basement (it has a magic ability of expanding to fit the needs). It was a very nice gesture, but have you ever tried to live with an elf? They are a wily bunch to be sure. Cupid kept finding his arrows hidden in egg cartons and clovers look funny with a colored egg in the center. It was beginning to be unbearable until Mrs. Claus came to visit. She had a long talk with Elmer and Ellis. Things calmed down after that. Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

Valentines day is not just for lovers. It’s for family, and friends and strangers that could be friends. Cupid’s arrows will put the love of a brother to a sister, or a father to a child. It’s the shot of puppy love children go through. So this Valentine’s day, buy your love candy and flowers, but don’t forget all the others in your life for this special day is for them also.

January 18, 2009

A Sunday note

Filed under: Uncategorized — unwriter1 @ 6:45 am
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It’s Sunday morning and I’m listening to music. It’s just the normal music I play all the time, but suddenly I realized that Silent Night is playing. That’s a Christmas song isn’t it? I stopped and listened to the words. Silent night, holy night, ok, so there was a night that was special, but aren’t all nights (and days, special, and for those of any religious persuasion), holy? I think so. It’s talking about peace on earth. When, just one day? Why not peace every day? Nope, it’s not a Christmas song, it’s an everyday song.

Then came Amazing Grace. Wow! One man, one ship, one salvation that has inspired millions. Now that is spreading the word. Yes, he saw the light and changed his ways. Let us let that song to inspire us to change our evil ways and face the light. Do You Hear What I Hear? Does the voice of the spirit only speak to us on one day a year? I sure hope not! I believe we have a chance at salvation every day of the year. Oh, you don’t belong to a church? You won’t find salvation because of that? I wonder. Do you believe in the savior? Do you believe in a God? Do you pray? Church is a building. Salvation is sought in God’s house and that is the earth.

I don’t care if you are or are not religious or spiritual. You must admit that a miracle happened well over two thousand years ago. How many other births, how many people, have received the acclaim that Jesus did? You don’t have to believe in his ministry, but you have to admit, a great man was born that day. Christmas does not celebrate his birthday but it does celebrate the fact that he was indeed brought to this world to take away our sins.

Listen close to the music we play at this time of year. It is words we should live by all the time. Peace, love, harmony, and the embracing of family and friends. What better gift to give to our lord than the love of others?

January 6, 2009

When is Christmas over?

Filed under: Essays — unwriter1 @ 8:43 am
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I do not watch television very often but music is on as much as possible here. My daily playlist has 240 selections, from Apollo 100 to Willie Nelson and everything in between. I like variety. Among all of that are several Christmas songs. It was brought to my attention that that holiday is past. Yep, the ‘day’ is gone but is Christmas ever really over? Let’s think about this for a moment.
Do we want to offer ‘Joy to the World’ only on one day? Granted it was ‘A Holy Night’, but do we only want to remember that once? How many nights are really ‘Silent Nights”? Christmas, the day of giving and receiving material things, is only one day. But the spirit of Christmas, the giving and receiving of spiritual gifts, peace and love, is 365 days, or it should be.

Is your Christmas one day or is it a faith so strong that you want to ‘ Go Tell it on a Mountain’ every day?

November 28, 2008

Give Thanks Week Day 5. This is a double post day.

Filed under: writing — unwriter1 @ 8:00 am
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Today is day five of what may be more than a week of giving special thanks. Join me and thank your friends for being there for you also.

Strangers are friends we’ve yet to meet
Some are grouchy while others are sweet
But even the surly ones a friend they can be
Because without my coffee describes the worst of me

It doesn’t matter where you live
Love from your heart you can give
Through the mail, or over the net
New friends you will have met

I look back on my life with pride
The things I did and the things I tried
Strangers far away that I soon knew
Soon became from me to you

A person from some faraway place
Their friendship now doth grace
My heart goes out across the great lands
My circle of friends forever expands

Ok, so it ain’t the greatest of poems but after all that turkey, my writing is really fowl. This may be a bit longer than normal because I have so many friends to be grateful to have met. I hope I don’t miss anyone yet I know for sure that I will. If I don’t have you in this list, please forgive me because too much cranberry sauce limits my memory storage.

As before, these are not in any particular order. That isn’t quite true, there are two in this first part of the list because they have been offered a most enjoyable task.

Katrina Wampler I met online and found her to be fascinating! I’ll learn more since she is being tagged for a Christmas story. With her sense of humor, this will be worth waiting for.

Joyce Anthony, a wonderful person but I’d like to see a three-piece story here. Let’s see if Shane and Aaron will contribute a few words (or pages).

Carol Percer is great to talk to, but I would like her to take us back to the hard scrabble (thanks Joyce for that word), days of mob controlled New York. How will Salvatore spend the holidays?

I started an online group for writers. I then met Becky (Yeah, I know it’s Rebekah but I can’t spell that). She has her own group. So, like a good online sister, we made our groups into a family. Then Pastor Mazzulla III added his cousin group.

From the far east, ok, the far eastern shore of Pennsylvania, comes Dani Calhoun. We’ve bounced around on Messenger for quite a bit. She’s had her male friend problems and I can’t say I haven’t had a few of my share of problems (you thought I was going to say female problems, didn’t ya?)

I’ve got Star Trek beat. I’m already in Texas saying hi to Bo Drury. She’s sent me a lot of special emails all of which are greatly appreciated.

I’ve invited a S. Dakota friend to move south. It may only be a few mile south and a few east, but it would be into a circle of friends waiting. Hi Terre, you’re one special young lady.

I can’t forget jay in the Carolina’s. He has one jumping group. We should expect the next great novel to come from this collection of writers.

It was in his group that I met Cathy Brownfield. What an amazing gal. Writing and college and housework is mind-boggling. I get bogged down just doing dishes.

Here is a list of friends I found just by doing book tours. Jean Henry Mead, You’ll have a ball on the 8th of December. Karina Fabian, join us at the Catholic writers conference. Lea Schizas invited me to the museitup conference. I didn’t think I could do it but she did. I did dun did it. Mayra Calvani wrote the bible for writing book reviews. I learned a lot reading that.

I can’t forget Trockle and his partner, Holly Jahangiri (Thank goodness for twitter, helps me with spelling), and also Vivian Zabel. Then of course there is Truth in Intimacy with Lacresha Hayes and her husband Lensey.

From those two paragraphs above I could write a book. I also realized my list of friends will have to be extended into another day! Now that alone is something to be very thankful for. So the bottom line of this post is simply:

Thank you all, for being my friends.

November 25, 2008

Give Thanks Week, Day 2

Filed under: writing — unwriter1 @ 1:54 am
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It is from you, from your heart
Forgive the past, today you start
No more hate, give your sins to God
Coming from above, his love will nod

You are not alone, look around you
In your life how many friends are true
Remember them, starting today
For each, should you pray

The rest of your life starts right now
For all your friends, this should be your vow
Forgive them their errors, remember their love
Offer them a pray of peace, sent with the white dove

Friends are precious and hard to find
True friends have the ties that bind
Treat those around you with care
Be nice and treat everyone fair

That stranger you just saw over yonder
Tomorrow you may meet them then wonder
Was he a stranger or a friend you have yet to meet
Everyone is a stranger, until you say hi, and don’t retreat

Yesterday we offered our thanks to the ultimate part of our lives, our superior being, whether it’s God or a deity by some other name. Let us now bring it back to the earthly plane and offer our thanks to those around us that mean the most. Today we offer our thanks to those we call our friends. They may or may not be relatives, although tomorrow’s post will cover them.

For those of us that believe in prayer, let us now offer them for our friends for health, happiness, love and peace. Let us now thank them for being part of our lives. For those that do not believe in prayer, you also have friends and please, offer them the same thanks and add the desire we put in our prayers.

The old expression is, “No man is an island” isn’t quite true. There are too many homeless, too many forgotten veterans that are alone. Turn one from a stranger to a friend. Your life will be enriched as well as theirs. Smile and say hi to one who is alone. It costs nothing but the warmth that is shared is immeasurable.

We are all but guests on this wonderful ball of ground and water. We need to treat it as we would expect a guest in our home would. Having said that, we are all guests and should treat each other accordingly. I am a guest in and on your home as much as you are on mine and the rest of the inhabitants of this round globe. Let us treat each other with that kind of respect.

November 22, 2008

The Holidays, a Different View

Gobble, Oink, Moo for the last time for many of these brave farm animals, yet in their passing, life is renewed. These are the three main courses on many American tables on this very sad day. It is the start of the holidays. It starts with the tricks all that candy does to the systems on Halloween, and continues until the turkey’s demise and we pig out on Christmas and ends with all the bull we put out yearly for our new year’s resolutions.

Yes, you read that right, I did say sad. There are many reasons for this and the number one is that we only think we have to give thanks on one day of the year when in fact this is the day we should be talking about the other 364 previous days that we thanked our creator. It’s the day we should be looking for all the homeless people we visited during the year and double what we had given them. What? You haven’t given anything to those less fortunate? Then this is the day you vow to start doing that. It’s that time of year we should be sending out thanks to all those folks that grow the vegetables and meats that we consume. We eat in one day what took them months and years to prepare. Animals need to be a few years old before they can be given the acceptable sentence.

We enter next into the season of lights. It is a colorful season I admit. But what is it? Is it the gimme day? Is this the day our greed outshines our compassion? For all too many, it is. This is the day accountant and sales departments wait for. It is the big payday. But something is missing. Oh, I know what it is. Love. Love for yourself, your family and friends, for the love of peace and kindness. We talk about it, we sing songs about it, but it all comes down to what is on sale this week? Ok, I hear you. Yes you do show your love on Christmas. What about Boxing Day, the day after Christmas? How about April 18th? How about the other 364 days? Oh we are good about love and peace on Christmas but the rest of the year is road rage, corporate greed, bank overdrafts, and “Will you please pick up you room? I’ve only told you a thousand time!”

Ok, get out your pencils and see how many whoppers you can come up with. Then at the top of the page label it, New Years Resolutions. You know ahead of time they’re not true, but the thought is there. New year’s is the time of renewal, right? For all too many it’s “Get the hell out of here until my headache goes away, I partied too hard last night.” Then it’s snack food central and couch potato time while watching one bunch of guys pummel another over a funny shaped object. All this time others in the house are trying to prepare supper or lunch or keeping the kids out of the way. This is standard American life.

This is not Halloween. I have no tricks up my sleeve, nor sweets to offer.
This is not Thanksgiving, yet I have much to be thankful for.
This is not Christmas, yet I have a heart full of love.
This is not New Year’s Eve, yet my resolution as always, is to be as kind as I can be.
This is not New Years Day. I dislike sports, but I have words to pen.

Today is the day to contact a friend, a loved one and tell them you love them. Tell them how thankful you are that they are in your life. Today is the day to do something kind for someone.

ron

November 18, 2008

What is Santa Clause

Filed under: Essays — unwriter1 @ 8:03 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

angel1guardian-angelWhat is Santa Claus?”Excuse me? Don’t you mean WHO is Santa Claus?”

“No”

 

You’ve gone to the mall to get those earrings for your old aunt Doris, knowing full well she will lose them within a week. As you walk towards the department store you see a line extending out to the parking lot and almost wish you had hearing aids because those can be turned off. It’s pure bedlam with the kids yelling and the parents screaming to tell them to either be quiet or no Santa Claus. You’ve been here before. You know every kid in this line is waiting to see that fat man dressed in Red. You know also that he is a fake even though you may have told your kids he was a representative of the real thing. Believe it or not, you didn’t lie.

So what is Santa Claus?

“Oh good grief, this idiot keeps talking about what, not who.”

Yep. That’s because Santa Claus is the spirit of Christmas. His reputation is that he has a list of good and bad. Every child gets a reward of some kind, the good ones get toys, the bad ones get underwear. That means, oh wait a minute, that is not right. That is the materialistic Santa Claus. That is not who or what Santa Claus, the real one, is about. Santa Claus, Christmas is not about getting. That is the selfish; I deserve such and such, philosophy. Ah, you’ve figured it out; it’s all about giving. Your first thought is, I’m not giving Aunt loseseverthing earrings, I’ll give her a new microwave. That’s too big for her to even lose. Wait, she did lose her car one time, no, her son took it. Anyway.

No, you have not figured it out. The spirit of Christmas is not about the giving of material things. It’s the time of year when we focus on giving of ourselves, our love, our kindness, towards others. Write this on your hand, then slap your forehead, maybe that way it will sink in that this is what we are supposed to do all the time. Maybe, just maybe, if half the world did this, the other half would get the message. But how do we convince half the world? Ah, that is the easiest part. You the individual live that way and let those around you see your happiness. Help them copy you. Happiness is contagious. Smile and nod courteously at all you see.

Ok, we’re back to that same nagging question, what is Santa Claus? He is the embodiment of all that the great holiday is for. We are celebrating the birth of our savior. We are throwing him a worldwide birthday party and our gifts are peace, love, and kindness. That is what Santa Claus is.

credit for this article goes to Katrina Wampler http://katrinawampler.wordpress.com/

November 16, 2008

What is love?

Filed under: Essays — unwriter1 @ 12:11 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have suffered a lifetime of failed relationships yet in all of that I’ve learned a few things. My life, in terms of love is a shambles but hopefully those reading this can glean some thread of hope for themselves. I have been splintered and almost destroyed, yet I have retained the most important parts of life. I have those that will forever occupy my heart and I’ve gained a small bit of ability to use my words to help others. Please, draw from this that which may enlighten your life. The one part not mentioned is the love of one’s God. That needs no explanation because it is this love that will ensure your life, your destiny is fulfulled.

What really, is love?

A question with no real answer but do allow me to espouse here momentarily to lay out my thoughts on this most puzzling of seeming paradox. Love, as an emotion comes in several flavors such as:
Family consisting of offspring, parents, grandparents and oft times beyond.
Love of life
Love of self
Love of an inanimate object
Love of animals.
Love of a friend
Love of a mate/girl/boyfriend

The biblical view is; greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends [John 15:13]. True love has no conditions. Flaws and faults are known, but partners help each other see those flaws and help the other overcome or better understand them. If your mate is addicted to alcohol or drugs, do you just walk away? No, usually a true love connection tries to help the other. Love is an abstract condition. There are boundaries. Does love remain if the mate turns out to be a child molester or insists that if you truly love them you’ll kill someone, or as been proven, your own children? This is not love but obsession on the one part and a vendetta on the other. True love does not need illegal acts to be proven. Love exists at many levels but the one guideline that is most crucial is that the other person, or creature is a vital part of ones life. One cannot define love in terms of physical acts alone, nor in terms of words alone. True love is, in all reality, a magnetic force between two animates. True love is putting the needs and desires of another, ahead of yours.

There are many definitions of love all correct, all incomplete. That’s because love is the one and only emotion for which no clinical or general description is possible. It is different for all. I’ll do what little I can with each of the above generalities.

Family love is almost self-descriptive. One is almost grateful since without them, you would not exist and without you, the offspring would not exist. There is within all families, a bond though sometimes tenuous. It is not always visible and it seems sometimes to be a negative type of bond. By this I mean that one can be a member of a family but be or appear to be, the black sheep, the unwanted one. But under all the blackness, there is a love. Love and like are NOT the same thing and this last link is the most definitive.

Parental love is the tie that binds. If a parent/child bond is established early there is then a support system built in. The parent will do all that is possible to give the offspring the best in life that is possible even if that is nothing more than the hugs it takes to remove a hurt. Weaken these bonds or do not allow them to form and you have a house of strangers.

Love of life is ones journey through this world and opens one to new experiences. When the path of destiny becomes the muddy rut of life, it is taken in stride with the lessons learned therein.

Love of self should be obvious but it is the most difficult of all. If you can look in the mirror and not be repulsed you’re on the right track. Self-esteem is the first hurdle to overcome. You can do the scientific approach and realize that life is carbon based and that every human is a diamond in the rough. The more realistic approach is to understand you are not perfect but you have many good qualities. Look not at the negative side, but concentrate on the positive.

Love of an inanimate object doesn’t appear to need to be included in a discussion of love but then why is your grandmother’s brooch put in a special case when in fact it may only have cost her a few pennies? It has no financial value but it does have an intrinsic value to ones heart. Is that any different than one loving life, or yourself? Not really.

Love of animals is not an across the board love. Not all humans find solace in non-human companions. Some call them pets while others call them fur/feather/scaled kids. There develops a mutual love here that is a strong as any one would find with offspring. The animals, if taken care of properly will covet this human and will attach themselves and if possible protect their human counterpart when the need arises.

Love of a friend is one of the most confusing of all loves. It is the same as the love of a mate yet it isn’t. Often it is a deeper love because you do not see or talk to this person on a regular basis. It is this love, above all others, that the absence of contact is the most painful. Thus when contact is lost for a longer than normal time or an argument develops, the remaining partner knows the love of a friend is still there, but worries to a great extent as to what may have happened. This is, granted, an unusual condition, but happens. The bonds of friendship are tight. An argument may bend these bonds but it is unlikely they will break.

Love of a mate/girl/boyfriend is the most esoteric of all loves. It is here where the lines are blurred. With all of the above definitions, it is for a lifetime. We now look at one that is not. No love of a mate, girl/boyfriend is for life. It may be for the remainder of life, but there is a part of life where you and your significant other did not know each other. It’s a small point, but critical. Love of a mate and here the word mate encompasses the boy/girl friend, is unconditional. It does not matter what the other half has in terms of emotional issues or physical issues. That is not what defines the love connection. It is here that the love of a friend is so definite but without the inherent fear factor. It is this love, of all loves that is so driving that it can physically hurt yet physically being hurt in the name of love is not love. Both a friend and a mate can cause a pain like nothing else. In a healthy relationship both sides can and do have dreams and ambitions. Your partner will support you even if he or she does not believe in them. But the mate will also point out the weakness of such dreams only to an extent to either keep it as a dream or an offer of how to strengthen the weak areas.

Both friends and mates are very close to each other to the point that the worlds almost merge. What affects the life of one can have a dramatic affect on the other. A case in point to better explains this; a couple have very tight bonds when a parent or close relative falls ill or dies. The person who’s relative died or became ill is of course affected, but the mate is affected by the loss as well as the well being of their mate.

Love is not a short-term affair. Nor does it involve violence of ANY kind. Let me finish this with a poem.

Over time we have hurt each other
Over time we will continue to hurt each other
Over time we have loved each other
over time we will continue to love each other
Your pain is my pain
my prayers are your prayers
Your time is my time
your love is my love
I am who I am because of you
I do what I do because of me
I am what I am because of you
I am me, that is all I can be
My words are of love
My words sing of love
my actions show of love
my life is of love

November 9, 2008

Challenges

Filed under: Essays — unwriter1 @ 6:19 am
Tags: , , , ,

It would be great if life started off well and stayed that way. But the reality is quite different. How many in this world have started off with a perfect life and kept it? Very few indeed. In my travels around the country and even more, around the Internet, I have met some of the most extraordinary people. One person has more physical and emotional baggage than twenty so called normal people, yet the words in this persons life represent none of this. All one senses is love and light. For another the world of drugs was the calling, yet that world put a book on the market delving deeply into the insidious evils therein. How many people have you met that have suffered the most devasting of life’s experiences, such as rape, incest, or worse, yet come through with a heart of solid compassion and love? You would be surprised if you knew the true background of many. These are more than survivors, they are our teachers, our mentors, our therapists that tell us, life is not about the past but a road to a more secure and happy future.

I have known many people who have taken the challenges life has thrown at them and watched them build a platform of security and happiness. These same people could have given up and just let life pull them into the darkness from which they started. They didn’t. Their inner glow gave them the tools to bridge the past and present and span the river of evil and hate. Once they cross this bridge, the land of cleanliness and a brighter future is reached. Many of these almost destroyed individuals reached into their toolbox and found the words to create worlds of hope. Among the landscape of these worlds are mountains of piety and rivers of hope. This land is green, not with envy but of growth. Trees of love and leaves of like are everywhere. The light than brightens this landscape is of God and promises of a future unscathed.

My challenge to my readers. Look at your neighbors, your friends, personal and online and see just how bright their light really is. If it looks dim, help them build their bridge. For by doing this you are paying it forward and you are planting your garden with the seeds of happiness.

November 7, 2008

Family

Filed under: Essays — unwriter1 @ 3:49 pm
Tags: , ,

I learned a lot in the last twenty-four hours about my past and my place or rather the lack thereof, in the family. I always felt like the outsider. I was not good enough to be called a Berry. There has been sixty-one years of pain. Maybe now I will be able to resolve part of it. But until then, below is what I wrote about families that care and I believe strongly there is more love in extended families than real ones.

People do not have to be related by blood to be part of a family. You don’t even have to be human. But what is a family? The defining words are love and trust. There has to be an underlying current of unconditional love. Each member of a family will have their individual problems, but within the unit these should be mutually accepted. This also brings up one other important requirement, listening.

A very important distinction must be made here. Listening and hearing are NOT the same. When a person ‘hears’ something, the sound enters the ear long enough to register as sound, but the meaning does not register. When a person ‘listens’, a sound enters the ear and is allowed to enter the cognitive function part of the brain. I used to hear, now I listen. Are you a listener, or a hearer?

Trust is critical. You must be trustworthy to be trusted. Families do not keep secrets from each other. How does one earn that coveted trustworthy status? One has to be upfront and honest. Things break down quickly at the first hint of deception. Regaining the trust of others is an arduous task. If a person says they are going to do something, make sure it gets done.

Then we have the two magic words, love and like. To love someone means you care. You won’t always agree but must care enough to try and understand your family’s point of view. To love is to help the other members. For the one you fall in love with, caring is so much more important. Being with them in good times is easy. When times are hard, when emotional issues or sickness arrives, that is when you must stand by the person you are in love with. Emotional issues, especially depression, are the most difficult to deal with. It is also at this time when a person must stand by their loved one the closest. So, when these issues arise, do you show the person you are in love with more care and consideration? Or the door?

As pointed out by a very acute reader and I agree with this,

LIKING a person is so much beter than love–I love my biological family, but I don’t LIKE most of them–and that makes the difference of who you trust and want to spend time with.

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