Friday, December 26, 2008

Mean old Mr. Gimme and the Little Givya (A Must Read!)

2:58 PM 2 Comments
What the Gimme Got for Christmas! By Carter Clews




Picture by "ALG News own award-winning cartoonist, William Warren"


Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a land where each of us has often been, there lived a very strange, yet vaguely familiar-looking character. He was not too big, but not too small. Not too short, but not too tall. He had big, over-sized hands, a terribly undersized heart, and, I’m afraid, a very sour-puss face.

Yes, it was true. He was one of those terribly rude, often crude, rarely good creatures known as a Gimme.

This Gimme, as it turns out, lived in a big old mansion on the top of the town’s highest hill. It was often said among the townspeople that the mansion at one time had been the grandest, happiest home in the village – cool in the summer and warm in the winter, with huge brick fireplaces that heated every room with the warm fragrance of burning, crackling logs.

Now, however, since Mr. Gimme had lived in the house, it was old and crickety, with such high grass and thick vines that it really resembled very strongly a deep, dark cave – with Mr. Gimme as its hermit.

And what a sad, grouchy old hermit Mr. Gimme was. He would yell, and he would holler, and he’d pinch every dollar ‘til you’d almost hear the poor thing scream for help. It was said that when old Mr. Gimme went to the store to buy things, he’d never be polite, but would bark out angrily, “Gimme this and gimme that, or I’ll hit you with my hat!”

And Mr. Gimme’s hat was a fearful thing to behold. It was a tall and tarnished, black as a cat and hard as a bat. It seemed to reach almost to the very clouds in the sky – and block out the rising sun!

Now, let me make it clear: nobody had ever really seen Mr. Gimme hit anyone with his hat, and nobody ever wanted to. But, then, nobody had ever seen him without it, either. So, they knew he must use it for something. And he was so grouchy that no one ever dared to ask him what he used it for.

Mr. Gimme was so extremely grouchy, in fact, that all over town, when he wasn’t around, he was known far and wide as mean “Ol’ Man Gimme”!

So, that was Ol’ Man Gimme -- the baddest of the bad and, as is so often the case with someone who is bad, the saddest of the sad. And, I fear that Mr. Gimme was also very, very selfish. In fact, I must tell you that to Ol’ Man Gimme, even Christmas, itself wasn’t a time for cheer.

That’s right, to Ol’ Man Gimmie, that most wonderful time of the year merely meant raising the prices on all of the toys in his toy factory and making all of his poor employees work extra hard – even on Christmas Eve.

Hovering over his tired workers like a hungry, red-eyed vulture, he would decide how many of each toy he needed and then shout at the top of his very large lungs, “Gimme this and gimme that, or I’ll hit you with my hat!”

Then, when he was sure he could sell no more toys, Mr. Gimme would tramp angrily home through the freshly fallen snow, ignore the cheerful Christmas carolers, and stalk up to his dark, cave-like house to count his money by candlelight. Many of those who knew him best (and often said they wish they didn’t) swore that his Christmas letter Santa read:


“Gimme money, gimme toys.
Gimme sadness, keep your joys.
Gimme everything you have that I can use.
Gimme silver, gimme gold,
Whether new or whether old –
Gimme right now just whatever I may choose.
Gimme this and gimme that,
Or I’ll hit you with my hat,
And I hope it leaves a big and ugly bruise!”

Have a rotten Christmas,
Mr. Gimme”


Poor old, wretched, miserable Mr. Gimme; he even seemed to hate dear old Santa Claus, himself.

One Christmas, as it happened, Ol’ Man Gimme was in an exceptionally bad mood. Which was very sad, indeed, because it happened to be an exceptionally beautiful Christmas.

All during the week before Christmas, he had been nasty to everyone he had seen. He had made fun of the Salvation Army lassie ringing her bell n the snow. He had held his ears when he heard beautiful carols drifting through the crisp winter air. And whenever he had seen pretty Christmas displays in store windows, he had even soaped the windows!

Huddled beneath his oversized hat, holding out his oversized hand, he would rudely reply to a cheery “Merry Christmas, sir” with his customary, “Christmas, smishmas, snakes, snails, and puppy-dog tails!” Now, it’s true that nobody really knew exactly what that meant. But, everyone knew, that it sure didn’t mean “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

And, oh my, his poor, poor workers. They worked hurriedly and sadly, smiling little and laughing even less. There were two reasons for their fast work. For one, they worked fast because, as I have already told you, hovering over them, waving his hat like a big black bat, was the mean old gimme.

And two, they worked fast to keep warm. Oh yes, it was true, Mr. Gimme simply refused to put heat into his toy shop. “If it’s not too cold for you to waste your time sledding down the town hill, or making those – ugh – snow angels, it’s not too cold to work,” he would snarl. And with that, he’d raise his oversized hand, climb up on his oversized stand, and shout, “Now, get to work and gimme a toy!”

If anyone ever dared to ask for time off for Christmas, Ol’ Man Gimme would sneer and say, “All right … starting right now -- and lasting forever!” And then, he’d laugh very, very cruelly.

Finally, after a week of hating everybody and everything, Christmas Eve arrived for mean old Mr. Gimme. He let his workers off exactly as the big town clock struck twelve (not because he wanted to, but because the law said he had to), bundled himself up in his customary black boots, trench coat, and top hat, and angrily trudged home.

Everyone left, giving Ol’ Man Gimme a hearty “Merry Christmas, sir” (to which he, of course, responded, “Christmas, smishmas, snakes, snails, and puppy-dog tails”). And then, finally, after locking up, Ol’ Man Gimme himself started to leave.

For Ol’ Man Gimme, it had begun as every other Christmas night had begun, and it continued as every other Christmas night had ended – with him sitting alone in the dark, dreary Gimme Mansion trying to shut out the sounds of the carols drifting through the cold night air.

But, for Mr. Gimme, this Christmas night was about to be different. As different as a snowflake from coal dust … As different as a tear drop from an angel’s touch.

Just as he finished locking the big, splintery, wooden door and began stumbling homeward in the dark, Ol’ Man Gimme felt a tiny tug on his coattail. And he heard a sweet, little voice say, “Mr. Gimme, would you come with me on this snowy Christmas Eve to see some sights and hear some sounds you’ve never heard?”

Ol’ Man Gimme wheeled quickly around and lit a match to see who it was. Staring starkly down, he saw standing barefoot in the snow what seemed to be a little, wide-eyed girl looking lovingly up at him. Staring more closely, he saw on her back, almost hidden in the folds of her tiny white robe, what appeared to be two velvet-like wings. And on her little chest was a big … in fact, a very big – glittering, gleaming – oversized heart of pure gold!

Ol’ Man Gimme’s first impulse was to reach out with one of his own oversized hands, grab the oversized heart, and run. But, instead, he glared at her and sternly said, “Who are you, why are you here – and what do you want from me?”

“Oh, I don’t want anything from you,” the little creature answered sweetly. “I want to give you some Christmas joy. You see, Mr. Gimme, I’m a Givya.”

“Well,” Ol’ Man Gimme barked back, “then hurry up and gimme it. I’m in a hurry. Gotta get home and count my money. No time for things that are stupid and funny.” And with that, he tried to push her aside.

But, much to his surprise, the innocent little Givya didn’t even budge an inch. Instead, she meekly reached up and took Ol’ Man Gimme’s oversized hand in her own tiny palm. “But, first, Mr. Gimme,” she pleaded, “you’ve just got to come with me. There’s much you need to see for all that I hope you will be.”

Mr. Gimme jerked his hand away angrily. “Some trick,” he said. “Trying to get me in the alley to beat me up and take my money. I know you’re type. You’re small – but you’re wiry. Now, go on and scat, you little urchin, or I’ll hit you with my hat!” And, as Ol’ Man Gimme finished yelling, he started reaching for his oversized hat.

Still, the little Givya wasn’t afraid. “Won’t you please come,” she pleaded.

“No!” snapped Ol’ Man Gimme. “Now, let me be.” And he continued reaching for his hat, almost touching the hard-edged brim.

Suddenly, the little Givya waved her hand in the crisp night air – and Mr. Gimme froze in place! And with that, the little Givya tenderly reached up, grabbed his oversized hand, and began pulling him gently through the falling snow flakes.

“Now, Mr. Gimme,” she said, “I’m going to take you to a few places right here where you live to teach you something about the true meaning of Christmas. Nobody can see us, but we can see everybody. Though I’m afraid you’ll sometimes wish you couldn’t. Are you ready?”

Ol’ Man Gimme, still as a statue, of course, said nothing – but his eyes sneered meanly at the smiling little Givya.

It wasn’t long before Mr. Gimme and the little Givya were on the steps of a huge, rundown building. It needed painting and much rebuilding – and somehow, it just seemed to look as if the walls were about to weep. Slowly they went up the steps, gently gliding through the fluffy white snow, and entered through the sadly sagging doors.

Inside, the walls were cracked, the furniture was worn, and the few, hanging light bulbs barely lit the barren rooms. Ol’ Man Gimme’s eyes glanced wildly about the big room in which he and the little Givya were standing. Seated all around, staring blankly ahead with drawn faces and empty eyes were many aged and lonely people.

Some were bent and some were dying. Some were withered and some were crying. All were shadows of the people they’d once been. In one corner of the large, chilly room was a poorly decorated, very shabby little Christmas tree. And beneath it were no gifts at all.

Softly and sadly, the little Givya begin to whisper, her wide eyes brimmed with tears.

“Mr. Gimme,” she said, “no one cares about them anymore. Here it is Christmas Eve, yet no one cares and no one comes. Their children have all grown up and are celebrating Christmas on their own. They’re having a good time making toasts and swapping gifts somewhere in this very town.

“But here, in the “Home for the Aged,” no one’s laughing, no one’s giving – they’re all just barely living – because no one cared enough to come and take them home.

“It’s Christmas, Mr. Gimme, a time when once they loved their own little children. They made them cookies and gave them toys. They brought them laughter and Christmas joys. But, now, no one cares enough to give them anything. No one cares enough to share. Are you ready to go?”

As the two left unseen, the little Givya looked up and noticed on Mr. Gimme’s face an ever-so-slight look of sadness. Slowly and without speaking, the two Christmas Eve companions went on through the cold night air never uttering a word.

They passed laughing carolers and little children frolicking merrily near the town Christmas tree and manger scene. On one corner, they passed a little stone church snuggled in the snow among a grove of glistening pines. Inside, a Christmas Eve service was going on, and Mr. Gimme and little Givya paused to listen to what the preacher was saying.

He spoke about the birth of the baby Jesus so many years ago. Of the shepherds who came to kneel at his manger. And the Wise Men who brought him gifts of love.

The little Givya looked up at Mr. Gimme, who was still trying to sneer, but not very well, and said, “You still care, don’t you, Mr. Gimme?”

The next stop for the two travelers was a big building on the edge of town – the hospital. Up two fights of steps they quickly flew to the children’s ward.

There, little boys and girls were spending Christmas away from home. Mr. Gimme’s eyes slowly shifted to a scene in the corner of the hospital room opposite the Christmas tree. There, a frail mother was hovering over a very sick little boy. Her eyes were filled with tears, and her look was touched with tender love as the little boy looked up at her with questioning eyes and said, “Are you sure, Momma … are you sure Santa will be able to find me here?”

Mr. Gimme turned and bit his lip to try to fight his own feelings. But, still, a single tear formed at the corner of one eye and slowly made its way down his reddened cheek.

“Mr. Gimme,” little Givya said quietly, “their mommies and daddies are the only ones that come to see them. There was a time when carolers came to sing, and others brought them cookies and gifts. But now, everyone’s too busy. It would mean so very much for them to feel a stranger’s touch, but … Oh, well, are you ready to go?”

The little Givya looked up and saw the tear roll all the way down Mr. Gimme’s face to the tip of his chin and fall to the floor with a plink. He shook his head as if to say “No more.” But little Givya pulled him on.

Through the deepening snow they went. Past stores with brightly decorated windows, houses with twinkling lights, and people with armloads of gifts and goodies. It was Christmas Eve, my dear, time for joy and time for cheer, the hap-happiest time of the year, time to laugh and live and love, time to thank the Lord above.

Little Givya looked up at Mr. Gimme and said, “Only one more place to go -- and I’ll be gone.” Mr. Gimme, bent and humbled, slowly nodded in total silence.

Soon, Mr. Gimme and little Givya were in front of a small shabby house on the poorest side of town. The shades were drawn, and inside, no singing could be heard. Mr. Gimme began shaking his head and pulling away.

“I know you don’t want to go in there, Mr. Gimme.” Little Givya said, “but that’s exactly why we must.” And with that, she led Mr. Gimme into the dark and lonely home of one of his own workers.

Kneeling on the floor, in front of a scrawny, barely decorated Christmas tree was Mrs. Riley, the wife of a Gimme Factory toymaker. She had her faced cupped in her hands and couldn’t stop crying.

“Oh, Bill, one little toy … that’s all we have for Billy and Joey. And a paper doll for Betty. Oh, Bill, this isn’t any kind of Christmas. Christmas is for giving. And we … we have nothing to give.”

Mr. Riley shook his head sadly and tenderly put his hand on his wife’s shoulder. “Now, now, honey. You know the kids will understand. It just takes all Mr. Gimme pays me just to get by. I’m sorry. I really wanted better for you than this.” And with that, Mr. Riley, too, cupped his face in his hands.

Mr. Gimme looked at little Givya to hear what she had to say. But, little Givya didn’t look up. Her face was cupped in her hands, too.

Finally, she took Mr. Gimme’ by the sleeve and led him away. And as she did, he openly wept and sobbed. Through the town they went. Up a hill. Across a ridge. Down a street. Over a bridge. To Mr. Gimme’s house. And all the way, he wept.
When they finally got to the house – which even looked a little Christmassy, covered as it was by snow – the little Givya waved her hand as she had done before. And Mr. Gimme could move!

He kept weeping for a precious few seconds and then looked down and said ashamedly, “Is there … is there anything I can do to help? I’m a little tired of getting. I guess … well, I guess I really want to give something … somehow … to someone.”

Little Givya looked up with her large, sad eyes and said, “Do what you may, but remember where you’ve been. By the dawn of the day, you can change what you’ve seen.” And with a flutter of her wings, the little Givya vanished into the dark.

Mr. Gimme started to go after her, yelling, “Come back! I need you … I need you!” But, suddenly, he stopped and looked at this watch. “Only four hours until the sun comes up!” he muttered, smiling weakly. “Got to hurry.”

Turning quickly, Mr. Gimme bumped into a small pine tree, knocking snow from its limbs in every direction. “Merry Christmas!” he exclaimed. Then, suddenly he paused, glancing around him almost in disbelief. “Christmas, smishmas –“ he started to mumble, then stopped in his tracks.

“No!” he shouted instead, tossing his hat high into the air. “Merry Christmas – Merry Christmas, sugar and spice and everything nice! Now, I’ve got to hurry, not a moment to tarry.” And with that, he opened his door, ran up the steps, and grabbed his telephone. Humming what he vaguely remembered of “Jingle Bells,” and a few other assorted carols, he hurriedly dialed.

“Bill Riley,” Mr. Gimme growled into the phone, trying his best not to break out in laughter.

“Yes sir, Mr. Gimme,” Mr. Riley answered wearily, fearing he was being called back to work.”

“Bill Riley,” Mr. Gimme said, “Merry Christmas, boy! Merry, merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas, sir?” Mr. Riley replied hesitantly. “Sir, do you feel all right?”

“Never felt better, Bill Riley. Now, Merry Christmas – and get yourself and all the other workers down to the plant right now. Bring some boxes. Lots of boxes. Boy, we’ve got some giving to do!”

That night was the biggest night of Mr. Gimme’s life. And everyone else’s, too. Not only did he give toys – lots of toys – to all of his workers (along with a month’s pay and a week off). He also stopped by the old folks’ home … and the hospital – dressed as you know who!

Then, he rushed to the little stone church and joined some carolers just going out to sing. When they saw him arrive, they were all of a sudden too shocked to sing. But, Mr. Gimme made up for it by singing twice as loud!

The next day – Christmas Day – Mr. Gimme set himself up on the corner opposite the Salvation Army lassie. Not only did he send enough money across the street to weigh down the red kettle. He was doing some other giving of his own, as well.

With the snow falling all around, and the sounds of the Christmas season echoing in the air, he was giving turkeys to the grown-ups, toys to the kids, and candy canes to one and all.

And where was he keeping all these wonderful gifts, and more? You guessed it – in his great big, oversized hat. Which, by the way, now went very well with his brand new oversized heart of pure gold.

And from that day to this, in that little town not too far away, Ol’ Man Gimme is now known as “Good Old Mr. G” – and though no one really knows for sure what the “G” stands for, they occasionally get a hint when they catch a fleeting glimpse of the angel on his shoulder …


So, when Christmas time is near,
And you’re filled with Christmas cheer –
Whether you’re all grown up, or little girls and boys –
Think of just what you should be
And of Good Old Mr. G
And his great big heart full of Christmas toys!

The Beginning.


The Author Carter Clews, Executive Editor of ALG News Bureau would have Readers believe that his creative imaginative story 'What the Gimme Got for Christmas!' bears to heavily on the norm of Holiday traditional writings, such as two of his favorite stories for the Season -- "Dickens Christmas Carol" and "The Littlest Angel". I differ in opinion because his story still represents the true meaning of the Holiday with traditional morals that should continue to ring daily throughout the year.

Americans for Limited Government "Each year, the government becomes increasingly disconnected from the people. Both parties have lost their way. Many politicians don’t honor their own principles or platforms. Voters are cynical and increasingly alienated from political parties, politicians, and the government..."(read more to "find out how to get the free necessary resources for you to stand up against corrupt politicians".)

Thanks to Robert Romano, Editor of ALG News Bureau for permission to reprint at Binding Ink.org

Hoppy Holy Holidays HO HO HO! from Binding Ink.org to all with Hugs from the Universe!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Reason for the Season!

10:00 PM 8 Comments

The Nativity
Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


Originally posted 2007

Friday, September 26, 2008

Think Before You Speak

11:50 AM 5 Comments
*email forward found on internet some where

'Some people!' snorted a man standing behind me in the long line at the grocery store.

'You would think the manager would pay attention and open another line, 'said a woman.

I looked to the front of the line to see what the hold up was and saw a well dressed, young woman, trying to get the machine to accept her credit card. No matter how many times she swiped it, the machine kept rejecting it.

'It's one of them welfare card things. Damn people need to get a job like everyone else,' said the man standing behind me. The young woman turned around to see who had made the comment. 'It was me,' he said, pointing to himself.

The young lady's face began to change expression. Almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card onto the counter and quickly walked out of the store. Everyone in the checkout line watched as she began running to her car. Never looking back, she got in and drove away.

After developing cancer in 1977 and having had to use food stamps; I had learned never to judge anyone, without knowing the circumstances of their life. This turned out to be the case today.

Several minutes later a young man walked into the store. He went up to the cashier and asked if she had seen the woman. After describing her, the cashier told him that she had run out of the store, got into her car, and drove away.

'Why would she do that?' asked the man.

Everyone in the line looked around at the fellow who had made the statement. 'I made a stupid comment about the welfare card she was using. Something I shouldn't have said. I'm sorry,' said the man.

'Well, that's bad, real bad, in fact. Her brother was killed in Afghanistan two years ago. He had three young children and she has taken on that responsibility. She's twenty years old, single, and now has three children to support,' he said in a very firm voice.

'I'm really truly sorry. I didn't know,' he replied, shaking both his hands about.

The young man asked, 'Are these paid for?' pointing to the shopping cart full of groceries. 'It wouldn't take her card,' the clerk told him.

'Do you know where she lives?' asked the man who had made the comment.

'Yes, she goes to our church.'

'Excuse me,' he said as he made his way to the front of the line. He pulled out his wallet, took out his credit card and told the cashier, 'Please use my card. PLEASE!'

The clerk took his credit card and began to ring up the young woman's groceries.

Hold on,' said the gentleman. He walked back to his shopping cart and began loading his own groceries onto the belt to be included. 'Come on people. We got three kids to help raise!' he told everyone in line.

Everyone began to place their groceries onto the fast moving belt. A few customers began bagging the food and placing it into separate carts.

'Go back and get two big turkeys,' yelled a heavyset woman, as she looked at the man. 'NO,' yelled the man. Everyone stopped dead in their tracks. The entire store became quiet for several seconds. 'Four turkeys,' yelled the man. Everyone began laughing and went back to work.

When all was said and done, the man paid a total of $1,646.57 for the groceries. He then walked over to the side, pulled out his check book, and began writing a check using the bags of dog food piled near the front of the store for a writing surface. He turned around and handed the check to the young man.

'She will need a freezer and a few other things as well,' he told the man.

The young man looked at the check and said, 'This is really very generous of you.'

'No,' said the man. 'Her brother was the generous one.'

Everyone in the store had been observing the odd commotion and began to clap. And I drove home that day feeling very American.

We live in the Land of the free, because of the Brave!!! Remember our Troops of Yesterday and Today!!!

A great example of why we should be kind and patient.

Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.

May God's many blessings continue to be with you - ALWAYS!!!

MAY THIS KEEP GOING via email....

IT WILL OPEN A LOT OF EYES,

HOPEFULLY HEARTS,

AND KEEP SOME MOUTHS SHUT.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

SCARS OF LOVE

9:42 PM 10 Comments
Read this to the end. It will lift you, it lifted me.

Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole that was behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

In the house, his mother was looking out the window. She saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed, and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms, just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began a very incredible tug-of-war between the two.

The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim, and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy Survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. On his arms, there were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh; in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked the boy if he would show him his scars.

The boy lifted his pant legs. Then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, 'But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go.'

You and I can identify with that little boy.

We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly, and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been right there, holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you.

You are a child of God. He wants to protect you, and provide for you in every way. But, sometimes, we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That is when the tug-of-war begins.

If you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He will not ever let you go.

Never judge other persons scars, because you don't know how they got them.


*email forward found on internet some where

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Nephew Bennie Age 13 Skit

10:27 PM 6 Comments
History Express-- Bennie's Play

Bennie's Summer Camp Play from Theater Week 2

That’s my Nephew Bennie! The tallest one, the one in the white long sleeved shirt, the one who played Abraham Lincoln!!!!

Proud Auntie Michelle (ndpthepoetress - Jeane Michelle Culp) :)

Presented by that "was launched to provide high caliber, professional theatre at an affordable and all-inclusive price. Our objective has long been to make our theatre company as accessible as possible--reaching as many young people in the process as we could, a commitment we proudly standby today."

, the founders of Bright Star Children's Theatre - were the instructors working with the kids here both weeks.

In the last year the Bright Star Children's Theatre "list of supporters has grown substantially! Our recent sponsors include: the National Theatre in Washington DC, SC State Museum, NC State Museum of History, Iredell Museum, Greensboro Historical Museum, Carrboro Arts Center, The Broyhill Center, Newnan Centre for Performing Arts, The Parkway Playhouse, HART Theatre, Creative Spark, KidSenses, , The City of Rock Hill, City of Albemarle, a dozen Arts Councils, over a hundred libraries and literally hundreds of schools from Detroit to Atlanta and Indianapolis to Washington DC!"

"Bright Star offers a variety of theatrical packages ranging from one-hour workshops and residencies to month long summer camps. We can customize a variety of our programs or work with you to develop the perfect event for your needs.

Other workshops may focus on a variety of subjects from character creation to improvisation, Shakespeare to Play Development.

Please feel free to contact BRIGHT STAR CHILDREN'S THEATRE for additional information and details!"

"Now accepting bookings for our 2008-2009 Season! Including two brand new productions: 'The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr' and 'The Adventures of Treasure Island!' We sincerely hope you will allow us to be a part of your 2008-2009 young audience series!'"

Related Posts: Theatrical Comedy With My Nephew Dirk!(Presented by )

My Nephew Dirk Age 14 Singing Bridge Over Troubled Water!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Theatrical Comedy With My Nephew Dirk!

4:27 PM 4 Comments
Big Booty





My Nephew Dirk literally in a cast, performing with the Cast! Fabulous talent and splendid humor that will have everyone laughing and saying - Encore, encore!

Presented by that "was launched to provide high caliber, professional theatre at an affordable and all-inclusive price. Our objective has long been to make our theatre company as accessible as possible--reaching as many young people in the process as we could, a commitment we proudly standby today."

Related Posts: My Nephew Bennie Age 13 Skit (Presented by )

My Nephew Dirk Age 14 Singing Bridge Over Troubled Water!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Center For Women Charleston, SC Update

11:57 PM 2 Comments


, "Helping women succeed every day!"; has moved their office to 129 Cannon St. between President St. and Ashley Avenue downtown Charleston, SC with a refreshed web site at and also have a new blog site at .

is mainly a non-profit organization of Volunteers that strive successfully to help Women and Women with Families.

"Our efforts are working and being recognized! Oprah Winfrey honored the CFW in 2006 with an Oprah’s Angel Network $25,000 grant. The Family Circle Cup Tournament selected the CFW as their charity of choice for three years in a row 2006-2008. The CFW was the winner of the 2005 Award for Excellence in Non-Profit Management by the SC Association of Non-Profit Organizations"

Center For Women offers a variety of including:

Brown Bag Lunch Series: "Regular midday presentations that provide information on timely topics that affect women."

Entrepreneurial Woman Series: "Practical seminars for women starting, running or growing their own businesses, including panel discussions, networking strategies, and resource and referral information."

, "Current 2008 topics include: A Daughter's Grief, Career Transitions, Caregivers, Coping With Chronic Illness, Depression & Anxiety, Finding Balance, Parenting Teenagers, Positive Life Coaching, and Separation & Divorce"

And lots of .

I would like to especially encourage and welcome all to visit the Center For Women blog site and feel free to participate in the women's topics there, regardless of where you live.

Please see Binding Ink sidebar for blog updates!


I first became aware of CFW in 1998, when I was reading the below article in the local newspaper, :

{Writing contest to show women’s collective portrait

By Dottie Ashley
Of The Post and Courier staff

“The Many Faces of Women” is a writing contest designed to remind the public that the Center For Women is a place of diversity and a resource for all women, regardless of race, age, profession or socioeconomic status.

“People would be surprised by the many faces of women that are served by the center,” says Harriet Smartt, board president of the private, nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women in their private and public lives.
“This contest is a way for women to paint, a collective portrait of a woman – using a pen,” adds Smartt.

Writers who enter the contest are asked to base a short story, essay or poem on a struggle, a choice or an awakening that they imagine may have occurred in the fictional life of one of five women.}

A flyer from The Center For Women stated, “Winners will be announced at the Second Annual Community Recognition Dinner at on January 22, 1998. Keynote speaker: Acclaimed novelist . Winners will also receive a $100. cash prize. The five watercolor portraits that provide the inspiration for the contest are named Lucretia, Emma, Endia, Bridgit and Barbara.” The five faces are represented in a watercolor collage by Charleston portrait artist and were on display at The Coffee Gallery (Sarah and Patrick Clise) during the local contest:

Rhett Thurmanphoto from Dottie Ashley article

.
“The Many Faces of Women Writing Contest” was conceived and coordinated by Mary Elizabeth Feldmann. Another Post and Courier article, “Center reads between lines with women” by Elsa McDowell, incorporated a finely written interview with Feldmann.

The three judges Barbara Hagerty, Nikki Hardin, Constance Pulz selected five winners – one to go with each Thurman portrait. I was one of those winners! We each received the cash prize and two other special gifts from the Center For Women! One, we were invited as Guess to the Second Annual Dinner. Here, CFW acknowledged us for our Writings. In-between we banqueted on an exquisite meal and enjoyed the monumental Community recognitions.

Secondly; Nikki Hardin, Publisher/Editor of published our Writings! Each month, one of the five Authors was included in the Skirt addition:

April 1998: Mary Jeffreies, “Emma, The Chain“

May 1998: Jeannette M. Deveaux, “Endia, I am a Voice and I shall be Heard“

June 1998: Julie Pitts, “Bridgit“

July 1998: Harriet Popham Rigney, “Barbara”

August 1998: Jean Michelle Culp, “Lucretia”

My poem begins with Lucretia introducing herself as a black woman:

Lucretia

Lucretia by Rhett Thurman


I am a black woman, or as some would say, “African-American”,

I live in a country where the melting pot has boiled over,

Seeping discrimination and crime.

Dissemination is just ignorance,

Blindness to the fact we all bleed the same color blood.

Crime however; is a disgrace to our race,

Blacks killing blacks, children killing children,

They are no better than those who killed our ancestors.

Meanwhile; our people try and uphold rightful cries,

But, Black Power can not be heard past the blast of gun power,

Gangs shooting gangs for turf that is not even theirs to take,

Innocent bystanders slain in street wars, for what?

Sadden, I take the cloth from my hair and wipe my tears, shouting:

Have our ancestors died in vain?

Do we not realize what our ancestors wounds bled for?

What our ancestors died for, “Freedom”!

Yet, all around are gravely guns that shoot down hope,

Pimps who lay slaves for the desperate and naïve,

Drugs enslaving the body to a lifetime of dependency,

And steel barred cells shackle those who have made themselves slaves.

Afraid, we bolt our doors, board up windows.

Locked inside fear-ridden anxiety,

We become the prisoners in a war that is not ours.

Meanwhile; another child goes hungry, another dies from the cold,

Another job is given to someone else, why?

Because of fear, fear of the criminals in us all.

But criminals are from every race, every color,

Criminals are from every gender, every age.

And it is crime that robs everyone of their heritage,

Crime that strips everyone of their rights,

As we all live in this land not so plentiful, not so free.

Yes, I am a woman, struggling to live in America,

The land of opportunity under siege.

By - Jeane Michelle Culp


Thanks to all who helped in the Center For Women 1998 Writing contest. The event is a memory my heart will forever cherish. An extra Special thanks to my role model Patricia Goodwin.

*I am hoping this post will reach the other four Authors and have them e-mail me, so I may post their Winning Writings also.

Related Post: FLOW (), more Info on the

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Extensive Misery of Bad Luck

9:43 PM 10 Comments
Hello Readers! Here’s an update on what’s been going on with me. Like wow, what hasn’t been going on! Bad luck galore. Yet after every storm, there is a rainbow, so I’m waiting for the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow – lol. Let’s see, April as some of you may know - my car broke down at the worse time. I couldn’t get transportation to an important neurology doctor appointment so I had to reschedule and the soonest date was 3 months later, July – one more month to go now! My car repair cost $500, ouch! Also in April, I was trying to set up a new primary care physician who also specializes in internal medicine! Than this doctor cancels my appointments twice due to her having the flu, so because of my work schedule I had to arrange a date at the end of May. Meanwhile; toward the end of April as some of you may know - I had an ob/gyn relapse whence the Doctor there wanted to make sure it wasn’t also my appendix since the pain was on the right side. Luckily, not my appendix!


Sadly May 17th; Mr. Whoopi-Doo, a pet cat my Friend and I shared for almost 10 years, had to be laid to rest because of several health problems - including thyroid and kidney ailments.

Also in May as some of you may know, I got a severe abscessed tooth as an early birthday present to myself – lol. Now I need to get a root canal done that will cost $1,000 – ug. Thankfully; with my health insurance at work, my cost should be $200 plus, depending on what else the dentist needs to do. Right now the abscess is gone thanks to the antibiotics, so I’m going to wait till I really have no choice but to go in for the dreaded-costly root canal. Definitely the tooth pain will let me know for certain when that time is – lol. Financially the Lord has provided and the government has come in handy! And my Sis sent me money for my birthday so I was able to get a much needed new printer because my old printer kept refusing to work. Now I can write again!

More of my bad luck streak has been that as of late April I am on 60 days probation at work. After having processed over 100,000 mailings in a year, apparently I made a human error of returning a set of important documents to the wrong address. If within these 60 days I make the same error, I will be fired. If not, the incident comes off my work record. I still have till the end of June to go on this probation as I continue to worry and am trying never to make the same error again for fear of ‘or else’. Meanwhile; my luck at home has been additional stress. Just odds and ends not working – like my AC unit going out again and on Memorial Day. I finally relented to the heat and called the maintenance man. However; due to my holiday late calling, it was after 6 pm before he could help.

Than I don’t have cable tv; now for some reason my tv reception is fading fast, even with newly bought and attempted cheap antenna hookups - so I’m trying to set up the new converter box the government wants everyone ready for by Feb. 2009 due to the analog tv signal going digital. So I went to the site and got the government coupons for 2 free $40 off toward the needed converter box. However; several main stores are currently only selling one brand, each by a different company. The one I bought from Wal-Mart for $10 after the coupon isn’t working and I’m not sure yet how they are going to be able to refund the government coupon, ug. Perhaps I got a dud because the reviews are within the expected quality range. Nonetheless; Readers life goes on. Plus others have their own problems and often worse:

Like a formal Co-Worker of mine who lives alone and supports herself. My Co-Worker/Friend worked for a temp agency were I work. My place of employment is in the middle of laying People off due to the current slow work load. Yes, even though I’m not a temporary worker and am employed fulltime by the company itself, I still have to be concerned about getting laid off also in addition to everything else, ug. Anyhow, the temp agency my Co-Worker/Friend worked for assured her – she would be ok. Than the temp agency contract did not get renewed. However; our company told my Friend to apply with another temp agency. So she did and was rehired only to be laid-off due to the RIWF (Reduction in Work Force). Then her dog got bit! Fortunately the responsible dog owner paid for all my Friend’s vet bills and her dog is ok. Afterwards, she accidently stepped into a city street hole and probably broke some bones in her foot. However; she can’t afford to go to a doctor and find out, nor would she ever consider suing the city - being the nice person she is. A bunch of other bad luck stuff for her also, including misplacing her cell phone that fortunately an honest Person found. Despite all this, my Friend says the same thing I say, 'others have it worse'.

She proceeded to tell me about a segment on the show where a limo was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Among the Family passengers was a child. The Mother woke from the accident to find her child’s severed head laying beside her. “She walked to the side of the road and sat for about an hour with her daughter's head on her lap as she watched her family being cut out of the limousine”. Later, reluctantly the Mother gave her to the paramedics, as she kissed her child goodbye on the forehead. Yes Readers; this brings much tears to our eyes, yet is proof that others do have it much worse.

Heck, another Friend of mine was telling me about the singer whose 1st wife died in a motorcycle accident. Two years later while he was on tour, Roy had someone watching his 3 kids in his home that caught on fire and killed 2 of his 3 sons. “Tragedy would strike again, when, in 1973, Orbison's elder brother Grady Lee Orbison, died in a motor vehicle accident in Henderson, Tennessee when on his way to visit Roy for Thanksgiving.” Wow!

, “his father, whom he had only seen twice since his parents' divorce, was murdered on the front lawn of his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1975, his sister was raped and murdered after being abducted outside a Red Lobster restaurant in Colorado Springs. In 1980, his twin half-brothers were killed in a SCUBA diving accident.

How did any of these three People ever find the strength to go on with such emotional misfortune in their life? I think they are to be admired for finding that inward strength.

Ok Readers, so this wasn’t a happy post from me. Yet I did want to update here and unfortunately this is what’s been going on recently. Perhaps such will help some People to remember to look for the rainbows after the storms. Or gain inspiration from others who have been in worse or similar situations in their lives.

Til next time, “May God give you...For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.” - Irish Blessing

Recommended reading: by

Sunday, April 06, 2008

To Curse, To Ponder, To Wonder or Not

12:02 PM 4 Comments
“Why are we here? Who are we? Where is all of this "being" leading? What is the meaning of life?” Coffee Talk

And such is the preponderance of a continuous question that has for centuries instigated the curious nature of human beings.

I was fortunate to rent a fantastic dvd discussing these exact questions and more. Admittedly, I was attracted merely by the title. Let me elaborate, many of my Co-Workers understand that instead of cursing I will often do a spin-off from whence certain televisions shows will ‘bleep’ a curse word out of the audio. So at work they are use to me saying the word bleep, what the ‘bleep’ or this ‘bleep’ ‘bleep’ computer is a bleep bleepin’… And depending on the stressful situation at work, I may add – feel free to fill in the bleeps according to your own imagination. BTW, That reminds me of an e-mail forward I once received:

How to Tell If You Need Prayer at Work -

1. When a coworker comes in a little to happy singing "good morning" to everyone and you think, "Somebody needs to slap the s#@! out of her.".....You need to pray at work.

2. When someone comes in and announces, "Office meeting in 5 minutes," and you think, "what the f*&% do they want now."....You need to pray at work.

3. When you computer is mysteriously turned off and you want to say "which one of you sons of b*&#%'s turned off my computer.".....You need to pray at work.

4. When you and a coworker are discussing something and a third person comes in and says "well at my last office...." and you want to say "Who the f*#$ cares?"...You need prayer at work.

5. When you're in the elevator and it stops to pick up someone who stood for five minutes waiting for the darn thing only to go down ONE floor, and you say "that lazy b*$&%#."....You need to pray at work.

6. When you hear a coworker call your name and the first thing that crosses your mind is, "what the f*&% does she want now" and you try to hide underneath your desk...You need to pray at work.

7. When you take some vacation time and come back to find a mountain of paperwork sitting on your desk because no one would do it and you think "sorry a@@ m&*%$#* f*&%$#'s....You need to pray at work.

8. If you have ever thought about poisoning, choking, punching, or slapping someone that you work with....You need to pray at work.

9 If you avoid saying more than "hello" or "how you doing" to someone because you know it's going to lead to their whole f&%#ing life story....You need to pray at work.

10. If you know all the words that have been bleeped out...You DEFINITELY need to pray at work.

Anyhoo; back to the subject at hand, loving math and notably also one of the many fans of the story Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and being a big fan of the once blog site Wonderland or Not :) - needless to say; when I saw the title of this dvd, "What the BLEEP – Down the Rabbit Hole" starring Marlee Matlin, I had to rent it! Basically the movie states we are all connected. “1Exploring the worlds of Quantum Physics, Neurology, and Molecular Biology in relation to the spheres of Spirituality”.



Later this month I will be doing another post about this dvd. Meanwhile; the poll on my sidebar is still open, should you wonder or not!:


2The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity." —Albert Einstein


1. What the Bleep Web Site
2.WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!? The Films

Related Posts: Holy Bleep We Are All Connected!, Poll 

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Poll

11:42 PM 4 Comments

I am here, but why are any of us where we are? And such is the preponderance of a continuous question that has for centuries instigated the curious nature of human beings.

Do you wonder why you are here (born)? On the sidebar is a poll for you to place your answer to this question!

This post is to test bloggers new poll feature. (poll is now closed)

All responses are appreciated and comments explaining your answer are encouraged and welcomed :)

Related Posts: To Curse, To Ponder, To Wonder or Not, Holy Bleep We Are All Connected!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fool's Prayer

8:06 PM 4 Comments
THE FOOL'S PRAYER

Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

THE royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"

No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"

'T is not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay; '
'T is by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

The ill-timed truth we might have kept —
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say —
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders — oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"

From The Little Book of American Poets, 1787-1900

Monday, March 17, 2008

Keep Smiling!

7:11 PM 6 Comments
When Irish Eyes are Smiling

There's a tear in your eye,
And I'm wondering why,
For it never should be there at all.
With such pow'r in your smile,
Sure a stone you'd beguile,
So there's never a teardrop should fall.
When your sweet lilting laughter's
Like some fairy song,
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be;
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile,
And now, smile a smile for me.

Chorus
When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

For your smile is a part
Of the love in your heart,
And it makes even sunshine more bright.
Like the linnet's sweet song,
Crooning all the day long,
Comes your laughter and light.
For the springtime of life
Is the sweetest of all
There is ne'er a real care or regret;
And while springtime is ours
Throughout all of youth's hours,
Let us smile each chance we get.


Perry Como





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Monday, March 10, 2008

New Skin For The Old Ceremony

5:09 PM 10 Comments
Perhaps this was serendipity. A serendipitous moment whence unseen, unbeknownst forces in the Universe interrelate events to coincide for a purpose. Or maybe simply the subconscious regurgitating; liken the time I named my Daughter Violet, only later to learn that was my adopted Aunts’ middle name. Many of us have close relationships with those whom the Family has adopted as kin. Could I had known her middle name prior and just forgotten such over the many years? On the other hand; expect for giving emphasis to the possibility of preconceived inklings, neither has anything to do with the current unfolding events. This happenstance begins with a song. By chance, Tuesday night I was one of the many millions of People watching sing his rendition of the song on . I probably would not have thought any more of the song if not for a post by entitled Revolution, and Hallelujah, at her site Wonderland or Not. She states:

“In the meantime I admit to learning something from American idol last night. I learned that I need to listen to the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah”, a song I hadn’t listened to in years, ( No I never watched the OC though I was made aware last night that it was used for that nighttime soap opera) more often. So see, it was worth it.

I, along with at least a million others, was on line last night, thanks to the guy who sang it on Idol, looking for every version of that song we could find. The Buckley version is better than the Rufus Wainwright version, but I am fond of the A cappella Imogen Heap cover. And who knew I actually would see Leonard Cohen himself doing that song, thanks to you tube – actually it is pretty awesome, If not for Idol it never would have happened.”

There it was serendipitously , the name Leonard Cohen. Two events simultaneously coincided; yet had I read Coopers’ post first, thus his name inadvertently stuck in my subconscious as I rented movies that day or did I first rent the movie about him prior to reading her post? Unsure; one fact was emerging, the Universe seemed to be working in the direction of introducing me to an interesting Poet - I admittedly never heard of.

: "Leonard Norman Cohen, CC (born September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963.

Cohen's songs and poetry have influenced many other singer-songwriters, and more than a thousand renditions of his work have been recorded."

The movie I rented was, (a film written and directed by ). A documentary mostly featuring Leonard Cohen’s poetic songs with performances by U2, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Antony, Beth Orton, and Leonard Cohen himself. “1 The bulk of the performances here were captured at Cohen tribute concerts staged by industry vet Hal Willner in Brighton, England in May 2004 and Sydney in January 2005… U2's collaboration with Cohen, "Tower of Song," was recorded separately at the tiny club the Slipper Room on New York's Lower East Side.”

As for the movie itself; was I educated – Yes, as for liking the film – regretfully I’d have to say no, though I can understand the Director’s idea to present the documentary in such a manner. Perhaps fashioned from Leonard Cohen’s Montreal poetic critiques with a close net of Poets including , , . Notwithstanding; I am deeply enthralled by Leonard Cohen’s poetic work.

Ironically, Cooper also writes about Democracy in her post Revolution, and Hallelujah, quoting a few lyrics from the Beatles Song - Revolution. I say ironically because one of Leonard Cohen’s poetic songs is about ().

Several of Leonard Cohen’s lyrics can raise more than a once Catholic school gal’s eyebrows. In the movie he speaks about Janis Joplin and the song . Stating, “I had written about Janis Joplin.” One is then left to assume or misinterpret that the song is about her:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn't you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don't need you,
I need you, I don't need you
and all of that jiving around.

His lyrics about sums up what some of us might have wished we had said:

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture

My opinion of what describes Leonard Cohen the best is the preface he wrote in the Chinese translation of his book Beautiful Losers. Here Leonard Cohen reveals himself as the usual modest Poet with a dry sense of humor who values his listeners and readers.

2Penned in February, 2000, and titled, "A Note to the Reader," the preface provides Cohen's latest thoughts on a novel he calls an "odd collection of jazz riffs, pop-art jokes, refigured kitsch and muffled prayer." The essay explains how he wrote the novel on the sunlit patio of his home in Greece, never once wearing a hat, which makes the work, in his words, "more of a sunstroke than a book." ”

Transcribed from his book Beautiful Losers, also found at :

A NOTE TO THE READER

Dear Reader,

Thank you for coming to this book. It is an honor, and a surprise, to have the frenzied thoughts of my youth expressed in Chinese characters. I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the translator and the publishers in bringing this curious work to your attention. I hope you will find it useful or amusing.

When I was young, my friends and I read and admired the old Chinese poets. Our ideas of love and friendship, of wine and distance, of poetry itself, were much affected by those ancient songs. Much later, during the years when I practiced as a Zen monk under the guidance of my teacher Kyozan Joshu Roshi, the thrilling sermons of Lin Chi (Rinzai) were studied every day. So you can understand, Dear Reader, how privileged I feel to be able to graze, even for a moment, and with such meager credentials, on the outskirts of your tradition.

This is a difficult book, even in English, if it is taken too seriously. May I suggest that you skip over the parts you don't like? Dip into it here and there. Perhaps there will be a passage, or even a page, that resonates with your curiosity. After a while, if you are sufficiently bored or unemployed, you may want to read it from cover to cover. In any case, I thank you for your interest in this odd collection of jazz riffs, pop-art jokes, religious kitsch and muffled prayer æ an interest which indicates, to my thinking, a rather reckless, though very touching, generosity on your part.

Beautiful Losers was written outside, on a table set among the rocks, weeds and daisies, behind my house on Hydra, an island in the Aegean Sea. I lived there many years ago. It was a blazing hot summer. I never covered my head. What you have in your hands is more of a sunstroke than a book.

Dear Reader, please forgive me if I have wasted your time.

Los Angeles, February 27, 2000

Leonard Cohen

As I continue my serendipitous journey, perhaps to have only learnt about this remarkably talented Poet, I end my post with one of my favorite poetic lyrics by Leonard Cohen thus far:




LEONARD COHEN "Anthem"

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.


1.

2.


Permission to reprint excerpts from Wonderland or Not granted to Binding Ink.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Post title from Leonard Cohen's fourth studio album: NEW SKIN FOR THE OLD CEREMONY, August 1974 - A remastered CD was released in 1995.


Update: Found, a related serendipitous posts: Leonard Cohen, The Chelsea Hotel, and Ceremonial Crap by By Agent Bedhead, "Tonight, the 2008 inductees will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 23rd annual induction ceremony in New York City. Stepping into these generally well-worn, vodka-stained shoes are Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, The Dave Clark Five, The Ventures, and, in a hurl-worthy display of the power of donation money chuztpah, Madonna..." read more

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

W.P.L.I.

11:53 PM 2 Comments

March is Women's History Month, (also celebrated in October in Canada "declaring that women were to be considered persons under the law. While women being persons seems pretty obvious today, it was not so in the past. Included in these resources: the 2004 , including posters, articles, and more." )

: "March Women's History is an annual declared month in the United States. The event traces its beginnings to the first International Women's Day in 1911. In 1978 in California, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women began a "Women's History Week" celebration. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8. Congress legally expanded the focus to a whole month in 1987."

From the : "To honor the originality, beauty, imagination, and multiple dimensions of women’s lives, we have chosen Women’s Art: Women’s Vision as the 2008 theme for National Women’s History Month.

The history of women and art is quintessential women’s history. It is the story of amazing women’s accomplishments acclaimed at the time but written out of history. Join us in ensuring that their accomplishments are never forgotten.

This year’s theme provides a special opportunity to discover and celebrate women’s visual arts in a variety of forms and mediums that help expand our perceptions of ourselves and each other."

On a personal note; Binding Ink somehow missed President Bush's acknowledgment about March being Women's History Month. However; I did read:

: "NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2008 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by celebrating the contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

GEORGE W. BUSH"

Nonetheless; with February ending this years' Black History Month, let us not forget: slavery no more, let freedom of equality forever soar, as we proceed on to celebrate Women and Irish-American Heritage. And so in keeping with this years' Women's History Month theme, may all remember the artful poetic truthful, heartfelt words of Mary Birkett Card, as we journey toward achieving Peace in a World United humanely in Humanity:


: "The role of women in the campaign is remarkable because this was a section of the population still disenfranchised, yet they played an important role in one of the key social reforms in history. Women abolitionists who were active in the 1820s and 1830s, such as Elizabeth Heyrick (1769-1831), Anne Knight (1786-1862) and Elizabeth Pease (1807-1897) are well-known. But there were many Quaker women in the 1780s and 1790s who gave their support and campaigned, including Mary Birkett Card (1774-1817), Amelia Opie (1769-1853), Mary Morris Knowles (1773-1807). When the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was set up in 1787 it was an exclusively male organisation, yet its lists of subscribers included several women.

Women brought a distinctive female approach to the campaign, such as writing and circulating imaginative literature and poetry on slavery, such as A Poem on the African Slave Trade. Addressed to her own sex written in 1792 by Mary Birkett Card...

Women wore the medallion designed by Josiah Wedgwood as jewellery to show their support, and later adapted it to show a kneeling female with the words "Am I not a Woman and a Sister?". As the main purchasers of sugar they came to play an important role in the sugar boycott."

: "In 1792, Mary Birkett, a Dublin Quaker, published A Poem on the African Slave Trade. Addressed to her own Sex. in two parts. The poem is noteworthy for the way in which it urges other women to boycott slave produced goods (sugar and rum) in protest against slavery.

Mary’s poem was written at a particular juncture in the abolition campaign. Publication of Parts I and II may have coincided with the passage of the 1792 Abolition Bill through the House of Commons in April and the Lords in May/June – Part II contains an address to members of the House of Lords. At this point, George Harrison published an Address to the Right Reverend the Prelates of England and Wales on the Subject of the Slave Trade. Furthermore, by 1792 abstention had really come into its own as an abolitionist tactic. In 1791, William Fox, a Baptist, had published An Address to the People of Great Britain on the Propriety of Abstaining from West Indian Sugar and Rum. Other pamphlets advocating abstention were published or reprinted in Dublin in 1792. Thousands gave up sugar in their tea and boycotted other slave-produced goods, including people Mary knew in Ireland. One original contribution of her poem is the way she appeals to women’s sense of solidarity as ‘sisters’, utilising the contemporary construction of ‘woman’ as the tender sex to argue that this sensibility, far from excusing inaction, entails greater responsibility. Women are not innocent or powerless - they have an 'important share’ in causing slaves’ suffering through their own consumption, and power to effect change by refusing slave-produced goods and influencing their menfolk to do the same."

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To our first parents when th'Almighty Cause
Reveal'd his holy will - his hallow'd laws;
When from his lips the wondrous accents broke,
And mortals listen'd while the Godhead spoke;
In that mysterious moment did he say? -
" Man shall his fellow ravage, sell, and slay;
" And one unhappy race shall always be
" Slave to another’s pamper'd luxury."

There are, I know, who think and more who say,
That not so injur’d - so opprest are they;
That under master’s just they earn their bread,
And plenty crowns the board at which they're fed.
Ah, sophist, vain thy subtle reas'ning’s aim!
Look at the Negro’s sun-burnt, grief-worn frame!
Examine well each limb, each nerve, each bone,
Each artery - and then observe thy own
;

The beating pulse, the heart that throbs within,
All, (save the sable tincture of his skin,)
Say, Christians, do they not resemble you?
If so, their feelings and sensations too:
One moment now with you his burthen rest,
Then tell me, is he happy - is he blest?

Mary Birkett Card (1774-1817)



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W.P.L.I. (Women's History Month, Peace, Love, Irish)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Just Another Day?

1:52 PM 2 Comments
Today is March 1. To some People this is just another day, however; for the moment lets allow a little bit of history to speak for itself:

March 1


1872 - is established as the world's first national park.

1932 - The son of , Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, is kidnapped.

1936 - The is completed.

1961 - President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the .

2008 - Current News:

by the





Perhaps not only on this day but always, the mission of the Peace Corps needs to be spoken the loudest:

"Promote World Peace and Friendship"






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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Multiculturalism

10:19 AM 6 Comments
Multiculturalism is different cultures or cultural identities within a Society that includes African-American, Asian American, European American, Jewish American, Latino/Chicano/Hispanic American, Native Americans, etc. This February is dedicated to the origins of African-American multiculturalism and the Founder of the professional non-profit organization (The Association for the Study of African American Life and History), .

Woodson whom is known as the Father of Black History, pioneered an intellectual movement to educate Americans about cultural diversity and democracy. My opinion is that a large part of African American history includes literature in publication throughout educational institutions and made readily available to the public.

U.S. Society & Values: “The actual study of multicultural literature has come about gradually during the past three decades. A student in a representative university in the late 1960s might have come upon one or two writers, at most, in his American literature survey course. This was linked, as always, to the publishing industry, to what publishers in the United States were issuing, less than to racism and elitism. The first challenge within the academic community was to successfully argue the case for ethnic literature in the curriculum. The second was to convince publishers of the merits of this body of work. Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple and many other books, has recalled reading a photocopy version of Hurston's landmark novel in graduate school, and wondering why she had never heard of it, and moreover, why it wasn't available anywhere in print.” ()

: “African American literature is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. The genre traces its origins to the works of such late 18th century writers as Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano, reaching early high points with slave narratives and the Harlem Renaissance, and continuing today with authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Walter Mosley being ranked among the top writers in the United States. Among the themes and issues explored in African American literature are the role of African Americans within the larger American society, African-American culture, racism, slavery, and equality. African American writing has also tended to incorporate within itself oral forms such as spirituals, sermons, gospel music, blues and rap.

As African Americans' place in American society has changed over the centuries, so, too, have the foci of African American literature. Before the American Civil War, African American literature primarily focused on the issue of slavery, as indicated by the subgenre of slave narratives. At the turn of the 20th century, books by authors such as W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington debated whether to confront or appease racist attitudes in the United States. During the American Civil Rights movement, authors such as Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks wrote about issues of racial segregation and black nationalism. Today, African American literature has become accepted as an integral part of American literature, with books such as Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and Beloved by Toni Morrison achieving both best-selling and award-winning status.”

This month Binding Ink is pleased to have presented a three part series to include the first three African-American Poets in the U.S.: Lucy Terry, Jupiter Hammon, and Phillis Wheatley. However; “1There are, it seems, some differences of opinion even among scholars about where the study of black written poetry begins. Some, like Hughes and Bontemps in The Poetry of the Negro, begin with Lucy Terry, but The Negro Caravan, by Brown, Davis and Lee omits her altogether and opens with Phillis Wheatley. William H. Robinson acknowledges Terry in Early Black.”

Notably, historians also “disagree as to when the Harlem Renaissance began and ended”:

: “The Harlem Renaissance (also known as the Black Literary Renaissance and The New Negro Movement) refers to the flowering of African American cultural and intellectual life during the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the anthology The New Negro, edited by Alain Locke in 1925. Centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, the movement impacted urban centers throughout the United States. Across the cultural spectrum (literature, drama, music, visual art, dance) and also in the realm of social thought (sociology, historiography, philosophy), artists and intellectuals found new ways to explore the historical experiences of black America and the contemporary experiences of black life in the urban North.”

I found an excellent and highly recommended web site called that covers African American Literature during the Twentieth Century, including the Harlem Renaissance and is geared to such knowledge being available especially in the educational system. The site includes: “75 novels, poems, autobiographies, and essays along with summaries of the selected literature. Also, we have provided you with some significant events of each decade and the literary themes that African American authors were writing about during that decade.”The array includes:

: “The start of the Harlem Renaissance, a period of creativity among Black artists, writers, musicians, and entertainers…”

: “With the slowing of African American writing during the Great Depression, African Americans confronted many new challenges and obstacles. During the 1930s, the United States voted for a new president and the government made promises to the African American community that they could not keep. Blacks were fighting for equal pay, educational facilities and equal protection under the law. Black authors voiced their rage and frustrations in their work. They still possessed the same intensities as they did during the Harlem Renaissance but the motivation and themes addressed changed. African American authors tackled themes such as racism, poverty,self-assertion,and race relations. “

: “A very transitional period for the United States and for African Americans. The Forties was marked by more African American enlisting in all branches of the military and the start of World War II. During this time period, African Americans were fighting for the right to enlist in combat roles in the armed forces. At this time, Blacks were primarily segregated and assigned only in noncombat roles. Whites responded to Black demands with lynchings, town burnings, and other forms of violence. The authors during this period continued the tradition of race and socially conscious writing. Literature with black themes of struggle, oppression, and daily life were often found in the works of the African American authors.”

: “A very politically unstable time for African Americans. Their rights were constantly under attack. All the efforts made during the Forties to integrate the Armed Forces were abolished during the Korean War. A new era of racist assassinations began to occur and African Americans started to take a stand against blatant racism. The NAACP argued cases in Southern states against the discriminatory practices in public schools. In May of 1954, the Brown vs. Board of Education occurred. This case ruled racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. The African American non-violent movement began taking the form of boycotts, sit-ins, and peaceful protests. The African American authors during this decade were writing about love, discrimination, the prison system, protest, black sexuality, and black life in Harlem.”

: “considered by many to be the Second Black Renaissance. It was African- American's most significant decade in terms of self-consciousness, goals, and achievements. In contrast, the Harlem Renaissance was in part fostered by white patrons and declined when white's financial support declined after the Crash of 1929. But the 1960s was self-generating, self- determining, and self-sustaining. Many significant events occurred during the 1960s such as the March on Washington, countless civil right demonstrations. The Sixties also saw the assassination of two Black America's greatest leaders: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. New cries of black nationalism, black separatism, and violent resistance were often heard in African-American communities. The authors during this time addressed such themes as black pride, self- actualization, black sexuality, justice, and race relations.”

: “a time when African culture was adopted by African-Americans. The U.S government began to monitor Black organizations. Vietnam War ended and many African Americans soldiers faced many disappointments. Many Black Soldiers found that their lives were not improved by fighting in a war that was not theirs. Shirley Chisolm became the first black woman to run for the U.S. presidency. The Seventies saw the emergence of an open and ongoing discussion among Black men and women on the quality, forms and future of their relationships. African American authors still voiced their frustrations and desires in their writings, but many authors wrote about the same literary themes as in the Sixties.”

: “a time in history when Reganomics had expanded the gap in the economy to the point that poverty among blacks was at an all time high. Crack had hit the African American community harder than any other drug in the past. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday was established as a national holiday and Jesse Jackson ran for president. The Eighties was a time when female authors burst onto the scene. Publishing companies witnessed the enhancement of established talent among African American female writers. These writers became apart of America's pop culture and started to float in society's mainstream. African American authors discussed themes such as black female-male relationships, self-identity, and more authors had female main characters depicted in their works.”

: “has been categorized as the "Attack on the Black Male." The number of black males being put in prisons and killed on the streets increased tremendously in the nineties. Black on Black crime has risen at an astronomical rate. The nineties saw the Freeing of South Africa, Million Man March, the L.A. Riots, O.J. Simpson trial, increases in police brutality, and the murder of Tupac Shakur. Racial tension has increased dramatically over the decades with church burnings, recorded police beatings, hate crimes, and an attack on affirmative action. Black literature during the Nineties includes themes such as Black female-male relationships, urban life, self-awareness, economic power and black unity.”

In conclusion, Binding Ink would like to ask your support in helping to keep African-American multiculturalism literature alive; merely read, become knowledgeable, enjoy, and most of all - regardless of ethnicity, don’t be afraid to pick up a pen and write. Be a part of and add to future generations of history.

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