Category Archives: Mysteries

Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion!

I am convinced that my current job at The New Moyer Academy in Wilmington, Delaware is a gift from the Universe.

You see,  in all my other executive positions, Director of Public Relations, Corporate Officer,  Director of Training, not one of these jobs or titles comes close to what I do now.  Sure, I used to be the boss.  I had a job to get done and I learned how to manage teams of Information Technology experts spread across the country, flying from city to city, not seeing my family for months at a time.

I drive to this job every weekday morning.  I sit at one small desk in one small school.   I am the school secretary.

And in my job, at my small desk, I have a chance to make a difference in the lives of children in my school — a school that works with an under served population of children.  A school that has brought me into the lives of these most wonderful, most challenged and most beautiful spirits I have ever spent time with.

Are some of them hard to handle?  Yes.  Are some of them angry? Yes. Are some of them sad, afraid, lonely?  Yes, yes, yes.

But each and everyone of them is special; each is a child with hopes, dreams and desires.  Each of them deserves my respect, my trust and, frankly, my love.

These small ambassadors of life have seen hardships and sorrows most of us will never know.  And they have come through.  They have found a way to patch themselves together, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to come to school against all odds, to come to learn. And I get the chance to reach out and tell them, every day, how special they are, how glad I am to see them, how very much they can do and be.

I have never been a teacher.  I have been taught.  Grade school, middle school, high school, college, and graduate school have exposed me to some wonderful teachers and some lousy teachers.  I wish Rita Pierson had been one of my teachers not because of her subject matter expertise or her curriculum.

Rita Pierson teaches so much more than lessons, words and numbers.  She teaches about the heart, the spirit and the opportunity that every adult in every school, from janitor and secretary to teacher and Principal, has every day to reach out and touch one child’s life.

Listen and learn and maybe take a chance and build some relationships, too.

Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion | Video on TED.com.

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Filed under Inspiring People, Life & Death, Mysteries, Uncategorized, Work, World Changing Ideas

No Death; No Fear – Thich Nhat Hanh Was Right

I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life
5 years ago.

I got some of it.  No, I got a lot of it.  But I just couldn’t get how I could face death and not be afraid.  Not my death but the deaths of my parents, the deaths of my brothers, Mike and Bob.

I mourned like everyone does.  Crying, missing them, wishing they hadn’t died, regretting the loss of time — time I should have spent with them when they were alive.  I beat myself up for lost opportunities to tell them how much they meant to me, how much I would miss them.  I’ve lived the last 35 years with regret.

I believed what Joseph Campbell wrote in one of his most widely known works, The Power of Myth.  “All life is loss, loss, loss.”

The loss of my parents and brothers was devastating at an almost cellular level.  But here, this morning, in the cool aftermath of violent thunderstorms, I felt something else, some small pull to another view of loss.

In that instant, everything changed. I learned how time works.

It always seemed to move too fast for me.  This morning I discovered that time is neither fast nor slow.  It’s almost opaque.  The word “linear” no longer applies.  It is as though we are wandering through it.  Past, present and future are all there, in the same moment, even when we don’t recognize them.

When I try to analyze this  new relationship with time (having it, losing it, wasting it), I get anxious.  If I just let go, everything I ever thought I knew about time dissolves.

Each moment feels rich, full, amazing.  Listening to crickets chirp now as they always have and always will.  Watching geese gathering now as they always have and always will.  Seeing the meteors of Perseid, Leonid and all the others falling in the late night sky as they always have and always will.  Loving my family — no matter where they are – as I always have and always will.

It is as though this Universe in which we live and die is gently sharing this tiny but profound thought; the ones who have gone ahead are still here, living within the engine of the universe that keeps rolling before, during and after they left this place we call Earth.

It’s funny because for almost half of my life,  I could not hear the Universe at all, could not understand why people so dear to me had to die. The same Universe that just 2 months ago had to hit me in the forehead with a 2” x 4” now whispers to me and I can hear her.  She offers me comfort.  She lifts a corner of the veil of the infinite – the place we came from, the place we will go and lets me peek underneath.  And I soar into it.

Listening to the roar and the sigh of this place, seeing light and dark in their purest forms, leaving this body, being everywhere and nowhere, all at once, knowing, feeling, being  joy.  My very essence, my soul or spirit, if you will,  joins the stream of all others who were and will be.  My body is no longer along for the ride. Aches, pains, cares, shed like my skin as I rise into the infinite.

I went where Jill Bolte Taylor traveled when she had her stroke – part of everything and everything is part of me.  This is what I saw on my brother Bob’s face at the moment of his death.  Ten years old, grinning, blond hair being ruffled in the wind as he turned to wave good-bye to me then walked over the hill behind our barn in Pine Grove.

I knew when I came back to my body, this chair, this room, this morning…I knew that this is the secret of the universe.

I still know.  This is death; this is life ever after.

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Filed under Death & Dying, Life & Death, Love and Marriage, Mysteries

Psyched! Won Tickets to Psych Premiere in NYC

Okay, so why would a 63-year-old woman whose pursuits are mostly intellectual be so psyched about winning tickets to the premiere of a television series?

The short answer is I LOVE Psych.

I have watched every episode of the first five seasons at least twice and pre-ordered Season 6 before the season has aired.  What makes Psych so special?

As a writer, I have to confess to loving the….wait for iiiiit…writing.  That’s right.  The team that cooks up the episodes for Psych must have a ball putting the scripts together.  Dialogue is hard to do; comedy is hard to do.  A comedy wrapped around murder and mayhem — impossible.  But somehow the writers pull it off, week after week.

I also have to call out the cast.  James Roday and Dule Hill make it look easy to be funny, fast and friends.  I love Corbin Berenson as Sean’s dad – the man who made the hyper aware monster named Sean Spencer and has to live with him, his “psychic” abilities and his odd sense of humor.

Timothy Omundson’s Lassiter is the quintessential uptight, by the book,  cop who keeps getting his hard-held beliefs tested.  And Juliet O’Hara, played by Maggie Lawson, is a good girl, good cop who packs a punch you wouldn’t believe.  (Watch Season 5 – Viagra Falls to see what I mean.)  Last but not least, there is the Chief – Kristen Nelson – who brings just the right touch of boss/parent to her role in the squad room cum asylum she runs.

If you asked what my favorite episode is, I would be hard pressed to tell you.  Homicidio is hilarious – a take off on Spanish soap operas as only Psych could do it.  Guest star Tim Curry brings  just the right amount of disdain to American Duos and Lassie’s interaction with co-star Gina Gershon is classic love-hate.  The cast sends up fashion models in Black & Tan in a way that makes me laugh out loud.  And who could stop laughing at Dual Spires alias Twin Peaks!

But laughter isn’t all this amazing cast and crew bring to the show.  Three episodes reveal the complexity of both the plots Psych offers and the actors hired to bring the scripts to life.  An Evening with Mr. Yang, Mr. Yin Presents and Yin 3 in 2D   showcase the writing and the acting.  Even though these episodes spanned three seasons, each had me glued to my chair, watching, waiting for the next twist or turn.

Psych is a departure from most of my usual fare.  When I say I’m watching mysteries, it usually means Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost or  Rosemary and Thyme.    All of these shows are British productions; all are intelligent, very well-acted and, for the most part, very serious.

Serious is not a word I would apply to Psych but I think I love the series because of the way it deals with difficult topics but always, always brings it back to the relationships of the cast members, how they live, work, fight and “find the bad guys” together, despite their differences.  Oh, and the fact that they make me laugh, every time.

So this over the hill baby boomer is dusting off her sneaks, pulling on her Psych t-shirt and heading for the metropolis! Psyched!!

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Filed under Home Ec on Acid, Life & Death, Love and Marriage, Mysteries