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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quotable Thursday and We Have a Winner!

Writers write for the same reason readers read, to find out what's gonna happen.
--Elmore Leonard

Today for Quotable Thursday on Pamposh Dhar's Teratali Reiki and Counseling I came across this from a favorite author, Elmore Leonard. If you haven't read any of his books, try reading at least one of them. Several have been turned into movies.

But the reason I chose this quote is because I understand what he means here. As a writer I never really know what will happen when I put my fingers on the keyboard or if I'm writing long hand what will happen when my pen touches the paper. Usually I start with only a few words or a sentence in my head and when that is written it takes off on its own. It's kind of like I write this blog.:) I have an idea of what I'm going to say, but the actual words come straight from my fingers. This is not always true for other writers. I've heard of writers who write the whole thing in their head and it comes out like a copy machine. But it's fun to know that I have something in common with Elmore Leonard.:)

For anyone who is interested, here is Elmore Leonard's essay, "Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing". If you're looking for a way to start revising your manuscript you really don't have to look anywhere else for a succinct list of what to do. And this prolific author is still on TV plugging the movie of his book at 83! He wouldn't like my exclamation points at all.:)

I did the drawing for the free book and we have a winner!!!!! Actually, to be fair, I had my daughter do it.:) If you didn't comment remember there's always next time. For the others thank you so much for participating.

The winner is: Out - Numbered!!!!!!!

As soon as Cynthia is contacted she will send you the book. For anyone who doesn't know who this is, Out-Numbered AKA/ Jason Mayo, writes a blog called Out-Numbered. You will see that I have it as one of my favorite blogs. I try not to miss any of his posts, because they are funny and honest. I actually featured his blog here on one of my posts. You can go here to read more about it. Since then he has won a number of awards that are well-deserved and of course, he has now won a free book, Remote Control by Cynthia Polansky. Jason, I hope you enjoy the book!

Today my older daughter found out that she has a double vitamin deficiency. She has a vitamin B12 and a vitamin D deficiency. So she now has to get a B12 shot every day for seven days. Then it will go to once a week and finally to once a month. We're hoping it isn't going to be a serious diagnosis since she also has anemia and already has some symptoms like numbness and tingling in her fingers. To add to this she has arthritis in her neck!! Holy sh-t!!! Who knew? She did complain about this, but she is the one with depression and we all thought that it went along with it. Now it seems that the vitamin B12 deficiency could have caused her depression! Now I'm wondering how long she has had that, because she became depressed at 16 and if it was a vitamin deficiency I'm wondering why a doctor didn't pick this up before now. Think of how much money we could have saved in psychiatrist bills!!!! Also, think of all the pills she's taken through the years. As I said, I'm just hoping that she doesn't have anything serious. Fingers are crossed that they got this in time!!

Here is another little tidbit from Betty Butler, who has most graciously sent me material since I put her on my blog. For anyone who did not read the first material you can find it here... I am going to post both the essay she wrote about the poem and the poem she wrote about the experience. First the poem:

By Betty Butler ©2000

Finding my mission, path, my life’s work
Was a gift from God, not a whimsical quirk.
A friend and I wrote a song called Healers of the Heart™
This is how our business names got their start.

Playing therapeutic harp has blessed our lives,
Conventions, hospitals, memorials and at bedside.
We’ve both traveled extensively, far and wide
But the why and how of this work is difficult to describe.

While my music will not impress a Broadway critic
I provide more than moody music for the sick.
My training in hospice and grief counseling,
Enlightens my intuition so compassionate service is fulfilling.

Alongside my harp with my poems and my songs
I am invited to journey along.
As a companion and a sacred witness
Of life’s passages of pain, joy, and bliss.

One Christmas a Rabbi came to my Christian congregation
Lecturing on the camps of Auschwitz concentration.
I played a lengthy prelude and then postlude too
Over and over, just the three Jewish songs I knew.

Rabbis said, “This Holocaust pains me, but I can’t forget
My goal is to pass on remembrance permanently set
In the minds of all, past wrongs and honored memories
These words and music will bring everyone to their knees.

The audience rose but did not applaud
Awe struck by the miraculous ways of God.
Tears flowed freely as they embraced
Sadness glistened, streaming down each face.

Many stood, arm-in-arm, swaying
Transfixed by what my harp was saying.
Grief stricken for hero’s stories untold
Grateful for the many sacrifices of long ago.

“His story makes my hurting heart cry inside.
I can’t stop the tears and I really have tried.
Please fix me, Mommy!” My baby girl cried.
My soul prayed the Healing One would comfort & abide.

Three Christian matrons approached: “We’ve toured Israel,
The lyrics of those tunes we know very well.
Christmas songs today would not do. We’re glad you are only playing Jewish songs
Rock of Ages, Amazing Grace would have been all wrong.

Another matriarch said, “Keep playing, don’t stop, keep going.
Your healing heart harp is steadily showing
How distance and difference can be moved aside
One-by-One, note-by-note, heart-by-heart, side-by-side.”

I’ve learned music is our common language
In our tears there is a sacred message
Our hugs are our universal vocabulary
For healing the heart to be an eternal emissary.

So what do I do exactly, you ask?
I’ve really been given a simple task.
I play only a small part
I attempt to touch each heart.

From birth through life’s journey to closure at the end.
I encourage acceptance and celebration of life’s transition...
Home-coming, Home-going, I try to set the mood for life’s reunions.
With sacred songs creating bonding communion.

Whether stateside, Oceanside, out or inside
No cure, but soothing comfort and healing besides
In the doorway, chair, bedside or side-by-side
I hope my Harpside Theraharpy will meet you Heartside.

Healers of the Heart Outreach
Heartside Theraharpy at Harpside
Are trademarks of Healers of the Heart™

More information contact Betty Butler
113 Velarde N.W. Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107

My Job Blessed By a Rabbi

This poem took a long time for me to process, digest, because it was so profound an experience. People talk about when their hearts break open... or "when what you do meets what the universe needs then you have found your destiny". That's what happened.

I got to the church an hour early to be tuned, [cuz] cold weather causes harp strings to break even in the heated car.. etc....

I started playing (the) prelude about twenty minutes before (the) scheduled start as people trickled in.

There were few teens or younger, [cuz[ this was a Holocaust speaker, A Rabbi from a large Synagogue in Albuquerque. I was at a church in a rural northern New Mexico village.

We were not expecting many, but mostly baby boomers. The grey group started to arrive...and were quite familiar that I was not playing any of their favorite hymns.One practically yelled at his spouse,"Doesn't she KNOW anything else?"

I only had three Jewish Hymns in sheet music before me.

The starting hour began, and no Rabbi. This was 1999 so cell phones had not caught on much. Someone ran to a gas station telephone and called his house. Whomever answered was disturbed from her nap and cranky (and said) that he had left an hour before.

I played on...and on....and on. By half past the hour, the chapel was full and they were antsy. They were bored with my music, and I was being very stubborn about not playing anything else.

At a quarter to the hour, he and his driver arrived, having gotten lost, gotten off at the wrong freeway exit and turned around... He was elderly and frail and stressed. He looked around for the source of the music. The guide motioned to me, up on the stand, just behind the podium to his right. He smiled, nodded, put his hand on his heart and said, "Oh, you have found one of mine." As he passed in front of me, he patted the air above my head, above my shoulders and above my harp. I wanted to weep.

My Native American part of me wanted to say, "Thank you, Grandfather."
The Chinese Dragon Lady wanted to bow and say, "SheaShea"
The Kahuna in me wanted to say, "Mahalo, Aloha."
The city mouse wanted to salute and say, "Namaste"

The little country mouse did nothing.
She folded her hands in her lap, and looked at them thru out his speech, letting the tears drop in puddles in my palms.

The guide had to touch me that a closing prayer was going to be given, blessing on the refreshments (Bagels and Cream Cheese how cliche)...and then I was to play until the Chapel emptied and all had a chance to shake his hand in the reception line.

I began to play, I glanced three or four pews down in the center. I could see my two little girls, 9 and 11 were clinging to each other weeping. Everyone else was swaying, crying and not leaving. No one was complainng now about my music. They stood and silently hummed and wept.

Rabbi finally took the guide by the hand and said they would have to leave or no one would move out. It was the most somber reception I've ever attended. That Sunday was one of the most profound, sacred Sabbaths I've attended.

It would be several days for the poety to percolate.
My littlest one would come and lay her head on my shoulder and weep.
A few days passed...One morning as I was going to drive them to school, she came in the foyer for what I thought was a cutsey Eskimo Kiss Goodbye but she leaned forward to touch forehead to forehead. Little crystal saddness drops landed on my chest. She begged to be allowed to stay home.

The REAL MOM would not let her.

Several Days later I got the letter from the program I had been in for almost a year to tell me I was dropped because I was too emotional and teary and "Unsuited for this work."

As I write these memories now, I recall my youngest coming to me in the hallway at her school. I had just gotten home from a week of speeches in Washington, DC on American Airlines. I had been called to school to substitute for the Journalism/FIlm in TV class for the instructor who had been called away to go to NYC/DC to cover the Twin Towers/Pentagon "story." My child dove into me, arm in arms, we were once again forehead to forehead....
heartside to heartside...

"Mommy, my heart hurts."
OMG! Who could say anything after this! Yes, there really are people like Betty in this world and thank goodness for that!!

Until the next time, thank you to all my readers and Congratulations to Out-Numbered, Jason Mayo, who will soon have Remote Control in his hands.

One more thing you should know is that there is a way for you to copyright your blog for free so none of your material can be altered without your permission. Check out the copyright logo at the bottom of the page. You have to scroll all the way to the end.


  1. Hi. Dropping by again. Happy Sunday.

  2. Hi Stephen,
    Did you see my comment on your blog? I also have been exploring these money making opportunities. It really explodes your email.:)


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