Writing Wings For You

Marie Lukasik Wallace ~ # I LIVE Poetry – I'm passionate about life and writing and all things creative and poetic!


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The Gold in the Soul of the Junkman

 

Two years ago today, my daddy died.  I’m a grown woman and still call him my daddy because that’s the relationship we developed shortly before his passing.  Most of my life, our communication was strained, our understanding of each other minimal.  He grew up in a time when feelings weren’t shared, especially men’s feelings.  And I, a young girl and woman, was all feelings.  He didn’t know how to speak my language, and I certainly didn’t know how to speak his language.

But in the last few years of his life, I think two years, we were able to slowly build and deepen our relationship.  And though for me, it wasn’t as ideal as I imagined, it was a thousand times better than I hoped.   A man who was once so closed I called him a vault, allowed me inside to learn more about him and leave a legacy…a man who rarely voiced anything, wrote poetry with me and was brave enough to share it with the world…a man who opened up to explain why he collected the junk he did and why he was still tender about his cars even after all these years shared his story…a man like many of us who wanted to leave this earth being understood by at least one person, allowed me in.

I was blessed to be that person.

I got a chance to video tape him and ask him questions.  And though I didn’t get whole stories and still know little about the actual biography of his life, I do feel I know the heart of my dad and can say a few things in his name.  He had so much, gambled with drinking and lost everything, and slowly rebuilt a life he felt comfortable with and lived on his own terms.  I didn’t understand many of his quirky ways or why he was so reclusive, but I understand that he was genuinely happy and loved living, which is more than many people would say.  I remember in his last months he said he didn’t want me to finish the book or at least he wanted me to write a sequel so he would live longer.  I remember being really mad that he didn’t live longer and that I still haven’t finished the book.

Many of you followed me on my journey and cheered me along.  I promise it wasn’t in vain.  I am going to finish that book this year, even if it’s not perfect, because it was a promise I made to him.  And maybe…just maybe my family will read it and feel the words as I felt them and know that we all have GREATNESS inside us..that sometimes our value and goodness are covered by shadows and darkness…and that we need to dig around and shine a light to uncover the Gold in the Soul.

For now, I will hold my Daddy in my heart and use the gifts I learned to guide me.

My plea to each of you is to think about what relationships in your life get to be better because you opened your ears and your heart a little more and you leaned into understanding.   It is a most beautiful gift when you do.  I can’t wait to hear what happens when you do.

Namaste my friends.

Marie

 


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Soulful Sunday: Why I Marched

“What do you want?” 

“Social Justice!”

“When do you want it?”

“Now!”

These are the cries and chants we yelled yesterday in Boise, Idaho, USA.  I don’t know what others’ agenda was;  but I do know here in Boise, it was for the rights of all, big and small, every gender, every orientation.  It is my responsibility as a citizen, if I am able to have ACTIVE role in democracy so that the voices of the many are heard. We will support our President because it IS a democracy,    Some people thought it was disrespectful to have a rally the day after Trump was inaugurated,  but if AMERICA BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE, then we need to keep what matters to us in the forefront.   And Women’s Rights = Human Rights.  (That’s an EQUAL SIGN!)   Women have worked far to long and hard for anyone to forget the rights gained the past century and have progress rewound.  Never forget.

I had a lump in my throat as I witnessed the sea of people in all directions, and I had that shaky billy  goat sound when I spoke.  I was a PROUD AMERICAN in that moment exercising my rights as a citizen.  It was peaceful; the people were kind and respectful; the air was full of celebration and yes, the air was full of FREEDOM.  These are the rights I fought for…

I MARCHED FOR YOU!

I saw a grandpa with a sign saying he marched for his wife, his daughters and his granddaughters.  There were men and women and children, people of all ages and color and all value systems.  And it was beautiful.  You can say what you want…but I know why I marched.

I MARCHED FOR YOU!

 

I wanted to show you some of the signs we saw while we were out and what OUR PEACEFUL focus was.

 


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Marie’s Gold of 2016

Many people can’t wait to be “rid” of 2016, and while I think there was so much of 2016 that broke my heart and brought me to my knees, especially the loss of so many dear ones, I know that much was learned, even with the loss and the trials and tribulations. Without them, I may not have been in gratitude for the greatness in my life, or I may have missed a valuable lesson. For every thing, there is a season and a reason.

I will especially miss my brother Joey and my brother-in-law John..but these lessons taught me to love my family fiercely and keep on making memories!

When I closed the door on teaching, I was excited, and I was devasted at the loss of an identity…but the release of that, allowed me to open many new doors, including travel! I got to witness the beautiful faces of Indian people who look at you deeply to your soul and started my world sisterhood with 20 year old women who invited me to go to Poland…I got to play the drums with the kids and teach them hand games and bring much needed supplies.

and then I got to travel to Africa with Joe and feel my soul burst open wide! And extended my sisterhood to Africa with women who loved me and enfolded me into their community without a word…we connected heart to heart…and then of course, I got to fall in love with the kids around the world too…telling stories and playing games and yes, playing drums and singing! And of course, nothing is complete without a Safari to witness all of God’s wonders.

I’m still teaching, but in ways I never imagined. I get to bring out the gold in people, especially young people. I love that!

I don’t know what 2017 holds for me, but I am ELATED to see all that it holds and reveals to me and me BEING me and giving my contribution. I am truly blessed.

Thanks for your love, your friendship and your support. It’s been wonderful having you cheer me on.
#MariesGold2016

 

 


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The Beauty of India – the Soulful Women

One of the most moving portions of my trip was engaging with the people of India.  When they look into your eyes, they see your soul.  They don’t glance away.  They look deeper.  There is a genuine desire to “know” you and honor the divine in you, thus where the word Namaste comes from.

As part of SHEROES United, I got the privilege to go into the Himalayas and bring Humanitarian relief.  But honestly, visiting them, I got humanitarian relief.  Relief that there are still such genuine, kind, loving people in the world.  These are people who are gracious and grateful for the smallest of blessings.

After we spent time with the children (a beautiful earlier post), we received the beautiful blessing of meeting the moms of the kids, plus other women who had heard of our arrival.

Our wonderful Drum Goddess, Katie Jo, pulled out her drums and then we were  off to an adventure of bringing the beauty of sound to the village women.  One woman would strike the drum with a small stroke, and Katie Jo would encourage them to strike it hard.  The sound then filled the room and soon the dancing broke out, and we saw the women’s hearts soar with the beats.  What a wonderful sight to see these women laughing and dancing with so much joy.  We gave the drum to the grandmother who really encouraged  all to dance.  But the most beautiful sight of all  was when I looked to the back of the room to the faces of the sons and grandsons of the woman who had witnessed their moms and grandmothers dancing in spirit.  What a sight to see!

I will forever be changed getting the honor and privilege of being a part of watching spirits soar.

(p.s.  The last picture is one of our drivers…look at the GRIN! The power of the drums is evident on their faces.)

 


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Soul Quest -India

india at the schoolsIndia was a spiritual buffet, a great feast for the soul.  There were so many new tastes and smells and sounds and heart tuggings in one space.  One must venture out of their own back yard often.

Where to begin?  Ahhh, that is a most spicy question with so many answers! There is so much to say and only so much time to write.  I’ll start with my favorite and let the words pour from my soul.  There is enough juicy material for a very long time.  Our group started the adventure as a way to work on our books, to experience and support one another.   We ended up writing new chapters in our own life stories…One of our goals was to meet the children in the Himalayas and bring supplies to the homes of the people.

Upon first sight, I fell in love.  There is so much GOLD in the SOULS of the children. Their hearts are so tender an and full of hope.  Their thoughts are on what they have, not what they lack.  The first thing they did was sing a song of “We Shall Overcome.”  The sweet sounds of innocent voices aware of their situations but not letting it hold them down was uplifting and even enlightening.  Their music sounded like an angels choir.  Nothing is sweeter to my ears than the sounds of children gathering to sing.  My heart was full.  Then they sang their national anthem, while a young man full of passion and vigor beat a drum in accompaniment.  When the children heard the drums, their smiles grew wide and they belted the song even more.  After the song, each of the children got to beat the drum.  Sound is a powerful, soul changing tool.  I watched in amazement as each child first did a light tap on the drum, and then a strong beat that bellowed a big sound.  BOOM! I witnessed the empowerment that the drum sound gave to each child.  A shy, timid, young girl sat taller in her chair that day.

Then I was so blessed to teach them a hand game learning patterns and rhythms.  Kids love these games, and I was reminded of my love for “playing” with the children…sometimes forgotten in a public education back in the states because of rigorous curriculum.  The teachers were gracious to give us their time, and the head master said one of the first things he wanted to do was buy a drum for the children.  They were elated!   There was much gratitude as we passed out the stickers and books we had brought.  For them, it was like Christmas.  I was in deep gratitude knowing that the gently used books I brought would be cherished, and we had not only made a small contribution toward their education, but we brought smiles and built a bridge.

  I LOVE PEOPLE!!!  (especially children…yes, I’ll always be a teacher at heart…and I will be forever changed.)    Namaste.  Mariemarie in sari

 

 

 


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An Unlikely Love

I remember the first day I met you…
I didn’t like your kind.
You were sweet.
I was cautious.
Didn’t want to love you or even like you.
But you had your charm… your way of working into a heart with subtlety.

And here I am…
grateful for your patience your confidence
that I would fall in love with you…
I did.
Fifteen years later after finding you on the playground, I not only managed to love you,
but I learned to love your kind…
cats.
My dearest Recess…
you have given me hope for the world.

And I will continue in my
search for the gold.


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REMEMBERING

daddy journal

For Christmas of 2000,  I had given my daddy a journal with the inscription:  “the best gift we can give anyone is intimacy, sharing our thoughts and feelings.  Please jot things down once in awhile for me so I will have them as a gift forever.”

For those of you who know me, I’ve been working to get to know my dad for quite some time. I hadn’t realized it was this long. He passed in March, and as we were cleaning things, I found this journal with only 2 entries (above) that were written, a year or so llater.  I never knew he had even written anything in that journal…  And now, 14 years later, his words mean so much more to me.  Below are two of his journal entries if you’re not able to read the above.

To Marie,

I found this book while digging in my library closet 9-11-2001, the day New York City was bombed by terrorists…Hope to have better news later – Papa

9-17-01 – NYSE opened at 9:30 EST looking good – We’re doing better already…love to all my children and grand children…God Bless All of you and God…Please bless all of the world….America needs you now.”

There’s so much that I notice here!  Without knowing, I use ellipsis all the time and didn’t know why except that I like that kind of pregnant pause.  I must have learned that from him or at least picked it up by watching him. Seeing it in this journal was super cool.  Another thing I noticed was that since his death, I have found little notes like this. He often thought about us and prayed for us, even though we never knew it.  The VAULT speaks on paper….I’ve probably not said this before, but when we were younger, my dad wrote a lot…and I know that my desire to write comes from watching him spend much time doing this.    I do wish he had done it a little more because he was so good at little quips of history and dating everything!   (newspaper articles, cards, letters, etc.)   I don’t date things enough, but know its value.

So the advice I leave with you there is so much we don’t know about a person.  It takes time to “find gold in the soul.”  Sometimes it takes years for the intimacy to appear.  Notice…learn…be patient…and just enjoy…Little things will be revealed in their own time.

God Bless America and its beautiful people on this day and years to come.

I LOVE YOU so much AMERICA!!!