Fractured Mercy

Yesterday I discussed fractured mercy. Today temporal mercy, that which lasts but for a short time.

Like me driving along a narrow southern road, overhung with massive live oak tree branches forming a tunnel of summer green.

Where all too often my heart hung between. Rather like overripe fruit. Or perhaps just plain unwanted.

Didn’t truly bother me.

Inner self has a balance undetectable from the outside. And if blessedly left in peace then never ruffled by another’s pride.

Yet that isn’t always so. Especially in the time we all live. Where social media molds and manipulates. Like a digital entity controlled by none. Everything is right or wrong. Never in between. Never compromised. Never merciful.

The rare blessing is the fragile ability to ignore. This a temporal mercy. So much of 21st century life is such. Difficult to know, difficult to understand truth from reality. Or if either or both are false too.

Yet we all need something to cling to as time’s river drags us relentlessly into the unknowable future. Those of us temporarily young, may feel time is their ally. And perhaps so for a short time.

But the pains of living cares naught about a person’s age. Nor about one’s joy. After all we must live with others. Dancing an emotional shag of hope and faith. Temporal mercy dashed by the slicing tongues of online confrontation.

How do we do this? Why do we do this? Were those generations before us driven thusly? What was their outlets their means of embracing every tragedy worldwide? Every celebrity life in minute detail? Filling the holes within that today seems unable to be filled because it is all never ending, digitized life eating our souls, eroding emotional sanity, driving us to seek mercy for god’s sake.

We don’t though because it all moves at the speed of light. And the mercy we seek is at best temporal.

Ask the Question

Wildflower meadows combed the walls of the valley, flowing to meet the meandering river below. No trail marked my passage, no bent green blade, fallen leaf, or barked limb. Birds toiled their world, feeding fledglings, mending nests, bathing in dusty earth. If they noticed my presence, I did not influence them.

At water’s edge, toads and distantly, bullfrogs chirped and grunted speaking language unknown by me but somehow as haunting as a quiet primal flute whistling the lamentations of youth bygone. Dragonflies wove wings of crystal sunshine spiraling to seek their destinies.

Higher on the valley wall, berries sprayed the thorny ridge of its backbone. Their red blue vitality evident between my fingers, staining today with yesterday’s promise.

I wandered over and through my temptation, stopping, sampling, hoping to learn more, knowing the lesson past, that time taught all.

Higher still, oak and maple boughs bore the rewards of summer’s fullness, shading, nurturing, providing. Scurrying among them, life raced along unaware of passage, unaware of endings, or the promise of new beginnings.

I knew I would do well to heed those lessons. Even when turning in confusion’s circle, I move in but one direction. I may see all around me, but miss what is vital. Unless I focus to ask the question, I most desire to know.

Through mourning, I celebrate life, as songbirds voice afternoon’s glory, and the dove the break of dawn

Nor Do You I

Our eyes see only what we want to see

Or see around what is in front of us

To convert it into acceptability

In doing such we fail to see

Our own accountability

Too the falsehood of such creation

Stumbles upon vulnerability

And should leave us wondering

For our susceptibility

Or at the very least wondering

Of our lives plausibility

The Violator

Some people who enter your life will try to grind you down. Especially if you are successful, to assist their weak or non-existent feeling of self-importance.

They see all you’ve accomplished making them feel insignificant in comparison since they’ve done nothing similar.

They care only about themselves because they’ve done nothing or are unable, unwilling to do anything that reflects on the human need to help others. Not hinder or attempt to destroy other people because they have what the violator desires but is too lazy too incompetent or inept to accomplish on his own.

They see a person who has everything they desire and seek a weakness they can exploit to take it away.

If the violator is very good, no one will believe they are anything but sincere.

The violator will not stop even if their success requires years, taking every piece from the one he attacks no matter how small or significant it may seem to others.

The violator will only be stopped if someone stands in their way, and even then the violator will fight to convince their target that the opponent is the true problem. The violator will use ridicule, humiliation, degradation, whatever is required, and never stop.

Welcome to the human race.

I Am

He stood gathering shattered thoughts, and the fire burned. A river of water raced down the driveway, pouring down the street. And the fire burned. Uniformed people wearing helmets, carrying hoses, moved slowly and the fire burned. An array of sparks exploded skyward, and the fire burned.

An explosion blew apart the remnants and he watched his home collapse into a pile of burning charred rubble.

“I just closed on this house Thanksgiving weekend.” He laughed a dry bitter sound.

The fire chief alongside him spoke, sounding muffled by the man’s grief. “The gas tank in the car blew in the garage where the fire started first. The last was the propane tank outside, sorry, sir. There’s nothing we can do but attempt to contain it so the fire doesn’t spread to the neighbors.”

“My cats? Did you at least save them?” He cried.

“There was no way to enter the house safely. I’m sorry.” With a pat on the shoulder, the local fire chief turned and walked away.

My babies burned to death, he cried as his heart screamed in agony. Tears welled and ran down his cheeks.

Damn it! Now I’m homeless. He thought. Christmas Eve day. “There is nothing left.” He called aloud. No reply came. He looked over his shoulder to the house with the Christmas party he’d attended. “My new neighbors.” He saw none as if the party went merrily on without a thought about his disaster.

He watched until the flames died under the massive amount of water hosed on his house. Then he turned and walked to the party house. He rang the doorbell, knocked on the door, looked through a window and saw no one looking his way.

“Shit,” and he headed into the town where he’d planned to live and work for years to come.

Well, no rain or snow, at least, he muttered as he walked in the direction of the center of town. Glancing down, he stared at his feet shod in running shoes. He zipped up his fleece lined denim jacket, noted the small tear in his jeans just above the right knee.

Distant street lights seemed to beckon. He walked in their direction not knowing what he’d find there since he was unfamiliar with his new town. After walking for over thirty minutes, frustration and fear battled with the deep grief he felt for the loss of his feline companions.

He turned a corner and spotted a park bench, decided to sit for a few minutes. As he drew closer he saw there was someone lying on it.

“Damn it.” He began to turn away then, but stopped. “There’s a corner I can sit on.” He approached. “Excuse me. Do you mind sharing? I’m exhausted.”

No answer. He shrugged and sat. Realizing at once that the man lying there was not real. He was a bronze sculpture. He lit the light on his iPhone. Scanning the sculpture he saw mostly what looked like an old fashioned robe, like a old time monk might wear but shabbier. Carefully, he reached out and lightly tapped where a head might be if it was flesh and blood. It made a metallic knocking sound.

Nothing happened. He leaned back so he was against the feet. Almost dozing, wishing he might just have a sudden heart attack and drop dead, he felt slight movement behind him.

Fighting back the shout of fear, he jumped to his feet ready to defend himself against…a sculpture, he thought and laughed humorously.

Shaking his head, brushing off the seat of his jeans, he sat. And felt heat radiating from behind him. He heard cloth rustle as if someone adjusted a coat. Or a robe, he wondered feeling a buzz of fear.

He started to stand but a hand gently pressed against his shoulder.

“Oh, my god, what?”

The sculpture moved sitting up next to him.

“You’re not real…are you?”

“Do not fear me. I am.” The robed man spoke with a strange foreign accent.

A bit Middle Eastern, he thought. “I’m sorry. You felt like metal when I first sat here.” He watched the robed man pull his hands up so they were covered by the large sleeves. Linen cloth, he thought. How odd.

“Why were you lying here?”

“It seems, waiting for you?”

“Why me?”

“There is something you need from me.”

“I cannot imagine what. Tonight I’ve lost everything. My new home, my precious cats, all of my possessions. Hell, my life really.”

“I’m rather cold,” the robed man said. “I see there is a church across the street. We can find shelter inside.”

He laughed. “It will be locked so no one will steal anything.”

His companion stood. Bare feet in ancient looking sandals, scuffed and worn. He didn’t respond but walked across the street climbing steps to the entrance.

“Shit, why do this?” he thought and followed.

The robed man hesitated with his right hand on the door handle. He pressed down and the massive carved wood door swung in. He turned and waited.

Once alongside the man’s new companion they walked into the church. Their footsteps, his artificial rubber quiet, the sandals scuffing, echoed gently around them. They sat in the first pew, nearest to the altar. Warm air a relief. He felt oddly comforted. His grief less overwhelming.

“Are you a religious man?” His companion asked, hands still deep inside the arms of his robe. Feet drawn back under the pew bench.

“If I was I’d be wanting to know why God just stood by and watched me lose everything including my three cats. They were like my children. I’m not a bad person. I don’t believe I ever hurt anyone intentionally and if I learned I had accidentally, I’ve apologized for it.” He turned to look at the robed man and saw only the hood covering his head and face.

Since his companion said nothing he continued. “Life is a journey though.”

“To what destination?”

“Death of course where darkness only awaits us.”

“So for you death is a destination?”

He turned again to look at his companion. The robe’s hood was off, draped behind him. He had brown eyes, somewhat curly long brown hair, a full beard and mustache. He looked young but vastly old too. Like he’d traveled the world, met every kind of human imaginable and somehow was not repulsed by the worst but instead saddened. As if knowing he could do little if anything to assist them.

Why would I think that about him?

He shook his head attempting to physically dislodge the thought image. “What else might there be?”

His companion turned and looked him in the eyes. “Continuation in a way. Understand that people tend to exaggerate what they do not truly understand. Until its meaning is distorted, and then no longer related to its beginning.”

“So you believe life is not a journey with a set destination?”

His companion shrugged, seeming to express sympathy. He stood and held out his left hand.

“What happened to your hand?” Horrified by the large oval wound that penetrated his hand allowing him to actually see light though it.

“Take my hand. Put your finger in the opening.” His companion said.

When he hesitated, his companion said gently, “Believe.”

With hesitation, he obeyed. Fought against the shudder threatening to reveal his feelings of revulsion. Then stood too. They walked up the three steps before the altar. Stopped and stood in silence. His companion said again, “Believe.”

The man did not know, or did not remember how long they remained there. He heard a quiet warm voice tell him, “Return home.”

When he opened his eyes, he turned to find he was alone. Tears ran down both cheeks as sobs tore from his heart. He looked up to see a man resembling his robed companion hanging lifelessly from a large wooden cross.

He wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his coat, turned and left the building. Walking back, snow began to fall. The footsteps behind him, he saw when he looked back were of two people walking side by side.

Baffled, he hurried now close to running. He turned to corner onto his street and saw his new home untouched by fire. Now running as fast as possible he opened the front door and was tripped by his orange Maine Coon named Wilhelmine.

Merry Christmas


Does a blackmailer count the human cost? Or even care? Does he see, not just the target, the blackmailer’s bullseye, but the ripple effect of devastation, the casualties in family, friends, and associates? Perhaps he is blind. Or doesn’t care. Or sees and takes perverse pleasure in the pain?

People callous and oblivious to another’s pain frighten me. People who take pleasure in the pain of others leave me speechless in horror. It is less than human.

Kat Colorado (Karen Kijewski)


An issue that has appeared several tine recently is assumption. One article seemed angry, another confused.

And my writing that showed two assumptions. Almost everything we think carries the burden of assumption to a certain degree. I can tell you I have hardwood floors in my home. I know this is true because I saw the ends of some of the boards. They are oak, a hardwood. If I did not know that with absolute accuracy the statement would be assumption.

Assumptions are good as well as bad. When we judge other people based on anything other than fact it is assumption. This type can be proven however to be right or wrong. And face it, we do judge people with assumption every single time. How else can we begin to know someone? Stand by and observe for a set amount of time? That too would be an act of assumption.

When we buy something we assume it is what we are told it is. I bought a pair of Lee jeans from an online retailer. I assumed that was what I would receive. The seller sent Levi jeans. A suppose he or she assumed I would not care. I do care since I hate the way Levi jeans fit and feel.

I bought peaches from a local supermarket. I assumed they were fresh as the sign claimed. They were not. One made me quite ill.

So how can we possibly live without assumption? I don’t believe it is possible. Although that too is an assumption. Yikes.


I looked down into a valley filled with stones. A light breeze rustled my hair, lifted odors of dried and freshly cut flowers to surround me with the mystery of their presence.


I think life occasionally demands more than we feel we have to give, filling us with doubt, stripping away encouragement leaving us soul-naked to stare into the blank blue sky and seek answers that can only be found by looking within. Yet we do not know where to look in those dreadfully frightening moments and reach outward instead.


We go about the task of living, envisioning ourselves as if standing above the fray, examining nuances, seeking ever seeking. Interaction with people, places, objects, animals, all seems somehow shallow, as if the surface of life was peeled away revealing a different, but identical surface that is now a mirror reflecting time but not us.


We stroke through bewilderment, as if we’re swimming against rip tides, losing but unwilling to lament, to relax, and think through what we are experiencing, why we experience it.


It is not until we tire to the point of spiritual exhaustion that we fall, fail, and finally understand. Life does not demand more than we have to give. Life teaches us how to learn to give anew. It is not about doors opening or closing, time passing or standing still. It is about whom we are, our choices, our paths, and why we make them, why we walk them. The message was not hidden except when bombarding words cluttered the air to obscure our thoughts and vision.


Then the waters flowed around us and flooded the valley with new life.