Sparked by Words

Hawaiian Songbird

Hawaiian Songbird, the Original Story

File:Punahou Preparatory School, Honolulu (1909 postcard).jpg
Pauahi Hall at Punahou School, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Here is my short story, “Hawaiian Songbird.” It was presented at The Braid Theatre for their May 2021 salon production, The Rest is History. Actor Cliff Weissman performed the role with sensitive perfection. The story was edited to suit their program. I hope you enjoy reading the original version as submitted for their consideration.

The choirmaster waded along the rows of benches, listening to sixty young voices. He cupped his ear in his palm, leaned in, paused, moved on to hear the next student sing. Up and down the rows he trooped as we repeated the verse of a song unfamiliar to me: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” As a Jewish eleven-year-old, I’d never heard it.

The choir class was in the third school I’d attended during sixth grade. My elementary education began with first grade in New Jersey at Parkway Elementary which I attended through the beginning of sixth. In October we traveled five thousand miles to Oahu, Hawaii, my parents fed up with East Coast blizzards.

My second sixth grade school nestled like a tropical ground bird in the lush hills above Honolulu, but I only stayed a few months. We moved again, from the rental house to one my parents bought in a suburb on the other side of Diamond Head.

My dad arranged through a colleague to have me tested for admission to Punahou School in the middle of the year, something that almost never happened. I got accepted and became a student in late December, my third sixth grade school.

Punahou means “new spring,” as in the rising of underground water, and the private Hawaiian academy is named for a beautiful natural spring-fed pond in the center of the campus. Pink water lilies floated on its surface and red crayfish scuttled along its muddy bottom. Founded in the eighteen hundreds by Christian missionaries, Punahou is the gold standard for Hawaiian schools and famous all over the islands. I’m not sure my parents knew about its Christian bedrock.

My entire family is Ashkenazi Jewish, all my grandparents born in Russia or Poland, immigrating to the United States in the early nineteen hundreds. My grandfathers attended the same tiny shul in Trenton. My grandmothers refused to serve a meal on the wrong dishes.

Our home was Jewish by identity, not by practice. Our Jewishness was an observance of what we didn’t do rather than what we did. We didn’t celebrate Christmas or eat ham but we also didn’t light Shabbos candles on Friday nights. My dad had memorized his Torah portion for his bar mitzvah. My mom couldn’t recite a single Hebrew blessing.

Yet they were Jewish at their core. They stood up for Jewish rights and Jewish values and wholeheartedly supported Israel. They saved pennies in the pushke. They railed about anti-Semitism, bristled at prejudice against Jews, and despised Jewish quotas that limited what events they could be part of.

Har Sinai Temple Religious School in Trenton taught me that Abraham broke idols to prove their feet of clay, that Jonah was sent to the belly of a whale to think about his mistakes. We learned about Noah gathering animals two by two and stabling them on a boat, tigers and mice bedding down in the same clump of hay. How those stories made me Jewish, I didn’t understand. I didn’t yet grasp metaphor or symbolism. The story I most remember was about Hannah and her seven sons. Martyrdom was incomprehensible and left me horrified.

While I attended Har Sinai School, my parents never made it for Friday night services. Not even for High Holy Days.

I’d studied music in New Jersey: piano lessons for four years, and three summer programs with a high school choirmaster. He taught us, a gaggle of kids from across the township, not only to master multi-part harmony, but to sing opera. We didn’t know we were too young to learn opera. Hell, we didn’t even know we were singing opera. We just followed his directions and sang a collection of songs in English, Latin, Italian, and French. The first two years, I was the youngest of the group. Eight, nine, ten years old, my voice was pretty, consistent, soprano. Music led me into a dimension of beauty and magic unlike my ordinary daily landscape. I loved the emotional lift choir added to my knee-scraped life.

When the Punahou choir director returned twice to listen to my voice, he thought he’d hit the musical jackpot. I was a child who’d had training and could carry a tune. He selected me and one lucky little boy to sing solos for the upcoming music recital. Our class would perform before the entire elementary school, over six hundred kids and teachers. He sent me home with orders to practice.

Friendship groups had long been established at Punahou, and entering in late December proved a social faux pas. I was the odd kid who wore saddle shoes and wide skirts over fluffy crinolines. Island girls wore sandals and slim dresses without a waistline. Their speech was flecked with colorful pidgin English while mine was heavily New Jersey accented and peppered with Yiddish. The other students welcomed me about as much as honey bees invite hungry bears to lunch. Chosen as the prima songbird didn’t endear me to the other sixth grade kids.

The hymn instructed us to trust in Jesus, our faithful friend, to bear our sorrows and grief. No way could I practice that song in my home. I was too terrified to even tell my mom what I’d been chosen to sing, but I did practice. I did everything my New Jersey choir teacher had taught us. I opened my mouth and shaped each sound, expanded my diaphragm, controlled my breathing, pronounced each syllable, articulated every consonant, rounded the vowels, and projected to reach the most distant audience.

I practiced silently, lest my Jewish mother hear me singing about Jesus and send me straight to hell with a few of her stiff punches and enough Yiddish curses to make the choir teacher blush deeper than a red hibiscus.

On the day of the performance, I stood in front of the entire choir next to the lucky little boy who’d been selected to sing solo. Punahou’s auditorium was massive as a cathedral, with a spacious balcony that belled over an enormous lower floor crammed with wooden pews. Students and staff filled every seat. We faced a rowdy audience. Though I knew from drama class and ballet recitals not to look directly at faces but at an imaginary spot on the far wall, I still saw a million pair of eyes glaring at me. Me, the new kid whom no one liked.

In the orchestra pit, the choirmaster lifted his arms to direct us. I did fine with the ensemble pieces. Individual voices submerged anonymously in the jumble of many kids singing. But when it came time for me and lucky little boy to sing our solos–well, I did as I had practiced. I opened my mouth and lifted my voice from my diaphragm. I rounded the vowels and articulated the consonants.

And I sang…silently.

Not one sound emitted from my throat. Couldn’t do it. Didn’t know how. The choirmaster’s eyes opened so wide I worried they’d fall from the sockets. He gestured with windmill spins, dropped his jaw in a gape, and raised his shoulders high enough to touch his ears. The veins in his neck pulsed. His skin sunburned in front of me. I did the best I could, but a Jewish kid cannot sing to Jesus, and so my voice simply did not function.

The choirmaster later demanded to know why I hadn’t performed. I stared at him, my answer struck dumb. It was not like me to ever refuse to obey a teacher but there was nothing I could explain. He never called on me again to sing a solo.

The next day the Punahou kids finally welcomed me to their school. They planted a cockroach the size of a dinner plate inside my homeroom desk. Did I tell you how terrified I’ve always been of bugs? Punahou remained a foreign country where I wasn’t welcome. I never made a single friend at that school.

I’d witnessed and suffered the shame of prejudice and humiliation, of being different in the tropical islands that my parents insisted were a melting pot of races, cultures, and faiths, with Hawaiians joyously celebrating differences and commonalities. Hula and luau and stories of Madame Pele bound the myths that draw tourists to the islands in droves of happiness-seekers.

The two years that I lived in Hawaii were torture for me.

It would be decades before I understood what it meant to be Jewish, to begin to immerse myself in Jewish religion, history, and lifestyle. But that moment of refusing to sing about Jesus was the moment I became a Jew.

Since my thirteenth birthday, the day my family left the islands, I have never returned to Hawaii. I would love to visit someday and see it without the painful imprint of my childhood. May God bless the islands and people of Hawaii.

Based on the true story of when I couldn’t sing a song about Jesus out loud during a school performance

You read that title correctly, yes you did.

The Braid is producing my story.

The Braid is an award winning live theatre that presents the diverse voices of Jewish people in performances that touch our hearts.

I submitted a short story, “Hawaiian Songbird,” for their consideration. It describes an incident that happened when I was an eleven-year-old newcomer to Hawaii’s famous Punahou School.

“Hawaiian Songbird” was accepted to be the opening segment of their May production, The Rest is History. Nine other wonderful, funny, poignant stories will complete the program.

The show focuses on moments that altered the course of our lives, proving that, unique as they are, these stories are universal in their appeal.

No matter your age or background, you’ll be moved by the life-changing moments described by the writers. You’ll be entertained by the sensitive interpretations of the actors.

And you’ll want to come back for more.

Nope, I haven’t yet scraped myself out of the clouds. Dancing on rainbows at the moment.

The Braid is located in Santa Monica, California. Via Zoom it can be in your home.

Here is the flyer with all the information you need to be able to see the upcoming show, The Rest is History.

 Flyer image courtesy of The Braid Theatre 2021

Dark Wine at Death

I’d long anticipated reading Dark Wine at Death, Book 4 in the Hill Vampire series by Jenna Barwin. It sizzled way beyond my expectations. The fast paced, engaging story line picks up where Dark Wine at Dusk ended. Barwin is terrific at threading reminders of events and characters from the three previous books into this new story. She made it easy to recall details about the savage murderer loose on the Hill and become reengaged with the dangerous pursuit.  And, it was very easy to remain enthralled by the love story central to the series.

In a sexy dance scene, main characters Cerissa and Henry heat the floor beneath their feet and at the core of their beings. From the get-go, I wanted these two unique people to cement their relationship. As Cerissa notes, “…she hoped with all her heart that what they had together would never end.” This is why the romance of vampires, with the promise of everlasting life, appeals to lovers. Don’t we all want everlasting love? But are Cerissa and Henry meant to be married or just enjoy an intense relationship? This is one issue at the heart of the story, and the nagging doubt each harbors carries through, provoking arguments, distrust, and conflict.

Before Cerissa and Henry’s dance passion cools, death visits the five founding vampires of the Hill, devastating the surviving community. Police Chef Tig Anderson and her capable crew immediately set out to identify and snare the mastermind behind the murders. Can they be successful before even more vampires are murdered? Who are his accomplices? Barwin sets up several potential suspects, confounding easy conclusions.

Barwin is a masterful writer. Her characters are the people you meet every day – well, minus the vampire aspect. They cover the spectrum of religious values and gender lifestyles. They embrace and refute ideas of supremacy, equality, ethics, villainy, genetic traits, personal choice, and mental disorders, making me think about the principles I hold sacrosanct. I was attracted to many of the characters – vampire, mortal, and Lux – because their very human qualities endeared them – even when they weren’t human.

Though the passion and sex are one bookend element, and chasing down the murderers is the other, it was a few scenes involving animals that made me laugh out loud. Let me just say – puma and vampire bats – so much fun to read these scenes. I reread the puma scenes. Why not double my fun?

The cover art is sumptuous with romance, beauty, and mystery, my favorite of four beautiful artworks in this series.

I truly loved the book. By the way, don’t cheat yourself. Read the first three books in the series before reading this one.


Cover image courtesy: Hidden Depths Publishing
















The Soft Edge of Dark

Moments are forced upon us though we forge our own paths.

There are possibilities and false leads in every direction.

The outcome is never an absolute and regret or relief might both result.

The soft edge of dark lures us into the void then leaves us waiting, alone.

This is what chokes our airways, stanches our blood.


It’s the response we choose that makes us who we are – hero, fool, supplicant.

Knowing that the future is always a mystery grants us courage or makes us cower.

Success is a triumph one day, an accusation the next, a mourner over the open grave.

It slices our souls. It pools our tears. It makes us human.

This is what sears our minds, opens our hearts to prayer.


Just a thought 79


Landscape painting by Orson Pratt Huish, courtesy Wikipedia




Passover 2020

I speak of faith but do not beg for miracles

I speak of love but will not touch your face

I speak of hope but do not plead for proof

I speak of justice but do not offer verdicts

I speak of atonement but do not loudly weep

I speak of rebirth but fear to fully submerge

I speak of belief but cannot imagine the light

I speak of future but do not count on dreams

I speak of redemption but do not feel its weight

I speak of rage but do not whisper its name

pharaoh slavery despair covid

Shema Shema Shema Shema


I speak of children but now my voice falters

How can I speak of children

Through the lens of this plague

I speak of love I speak of hope

I speak of justice I speak of atonement

I speak of rebirth I speak of belief

I cannot speak of future without a howl of rage

I speak of faith and I yearn for miracles

Redemption not for me

Redemption for the children

pharaoh slavery despair covid

Shema fervently Shema silently Shema chanted Shema forever and ever and ever




Just a thought 78


Artwork by Harriete Estel Berman, For the Child Who is Unable to Inquire, Thou Shalt Explain the Whole Story of Passover (Seder plate), courtesy of:






When I was a child in elementary school during the 1950s, my parents bought their first home. It was in Trenton, NJ, only a few miles from the state Capitol. It was a big house and they converted part of it as my dad’s first private medical office. He practiced out of his home, as had physicians for thousands of years before him, and his was the last generation to do so as a matter of course. Only a dozen or so years later, medical clinics became more common.

My dad’s office consisted of a waiting room, two examining rooms, one of which he leaded in so he could take his own x-rays, and a consultation office. Every night he placed all his medical instruments in an autoclave and sterilized everything he’d used that day, ensuring they were safe for use the next morning.

A sink was in each examining room, one operated by knees, the other by elbows. I watched my dad wash his hands. Actually, he washed his hands, his wrists, and his forearms up to his elbows. He lathered and scrubbed with a little brush for what seemed like ten minutes.

During those years, grades 1 through 6 for me, I caught every illness in my school – colds, flu, measles, bronchial coughs, sore throats, my first episode of pneumonia, and terribly painful boils when an epidemic hit the city. Close contact with all the sick kids in school guaranteed I would get sick too. I’d had mumps, chicken pox, even a bout of mononucleosis, when younger. Fortunately, I never caught polio.

The flu and finally the polio vaccines became common during the 50s, and my dad was the physician who inoculated the grateful community.

My dad somehow never got sick. Even as a little kid, I worried about him catching the illnesses his patients had, but he didn’t. I wondered if he simply had a really strong body that didn’t catch those bad germs.

In fact, my dad had a secret weapon, and I already told you what it was. He washed his hands. He scrubbed for a long time. He did this before and after examining and treating every single patient. I know because if it was a family member, I sometimes watched.

I wasn’t all that clean as a kid. I learned cleanliness as I grew, adopting an increasingly vigilant regimen of teeth brushing, hair and face and body washing, and especially hand scrubbing.

During this Covid 19 pandemic, washing your hands vigilantly and often is, for now, the best protection we have, and it can work. Wash, keep your distance from others when you must be out, wear protective gear if you can, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and otherwise stay home.

Every time I wash my hands, every time you wash yours, we protect each other from transfer of the virus. We protect our children, our parents, our neighbors, our grandparents. Until we have an effective vaccine, washing our hands is an excellent shield.

Please wash your hands. If not for yourself, for all the other people near you who may get very sick from Covid 19. Who may even die. Stay safe, stay healthy. Somebody you love is counting on you.


Hand washing image courtesy Pikrepo









It is my pleasure to feature writer Jacqui Murray as she launches her newest book, The Quest for Home, Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of her Man vs. Nature Saga.

I’ve long been a fan of Murray’s as I love the way she builds worlds and inhabits them with fully realized people who lived in an historical period where they were outmatched in every physical way except one: their astonishing brain power. They are our very most ancient ancestors, and I relish her descriptions of life in this challenging era.

The following summary will give you an idea of the stakes facing these primitive people who want what we all want: Safety from enemies, shelter from the elements, food and water to sustain them, and a future for their children. But as we all know, these basic needs are neither easy to procure nor guaranteed to persist.


Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor.


Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving

behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through

unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger,

tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her

most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with

her life.


The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man

populated  Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing

the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man,

the one destined to obliterate any who came before.


Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and

determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across

Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life,

prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than

the future of mankind is at stake.


Shari speaking here: I’m hooked, absolutely hooked by this summary. This is my kind of story, and I bet you’re also eager to read it. When you think about it, we are here because of the success of these primitive people.


Jacqui and I had a chance to talk about her newest book.  Gracious as always, she answered my questions with enthusiasm and knowledge. I love talking to someone who’s passionate about their craft and knows what they’re talking about.

Me: I’m always curious about the skills of primitive people.

Could primitive man build rafts as suggested in this story?

Jacqui: Yes, absolutely. They had the brainpower, and the plants and tools required were available at the time but because they were made of wood and vines—-materials that don’t preserve over time—no artifacts remain to prove this. Anthropologists speculate this would have been a basic raft made from bamboo and vine. This hypothesis was tested by building rafts using only prehistoric techniques (as Xhosa would have) and then replicating crossings such as the Straits of Gibraltar, through the islands in Indonesia, and even the passage from Indonesia to Australia.


Me: It must have been both terrifying and exhilarating to set off across an unknown sea with only the stars at night to guide them, and waves as big as mountains threatening them at times. Makes me grateful for airplanes with their cramped seats.

Was there really a giant upright primate like Giganto (Zvi’s friend)?

Jacqui: There was! He’s called Gigantopithecus blacki. Extinct now, he was native to Southeast Asia, China, and Indonesia where Seeker and Zvi lived originally.


Me: I just looked up Gigantopithecus blacki on Wikipedia. He was monstrous and fierce looking, not a creature to antagonize. I plan to get a new dog soon – that’s about my size.

What do you mean by strong and weak side?

Jacqui: Based on artifacts from 850,000 years ago (or longer), paleoscientists speculate that early man had a preference for right-handedness. That would make their right hand stronger than the left (though they didn’t identify right and left at that time). Because of this, my characters call their right the strong side and left the weak side.


Me: That makes perfect sense. They had the brain capacity to differentiate between the two sides of their bodies, understanding where their greater strength lay. The concepts were there but not the language to accurately express them, yet they got their point across. Really fascinating information.


And here, dear friends, I treat you to an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Quest for Home.


Chapter 1


Northern shore of what we now call the Mediterranean Sea


Pain came first, pulsing through her body like cactus spines. When she moved her head, it exploded. Flat on her back and lying as still as possible, Xhosa blindly clawed for her neck sack with the healing plants. Her shoulder screamed and she froze, gasping.

How can anything hurt that much?

She cracked one eye, slowly. The bright sun filled the sky, almost straight over her head.

And how did I sleep so long?

Fractured memories hit her—the raging storm, death, and helplessness, unconnected pieces that made no sense. Overshadowing it was a visceral sense of tragedy that made her shake so violently she hugged her chest despite the searing pain. After it passed, she pushed up on her arms and shook her head to shed the twigs and grit that clung to her long hair. Fire burned through her shoulders, up her neck and down her arms, but less than before. She ignored it.

A shadow blocked Sun’s glare replaced by dark worried eyes that relaxed when hers caught his.

“Nightshade.” Relief washed over her and she tried to smile. Somehow, with him here, everything would work out.

Her Lead Warrior leaned forward. Dripping water pooled at her side, smelling of salt, rotten vegetation, mud, and blood.

“You are alright, Leader Xhosa,” he motioned, hands erratic. Her People communicated with a rich collection of grunts, sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and arm movements, all augmented with whistles, hoots, howls, and chirps.

“Yes,” but her answer came out low and scratchy, the beat inside her chest noisy as it tried to burst through her skin. Tears filled her eyes, not from pain but happiness that Nightshade was here, exactly where she needed him. His face, the one that brought fear to those who might attack the People and devastation to those who did, projected fear.

She cocked her head and motioned, “You?”

Deep bruises marred swaths of Nightshade’s handsome physique, as though he had been pummeled by rocks.  An angry gash pulsed at the top of his leg. His strong upper arm wept from a fresh wound, its raw redness extending up his stout neck, over his stubbled cheek, and into his thick hair. Cuts and tears shredded his hands.

“I am fine,” and he fell silent. Why would he say more? He protected the People, not whined about injuries.

When she fumbled again for her neck sack, he reached in and handed her the plant she needed, a root tipped with white bulbs. She chewed as Nightshade scanned the surroundings, never pausing anywhere long, always coming back to her.

The sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. Sweltering heat hammered down, sucking up the last of the rain that had collected in puddles on the shore. Xhosa’s protective animal skin was torn into shreds but what bothered her was she couldn’t remember how she got here.

“Nightshade, what happened?”

Her memories were a blur—terrified screams and flashes of people flying through the air, some drowning, others clinging desperately to bits of wood.

Nightshade motioned, slowly, “The storm—it hit us with a fury, the rain as heavy and fierce as a waterfall.”

A memory surfaced. Hawk, the powerful leader of the Hawk People, one arm clutching someone as the other clawed at the wet sand, dragging himself up the beach.

He was alive!


Now you’re begging for the rest of the story. You know what to do next. Enjoy!


Book and author information:


Title and author: The Quest for Home by Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU


Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.


Social Media contacts:


Amazon Author Page: 








All images courtesy Jacqui Murray





This is the year to renew my driver’s license. Last Thursday I drove to my California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) appointment in Oceanside (yes, Oceanside, 46 miles south of where I live, about an hour’s drive if there are no traffic mishaps, as there were no appointments any time at a closer DMV) to get my license renewed with REAL ID, and found that, despite the fact that I brought everything except my college transcript, I still didn’t bring what they wanted.

I brought what I thought was our marriage license, which proves I once had a different last name that changed when we got married, (yeah, impacts mostly women, not men – how fair is that?) but it was a copy and they wouldn’t accept it. What I thought was a bona fide authentic copy is just a photocopy – ACK! The original is probably road kill on Route 66 or sitting in a forgotten box after one of many moves. Sure isn’t something I framed and put on the wall. So I can’t get my REAL ID until I produce the damn real marriage license copy.

That afternoon the DMV nearly turned me into a terrorist. Into a screaming meamie at any rate. If you heard someone yelling last Thursday afternoon, it was me, in Oceanside at the DMV. So much for Homeland Security beginning with me.

I could have produced a passport instead of a marriage license but I don’t have a passport either, and the passport office probably also wants our original marriage license which I still don’t have. I ask you: who would put up with a marriage for 47 years and lie about it? Maybe I should just get a divorce and bring those papers – but the court probably also wants the original marriage license to get a divorce from this crazy marriage!!!

BTW: Did you know that the Department of Records and Licenses archives marriage certificates, but you have to get a copy of a divorce certificate from Superior Court? One of the useful things I’ve learned trying to get my license renewed.

Now I know why Orthodox Jews show up with stinky shoes and say, The hell with this marriage. You can have your sandal and eat it too. Thank God for the Orthodox and their Stone Age ideas about divorce. They get things done.

At least I passed the stupid DMV “knowledge” test – and do I mean STUPID! No knowledge required. Here’s a good one for you, a question that was on the stupid practice test, but not on the stupid real test I took:

Which of the following statements is true?

  1. Driving is a privilege, not a right.
  2. Driving is a right, not a privilege,
  3. Driving without a license is illegal.

You’d choose #3, right? Driving without a license is illegal. But it’s the wrong answer. Swear on a stack of motel Gideons, the correct answer is: Driving is a privilege, not a right.

Now imagine this scenario: I am pulled over by a cop who writes a ticket because he’s certain that I’m under the illusion that driving is a right not a privilege. He doesn’t care whether or not I have a valid driver’s license, just that I have the correct ideas about driving. Is this going to hold up in court?

Officer: Your honor, I gave this idiot woman a ticket because she believes that driving is a right, not a privilege. I didn’t have to check her driver’s license because who cares after such egregious contempt of the driving rules?

Now the judge bangs his gavel on the desk and gives me six months in jail where I write on the blackboard 100,000 times: Driving is a privilege, not a right, fuck the license shit. Just remember this one when you have to renew your license.

My driver’s license is now renewed but I can’t fly on an airplane. (I don’t know what it means to have a current driver’s license but not a REAL ID. Do I have a FAKE ID? Just one of the little things that tease my brain when waiting in line to do things like get my license renewed.) Mind you, I never wanted to FLY the damn plane, just to sit in one of those cramped little seats that hasn’t been cleaned in 40 years and let the experts fly it while I contract some contagious disease left by the sick passenger who sat in that seat the flight before mine.

So I can legally drive a car like all the other maniacs on the road who text, drink, and sleep behind the wheel, but I can’t sit in an airplane flying from Orange County to Burbank. Driving and flying – two forms of death defying transportation but only one needs a REAL ID. The other needs a license given on the predicate that driving is a privilege not a right, and I can apparently get a ticket for the wrong idea.

Hubby and I had  a notary sign an official form downloaded from the I-lost-my-marriage-certificate LA County website that declares that we really are married (47 years – please do not forget that.) We shall not get into a discussion about marriage, way too much philosophy, ethics, and argument for today. We filled it out in our best handwriting, and sent it off to the county recorder’s office with the $15 fee.

Hopefully we’ll have the official real authentic copy in time for my next appointment with DMV in October to finally get my REAL ID. At least this one is at  the DMV that’s only 3 miles from my home.

And then I will be really married and really ready to fly. Oh…yay…



Cartoon car image courtesy Pixabay










The soles of my feet, my bared knees and forehead

Bend to the earth as do the strands of my hair

Trailing over my cheeks


The one good thing about being brought so low

Is not my humility, proofed by drops of my blood

Pooling in the dirt


But that I am left only one direction for movement

May the One Who abides in the High Heavens

Help me to rise


If I am unseen, ignored, or even abandoned

Perhaps I will be lifted by atonement of my sins

The flood of my tears


Sighted by bugs and spiders in their native land

No others will witness my remorse or their toil

More holy than mine


Just a thought 77


Painting Africa Landscape courtesy Pixabay





Morning Blooms

Morning blooms a fervid pledge

The horizon and the stars, yet

From every next morning crawls

A battered promise cobbled

From the previous morning’s rubble


All future in a bud or the wind

Rinds of melon, a wilted rose

Only one petal removed

The elegant equation of

Despair and a child’s hope


Blossoms cast on the ground

An apple clenched in one’s fist

The breeze murmured in hair

A nimbus cloud damp against lips

Water casting pearls upon cheeks


Chants twine around two wrists

Lightning cradles two heartbeats

The bright promise of morning

Forgets yesterday’s heartache

And wakes the sleeper


Pause by the moaning trees

Crouch on salt flats

Pad into the wilderness

Rush toward tomorrow

For dreams of horizon and stars



Just  a thought 76



Painting Olivenheim, by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889, courtesy Wikimedia Commons