This is the last of my Yahoo! stuff. One of my very few forays into poetry.
Dancing in the Moonlight
I dreamed I was dancing in the moonlight
On a forest shrowded hill.
The wind swirled around my naked body
Alighting every nerve with the earth's will.
I looked out over the world
The magic coloring my sight
And I knew in my very heart of hearts
That this was the night.
The earth balanced on the precipice
Of time changing time
The stars and planets swirled into infinity
In a perfect straight line.
And all around me the forest hushed
Pregnant with sorrow, fear, joy
Our little planet insignificant and bold
Hurtling wildly through space
Moved another inch, and then two
And then we were prone.
I stood at the very axis of the change
Feeling the power shoot straight through me
Taking away my body and my soul
But in a tiny little part
No more than a spec I was still me
Watching the world
I saw futures that would never be born
I saw pasts that were wiped from memory
I saw the coliding of realities
The wars and the harmonies
Of all that has been and all that never will be
It was time.
The universe plucked my soul like a musical string.
I could not be sorrowful
For the world that would be lost
I could not be excited
For the world this would bring.
It was time.
My existence sweeped out over infinity
And strangely there was no time left.
The universe called
And only I was left.
The traveler, the shaman
The carrier of the mysteries.
With a giant heave
I was scarcely strong enough to hold
I pulled myself back in
To one single existence,
One single vessel
One single home.
A planet hurtling wildly through space
Insignificant and bold
The cord to infinity snapped
The sound whipcracking through existence
To be heard by all
But those whose hearts it was supposed to change
The universe held it's breath
Then the earth moved
An inch and then two
The connection was broken
The change begun
The world made new.
I walked on wobbly legs
And slipped through the trees
Back to my bed
Followed by a moonlit breeze
The people watched the sky
Finally feeling what they had missed
But the time was past
The future of our world shapped by the will
Of a single solitary witch
I returned to my home and my bed
Covered myself up in the night
And dreamed of dancing
In the full moonlight
This short story was originally published on the now gone Yahoo! Contributor Network. It is a good summary of how I view the myriad of faiths in this world.
The traveler walked down the path. He couldn't remember having started on his journey, he only remembered walking. He didn't know where he was going, or where he had come from. It seemed to him that he had walked from time out of mind. He never stopped walking because all he knew was this path and that he was supposed to walk. It never occurred to him to stop or go the other way.
The traveler slowly became aware that he had been walking a long time and began to wonder where he was going. It seemed to him that there must be a purpose to all this walking and journeying. Where was this path taking him?
Every now and again he would come to a crossroads. He didn't know where the other paths led so he was afraid of them and simply moved on, but he did ponder what those paths might look like.
One day he came to giant hill, so high he couldn't see the top. He thought if he could just reach the top maybe he would see where he was going. So the traveler climbed and climbed for many days, until it seemed there was no end at all, but just when he was ready to give up, he reached the top and felt he could touch the clouds.
He stood atop the hill and looked at all of creation before him. He could see the forests and streams and the mountains. Far, far into the distance there was a golden city that filled his soul with warmth. He watched the sun and moon and skies and earth around this city with great longing. He knew he belonged in the golden city.
All around the city were paths of every kind, some dark jewels breathing of night stars, some brightly colored as rainbows, some as pure and luminous as pearls, and others as simple and relaxing as floating on a mountain stream, but each one different and each one with its own beauty. The traveler searched as far as he could see and found that all the paths led to the golden city. What this meant he didn't know but he was content to walk again because he knew his path would get him there.
One day he came upon an old woman standing in the road crying. The traveler stopped and stared for a long time. In all his days he had never seen another person. He had no idea that other people had walked the path too. Stunned he was afraid to approach her, but she seemed so sad and he wanted to understand why. Carefully he walked to her and asked her what was wrong.
"I'm blind!" she proclaimed. "The road was here, I know it was," she fretted, "but I cannot find it and now I am so old I cannot even see."
"I can see the path," the traveler said. "You can walk with me." This made the old woman smile. He took her arm and they walked together.
"Why are you blind?" he asked her after a time.
"I have forgotten," she told him. "I used to know where I was going but then I stopped walking and I forgot where I was or where I wanted to go and then my eyes became too dark to see." The traveler thought about this for awhile and then told her of all the things on the path around them and of the golden city he had seen high on a hill. Slowly her eyes began to clear and after a time she could see as well as he did and set off on her own path.
Again the traveler walked alone, but for the first time he knew there were others. It occurred to him as he stopped to rest, that if there was a person on the path ahead of him there might be others behind him. It might be nice for them to know they were not alone after all. In the morning he gathered some berries and left them with a simple note. "Please eat these and ease your hunger."
Leaving the gift made him happy so he made another. He gathered water from a clear stream. "Please drink this so you won't be thirsty." He made a bed. "Please rest here so you'll be stronger tomorrow." He even left a bundle of bright flowers. "Please take these and brighten your heart." The traveler made many gifts always smiling when he thought of what the people would do when they found them.
Another day he came upon a man weighed down by a large burden. The man struggled with it, his eyes crinkled shut in strain his body heavily bowed and unable to move. It seemed all of creation was on his shoulders.
"Help!" he cried. "It is too heavy! I cannot bear it!" and he fell to his knees. Overcome with emotion the traveler ran to the man and tried to help him up, but no matter how much he tried he could not get the man to his feet.
"Let me help you carry this," the traveler said and finally the man was able to stand. Together they walked holding the burden. As they walked the burden got smaller and smaller, each step a little piece of it seemed to melt away.
The traveler and the man walked together and talked of many things. The traveler told him about the golden city and together they made gifts for those that would come after them. One day the man's burden was gone and he turned down his own path with a light heart.
The traveler met many people on his way and with each one he learned something. He met hate, and greed, and sadness. But all these people were not bad, they simply needed help on their path. He walked for a long time helping those he met and leaving gifts.
One day when it seemed the traveler was no longer a young man and had walked so long he thought he'd lived a hundred years, the path around him began to change. The world became filled with a bright golden light and soon his feet were walking on nothing but luminous air. As he floated in the loving golden mist he realized that the golden city wasn't at the end of the path…it was everywhere all the time.
"What do you wish of me?" the creator asked, the sound vibrating in the traveler's very soul. The traveler only had one wish. "I wish to go back," he said.
"You do not wish to be with me?" the creator asked
"But you are everywhere," the traveler said. "I am still with you if I go back, and I want to see the other paths and leave gifts."
The golden light grew even brighter and filled the traveler with a joy he had never known before. "As you wish," the creator said. The traveler lived his days wandering from path to path helping those he found, leaving gifts and telling everyone about the golden city. Everywhere he walked, on every path, the world glowed bright and gold even if he was the only one who could see it. And at last he understood. All paths lead to the truth.
The Yahoo! Contributor Network is closing. I will start putting the articles I want to save here. Today I chose to be political and open a can of worms. It's the 4th after all. Freedom of speech is important to me. This is an earlier article of mine before I understood how the internet worked lol. The links are not embedded, but if you follow the citations at the bottom you'll see my sources and can read the information for yourself. I never did believe in telling people what to think, so I really hope you do follow the citations and find these things for yourself. Come to your own conclusions if you don't like mine, but at least do the research and be critical of websites you trust. An old history teacher of mine once said, "Using a search engine is a little like standing on a busy street corner and yelling, 'Who knows anything about this!' Most of the people that answer have no clue."
Originally posted on the Yahoo! Contributor Network: One Nation Under God We Trust ... Maybe
How many of you have seen the rants on Facebook and other social media sites about 'keeping God in the pledge'? How many have seen the inflammatory artwork on both sides of the debate passed around and re-posted within an inch of its life by nearly everyone you ever knew and some you wish you didn't? The debate about including or excluding mention of God or any other deity in the American pledge of allegiance or on American money has gone viral and some days it's everywhere you look, hot, angry, and sometimes misguided. We are force fed a diet of phrases like, 'If it's on our money it should be in the pledge!' or 'I didn't ask your god to be in my government!' But do we really understand where 'One nation under God' or 'In God we Trust' have come from or why they found their way into everyday life?
I've had this debate with several friends in recent years and have argued on both sides of the coin. As I learn more my opinion changes. I am increasingly surprised at how many people don't realize where this all started. I hear a lot of arguments that the 'atheists' should stop the argument because they are such a small minority. While it is correct that the smallest groups usually scream the loudest, it might be important to learn that what they are screaming actually has a point.
The original pledge of allegiance was not even written for the United States and it was not written or adopted at the start of our government in 1776. According to USHistory.org, the pledge was written in 1892 by socialist minister Frances Bellamy. He had hoped the original pledge could be used in any country. Mention of God or a specific country wasn't included. It read only, "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." ("US History ") United States of America wasn't added until 1923. It wasn't until 1942 that the pledge of allegiance was recited in schools which became the familiar ritual most of us remember growing up. ("ProCon.org") You'll notice we're up to 1942 and 'Under God' still hasn't made its appearance.
In the 1950s the United States was deeply entrenched in the cold war. This was an ugly time for America. The US government began what was later termed 'witch hunts' trying American citizens for their political beliefs. There is no better example than the Rosenburg trials of 1950. Summarized, based only on their Russian ancestry and therefore familial contacts and a few doodles that could have been anything, brother and sister Julius and Ethel Rosenburg were put on trial for being communists and eventually put to death. (Linder) It was 1954 when Eisenhower signed into law a bill adding the words, "Under God," to the pledge of allegiance. At the time he is quoted as saying this was to distance US legislation from the, "Godless communists." ("ProCon.org") Communist Russia did encourage and sometimes enforce atheism, but what does that have to do with putting God into our own government?
The other phrase that has people in uproar is, 'In God we Trust' printed boldly on our money. This has been around much longer than 'Under God,' but again its origins do not go back to the start of our country but rather a time much later.
It was 1831 during the civil war when appeals from Christians around the nation started filtering through secretary of the treasury. The idea was that of course we couldn't win the civil war which had already stolen thousands of lives if we separated ourselves from God. Many different ideas were given but all had to do with adding to our money some reference to God protecting country. In 1864 congress agreed and the phrase was added only to the two-cent coin. Very slowly over 20 years or more the phrase was added to all coin money. However, it wasn't until the 1960's, again very close to the cold war and the induction of 'Under God' to the pledge that we began printing, 'In God we Trust' on paper money. ("UStreasury.gov")
Overall, I have to say 'In God we Trust' bothers me a great deal less than the phrase 'Under God,' because the original idea was to help heal a torn country rather than out of fear like the addition to the pledge clearly was. That being said I still disagree with it. My reason for that is fairly strait forward.
Most of us know about the constitution and a good deal of the bill of rights so I won't bore you with tedious information. At the time the United States government was created the settlers had come from places where the Christian Church controlled everything. It held more power than the government itself. Children were only taught what the church allowed them to. People on trial were found guilty or innocent at the whim of the church. Punishments were at the church's discretion. Arrests were made of people who simply believed differently. People sometimes died for no more reason than having an original thought. Our forefathers ran from that. They saw a nation where citizens would be free to think, speak, and believe as they saw fit.
The United States of America was created specifically so that no faith would have power over the government and that all peoples would be free to believe or not believe as they chose. This is not just an ideal but the founding principle on which our entire nation was formed. Whatever the intentions; allowing phrases about God or deity to infringe upon that most sacred belief chips away at the foundations of our government, eventually rendering it less and less effective.
Some of you will look at my profile and see that I am pagan and think, 'Of course she doesn't want God in the pledge, she doesn't believe in him.' I assure you that couldn't be further from the truth. I believe in a creator, a higher power, I simply choose to define it differently. I put faith into every aspect of my life, but I also believe in the reasons the United States was formed and the original vision for a nation of abiding peace. I worship and follow my faith at home. I walk the walk and talk religion with anyone interested, but even as I strongly as I believe in my faith, it has no business in my government. By keeping my faith and everyone else's out, I truly have the freedom to believe as I believe. This protects us all.
"10 Minute Summary on the Pledge of Allegiance." ProCon.org. ProCon.org, 06/08/2009. Web. 21 Sep 2012. .
"Hisory of 'In God We Trust'." UStreasury.gov. United States Department of the Treasury , 03/08/2011. Web. 21 Sep 2012.
Linder, Doug. "Trial of the Rosenburgs an Account." law2.umkc.edu. University Missouri Kansas City, 2011. Web. 21 Sep 2012. .
"Pledge of Allegiance." US History . Independence Hall Association, 1995. Web. 21 Sep 2012. .
Susan is a plural writer and artist by day, a child and pet wrangler by night, and occasional crazy person on the weekends.