Xtian Haiku: Memories on a Shelf

Travelogues 

Worlds of adventure

Mom and dad in the front room

Journeys of the mind.

kia

This is all I have left of the hundreds of books that lined the bookshelves of my parents home. I’m sad to say that because we have so many of our own and a total of seven bookshelves throughout our home, when my mom passed in April of 2013 we could only keep a few. I had to decide which books meant the most to me and spoke most clearly of my parents love for reading, their favorite authors, the genre that most accurately reflected their styles and tastes, or at least what I remembered them to be.

It’s fair to say that they were readers of a variety of books, mostly fiction with an historical anchor. They loved Clavell, and Michener, and LeCarre, and Robert Ludlum’s ‘Jason Bourne’. My mom and dad did read Lustbader’s version, but they pined for the ‘real thing’ after the death of the original author of the original trilogy. They would have hated the movies had they stumbled into a theater to watch them. They also liked Ken Follett, whom they posthumously introduced to my wife in the form of one of their books that we brought home. His Pillars of the Earth started her own love for the author and has led to us buying and reading others of his since. Mom and dad, were readers. They loved the adventures that stories and books contain, ready to sweep us off into adventures and high stakes intrigue between their covers and at the turn of every page. 

Yesterday passed the seventh anniversary of my father’s passing in 2010 and the things I remember about him have mostly to do with his books and reading. I carried to work with me his Zippo lighter and wore the watch mom gave me for Christmas many years ago. But among all the stuff and things that are still scattered around the house reminding me of them, in have memories of them on my shelf that I can pick up and retrace their steps in my own as I read what they read. I can hear their voices, see their faces as they were buried in their pages and consumed in the reading of these books, now on my shelf that were once in their hearts. And as I do, both the stories and my parents come alive again.

We miss you mom and dad. But we have your memories on a shelf and in our hearts. As long as we do, you will always live in our home. 

-kia


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What’s for dinner, Uncle Kia?

Vegan Grilled Cheese, that’s what…

  • Field Roast Chao Cheese
  • On sesame seed Ezekiel sprouted grain Bread
  • And a mixed green salad with balsamic dressing.
  • And a couple of quarter sliced dill pickles.

Totally Vegan ‘Nonkiller’ killer dinner after a long Monday. Awesome.

-kia

 

Just a pipe dream

I was with my dad, or rather… He was with me. He was showing me his pipe and teaching me to smoke it like he did so long ago when I was just a tyke. 

A smooth short sip of sweet smelling smoke from an old small wooden bowl. Did not inhale, just blew out the pleasant, relaxing draw and enjoyed the aroma that soon reminded me of my dad. 

Then he was gone again, slowly disapated like the fading memory of that last wisp of heaven. But he was here, I know it. I felt his presence. I heard his voice. 

It was just a pipe dream. He’s been gone for 7yrs this June. I miss him.

-kia

Sweet Dreams of dad

I had a dream last night 

I was going thru my dads stuff and tool boxes. He’s been gone 6 years now. Everywhere I looked Stuffed in between crevasses here and there…

Was candy. 

And yes, I Snickered a little in my sleep. It was funny I guess. The things we think about when we’re not thinking. 

-kia 

For TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge – Calendar: “All is Now”

((Reposting from ‘earlier’ last year. Enjoy. -kia))

Time Blends into One

Calendar

This week, for TJ’s HaiKu Challenge, he has chosen the theme of “Calendar” as a prompt for the Haiku we enter. He has said in his post…

This week’s prompt is “Calendar”. See what you can do with this. You don’t have to be literal about the prompt or use the word in your haiku. You could be writing about an actual calendar, a picture on a calendar or the idea of time itself. It is all about having fun and being creative.

So in the interest of creativity and consideration of the larger theme of Time and how we Mark its passing in various ways, including with Calendars, Watches and other such tools… I remembered a Youtube Video on VSauce I had seen earlier last year on the way we perceive the events that we call “Now” and the split second difference in how our senses pick up the information and input from around us and the Brain’s actual experience of those inputs.

Here’s another really cool Video about the brain’s ‘editing’ of how we experience the sensory input we receive. Amazing stuff.

“Time in a Bottle”… not so much

In a way, what we experience as Now is actually microseconds in the actual Past. And in the actual Now, our senses are gathering, as from the Future, what we will eventually experience as the Now, but again will actually be just ‘Echoes’ if you will of microseconds in the actual Past.

Dilly Dali-ing Around with Time

We think of Time, the passing from Past to Present in expectation of the Future, as a solid and concrete concept. Much like our Calendars and Watches. But in actuality, the marking of Time by

  • Seconds,
  • Minutes,
  • and Hours,

everyday by our watches and clocks, and…

  • Days,
  • Weeks,
  • Months
  • and Years

by our Calendars is a Tool we use to measure and demarcate what really has no definite boundaries, at least not in our Present experience. The truth is that Time is a Tool we use. We experience the Present as echoes of the Past gathered as from the Future.

So without further ado… my entries for “Calendar”

Party Invite

Future me echoes

what only Past me can hear

We are always late.

-KIA

A Step Beyond

What is sensed as Now

is experienced after

Just beyond our grasp.

-KIA

Calendars of Futility

Past and Now are One

Time is not Limited by

Boxes on a Page

-KIA

I hope you have enjoyed spending Time with these and with The Recovering Know It All.

-KIA

TJ’s Midweek Gratitude Event: Flag Day… Freedom, Health and Family

Tj has started a Midweek Gratitude Event that I’d like to share with you. I’ll let him explain.

Can it be Wednesday again? Thanks to those who dropped by to share three things you are grateful for each Wednesday. Why not spend a minute or two and focus on a few things that are worth being thankful for today?

In the United StatesFlag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.[1] The United States Army also celebrates the U.S. Army Birthdays on this date; Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.[2][3]
-Wikipedia

Here are my three Gratitudes for this week.

#1. Freedom

I’m grateful to be living in a country where I’m Free to express my opinion and even my frustration with the government or politics or religion and be relatively unhindered and unfettered to do so. 

I realize from my time overseas in the army and as a missionary in different countries that many do not have this freedom that we seem to take quite for granted here. I only have to list off a few other nations that repress free thought and speech… North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and even in Thailand… for you to understand how precious this Inalienable Right of all people everywhere is when it is not respected by the governments and religions that retaliate against those who would exercise it.

Flag Day happens to fall two days after the anniversary of my reporting to Basic Training in the Army right after high school. I served 4yrs active, 2yrs reserve to defend the rights of my fellow Americans to such freedoms, two years of those also safeguarding them for South Koreans along the DMZ separating them from the oppressive regime in the North which once tried to deny them.

#2. Health

This week, and all weeks really, I’m grateful for my health and ability to move around and have my independence. I work for a healthcare company and regularly speak with doctors and patients who are not so fortunate. The have cancers and other chronic illnesses that make life and just living sometimes nearly impossible. My coworkers are all dealing with sick kids, declining and aging spouses and parents. 

My parents are passed now, but my father in law is with us since December and I see the effects of age, poor choices and a lifetime of health habits that eventually catch up with you. I’m grateful that we are healthy and reasonably able to move around with relative ease.  We’ve made choices as far as eating and health that have been paying off so far to keep us out of the track towards an early decline. It seems to be More expensive for some people to buy better foods and live a healthier lifestyle, I would disagree to a large extent, but in reality it’s actually cheaper in the long run. We realize that we cannot preclude a lotnnof challenges that may come as we age, but what we can do to stay stronger, healthier and less prone to those chronic illnesses, that we have a responsibility to do. Our health and life are the most important and valuable things we own in this Life. 

#3. Again, Family

I’m grateful for our two wonderful Maltese dogs, Sonny and Daisy. They always love, never judge and never ceae e to amaze me with their humor, intelligence and insight. When I’m down, they known it and make sure to let me know… I have a Family. They are my four legged kids. And of course my wife is the shepherd and puppy herder of the family. 

In the last 7yrs, my family has lost more than our share of members, starting with my dad. This has served to really hammer home to me that Family is the second most precious possession in life after Life and Health itself. 

What about You?

Why not share in the comments or creat your own post and link to this one in the comments here and at Tj’s. With all that is wrong in the world today and all you could be really and rightly pissed off about, why not have the Attitude of Gratitude for at least one day out of the week?

-kia

The Psychology and Rationalism of Veganism and Carnism

This was a wonderful video with a very educated and understandable PhD on the subject of Veganism and what she calls Carnism. 

When she asked about the soup made with golden retriever at the beginning, i thought of an earlier conversation had with a cab driver in Seoul, South Korea when I was still in the army, as I was leaving to come home to Arizona on leave. 

In advance of the 1988 olympic games they would be holding later that summer, I was explaining to him that it was difficult for Americans to to accept the concept of eating Dog meat. Traditionally and culturally, Koreans have eaten dog meat, from specialized canine species, raised just like cattle on farms, for decades and even hundreds of years. Dishes like Boshin Tang and Kea Gogi were traditional delicacies like our Duck soup and Filet Mignon. But, as I explained to him, Americans saw the practice of eating Dog meat was disgusting and offensive, thus the Korean government was trying to minimize the ‘optics’ in advance of the World Spotlight.

The cab driver simple smiled and told me that Koreans feel the same about… Veal, which is baby male calf, pulled from it’s mother at birth, to later be killed still before adulthood and maturity for our plates, and our traditions and our delicacies. Instantly… i got the message. I gotnit and never ate Veal again. 

It has taken a few more years and decades to begin making the same connection with the fates and cruelty of eating the flesh and consuming the ‘byproducts’ of other animals. I’m still in transition to a more vegetarian and vegan diet and lifestyle. Perfection has not yet graced this Human Animal. I have been Vegetarian and mostly Vegan since January 2015, still changing, growing and making the transitions needed. Primarily for me, it’s been a Health and Environmental thing for me, but also I am conscious of the cruelty and inhumane treatment that the animals are subjected to, all for our Tastes and traditional choices. 

“It is impossible to Humanely Slaughter someone who does not want to die” -kia

Not unlike Religions, there is an identity and tradition and psychological mindset and worldview that must be confronted, and made to be accountable to reality and the Evidence for and against eating our Fellow Earthlings. I hope you will watch this video with an open mind and heart, thinking of your own Health, the Environmental Impacts of Animal Agriculture, and of course… the Animals that are needlessly and cruely made to serve our ‘needs’. Some other good resources that would help you understand are 

  • Earthlings
  • Forks over Knives
  • Conspiracy
  • Diet for a New America

All of these and many more are available on the internet, just a Google search away. If you have a family pet, maybe a dog or a cat, that you have invited into your home and now consider one of your family… Please consider the questions: 

  • “Why do you eat cows and pigs, but play with dogs and cats and horses?” 
  • “If you put a baby chick and an apple into a baby’s crib, which would the child Play with, and which would she try to Bite into?”

Make the Connection. -Kia

TJ’s Midweek Gratitude – Event

Good Happy Wednesday morning from Kia. 


My good buddy TJ has recently initiated a Weekly Event inviting others to express their Gratitude. I’ll let him explain…

“If you would like to share three things you are grateful for this week then add a link to your post in the comments or include them straight into the comment section and I will share them next week.”

And now for my three things I’m thankful for this week: LIFE and HEALTH

Today is the last day before my 51st Birthday, so it stands to reason for me that my First Gratitude is for Life and Breath. My family history is not kind with health issues. For various reasons, heart disease, cancer and stroke issues seem to follow. I’m Grateful to be still reasonable healthy and happy. I changed a lot of my diet and lifestyle decades ago, including going vegetarian two years ago, in order to try not to follow in my family’s footsteps. So far, it seems to be working. In the words of Sir Elton John, “I’m Still Standing”.

My second Gratitude this morning is for Air conditioning.

For the last 29 years now I’ve lived in the Phoenix area, thirty three if you count my 4yrs calling this home coming back for leaves while in the Army. Let me tell you somethings about this area… It’s Hot in the summer and you never get used to it. Just doesn’t happen that way. 

One of my First years here, I worked for a local airline out on the tarmac when we reached 123 degrees. Outside walking and working on the asphalt, it feels much hotter. Your shoes stick to the pavement and it’s like a furnace and you’re cooking. 

I’ve also worked A.C. and Plumbing here during the hottest parts of July and August. A hundred and twenty on the tar shingles roofs and 150+ in the attics. Its Hot!! Let me tell you… I’m grateful for Air conditioning. 

And lastly, I’m Thankful for my Family. 

The Wife ™, my sister, my wife’s Father who is still staying with us ‘temporarily’ since just before Christmas… even my Mother in Law, truly a strong personality and a great woman… no kidding…

Family is one of the most important gifts and resources and benefits to life. I increasingly love them and appreciate them the older I get and the more of my family members pass away. It reminds me to be Grateful for my own life and health.

So what are you grateful for today? Why not chose three things and comment below. Or even create a post yourself and post the link here and at TJ’s. And have a Wonderful Wednesday.

-kia