Friday, August 31, 2012

True to Life Peace

Haiku My Heart
August 31, 2012

Haiku My Heart is a weekly feature of Haiku, art, stories, photos and passion for the love of our fellows as we gather and meet and visit one another in an attempt to make Earth a more peaceful place. Visit Rebecca’s blog, recuerda mi corazon, to see more and find out how to participate.

Peace on Earth, achieved

Right hands filled with willing flesh

Feeling mankind bond

Very interesting experience at the VA the other day. As you may know, I go to the Veterans Administration hospital in Minneapolis for my health care. Since I had the blood clot in my atrium last November, I have been taking warfarin, a blood thinner, to help keep me from getting any more blood clots.

Part of the routine is to get the blood thinness to a certain level, then keep it there, steady, with medication. At first, the clinical pharmacist was adjusting my medication intake to achieve this blood number. After a while, it leveled off and I go back once per month to have it checked and adjust medication if needed.

The clinical pharmacist I see is a man from Africa. I can assume he is here legally if not already an American citizen but that makes no difference to me. I trust and respect him and he makes me feel like he has a general interest in me as a person as well as to help me keep my blood numbers at a safe and healthy level.

I will call him Fred for the purpose of this story as it would not be appropriate to divulge his real name without his permission. 

Think, the journey is

Not taken alone. We are

Always Related

Fred and I make a little small talk when I come to see him. He knows I ride a motorcycle and he knows I am a Grandfather from our few minutes of discussion we share each time I visit. He knows my health history because that’s his job. Because he started seeing me in late December, immediately after the pacemaker was installed and my heart shocked back into rhythm, and these visits have been frequent and regular, he has seen the subtle changes in my health, those that were for the good and those that were for the bad.

When my blood number changes and I don’t have any dietary changes to report, I wonder why and I speak to him. I ask, “Does my stress level have anything to do with the change?”

We talk about this and the subject of stress comes up. It’s on my file, yet I feel the need to mention that I deal with PTSD. I think I mentioned the fact that lately, I have been extremely stressed and anxious, both bi-products of war time PTSD.

In an effort to help me, and maybe even to tell me more about his own life, Fred mentions growing up in a war torn country. Sighting episodes of his parents hustling the children, he being one of them, to safety, while bullets are flying around their heads.

I realize instantly that I’m not the only one with PTSD. I understand that even though I am the patient here, being seen by the caregiver, the other person has a life and I have done little to understand the possibility of his circumstances.
I also realize that there are more causes of this disorder from trauma other than war. I have learned through program teachings and through the slow and steady healing that I am experiencing that the PTSD that stems from war has its own differences and set of stressors, and some of the symptoms are amplified or have different triggers, but also realize that others suffer from this disorder as well.

Fred and I talked a while longer, standing in his office. I told him that I knew I didn’t have a corner on the PTSD market and that I have been praying for Peace since I returned from the American war in Vietnam. I mentioned to him the suggestion that I know I am privileged as a white man in America and there is little I can do to change that. I can’t get rid of this privilege. I wish all of mankind was treated equal.

It was so important to me that Fred, a black skinned man, knew I loved him as a fellow human being, and I had an idea about how he had suffered at the hands of white skinned people both in Africa and here in the United States. I wanted so badly to let him know I had respect for people, all people, so I let him know my inner beliefs about Forgiveness, Acceptance and Peace.

Repeat after me

Mitakwe Oyasin (Mit-tok’-way  Oh-why’-a-sin)

All my relatives

Four Directions, four Sacred plants, Four colors of mankind

We talked about Peace and we both agree that it starts right here, right now, with the two of us, living side by side in  Peace.

We shake hands, and both of us use our left hand to clasp onto the back of each other’s right hand, as our right hands are filled with the flesh of our friendship in each other.

Peace on Earth, achieved, for that moment, in that place. For we are all related. Mitakwe Oyasin. Inawamagun. All my relatives.


This is post number 500 on Round Circle. One visitor will be chosen at random and receive a gift from Round Circle. Indicate if you are interested. Thank you for your visits here since 2007. I appreciate it greatly.


Kim Mailhot said...

Peace, one handshake, one look directly into someone else's eye, and two hearts broken open.
I love this moment you and "Fred" created. Hope and peace.
Big love to you, Man.
Ps congrats on 500 wonderful contributions to Blogland and the world!!!!!

billie said...

equality; peace
human beings uniting-
dreamers dreaming hope...

Priti Lisa said...

I love the stories you tell and the life lessons you share Joe. I know how compassionate you are and I understand the feeling of almost a kind of shame at being a white person. Is it the same burden a person of color bares? We are all connected in our human-ness. We are just at different places in our journey home.

Marit said...

What a wonderful story and ideas you send into the world Joe. May many, many read this, think about it and LIVE it like you do! Peace to you my friend!

carol l mckenna said...

Powerful post ~ I agree ~ 'we are all connected' ~ lovely haiku and loved hearing about your connection with'Fred' ~ happy weekend to you ~ Great photos too!
(A Creative Harbor)

deb did it said...

I am holding your hand here.

My son suffered severe PTSD after Iraq deployment.

He is well now.

I am holding you both in my healing heart of hearts.

Lea said...

Thank you Joe for sharing this ripple of peace with us... your amazing heart touches us all and your words... I love the line, "our right hands are filled with the flesh of friendship in each other." This is an image that I will cherish. And thank you for teaching us how to say Mitakwe Oyasin, for all directions we encounter as we live life...

somepinkflowers said...

~~Always Related~~

ok then,
brother joe!


i think this is the way,
The Way of your story,
that we are to reach out
to each other,
one to one,
in the everyday actions
of our life
as we move through
our Normal Day...

no big actions on TV,
no large ads taken,
day to day
with each other
where ever we happen to be...


sharing & learning & being

{{ thank you }}

Karen said...

We are all connected and in the family of humankind. Alas so many forget this. A heartfelt post Spadoma.n

Dawn Elliott said...

I actually got tears in my eyes reading your post always share such meaningful encounters, memories, and thoughts.
I am most grateful to be privy to your heartfelt tales and such benevolent insight into living peacefuly here on this crazy, unpredictable earth.

joanne said...

World peace - the thought of how to acheive this is daunting, at the have broken it down so beautifully...gotta start small......I love the display of the colors of man....

gma said...

We must be the change we want to see. Thank you for representing the peace that is in most of us.
I always try to here as well.

Jeannie said...

Too true.

If only people could recognize that all people share far more similarities than differences - we are all fragile and we all have the same basic needs.

Mankind is evolving. The world today is trying to move forward.

It's so sad - many blacks in N. America are descendants of slaves and bear the cultural scars. Yet, had their ancestors been left at "home" they would not have escaped suffering.

Spadoman said...

From my friend, Janet Larson via E-mail"

Hey Joe,
Boots here . . . I have been enjoying your writing on the Blog and especially enjoying your Haiku.
DearHeart, you are a brilliant wordsmith! You have also been through alot . . . bless your Heart for standing strong in spite of feeling vulnerable, and sharing like you do. THANK YOU!
Paul has spoken so fondly of you and I am so honored to say once again, happy to have made a connection to you.
Blessings to you and thank you for what you do!

Chèvrefeuille said...

WOW! Spadoman this is really wonderful ... love the read and feel blessed that I may read your haiku.
Thank you.

Stephanie said...

I so agree that this is the only way to hand at a time, person to person. It's awfully hard to hate someone that you are looking right in the eye...I would think.

What a wonderful story you've shared with us today. I too am sad that you will not be able to join us in SM but you will be in all our thoughts.

enjoy this blue moon!

Fallingladies said...

This is a wonderful story and post! Thank you for the positive message... I just had a friend remind me in a phone message of a quote said to Candide in Voltaire's 16th century play...(not that I have read this)..."We live in the best of all possible worlds" And although it doesn't always seem to be true, The individual small moments like yours make it so!

peggy gatto said...

I read this story and it was so simple and interesting. I loved the haiku, again a simple yet powerful one.
thank you for your service!

rebecca said...

i love each word of truth and compassion. i love this round circle you live, breathe, and offer in each unfolding moment. imagine the world we will be living in when every single person wakes up to the reality that we are all inextricable bound to each other. that the earth is our mother and are one.
thank you for being the peace keeper and wisdom giver here each day and for your wisdom shared at haiku my heart.

susan said...

You are a good man, Mr Spadoman.

Mel said...


First of all, congratulations on the 500--that's a whole lot of sharing and a whole lot of giving of you to all of us. For that, I thank you.

Secondly, I adore the input that happen from others here--clearly you've surrounded yourself with a group of awesomely powerful, loving people......people I'm proud to call my relatives.

And third.....I agree with Susan, who said a mouthful with so very few words.

You're a good man, Mr. Spadoman.
A very good man.

*HUGE hugs*

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I told some of my students Friday that we are all related, and they just looked at me like I was the craziest teacher they had ever had in their lives!

The Color of Fire