“The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.” ~ Bodhidharma.   In my youth I was an avid reader.  From the simple fairy tales of childhood, through girl detective stories to historical romances, I read them all.  Short stories were special treats, you […]

“To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” ~ Frederick Douglass. Upstate New York is an idyllic place, a place of woods and hills and dappled light.  There are place names that reveal the original owners of the land, along with […]

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” ~ Mother Teresa. I am not sure when it is that we begin to be curious about our parents’ lives before we were born.  Perhaps it is when we hit our rebellious teenage years, sure we have all the answers and our parents […]

“To hold a people in oppression you have to convince them first that they are supposed to be oppressed.” ~ John Henrik Clarke’ We keep saying these are strange times. But are they?  Over ten years ago I was getting ready to travel to Jamaica for a week of high school reunion activities. I had […]

“Retribution haunts everyone, but catches up only the few.”~ Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach.  I admit I was naïve.  I blame Jamaica.  I had grown up as a white girl surrounded by a population whose motto is ‘Out of many, one people.’  The majority of Jamaicans are descended from the enslaved Africans who were brought to the […]

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” ~ Malcolm X. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” When you want to be a writer, or even an author, you aspire to create a killer first line, an opening sentence […]

“Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.“ ~ Amos 5:24 and Martin Luther King Jr., (Letter from the Birmingham Jail). Growing up and attending a school in Jamaica (as in any country associated with the British Colonial past) included studies in ‘Bible Knowledge’ (BK, or some variation on that name).  […]

“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” ~ Frederick Douglass. The first time I returned to visit Jamaica after a thirteen-year hiatus, I spent a lot of my time gazing, staring out at mountain vistas, rumpled […]

“We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. My parents were both pacifists.  My father’s brothers were also pacifists and as young men in 1939, at the start of World War II, […]

“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi.  I left home at the age of eighteen and a half, finished with high school, ready to enter the profession of nursing.  The weird thing about growing up in a small […]