I’m a living, breathing person
I think, work, and love as you do
I’m not an extension of you
Nor am I a part of the house
Not just mother or grandmother
I’m not a breeding animal
Nor child needing a parent
I’m a woman with desires
The need to be loved, heard, and seen
Recognized as a human being
Copyrighted 2012 Marta Moran
All six stockings hung above the fireplace, one for each of us. Slyly looking at the stockings each time one of
us went by, the report was the same, nothing, nada, they were still empty. Of course, none of us had shown any knowledge of them when the momma’s were around. It was fun to hear them all wondering about our lack of interest.
“It has to be soon.” I told Poofie.
“They put up the tree and decorated it days ago. I even helped momma Marta to make our little catnip balls today, but I don’t know where they disappeared to.” Beau added.
Poofie’s had a gray coat with little white stockings and a white collar, and I was totally black, we always got the short end of the stick when it came to spying, it was the two of us that did the extra round. Of course, there were reasons for this. Mamma Paula always noticed Kitten; he could barely walk through the house without her playing with him or petting him. It was revolting to watch. Morris and Champ’s coat was bright orange, so they were too conspicuous and Mikey. Well he was just a kitten and always distracted or into something. His calico gray coat would have made him an ideal candidate for spying. He couldn’t be trusted to carry out a mission, because of his youth.
After everyone had walked through once, Poofie and I as usual did the rest of the undercover work. After all, we couldn’t let the Mamma’s notice we were interested in our little stockings. They might take them down and make us wait.
“Beau, you are so much older than I am. Since we moved to this house, everything has been different. Poofie asked. Have you ever seen the momma’s just hang the stockings and leave them empty Beau? Do you think they going to fill them?”
“Poofie, I don’t know, everything is different tonight. I never saw things happen this way. Beau said”
In fact, everything had been different since we moved here. Gone was the snow we used to see when we looked out the windows, so many months of the year. The days here were foggy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. This house was darker than all the others; we had lived in, especially the last. Still we all preferred it to that first house. The first one we lived in, when we moved out here to the land of sunshine and flowers. The first house was smaller and high up in the air, with a door that opened to an outside area.
The outside area wasn’t for us cat’s we always heard the mommas say. Seldom could we even see a bird circling over the water if we strained our eyes. If we sat on the top of a chair or the couch we could see the ocean off in the distance, but that was about it. In this house, they seldom opened the back door so we didn’t get to sniff the air. The mommas didn’t like the noise from the highway, but the back yard held all kinds of
critters and birds to watch and it filled our days. There was a lot of room for all of us to run and play. Best of all the mammas all had their own rooms again.
It was in that first house that we all met. Kitten and Mama Paula moved in last. They had a separate room for many months. Mamma Paula worried about Kitten and so the rest of us could not go into that room. We didn’t much like that. Closed doors are never a pleasant thing as for the six of us. Cats don’t believe in we should be barred by a door.
Those first months were difficult, especially when Kitten moved out of the room and joined the rest of us. He always got into a fight with someone. As a result of his fighting, none of us could figure out why mamma Paula worried about him. He especially didn’t like Mickey, once they got into a brawl that woke the momma’s Marta and Pat, in the
middle of the night. That was not a happy scene. The rest of us hid during the bulk of it all though we watched. Kitten jumped and bit mommy Marta on her backside, when she bent down to separate the two of them. Lordy, it was a sight. In the middle of the night, mamma Pat sat in her motor chair, and cleaned up the blood from mamma Marta’s backside, but I digress.
“I signaled to Poofie, we crossed the room, slinking away through the shadows to meet our friends. We had a report to give. The excitement in the air was tremendous. Even
old Morris loved Christmas. Little Mikey asked. “I heard the momma’s talking about Santa Claus, is that who will fill our stockings?”
“It could be.” I answered him, as Poofie and I reported that all the mommas were still sitting and watching TV. “The stockings are still empty.” Poofie said. “It doesn’t appear anything will be happening tonight. Morris do you have a rule to help with this situation?” He asked. “I can’t figure out how to train the mommas’s to fill our stockings.”
Interrupting Kitten piped in. “Can I go get my brushing then? If we aren’t to get our stockings tonight, I would like to get my brushing. I don’t honestly care about catnip
“Kitten, you are such a brush slut.” Morris said full of disgust. “Can’t you leave it be for one night? After all, there are more momentous things going on just now. You may not be interested in catnip toys, but the rest of us are. I suppose if you aren’t going to help, you might as well go and get your brushing, but keep your mouth shut around the momma’s, please.”
“Stay out of my life Morris.” Kitten snarled. “Don’t be so snarky, if I prefer brushing to catnip it is none of your business, and don’t act like I am not stupid, of course, I won’t tell
“Shush, one of the mommas turned off the TV. Something is happening.” Champ said diffusing the situation.
Sure enough the mommas gave each
other a hug and went into their separate rooms, our stockings still empty. Each of the mammas called out for us to come to bed. Kitten tearing off, he never missed going to bed with mamma Paula. Though, he did come out later to play or terrorize Mikey if he could get away with it.
“Morris, you are the oldest, what do you think Santa Claus and the momma’s will put in our stockings this year? Do you think we will get any other presents?” Champ asked
“Champ, there are already bright packages under the tree, that I think are for us, but you can go look if you want.” He answered. “Now everyone off to bed, we will meet up later. I expect Kitten will find us, even though he didn’t wait to find out the meeting spot.”
The house remained quiet for a while; soon I heard mammas Paula and Marta. Quietly we made our way out of the bedroom. Poofie and I watched as the mammas stood at the fireplace filling our little stockings to the brim and giggling. From the shadows, I signaled Poofie to sneak over near me. “Beau, should I go tell the others?” Poofie asked. “Not yet Poofie, the mammas are still up, let’s go back to bed with mamma Pat, until
they go back to sleep.” I whispered as we both crept through the shadows, to mamma Pats room.
“Shush, Beau, if you keep banging the stocking so loud, you’ll wake the mammas.” Morris whispered. “Let me take a turn, I am taller.” Morris said as he began to jump to reach for his stocking.
All of a sudden the room was full of light! We all turned and scurried out of the room. Leaving one stocking on the floor half open. “You were too loud Morris.” Champ whined, watching the mammas taking the little stockings off the fireplace and removing them from the room. “Now we will all have to wait.” He said sadly.
From: Keeping the Upper Paw: The cat’s guide to training your human.
Copyrighted 2002 and 2012 Marta Moran Bishop
A few months ago I read this quote,
“Just when things look like they are falling apart, they may actually be falling
together. During stormy times we sometimes feel like we are losing everything.
Maybe this stormy time is waking us to something better.” I don’t know where I
saw the quote, but have had it hung at my desk for the better part of the last
This quote is a daily reminder that whatever, the purpose behind things rearing their ugly heads, over and over. There is a reason, and that purpose is to teach me something. It is my responsibility to figure out the meaning.
The message may be to stop beating your head against the wall and walk through a different door. Or it may be I must take a stand and move beyond the limitations. Those limitations that I allowed others to set for me. Instead, learn to live a happier, healthier, and more successful life.
The last few years have had the same message in different clothes repeated over and over again. Till I wanted to do the fight or flight thing, and since I am not a fighter it would be the flight option. I didn’t run this time. Instead, I learned to ask myself, and the universe please, tell me what the true message is? What things do I need to change in my life?
With each day that I have asked myself these questions, the answer has become a bit
clearer. Each time my belief that I am finally thinking with wisdom and courage, is clear, and I know I am closer to the stars that shine so darkly on a bright night.
My beach you see is a bit different than many. It does have its share of sand and sun, but it consists of the majesty and beauty that one can find in each blade of grass, each wave upon the beach, and each twinkle of a star.
Even though, I walk alone, my hand is always available for a fellow traveler who wants to share my journey and beach for a space. For even when we share our life and love with another, no matter how deeply, our beaches are a bit different. Our rocks sit differently along the shore, and the sun sets just a little deeper or brighter some days. We can pop in and visit one another’s beach, sometimes staying for a while and
sometimes just learning, growing, and sharing the company of kindred spirits.
For I believe, no matter how close your beach is to someone else’s still they are separate and cannot be claimed as identical. We can only share our beach for a spell, with spouses and lovers we may be in and out of each other’s beach. We can never actually cohabitate
totally, and yet we are never fully alone, for we are all individuals. So our beach can be as plentiful or as corrupt as we make it. For it is ours.
Often just a grin,
Sometimes it’s a smile.
Then there’s a giggle,
A chuckle or two.
For rainbows are gifts,
Forever a light.
They give us all joy,
And happiness too.
Copyrighted 2012 Marta
Upon the hill beside the road,
Stood the two little trees side by side.
Over the years they grew as one,
Trunks and branches intertwined.
One hundred years and more they stood,
Limbs locked in a lovers embrace.
Look closely if you want to see,
How long these two have grown as one.
They lost a friend a year ago,
He stood upon the hill near them.
One hundred years and more they stood,
The two who were one and their friend.
Age is showing some limbs dying,
Still they hold each other entwined.
Their leaves still shade us in the spring,
In the fall they turn red and gold.
It’s in the winter you will see,
The hundred years and more they stood.
copyrighted February 2012 Marta Moran Bishop
I do not want to die,
My life barely begun,
Hardship has been my lot,
Trauma and worry too.
My bliss still to be found,
The joy each day to see,
Burdens all left behind,
Not carried all alone.
Fly with the hawk above,
Ride my horse through the woods,
Run with wind in my hair,
Soar the heights yet to come.
Marta Moran-Bishop copyrighted 2011
As so many people in life, my purpose has changed, year to year. Once upon a time it was, “The Good Wife,” then it became “The Caretaker.” Now, it is multi-fold, sometimes unclear, always changing, depending upon the
circumstances of the day.
For me to say I have only one purpose would be to presuppose that my life was not complex. I am constantly involved in something, at times
it is my writing. For without my writing I would be at a loss to release the feelings I have inside of me. I would lose that all important connection with myself.
My writing is also about remembering the good with the bad in life. Not all childhoods where good, most have moments that if looked for, can be remembered fondly. I am not sure there is such a thing as a perfect childhood. Too many remember only the slights, not the glories of climbing the first tree or making cloud pictures. In the innocence of childhood, the happiness of a puppy, kitten, or the beauty of a rose, can be found the real meaning of bliss. As adults it becomes harder for us to remember that innocent joy. The stress of the day brings anger, rage, and for many a disconnection with ourselves and our loved ones. I believe one of my purposes is to help bridge the gap between generations and help others to find the connection to themself and their loved ones.
These last three years I have been working at the local utility company answering telephones. One can say I am lucky in today’s world to have a job, they are right and wrong. For it is there that I have seen the worst in people. The constant barrage of rage, lack of personal responsibility, and sometimes the inability to understand consequences boggles the mind. Instead of taking that responsibility it has become the norm to scream, yell, use foul
language, threaten, or otherwise abuse another. After all they are allowed to vent and our job is to be empathetic. What is my purpose, how can one even feel good about the work they do or find joy in the day, when it is to be filled with hundreds of people screaming and yelling at you?
This week I have learned I must undergo a round of cancer testing. It appears I am in a high risk category. I have two sisters who have had ovarian cancer, one still fighting it and I am displaying some possible symptoms. It is frightening, so much in fact that I have spent the better part of my week, coming home from the daily abuse at work and gone to bed, unable to
attempt to deal with anything.
But, I have learned something so vital this week; it brings me nearly to my knees in thanks. I have learned how to steal a brief few moments of bliss during the day. On my fifteen minute break, I walk outside, stand, and watch the clouds move through the sky, touching the trees with the slight breeze. Listen to the little birds sing. Watch the hawk circle the sky, or sit
on the lamp-post waiting. And for those few moments, the screaming, angry people are left behind and I have found bliss.
What is my purpose? In my job, I believe it is to learn to find what is important in life. To work my way past the anger that is all around us
today and find a place of peace within me. For this I must let go of my own angers at the lack of responsibility and common courtesy that so many in our society have lost. I must learn to take my small moments of joy, bliss, and happiness. And not sink into the realms of despair over what might be or what the day has brought. I must remember to snuggle my fur babies, love my husband, and smile at the antics of the horses or cats.
My purpose in this moment is to love life.
In America today we take for granted so many things, water, air, television, internet, electricity, and each other. So many of the older generation and women are taught it is better to give than receive. While much of the younger generation in our society has learned, that only money or the gift of “things” is important.
If we aren’t getting things, then we aren’t loved, respected and appreciated. Our media and politicians lead us to believe that someone else has to take the responsibility for our actions. It is our right to have “things,” and if not provided then someone needs to be blamed. Usually, it is whoever is highest in the food chain on the other side of our own personal beliefs.
October 28, 2011, here in the North East the newscasters were predicting a minor dusting of snow down on the cape. October 29, 2011, they said, oh it is going to hit full on and because of the leaves on the trees, we might have a few power outages. Are they to blame? No, it is the best information that they had available. Yet, when instead a historical snow storm hit the east coast and thousands of trees broke in half, or uprooted from the ground, hitting power lines, poles, and leaving over a million people without power somehow, the power companies were to blame. Somehow, they should have known and been better prepared. The gift of electricity was gone.
Yes, it is true that the utility companies are paid to provide electricity, still they are not responsible for each and every one of us to be prepared for a storm of this magnitude. They are not responsible to somehow, magically restore power, drill through solid rock to install new poles, remove trees, and hang wires over thousands of miles of destruction in a day or two. How would this be possible? There isn’t enough manpower in all the state or the surrounding states to do this in a day or two.
I spent ninety hours this week, listening to people call in, some understanding, most, hysterical, angry, frustrated, and some making physical threats against the utility workers. It is my job to listen, it is my job to be compassionate, it is my job to put the order out to the field, and I am lucky to have a job in today’s world. There have been utility workers who have taken a break during an eighteen-hour shift that have been insulted, and assaulted. I have listened to people tell me that it is unacceptable that they have a cup of coffee or sleep for four hours, until all the power is restored, believing that their power is more important than the life of a worker.
Today, I am off for the second day in the last eleven. I have nothing in me to give, having received nothing but, hate, despair, anger, and
frustration from every angle since October 30, 2011. It makes me acutely aware of the importance of giving and of receiving.
Granted, a few people showed compassion for our situation over the last eight days. More often than not we gave as much information as we had, showed as much compassion as we had in us. We did not see our families and friends. Most of us went home to cold houses, without running water or sewage too. Still, we were there to listen each day, without a shower, or enough sleep. The meter workers, and line men were out in the field, putting up poles, climbing hills with transformers and electrical lines on their backs, for sixteen to eighteen hours each day.
All the while, the politicians and media were calling for investigations, saying such foolish things, like if we had trimmed the trees around the power lines this wouldn’t have happened. How irresponsible of them, if they had bothered to go into some of these towns, they would have seen whole trees ripped from the ground or broken in half. I know an election year is coming. Yet to insight the public to further anger, when the truth should be told instead is
beyond my understanding.
This week I have listened to people call in about the electricity of their elderly parent who lives a town over. Screaming that we are trying to kill them, yet they will not take that parent into their home, to a shelter, or to the hospital. Stating they want to stay in their home, they
have a right to be comfortable in their own home. It is true, they do, but it is also true that if it is a danger to them it is the responsibility of the grown child to step in. I know, I did for twenty years with my disabled mother.
I have heard of the utility companies being blamed because an elderly woman lost her life. Her fifty-nine year old son was living with her, yet did nothing to remove her from the home to safety. Her neighbors did nothing to check on them and their safety.
This week, it has struck home, more than it ever did before the importance of compassion for your fellow human being. I have learned the importance of giving something to others, even the poor utility worker who is on the other end of the telephone and the importance of
There are many types of gifts in life, yet this week it has come home to me more than ever before that the most important gifts, are that of time and compassion. No one is able to sustain themselves without these gifts. No one can repeatedly give to the depths of their being over and over till they are drained, without some compassion and understanding given back. I am acutely aware what a gift, water, electricity, heat, and time are. I am intensely aware that I too need to receive and learn how to give the gift of receiving well.
Fourth of July in years past was celebrated with fireworks, parades, picnics in the park most of which we still have today. But what is different today from all the generations before us?
Yesteryear, the families in many of the smaller towns across the country, from young to old would gather in the town square to celebrate.
A small parade would go down Main Street, there were always little children dressed in homemade costumes in the parade. There would be the local town band, or school marching band and a float or two. Our veterans and those soldiers home from leave would march side by side with the local mayor and a few town officials. Small children would be on the shoulders of their parents and few would miss anything.
Afterwards the ladies would go off to get the food ready to bring to the town square, the gents off to set up the tables, sometimes having a sip of local brew. The children would usually play until it was time to wash and dress for the festivities. Yes even for a picnic everyone would dress nicely; even the poorest of the poor would put on their best.
There was a little bandstand where a couple of musician would gather, playing songs for the fourth.
The sound of the Barber Shop Quartets would fill the air, with the noise of the sack races, three legged races and many other types of games and sporting events for the young or young of heart to join into, relieving the excess emotion a day of socializing can bring.
Laughter could be heard over the music from the band stand and when the musicians took a break, why there was always someone to sit in, having brought their own guitar or banjo. Later on in the evening there would be dancing.
It was a day to celebrate not only our countries freedom, but a day to put aside differences and celebrate life with each other. It was a day where young and old could find the pleasure in the day and each other. Families and friends would talk, play, eat, sing and dance together.
It however wasn’t a day where you sat in front of the Television or brought your game boy, or cell phone to text your friends. Nor was it a day to separate yourself from those around you. It wasn’t a day to exclude others or a day when each family kept to itself as an island alone in the world, jaded with contempt for the simplicity of those that were making merry.
Well my friends do what do you think we can do to bring back a bit of the simple pleasures in life? Do you think we can find commonality in each other again? Can we slow our world just a bit to find the time to play the silly games of sack races? Or are we to be forever isolated from each other and our children as they text their friends and we text ours? Not talking to each other nor finding the joy in the moment. Can we find once again find the pleasure of life without some technical gadget hanging from our ear or in front of our face?
What do you think?
Author of more than fifty books.
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Marta Moran Bishop's first book was a book of poetry. Wee Three was written to bring back our ability to look at the world through the eyes of a child. To find the joy and wonder in life's simple pleasures.