Janet's project 1 copyI know loss because growing up I attended the funerals of those who came before me. I touched their ice-cold hands, remembering how they felt to hold when warm. Women wept openly into their silk-thread hankies. Men stood close by to catch those faint of heart. And the true-life of the deceased became visible to each mourner that stood overlooking the coffin. “Pete, do you remember when she…” “Thelma, I remember him saying…”  “Did you know she raised those kids…” “He knew how to tell a joke, better than…” “She never said much, so quiet…” “He is in a better place…” “The little tot just didn’t have…”

Death Then—regardless of the reason—was a coming together to acknowledge a future devoid of the essence of our loved one.  

Death Today is shape-shifting to resentment and prejudice and religion and mistrust and illegal drugs and refugees and drunk drivers and ideologies and women’s rights and politics and greed and technology and all countries who kill their own and those who steal everything. 

Mother Earth has experienced centuries of wars in the names of religion and greed so maybe I should not be so saddened by the shape-shifting we SEE now. However, I am because this war is to kill humankind without any rules of engagement.

So I ask: “Who will be left to touch that ice-cold hand  

 of yesterday’s remembering?”




I’ve changed! I’ve also discovered it really wasn’t an effort because it happened over time. It happened at home and at work and inside my mind and during breaks from my journeys around the world… Like China. {See “The Middle Kingdom” above: an insightful travelogue of a late 1990s trip there}. After the jet lag and catching up with the mundane and how those I love changed in my absence—it was then I caught a glimpse of the changes in me.

Why the title: “China & Me?” Well because it was the two of us that melded ideologies as I traversed the highways and byways of The Middle Kingdom. Was I forced to go, no! Did China intend my edification while I was there, yes! Did one of us win and the other one lose? No, it wasn’t that kind of melding. As our plane descends, I look down on the landscape that is Colorado and understand, for the first time, the deep love Pope John Paul II held for his beloved Poland.

In the everyday life of being human, we forget the subtleties of our homeland, our human rights and our privileges. I don’t any longer after seeing so many without them.