Sunday, August 20, 2017

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Dinner time in the beautiful tree lined promenade of Las  Ramblas
At the height of a beautiful summer day thronged with locals and tourists
People heading home from work will meet in the local outdoor cafes
Excited to meet and talk with friends about the events of their day

A steak dinner and enjoying a glass of wine from a local Spanish vineyard
The warmth of the sun makes it a glorious end to an otherwise tiring day
Cheers as the group of friends celebrate prosperity, wealth and good health
And the thankfulness of life in a wonderful city where they were raised

Within seconds, total carnage disrupts the joyous celebration
As extremists plow their van through the pedestrian outdoor mall
Total chaos erupts with screams from the bewildered crowds
Not realizing what is taking place as bodies are hurled through the air

People are running, screaming with fear of what's taking place
Bodies lying all around, some already deceased, others maimed and injured
The wailing of ambulance and police sirens can be heard in the distance
Paramedics start to arrive to take care of the injured as bodies are covered with blankets

 Others are huddled together crying and comforting each other
Another attack in Europe, after a spate of attacks in other countries
In the aftermath of the attack, left behind are blood spattered sidewalks
Hats, shoes, clothing and personal items of those who had been injured

Once again, another vehicle used as a lethal weapon by extremists
Inspired by ideologies, minds perverted to kill the innocent bystander
Violence erupting in a beautiful peaceful Spanish community
Enjoying life in beautiful Las Ramblas for some, ended in a violent death

Written by Chris Turner
August 17, 2017.

"The happiest city in all America"

"The happiest city in all America"

Virginia, a beautiful State with glamorous and breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with meandering rivers running through the landscape of this gorgeous State.
Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are found right here, in the rolling pastoral hills of Charlottesville.
A place once called, "The happiest city in America".
Yes, a sophisticated city with a huge cultural background, including a young thriving University.
Charlottesville exhibits charm, with the old fashioned cultural resources, rich farmland and some of the most unique accommodations found anywhere in all America, envied by many.
There are many wonderful restaurants which are adorable and plentiful. Beautiful, picturesque, tree lined streets as you sip a cappuccino at a local outdoor café.
The hospitality in Charlottesville is most welcoming, to visitors and strangers alike. They are courteous, friendly and the most loving people in all America.
It seems that overnight, this once beautiful city, has been marred by violence, hatred and bigotry. All the while, instilling fear to the local communities with unnecessary hatred and aggression.
Supremacist groups chanting, white power. Neo Nazis saluting and shouting "Sieg Heil" (hail victory).
Other radicals involved were the K.K.K. (Ku Klux Klan) a shameful organization filled with hatred and bigotry since it was formed in December 1865, the Klan has typically seen itself as a Christian organization, how shameful for them to be classified as Christian.
People armed with rifles and guns, dressed in army combat gear, as if going to war. Flags blazoned with Swastikas to deliberately taunt those looking on, waving at them with prideful chants in the streets. Violent eruptions at every corner, fights breaking out with those opposed to such demonstrations of hate, bigotry and racism.
Fascists, bigots and white supremacists hopefully trying to instill fear, to dictate their beliefs of hatred on all the American people and those who care to listen. Some were standing across the street from the Jewish Synagogue armed with rifles. No different than what was demonstrated by Hitler in WW2. This was followed by anti-sematic chants, and threats of violence toward the Jewish community, with the intent and threat in destroying their Synagogue.
While protestors were assembled on Main Street, unsuspectingly, a car was slowly approaching the gathered crowd. Like a Cougar sifting out its prey, all of a sudden, with wheels screeching and as smoke filled the air with the burning of rubber from the car's tires. The driver puts his foot to the gas pedal, within seconds, the car goes burrowing through the crowd, scattering bodies into the air like bowling pins as the car deliberately rams the crowd. Used as a lethal weapon, many people were seriously injured and one young female died of her injuries.
The car descended upon innocent protestors, aimed at anyone who was objecting to the fascists, bigots and racists who were demonstrating hatred within their own supremacist groups. They attacked innocent people and bystanders with whatever weaponry was available to them.
The car was used as a battering ram, with intent to injure, maim or kill whoever got in the way. This was all done with no respect for the lives or safety of those on the streets.
Skirmishes broke out on just about every street corner including some popular parks within the area. Fists were flying, people being kicked on the ground, and others being beaten with flagpoles.
It was literally, a bloody mess.
I still think of that beautiful old song about Virginia. Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong………..Blue Ridge Mountain, Shenandoah River.

Written by Chris Turner
August 16, 2017.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sitting in the quiet

"Sitting in the quiet"

Sitting in the quiet nestled among the trees

Sun reflecting on me as I ripple in the breeze

People they throw stones but it doesn't hurt at all

Branches drop their leaves on me when it turns to fall

Snow falls from heaven and the spatter of the rain

The rainbow spans across I'm filling up again

The ice tells of winter the spring brings its moss

The wind is gently blowing as the mist takes its course

Rocks and stones lying deep twigs move around

Reeds and lilies resting they're gentle with no sound

Slowly as I move down the creek beside the burn

Joining with the others as there is no return

Splashing as I'm running dodge tree stumps in between

Joining those who've gone before I'm part of the stream

Channel getting wider I know I will be brave

Now part of the ocean as I join the other waves

Written by Chris Turner

August 14, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

"I Pray"

"I Pray"

I pray for my family, I pray for my friends
I pray Lord for healing, as your Spirit descends
I pray that you will come and touch the lives
Of those who are feeling ill
I pray that you heal their mind and soul; I pray it is your will.

I pray for those who struggle, I pray for those in need
I pray that you will lift them up, I pray you intercede
I pray that you will come and lift them up
Of those who trust in you
I pray that you restore their life today; as you see them through.

I pray for your presence, I pray you walk with them
I pray for the Holy Spirit, I pray you'll not condemn
I pray that your Spirit stirs the heart
Of those who raise their hands
I pray a miracle whatever they're need may be; we know you understand.

Witten by Chris Turner
June 26, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dementia stole my friend.

"Dementia stole my friend."

It was a beautiful spring day as I walked into the nursing home. I knew a special lady there and I always enjoyed visiting with her. I would visit with her for about an hour at a time. She would never speak but would just stare at me. It wasn't always like that, but many years have passed now since she has spoken.
My friend had developed Dementia quite a few years ago; though, she did have a family of her own. Then one day, she started forgetting things, repeating herself and quite often, would wander out late at night, not knowing where she was or who she was.
Her family would receive phone calls telling them, that they had just found their mom wandering the streets in the early hours of the morning.
The family got together and had to admit, mom has Dementia. They went through the usual tests just to confirm that their suspicions were valid. When their mom went for tests, of course, she denied that there was anything wrong with her memory.
A beautiful lady, who loved God and people so much, the doctor suggested that only one grandchild should visit her at a time. The excitement and stress would be too much for her.
There was a time though when one of her granddaughters was visiting with her parents. Her granddaughter picked up a pen from her cabinet and her grandma ran over and slapped her on the hand.
Of course, immediately, the granddaughter started crying. The parents were so upset, that the grandma had struck out at their daughter. Since that event, the granddaughter never ever wanted to visit her grandma again, that is, for fear of being slapped. It was sad, but the real life of living or visiting with someone who has Dementia. The doctor had told the family, that she had a form of violent Dementia. I guess some people with Dementia can quickly become very angry.
I had known this lady very well over the years; I knew very well, that this wasn't her true nature. She was a very kind and compassionate person to everyone that she would meet, especially her grandchildren. it's just how the Dementia had affected her mind.
As I visited with her over the years, her conversation became less and less, until eventually, she didn't speak anymore. As I looked at her, I reminisced about the times when we would look out the window at the rain pouring down, and how we would see the rainbow form in the sky.
Even though everyone had thought that her mind was gone. She would talk about the times when her family was young, the times when she would see them off to school. When they came home, how she would make muffins and give them a glass of milk.
She told about how the children would go out and play until the sun went down. They would come in and have a hot chocolate with their before she would tuck them into bed. It was nice to listen to all the old memories that she had, all churning around in the back of her mind.
She told me about all the knitting that she did scarves, sweaters, hats, and mittens. She would crochet blankets and various other items. Then she chuckled at all the homemade cookies they would eat, she told me, that at one point, she thought about buying a cow, her kids drank so much milk.
As she sat there in her room staring at me, I thought of all those things she had told me, about all the times that she had reminisced. Now it was a cold silence in the room. No laughter, no smiles, no talking, just quiet.
I am so glad I listened to her when she spoke, I am glad I recorded all her words in my mind. During those last days and her silence, I looked at her with great pity, I was able to reflect on all the things she had expressed about the times gone by.
I remember one day when it was snowing, she told me about the snowball fights they had in the yard. The snowmen they had made over the years, the carrots, the buttons and hats and scarves to keep the snowmen warm, how funny that was, it was a warm story even though it was about winter.
Then she reflected on Christmas, carol singing, the Santa thing and the entire gift opening at 5:a.m. on Christmas morning. She said, "I can't get them up on school days to go to school, but on Christmas morning they're all up at 5:a.m". She tried so hard to laugh, as tears rolled down her face. I knew she was wishing for those days now.
Very often she spoke about her kids, how things had changed. How they had all got married and had kids of their own. She felt like she was put into a nursing home because of the inconvenience of having her around their homes. The last thing she wanted was to be a burden on her family.
"You know, I remember brushing my daughter's hair when she was a little girl", she said. "I would give them all baths and tuck them into bed. Then we would all say our prayers and I would give them all a goodnight kiss. But, those days are all gone now and I'm left alone, I don't see them very often, they all have their own lives to live".
I'm sure her family visited her more often than she could remember, but to her, it wasn't enough. I could only feel sorry for her. I know that each time I visited, I never did see any family members around, maybe she was right.
I remember her very last words to me, that is before she had stopped speaking for good. This is what she told me, she said, "when people pass me by, they see me staring at the wall, they think I'm insane and have lost my mind. Yet, as I'm staring, I'm not staring at the walls. I'm sitting thinking of the past, reminiscing about how life used to be before my mind started to fail me. Of the times I had with my brothers and sisters, of the lovely times I had with my husband before he passed away. The times I had with my own children. The celebrations, birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, times with friends, those are the things that are going through my mind".
She went on to say, "one day soon though, my family will get the call, your mom has passed away. I will finally be gone to my home on high; at last, I will not be alone".
As she sat there in silence I thought of the last words she had spoken. I couldn't help but think of the times she cuddled her children, the muffins, the celebration dinners and all those times that she had cherished in her heart.
As she stared at me in silence with her beautiful brown eyes and golden colored her. I got up and put my arms around her and said, "I love you, I'll see you tomorrow". As I stepped back from hugging her, I noticed a tear that came flowing down her cheek as an expression of saying, "I love you too".

Written by Chris Turner
October 12th, 2016.