26 December 2010

Sunday Open Forum – Mailboxes and Old Barns

By Emma Today as we look toward our future together on the Trail, I want to share with you the reason for the phrase “Mailboxes and Old Barns”.

Mailboxes along the roads

and old barns set back
in fields overgrown with weeds
often served as landmarks
in rural Montana.

These landmarks told us where we were,
and how far we had to go.

Sometimes they signaled “home”
and the end of the road.
At other times,

barely visible through a swirling snowstorm,
they told us we had miles to go.

Maybe you’ve seen some of the same mailboxes
along your roads
or glimpsed some of the same old barns
through your storms.

The landmarks themselves are neutral. What gives them punch and meaning is the information they convey. Am I almost home? Or am I lost and perhaps don’t recognize that barn at all? Am I safe? Or am I in danger?

This transition between Christmas and the New Year was for about 20 years the very most painful time of the year for me. It was the time of year that I was most aware of being out of step with the normal world. Most aware of being in pain. Most conscious of feeling lost. I remember those places clearly. If you know Emily Dickinson like I know Emily Dickinson, it won’t surprise you that I have a well-marked copy of some of her work. Maybe that subconsciously influenced my choice of the online name, Emma.

Here is part of the word picture noting a point where I was beginning to dare to hope again (circa 1983):

There is a stillness that happens at dawn.
There is deep chill in the air and suspension of continuity
between the progression of night and the beginning of day.
There is a point at which the first bird sings.

I sit in single dimension darkness
with my back pressed against the tree
that has sustained me through the stormy night

and a single clear birdsong comes flinging through the darkness.

So the “mailboxes and old barns”of my life are not all warm fuzzies.
Neither are they endlessly painful allergens that must forever drive me up the wall.
They just are. They are a report from one life. That’s all.
They are the memories of my blessings and my battlefields. Just as yours are for you.


36 Responses to Sunday Open Forum – Mailboxes and Old Barns

  1. Rascal says:

    Thank you for the warm welcome – this new site is absolutely wonderful with news, family stories and blessings.

    Would like to share this other site that has a beautiful and tastefully done Photo Mosaic by Flatsimile Studios under their lead thread “A Christmas Blessing 2010.”


  2. sundancecracker says:

    We experienced a slight technical glitch this morning…. as in…. Synapses not firing in the brains of those in charge…. Yikes !! Totally forgot today was Sunday, Doh! So the Mailboxes thread (open forum) was a little late in appearing. https://i0.wp.com/planetsmilies.net/shocked-smiley-9449.gif

    However, all is fixed now…. and another “frilliant” beautifully worded vision from Emma. https://i2.wp.com/planetsmilies.net/happy-smiley-81.gif

    • yomotley says:

      I wondered how everything was faring since I was not around and could not tell ya all I was not around! Thanks for getting the show on the road, Sundance. We all appreciate it. For the record, you are not the only one thrown off about which day of the week it is……Christmas on the weekend always gets us here a BIG confused.

  3. sundancecracker says:

    WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.


    • PhillyCon says:

      Not a shocker at all to those who understand and have been paying attention to the healthcare debates. Not a shocker to those who fully understand the natural end to Leftist policies.

      Does anyone recall Dr. Berwick who openly praised the NHS, while himself having a “cadillac plan” of his own while denying others the same level of care?

      When fools like Alan Grayson proclaim from the House floor, “the Republican health plan is die and die quickly.” Any discerning person with half a brain cell could comprehend from a mile away that this was projection at its finest. Its the Democrat Party that ultimately embraces death through their policies of easy abortion, and denial of vital treatment to the elderly.

      So, now when we were hear how Republicans want to take away seniors Social Security, how about Democrats taking away seniors life-saving procedures?

      Remember, Obama wanted everyone to take the pain pill and of course, the media and the Republican establishment chose to ignore these troublesome roadsigns.

    • Patriot Dreamer says:

      Over 2,500 pages of giving all kinds of vague powers to the Secretary of HHS. What did they think was going to happen?

  4. yomotley says:

    A “MRM” sighting over at the “Case” thread! Alert! A “MRM” sighting!

    • PhillyCon says:

      Awesome, awesome, awesome. Now, if somehow longsuffering would surface, and maybe InDc….. then I’d be really, really psyched.

    • MRM says:

      Oh, thanks so much, yomotley!!! I’m still making my way through the archives here and cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is to be “home” with so many of my favourite people! I’ve missed you all so much! What a lovely Christmas gift – from our Chrissy who pointed me here. Big hugs and kisses and a Merry Christmas to all of you!

      And, THANK YOU for creating this party! I’m so happy it’s the day after Christmas and I don’t even have to feel guilty for sitting here reading all afternoon catching up on what everyone has been up to. I quit posting on HB shortly after the USO debacle when an apology / explanation never appeared. I was Born Conservative for awhile with a different avatar thanks in part to the gravatar process and in part because I was trying to drop the second M in my name since it no longer applies. but it seemed fitting to go back to my old familiar avatar as a part of this ‘homecoming’ ….

      Going back to the old threads now, but wanted to check in on today’s thread and say Hi!!!

  5. PhillyCon says:

    Its a day for the indoors in PA, we are expecting 20 inches of snowfall. They even postponed the Eagle game till Tuesday night. This is a nice way to decompress after the Christmas madness. It is forcing me to take it easy.

  6. llauren11 says:

    same her in ny..its a blizzard, monday they expect 6 to 10 inches..
    cleaned up the xmas clutter, now settling down for a qiuet day.

  7. PhillyCon says:

    Doctor Zero:
    Return of the Death Panel

  8. violet says:

    If your senator and/or congressperson was among the many who recently lost his/her bid for re-election, you might want to forward the following information to him/her…. or if you just need a good laugh, read it yourself:


  9. GracieD says:

    That was funny! :D

  10. yomotley says:

    Emma, I just reread this post and I am awed. Again. Thank you.