Category Archives: relationships

That Good Part.

According to reports Judge Robert Sambroak was bedridden, under hospice care, the week I stood in line at the Post Office awaiting my appearance at small claims court. It couldn’t have been he, therefore, standing to my left as I prattled my anxieties, commenting: “ You feel irrelevant…” Yet, whomever that man was he did seem placed there for a purpose, like so many who found themselves in line at the South Erie Station. There was something about that gathering, a Federal office no less, which brought about the most unlikely convergences.

I had awakened this morning, Friday, with a passage of Scripture running across the ticker of my frontal lobe. The scene was Jesus, Mary at his feet in place to absorb his every word. Martha, her sister, bustled about the serving, taking care of the practical concerns that the presence of such a significant house guest likely entailed.

Jesus had spoken to Martha. She had complained to him, regarding her sister’s apparently passive position on the floor near Jesus as he sat teaching, beseeching him to implore her to help. He’d said: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and troubled, about many things; but, Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken from her.”

On such a Friday, after a week of arduous preparations, mine musical, tasks requiring repetition and drill, analysis, experimentation, and more drill, muscles tired, mind absorbed with the complexities, how was it that I had been awakened by this Scripture?

My mother was a task master. Rather, she mastered tasks like no other. Machine operator at a local manufacturing shop, her “piece work” tally always exceeded the rest of the workers’, a fact which isolated her from them. Yet, she pressed on, tirelessly, determined to produce above and beyond expectation. This was the American work ethic, nobly represented by the then-dominant working lower middle class, and my mother was at the top of the heap of the “We can do it!” women of her age.

But, it wouldn’t be until many years beyond adolescence that I would become aware of another aspect of my mother. Also a professional seamstress, she worked out of our home and, that, late into the evenings after much of the rest of the house had retired for the night. Our younger brother, however, one inclined to drive his latest, favored car until all hours, would often keep her awake well after she had stopped the treadle on her Singer sewing machine. Myself having taken a job as waitress in a local dinor I would often work two shifts, entering the house at odd hours; it was at just one of these junctures that I met my mother, seated in the kitchen at the table.

She wasn’t just having coffee. She was poring over her Bible.

Our mother, in dark green robe, would sit up waiting for our brother to return home, and read Scripture. Not neglecting those moments of reflection, of seeking counsel, of meditation and contemplation, she was effectively both Martha and Mary. Whether she read to calm her nerves or occupy her thoughts, mum sacrificed for the family all day and then sought that good part, for herself.

Judge Sambroak passed away, yesterday. He’d served the courts of Erie County more honorably than any other – advising even opposing counsel, entering the schools to set up “mock courts” – representing all that was good about the law. Like the Judge, mum’s life was cut short decades before she was likely intended to depart us, her body exhausted by the toxic overload the local environment had bestowed. But, she had lived her life with the kind of integrity that would, as the decades passed, become increasingly rare.

So, today might be yet another Friday. One more week in the life may be history, but I exhort us all to take that pause. The world is spinning, faster and apparently more recklessly by the minute, rendering our reality more unpredictable than ever before. If we seek that good part, one thing is as certain as the voice which intoned the words; Jesus said it shall not be taken from us. Seems like a worthy treasure, indeed.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  3/3/17   – All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Thank you for respecting the work of all writers, both recognized and unknown.

littlebarefeetblog.com

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Watch What Happens.


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[*THIS was the post that disappeared. Let’s see if it sticks, round #2.]

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No fiction to anyone, we live in an increasingly hostile world.

The Information Highway has opened up access to far more than the latest navigation options; rather, because anybody can now say anything – even fabricating and mobilizing back up witness to their cause – be it noble or nefarious what is borne is a sea of data, swarmed by both predator and prey.

So, how does one ascertain the truth?

Suppose we borrow from the tactician.

Remember an old movie, “The Sting”, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford?

The criminal mind is, to varying degrees, shrewd; stealthy; meticulous; even rash. But, the criminal? In spite of his or her level of sheer intelligence, human weakness is never more easily manifest – and, can be capitalized upon to productive end.

Should one seek to prove out the actions of a suspect, one need only create a scenario. Choose as the setting a work of fiction, being sure to include key, identifiable facts known only to the guilty; in this way, only the incriminated will know for sure what is being portrayed. To these, the story becomes a revelation.

The novels of Tom Clancy, et al, come to mind, here, as do numerous Hollywood blockbuster thrillers. To quote “Fats” Waller, in “Ain’t Misbehavin'” : “One nevah knows, do one?”

Awhile ago, I published another chapter in my series’ category, Short Stories. After leaving the piece up for a couple days, I pulled it.

Interesting things began to happen.

First, a certain individual promptly extracted from all contact with me on social media.
Then, the individual’s extended associates behaved strangely; though the time stamps showed evidence of their having been viewed, chat messages were ignored. No further voluntary contact with myself was made by any but one of them.

In fact only one, solitary associated player has maintained any communication with me since, said one at a very great distance from the rest, though closest to me emotionally.

Now, the most useful aspect of logic is its immoveability.

Were one innocent, of any implicated actions discovered in a work of alleged fiction, one might simply respond not at all; conversely, should one believe one’s actions to be exposed, one might set about – either voluntarily, or subconsciously – to react.

The scientific method is loosely applied, in this case, but serves our cause fairly.

The Bible says: “Be sure your sin will find you out.” This holy admonishment merely provides caption; those who know full well what they do are already branded.

And, these need no story to tell the tale.
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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo   12/29/16     — All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Thank you for your respect. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Selah.

littlebarefeetblog.com

Quiet Men.

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I like quiet men.

But, there are three kinds.

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The Shy Boy.

Men who began their lives hiding behind their mother’s skirts (those who wore them full and fluffy, below the knee), are keenly observant but hesitant to make any version of a bold statement. As men, their actions do the talking, and are manifest in a self-possessed confidence which is, at heart, un-self conscious. To them, a woman is a source of fascination, much like their mothers were from the first moment. These are men who possess either an innate or finely cultivated ability to recognize and appreciate every detail about a woman’s body and mind. They look, long to touch, and the restraint they express makes a woman feel secure in their company.

Were they to speak or act suddenly, their fear is that the woman will turn away. And, since they are almost content to simply admire from afar, they provide by their silence the space for a woman, in turn, to fully express.

The Snake.

Some boys learn early on that they possess attributes which are considered commodities. Should those in their sphere laud such traits, fuss over them, make public commendations regarding their value, they develop a certain, smug self-satisfaction. Whether these features be physical or mental or even social in nature, the men who bear them enter a scene assuming that others will recognize both their presence and the prize they offer. For this cause, with the exception of those with comic ability they rarely develop social skills which garner attention, even if they seek any; content to simply appear, they are confident that what they both want and need will come to them, and that without effort. When it does, they take what comes, giving little in return; when it doesn’t, they often opt to drink heavily or simply leave the room.

Such men, while known to most everyone because of their persistent presence, can put some women off, as their lack of effort to engage others in anything but the most perfunctory, even slick dialogue comes across as self interest.

The Spy.

This man is quiet because he holds secrets. His own actions, either past or present, dictate his social behavior, setting limits. His demeanor is usually gentle, pleasant, even warm, but he reveals little. When prodded, he changes the subject. Such a man may be hiding a life of profound trauma, embroiled in international espionage, or engaged in subterfuge; whichever the case, his boundaries are clear only to him, leaving those who maintain a distance to conclude that he is merely shallow or simple minded.

A man who deliberately withholds remains uncommitted to individuals and groups, occupying the loner’s role with ease. Women are intrigued by such men, often drawn to them but, because their intuition picks up all the red flags, are rarely emotionally at ease in their company.

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I’m sorry. Were you speaking to me?

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So.

Boys…….

…….who are you?

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Let’s guess.

😉

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo    12/13/16      All rights those of the woman who wrote the piece, and whose name appears above this line. Thank you, children.

littlebarefeetblog.com