Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Youngest of These

As the sparrows in the loving arms of shelter

you huddle


Canons fire at the borders of your home

     and yet

               you don’t flinch

  for you know the sound; it soothes you,

          rocks you to sleep, to dream

of fields far away and nearby, where your protector

                     slaves in love, for his country, his homeland

    and yours.

You cannot always know the “why” of what he does

        and yet you’re proud


Standing at an attention of your own kind

        you know

   from the outside world, you’re not the same

they have police & grocery stores, convenience

you have MPs & commissaries, shoppettes

               it’s a different world

       and they’ll never know.

As he is promoted with full honor & bearing & grace

     and ceremony

             you watch

  learning of honor & bearing & grace

As he retires

               while – in the other world

                  a man leaving his job gets a watch and a

              “thanks and see ya (but won’t, of course)” dinner

               with kids at home with sitter or off away

     You are called to join

               stand in line beside him, quiet, respectful

          grace in its highest form

your protector, your personal hero

        receives with dignity a thank you & “we’re still here for you”

spouse & children, as well – always one

               a proud smile warms your knowing face while he

               accepts – with deep gratitude – his award

  and then

at his side

      you receive flowers, too

     for a military man never works alone

               his job is not only his – it belongs to all

         especially, it belongs to you

you who sacrificed

               moving homes

               leaving friends

               doing without your nightly hug because he’s away

           for days – months, eternity at times

               partnering with him, with your mom who pretends you

                              don’t know she cries

               becoming her strength as she gives hers to you

he can’t do his job without you

                   without knowing your job is harder

                   simple childhood is non-existent in your world

     you are so much more

more than they – those on the outside – will ever know

            or care to know

        you are the strong

                       the strength

                       the persevered

        you are the proud

                        the knowing, the heart

it is you for which he fights, fears, gives:

            sacrifice that he sees not as sacrifice

            but as “is”

You will always know what others will not

               -- sympathy & empathy are not the same

               you want no sympathy

               (only others like you can give you empathy)

you want only respect

                              hard earned

                              hard to truly find

    it is for you, for every part of who you are

           & what you will become

        for which he fights

                              it is all

               or nothing – he knows no in between

                 neither do you

for you he fights, for love

          & it is you who shows him what true love


The youngest of these pay for others’ sins

               & you are the proof of how beautiful that is

April is National Poetry Month, as well as the Month of the Military Child. This is for my children, and for military children everywhere.
©2010 LK Hunsaker. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy 101


Back in February, Linda Banche named me as one of her "Happy” recipients. The timing was odd, as February was an atrocious month and although I meant to get it posted right away, it didn’t happen. Better late than never.


The award asks that you list 10 things you’re happy about and then award it to other bloggers.

My 10 Happy Things:

1- Sunshine!
2- Daffodils and Yellow Tulips and Green stuff popping up everywhere
3- My kids enjoying each other’s company
4- Riding on the back of my husband’s Harley on a perfect day
5- Water! (swimming, boating, walking along a beach)
6- Family and friends who jump in just at the right time
7- Puppy joy that’s always there no matter what
8- Music that makes we want to dance, sing, or vent along with it
9- Playing in the dirt in the guise of gardening
10- Enjoying incredible art, be it books, fine art, dance, or theatre

I could go on, but I’ll stop at 10. Instead of naming specific bloggers, I'm inviting anyone who would like to grab the image and make your own list of Happiness to please do so and leave a link to your blog in the comments here so we can all share your Happiness!

Have a Beautiful Week ahead!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Why I Watch Dancing With the Stars


Dance by LK HunsakerI saw someone online the other day say they aren't watching this season because it's "a cast full of losers."

First, I resent anyone calling someone else a loser unless it's like .. a rapist or murderer or a bottom feeder or the like. Although there is one celeb this year I'm very anxious to see leave, and have plenty of agreement on that, I still wouldn't use that term. Nasty, yes. Loser? Well, who knows what she's gone through in reality? Maybe she's fighting more odds than anyone can know, which doesn't give a person the right to be nasty to innocent parties, but still, calling someone a loser only makes you look ... well, nasty.

Losers? I have to wonder just how much that person has achieved to consider these people losers. My guess is not nearly as much. Consider Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut who walked on the moon. Yes, he’s 80 and dances stiff, but hey, he gave it a good go and was fun to watch because of his attitude and because of his accomplishments. The show was honored to have him, as they should have been. Or Erin, who worked her way up to broadcasting. Nicole, who made her way in the music business before Idol brought no names overnight success.  Same goes with most of the celebs this season: they worked hard to get where they are. Heck, Evan’s been called the hardest working figure skater in the business and he’s an Olympic gold medalist. Hardly loser material. 

That’s all besides the point. I don't care what celebs they have on the show. Some I enjoy more than others. Some I root for and am sad to see leave. But I watch for the pros.

They're great, aren't they? Last night's results show was amazing, because of the two pro dances. I wouldn't watch the results otherwise. I don't like the whole ... "we'll tell you right after this" type of drawn out suspense. I don't believe that the results are purely the results of viewer voting. I don't vote anymore because it feels a waste of time and too much playing in their rating game nonsense. I do think the one everyone wants to have kicked off is only still there because the producers know drama and controversy on online venues will pull viewers in to watch and see what the drama is all about.

Still, I love the dancing. I love most of the pros. Maksim is just heavenly to watch, and Derek is amazing; Louie is a joy as are Lacey and Tony.... In short, they could pull people off the street aka that Idol show that got booted off top ratings by DWTS and I'd still watch. It's about the dancing for me. I love it. I enjoy the celebs with no dance background who go on and work hard and prove that you CAN step out of your element and still succeed if you're determined enough. How long they stay on is a moot point. That they dared to do it is what matters.

I don't watch realities with a very very rare exception, because I don't at all believe any of them are not staged. It's largely a bunch of overdramatic whining set up to make the audience think it's all real. Come on.

I get sick of the celebs who do that on DWTS, also. You know which I mean: the ones who go on and on about how busy their schedules are and how horrible it is to have a little injury and to keep going anyway. Welcome to real life, chickadees. So what? I applaud Evan Lysacek who broke a couple of toes and said nothing about it this week while dancing on them anyway. Not to mention he's also performing with Stars on Ice in between rehearsing and doesn't whine about that schedule, either. That's reason enough to keep rooting for him as a winner, which in my mind, he is (even besides his Olympic medal).

Yes, I'm a fan of the show. No, I'm not all pulled-in to the hype or think it's all "reality" as they want us to think. I watch for the dancing. I love the elegance of ballroom as opposed to all of the bump-and-grind of modern days that has received too much attention.

Real dance is incredibly hard. It's true art. It's vivid and alive. If you don't believe how hard it is, give it a try. I'm in favor of anything that promotes elegance and hard work and respect and art and pushing yourself to new limits. I find it a very good sign that DWTS topped the TV ratings. Possibly, all of those values are returning.

The cast, unlike most reality casts, don't get nasty toward each other (at least not on the show). They encourage each other even while competing. They have fun while working hard. They learn how to get along and what makes the individual relationships work enough to spend so much time together in such a stressful environment. The pros are the ringleaders in doing so, in promoting a healthy working relationship, in being honest but respectful.

It's a beautiful thing to see and so rare to find on television these days. Maybe that's what helps make the show such a roaring success.


"There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can't move,
and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies."
Robert Frost

As an aside: Maksim Chmerkovsky now owns a dance studio in New Jersey. For the first time in my life, I'm thinking NJ is the place to be, even for an instructional visit. Not that I would actually dare, but the thought is fun. And who knows? Maybe I would dare if I had the chance. ;-)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Amazing Grace and a shaky path

The other day I rented Amazing Grace. Have you heard of the movie? I dare say many haven’t. From 2006, with director Michael Apted and a score of actors without big industry names (excepting Albert Finney), the movie seems to be getting lost in the shuffle somewhere. That’s a shame.

I sat down to watch it the other night and both of my kids expected not to stay longer than the beginning while they were in the living room anyway. As the story continued, they both stayed , all the way through to the end.

Amazing Grace is the story of two men: the man who wrote the song, an ex slave ship captain who escaped the position to join the church and had continuing nightmares about it, and the brave legislator determined to stop the slave trade in England. It’s a beautiful story of determination through 20 years of fighting that threatened William Wilberforce’s health versus those who wanted to keep their eyes closed to the reality of the trade. At times, he wanted to walk away, afraid he was doing no good and that his stomach condition would become life-threatening, as it did indeed. With support of only a loyal few who believed in what he was doing, he continued, and he won. There are so many lessons to learn from this film.

Since it is Easter Sunday, the lesson I’m pulling into focus with this entry is how mixing religion with politics is what made the difference between continuing the evil and abolishing it.

The group standing behind Wilberforce were “itinerant prophets”  -- religious leaders of different kinds. It was William’s religious beliefs that God created all men equally that drove his conviction to continue the fight. It was his friendship with William Pitt, prime minister of England during part of the fight, that helped his cause stand through the rigors of parliament’s one concern: money.

Fast forwarding to the slave trade in America, it was the Quakers insisting on that same conviction, that God made all men to be equal, who fueled the fire to end the trade here, as well.

And now we spout “separation of church and state” as though it says as much in the Constitution and as though religion will cause the downfall of our country. If we look through history, we see quite the opposite.

Where did we fall so off track?

I believe the separations are what causes much of the problem, not religion itself. There are so many branches of Christianity with so many stems reaching so many directions, all having their separate rules about what is accepted and what is not, about how to worship, about who will go to hell and who will be saved … that we’ve lost track of the one important message:

Love each other.

That doesn’t mean, and was never intended to mean, only those who believe as you do or think as you do or worship as you do. It means everyone. It means stop the separation and realize we are all the same in God’s eyes, regardless of what we call Him or how we see Him or which church we attend or if we don’t.

The separations and miniscule little rules that make us bicker and push each other away are hurting both Christianity and our nation. It’s making our kids turn away from religion so that too many are claiming to be atheist simply because of the rules and separations that make no sense to them.

They’re right. It doesn’t make sense. That’s not what it’s about.

So archeologists are studying the man called Jesus and looking for answers. Why? That’s not the point.The point is His message and it’s the same message all religions have at their basis:

Love each other. Treat each other well. Don’t do anything to someone else you don’t want them to do to you.

Simple. Maybe we should go back to that focus and bypass all the little rules that were man-made and most often made for political reasons.

Religion and politics are, and always have been, tied together because it must be that way. Without religious ideals, laws would be based entirely on finances and without humanity. I don’t believe any of us want that. On the other side, there is not one church that doesn’t have politics going on in the background.

Spirituality, on the other hand, is free, and freeing. And it’s personal, while still connecting us all to each other.

”I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
Amazing Grace

”Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.”
Kin Hubbard