Thoughts Along The Way

Thoughts Along The Way

by Jean Salter Roetter

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Overview

Thoughts Along The Way derives primarily from Jean Roetter's journal entries, written over the last five years. Jurgen, her husband of fifty-seven years died unexpectedly and Jean suddenly found herself stuck in perpetual grief and sorrowful prospect. She has written this book in response to the question that constantly plagued her: How can I NOT be stuck in this grief?

Thoughts Along The Way contains her answers to this question; answers that she has captured in poems, observations, stories, and ongoing journal entries. Also included is a powerful concluding section with essays and poetry written about her husband to illustrate how their lives so complemented each other in actions, thoughts, and spirit.

It is the author's earnest hope that by sharing these thoughts with her readers, they will provide comfort and insight for anyone else who feels stuck, for whatever reason, in what was but who longs to live a life fully in what is and can still be!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440168345
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/14/2009
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)

About the Author

Jean Roetter earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters Degree in Communication Studies from The University of Massachusetts.
She has three grown daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She is the founder of a communication consulting service called Speak Up, and currently lives in Westborough, MA

Read an Excerpt

Thoughts Along The Way


By Jean Salter Roetter

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2009 Jean Salter Roetter
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4401-6834-5


Chapter One

Poetry

A Poem Is A Message From Somewhere Else

To write a poem and then to lose it is loss indeed-as if a cherished thought has gotten away. I loved my poem "You think you're in the middle." I must find it and I must be careful of all my writings because they come from my heart. They spring from deep within; from that eye of I, the eye that looks out and formulates the thoughts that infuse regular prose. The thoughts that, like music, lie below the evident surface that we all see.

How many layers are there to a day and to a person? A poem comes from an inner layer and it comes with a feeling that longs to get out and be expressed. And, oh, what a joy when you get it done; when you wrap yourself around the thought and then find the words that capture the moment, the feeling, the thought so that you enshrine it. What satisfaction and what great loss when that wonderful "caught" moment and thought are lost; just fragments stay behind. My lesson here; I must keep careful watch on what I write and where I put it. I must not be slothful and hasty but careful and deliberate. I must know a treasure when I have it; care for it; cherish it. It is real. It comes from within. It comes from the God in us andthat can only grow by being perceived, experienced and nurtured-and expressed.

Be Where You Are I don't want to be old. I don't want to be gray. I don't want my bones to wither away. I don't like the fact that I can barely see. And I don't like the feeling that this isn't really me. I used to knit. I used to hike. I used to ride my wonderful bike. I used to dance. I was full of romance. Now I sit alone and cry. So many things have passed me by. I don't like the wrinkles that cover my face. I don't take any of this with grace. I want to kick. I want to scream that this all must be a terrible dream. But I know it's not. It's our human lot. We are born. We grow up. We reach our prime and then we begin a slow decline. We're like a flower which has a bloom; Then fades away, alas, too soon. Do we hear the flower say-I cannot stand to fade away? Maybe it knows better than we That there is no escape from what must be. That each of us is on a track and we shouldn't waste time looking back. For there is always more that lies ahead. So let this be very clearly said - We may find, when we don't look back; We are not so conscious of what we lack. But rather we are open to what is here, And this makes every moment dear. We are not fighting tooth and nail to have our vision of things prevail. But rather we're doing our very best to seize and enjoy all that's left, To look ahead, not feel bereft but be glad we survive. Hooray! We're alive!! Deep Within Thoughts Along The Way Deep within me lives the world, Deep within me I feel being, Deep within me I hold it all, Deep within me is the universe. I am within and without, I am conscious but also unconscious. A piece of music can pierce my soul and start a waterfall of tears. A thought, a feeling can uplift my soul and send me to the sun and moon So that I sit on a ray or star. I feel the silence and the more silence I hear, the more deeply I feel connected to all that surrounds me. I am blessed. I have been blessed. I am grateful. I will always be grateful for all the love and beauty in my life. Let me never take anything or any blessing for granted. God, Being, Love, Substance envelop me. They are all. They are mighty. They are one. I adore my glimmer of them. I feel my smallness as I contemplate their greatness. But, I feel my capacity to stretch as I recognize that I am part of whatever is. What a blessed awareness. Thoughts On Agnes Granquist Agnes was elegant. Agnes was enthusiastic. Agnes was generous. Agnes was a wonderful friend. Agnes was very brave. Agnes was positive. Agnes had an artist's eye. Agnes was a devoted, proud mother. Agnes was thoroughly feminine. Agnes had a very kind heart. Agnes was fun. Agnes knew how to seize the moment and make the most of it. Let's start at the beginning. Elegant, tall lady with splendid carriage; knew how to walk; knew how to wear clothes; loved ivory, beige, pale blue; chose understated colors and then showed them off. She wore them; they didn't wear her. There was always a perfect union between clothes, hair and person. Enthusiastic- Delighted in success that friends enjoyed; appreciated what was happening; saw the good and responded joyously to it. Generous- Although a Scot by heritage, she was not stingy. She was always there with a gift when visiting and a treat for the other person. Inventive with her talent; a lovely hand painted stool gives testament to her artistic generosity. A wonderful friend- She never held back in her warmth to her friends. She made you feel that you were a number one friend. She would tell you why she prized you as a friend. She was loyal and faithful as a friend. She put out energy. Brave- She faced widowhood. She faced operations. She faced the unknown with style and courage. She looked at what was happening directly, never whining about it and made her move in a forthright manner. Positive- Positive and brave go together. She made always the best of what she had, never minimizing what she felt but never thrusting the sorrow she experienced to the foreground. She was very upbeat in her comments and in the atmosphere she projected. Artist's Eye- She painted. She sketched. She looked at the scene always in terms of composition and beauty. The house she built, the furnishings always in harmony. Proud Mother- Nothing pleased her more than her children, Ann and Charles; what they did, were doing, where they lived, what was happening in their lives afforded unmitigated pleasure to her. Very Feminine- There was no confusion in Ag's mind as to whether men and women were the same; women were women; men were men; viva la difference. How she loved clothes, jewels, hair do's, the company of men. She loved her good figure and she loved the interplay between men and women. Kind Heart- How she rejoiced in the good luck of others. She looked for the good and she did what she could to promote it wherever she could. She was not a gossip unless it was talking up someone, never talking someone down. Seize the Moment- That's all anyone ever has. She enjoyed what she did whether it was relishing a cup of morning coffee and the newspaper or surveying her patio or playing golf or chatting with a friend. Whatever it was, she brought an eager spirit to it. She had a shrewd mind. She saw under the surface of the situation and could make original and astute conclusions that helped move situations and discussions along. All these qualities add up to this wonderful, eager, loving spirit that will live on in the memory of her friends. I rejoice that I was numbered among them. Experience It! Slow down the pace, You're not in a race. Let them ride, All those juices inside. Let the sun shine in, Get away from the din. Look up at the sky, Watch the clouds sail by. See the birds on the wing, Hear the songs that they sing. Feel the tease of the breeze, As it wafts through the trees. What I am trying to say Is don't let it get away! Experience this beauty so near Showing that God is right here. Show Me The Way, Dear Lord O dear Lord-O God above, Let me feel your wondrous love. Let me know that deep inside You are always there to be my guide. Let me hear your voice so clear. Let your words reach my ear. Let my soul hear your call So that I will never fall Away from the path you've given me, Away from what I know must be. I need your help along the way And so I fall on my knees to pray, To say to the mighty One above, Please dear Lord continue to love your humble servant, Whose name is Jean, Who will do her best to be kind and good And do everything she thinks she should. This is why I say today "Please Dear Lord, show me the way." At The Core I AM WHAT I AM. When my friends tell me how wonderful I am, I am no different - I Am - from when my enemies Tell me how horrible I am. What I am is separate from the accolades and the excoriation. What I am is the invisible core of my being, Not the form on the visible surface. It is essential in this life to become acquainted with the inside person, The true self, who will not be fooled by commentary from fans or foe. This self is the same self who has been looking out at me Since I first saw this self, myself, in a mirror. First I was the baby in the picture, Then the face in the school year book. There it is again, in the photo of the young job applicant. It's the face of the bride in the wedding album. Now it's the mother in the picture. Next, the face of the grandmother in the family photo. And in time, the face of the great grandmother off to the side. Finally, it will be that very old lady's face, who's dozing in a corner. I appear in many guises, but my core is immutable, Regardless of my guise. Every core is part of the great universal spirit which animates Each and every one of us. It is this core within me which I must get to know ever better, For it is the emissary of the infinite, almighty spirit which is forever.

It's Up To Me Hold on-hold on-stay focused on the fact that it's all up to ourselves. It's up to me to keep in motion during the day, to keep upbeat energy, to keep myself chugging along constructively. It's not up to Jurgen to amuse me or to fill my cup. I must find the liquid for my own cup and this is wonderful to realize because it makes me understand that I am not to look elsewhere if there is a deficiency. I look to myself to make a change, to make it better, livelier, more constructive. This gives me the most glorious feeling of emancipation because it frees me from the other fellow. I am not waiting for him to dispense or not dispense. I am actually free of that bondage and bondage it is because it means enslavement to an outside force-person. Everyday I must remind myself that: Today is in my hands. Today is a gift from God. Today is a natural experience. Today is a clay to be molded. Today is a day to be perceived anew. Today is like no day that has gone before or will come after, so today is my own challenge. Today is a day that gives me more time to accomplish what I have been planning to do on many other days so I will start on at least one of the many projects I have had. It's Up To Me! Some Pseudo-Oxymorons The message that puzzleth. The words that obscure. The vision that clouds. The sounds that ring hollow. The thoughts that struggle. The meaning that evades. The arrow that misses the mark. The mouse that eludes the cat. The fox that escapes the hound. The bird that flies away fast. The student that skips school. The diamond that doesn't sparkle. The bell that doesn't chime. The clock that doesn't strike. The motor that won't turn over. Things are out of joint.

Settings

An Autumn Moment

I love to sit here at the side of the road with naught but the sky, the fields and the trees. The field so rich and green. The sky so blue flecked with clouds and the trees, multicolored, getting ready to shed their colorful leaves.

There's a wonderful breeze that blows through the trees. The bushes below, still rich with berries, bend and sway as if ready to play.

It's a real delight to be out here alone, seeing, smelling, feeling the freshness and the fullness of this lovely countryside.

I thank God for letting me see just how much beauty there is around me.

The Mountain Effect

"I lift up mine eyes into the hills from whence cometh my strength." Oh what a sight these hills/mountains are. Being here at 2 Bunch provides repast for these mountain starved eyes. What a balm to the soul. What a gentle, deep, firm stroking of the inner being this glorious mountain range provides; the wonderful white snow-covered series of peaks with clouds gently dipping in front, on top of, behind just dusting the surface. The gray-green front layer of mountain gives a great depth and marvelous layered look to this view. It so fills my soul with peace and strength that I want to carry it with me as I said in my favorite mountain poem. "I want its kind of strength. That means for me release of all that's meant petty, all that's full of fear and all that clouds my vision of that which should be clear." Would that I had my camera so I could freeze it forever in vision. Instead I'll freeze it in mind.

The windmills, all busy working, lie below and create an energetic action, also reminding me of the windmills of Denmark.

As I wrote, a darling little roadrunner came swiftly by. I am tempted to follow but I won't now because this is such a glorious moment here on the edge of the desert but the delight is that it is an elevated edge so I seem to see it all. Down on the right is a laden lemon tree just calling to me to get a lemon for whatever reason.

The wind is blowing. The palm trees are bending from the top of their tall, shaggy trunks. The fronds are glistening in the bright sunlight. The dense pines with their delicate needles are full of wind and movement.

How fortunate I am to be sitting here in the middle of all this. It is a gift and I am so grateful for it. Thank you, God for all that I have today, a beautiful day, blue sky, my mountains and clouds, the birds soaring in the air and singing from the trees, the whole day stretching ahead. What a lot to take in and all before breakfast. Wow! I'll put this down for the moment but I'll be back today. There's more to say.

Help me, Lord, to always be aware of the richness and value of every moment and help me to be my best self, my kindest self, my most helpful self at all times!!

Suitcase

It's ready, ready to go, finally every decision made; what to wear and when to wear it; which shoes, which outfits. Will they be warm enough? Will they be too warm? Can't be sure; don't know. Can't even imagine it will be hot when it's so cold here. Well, I jumped over that decision. Covered the problem, taking something wool just in case.

And then, of course, if I really get stuck I can always buy something to cover the absent garment. At least for this trip, the suitcase is ready. The big final zip has been given and this jaunty red and blue is ready to roll. Well, not really roll. It's a little old fashioned; no wheels but it looks portable. A packed and zippered suitcase fills me with the elixir of trip excitement. That wonderful equation with change of scene, change of pace, change of routine and change of experience all coming into play. Going out of the known into the unknown even if the destination is familiar.

There's got to be something we like about this process or the suitcase wouldn't be packed and ready to go. No stickers on the suitcase telling where it has been. Alas, that doesn't work anymore but those old gay, giddy suitcases with colorful exotic stickers always tugged at my heart. Hong Kong, London, Singapore, far away cities, exciting ports. The suitcase covered with these evocative stickers beckoned to me just by being there. Let's go. Let's see what it's like. Got my mind spinning and then, when the suitcase got the sticker, what pleasure just to see it at a later time. The memory of the time and the place were revitalized, renewed. All these images are there, pulled from some corner of my mind that had let them rest but kept the field of recollections alive and ready for recall.

Oh, little suitcase, if you could only talk and tell of the many places you've been. Many hotel rooms you've been in and the many clothes you've carried. Do you have a favorite place, a favorite outfit, a favorite person or is your only demand that you be moved from the attic and packed, because you're always ready to go?

A Train Is A Train Is A Train Or Is It?

The basic beat, the jiggle, the deep rhythm is there, be it the Dome car in Alaska, the TGV, Amtrak, the Orient Express, the Chunnel train or any train. The experience is universal, made up of the inside, outside, the enclosed and the outer expanse, unless, of course, it is a tunnel which then is enclosed within the outer darkness.

The Dome Car, Anchorage to Seward, total train fun, each person has his own wide seat, a spacious table between two travelers and the wide, wonderful window allowing full vision of the outside vast bodies of water. Is that a whale? Maybe next time. Suddenly back again to forest land, dense forests, hills of trees; trees under blight ravaged by some strange bug. Question for Alaskans, a most pressing one, to spray or not to spray? Whole hillsides are under attack. Soon a tree population will vanish. What to do? Hardly get the discussion going when the jiggle slows down, conductor comes calling out, "Seward next, Seward." Time to leave and one leaves not just the train but whizzing scenes of foreign spots and conversation topics.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Thoughts Along The Way by Jean Salter Roetter Copyright © 2009 by Jean Salter Roetter. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

A Poem Is A Message From Somewhere Else....................2
Be Where You Are....................3
Deep Within....................4
Thoughts On Agnes Granquist....................5
Experience It!....................7
Show Me The Way, Dear Lord....................8
At The Core....................9
It's Up To Me!....................10
Some Pseudo-Oxymorons....................11
An Autumn Moment....................14
The Mountain Effect....................15
Suitcase....................16
A Train Is A Train Is A Train Or Is It?....................17
A New Day....................19
A Progressive Dinner For Newcomers....................20
A View of the Alaska Inside Passage From Ship Deck....................21
Tree....................23
Gratitude....................24
Change....................25
Pure Gold At The Avalon....................27
A Peek At Autumn's Peak....................29
Beauty Abounds....................30
Beauty And Flowers....................31
Taffy....................32
The Mountain's Message....................33
Costume Party....................36
Life Without Mom....................42
"Margot, What's Your Secret?"....................44
Tales of The Vienna Woods....................47
Take Another Chance....................50
The Boat House....................51
Mary Lou....................53
Pauses In A Relationship....................54
Learning From The Elf of Happiness....................56
The Clarinet Speaks....................58
Madeline....................59
Brain Sweep....................64
Time....................65
The FlipSide....................66
A Thought That Comforts....................67
Be True To Yourself....................68
Hair....................69
Jean Hayden Salter Roetter....................70
Just A Thought....................71
Let It Go!....................72
Let There Be Light....................73
Life....................74
Music....................75
One View of The Circle of Life....................77
Opera....................78
Self-confirmation....................79
The Ego....................80
The Essence of What Is....................81
The Important Words....................82
A Prayerful Thought....................83
The Real Person....................84
A Moment....................85
Questions....................86
To Accept....................87
Acceptance....................88
All of Me....................89
Ode To Exuberance....................90
Aren't Words Fun?....................91
Mountain Peace And Strength....................92
Where Do We Commence?....................94
Today....................101
The Shaping of Life....................102
Life's Cloth....................103
Vigilance....................104
A Surprise Birthday Party....................105
Anniversary....................106
My Own Compass....................107
True Star....................108
The Power of The Journal....................109
Remembrance of Jurgen....................110
Tears....................111
The Blessings of Concentration....................112
April....................113
Recognizing The Snake Skin....................114
Homecoming....................115
Spring....................116
His Beautiful Head....................117
Cocktail Hour....................118
Don't Get Too Attached....................119
Hand In Hand....................120
Letting Go, Using God As My Compass....................121
Memory....................123
Hands....................124
What A Beautiful Morning....................125
Blessings Alert....................126
Jackson Hill Road....................127
Work of Art....................128
Chapter By Chapter....................129
Jurgen's Room....................130
"Where Is He?"....................131
The Immediacy of Time....................132
Symbols....................133
My Promise....................135

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