Covering up. By David Reid Otey 9-2014

Covering up can mean protection from the cold, from sunburn and  from rain. Covering up is needed to heal wounds, lower risks of infection. But the greatest use of covering up is often negative, destructive, debilitating and crippling. It’s good to be aware of which way we really are using the act of covering up. What we think may be protective will really have the opposite effect. Here is what I mean by this.

Cover it up.   Hide it.    Don’t let it be seen.   Don’t let it out.

Cover up hope with disbelief. Cover up love with self-centeredness.  Cover up healing with vengeance.

Cover up progress with lies.  Cover up grace with conceit.

Cover up  the scars, the bruises, the failures, the mis=steps.   Hide the blemishes, the signs of humanity, the signs of imperfection, of  cruelty, of awkwardness.

Cover the shame of need, of want, of  jealousy.

All that energy of covering up what everyone knows, what everyone does, what everyone thinks.

Forgiveness was made to uncover, to climb out from, to be free from the pains of shame and embarrassment.

Grace was made to have second and third chances, to begin again and again until the right path is found.

Redemption was made to balance justice, to provide new life in new thoughts, new actions, new hopes.

Covering up creates festering. Covering up creates loneliness. Covering up creates psychosis. Covering up  is slowly dying.

Life is open for growing through challenges and risks. Life is made to uncover ignorance and fear. Life is made to enjoy, to join in, to help create and to heal with and among each other.

Uncover your talents and dreams  and hopes. Connect and become what you are meant to be.


We Dance By David Reid Otey 8-2014

We dance through the good times and we dance through the bad times. We step on each others feet now and then and we kiss them to heal them, then dance again.                                                                                     It’s a winter, a summer, a spring and a fall. The names tell you all of the times we recall.                        There are slow dances, fast dances, close dances, step away dances, everything timed to the music of our minds. We listen together shifting in union, but if one’s distracted it causes confusion.                             The dance is a long one we hope, as we started at the alter of marriage ’till death leaves one waiting. We dance in the outside and inside of fortune, from bodies touch close to separation by oceans. We dance with our motions entwined in emotion, smooth on our feet or shuffled on knees. We dance looking into the eyes of our soul mates and hold them close feeling every heart beat. We dance with the dream and the promise of never departing without being forced by the nature of life. We dance on the mountains, in valleys and plains. We dance in the sunshine, in storms drenching rains. We dance when the wind blows sweet scents from the blooms. We dance when there’s pain from a loss and in gloom. We dance as we argue, we dance as we laugh. We dance in the memories of early romance. We dance limitations in time that’s forever. We dance in the finite that’s part of infinite, hoping that truth means our spirits and souls go beyond blood and bones, that we will still exist beyond names in a book, beyond pictures we took of the way that we looked when we knew we had power to change. We dance through ideas, through hopes and through dreams. We dance all the steps toward that final rest when we lay down and sleep to leave a life we can’t keep.   So, dance well, my friend. Take care of your partners. Be sure to watch out for their feelings and feet. Be sure to stay inside the rhythm of caring, of giving and sharing of catching a fall. Because these are the memories that stay with us all.

The end.

KEYS By David R. Otey

Keys can be physical keys to push into locks, or groups of notes on a piano top. They are main points in a lecture or book, or a main speaker in a convention. “The keep point is…”, the speaker says, meaning the “one thing” that will get you blessed. Keys open the box of understanding. Key stones hold the arch together, pressure coming from both side,  meeting in the center, leaning from each side on a key stone which becomes the strongest stone-maybe. Keys are the dots of a dot to dot, the border pieces of a puzzle, the spices in a meal, the hooks of songs, the sight, sound, taste, smell or touch that inspires an idea or an action toward a major decision that sparks a major shift in one’s life. Trust is a key. Loyalty is a key. devotion is a key. Faith is a key. Hope, love, patience, honesty, one more chance–these are all keys. Keys open opportunities, connect to the next step of a forward journey, give light in dark moments, become landmarks of confidence and security. People are keys to each other. The key people in your life are dependable, forgiving to a reasonable degree and the greatest support group for your personal growth and survival in life.  For every dream there is a key to connect you. So keep dreaming and keep growing.


JUST ONE ROUND TO GO. by David Reid Otey

One day will be the last day to do anything at all, and it might be blessed to extend into the night before the body gives up the spirit. For many there isn’t much time, if any at all, for reflection and change, for apologies and praises. So, I’m writing this all at one setting with no break, sitting in bed, a bit tired but feeling adventurous. 🙂 I will write about kids and poverty and teaching them because that is what I do for a living.

Every kid is normal for the genes they have, for the neighborhood they come from, for the brain training their families gave them and for the experiences and desires and dreams their clan direct them to.   Taught to try ? maybe, maybe not.   Taught to handle anything ? Maybe, maybe not. I call my special education kids ” swiss cheese” kids, because they know things out of order and have missing information. In the scope and sequence of learning topics, my kids can know the seventh thing without knowing the fourth. Probably because they somehow go together. They don’t have any problem with wanting to play, and they tire like all kids.  Butt they can’t keep up the pace. The other kids pass by the each one quickly. I love my work. I have variety, challenges, hope, adventure; a bunch of opportunities for contributing. And that’s why I give my grade school wonderlings some power of their own in our class. I am the example their parents cannot or will not be in guiding them to know how to see themselves as better than the insults and cruelty they will consistently have to deal with throughout their lives: the same negatives their parents experienced yet could not fight back against within their own psyche.  I allow the kids to find their talents and create with them in the class room. I give them trips to the world and to space on the school computer through virtual trips that are awesome. I give them cultural variety–the singing sisters and the Capitol Children’s Choir for the wonders of the human voice. It’s fine with me to hear a few of them sing like Peter Boyle in his characterization of Young Frankenstein. To me, it’s joy because their spirit is living and growing and experimenting without boundary, without fear. They watch artists create, like the painters who pour cups of paint over stacked blocks, to feel the call within themselves to ”play” with color and form and all of that.  One of my kids knows every single move of the pieces in Chess, and he almost kicked my butt in a game yesterday, laughing like an ape when he stole my Queen. I roared at him like a pirate. he laughed more. I can afford the time to let them ”become” some of what they are meant to be, to hopefully ”see” themselves as worthy and capable and imaginative.  There is marvel and magic and some of God’s creative power in every single person. What we can become and what we can create. What we can grow in and contribute towards. Those matter much more than conformity of knowledge.  And, so, now I must get some sleep. I have to say this was very hard to do when fighting sleep. 🙂 But I honestly made it–never once editing and never once leaving the laptop for a bathroom break. This round is up now. 🙂