Charyl Says

Random Knittings
August 30, 2012, 3:04 pm
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Nothing profound, spiritual, or philosophical this time around (though I suppose knitting has become a spiritual release for me in a way).  Only the announcement that I’ve opened up my own Etsy store featuring some of the knitted items I’ve made over the last year or two.  More will be listed soon.  Take a look!:

Random Knittings by Charyl

Thank you and enjoy. 🙂

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The Meteor… A Poem and a Thought
August 20, 2012, 8:13 pm
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There are many moments throughout my day in which work becomes repetitive… almost automatic. It’s at those times my mind naturally begins to wander.  Today, it wandered in such a direction that I began considering fate and signs from God/The Universe; the great amount of “behind-the-scenes” work which must take place in order to make everything “just so” at just the right moment to catch the attention of the intended mark (at least for those who believe in such a thing).

I even managed to scribble out a little poem between tasks about just such an event. Enjoy!….

It must have taken
incredible foresight;
Eons of planning–
long before my birth or yours–
to create those
chunks of space rock just so.
In just such a way–
size, weight, speed–
to place them in
precise orbit with the planets;
so on that early Thursday morning
at exactly 1:00 a.m.
as I stood watching the Perseid–
asking THE question–
a piece of The Shower
broke off and streaked
across the sky–
flaming and glorious.
Giving me The Universe’s
answer in the affirmative.

~Charyl Miller (August, 2012)

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I Am Not Afraid.
August 11, 2012, 11:39 pm
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Originally posted on my personal Facebook page on June 1, 2012:

This may not make any sense to many—but for some, it will make a great deal of sense.  For those that it doesn’t, bear with me, lol.

Yesterday, I was thinking back on the last several years, trying to pinpoint the “why” and “how” of certain things.  There have been many times in my adult life that were hard—but there was/is something distinctly different this time.

Then it occurred to me.  While it was very subtle, hints started creeping in around the time I witnessed that breath-taking sunset in the Grand Tetons around 2005—the one that inspired me to start writing “Revelation of John,” and worsened significantly after it was published in 2006/07 and I was promoting it.  There was a brief interlude as I stopped actively putting it out to the world.

Then something pushed me to take the step I took in the fall of 2008.  Fate?  I don’t know—but it was something I felt I must do.  The resulting circumstances set off a chain of very unusual—but amazing—events that are too personal to discuss here (and are fully understood by only one other person on this planet).   In any case, since then things have slowly escalated, sometimes to ridiculous levels—as I struggled with life circumstances, desperately trying to find inspiration… and my writing voice, once again.  Knowing so much more exists in there and not being able to tap into it has brought a great deal of frustration to me.  Perhaps the impending writing class I’m taking will open that up.  What will happen concerning my writing… and my personal/love life… remains to be seen.

Eyes opened, I believe I’ve learned a lesson here.  Whenever you put something good and genuine into the world—something with the potential to reach many and bring them truth, hope, and light—anything and everything will be done to bring you down into the depths and stop you (particularly when you are a very empathic person).  If you continue on with that mission… Darkness continues pushing back.  Thankfully—even though in the thick of it it’s hard to remember—I already know that whatever happens in this life… Love and Light wins.   It’s also fortunate that I was raised by the woman that I was, and that I have my dad’s “Miller” genes running through my veins.   You may be able to knock us down for a time… but we’ll eventually come back up—and we’ll be swinging, lol.

I am not afraid.  I will continue fighting the good fight knowing I have a spiritual army behind me, and as my late Grandfather urged in his last words to me… I will “write another story.”

God Bless!

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The Dead Have Power Too…
August 10, 2012, 8:24 pm
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Originally posted on the PRS Bureau website on June 15, 2012:

I do quite a bit of reading and researching into the Native American culture (mostly in the Midwest, particularly the Ohio Mound Builder cultures–but other areas interest me as well).  I’ve even got a little bit of Cherokee blood running through my veins.  Recently, I came across this quote from Chief Seattle in 1855 (not the movie quote version… but the actual speech).  The last paragraph really struck me:

“The young men, the mothers, the girls, the little children who once lived and were happy here, still love these lonely places. And at evening the forests are dark with the presence of the dead. When the last red man has vanished from this earth, and his memory is only a story among the whites, these shores will still swarm with the invisible dead of my people. And when your children’s children think they are alone in the fields, the forests, the shops, the highways, or the quiet of the woods, they will not be alone. There is no place in this country where a man can be alone. At night when the streets of your town and cities are quiet, and you think they are empty, they will throng with the returning spirits that once thronged them, and that still love those places. The white man will never be alone.

So let him be just and deal kindly with my people. The dead have power too.”

Really makes you think…

(The full speech:

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The Woman Who Walks Alone
August 10, 2012, 8:22 pm
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Originally posted on my personal Facebook page on July 4, 2012:

I have felt lonely most of my life… in one way or another—but these last couple of years since my divorce and the changing dynamic of what once was a whole family (no matter how flawed), have been a particularly difficult struggle.

I had been waiting for a particular relationship in my life that—no matter how hard I tried—never fully came about.  Having no family or good friends in the area and starting to feel desperate, I decided to that I needed to force myself to actively search for companionship.  I looked into the popular dating sites, only to be frustrated by the process.   I then considered trying to find a group to meet-up with of people in similar life circumstances.  It was about that time that I noticed a flyer for a local Christian church’s large, ongoing singles’ meet-ups.  I wasn’t expecting to meet the love of my life… but I WAS hoping that at least I’d meet a friend or two—someone to take away the loneliness (if only briefly every couple of weeks).  Besides, some of the activities looked fun and inexpensive.

A few weeks later, I attended my first meet-up—an evening bowling. It was relatively fun, though the turn-out was sparse because it was a holiday weekend.  The people seemed very nice, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that many of them—if they knew certain important things about my life—would either shun me or at the very least politely try to change those things about me.  I knew from this first evening that I would likely not form any close relationships with these people—but at least they could provide some transitory companionship and entertainment now and then.   I made a decision to attend other meet-ups (dinners, dances, talks, etc.) in the future.

But every time I made plans, something came up (my work, illness, my ex-husband’s schedule, one of my kid’s needs, homework due, no money, etc.) to prevent me from going.  It was disappointing.  I saw one thing on the calendar that greatly interested me, though—and I resolved to attend it… a Saturday hike in Clifton Gorge near Yellow Springs.  I set everything up—and though my social anxiety stepped in occasionally—I grew more excited by the day to attend this event and spend time in nature with some new friends.  Maybe fate would even step in and give me that one special kindred spirit I longed for.

The night before, I prepared everything I would need to go into the woods for the afternoon.  That morning, I nervously got myself ready and set off for Clifton Gorge.  It was my weekend without the kids and I was anxious to get out for the day, as things had been tense with my ex around that time and I didn’t feel comfortable in the house.  After a pleasant drive, I arrived at exactly 10:30 a.m. in a lot off the highway for the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.  It was nearly full of cars, but not a single hiker in sight.  I parked, threw on my backpack, and looked around for a moment.  No one.  I stood at the head of the trail for several minutes, thinking perhaps it had been canceled or everyone was just late.  But after awhile, I knew no one was coming.  Taking out my phone, I double-checked the church’s website for the event.  I felt my heart sink.  I had checked the site a few different times, and I could have sworn it said to meet at 10:30 each time (just the night before even)—yet now the site said everyone was to meet at 10:00.  I was 30 minutes late.  Everyone had already met and was well on their way down the trail.

I stood staring at the trailhead.  I was really looking forward to this hike—but would it be safe for a woman of small stature with no personal weapons on her to hike a couple of miles in the woods and into a gorge (just outside of a major city, no less) by herself?  A funny thing about me—the last year or so, I have become relatively fearless—not afraid to die and trusting that if it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go.  Several times over the last couple of years, I’ve done things on my own that many would find risky or insane—or would just be scared shitless to try.  Not much truly frightens me anymore (whether physical, spiritual, or paranormal). I’ve just been driven to push myself beyond.  So, I decided I would take this hike on my own.

I stepped purposely into the woods on the outside, but inside my heart was breaking.  Was I going to be lonely forever?  I had forced myself to do this—to be social and try to meet people—only to end up alone again.  I was so looking forward to it.  It almost seemed like the Universe had pulled a cruel, cosmic joke on me—getting my hopes up, luring me here, then changing the times—just to watch my heart break into pieces once again.  For the first several minutes as I strode along the trail next to a cliff over-looking the river gorge below, I had silent tears running down my face.

But gradually, I began to notice the beauty of the woods and the water flowing at the bottom of the cliff.  The sunlight filtered through the leaves high above.  The air smelled like soil and leaves.  I felt like I was a little girl again—playing by myself in the woods back in Illinois.  I did pass other hikers on the trail here and there—and didn’t fail to notice that most of them were distracted talking to one another while hiking.  Some even looked annoyed at their fellow hikers’ conversations.  I suddenly began to feel thankful that I was enjoying this alone (along with whatever divine presence that was accompanying me).

I hiked along an old stagecoach trail.  I saw beautiful little waterfalls.  I stood on the edge of the cliff (literally), even though heights make me a bit weak in the knees.  I braved encounters with snakes lying along the trail (though they repulse me).   I scaled up and down boulders and steep inclines in order to get to the bottom of the gorge.  I even crawled in and explored small caves along the trail.  All alone.

After a few hours of non-stop exploring and hiking on rough terrain, I was tired and sweaty (and thanking God I was by myself, because I’m sure I looked and smelled absolutely horrible by that time).  As I headed back to my car, I began to realize that maybe it wasn’t a cruel joke the Universe had played on me.  Maybe the only way God could get me to come to Clifton Gorge was via this group outing.  But since I really wasn’t meant to meet anyone and needed to experience this alone—as I am quite sure I would not have hiked as far or have seen/felt as much if I had went with this group—I missed them by minutes.

Not saying that I don’t still feel lonely much of the time (both spiritually and physically)… and not saying that I don’t want to have regular contact with a kindred spirit… but a quote I recently read sums it up perfectly:

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”  ― Albert Einstein

If you’re in the mood for a moment of tranquility, take a look at this short clip I filmed of the river that day:

Much Love,


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“I Carry Your Heart With Me” by e.e. cummings
August 9, 2012, 11:10 pm
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Yeah, yeah, I know… it’s sappy. My next poetry reading is “I Carry Your Heart With Me” by e.e. cummings.  Enjoy… or at least don’t break your computer trying to get my face off the screen. ;-P

“I Carry Your Heart With Me” by e.e. cummings

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Lord, In Your Mercy…
August 9, 2012, 11:42 am
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Consider Matthew 6: 25-26…

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (NIV)

This is a verse meant to stir feelings of comfort and security in Christians. On the surface, it certainly does appear to bring a great deal of relief to some. After all, just getting the basics of survival can be very difficult for many people (even in the great U.S. of A.)—a fact of life I’m learning the hard way more and more every day lately.

Now take a good look at the picture below and read the accompanying explanation:

Multiply this circumstance times a billion—for innocent and helpless humans and for mistreated pets/animals. How can a believer reconcile this? How can one believe in a just and loving God—the God Jesus describes in the Scriptures—yet still view photographs and stories such as the above and NOT become an atheist, or at the very least agnostic? I admit, while harboring a deep spiritual side, these doubts and obvious contradictions have crept in over the years—quietly and insidiously destroying the foundation of my belief. I just cannot buy into some people’s beliefs that these innocents suffer and die because God is punishing them (or the group to which they belong) for some perceived sin. I also cannot accept that God allows these helpless people and animals to suffer because they don’t “know Jesus,” pray correctly, or pray to the “right” god. If this is something you believe, ask yourself why you choose to worship a god that would let innocent creatures suffer over such petty and dogmatic reasons that are many times due to circumstances of which they are unaware or that are beyond their control.

It also begs the question—what use is prayer (assuming that God actually exists… and I’ve seen too much in life to believe that some kind of involved Higher Power doesn’t exist)? If God is unwilling to give a completely helpless and innocent child such as the one pictured any real assistance and help him be healthy enough to survive without being in agony… why would anyone in our privileged world dare to believe that prayers to God for a friend’s healing or to find a good job or to help your child do well on a test will be answered in favor? Why even bother with prayer requests?

In particularly low moments over the last few years these doubts have gnawed at my gut; causing me to wonder why life is even worth living at all if it contains such random and seemingly meaningless suffering—such as the picture of the starving child clearly in pain (a vulture hovering nearby waiting to devour what little is available of his body). Death by abuse, starvation, and/or dehydration is slow and extremely painful. Being assaulted daily by the media of images of suffering and mistreated animals—the innocent of the innocent—does nothing to help this feeling of despair for life in general.

Several days ago, this issue came to the forefront of my mind and for some reason, I decided to throw caution to the wind and directly ask God “why?” I can certainly understand the depression, guilt, and irreconcilable issues that plagued the photographer and contributed to his suicide shortly after taking the photograph above—but perhaps this is where Mr. Carter and I diverged. Moments after I poised the question to God (not really expecting any kind of answer or relief from the issue that gnawed at my heart and mind), an incredible feeling/knowing swept through me instantaneously. Though this concept had been vaguely floating around in the back of my mind for years, it suddenly became clear to me… and hopefully I will be able to make my revelation just as clear to you:

There are some souls who come into a life specifically knowing that they will suffer greatly. Why would anyone do that? Yes, there are hardships in life; and how else can we “try our souls” but by living through those occasional adversities. But why agree to spend an entire life (however short) riddled with almost continuous severe problems and pain—with issues that no one (including God and the person affected) seems to be able to solve—even unto death?

The answer is very simple: for others. Those fearless souls give the rest of humanity a chance to prove themselves. How else could one learn how much compassion he or she has in his/her being without the chance to act upon the seemingly tragic? Of course God could step in at any moment and end the suffering—but that would only rend pointless these souls’ missions on Earth. If the person or animal in question continues to suffer or dies (regardless of how, including suicide), it is only because we as a whole failed to show compassion. We failed to do whatever it is in our power to do and act upon the tragedy. The end result has no bearing on what happens to the soul of that martyr; living with the aftermath is only a consequence of our fear, apathy, and indifference, urging us to do better next time we encounter such a soul.

Perhaps some brave souls also seem to meaninglessly suffer (and even perish) from an extreme hardship—regardless of how much people try to help that soul—for the specific reason of opening others’ eyes. One good example (though laced with fictional overtones) comes from the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose. While no one could truly understand why God had allowed this girl to be overtaken and suffer to the point of death from possession, “Emily Rose” knew, writing: “People say that God is dead. But how can they think that if I show them the devil?”

Praying and asking for intervention for a person is a wonderful way to let God and the person involved know we’re thinking about them, but sometimes it’s only done to assuage our own guilt. Sometimes God wants us to do more; to do whatever is in our power—no matter how small—to help. YOU may be the answer to someone else’s prayer!  What good is it for you to merely put in another request to God, when God put YOU there to actually do something to help?

Once we’ve physically done all in our power to help another in need (or if there is nothing that we can do to help), there is yet another option I believe many people overlook or just plain find weird, dismissing it entirely: sending healing energy and/or visualizing “White Light” surrounding the individual in question. This isn’t necessarily asking God to intervene, but calling upon and directing Universal forces and energy to proactively help another being.

Now I’ll let you in on a secret… over the last several years, if I’ve ever told you I was praying for you, it likely wasn’t the kind of prayer you wanted me to pray to God. When I pray directly to God it is either just to have someone to talk to, to give thanks, or for God’s Will to be done—no matter what that may be—for the ultimate good of all. I may also ask that any comfort that can be given to the individual and those affected, be given. After all it isn’t as if God is going to say, “Well, it looks like X number of people badly want this to happen, so maybe I was wrong.” Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in instances of divine intervention, miracles, and in angels—but somehow I don’t believe the Universe is a democracy and that things happen solely on the premise of the number or intensity of people “voting” with their prayers. They may happen—but they happen for far more profound and personal reasons than begging God.

When I say I am thinking about/praying for you, it is more likely an exercise in drawing up/directing energy and surrounding you with Light. Regardless of the outcome, positive or negative, I know there was a reason for what happened… either as a lesson for myself or for others. This is also why one should never shun another who seems to always have too many problems, seems too negative, and/or nothing you do or say seems to help them. You don’t need to get mired in their negativity—but at the same time, God put him or her in your life for a reason… and that reason usually isn’t to ignore them until they leave or “get better,” or to cut them out entirely in order for you to have a slightly more happy life.  That doesn’t mean passively taking someone’s physical or emotional abuse; it is only meant to discourage spiritual abandonment of another.

Now some reading may think I’m downplaying people’s suffering (as if they brought it on themselves) or even shifting blame—particularly from God or from people who don’t do enough to take responsibility for their own lives. There are so many factors involved; so many intricate workings in life to be able to say who has truly been sent here in order to give others a chance to flex their compassionate muscles and teach the hard lessons of life—and those who just need a swift kick in the ass. Some may even say I’m rationalizing—reaching to give meaning to a meaningless, godless world. Who knows the Ultimate Truth? But I’ve always been one who tends to go with the most simple and elegant solution—yet contains the most profound truths, those usually hidden in plain sight. Regardless of my beliefs there is something with which we all can agree, summed up most beautifully in this simple photo:

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