Magic Words


Me: Chicken?

Hank: My mama?

Me: It is almost 11 o’clock and I hear you telling yourself a wonderful story, but I think it is much to exciting and keeping you awake rather than taking you off to dreaming.

Hank: I am wide awake!  Do you have time for questions?

Me: I had time for questions when I put you in this bed about an hour and a half ago.  Right now we need to focus on getting your eyes closed and your dreams begun. Do you have any ideas?

Hank: I tried a story and that did not work and… there is one thing.

Me: Oh?

Hank: Pai’s (dad’s) magical hot chocolate sleepy milk.

Me: Oh yah?

Hank: That may do it.  He has a trick and a secret and when he makes it for me I get very sleepy.

Me: What is the difference between my chocolate milk and your Pai’s Magical Sleepy Hot Chocolate Milk?

Hank: Do you put the chocolate in first or the milk?

Me: I put the chocolate.

Hank: Than he puts the milk in first.

Me: Oh, I see and are there any magic words?

Hank: Please and thank you.

Me: HA!  I was more thinking abracadabra, but I think you hit the nail on the head.


Sitting in her grace, eating soup, grateful.


Me: Hello the house!

Hank: Papa!

Pai: Where have you been?

Me: We got lost at Ana and Irina’s house and all of a sudden it was 8pm! What is that amazing smell?

Pai: Soup.

Me: Marvelous.

Hank: I will get the spoons.

Pai: By the way, I heard about Maya Angelou.  How are you doing?

Me: I am an utter mess.  I was working on this new drawing when I heard and I actually shouted, “No!”

Hank: Who is this?

Me: Dr. Maya Angelou.  Her journey ended today.  She is one of my greatest teachers.

Pai: She was a writer and a poet.

Me: Her books and her poems and also her life are an inspiration to me.  It is like she has been holding my hand since I was young and showing me the way of things.  I had a good cry.  Just weeping big, fat crocodile tears not because I am sad that she is gone, because of all the people in this world I think she has moved on to whatever is next with the least fear and the most grace, but because I am not ready.  I am just not ready.

Hank: We should send her an email.


Me: You think?

Hank: Yes.

Me: But she is no longer here.

Hank: Yes, but we should still send her an email and see what magic comes back!

Me: Ha!  We should, but I do not have her email.

Pai: Your Mãe (mom) didn’t know Maya Angelou.

Hank: You didn’t?

Me: Nope.  I have never met her.  Never shook her hand, but I knew her because she let me sit with her in her books, and in her poems and when she gave advice.  She gave so much to this world and to me and to so many others.

Hank: Then we should go to the sea, instead of sending an email, and she will be there.  She will be everywhere.

Me: True.  She is everywhere.  Her grace lingers, but of all the people who ever lived I think she live one of the best lives and deserves a bit of time just for herself and whatever comes next.

Hank: It’s a mystery.

Me: Indeed.





Me: … You get what you give!

Alfredo: It’s Karma.

Hank: What is karma?

Alfredo: I leave this up to you, Hanford.

Me: Hank, you know the world has many teachers?

Hank: Sure.

Me: Well, even though there are a diverse amount of teachers in the world there are some ideas they all teach.  These are called universal truths.  No matter what part of the world you are born or what teacher you follow or religion you practice there are some things all people believe.  One important idea is to be kind and respectful.  Treat others the way you want to be treated. Some teachers say this will get you into heaven.  Some teachers believe that if you are unkind it will effect your Karma.  Karma is kinda like Santa’s Nice and Naughty List.

Hank: Ok.

Me: Karma is the belief that if you do a bad thing it follows you.  Your bad deeds effects your Karma and eventually you will be punished in return.

Hank: Like feeling guilty?

Me: Exactly.  Guilt is one of the worst punishments.  But some believe that your bad deeds will cause bad things to happen to you in the future.  You loose your house in a flood… Must have been your karma.  You can’t find a job…  must be your karma.  Some people also believe Karma follows you even after you die.

Hank: Really?

Alfredo: (googling) Karma is defined as, “intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual.”

Me: So it is important to be respectful and mindful of others and how you treat them.  Not everyone in this world is a good person.  And if you believe in Karma you can trust that in the future they will understand the hurt they brought to others personally. Some people also believe in instant Karma.

Alfredo: Brace yourself, Hank.  I think your mãe (mom) is going to sing.

Me: (indeed singing) Instant Karma’s gonna get you…

Alfredo: Here we go!

Hank: (giggling)

Me: (really singing) Its gonna knock you right in the head. You better get yourself together, darlin’.  Pretty soon your gonna be dead.  What in the world you thinking of?
Laughing in the face of love.  What on Earth you try to do.
It’s up to you,  YEAH YOU!

Alfredo: I wonder what John Lennon would think of your rendition?

Me: He’d think: (in my best worst Liverpool accent) “That bird’s a right Yank, but she gets it.”

Hank: I don’t understand anything you are saying right now.