Could the flows of humanity participating in Occupy Wall Street or “Occupy” be the ultimate voice in helping us to understand that fundamental rights of men are being bartered away? (more…)
Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category
Perhaps it’s because my own mother only breast-fed me for two weeks before she had to go back to work, (more…)
Official sources report that GOP candidate Herman Cain will receive Secret Service protection as of Thursday, November 17. This follows an incident where a reporter for CBS was tackled by a police officer in Florida during a campaign speech. (more…)
As advances are made in science and biotechnology, the more the human race begins to dabble in an arena that should solely belong to Mother Nature by developing genetically engineered food. (more…)
While the Occupy Wall Street movement officially discourages violence at protests, there have been some clashes between the protesters and local police in highly populated areas.
5% of the world’s biodiversity (animal and plant life) is in Costa Rica, more than Europe and the United States combined, all in an area of the size of West Virginia. (more…)
According to the watchdog site DrugSense.org federal law enforcement officials spent taxpayer dollars at the rate of $500 per second in 2010 battling illegal drug use across the country. (more…)
In the deadliest single combat incident of the decade-long war, America’s longest, the Taliban say they downed a NATO helicopter in eastern Afghanistan killing at least 31 US and seven Afghan soldiers. (more…)
Anders Behring Breivik spent eight years planning two deadly attacks. In less than two hours, he had killed 76 innocent people and injured many others. Chaos and destruction had been bought to the peaceful country of Norway. (more…)
A Spanish mother has taken revenge on the man who raped her 13-year-old daughter at knife point by dousing him in gasoline and setting him on fire. He died of his injuries eleven days later in hospital.
The basket case that is the Greek economy and its sovereign debt (the lowest ranked in the world) is playing out like a classic Greek tragedy on the minds of European heads and their finance ministers. (more…)
Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign a GCC-brokered power transition deal on Sunday, shortly after his party and its partners concluded the deal that would see him out of power in return for immunity from prosecution and end month-long protests. (more…)
In a time when being “first” in Reno usually means topping the list of something bad, Reno residents are amused to see that Google has picked us for something good… we hope. (more…)
In another stunning reversal of policy, the U.S. now seeks the removal of Yemen’s besieged president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a long supported and key ally of Washington in the fight against al-Qaeda in the strategic Arabian Peninsula. (more…)
Protesters who wave “Don’t cut school funding” signs at Nevada’s Gov. Sandoval in Carson City need to target the real enemy: the Washoe County School District (WCSD). These bozos are wasting our money. Big time. (more…)
Joseph Lieberman and two other senators who plan to give the US President emergency Internet authority, otherwise know as the “Internet KILL Switch” are protesting comparisons to Iran, China, Egypt, and Syria cutting off their citizens access to the Internet. Critics say that this will put the US in the same group – “the Coalition for Internet Censorship”. (more…)
As I sit at my desk, overlooking an orange orchard and the mountains in the distance with the sea behind me, I wonder if I’m over exaggerating the growing sense of unease and dissatisfaction I feel. (more…)
A veteran psychiatrist now claims that liberalism is a mental disorder, not purely a political choice. (more…)
SANA’A, YEMEN- Several people were killed and a countless number of others, hundreds maybe a thousand, injured, many seriously, in some Yemeni cities including the capital Sana’a where the security forces attacked early Saturday morning the tens of thousands of the sit-inners outside Sana’a University. (more…)
An anti-government sit-inner died from his injuries on Wednesday a day after riot police and pro-regime bullies opened fire at and sniped a group of the thousands of the youths who have been conducting a sit-in outside Sana’a University in Yemen’s capital for a fourth week. (more…)
Both equally protected by the U.S. Constitution, both equally insensitive to many people throughout the world, but both not equally treated by the White House, the media, nor even the ACLU. (more…)
The one year anniversary of the Afghanistan Shi’ite Personal Status Law passed without even a whisper from the U.S. media. Apparently, daily stories of oiled-soiled pelicans are vastly more important and newsworthy to CNN and FOX, as well for the alphabet soup of “news” of organizations vying for the attention of the coveted U.S. population. (more…)
Over 11,000 U.S. and Afghan troops encircled an area in southern Afghanistan called Marjah to defeat a just few hundred Taliban fighters. (more…)
I have come to a conclusion.
I want JOY even in the face of adversity.
Adversity has it’s own demonic seduction, pulling the participant down, down, down, further, which can be a dramatic experience.
To hold out for joy though, even while undergoing adversity, is to give adversity a kick in its backside, to say screw you, you don’t get to own all of me.
It is a commitment, a willingness, not to let the beautiful childlike parts of ourselves disappear.
It’s a snow angel on a stormy day.
It’s popping soap bubbles floating and casting rainbows, not to destroy them, but to be a part of a larger imagining.
There is no reason to ever disown the primordial elements of me.
How about you?
To judge or not to judge? Is that even an appropriate question?
To judge connotes disregarding the flaws, the weakness, the humanity in others.
To not judge, may suggest, to those struggling to survive, allowing others to take advantage.
Is there a bright line rule?
Is it possible to live in the spirit of pure love, whose necessary components are a lack of judgment and forgiveness?
When I think of the word, children, I feel a warmth of hope and love. My mind’s eye visualizes sunshine, light, meadows of flowers, playgrounds, health and wellness. Sadly, as we all know in so many different ways, the greatest treasure of this Earth, children, do not always get to enjoy what I have described.
There are many, many organizations that help children. Many people silently helping children, whether it is a kind smile, a laugh, anonymous donations. The source of helping children is endless, and in so doing, we help ourselves.
Today, I want to feature one Organization, Hagar
Take some time and look at what they have achieved and the stories there are to be shared, through the misery came hope, courage and amazing, amazing heartfelt action.
Precious, defined conventionally according to Urban Dictionary, in part, as follows:
Something that means more to you than anyone could understand. It’s value and worth can’t be defined and you’d do anything to keep it. Beautiful and delicate.
Now, I understand. Something, someone worth more than can be defined. And that is the courageous young woman protrayed in Sapphire’s novel, Push, and now converted for a major motion picture, “Precious”. Not sure I like the entire definition linked hereto, we here at surface earth don’t like the word “obese”, it seems like a silly definition for those that weigh more than some others.
Regardless, I read the N.Y. Times Magazine article, “The Audacity of Precious“. The article asked if America was ready to hear this story, why, because it is true in many different ways and a large percentage of us walk by with eyes closed? Also, to be noted, a play on President Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope“. (Don’t get us started, at least for the moment, when people, news organizations, refer to our President as “Mr”. Come on, bitter grapes? He holds the highest office, can’t be that hard to address the gentleman as President.).
Is America ready to wake up? That’s what I wonder. I also wonder at my own perpetual sleep. Where was I, when Precious (fictional, but please, so many like her), was battling such odds? Where am I today and where is she?
We can sit and blame, point fingers, watch Fox News and hear supposed intellectuals scream at each other, but what happens as a result? Not much.
Aren’t we all part of the same web, the same consciousness, the same universal heart?
Should not my heart have broken when Precious or a young lady like her character lived through these moments? Should I not have been unable to breath as I was otherwise engaged in my daily living? If so, that would be conscious living, an inability to ignore when others suffer.
I am rambling my friends, but what are we doing? As a society, we should be able to do better at the beginning levels, if we see a child on the outside, jump in. Doesn’t mean we have to have an overreaching arm, it means in our moments involved, we don’t let a child sit in the back, we don’t let other kids in “our group” dis another, we don’t subscribe to it, we don’t breath it, we don’t allow it. In doing so, can’t we weave a safety net and pick up more than we would if our eyes were closed and we sat on our hands?
I had a hard time reading this book, almost put it down several times, but you know what? I struggled with reading the truth, the truth, I was not the one that had to endure living it.
Don’t give me any gods, any religious institutions, any walls or parameters where I can sit and ignore this happens to children who become adults and are ignored by their fellow man. Well not by all, read the book, there are those that ultimately, were not asleep at the wheel, and continue to be awake and pull the load for the rest of us.
May God bless them, and my I someday evolve to have 1/100 of the heart and courage of the young lady portrayed.
I am the glass shattered
On a clear
Appearing as ice
On an otherwise
I am the dove
Holding her sound
Of the gray sky
I am the mountain
Beneath the sun
Holding the tendrils
To not unleash
Upon the plains
I am the air
Whether or not
You call me
*image credit: Adobe
Here are two recommended “reads”.
Obviously, the world is chockful of books recommend to read, but today, I want to share two:
1. Half the Sky
Why? Because the book “is”.
How many times do you spend a moment asking what can I do? This book is replete with organizations we can help. The book is a must read, but as you go through, you can see what resonates, and choose what works for you. The only thing we ask is that you don’t think too much and you do jump in and act. Most of the time, we (me) are drawn to these stories because on some level, we know as we get ready for the day, wave at the yellow school bus, pack lunches, have meetings, have lunch, agree as to what is ever so important, there are things on invisible levels that are occurring and because we don’t see them does not mean they don’t exist. Again, jump in, this book provides more than enough avenues for us to help each other.
I reviewed the site for “Half the Sky”, I tried to capture the endorsements, Angelina Jolie, because we like her, despite society’s attempt to bring her down, I mean really, what’s the point? She’s real. George Clooney, and more importantly, sorry George, Greg Mortensen, the author of Three Cups of Tea, the story, the book that has rocked this nation and has made it REQUIRED reading in high schools. Short: the endorsements bear witness to the enormity of what they speak: EQUALITY, RESPECT, KINDNESS, COMPASSION, LOVE.
Is it really so hard to comprehend?
I throw down my hat, I am a litigation attorney in the U.S. that can only tell you this, aside from the ones we protect on humanitarian and civil liberty issues, the rest is garbage, the stuff we should be able to figure out ourselves, peaceably, without the use of middle-people. The day may come though, when enough voices raise, when we don’t need attorneys (including me) and we trust and care for one another.
2. Girl Mary, by Petru Popescu
…because he portrays Mary as a female, as a beating heart, as one heck of a contender.
I think it’s time for a bit of a rambling post.
Let’s take two different and yet somehow related issues:
1. Streaks of misfortune; and
2. Decision to maybe stop reading/watching any mainstream media.
You may ask, as I did, what could these two things possibly have in common? Well, it’s a long meandering discussion, not quite a conclusion.
Let’s say for instance you believe, on what basis doesn’t matter, that the space around us is becoming choked with negativity.
The TV signals, the cable signals, the phone signals, the texting, the twitting tweeters, the emails, the blogs, the constant pouring out of media, media, media and advertisement into the vortex which surrounds. Do we really think it is invisible and without effect?
The signals pass by us when we are awake and asleep, passing geographical boundaries drawn on an ever changing map, passing gender boundaries, cultural and religious boundaries also. Passing over, intersecting, overlapping belief systems centuries old. Yet, we only think of it as communication. (What we can’t see, can’t hurt us, right?)
Yet, as I drive down the street, how do I not know that someone’s email transmission is hurtling straight through me and altering my own energetic path?
Whether we agree or don’t agree as to the form of negative thought, emotions, intent, etc., the reality is, negativity exists. If I hurt, I know it is true, because I feel it. If I am angry, I know it is true, because I feel it. If I am negative, I know it is true because I feel it. Yet, I don’t look for proof of it, I don’t require a statistical analysis, I don’t require to hold it in my hand, because I know it to be true.
So also do I know that the information we send through invisible networks is true. It appears on my t.v., it appears on my phone, it appears on my computer. Where then, is the substance?
Where do the moments of grief, sadness, anger, frustration, loss, negativity, the sum total of the mass of those emotions, reside? Do they all get delivered into the inbox? Does only a fraction of the emotion get delivered and part remain with the sender and the other diffused particles scatter catching others unaware, an unintended and unexpected blue moment? (p.s. never understood why we insult the word blue in such a way).
I think we are choking the air around us. When CNN or FoxNews blares, Alert! Alert! Alert! and then you find it is just another piece on Dave Letterman, you have to wonder, what are we receiving? 1. The intention to create sensation; and 2. the hopes and dreams of the staff that created the piece, bringing in their own liFe stories, needs, desires and frustrations; and 3. a willingness to disregard where else we maybe should be heading as society. That is a short list, but I ask you, where does the essence, the energy, of numbers 1, 2 and 3 land?
If I have a day, when the oven starts to malfunction, the washer broke, the windows are leaking and walls disintegrating and then the microwave inexplicitaly begins to smoke, do I say: 1. hmm, guess they are all at their life expectancy; or 2. I’m receiving some bad energy and need to re-balance? (Do we dare mention buying the microwave, bringing it home, only to find out it is defective? No, let’s just skip that for now.)
At the expense of sounding mad, I’m going with #2. There’s too much bad energy being drawn in.
I believe the air around us is becoming dense, the emotions we are flinging into the invisible realm are starting to reflect back, after all, even if we can’t see it, our words are going somewhere, they are disrupting and altering space on their travels, how can we possibly believe otherwise?
There is a particular scene in the movie, Zathura, that came as close as anything has to my mental wanderings of what it would be like if my soul and my human self were to meet each other in the same moment.
At the end of the film, the “older”, (I say that gently, older compared to an adolescent), male character that has been battling the forces with the children, reaches out and touches the one brother on the shoulder, his younger, shadow self.
I wonder, is that what it would be like? A fun house mirror reflection looking upon itself?
I’m afraid you will have to watch it to see what I mean….(actually, it is a wonderful film, so I take that back, I’m not afraid to recommend that at all.)
With all the chatter in the media about Congress spending $500 Billion for this and $500 billion for that, we thought it worthwhile to put all that cash in perspective. I have held a few $20 bills in my hand, so I can imagine what a few hundred dollars would look like, or perhaps even one thousand dollars. But a million dollars? A billion dollars?
This is $10,000 in $100 bills.
I reflected today on that simple phrase: Do No Harm.
I realized it would be a lottery ticket for the human race.
If we were to all adopt that mantra, breath and live it, we could re-balance the world.
I had been driving home from a meeting and was thinking of the state of the world. Thinking about the fact that ‘griping’ does little more than add more negativity (believe me, I can ‘gripe’) and I thought of the pure wisdom in the phrase ‘Do No Harm’. Instant winnings.
I of course digressed, suppose we strove to do the right thing only it turned out to be the wrong thing? Where would we go to find a point of reference? Again my mind turned to the phrase: ‘Do No Harm’.
I’m not trying to be redundant, it is occurring naturally. It is so very, very simple. We don’t have to worry about right or wrong if we follow those three little words.
I sometimes am dragged down, beyond my own bent for believing in the positive, and become saddened at the horrendous things that occur against humans, against animals, against the planet. How naive we can be to think we know much of anything. This whole limitless; yet, maybe self-repeating universe beyond us, what is it that we think we know? Can we truly believe we know anything as we sit and breath and live and laugh and love as even one human being, let alone, one child, goes harmed in the same moment?
I’m not much about division. I think that as I lift the fork to my mouth in celebration of a good meal, there is someone, somewhere, that cannot do the same, and to me, it makes no sense.
I find my comfort today in the words: Do No Harm.
If we all believed and lived this, I think, a lot of the ‘bad’ would take care of itself.
Now there are so many ways we could distort this, I don’t think you have the time or the patience for me to go through the variations, so I leave us with the simple import.
Can you choose your color today, or must others still do that for you? Can anyone of us with mixed heritage be predominantly called by just one name? More importantly, what does that say about the heritage you choose (or is chosen for you), and the heritage not chosen? It appears to me that regardless of your standing in society, regardless of your accomplishments or natural talents, you still must choose a color – or one will be chosen for you. (more…)
Senator Edward Kennedy (1932-2009)
[Photo Credit: AP]
In regards to civil rights, health, and the economic well-being of the average American, few elected officials anywhere have accomplished as much. (more…)
“Throw in a few billion here and a few billion there, and before you know it, you are talking about real money…” . I don’t recall who first coined that phrase, (I think it was in the late ’80s), but when I first heard it, it was Millions not Billions! (more…)
[Photo credit: Ahmad Masood/Reuters]
Without much of a fuss made by the media, if even reported at all, last month Afghanistan’s new Shiite Personal Status Law was put into effect. The law grants Shiite men the legal right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met. These sexual demands are not defined or limited by the law. The law also requires Shiite women to obtain permission from their husbands to even leave their home. Parental custody is solely the father’s or, in his absence, the paternal grandfather. Incredibly, the law also allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her. That payment, of course, is offered to the father, paternal grandfather or the brothers of the raped girl. (more…)
What are words?
I used to believe words were comprised of language, letters, consonants, vowels, pronunciations.
Now I am not so sure.
Are not words pre-formed images, that sometime before adopting, we agree are to be transmitted?
Is not the unfinished painting above a compilation of words?
“Before she became ill, David’s mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren’t alive in the way that people were alive, or even dogs or cats. People were alive whether you chose to notice them or not, while dogs tended to make you notice them if they decided that you weren’t paying them enough attention. Cats, meanwhile, were very good at pretending people didn’t exist at all when it suited them, but that was another matter entirely.
Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no read existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination, and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David’s mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.”
The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly, copyright 2006, p. 3.
Henry Louis Gates, James Crowley and Barack Obama (“the boys”) hoisted some cold suds on the South Lawn of the White House today in a carefully orchestrated event for the whole world to experience. This was, as the White House called it, a “teachable moment” on race in America. We couldn’t be happier for them, you know, the boys – for they have suffered so much. (more…)
Was it the case of all humanity being asleep when President Obama asked us: ….the red or the blue pill…?
*btw: don’t even get us going on those of you out there that call President Obama, “Mr. Obama”, he achieves the highest office of the land and we can’t consistently give him the accolade of PRESIDENT? Please, we are asking all of you, stop calling him Mr. and stop calling the beautiful Michelle Mrs., it is time, call them what they achived: PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY.
Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole ‘IZ’ ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ HQ
Take a moment.
What absolute beauty.
$1200 a year.
It’s a lot for some of us.
Suppose some of us could come together and sponsor a child?
We owe it to each other and to the future, to help the young ones. $1200 a year is much too much for many of us, suppose we had a network where 12 of us could come together and give $100 a year? Is it possible?
Imagine how you, I, we, could feel waking up each day knowing we have helped a child that maybe believed they were beyond hope?
Please, leave your comments and thoughts to help the innocent.
Our blessings to you.
I call it Micro-Hope.
It’s my word, I guess.
What it encompasses is trying to find a way to buy what we need from each other.
I have asked Shelley Seale, the author, for links to foundations/groups that we can help. She has supplied me with a link to her site: See Shelley’s Resources.
I am also attempting to amass links to individuals, women, families, children, trying to make a living. I will start small but ask all of you to stop in, share some links, and we will update accordingly.
We are at the beginning of amassing sites/references/resources to help one another. Please help us.
The Creative Steps Day Care, a Philadelphia-area day care center, said Thursday, that members of a private swim club the organization had paid to attend, made racist comments about the center’s children to the point of bringing some of the young children to tears. Not to be outdone by its racist members, the swim club then quickly canceled the swimming privileges of all the children – from the day care center! (more…)
In physics, the principle of relativity is the requirement that the laws of physics in the observable world have the same form in all admissible frames of reference.
Now observe this photo of two little girls standing on the balcony of their home in Rafah, Gaza Strip – their observable world.
Sex continues to unravel many political careers, so much so that I submit we are painfully bored by the news unless it details news ‘off the beaten trail’. For example, I submit for your consideration Larry Craig, the Idaho senator whose “wide stance” whilst using the public toilet led to what he characterizes as a “miss understanding” of his intentions to an undercover Idaho State Trooper. The latest tryst exposed for our entertainment is the republican governor from South Carolina, Mr Mark (don’t cry for me Argentina) Sanford. (more…)
An interview with Shelley Seale on her new book “The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India!”Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Surface Earth is pleased to be a stop along the way of Ms. Shelley Seale’s virtual book tour.
Imagine for a moment, that you had a chance to be all who you are, not just all you could be and you seized that moment and never let it go. Perhaps then, you would know, what it is to step into not just Ms. Seale’s shoes, but the children, who continue to benefit from her love. Take a moment and reflect on this piece, a short quote from Ms. Seale’s book:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
When have you become silent?
Can you even recall?
I wish I could, I wish I knew that moment so I could reverse it, I just know now, that it did occur and it stayed within me, my human being, but not within my soul. I read the words, the quote, Ms. Seale hand selected, Mr. King’s words: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent…”.
Begin to end?
Did we always have ourselves slated to end, is that how we became numb?
I can’t be numb any longer. I found Ms. Seale and her work by accident. I then stopped onto her site and was gifted with such charity of spirit, I will remain a fan from that day on.
Ms. Seale is a courageous humanitarian and author. She maintains a website: The Weight of Silence
She has been unrelenting in her efforts to spread the word on the plight of children in India who are homeless or orphaned for a variety of reasons. Her efforts are not exclusive to the children in Indian, her resume details her vast experience and efforts advocating for children also in the United States.
While we could extol her virtues for countless pages, we instead invite you to click on some of the links, read her works, read her blog, see the comments that are posted as she travelled on her journey and continues her journey.
Without further ado, Ms. Seale:
S.E.: How did you begin?
Shelley: I got involved with The Miracle Foundation locally here in Austin in 2004, volunteering for them and sponsoring a child. The Miracle Foundation is a nonprofit that raises money to support children’s homes in India – currently they have 5 homes and are supporting about 700 kids.
After a while Caroline Boudreaux, the organization’s founder, invited me to go to India with her, to meet the kids and work in the orphanage for a week. In March 2005, she and I and a group of about 10 other volunteers arrived for the first time in Choudwar, Orissa. It was such an amazing experience – these children who were beautiful and joyful and gave me complete unconditional love, for nothing more than just showing up. They all had difficult pasts, painful and tragic stories behind their smiling faces, and yet they have developed such a community of peace and sharing and family there. I had never been a part of anything like that.
S.E.: When did it become more than a thought and turn to action?
Shelley: When I began to realize that most of the hundred-plus children living in the orphanage were not there because they were orphans in the true sense of the work, because their parents had died. They had been largely orphaned by poverty – abandoned there or on the streets because their parents were too poor to feed them. I had trouble wrapping my head around that. I started learning the individual stories behind the faces and names, the issues such as child labor, trafficking, disease, gender and caste discrimination that had affected all these kids in ways that interwove together. I saw there was a much bigger picture to this than simple orphaning – and found out that there were 25 million other kids just like them, in just the same circumstances, all over India. They are invisible children because they are largely ignored and don’t have a voice in society or to the world at all. I starting thinking about writing this book, and then began an outline and structure to the book, in the hopes that I could tell their stories and help to give them a strong and powerful voice with which to make themselves heard.
S.E.: How could you tell others how to turn their thoughts to action?
Shelley: I always say to start small, and just do something. I think that often times we all get overwhelmed by the enormity of issues and problems facing humanity as a whole. It’s easy to feel powerless and give up before we even begin. I think that the first step is to really think about, and discover, what it is you are passionate about. It’s hard to stay involved and committed to a cause if you don’t have a true passion for it. For me it’s these children of India, but it doesn’t have to be that for everyone. If I could inspire someone to find their own passion and cause, I would feel rewarded. Figure that out – and then just start small. Maybe make a small donation or do a tiny bit of volunteer work. Even just signing a petition or letting others know about a cause or issue can make a big step. I have been constantly amazed and inspired by how much of a huge impact can be made by enough individuals just taking their own small actions. As Mother Theresa said – If you can’t feed a hundred, then feed just one.
S.E.: How, in these times, when we are all struggling, can we give back?
Shelley: There are plenty of ways. We may not all be able to contribute financially, and at different times such as these difficult economic times, we may be able to donate much less than usual, if at all. But money isn’t the only thing nonprofit organizations need. There are plenty of ways you can give your time by getting involved in supporting a cause through volunteer work – even from your own home. Be creative, and just give of yourself. It doesn’t have to be money. I think you might be amazed at how much comes back to you when you give.
S.E.: How do we not judge, but rather, contribute?
Shelley: I don’t think it’s the role of anyone to tell others how they should solve their own problems. For example, I have been very aware of being a foreigner writing about India and its problems. But my own culture has plenty of its own on which to focus, and so how can judgment come into play, morally? Most of the western world’s knowledge of India’s shortcomings is derived from western media and foreign development agencies, whose goal is often to please donors or people in power – in a word, outsiders. Not Indians themselves. Us outsiders, the humanitarian agencies and foreign aid programs, will always fall short in one important way. We do not and cannot know what is best for India. It is not a matter for us to come and instruct or order; for efforts undertaken in that way, no matter how well intentioned, will always fail in their arrogance. Foreigners rarely fully understand the society they think to “improve,” and the potential for imposing their own cultural bias can result in negative consequences for those whose lives they seek to change. We should come to listen, to learn, to assist where and when asked; and so the goal of this book is simply to allow us to hear what those voices have to say.
S.E.: All the best Shelley.
READ AN EXCERPT OF MS. SHELLEY SEALE’S BOOK: EXCERPT
JOIN THE VIRTUAL TOUR AND PASS ON AND ON AND ON, LET’S KEEP THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN HOMELESS AND ORPHANED FROM GROWING: PASS ON THE LIGHT
Many times when asking for advice, some of us start out, not realizing we want our own opinion or belief confirmed.
Then, we become frustrated with the person speaking to us that we sought out to begin with, the unwitting victim.
Next time you seek advice, seek counsel from yourself first, ask:
what is it I’m hoping to hear?
what are the chances I will hear what it is I want?
Would it be better if I just recorded my own voice to play back the words as often as I desire?
Buy the book
Stop in for the Q & A with author and humanitarian Shelley Seale…..June 22nd; for further updates, check S.E. homepage & humanitarian updates.
How do we move forward?
Many of us don’t know where to turn.
Where do we go with the degrees we have earned and are paying on still? How do we counsel children, turned teenagers, soon to be adults, to make a living in the future?
The map is open.
Today, we turn you toward micro-loans. Many of you that often visit here are not immune to that term, it is people helping people, for instance: Kiva
Here at SurfaceEarth, it is our goal, to start an exchange by country/state/zip codes where we can help each other, it may be slow, reminiscent of snail mail, but suppose, we could achieve a web to truly help each other and catch each other before we fall?
Stay tuned, we intend to start that web and ask you to be a part of same.
Why must we be surprised?
Are we truly that narrow minded?
Were we born with blinders?
In the news, at least for some of us that still troll negative publicity, is the story of a Florida priest, sharing love with a woman.
Not a problem right?
Except that he made a ‘promise’ to not engage in certain types of love.
I wish I could condemn him, or his partner, but I can’t. I can say, it is easier that if you can’t uphold a promise you previously made that you graciously excuse yourself from same and explain accordingly. But life as we know it is not conducive to forgiveness.
Let’s pretend for a moment that this young priest came out, went public and said I’m struggling here, I took a vow of celibacy but I have found myself grappling with a whole different dimension of God’s love that I never knew I would need to grapple with, despite same, I’m grappling with it and ask your forgiveness, your understanding, your assistance to learn in which way to progress.
Not possible, because social media really doesn’t allow for this does it?
I could go on and on, but I won’t, I would rather hear from you and ask that you pray for the priest and his loved one to find their way.
I went shopping for food. Attempted to pull into space but every time I did, another car pulled through the spot from the other side of the aisle. Ok I thought, let me back up and take another spot. Cars didn’t seem to wait so I gunned it and cut it quick.
Got the shopping done. Very peaceful and went out to car.
Woman starts to yell: “you’re kidding me!”
Cart was against her new or maybe just clean car, (no, not my cart!).
Oooh – she looked like she wanted a fight. I ducked in my dirty car very quickly because you see – I normally park by those little cut outs in the lot where you can load up the car and ditch the shopping cart in a secure area so it won’t be running amok in the lot. Now that’s not to say I’ve never been desperate and haven’t propped the two front wheels into the worn down garden intersection, crossing my fingers, hoping for the best and leaving. But you see the lady that was mad didn’t wheel the cart anywhere secure. She pushed it away from her car and the next lady to pull in had to stop the car, get out and move the car to clear room.
I thought, this is it – its about what we do with the shopping cart and how it affects those that follow.
Life can be just one shopping cart passing hands in good moments or bad but effecting the whole.
If I were to dream but then awake
yet hovered between the two
would it be the time awake
or time asleep
that was more true?
What is justice?
Justice, in simplistic terms, has been described as getting to the root of truth, both sides moving toward uncovering the light. Yet, that is not what occurs, rather, we have individuals, forgetting they have a shared mission, and we wind up with bi-partisan justice.
We offer tonight a quote, and will give you reference to the article, and invite you to not only share this with others, but to share with us your reactions. We hesitate at this moment to pontificate as to our views on this quote, before we hear from you…………….
We point you to a particular quote in the article, as follows:
“In 1998, Judge Keller wrote the opinion rejecting a new trial for Roy Criner, a mentally retarded man convicted of rape and murder, even though DNA tests after his trial showed that it was not his semen in the victim.
“We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent,” she later told the television news program “Frontline.” “We would have no finality in the criminal justice system, and finality is important.”
Gov. George W. Bush eventually pardoned Mr. Criner.”
NO FINALITY. I’M SORRY, I MAY JUST BE A BIT CONFUSED, WHY WOULD YOU WANT FALSE FINALITY OF ALLEGED GUILT? DO WE NOT LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY? HOW THEN DOES THE ABOVE QUOTE MAKE SENSE:
“We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent,”
No, of course not judge, we wouldn’t want to give the benefit of the doubt to innocence would we? Much tidier to just lock up the might be guilty.
Additionally, the article notes the judge is a devout Roman Catholic. Now I ask you, why not make some multi-level comments? Does not the Catholic church decry the protection of innocence?
Today, like most days, I wonder at this matrix we casually refer to as the internet.
It is the “net”, no?
Nets contain, don’t they?
I search for news and find myself circling myself. Whether by the words I use to start the queries or by my inept attempts to hunt, I find myself circular.
The crazy thing about remaining circular is that you may not always realize you are hitting walls, because the walls are soft and bend and seemingly appear to give flexibility to movement.
With that said, I ask you, how often do you step out of the box, out of the circle?
Now I realize, I may not hit the right tags for this post, often I do not tag just to antagonize the Gods, but I may not hit the right ones to hear from a big enough cross-section of YOU.
I wonder how long we will remain as we are, willing participants in someone else’s mode of being?
There is nothing, nothing I can add to this………………enjoy, courtesies of The Wild Pomengrante
What does that mean to you?
Suppose it was so simple, that we could help each other?
Suppose you had a necklace for sale, and your blogging community joined around you, to get it sold?
Suppose you had a business you wanted to start, a venture, and we all joined around you and passed the word on and so on and so on?
If I was the beggar on the street, and collected one dollar from 250,000 people in the space of three days, they would have saved me, no?
Why can’t we all be the beggars on the corner and the ones stopping to drop a dollar? It starts now.
Suppose we picked up our own strength and helped one another?
Could it be the dawning of a new age?
AcrossThe Universe – I Want To Hold Your Hand
Across The Universe – Strawberry Fields Forever (Movie Ver)
Donovan – Sunshine Superman
Sit back and listen.
How many times do we wish to reinvent ourselves?
To start again?
To be the master, or would it be, the mistress, of the past?
How many times, do we long to stand atop the tallest point, and scream, from our hearts, I meant well?
The snow allows us to begin again,
in unexpected ways.
It blankets our paths,
daring us to set foot again,
and to watch also,
where we step.
Today, the snow has blessed us.
Could this be the best complaint letter ever? This letter recently received by the Virgin Atlantic customer complaints team is currently being hailed on news blogs everywhere. Surface Earth joins the fun to share with our friends and readers. This is the funniest customer complaint letter ever I have ever seen. How about you?
Many of you may have read Shelley Seale’s article, posted a few days ago here, The Weight of Silence….
Now maybe you may take a moment and watch her video on these utterly beautiful innocent souls, and if you do, maybe you will pass it on and on, and stop at her site and buy her book.
It starts now.
Fox News reports: CNN video cuts?
Listen, I have always found it ludicrous that we are the only beings in the vast space of whatever we want to call it, the universe, the galactic collection of galaxies, etc.
Really, if we are the only race here, and ha, we don’t even recognize ourselves as a whole race, but fighting, disparate, screeching wolves in the night, then, isn’t that a sad state of affairs for the rest of the dark matter hanging out there?
I’m no scientist, in case you didn’t catch on yet, but what I know, or SUSPECT, is that it cannot be true.
Here are some facts hard to dispute about humans:
1. we have enslaved our brothers and sisters
2. we continue to enslave our brothers and sisters
3. we believe one life is greater than another and excuse ourselves in the name of religion, security, politics, medical protocol, to sacrifice others
4. I’m sorry, I can’t continue, I suspect I’m on a rant.
Just tell me, in lots or little words, why is it that the idea of other life forms is something we don’t accept as probably more true than not?
Can I hold
The rainbow that I see
Shoving down to
Mix with the lint
And remains of my day
If I can’t do that
Does it mean
I or would it be,
Or ceased to exist?
Ms. Shelley Seale, a humanitarian and now guest blogger, shares with us a moving piece on the price and plight of innocence. It is a piece born from the heart. As you approach the end of Ms. Seale’s narrative, she also graciously shares with us general statistics on the day to day societal warfare waged knowingly against children. May peace be with you as you share your moments with Ms. Seale and pass on her moving piece, information and website to all that you know.
With no further introduction…
“The plane started its final descent, and my heart began to race. It was March of 2005, and I had been traveling halfway around the world for nearly two days to volunteer in an orphanage in northeast India, with the Austin-based nonprofit The Miracle Foundation. I had been sponsoring a child who lived there but had never visited the country before, and my stomach tightened as the plane touched down and I waited impatiently for the exit doors to open.
I had never expected to be in India. It wasn’t the exotic beauty that had drawn me. It wasn’t the storied, ancient history of the country or its rich and varied culture. It was not the colors or the spices or the sounds or the spirituality of the place. India is all of these things, to be sure; but they were not what pulled me close, made the place somehow a part of my soul before I had even arrived.
It was the children.
They are everywhere. They fill the streets, the railway stations, the shanty villages. Some scrounge through trash for newspapers, rags or anything they can sell at traffic intersections. Others, often as young as two or three years old, beg. Many of them are homeless, overflowing the orphanages and other institutional homes to live on the streets. Amidst the growing prosperity of India, there is an entire generation of parentless children growing up, often forced into child labor and prostitution – more than twenty-five million in all. They are invisible children, their plight virtually unnoticed by the world, their voices silenced.
And in the small town outside Cuttack, a hundred miles south of Calcutta, one man named Damodar Sahoo had dedicated his life to providing some sort of family for one hundred of these children, assisted by donations and volunteers from the United States. I had no way of knowing just how much they would change my life.
Eleven dazed Americans emerged into piercing sunlight and walked across the tarmac to the small terminal. As we entered Caroline Boudreaux, founder of The Miracle Foundation, was immediately spotted by Damodar – known to all simply as “Papa.” He pulled Caroline into a hug across the metal bars separating the passengers from those waiting for them. He lifted his large, thick 1980s style glasses from the bridge of his nose and dabbed at his eyes with a handkerchief, overcome with joy at seeing his American “daughter” again and the group she had brought along to visit the children he cared for. Alongside him were his wife, two women who worked at the orphanage, and three of the children. As we showed our passports and entered the gate, one by one, the little girls handed us each a bouquet of flowers, kissing their fingers and bending down to touch our feet in a blessing.
The visitors and our luggage were crammed into vehicles and we zoomed down the main road, which was dirt peppered with potholes, narrowly missing bicycles, pedestrians, cows and rickshaws. India was everything I had imagined it would be – only more so. More colors, more noises, more smells, more people, more everything. It was an assault on all the senses at once: The throngs of people, the muddy dirt roads, the constant beep-beep of the horns. The deteriorating buildings, the ragged street vendors, the ramshackle homes for which hut was too grandiose a term. The wonderful and the abject co-existed side by side, for the most part peacefully. There was what everyone, myself included, expected – poverty, ugliness, despair, filth.
But there was also much beauty, in the midst of it all. The warmth and shyness of the people, the colorful saris, the upscale shops next to the vendors, the swaying trees surrounding it all. I was enchanted by a brief glimpse into an ornate Hindu temple, candles glowing and people bowing their heads to the ground in prayer. Beauty was not its own thing to be separated out, sanitized, and kept apart for its own sake. The true measure of beauty lay in its imperfections; to see it, one must embrace it all. India immediately wrapped itself around me and refused to let go.
And in the children beauty seemed to come alive, almost making me believe it was a living entity I could capture in my hands.
Without warning, we lurched around a village corner and turned into the orphanage entrance. In a second the cars had stopped and a hundred children lined around in a semi-circle, waving and chanting "welcome" over and over. I opened the car door and they were all around me, touching my feet in blessing. The children were shy at first, obviously excited but reticent. One little girl, about seven years old, summoned her courage and touched my arm, then grasped my hand. "Hello," she said softly, looking up at me and just as quickly dropping her eyes, giggling. As soon as she did this, the crowd of surrounding children shed their reserve and instantly moved in closer, putting their hands out for me to shake. There was a never-ending supply of hands raised in front of me and I shook them over and over.
I was overwhelmed and unsure what to do, blindly following behind Papa and Caroline as they moved into the ashram. It was almost surreal, and happening so quickly. I didn’t have time to look around or get any sense of where I was in the darkness. There were just the children, all around, and my feet moving forward until we arrived in a courtyard. The children, as one, left our sides and began climbing a staircase in an orderly fashion. We followed with the dozen staff members, removing our shoes at the top of the stairs and entering the prayer room.
The children were already lined up and sitting on rugs on the floor, boys on one side and girls on the other, ages progressively going up toward the back with older kids sitting behind younger. I was handed a small bouquet of red roses and marigolds, and led to a spot on the mats. At the front of the room was an altar holding flowers, small trinkets of devotion, a picture of the guru Sai Baba and a statue of Vishnu, an ancient Hindu god. Tacked to the walls on all sides were pictures of other Hindu gods – Ganesh and Krishna – as well as Jesus, Mary, Mother Theresa and Mohammed. Ceiling fans whirred overhead to stir up the warm air. A staff member lit incense at the altar while another blew a horn softly. The children sat up straighter and ceased any fidgeting or whispering.
Then the prayers began. It started with a simple chant: "Om….om..," the small voices resonating deeply. The chanting gave way to a song, a hundred sweet voices dancing in the air and filling the room. Beside me on the rug sat one of the smallest girls, with glossy black curls and deep dimples. She was sitting lotus-style with her middle fingers and thumbs pressed together on the knees of her yellow and green flowered dress, eyes squinted tightly shut in concentration. Her strong, clear singing distinctly carried to my ears apart from the others. The voice of this three year old rising so pure and true was one of the most powerful sounds I had ever heard.
Soon the singing faded into silence and Papa prayed. He said there were many religions represented and respected in the ashram. “Here, there are Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Muslims. We pray,” Papa said, “to God and Allah and Jesus and Mohammed. The meaning of life is to love all. The purpose of life is to serve all.”
It was a simple prayer, reminding me that life need not be complicated unless we made it so. A soothing peace palpable in the air filled me, and I breathed out deeply. The past forty hours of travel and little sleep fell away as if they were nothing. There seemed no other world outside this place. As Papa spoke my eyes traveled over the faces all around me. I wondered when each of them had stopped wanting to go home, or if they ever had. As much of a loving community as the ashram seemed, it was not the family that most of the children had once known, distant and ghostly memories for the most part.
Home is a fragile concept – far more delicate than those of us who have always had one can imagine. When a person no longer has a home, when his family is taken from him and he is deprived of everything that was home, then after a while wherever he is becomes home. Slowly, the pieces of memory fade, until this strange new place is not strange anymore; it becomes harder to recall the past life, a long ago family, until one day he realizes he is home.
Post Script: Excerpts provided by Ms. Seal
What to know:
More than 25 million Indian children currently live without homes or families – in orphanages or on the streets, where they are extremely vulnerable to abuse, disease, and being trafficked into labor or the sex trade.
Another 4 million children join their ranks each year.
India is home to the most AIDS orphans of any country in the world – approaching 2 million, and expected to double over the next five years.
By some estimates, as many as 100 million child laborers work in India.
Hundreds of thousands of Indian children go missing each year, kidnapped or trafficked – and three out of four of those are never found.
A poor child in India is three times as likely to die before his fifth birthday as a rich child.
More than two million children themselves die every year from preventable infections for which education and medicine are lacking.
One of every three of the world’s malnourished children lives in India.
Fifty percent of childhood deaths there are attributable to malnutrition or starvation.
How you can help:
The first step is awareness – thank you for reading this article and for caring. You can sponsor a child at Miracle Foundation.
You can make a donation at UNICEF, the leading champion for children worldwide. Be a conscious shopper. Is it really worth getting something a few dollars cheaper if it is made by slave labor or children? Check out The Better World Shopping Guide. You can take action by signing petitions and/or financially supporting organizations that are working worldwide to end child labor. Some of them are: globalmarch.org | endchildlabor.org | earthaction.org
I know not what I do
in the moment before doing.
I stumble on this path
what it is
what I have said
what I have done
to hurt you.
i think sometimes
but on paper
or would that be
the blank canvas of this page?
i let the words
not seizing them
not taking them hostage
account for themselves.
i grab a pen
or a keyboard
and make them
make themselves known
the cycle of words
why would I want
to be them?
against and under
arms draped down
of fingers pricked
under a machine
within dark enclosed space
the only sky
the kiss of the immortal
As I sell myself
not as nice as I used to be
half as nice
as I may be tomorrow
I kick at the confines
soap bubbles dispersing
in the water
my fingernail scratches
the outer edges
beginning to claw
at the edge
light from beneath
resting on the counter
dishes pulled from the washer
a cycle complete
Against the sky
watching you take flight
I don’t count
how many you are
I see only
when I print you,
When do secrets stop being secrets?
Is it when we speak them out out loud?
Does it require a certain number to hear or see them to remove the status of secret?
Fox News Reports: Ex-Porn Star Quits School Cafeteria Job After Uproar
Let me ask a question.
Actually, I am not asking permission.
I am here to say, what is wrong with us?
Let’s pretend for a moment, there is a lovely woman.
The woman has made her living for some years as an “adult entertainer”. Whatever that means. If she is over 18 and TRULY exercises free will, economy, or pimps or whatever, have not forced her in the role, then………
So let’s pretend, one of the three:
a) she did so with free will; or
b) she did so without choice; or
c) she was forced into same.
Now, we meet a woman, a woman, wanting to be who she is in this moment, someone who wants to work at a school, for, forgive me, less than $5,800.00 a year, and now, parents want her out?
Did I miss something?
Is she accused, convicted beyond a reasonable doubt of doing something to innocent children? (btw: all children are innocent).
Is there anyone out here that has spent a moment in Suburbia? How it is always others and not the inhabitants, that have skeletons?
I fear a projection of misconceived issues may be afoot.
I don’t know this woman portrayed in this Fox News article and now being publicly lambasted, but what I don’t see is any allegations as to how this woman treated children.
Really people, can we grow up and give our children a better model for the future?
This is a witch hunt, Salem circa 2008.
Don’t be a part of it.
Well hello NJ.
Looks like we aren’t sitting quiet with the peace offering of civil unions.
Check it out, there may be movement afoot, allowing others to love as others love.
(yes, I meant to say it that way. why are only alleged heterosexuals “us” and a-hem, “gays”, “homosexuals” or “those that love others of the same ‘sex'”, others?)
Can we just evolve?
Check it out: Reuters………………
“Full marriage is the only way to meet a state constitutional requirement for equality, said the 13-member panel of public officials, clergy, lawyers and same-sex marriage advocates.”
THE EXTORTION OF US TAX PAYERS (a.k.a., the Detroit Bailout)
Let’s do the math and perhaps put it out to a poll. I’ll focus on GM, you can do the same for Ford and Chrysler. GM employs about 252,000 people globally. The company website totals its US work force at 97,624 across some 87 US zip codes. (more…)
The trees began to curl into themselves
color themselves in the light
of Fall colors.
The edges began to creep,
and creep further in,
and every time they did,
would curl up their toes,
closer to their immortal legs,
The ledges of time
and the Faeries knew,
there were not too many daylight hours
left to hide.
They unfurled in the night,
unbent from the leaves,
from human eyes.
how they thanked the darkness for the need
They slipped from the leaves,
stretching their limbs,
nimbly alighting hundreds of feet to the ground,
to start the next day’s work
on the century’s task.
they had agreed to.
(more later) (copyright, The Faeries, S.E.)
Are we ever just this one thing?
I think not.
Unless we only evaluate in the space of frozen time.
My girl, my prior header on my previous design blog, she shines; yet, I changed her time and time again. I have photos of her change, all of which I have not posted. it was an expose of moments and I dared to paint and repaint the canvas.
The point is, none of us are ever just one thing, and when we judge others, we freeze them in time. We see an encapsulated moment, while still, perhaps, allowing ourselves evolution.
Ah, so now what, my friends, now what? Shall we move on?
the Earth fell from beneath my feet
but it was not
an unusual occurrence
the same occurred.
I put my feet upon the ground,
I lifted my arms,
and looked to the windows,
i hung scraps of cloth,
to obscure the view.
It does not matter.
I know there are times,
we belong to no one
but ourselves and God in our heart,
and those moments are
they are the moments,
when the rest of the world
not come through our door uninvited
and we have moments
just for thanks and gratitude
that we are
in those moments ok.
It will be the harrowing moments after
of self realization
CNN or Fox News
where we may doubt our own
So long as we hold
in the moments in between
we can gather courage
in a pocket
promising a different now.
Peace to you. We send such loving thoughts your way.
Why must people be cruel?
but it begs an answer.
All of you who spend time here,
you grant us miracles,
by your existence and your courage in stopping in,
to say hello,
and give strength.
Welcome CNN Hereos………….I cannot begin to give words to what you do……………for now, I start with this John Legend video.……..spectacular.
CNN reports on the attacks on innocents in India. What would Ghandi say now? I am not making light, I am serious, very, very serious, how can this be true?
It starts, I believe, with the ability to see others as less than ourselves and it morphs to such grand proportions that it becomes something that hits the news and strikes us again and again, in headlines.
None of this should be true, but I have always been one to not spend a lot of time on should, or at least try not to, because should connotes lost time in the past.
I ask tonight for the only thing I can think of: prayer. Ask everyone you know to pray and pray and pray………at least until we can figure out something more swift.
I am probably not unlike you, I see this and say, where is God? where is love?
I could struggle with an intellectual debate on the issues, but that is not helping all of those hurting, shocked, damaged people.
Recently, many issues have come to light with the rights of our fellow human beings.
Rights, I want to say, trampled, but how can they be trampled when such rights have not yet arisen?
There is a lot of coverage as to “equal” marriage or “gay” marriage. I’m not sure the word matters, I know as a lover of words it should, but I find the essence of the issue is one more pure, it is the right to love, so I don’t know what to call the right to love and marry, regardless of sexual orientation.
On a related note, from Vannessa’s corner of the world, she brought up the issue of the right to adopt and how it is curtailed due to sexual orientation.
When you live on the edge of the rainbow,
hanging on to the hue,
may not matter.
When you live on the edge of the rainbow,
it is moments,
When you live on the edge of the rainbow,
you hold on,
by a thread,
by a handful,
if you like the color,
you have grasped.
When you live on the edge of the rainbow,
hang with you.
In my hand
the promise of today
which was the breath,
In my hand,
of a moment,
In my hands,
of a new tomorrow,
watch my fingers spread,
reaching to the horizon,
refusing to meet,
a dividing line.
In my hands,
the spark of hope,
I dare not look,
if it exists,
but close my eyes,
sand of time,
to become affixed,
within my eyelashes,
so short these days.
the space of time,
as I hold it,
in my heart,
and send to you.
What is the sound,
of one heart,
What is the sound,
can there be,
when no one outside of yourself
can hear it?
Or is sound,
into gesture and face?
Can we hear the sound
of a heart breaking
in visual imagery?
if you will,
through a moment in time,
when life becomes reversed,
when the difference,
between what is and what isn’t,
is no difference at all,
where there are no lines.
Imagine if you will,
the wrong look,
the wrong intonation,
the wrong laugh,
that is all it takes
to make you into
What is the sound,
of a heart breaking?
What does it mean,
to be the other?
Who must you be first,
where must you stand,
of your brothers
May peace be with you.
Amber Moon writes of how we can make the world a better place. She illustrates how we are graced enough to be able to grasp a moment, or what we might conceive as a small thought or gesture, which can have ripple effects. I imagine the ideas she gives us to help are fibers which eventually weave together with enough action to create a blanket to cover the world in kindness. I am inspired by what she has written.
It just so happens that after reading Amber’s post, I stopped in at the land of Gyspsy Heart, and found a piece on tactile art that she had done and the photos of the children that were blessed by her art. Absolutely amazing. If that is not kindness, than I don’t know how to define the word.
I feel blessed today to have read these posts, to turn around my direction of thinking. Often, as Amber said, the sheer enormity of the things to fix in the world could make us feel there is nothing we can do….ah, how misdirected that is and how empowering to hold on to the belief, that change can be made with each small moment.
Peace & blessings.
and I know this,
because I think, I breath, I feel.
What is feeling?
What is it to walk through life,
wondering if anyone else knows what you and yours are going through?
Does it matter to daily existence?
I think not, because if it did, there could never be human unkindness.
Hi there regular readers & friends. For any of you that have any online stores, would you mind jumping over to the Surface Earth Store and giving me your thoughts on design? It’s still in the process of being put together, but would love to hear back from a few or many!
Peace, light & blessings.
I write with mixed emotions.
I personally am ecstatic with America and the world’s choice for Obama.
Yes, we have woken up from this deep sleep.
Yet, in many states in this country, we have been awake and still asleep, voting to ban “gay” marriage. What is “gay” marriage?
Marriage is a willing union of hearts. It must not be defined by gender or sexual orientation.
I am sorry, I cannot write more as I am deeply saddened by this, this seemingly ignorant action on the behalf of human beings in 2008.
“Hope” is a universal word. It is not intended and not defined for the few. How dare we, how dare we, crush good people’s dreams? Is it easier to do so when it is not black and white? Is it easier to do so when it is approved unions vs. those that are not?
By whose laws do we take such actions to deprive our brothers and sisters of what we so willingly take as ours?
Raise Up! Vote to ban hetersexual marriage, let’s see what kind of reaction that gets.
Again, I’m sorry, but this is a sad, sad state of affairs that we would, as enlightened human beings, vote down love.
I stood outside and looked up,
I could make out one star that seemed to glow, shine,
to me than any other.
I wondered at its size.
Then I thought,
can it see me?
I consider it a far off pinpoint of light,
it is a light that I can see.
Can it see me?
A piece of a pinpoint,
on this planet we call Earth,
not giving any glow,
to light the vision of the night,
can it see me?
There are times,
between the spaces,
when we have,
moments of gratitude,
in the open spaces
designed and built
both long before and after our time.
There are times,
within the moments,
yes, not in the spaces in between,
when our hearts swell,
and we know,
if we could only bag up and box,
the love before us,
there would not be one more thing we need to accomplish.
Have I shared with you,
on a child’s face,
when they turn at you,
Have I shared with you,
the millions of times,
within my home,
I love you?
not to get something back,
but because it is.
Have I shared with you,
my mortal fears?
that our rights to love,
not by our decree, but by,
egos of others.
I do not blame them.
Because to do so,
is to blame them,
for not having been loved,
the way that is beyond denial,
for those within its circle of warmth.
I wish for you today,
a better moment,
a better today, to build,
an even better tomorrow.
I wish that we,
would not let,
our brothers and sisters fail,
but lift them up,
within our arms of collective consciousness.
Every child gone wrong,
with a finger pointed at him or her,
is still the child,
no I don’t mean,
we excuse behavior that hurts one another,
we raise a village,
we stop it before it begins,
Peace to you today.
let us know what we can do,
if you don’t,
we will wish you had.
How to begin?
Perhaps the only fair way to begin is to show you, our introduction to the word Ubuntu did not begin that long ago. In June of 2007, Surface Earth posted a piece on Ubuntu. It was an introduction, a recognition, that this word was new to us.
Back to the present, we were asked to share our vision, our experience of Ubuntu:
We would like to extend our congratulations to Surface Earth. Thank you for your beautiful words and spirit. You will be a fine addition to our Ubuntu team. With this nomination you can choose or not to post our Ubuntu badge on your blog, but we do ask that you post a blog post article about what Ubuntu means to you in return.
First, Ubuntu to us means an all encompassing love. It means love which has no division, no boundaries, it is the recognition that as the water feeds through the channels of the land, it is not divided, but of the same whole.
Ubuntu means exactly what what was given and shared today, an expression of humanity, a lack of being afraid to stand on Humanity’s Team, to recognize ourselves in another or others. And that is what occurred today. I stand now, in the distant light, rays, of pure love that have come from people I don’t know, people that have no agenda other than to raise up their fellow man or woman or human or whatever we want to call ourselves. This purity of spirit reached into my day, humbling me, asking, what more, what more, what more can be done? Done, I mean, to keep this up, to keep up this compassionate web of caring, for all of you to feel as I do right now, full of belief in the love and goodness of my fellow people.
This is first draft gang, i’m sure I’ll be back to write some more, but I can only write from the heart, the editing skills come from my very loud ego, and I’m ok with silencing that loud partner.
Namaste. May you be good to others.
How could they possibly be related?
Well, maybe falling through the Rabbit Hole.
For now, I say, because I saw Flash of Genius today and cried. I cried for so many reasons. I cried because I am an attorney and I know I have advocated to settle because litigation costs would be insurmountable for my client. I cry because i witnessed how a good man, watched his marriage and family get destroyed, because others refused to acknowledge truth.
But before I cried watching Flash of Genius i cried because I saw previews for The Changeling. Am I confused? Because I posted some time ago about a book, The Stolen Child, and because of my love for Irish history, my love of the lore of the Faeries, I felt The Stolen Child was important. But the book itself humbled me to believe I knew what was important and what was not.
So I sat, waiting for Flash of Genius to begin, and had a preview to The Changeling which, if you have read, the Stolen Child, or perhaps other works, it would not be a bizarre topic for you. If you have lived untruths forced upon you by what you believed to be law abiding, good people of society, and have been harmed because of it, then you also know what i mean.
What it means is the disillusion of truth. Those in power preying over the good that live in truth. And it bothers me on deeper levels because my Grandfather was an executive of Ford. But i can only pray, he would not have done this to that man and his family. He is passed now, so I may have to wait to ask. On another level it bothered me deeply because I am an attorney and was disgusted by what I saw in regard to the attorneys on behalf of Ford. I spoke to Mary during that film and said please, please don’t let me be them. But I’m judging now, aren’t I? Ugh.
I cried. Just in the previews, I cried. And they also had to slam us with The Soloist, let’s save that discussion for another day.
All I can say is, truth resides within, if you cannot follow your own good heart, there is no sense looking to others.
Man is distorted, I don’t know why, it makes no sense to me individually, I’d rather let the guy who cuts me of pass safely than curse him out. But, I’m going to suffer myself, and watch The Changeling, knowing it is true and it exists today, knowing that to speak out, is often to condemn ourselves and those we love.
But, what, I ask you, because I no longer know, is,what is the point of silence?
May God and your heart guide you. May God not be what institutions teach you, rather, may God only be what resonates when the soul and heart meet.
I pray for you.
I can’t decide on the title, I could write three thousand more headings.
Here it is, I need to share this with you,
we live in the year,
(You sure this is not 1978????)
Did you know that?
And in 2008 it sometimes seems we have learned nothing.
We have become the arbiter of what is acceptable within the beds of consenting adults. We have chosen to focus on a very small area: whether people of the same sex are allowed to love each other.
Yes, you heard that right. What we are talking about is ability of people to be allowed to FREELY EXPRESS LOVE TO ONE ANOTHER.
Let’s repeat that: FREEDOM TO LOVE.
Now I’m not patronizing you, I repeat this to drill it into my own head that it could actually be true that God loving heterosexual human beings think they have the right to determine the course of love for the rest of the world. (Oh, did I mention? I’m God Loving and a monogamous, loving heterosexual. Aren’t I lucky? Arent’ I special? Guess God must have chosen me.)
The point is, educated, allegedly loving individuals, citizens of the most free of societies, or so they herald, are actually, yes, seriously, contemplating to amend the Florida constitution to tell people, to mandate, to enact into law a prohibition against love.
Yes, that is what we are talking about, prohibiting love.
No God I have ever believed in ever considered that a possibility, two rules, remember, the essence? Love God and Love your neighbor.
Whew. Sorry, I’m pretty upset.
I want to know where the exit door is from this Society gone mad. No, I don’t mean checking out, I mean escaping from the collective illusion.
Here, let me tell you what’s going on. Received, via another, yes, my allowed and legal love, an email, copied below for you to read and digest:
“Dear all – yes this is a direct appeal for money to help a worthy cause. It is sad that we have to spend good resources to fight for basic human rights in the US in 2008.
A worthy cause – run by a good friend I’ve known for several years. Please help!
Begin forwarded message:
Date: 1 October 2008 9:15:31 AM
Subject: Hello from Florida
I’ll be right up-front about this – this is an appeal for $$$. (No, not for me.)
I hope you know I wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t important. Please read on and I will explain why.
There is a poisonous amendment to the Florida Constitution on the ballot this November known as Amendment 2 – the so-called “Marriage Protection” Amendment.
Yes, they’re at it again. The right wing is using fear of gay people to try to win another election. But they may have over reached this time. They claim it’s about “gay marriage” but Florida already has multiple laws banning same-sex marriage. What they’re really after is engraving discrimination into the Florida Constitution and the elimination of domestic partnership rights and benefits which are offered by several counties (e.g. Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach), municipalities and employers (think Disney) here in Florida.
The good news is that to amend the Florida Constitution the proponents need a vote of 60% + 1 to win and we need 40% +1 to send it to the trash bin where it belongs. Polls show both sides are within 2% of the magic number. We have seen that once we explain the negative consequences to all Florida unmarried couples, especially seniors who would be forced to choose between sharing health care and receiving government benefits, our numbers go up. The key to our victory will be in getting the word out to as many people as possible. That’s where you come in.
Florida Red and Blue, the group I have been working for since July, was formed solely to defeat this amendment. As many of you know I have worked on a few campaigns in the past and I must say I am impressed with the sophistication of Florida Red and Blue. We are using all the latest tools to fight this battle. Included in our arsenal are TV ads which are already “in the can” and have been tested with focus groups with off-the-charts positive results. The reason the ads are so effective is they tell real stories of real people and how they would be affected if Amendment 2 passes. The TV time has been booked and all that remains is the money to run the ads. All our other expenses and overhead are covered from now until Nov. 4 so every dime we raise from now on will go directly to getting these ads on the air.
Please help with a contribution of whatever you can afford, It’s easy; just go to our web site www.SayNo2.com or send a check to Florida Red and Blue 12864 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 314 North Miami, FL 33181. There are just 5 weeks left until the election so the need is urgent and immediate.
If this amendment is defeated here in Florida it will send shock waves across the country. The Republicans have used this tool in the past (remember Ohio 2004) and they will keep using it until it no longer works. If we can stop them here it will be a real turning point. But most importantly we will preserve the limited rights and benefits available under domestic partnerships for all unmarried Florida couples and keep the government out of the private lives of individuals and families. When government tries to make these kinds of decisions we end up with travesties like the Terry Schiavo case.
Thanks for your help. I know there are many demands on us all these days so it’s important to choose where our dollars will have the most impact and do the most good. Beating Amendment 2 in Florida is one of those places. [——-] And for more information on the amendment, go to www.SayNo2.com. There you can read articles,view videos, make a contribution and find a list of our supporters like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Patricia Ireland, NOW, the NAACP, AFL-CIO, etc.
Thank you most sincerely for your support,
PS – if you have any friends in Florida make sure they know to vote No on Amendment 2. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know about this with all the attention going to the presidential race.”
UPDATE: WE HAVE RECEIVD PERMISSION TO POST THE AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE ABOVE QUOTED EMAIL:
SO THAT’S IT FOLKS.
A CHANCE TO ACT FROM THE SOUL, TO ACT FROM OUR HEARTS.
DOESN’T SEEM THAT DIFFICULT, DOES IT?
PEACE AND NAMASTE.
surface earth photos, copyright – 2008
GRRRRR, OUR SURFACE EARTH DESIGN, SHE IS READY, BOOTS ON………………….
my night ended, looking at flowers still opened,
just one above,
it looks of the day.
My day started,
and in one point
of that early transition,
i had a moment of grace,
i saw for some reason,
a small fleck of color,
i would have thought a weed,
in another given moment,
but i stopped,
crouched down and looked
at the color curled into itself,
i asked my child,
at the time,
see this color,
and the flower opened,
seen as I did,
perhaps the camera quality cannot give you the sensation,
in the early hours.