Not seeing results from your workouts? Getting frustrated with finding the right fitness routine? The problem may not be with your fitness program but with a lack of consistency. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Life’
If the passing of Amendment 1 in North Carolina had two positive results whose sparkle is covered by the tragedy they are: (more…)
One of the most controversial topics in our society is the body of women. The issues related to this irrelevant biological accident in the lives of female human beings that is the body are many and often contrasting. (more…)
When I thought about writing this essay, blog, (whatever it turns out to be), I had several real attention grabbing, and very witty, opening lines. (more…)
The body of the 54th woman to be killed by a man (boyfriend, friend, relative) in Italy has been found after having been missing for two days. (more…)
So the other day I was having a discussion with a friend. (more…)
The results of an Internet search about the GLBT rights in the world are depressive for anyone who cares about human rights. (more…)
I have confessed already in the lines I write here that I have a loving relationship with my Blackberry. He is like no other man, reliable, present and only mine. (more…)
There is a sense in which I have no idea about what to discuss today. It is that I actually have too many things on my mind I want everyone to know, that I don’t know where to start from. (more…)
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there are three saints named Valentinus under the date of the day of lovers, Valentine’s Day. (more…)
My adventure to Costa Rica began when I found a job teaching at the Pan American School, an international bilingual high school outside of San Jose. (more…)
Are you attempting to get your boyfriend right back after you cheated? After that you’re not by itself. All over the world, people are trying to return a good ex-lover after a break-up. The truly exciting information is: simply because individuals get back together all the time, it’s not difficult you will too. (more…)
With my first time living abroad being in Japan, it is inevitable that I would attempt to make parallels between my experience there and my life here. (more…)
Ovarian Cancer is known as “The Silent Killer” because it is usually detected in late stages when the prognosis is much worse for the patient. (more…)
It was time for a change. My best friends here, Carlos, Monse, and Jacob, had either returned to the US or were about to. (more…)
On Boxing Day, a famous American newspaper published a news about a successful romantic relationship between two people with autism, precisely a form called Asperger’s syndrome. (more…)
I don’t follow any talent show in any country. I have nothing against them, personally. (more…)
GLOUCESTER, Mass |
(Reuters) – Instead of plunging headfirst to their death in a pot of boiling water, 534 live lobsters escaped the dinner plate and belly flopped to freedom into the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
A group of Tibetan Buddhists flanked the sides of a whale-watching boat at dusk on Wednesday, sprayed the lobsters with blessed water, clipped the bands binding their dangerous claws and released them one by one into the deep water below.
The 30 Buddhists of all ages trekked to this northern Massachusetts fishing hub to buy 600 pounds of lobster from a seafood wholesaler and save the critters from imminent death.
The lobster liberation was scheduled for August 3, which is Wheel Turning Day on this year’s Tibetan lunar calendar, the anniversary of the first sermon Buddha taught. On this holiday, the merit for positive actions is multiplied many times.
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.
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…)
Come and Join us for our launch on the
23rd April 2011
launch starts at 2pm and finishes at 5pm, we are having a family funday for volunteers children from 2pm to 7pm Followed by a concert from 6pm to 10pm.
We are having this event to showcase the reason that we are being set up and to fundraise for future events. As we will be having further family fundays, concerts, fashion shows and auctions, so that we can show the public that we can show that we can encourage people that art & crafts, music, sports and outdoor activities are an excellent medium for recovery of trauma that has been inflicted by abuse.
These mediums are not only an excellent tool to heal the mental, psychological and pyscical recovery, but they heal the soul. So during our events we will always have speakers who can speak about many mediums about recovery and wellbeing. From surivors, researchers, artists and proffessionals who work within the health proffession who have used these forms of recovery for their service users.
We are also going to set up projects after the launch for people who have suffered trauma to be able to set up their own projects to enable them to take charge of their own recovery and enable them to become more socially and economically active. We will be doing this by assisting them to source micro finance to start up their projects.
We will also have a youth section of the foundation, where young people from the age 14-25 will be able to put forward projects that will enhance their communities socially. The membership will chose which projects that we assist bring into friutation. The young people whose projects are chosen will recieve a Community Champion Award from the Foundation and the trustees will oversee these projects.
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
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?
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…)
[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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seems like she made a stop in Springfield. M.A.
****Hey CordieB’s comment just made me update this, almost included it to begin with but didn’t, Mother Mary Come to Me………………..
In a nutshell,
what truly would fit?
Is there something I can share,
that you yourself,
have not thought of?
grammar is but a tool
to help bridge the gap
and I will flout
those rules here.
did it matter,
how your hair looked?
what car you drove?
who said what about you?
what I would call,
a protected, lovely bubble,
that is no different,
than an oxygen tank.
There is a limit.
I don’t mean to bring you down,
and in fact,
I believe the great deal of you that visit
more than once
know that automatically.
What I am trying to impart,
is but a knock away.
For some of us,
it can be a knock that resounds as a winning lottery ticket,
or the sense of doom,
before the knuckles fall,
but it is fallible
and ever present
If I am rooted in faith,
they can try,
isn’t it up to me,
as to how,
**May you be blessed and protected today. Namaste.
Sometime ago, Enreal tagged me here for a “tag”, “link”, I am never quite sure of the “nomenclature”, for a series of shared favorite quotes.
I thought, and I thought and I thought. And I realized, the quotes I like best are the ones that happen spontanouesly in the day, the ones, most often born of innocence, out of the mouths of babes they say. I continued to think. Then, the other night, I received an email from a group I read and there they were, three beautiful, pristine quotes and I knew those are the ones I wanted to share.
Enreal, thank you for keeping me thinking. Without further ado………..
“When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinitie.”
“We count our miseries carefully, and accept our blessings without much thought.”
“When we settle into the present moment, we can see beauties and wonders right before our eyes…”.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Where do we begin when we sit separate; yet, never apart
in this Divine Matrix
I wonder at times,
why I write here,
and then wonder again,
I share with you to night, a small sliver from a beautiful, beautiful book:
(an excerpt of an excerpt)
Poem by Phillip Lopate
We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
by neither lovng you
as much as you want
nor cuttng you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In annoucing our
we realize we have
placed in our hands
a possible antidote
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
rare in itself
with your as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.
For the absolute beautiful narrative leading up to and including this piece, pick up and read:
“Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life.”
Peace to you.
Green is cool. I’m all for it. Probably because I’m not quite centered in this world and simply believe we forget to tele-transport ourselves.
I do in fact have some kind of point. The point will though meander, be forewarned.
Here are my thoughts on Go Green.
The North East is about to experience a heat wave.
Unemployment rates have soared.
Million dollar homes are in foreclosure.
I now rinse glass and plastics and ask myself, hmmm, what can this hold? Can this hold lentils, rice, vegetables from the garden? GARDEN? Yes, despite the deer, we are trying to grow one.
Ripped up clothes? I keep them. I can make rags or quilts or whatever, and yes, you may have guessed, I am not a gifted seamstress, I am an idea girl, better off spinning tales then making them come to light.
So what does Go Green mean to most of us?
Plain and simple.
Wind turbines to the extent we can make or otherwise afford them on our roofs.
Making gallons of decaf chilled green tea, pans of baked ziti, organic cookies, whatever and everything in advance before the heat index hits 100 tomorrow. And if the power fails?
Oh boy, we better eat up and eat up quick, thank God the oregano, basil, sage, rosemary and dill hit fruition. Between that and bottles of water, we will get by.
So, what is Go Green to you?
I call it the new survival economy.
Peace to you and yours.
FoxNews, tongue in cheek, presents to us, or provides a channel to us, to hear a different perspective on Jesus’ alleged lineage.
Of course, I am only one reader, and hear sarcasm between the lines, as FoxNews reports on the Director, Paul Verhoeven’s, view and account of the possibility of Jesus’ lineage.
Now, I am not without sympthathy as to how such a view could be upsetting to untold millions, but if we are strong in our faith, then we can receive, process and decide for ourselves, yes? Different points of view, so long as they do not oppress, hurt, incriminate or falsely accuse, must be heralded, no?
So I think, Mr. Verhoeven’s views should at a minimum be reviewed with an open mind. Perhaps we could start with this objective viewpoint:
1. We know more today than we knew yesterday; and
2. We know less than we will tomorrow.
As I repeated the Hail Mary after several times, I began to smile, quite wide in fact, when I got to “Mother of God”. If Jesus is the Son of God and Mary is the mother of Jesus, then she is also the Mother of God?
Well, I enjoyed this hyperbole.
So when I see someone brave enough to come out and spin a different version on Jesus’ lineage, I say why not?
What’s the harm, really?
Faith begins and ends within each of us, the tenants are beautiful guidelines, but should never be used as the ultimate guidance on love or kindness and certainly, never used to oppress.
May the Divine bless all of you.
Life does not stop to hold us
We only grasp
Against the matrix
of continuing energy
the ivy on the vine
but for a few
the car travelling
an unknown path
around a corner
willing to see
what was not seen before
it almost pardons itself
is this seat taken?
He was given
on which to count
She remembered the day clearly, looking up on the wall and seeing a D+ on the line next to her name for Constitutional Law. She also remembers years later seeing that same professor in Passaic County, Chancery Division.
She remembered his almost bald head on his too thin frame, smug, supporting the public interest group that would bring democracy to the mountain. She knew in that moment the right answer to his mantra.
But it was years before that, he said to her, “You’re like a monkey on my back.” And she sat there staring at some cheap print of constitutional parameters sitting on the wall, looking at this man who had placed a D+ on her efforts. She packed up her book bag, slammed her blue locker and called her father and told him that was it, she was leaving. And why not? Why wouldn’t he understand? When she handed him the entry she had done of the suicide note narrative, submitted after typed at 3:0O a.m. at the urging of her roommate, “there’s a fiction contest, deadline’s in the morning, submit something.” So she sat at the computer, a dot matrix printer, and typed a two page note and put it in an envelope and her roommate took it and placed it in a slot. A short time later she received a call, she had received second place. Only she knew that she hadn’t really tried. Then again, maybe she had, maybe she just let it go.
She stood in the kitchen of her father’s home sometime later, facing the end of her college stint, and showed her Dad the piece she had written that got a second place, her father read it and said, “Anyone can practice law, not anyone can do this.” He encouraged her to get a Masters in Creative Writing or Journalism, but she didn’t. Now it was eleven years later plus three years of law school, plus one year off, ok, so it was fourteen years, and she still had done nothing about it.
She was an idea girl without definition, she could complete nothing. She liked to believe it was because she saw all the sides of the same story, and on a good day, a charitable day, that would line up and be true but within the parameters of normal society, that would be procrastination, the inability to complete, to have true vision, to see and produce.
So she packed up her bag and was ready to head to the train station, the rest of her grades were absolutely fine for the first semester where she was one of the only day law students actually working on what was perceived as a cutting edge law brief of economic loss rather than sitting there and reading her text during the study break before first semester finals. The overnight stints at the diner with the student drunks were an afterthought.
She picked up the phone in the hall before heading out, managing to actually get her father on the phone, she wonders today how much he remembers, does he remember what she does? But she pictured him there, behind the glass topped desk, set on a slight angle, flanked by two windows in a nondescript but expensive town out in the boondocks as other lawyers would later describe it and rue the day they had. Had by the country bumpkin. But she saw him there, his cuffs still battling with his wrists, fasted tight by cuff links, he had not as yet lost the gold plated Mickey Mouse cuff links she and her brother had bought him on a long ago trip to Disney World, so she saw him sitting there, pages thrown in front of him, lines holding, other attorneys at that time working for him, hanging on his word, envious and contemptuous at the same time, they knew they didn’t have his essence but wanted to be around him all the same, and she saw the secretary, one of them walk in to get his attention, waiting silently as he pontificated on the phone, gesturing, she must not have had to try so hard because after all he actually picked up the line, she wasn’t put on eternal hold, told to try again later. She told him, choking, to the master, the man who aced night law school with two small children working in a garden apartment and working three jobs, part-time in Newark without gloves in the dead of winter following the Newark Riots, a white man sent to do was it a dirty or a clean job, he had a breifcase full of checks. It is only now she realizes that she never asked him if they were given what they were due. He reached for the phone and there she sat captured, how would life panned out if she had not dialed him first as she always did? Years later, faced with an even more prophetic situation, his wisdom she would regret to the end of her days when she felt he was more than human and had all the answers. She would wonder how life would have played out differently if she could have stood on her own two feet. If she could have blown air into the soles of her Doc Martens-if she could have for a moment pretended she was Marilyn Monroe and not cared who watched. But she called him as she did then and continued to do for more than a decade until she realized it was no longer fair to either of them.
“I got my grades.”
“I got a D in constitutional law.”
“How about the rest?”
“I did fine.”
“Ok, it’s first semester, this is what the books are written about, it happens.”
“I’m leaving this isn’t for me, I’m going.”
“But you don’t understand, a D, I did the best I could, I studied, I was interested.”
“No, you don’t understand yet, it’s subjective.”
“It depends what mood he’s in, what’s going on.”
“A D is not a D, a D is only a reflection of a moment.”
Ok so that’s not how he actually said it, but that’s how I now take it to mean… is that I was no Lady Liberty, torn between the law of liberty and the perversion of truth.
Ok, ok, so now what? I want to leave, I don’t fit in here, yes, I listened to you, I didn’t shave my head like I wanted to before entering law school, you said, wait, you will be different enough.
I did not yet understand the mortar of those walls, the pacts made between generations to keep the money in the family no matter what the means, I should have understood, we were not wealthy, we were not poor, we were that weird blend of still new Irish immigrants that knew what it was to come from nothing.
So I agreed with him, I didn’t walk down to the Peninsula of Newark, that strange hub where the trains come and come and leave from anywhere and everywhere with a whole race of people, generations stuck in place with millions traveling through, finding a way in and out when the others sat there in rot with dashed dreams, graduate programs, languages, wealthy families and friends left behind. Now they had the concrete, the dirty sidewalks, the people who had so despaired that they could not even respect those that lived with them, on the same streets, sharing the same fates because none of them wanted to to resemble their neighbor.
So I agreed. I would not take the train back to Hoboken or the City, I would not. I would put my books back in the locker, “locker”, oh, I would put my books back in the locker and agree to go see my professor.
He asked me why I was a monkey on his back.
I had the sheer pleasure of kicking his and his colleagues’ butts years down the road.
This wonderful woman, blogger, tarot girl….DoveLove.…has hit me with my ultimate enjoyment….books….
I copy here, somewhat inartfully, her post regarding tagging and books and life and love.
Let’s see what I can do…..
01. One book that changed your life
OK, IT’S ME HERE, S.E., ONE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE? ONE…………….OW, THAT HURTS, THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL HUNDRED, BUT LET ME GO WITH THE GUT…SIDDHARTHA…………..
02. One book that you’ve read more than once
MORE THAN ONCE? I REALLY HATE THAT. I HAVE AN EMBARGO GOING IN THAT DIRECTION, BUT MY FIRST WOULD BE THE SAME AS NUMBER ONE: SIDDHARTHA….AND SILK AND MANY MANY BOOKS BY ELLEN GILGRIST. I’M GOING FROM THE GUT HERE, TYPOS BE DARNED.
03. One book you’d want on a desert island
ONE BOOK I WOULD WANT ON A DESERT ISLAND? THIS IS TOUGH. I TROLL THROUGH BARNES AND NOBLE AND INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES LOOKING FOR THAT TITLE AND I DON’T HAVE IT YET, I DON’T….I WOULD BE WRITING WORDS IN THE SAND, ROCKING ON MY HEELS AND PROBABLY TALKING TO THE CLOUDS CREATING MY OWN.
04. Two books that made you laugh
EASY….SOPHIA KINSELLA….SHE IS A GEM AND ALWAYS MAKES ME LAUGH AND DARN IT, SHE PUBLISHED MORE THAN TWO BOOKS.
05. One book that made you cry
ONE BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY? HALLMARK MAKES ME CRY. A PLAINTIVE BIRD ALONE ON A BRANCH MAKES ME CRY. ONE BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY…PERHAPS THE ONE I HAVEN’T PUBLISHED.
06. One book that you wish had been written
EASY: HOW LOVE CURES ALL.
07. One book that you wish had never been written
ANYTHING FOCUSING ON HATE.
08. Two books you’re currently reading
HAHA: THE REINCARNATION OF EDGAR CAYCE AND THE PHARMACY OF THE SOUL.
09. One book you’ve been meaning to read
UM, THE BIBLE?
10. Okay, I’m gonna try this taggin thing, but since I’ve been getting the number 3, I’ll do 3 🙂
ANYONE WHO WANTS TO JOIN IN. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS. PEACE TO YOU DOVE LOVE.
I hope the holidays have found you all well.
If not financially, then physically.
If not physically, then spiritually.
Regardless, we wish you well.
Our holiday was chaotic and blessed.
I was hoping for some paints in the stocking, but alas, the Divine does not want me painting right now.
Until then, I share, the “Unfinished”.
I am not the water.
I am not the rocks.
I am not the silt on the bottom of the bed of the creek.
I am not the edge of the creek, the moss meeting the edge of the water.
I am not the floor of the sky.
I am not the ceiling of the earth.
I am not limited
I am not defined.
I am no more not of the water and the earth and the rocks and the sky then I am of them.
I am all or I am nothing.
And so is love.
Join me, start a song, type unbidden, let’s see where we are, the SurfaceEarth exchange
Across the sky
two birds come across
they wink at me
it no longer matters
I don’t need the sign
they were simply waking me up all of these months and years
across the top of the ocean
Does it matter
that I now walk through walls
does it matter
did not achieve it on my own
Did I pick the right song
or the wrong one
did it pick me?
It’s slow beyond the triggers of my mind
I think the pauses between the words
between the melody
may be having me travel where I wouldn’t otherwise
“Oh God if you’re round there won’t you hear me…”
Maybe not such a bad choice
I pat the head
of the girl I was
I smile at her
the thirty animals that circled her bed at night
the bag beneath her bed
there was a fire
I circle and embrace her
is this the worst that comes out of this two minute song?
How do we find where we have begun?
Song #2: Couldn’t resist, may be short……………
How do you describe
that starts from within?
How do you describe hope
How do you
How do you
How do you live the moment
when the past and the future
want to choke you?
How do you
How do you
How do you rise up
across the pond
of the moment?
How do you stand
across a frozen ink of glass
against the stark
of a town
a place within the town
even more forgotten
how do you carve yourself against the sky
to make yourself matter?
you put your arms out in front of you
whether you can
or not see
you put your fingers
of you against the sky and dare it
****both background songs compliments of Sarah McLauchlan, her cd I bought playing in my home
Peace my brothers and sisters.
Typing or drawing to music is freeing and brings us back to our origins.
May God bless you.
Well, I’m hoping this falls under the Fair Use Doctrine, I’m pretty convinced it does. So I’ll share just a quote of one of the four books I got myself today, because, to be truthful, I’m always reading more than one book at once and as many as I can get my hands on.
So without further ado, a slight excerpt, a cut-away…I give you:
“As I look back over my life, as my mind wanders freely over how I’ve lived and loved and protested and questioned, I realize that aging well isn’t about the search for happiness, but more about quietly feeling content with what I’ve experienced. Loving without caring too much, you might say. And more than anything, I’ve come to appreciate the value of conflict. Everything isn’t always meant to be light and love. The dark times, the conflicts, that’s where real learning can happen.”
-Shirley MacLaine, Sage-Ing While Age-Ing; Atria Books, p. 4, copyright 2007.
Update: November 19, 2007: O’Reilly & Ms. MacLaine square off on this flat planet
How many times in our life are we within these moments?
Unfounded, unlimited happiness? Moments within which we feel neither the finality of morality, nor the limit of our beginnings?
I read today, or was it yesterday, on The Naked Soul: To Whose Beat Are You Marching To…, about stripping ourselves bare of the expectations of others that we carry, the expectations that have become our own.
I see a lost girl in a train station, too many bags too carry alone, no idea as to what is packed within them, but all stamped “necessary”.
Now I wish I could give you the visual of this, that I had the acumen of some of my fellow bloggers to insert the proper pictures within the proper space of the words, and someday I will, but for now, believe, that there is a space between the words where only visuals can be captured and then there is yet a larger space, although often undetectable, where only the emotion without words or pictures exists. In that space, only faith of heart exists.
Don’t we ask ourselves this?
Even those of us that embrace stream of consciousness writing?
Yes, stream of consciousness writing can mean different things to many people, but I’m not sure I ever knew that until this moment.
I never took the time to think that stream of consciousness, as pure as I believed it to be, save correcting typographical errors, was in fact subject to many filters.
You may have filters that I don’t that edit less or more.
Does that make your writing any less pure?
I have spent much time the last few months, but more so, the last few days, enveloped in silence within sound.
Silence within sound? What kind of message is that?
Silence within sound, in this moment, to me, means, not feeling the need to infuse the moment with words.
I became lost within a group of people these last few days.
Simple communication gone awry, left on a corner in a remote town, I began to walk. But you see, I was not “left” by these people around me, we just used our words differently, yes, the same string of words. They watched me walk to a store, and when asking if I wanted a ride, I said, no, I like to walk. So when I came out and could not see them, I walked, assuming they thought my words, I like to walk, meant I would walk…and walk…all the way back to the hotel.
So I did, I walked.
They found me, a block from the hotel, flabbergasted and worried, thinking they had lost me.
I reflect now on that walk, how some blocks looked longer than others, but how as I walked, there was nothing pressing on me, you see, my Blackberry had an unfortunate encounter with a toddler and a garden hose weeks ago, and I still have not replaced it. Unheard of in my day to day profession, but, I wanted it to happen, I think now, I willed that garden hose to to hit my Blackberry.
I am now listening to Pandora, having searched for Diana Krall, and I did indeed get one selection, but what came next?
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
I am still the child that walks alone, singing to the clouds and clicking my heels, as I told RubyShooz moments ago….serendipity? or mere chance?
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,
there’s a land that I heard of….
Well, on this walk, the walk of the lost, I heard this song, and I heard God, and I said, ok, so this is what it is to be connected to the eternal, to be without worry, this is it, isn’t it?
Now any one else seeing it, may have seen a mad woman dressed in black with bottles of wine in brown bags wondering what had gone wrong in the world.
Yet, the crazy thing is…everything had gone right.
I was where I was.
And that was ok.
I also provided endless laughs for the crowd over the next several days…the best version, how does a woman get lost in a liquor store within only three aisles?
I have not stopped.
At the same time, I hear a litany playing in the back of my mind, another childhood memory:
“Lamb of God,
You take away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.”
Over and over.
I veered today out of the way of a shadow on the road, but it was the shadow of a chipmunk, do you know how small the shadow of a chipmunk is on a country road where you are permitted to go fifty miles an hour?
But I saw it, and no, I didn’t hit the chipmunk. Thank God.
So, why do we write or not write here?
I have no clue.
All I know, is I did it my way this time.
Ok, I must ask, have we nothing better to do with ourselves than criticize Britney Spears?
I glossed over news articles the — news? —last few days but today’s headline stopped me in my tracks:
Actually, it is some of the headlines quoted within the headline of the above CNN article that got me going.
You see, I watched the awards and what I saw was someone who maybe was a bit nervous, maybe not, but that was my impression of the young woman. The second thing that hit me was, wow, she had two kids, isn’t she in wonderful shape?
Is she that much of a threat to some part of society I am unaware of that even her body must take verbal abuse?
Maybe it’s just me, but the use of the word “fat”, the existence of the word, just seems plain ludicrous. So does the constant criticism of the young woman most of us will never know. Have to wonder, why is it that so many enjoy seeing others down, and if in fact not down, well then certainly throwing enough energy their way to hopefully land them there?
I feel as I imagine it would be to be the river or a gurgling creek.
I find that there are moments when I have what some may call an intolerance for words. It is ironic because I earn my daily bread with words. It is ironic because I live to read. It is ironic because some of the greatest beauty I find in this world is how words sing, hum beyond the confines we put upon them, caging them in with alphabets and dialects.
Words though carry power. The absence of words also carries power.
I have met people in life that need words but appear to me not to even know they need them. Words rush from their mouths in torrents, chronicling minute details of their days and I sit and watch the mouth of the person speaking, the person’s eyes, the way the skin on their face moves and all of this observation somehow takes the place of me being able to hear the words themselves, I hear something beyond them, so when the pause comes as it does inevitably, I find myself still in this other dimension, the land of lost words, and nothing comes out of my mouth. I am in a place where I don’t know how to convert this “new” language, the language that goes beyond mere letters and I am silent. It does not mean I have not heard, thought, analyzed, emoted…I simply can’t translate these sensations into a comprehensible language.
When I say as I did above that I feel peaceful, it may not be the generally understood meaning of peaceful. I mean instead not that I am free of issues or “troubles”, but I am free of my need to hold onto them. Yes, they exist, but I also know a moment will come when those same issues will not exist, perhaps they will have taken a new form, but they do not weave themselves tightly into the fabric of the internal me. And this is what I mean by feeling like the river or the gurgling creek, I flow.
You can hurt people considerably by not being able to deliver to them what they need from you in a particular moment. It does not make them wrong, it does not make you wrong, but the hurt sits there, like an elephant in the room.
The question becomes, what do you do with the elephant? In my case, nothing, I walk past it if there are no peanuts in my pocket. Does it mean I don’t care about the elephant? No. It simply means that some things are bigger than us and have their own rhythms and the best we can do is flow with our own rhythms.
By flowing with our own rhythms, we come closer to allowing ourselves to be, and in doing so, stand a fair chance of also letting others simply be. Perhaps this is how I envision harmony or Heaven, where the levels of energy flow and do not push against each other.
So, be a river today, be a gurgling creek, just be.
Meet the Modern Day Thunder Goddess. She wears boots for stomping, having recently discarded her cape.
I ask myself, no, I hesitate as I type this, do I really ask myself?
I think not. I think I know, no, I know I know, what enrichment is….
It is a day not long ago, a trying one, and just when a pause interspersed itself, Louis Armstrong came on, singing Hello Dolly and I heard my grandfather singing, singing like Louis. Yeah, I know, no one sings like Louis, but if you heard my grandfather, you too would shake your head.
I read Ronnie’s post on The Door to the Universe is You and it fit, it resonated, and I said, damn, I thought my landscape was limited, I thought, with my headlamp, flashlight, and pickax meandering through the labryinth of my mind that I could find the creased bits of parchment to give me the map to the treasure chest, but you see, in my mind, in my search, the treasure chest had boundaries…I read Ronnie’s post, the door to the universe is you, and my heart exploded.
Let me add, as I wrote this, my husband, that beautiful man, was trying to get us ahead, up on a stool, changing lights and before I could type the word “exploded”, well, the bulb crashed to the ground, and yes, it exploded everywhere.
So am I enriched? More than I can describe. It is the hug of a child, slippery from the bath, throwing him upon a deep comforter to cushion the fun, the giggles, the sheer delight in the moment.
We are what we decide, no matter what life hands us. And yes, I have been handed lemons, but heck, it’s easy make lemonade. The thing is, I can’t help the lemons I have been given, so what choice is there? I’m in charge of me, I decide how I feel.
I have learned, I have many hats, I decide which ones I wear and when, and sometimes, just sometimes, I wear them all at once.
Was there a time
When I knew more
Than I do today?
Passing into four
How is it
I know less?
The same as the year before
I don’t know the last time
I climbed the branches
Were there more
Were there less?
At the sky
I drew in
I took my foot
Reaching behind the knee
And found a tree
With a limb
Close to me
Only at the sky
My children are delighted as to how I am enthralled with Run’s House.
They watch Rev. Run sign off at the end of each show and say, “Mom, mom, look! That’s you!”
By that they mean, imparting words of learning via the Blackberry to whoever wants to hear.
Tonight, in between many things, but most importantly, while scouting around the refrigerator, I found an offending tupperware piece filled with leftover Chinese take out rice, and it hit me, “Love is like leftover rice.”
You know, if you like Chinese food delivered, especially if you have a great Chinese food delivery nearby, the expectation of that warm, simmering, made to order, other than what you can achieve at home food. I’m talking spicy Shrimp, slivered vegetables, soup, soup, soup, a vegetarian base and Wow, I swear, it’s the Elixer in life. And then there is the rice, the rice in the box, the steaming white rice, the only thing at least one of your children will eat.
You sit together, you eat, you enjoy, and you push away from the table looking for the big garbage bag to get rid of the reminders of how you’ve blown the diet, as to how greasy and bloated you feel…but you pack away the rice, you put it in tupperware, convinced tomorrow you will make a soup, or your own stir fry or something.
A week passes.
A second week passes.
The third…you find it in the back of the refrigerator, you remember the temptation, you remember the taste, you remember refusing to throw it out because there is always an inherent value.
That is love. Maybe not as shiny, but just as surprising and ever useful. If I was so inclined, I could have even made glue of that rice.
Tobeme a/k/a The Naked Soul today wrote a piece on The Magic of Life.
Now granted, I am a fan of his blog and often come away with something that makes me continue to chew, in other words, I rarely fully digest the words and spin them over, wondering as to the many paths, the many intuitions, the abundance of wisdom.
Today, I found myself again on the Naked Soul blog because I enjoy it. Now days before, maybe just 1.5 or two, but I’m thinking less than two, I was challenging myself, asking myself: What, what? what is it you are seeking? What do you want? What do you hope to achieve?
It came to me: Magic.
I wanted to live within and know magic.
Not sorcery, no dark arts, but just plain and simple, knowing the undercurrent which causes all other things.
It could be termed so many different ways: spirituality, Deeksha, Kaballah, Mysticism, Christian or otherwise, Paganism, Celtic Mythology, etc.
What stopped me in my tracks as I thought down this road, is….were the alleged witches in Salem County doing anything differently? Searching and wishing for something different? Perhaps even for some possessing the inner knowledge? And I thought, no, no and no. And then I felt what only a shade of what it must have felt to be so accused, so damned, for simply searching for knowledge. And know, it can happen yet again and does happen, day after day.
Now, I feel like the voice behind the cloak, the heavy hood, perhaps a signboard around my neck and a bell tolling in my hand, crying along the streets: The End is Near.
It’s not what I intend, not what I want, certainly if I believe in manifestation, not what I should think about for even a moment….yet…I do.
Ok, ok, I have awhile yet to go to clear out the ego, to detach myself before I am free from such limiting thoughts…in the meantime…I am here, still questioning on this level.
I still want the answers, the bare bones, stripped to the core, pure beyond purity solution to what we all live and breath: life and faith, humanity, how to get to the next level.
If I was playing a video game, I could consult a manual, a blog with tips, whatever, because we could get to the source of design of that one game, but, if we get to the source of design of this game, our game, will we get our answers? will we be empowered or will we still be operating on blind faith?
How do I meet you, where you want to be met?
How do I speak to you as you want to be spoken to?
How do I hear you as you want to be heard?
Do I need to anticipate your words and thoughts, before I put my own on the page?
I am struck, today as many days, by who will be our next statistics.
Reading the news, I realize, you are removed from me. Are you the heart, the soul, the courage I call to with these words?
Are you who I write to without knowing as I read stories or hear stories in and on the news, more “numbers”, more “statistics”, God forgive me, you are removed from me.
Because today I am ok.
Today I am here, in a country I love, in a place where I am adored, in a world where the best of all dreams have manifested. To me the best of all dreams is what I inhabit, the love of a select few, so pure; yet, not without its moments of impatience. Within and around this world, I have food, a roof, electricity, I have the ability to pay bills. I have feet, legs that carry me to my car to start my day, I have a career, esteemed some would say, but that is not the pivotal signifigance, the pivotal signifigance is that I have and embody, at least to this day, the wherewithal to carry on.
Who would I be without it?
Where would I be?
And despite this awareness of fortune and luck, I read the news, devour the news, surf for different versions of the same story, wanting, panting over the search, the journey for the truth to figure out how it is any of us could treat each other as if we were not part of the “us”.
Can I see a mother in the news grieving, struggling despite the news to carry on, because really, what else is there to do?
I wonder at the ones we mark as misfits as this global world closes into itself, where will they go? Trapped where they are not wanted and don’t belong; yet, marked from exit? And suppose, just suppose, we are wrong in our adjustment of perception, so much so, that we brand the innocent guilty? Can we live with that?
I know, statistics can meter out that the price of a few innocent lives are worth it to capture the maybe guilty ones…but something deep within my heart cries out, screams and says, suppose, just suppose, it was you or I? or a beloved child that we knew, as well as we can know anything, who was and is good, what then?
I have never spent much time on the depth of literature or biblical studies, not that I don’t have degrees, learning or education, it is simply that my mind seemed to discard that which did not ring true with the collective human heart.
I don’t care. I simply don’t care what the Bible has to say, I think the truth for humanity lives within us and resonates so true and so pure from the most beautiful part of our hearts and souls, that truth of that nature is hard to disavow.
I think our society has succumbed, has bowed itself to the inevitability to evolution on an industrial and technological level. Really, I have no better choice, no better solution, I know not what a better world would be for us, I do know this, we are culpable, day after day, in the moment exiting sleep and upon awakening, that is the breath within which we embrace the best version of who we are and we shrug it off, most of us, and don a suit of clothes, to play charades for the better part of our days.
I do not have the one answer, the one path, the signs or the miracles that point the way.
Sometimes though, what doesn’t work, can point the way.
We spend so much time afraid of each other, who has what, who will do what, that we cannot live.
What would happen if 98 percent of the world chose differently? Chose to have a voice and use that voice and live in whatever best version of the Divine we could embody?
Is it really so far fetched?
Isn’t that truly part of what we search for, this life cycle of questions and answers?
Can’t we just accept there are many things we do not know, but despite that, acknowledge there are things we can agree upon to honor each other?
You got that?
Ok, ok, I’m done. Most of you that step over here quite often are used to me stamping my foot. Truly though, I wondered today, suppose I said: That’s it? I’m done with my role as a woman?
I work, I love, I care, I clean, I keep track of appointments, I blog for God’s sake. I do and do and do.
Oh, here we go, my evil twin has arrived: “You think you do so much? Imagine living without electricity? Imagine having no food, not just all the food you desire? Imagine working from sun up to sun down and beyond simply finding enough water for washing?” Her voice goes on and on.
Yes, I have an evil twin. Anytime I get tired or want to moan, she shows up, banging at the door.
I may as well let her in…she never stops knocking.
But hey, you out there, have you ever experienced that? You simply don’t want to be polite, demure, kind, caring, and all the other words that we strive to embody as women?
I want to be the Goddess of Thunder.
Seriously, go read Romancing the Crone’s post on this, you will see what I mean: Words of an Ancient Goddess.
I sat here, for a blessed moment or two, doing nothing but seeing.
I saw that despite my attempts to clean up my shelves, a piece of paper had a mind of its own and somehow became lodged between one shelf and another, in a space which served to highlight it: A Novena to St. Jude.
Now I have always known St. Jude is powerful and clever, but this beats all, quite a funny way of reminding me I owe him a few prayers of gratitude.
I sat again, unwilling to pick up the novena prayer, not quite yet, this is my stillness and prayer to me is active in a way mere thought is not.
I had just stopped working on a memorandum, research, the pursuit of questions without quantifiable answers, but whose answers, when found exonerate or impose liability and to be frank, I was done, I was “still”.
So I continued to stare thinking about a series of email exchanges regarding how much is too much, when does thought and excavating the past liberate us and when does it encumber us?
My eye glanced to a lovely book, an older version: Little Pictures of Japan. And I was drawn to its cover and wanted to jump in and indulge myself in its ability to take the complex and make it simple but I didn’t.
I continued to sit and stare.
My mind became drawn to a book: Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. One of my absolute favorites from childhood.
I stood up, I picked it up, walked back to my chair and sat down.
I love it just as much today: the child on a journey, confronting and meeting his fears, and regarding them unblinking.
Yes. It was the perfect ending to that line of thought if I had not just stepped outside afterward and for the second time today heard a long forgotten song playing from a neighbor’s home which propelled me to view myself remotely as a beautiful and pure child and to want to smother that child with kisses and thank her for her dreams, for her courage to believe, for her vision and to promise her, I would begin to take down the walls that stood in her path.
See Ronnie’s Out of My Head piece: Where the Wild Things Were
Tonight, I read slowly, something that those who know me well, know happens too infrequently.
I read the voice of a young woman, and am struck by something she felt worthy to be placed among the pages. I have not referenced and cross-referenced, I simply put this here for a note of familiarity, The Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Alsanea, pp. 73-74):
Rid yourself of woe and tears
Instead of crying years and years
Oh You who’ve wept the traitor man
Weep on today, if you well can.
But watch that no one sees tears fall
For such will please the traitors all.
I was feeling dull today. I listened to the news, watched the news, surfed the news, and tonight I saw a tagline: What Would Happen If Everyone Cared?
I felt something shift inside. After all, isn’t that the secret I most cherish, the one I most chase? What would be the impact if everyone cared?
CNN, yes, again CNN, has provided me with something that aligns myself with hope. The quest: What would happen if everyone cared?
I clicked on the link and found Resources on how we, the little people, can help others.
I don’t know about you, but I do wonder about what happens thousands of miles from my home. I also wonder if there is someone I could be helping within a few blocks. That is the aim of Surface Earth. To eventually launch an easy way to help each other within towns and then let the strength of towns spill over. In the meantime, we search to see how others are helping each other, day after day, and today, we were struck by the CNN tagline: Impact Your World.
I’m wondering if God has a monogamous relationship with each and every one of us.
I don’t care much for religious thought, Biblical teachings, it’s not done much for humanity all of these years to enlighten us to prevent crimes against humanity or the lack of daily kindness.
I care instead about what I believe is the one and only true religion, the religion of the heart: open, loving kindess.
Is it possible for God indeed to have a monogamous relationship with each of us?
I read the news and hear the news and I shake my head. How is it possible? Prayers of thanks are given by those physically saved in the midst of numbers mounting day after day of those that are unable to thank God for saving them, either because they are no longer on planet Earth or because they have suffered such circumstances that thanks are no longer in their vocabularly.
If it is true that God only responds to some prayers, some religions, some chosen people, then obviously God is not having a monogamous loving relationship with each and every one of us and is favoring some over others.
See, I can’t believe that, I truly cannot get that notion through my thick head.
The only other alternative for me then is: God gave us the tools we need and some of us fail to use them….That’s what I want to believe, because then there means there is hope and something to look forward to, a greater, better human race that wants to improve.
Imagine the past as an Octopus.
Extending, reaching into your mouth, your eyes, ears, nose.
Slithering and grabbing hold of your mind.
You stand there,
allowing it to occur,
not caring enough
not knowing how to defend yourself.
removing the tendrils,
taking them from your eyes, your ears, your mouth.
Remove the Octopus.
I read a lot about spirituality, powers untapped of the universe, etc.
Tonight, I enjoy a piece that Ronnie at Out of my Head wrote about how to take simple steps to make it happen.
Maybe some of you are like me, you need a picture drawn, not The Last Supper, but a small and well defined cartoon, few brush strokes to get to the heart of the matter.
Well, Ronnie did that for me, and yes, I guess I spurred her on a bit, but so what? I wanted the answer.
I am a proponent of collective consciousness thinking. I believe that we are all webbed together and our blinders prevent us from seeing or knowing this on a day to day basis.
I can rarely find an instant, where one action has not somehow affected another. There are simple examples:
I leave work in a rush, angry over some detail. I am striving to get errands done and arrive home timely. I am in traffic and become angry watching cars ahead of me race through the yield sign and shove their way into the traffic, further delaying my journey because of a lack of courtesy. Miles down the road, I sense a car patiently waiting could use a break, needs some considerate motorist to let them into the traffic so they don’t remain in place for the next hour. Do I notice, do I see, do I allow this person in or do I carry over my anger from my earlier frustrations? Do I in turn now punish this motorist for the ones earlier who almost ran people off the road without care? Do I stop and realize, at times, I may have inadvertantly been the one not slowing at the yield sign, perhaps not out of a lack of deliberate inconsideration, but because I was so in my own world, my own perspective, I simply thought it was “my turn”?
Now, this is just a loose description, the point being is that when you become aware, it is hard to divorce any moment, any action, any word from another.
Today, there are two striking news articles that made me again think: We do this to ourselves. The first is the treatment of “elderly” Hindu woman, the second the treatment of female brides and the price of dowrys.
I saw a picture of a young woman standing in traffic. BBC news entitled its piece: Indian Woman Strips in Dowry Row
This young woman, standing with just underclothes on in traffic and what appears to be a baseball bat in her hand. The picture sounds like a scream to me, I feel that I can hear her soul screaming.
The second article that I keep thinking of was posted on CNN, entitled: Shunned from society, widows flock to city to die:
“VRINDAVAN, India (CNN) — Ostracized by society, India’s widows flock to the holy city of Vrindavan waiting to die. They are found on side streets, hunched over with walking canes, their heads shaved and their pain etched by hundreds of deep wrinkles in their faces.
A widow makes her way in Vrindavan, India, where an estimated 15,000 widows live on the streets.
1 of 3
These Hindu widows, the poorest of the poor, are shunned from society when their husbands die, not for religious reasons, but because of tradition — and because they’re seen as a financial drain on their families.
They cannot remarry. They must not wear jewelry. They are forced to shave their heads and typically wear white. Even their shadows are considered bad luck.
Hindus have long believed that death in Vrindavan will free them from the cycle of life and death. For widows, they hope death will save them from being condemned to such a life again. Watch how some widows are rebelling »
“Does it feel good?” says 70-year-old Rada Rani Biswas. “Now I have to loiter just for a bite to eat.”
Biswas speaks with a strong voice, but her spirit is broken. When her husband of 50 years died, she was instantly ostracized by all those she thought loved her, including her son.
“My son tells me: ‘You have grown old. Now who is going to feed you? Go away,’ ” she says, her eyes filling with tears. “What do I do? My pain had no limit.”
As she speaks, she squats in front of one of Vrindavan’s temples, her life reduced to begging for scraps of food.
There are an estimated 40 million widows in India, the least fortunate of them shunned and stripped of the life they lived when they were married.
It’s believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a city of about 55,000 in northern India.
“Widows don’t have many social rights within the family,” says Ranjana Kumari with the Center for Social Research, a group that works to empower women.
The situation is much more extreme within India’s rural community. “There, it is much more tradition-bound; in urban areas, there are more chances and possibilities to live a normal life.”
But the majority of India’s 1.1 billion population is rural. “The government recognizes the problem,” Kumari says. “It can do a lot, but it’s not doing enough.”
One woman, a widow herself, is working for change. Dr. Mohini Giri has formed an organization called the Guild of Service, which helps destitute women and children.
Giri’s mother was widowed when Giri was 9 years old, and she saw what a struggle it was. Then, Giri lost her husband when she was 50, enduring the social humiliation that comes with being a widow. At times, she was asked not to attend weddings because her presence was considered bad luck.
“Generally all widows are ostracized,” she says. “An educated woman may have money and independence, but even that is snatched away when she becomes a widow. We live in a patriarchal society. Men say that culturally as a widow you cannot do anything: You cannot grow your hair, you should not look beautiful.”
She adds, “It’s the mind-set of society we need to change — not the women.”
Seven years ago, Giri’s organization set up a refuge called Amar Bari, or “My Home,” in Vrindavan. It has become a refuge for about 120 of India’s widows. Giri’s organization is set to open a second home, one that will house another 500 widows.
But as she says, “Mine is but a drop in the bucket.”
At Amar Bari, most widows reject traditional white outfits and grow out their hair. Along the open air corridors that link the house’s courtyard are green wooden doors, leading to dark tiny rooms, home for each widow. See the widows of Vrindavan »
Bent over by osteoporosis, 85-year-old Promita Das meticulously and slowly sweeps the floor just outside her door and then carefully cleans her dishes.
“I came here when I couldn’t work anymore. I used to clean houses,” she says. “Nobody looked after me, nobody loved me. I survived on my own.”
She married at 12 and was widowed at 15. Seventy years later, she finds herself at Amar Bari. “I used to live in front of a temple, but then I came here,” she says….”.
On one end of the spectrum of life, there is mistreatment for not bringing enough into the marriage and the family. On the other end, there is banishment for not having enough left to give after already have given it to everyone else.
I have posted before about the eternal question: why? And yes, as I read these and other stories, my first impulse is to still ask why, but I no longer am convinced that figuring out the “why” will fix these problems. Whose “why” would I begin with? Through whose eyes would I look through first and with whose eyes would I end in trying to figure out the origin?
We are almost all certainly aware, paraphrased, that faith can move mountains.
It occurs to me that perhaps the greatest mountain is the one within ourselves. If we can live and embody faith, and no, I don’t care what you call that faith, let it flood us, it could change everything. First, it could change our own internal topography and then, what lies beyond us.
I walked by our garden, I saw a long stemmed original daisy. You know the kind, long, straight, proud, daring, stark white petals against the sky, you love me, you love me not.
I stopped. Momentarily amazed that any flowers grew in the fluctuating temperatures, but that this one stood alone.
I looked closer. It stood tall and proud, yet slightly withered against the sky. I understood, it had been left to stand alone. The stems surrounding it had been chewed. Was it the mother, the deer, I whispered to, telling her, it’s ok, you are safe here? Your babies are safe here? We’ll even go back inside when we see you so they don’t become too afraid too soon.
The deer left this moment for me.
I would love to take credit for this beautiful, articulate line of thought, but I can’t. I can say that I have been thinking on and off about the creation of quiet spaces, taking time from work, noise, electronic devices, etc. What I haven’t truly thought of, at least not comprehensively, is why is it that we can more easily keep promises to others, as opposed to ourself?
Well, thankfully, tobeme did just that today, caused me to stop while reading his post, to ask myself, hey, come on, why do you find it easier to make promises to others, rather than yourself? I encourage you to jump over and read the post, entitled: Independence Day Thinking. It is the kind of post, with the type of expression, that creeps up on you and it is easy for you to recognize the universal message to be decent to yourself and honor yourself, and actually, within a few paragraphs, tells you how to do just that. Amazing.
What I do for myself is to carve out spaces. In an otherwise hectic day, in a day filled with people looking for resolution while triggered by a desire for conflict, sometimes the best I can do is to carve out a space in my head, to carve an area around myself that is filled with space. (ok skeptics, maybe it is dark matter). But I at least allow myself a bumper zone most of the time, and within that zone I have a chance to breath, think, or let thoughts pass by without grading the thoughts with life or death ratings….and just be. Even if it is for a moment, it allows me to be closer to who I am.
So few are these moments, listening now, late at night, work tomorrow, Opera, a silence again within the spaces, rivers of words find themselves upon the page, three pages to be exact, untitled…
Holding onto children
the fear they will grow
away from you
is as if
into your pocket
to save for another
I want to hear your words
then I can see
your thoughts in between
where your mind stutters
filling in the gaps
between our language
pieces on my arms
I mistake such occurrences for insects
when your stories
have become more familiar
It’s me, again.
I know that you hear me everyday, chatting, begging, pleading, reasoning-asking for faith. You would think the mere fact I turn to you is faith itself, wouldn’t You?
But I know me, and You know me, and I am wrestling with my ego, unwilling to give it up, unwilling, because I think I will lose me, and my faith in You in the process.
Is that what they call, a paradox?
My “second” letter to You I started in a small, discounted, bound leather brown book, gold edged pages, a piece of fabric to mark where I left off. Small enough to go with me wherever I choose, anywhere but in my pocket. I will get back to that, that the book I choose to speak to You within could not fit within the smallest spaces. But not yet God, not yet.
I started my book, the first page, like this:
“To any who may enter here, turning the pages – remember – this is my journey – my perception of the world. Without collective consciousness, you may find yourself lost and without understanding as to my wording, my intent, my context and that will be as it is.
But I continued God, I turned the page.
Another day I said to You:
I am unsure whether it is truly a grand awakening or as we stumble step by step, we find ourselves in a new place of thought.
I desire in these pages to embrace my voice, my connection with God, to truly hear the voice of God and live with that knowledge.
We know so little, barely skimming the surface of this Earth. What can I say as to how much I know of ultimate Truth or knowledge?
I long to amass, piece by piece, a web, a ladder, a matrix of higher learning. Why is there so much unknown? It came to me that with a shift in the energy fields, a rebalancing, we could accomplish anything. We could form energy barriers to prevent destruction of humanity along shorelines. Energy bumper fields to prevent cars, trains and planes form impact and consequent calamity.
On some level, answers are known. At the point it becomes realized, we will have most likely also have abolished the need for mechanical transport.
The hardest part is breaking out of the self created barriers. The nine to five of the imposed Society.
I no longer have any aspiration to remain a lawyer. None. I find it distasteful and I resent people’s refusal to move toward resolution.
I want to cry. Big, tearing gulping sobs. It is my own own inaction that keeps me stuck in place.
Hi God. Yup, me.
Here I sit. In a “County”, a seat of justice. I drove down the highway, a torrential rain pour. I was lucky I even brought myself to drive 50 mph and the other people, flying by, driving so fast, do they wonder what would happen if they hydroplaned?
Same day, later than who I was this morning. So much later that I must try three times to flip the pages of this journal, so thick the leaf edge, I don’t dare believe I bought this for myself to speak to God. I throw down my old glasses, they fall from my nose anyway, so stretched the arms have become. I don’t need them to read these pages.
So, anything new?
There is so very much I write in my head, between the moments – now and before – it never gets on the page. For now, I will put aside this journal, this memorable me, put it aside and read the book I bought on Gandi. I so passionately want to continue reading and I will slip inside the realm of semi-consciousness sleep state, when I dream in guarded dreams of tomorrow.
*If they ever obliterate tactile writing and reading, I will elect to ascend, immediately.
Siting outside today, another day without a blackberry. How much more peaceful. Sitting outside, a small diner, with tables set out on brick pavers. Small sign says: ‘sorry, we do not accept credit cards’.
Quickly I ask, how much for a cup of coffee and a toasted english muffin? $2.25, plus tax. I check. I have a five and some change, fair enough for a decent tip, I order.
I sit across from the courthouse, another case where settlement negotiations will change and the mood of the equity judge, King of all Kings, or as Alice said, the King of nothing, all at once, is less predictable than a storm at Sea.
I had a dream last night, I’m sure of not many things, but this I recall…a bird coming to land on my shoulder, momentarily frightened as I am not sure if it will claw me; then my fear becomes less and I began to worry of the bird relieving itself on my back. It begins to sing with me. I ran around to show people the miracle, but another bird, a small sparrow, flew into my mouth.
I’m tired now God. I will go, there is never a moment You don’t hear me anyway.
***Hey God, as an afterthought, I sound like I’m just stamping my feet.
***Upon further thought God, I need to say, although You know this already, I was in fact stamping my feet. I complain about the justice system, about being a lawyer, and the simple fact is, I simply wish we lived in a world where we needed neither a justice system nor lawyers. My acts of complaining about it, poking at different sectors of the system, does nothing to change the whole and only adds negativity. So thanks for listening.
I am so untethered in this world. I often have to ask what day of the week yesterday was and find myself laughing that the very next day I had already forgotten.
I am often lost in thought, but find now, recently, thoughts fly through me more readily and I am supremely grateful for this change, that no longer makes me need, want, struggle to hold onto thoughts.
I recently posted about seeing birds, and then yesterday, none swooped before my car. I had been sick the night before and I think I did not awake with an open heart and the birds were not drawn to me. Today, I awoke differently and within several hundred yards, I had to duck as I drove, so close the first bird came, and I had to smile because it hit me, I had opened my heart.
I am reading a book: What is the What, by Dave Eggers, a fictionalized account of one man’s life, a Sudanese Refugee. The Preface, in part, set forth:
“Even when my hours were darkest, I believed that some day I could share my experiences with readers, so as to prevent the same horrors from repeating themselves. This book is a form of struggle, and it keeps my spirit alive to struggle. To struggle is to strengthen my faith, my hope, and my belief in humanity. Thank you for reading this book, and I wish you a blessed day.”
-Valentino Achak Deng
I read the last seven words over and over again…”and I wish you a blessed day”.
I was stunned, astounded and touched, that this person, the voice of the book, What is the What, wished me, a reader a blessed day.
In turn, I wish you, “a blessed day”.
| UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie sits beside an Afghan boy in the refugee camp of Katcha Ghari on the edge of the Pakistan city of Peshawar. © UNHCR/J.Redden
“Top Story: World Refugee Day: Challenges of the 21st Century
UNHCR focuses attention today on the plight of millions of refugees and displaced people around the world. The future is likely to see more people on the move and the international community must face the challenge of understanding the new displacement environment.”
I am not a sophisticated listener of music, I only know what calls to me, and it is such a wide variety.
I sat this early evening outside, surrounded by trees which must be hundreds of years old, and I watched them watching me.
Did you know the movement of the trees, if watched with an open mind and without hurry, do not follow the patterns of proscribed wind?
The leaves move in different patterns, fluttering even within the stronger gusts, they are dancing and shaping themselves against the sky for us to read, if we could only but remember.
There are things calling me to go inside, the day to day events, chores, what you might call, existence, but I am enraptured by what I am witnessing, the leaves and the branches, the very limbs are acting against the wind and dancing.
The first symphony I ever have understood.
Suppose, you recognized that in the moments when you first awake from sleep, you have no name?
Suppose you recognized that in those few spare moments in the day there was no list, no bills, no anger, no complaints, no one outside of the limitless mind that you awoke to?
Limitless of course implying that you woke to some collective whole. As if whole could be separated from collective.
I recently read something…what a laugh as I am always reading…but I read something, I believe it was on The Spiritual Oracle…and I was questioning something, suprise, repeating number sightings I think, and someone replied that they had learned to accept what is and was…hmmm.
I think I get it now.
I have this odd occurrence daily, birds sweep and hover in front of my car, my windshield, it used to freak me out and I would duck…recently I shrug it off, knowing it means something, but also knowing I do not know the language of birds and I just better let it go. Now I am talking as if I have really mastered sitting back and nothing could be further from the truth, but I swear, I haven’t ducked so much in the last few days.
What helped me was thinking of children. Children don’t to our knowledge recognize the written language and it takes most years of integration to get them to conform and see it “our” way. Yet, a part of them recognizes the power of the written word, the mystical aspect, the magic, and will hold a book, a piece of paper, a dollar bill…and “pretend” to read. I recently saw this and thought: that is me on a spiritual search, I pretend to know the language.
Monteray, Chapter One has been moved to a new page, entitled: Monteray, The Book.
Excerpts of Monteray have been transferred to a new page: Monteray, The Book
I pretend for a moment that religion in its genesis had a sense of humor…I may be horribly wrong.
I don’t seek to offend those that have severe religious affiliations, but I have to say, what is the cost of religion in a world where we count how many die of poverty moment by moment?
Can religion possibly be of much greater import than death and hunger?
Mind you, at essence, I do believe we are spiritual beings here for an earthly experience, but while here for our “earthly experience”, I also believe our sight is so limited that we can only, most of the time, see ourselves as earthlings. Consequently, I find we must turn our sight inward, within the dimensions of Earth, and see what it is we allow, day after day.
The most simple example is hunger. We allow, yes, I do use the word allow, allow, children to die of hunger around the world, day after day.
We allow religion to condemn rather than raise up humanity.
We allow, we allow, we allow, myself included………….
I wonder, if religion had not lost its sense of humor, pretending for a moment that religion and its disciples ever had a sense of humor to begin with….where would we be today?
We know at least as of this moment, there is a basic way in and out of this world, yet, we forget it with every breath we draw…..
There is a Creation Museum, which we touched upon, every so briefly, in our piece: Bible, the Museum and the Shark.
To be frank, we may have poked fun at it, simply because we have not and cannot ever understand an all powerful God that can believe a woman is inferior only because she is female. We cited to female sharks that evidently (testing still to be performed) that can bring new sharks into the world without the necessity of male sharks. Our dimwitted conclusion was if God intended to make women a lesser human, why would sharks be able to procreate without the assistance of males?
Anyway, we notice today a New York Times headline: Cool Reception for Bible Park in Bible Belt and I wasn’t sure what to think. Ok, if people want to spend their time in a fake recreation of what might be the truth, so what? Don’t push it on me. That’s my only rule. Next Saturday I will attend a party where a pig, a whole pig, will be roasted. Now, family has tried to convince me as to why that is ok, I don’t need to be convinced, it is simply not true for me. I was raised on Charlotte’s Web and happen to believe pigs are intrinsically intelligent and I prefer not to see evolved humans sitting around with flags surrounding the entire body, including the head/brain of a pig. Ok, so I won’t boycott the party, but to be sure, I’m not eating it, I’m not going near it and if I see it, I will throw up without apology.
So, I ask, what do I care if people want to recreate what they believe to be the story of the world, of humans, evolution? I don’t.
I just don’t want them forcing their beliefs on me.
Adam and Eve? Maybe they existed, maybe they didn’t. I really don’t care. I find the view of them too very limited to give it serious thought.
See, I don’t believe in a God that would sacrifice its children so readily because I am a parent and it would take….it would take….it would take….well….something I can’t even comprehend to make me sacrifice and damn my children the way some religions say God has damned us.
I simply can’t sign up. I can’t believe.
I continued reading the New York Times, A week in review, “The Guidebook for Taking a Life“.
Whose God I ask you?
Groucho Marx: “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.”
As Groucho Marx reportedly stated: “Outside of a dog, a man’s best friend is a book. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
Well, that sums up religion to me.
Recently I came across the word Ubuntu.
The word intrigued me as much as the word Namaste intrigues me.
Synchronicity lead me to buy the latest Vanity Fair Magazine, highlighting different people and their efforts in Africa. Within that magazine was a conversation between Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, and Brad Pitt, the well known actor, and now well recognized humanitarian.
I first read the article regarding Jeffrey Sachs, entitled Jeffrey Sachs’s $200 Billion Dream, by Nina Munk. I wasn’t simply enthralled with the intelligence that lead to the ability to create and foster both dreams and a realized reality for others, I was left in a state of incomprehension by the tenacity, the sheer perseverence of the mission Mr. Sachs, his family, people working with him, and countless others exhibit. I have a dream, it’s a smaller one, called surface earth, the zipcode exchange: the intent is to create a web, beginning within a single community, then spanning silken strands, community by community, until no person or no part of this Earth is left untouched, people helping others, constantly, as a natural way of life, a readjustment. I am still working on my matrix, whereas Mr. Sachs has run with his.
I continued reading on….
From the table of contents on Vanity Fair Online you can see:
“THE TUTU CONNECTION Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for opposing apartheid in South Africa. Talking with Brad Pitt, he explains why the fight for equality must go global. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz”.
I, however, have the print edition because I prefer in many ways, the printed page. I was wildly pleased when I began the article at page 96, to see within the fifth exchange the following:
Brad Pitt: What is this concept of Ubuntu I keep reading about?
Desmond Tutu: Ubuntu is the essence of being human. And in our language a person is ubuntu, and ubuntu is a noun to speak about what it means to be human. In essence, it is something that you find especially in the Old Testament, where you’re not quite sure sometimes-when you are reading, say the Psalms-whether the Psalm is speaking, where it says, ‘I,’ only of an individual, or is it speaking in a corporate sense? We say a person is a person through other persons. You can’t be human in isolation. You are human only in relationships.
Brad Pitt: So that speaks to our interconnectedness.
Desmond Tutu: We are interconnected………………….
Normally, I would go on, type more of the article, the exchange, but some things must be made palpable, must be received through sensory perceptions, since we so long ago closed off other means of perception…read the article, in fact, read the entire magazine.
I am convinced – Ubuntu – is not just a beautiful word that sings without need for comprehension, Ubuntu is also a journey.
Recently, I found myself with an extra hour in an unknown town. I took a ride and for some reason my head snapped in the direction of one of the hundreds of strip malls. I almost dismissed my head turning, because after all, there is rarely anything I want in the strip malls, save milk. This time though, I looked again, sure enough, there was a paperback bookstore, trading the old and still slightly new. What the heck, it was the Friday before Memorial Day, what better time to stock up on books, and cheaply at that…
I wandered in and was enchanted that I didn’t know my way around. They were kind enough to stick up index cards to show me the way. It took me quite a few minutes to even notice the index cards, let alone to understand they were showing me the way.
I wandered up and down and in circles, looking at my watch, afraid time had converted in that small shop and I would find myself late for a meeting that I actually had arrived early for just moments before.
I touched books, at first slightly recoiling, wondering who touched them before me, what they thought, why they picked the book to begin with….it didn’t occur to me how many people touch the books first that I claim as my own when I am in a store full of “new” books. For some reason, I felt it more strongly in this store, felt a true love of reading, felt so many desires, hopes, questions from other minds rushing out at me as I looked for my own answers.
I came across a tattered copy of “An Autobiography or The Story of my experiments with the truth”, by M. K. Gandhi. At first I didn’t want it, I felt the presence of the prior reader or readers too strongly and as I flipped through the pages and saw highlights on certain passages, I put the book down. I didn’t want someone else telling me what was most important inside of what could only be all important.
I went back to the shelf, it was only $6.99 and everything was further on sale by 50%. Ok, I had to get over myself and simply buy the book and forget about the past, the prior ownership.
Today, I sat waiting in Court for a case to be called. Surprise, I arrived early on a day full of the aftermath of another State’s tropical rains. I sat hunched on what should have been a church pew in an old forgotten historical building and I opened the book I had already begun to read and came upon a passage that made so much sense to me, more so because I am an attorney paid to speak:
“I must say that, beyond occasionally exposing me to laughter, my constitutional shyness has been no disadvantage whatever. In fact I can see that, on the contrary, it has been all to my advantage. My hesitancy in speech, which was once an annoyance, is now a pleasure. Its greatest benefit has been that it has taught me the economy of words. I have naturally formed the habit of re[-]straining my thoughts. And I can now give myself the certificate that a thoughtless word hardly ever escapes my tongue or pen. I do not recollect ever having had to regret anything in my speech or writing. I have thus been spared many a mishap and waste of time. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man, and silence is necessary in order to surmount it. A man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech, he will measure every word. We find so many people impatient to talk. There is no chairman of a meeting who is not pestered with notes for permission to speak. And whenever the permission is given the speaker generally exceeds the time-limit, asks for more time, and keeps on talking without permission. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and buk[-]ler. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discern[-]ment of truth.”
I often reflect upon the benefit of silence, not only for myself, allowing space for my soul to step in where my mind has mucked up the space, but also, the benefit to others, even though at first they may find my silence an affront.
Ironic, on the back of the book I have, there is a quote:
“I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.” M. K. Gandhi
Yet, the practice of truth and non-violence is still regarded as new when we look at the world we continue to live in day by day.