Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.~ Unknown ~
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.~ Henry James ~
We have some of our most beautiful weather this time of year. The sun still appears almost every day and the rains haven't yet started. The days are summer-warm, yet the nights are cool enough that I have to use all my covers (instead of just a sheet) at night.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
We planned a Transformation game with friends for this afternoon. With the beginning of cold and flu season upon us--and I do mean upon us--we don't want to infect each other. We may not get to play today. It all depends on the collective symptoms. We'll compare notes and then decide.
If we don't get to play today, the next available time for all of us is November 14th...maybe.
I am trusting the timing.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea.... I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed.... I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.
~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt ~
FDR Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Absolutely nothing. (This is where I break into the chorus of Blowin' in the Wind.)
May we find peace.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The hunger for God can only be satisfied by a love that is face to face, person to person. It is only in the eyes of another that we can find the Icon of Christ. We must make the other person aware we love him. If we do, he will know that God loves him. He will never hunger again.
~ Catherine de Hueck Doherty ~
Catholic social activist and founder of Madonna House
I find it very difficult to love someone who drives 5 to 15 miles per hour under the speed limit on a highway in front of me, won't use the slow moving vehicle turnouts, speeds up on the straight-aways, crosses the center line with traffic oncoming, steps on the brakes every 100 feet--syncopated with dimming and brightening the headlights, and intermittently turning on the left turn signal (just to tease me into thinking he would actually turn and get out of my way).
I didn't flip him off or curse him.
Guess I am making progress.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.~ George Bernard Shaw ~
Hot winds blew today. Ninety-one degrees and dry. Hot winds are blamed for Vincent Van Gogh going off his rocker and cutting off his ear. I get it.
Half of the planets in my astrological chart reside in water signs. 36% are in fire and 14% are in air. No earth. I have no earth in my chart. So when the wind blows, it ruffles my water--not in a good way. The only time I like wind is when I am sailing.
Today, I didn't have a boat.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.~ Thomas Merton ~
(1915 - 1968)
Love. That's all. Just love.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Because if you haven't courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.~ Samuel Johnson ~
I wouldn't say it is the "greatest" but I do value courage.
The first irrigation box is done.
The drywall project is coming along and taking longer than we originally thought. Isn't that the way of home projects?
I got to sleep in this morning. Ahh....
How's your Monday? I miss hearing from you.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
People say to us, "Oh, I grew up with your music," and we often say, sotto voce, "So did we."~ another Mary Travers quote~
my sister-in-law (who was my best friend in high school)
my friend of 30+ years who I met in college
my former college roommate
my pranic healing teacher
...and the mother of Jesus.
One can never have too many Marys in one's life.
Friday, September 18, 2009
(from the web site: www.peterpaulandmary.com)
We’ve learned that it will take more than one generation to bring about change. The fight for civil rights has developed into a broader concern for human rights, and that encompasses a great many people and countries. Those of us who live in a democracy have a responsibility to be the voice for those whose voices are stilled.~ Mary Travers ~
I loved their music and I can't tell you how many times I have seen them in concert. "I can't tell you" not because it is a secret, but because I have lost count.
You have changed the world by your presence and your work. Thank you.
I am sad at your passing and oh, so grateful for your life and work. May you receive all the accolades and blessings that you deserve for championing the rights of others.
My own folk singing "career" covered a lot of their songs. PP&M will live forever in my heart, my repertoire, and in my musical collection.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I think that I have never lost the intuition that community life could be a sign that God is love, and love alone.
~ Brother Roger ~
Swiss theologian and founder of Taizé, an ecumenical monastic community in France
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be.~ Socrates ~
On another note...
I finally got the sprinkler valve installed and as of 9:00 p.m. it wasn't leaking. However, I haven't finished the job because I had to dig out the box and several inches of mud, and then put down new crushed rock. I'll set the box on bricks this time because I had to dig down so low to get below the drain valves.
Speaking of being what one appears to be (and ethics)...the builder wasn't (and didn't have any).
So--good Lord willing and the blue glue holds--if I get home early enough from Eugene, I might have some daylight to work on the project. I would love to get this part done before I head out of town for a couple days.
Have a good weekend.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the U.S. around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better.
~Daniel Berrigan ~
poet, peace activist, and priest
I completed the project in the mud. Piece of cake!
The doctor says my foot/ankle will be fine with a little more time and rest.
My phone is ringing off the hook with new clients.
I finally fit into my skinny pants.
I won the lottery.
Really I would.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Do what we can - summer will have its flies.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
I have a big ol' fly on me today. The sprinkler system leaks. The valves for each zone are worn out. The low pressure drain valves are now "any pressure" valves--yeah..blown out. And the valve boxes are full of mud.
Seems our contractor was...less than stellar on his performance on this system.
Given my current lack of funds for hiring help, I'm going to fix it myself. Either that or Mary* will have to send help my way.
*Yep. I'm in.
(Oh, and happy 09.09.09!)
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
These practices are not just morally reprehensible, but they’re bad for the economy. When unscrupulous employers break the law, they’re robbing families of money to put food on the table, they’re robbing communities of spending power, and they’re robbing governments of vital tax revenues.~ Annette Bernhardt ~
Co-director of the National Employment Law Project
and an author of a study showing that low-wage workers
are routinely cheated out of overtime pay and workers'
compensation, and are often paid less than the minimum wage.
(Source: The New York Times)
Seems to me that when people work a full time job, they should be able to live on it--and by live, I mean be able to take care of their basic needs.
Or is it just me?
Monday, September 07, 2009
I am leaving the brilliant world where I occupied a high position, and now.... I am about to ascend into a much greater world, the world of the poor.
~ St. Elizabeth Feodorovna ~
The issue of health care reform continues to bring up debate--as it should. I have a lot of feelings about it, having been through several years of illness myself and with my family. I am sure you will hear more about all of that as the days go on, but that's not what I want to talk about here.
As I said, I am empassioned about this. Yet I will try to stick with information and not get carried away with my feelings here. While feelings are important, they are based on information. If the information an individual has is inaccurate, the feelings are inaccurate, as well. I support the other side's right to have their feelings, too. But if their information is inaccurate, then...so is the passion behind their antagonism.
Today, I am addressing some of the comments that I am reading and hearing in response to the Facebook statement* that went around cyberworld last Thursday:
"I work in the ER. We stop people from dying who don't have health care every day....and we don't make them pay! Your tax dollars pay for them. We already have free health care.....it is called the ER."
Wouldn't it be nice if the ER could be used appropriately for Emergencies and not "health care"? And wouldn't it be nice if more people could afford health insurance so that those who do don't pay for others' "free" ER visits through their premiums and the price tag for their doctor and hospital visits? I prefer to have a system where more people are covered so that their insurance isn't hidden in my premiums. Are we paying through taxes? Maybe a small part, but more of it comes out of the pockets of those who can pay for health care because the cost is spread out to the payers.
"No one should die because of socialized health care, and no one should go broke because they have to pay for everyone else's healthcare. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."
Let's start by saying that no one should die because of shoddy care whether it is socialized or free market.
The reality is that there are about 200,000 deaths per year in the US due to medical error according to an investigation by the Hearst media corporation. Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US. In Canada, I found differing reports--one saying that medical error is the 3rd leading cause of death and another saying it is 6th. So we are not doing anything better, and maybe not as well as Canada. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that the US ranks 14th in preventable deaths, behind several countries with socialized medicine.
We are now paying for everyone else's healthcare...through higher premiums, loss of human power in the work force, and probably taxes, too. Again, I am all for creating a system that is up front about it all. I don't like paying through higher prices of my own at the hospital/doctor's office any more than I like paying for shoplifters at the grocery store. The truth is...we all pay in so many ways already.
"Nothing socialized works. Show me a government ran [sic] program that is able to do as well as a program in the free market. ...What makes anyone believe that the government can run a health care delivery system when it can [sic] run getting our mail to us without being severly [sic] over budget."
That's a pretty broad generalization. "Nothing socialized works." Clearly, many people who live in socialized countries disagree. According to WHO, the US ranks 37th in health care, again ranked after a number of countries with socialized medicine. (See here.)
"He [Obama] is trying to run this country like he is a community organizer."
So? Is that a problem? The way I see it, a community organizer tries to get everyone involved. The greater number of people who get heard, the better. Isn't this supposed to be about all of us? Why shouldn't we all be organized and involved? I know that I am more interested and involved than ever, because, finally, someone in power is listening. He is everyone's president. Mine and yours.
"The people are speaking and it is a resounding no to his socialization of this country."
We are so far from socialization. The reason that word is tossed around so much seems to be that it carries a lot of political clout. I am not afraid of our becoming socialized. I am afraid, however, of the continuation of lack of balance and the rich getting big financial breaks on the backs of the middle class and the poor.
We have laws and programs to protect people. If we could trust that everyone in the free market system had morals and valued interdependence, we wouldn't have to have that kind of system.
I have long said that no political or economic system is all bad or evil, any more than any system is all good. The people in it are what make it good or bad. If those who had money willingly paid good wages and gave good benefits to their employees, we wouldn't be having some of these discussions today. Unfortunately, not everyone does what is right, my friend.
I don't claim to have the answers but I do know these things:
We all are paying right now.
The system we have is broken.
A lot of misinformation about the actual proposal is being bandied about.
This will be much more successful for all of us if we can get accurate information and be responsible with our emotions. Really.
*"No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick."
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Maybe I’m not making big changes in the world, but if I have somehow helped or encouraged somebody along the journey then I’ve done what I’m called to do.~ Sister Thea Bowman ~
We don't often get to know the ripples we create with our actions. In my work, I usually see one person at a time, yet each one of them touches more people than I know. If I make a difference to the one--I make a difference to all the rest, too.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.~ Phillips Brooks ~
...one person at a time.
Friday, September 04, 2009
This made the rounds on Facebook yesterday:
No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.
What good will it do? It will let those of us who agree know that we are not alone. Even if we don't agree on how to get there, perhaps it will help us keep our eye on the goal.
In Oregon, the state passed a bill that will place a 1% tax on health insurance premiums in order to provide coverage for the under-insured and uninsured. I got a letter today that my health insurance company is raising my premium by 1%. So for the second time this year, my premium will increase.
Which one of us do you think makes more money? Me or the insurance company? I am willing to help those who can't do it for themselves. I believe in that kind of help. To tell you the truth, however, I'd like to see that come out of some of the executives' salaries or bonuses. At this rate, I could become one of the uninsured or under-insured.
I'm just saying.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received ... but only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.
~ St. Francis of Assisi ~
He had his foibles. Just like the rest of us. But it didn't stop him from acting in Love.
I wonder if he would have flipped people off in traffic. I wonder if he was cranky and fed up with oblivious people. I wonder if he used language that would have curled the toenails of a nun's corpse.
I know I am not a saint. (Ha! I first wrote, "I know I am a saint.") I don't know if non-Catholics can be saints anyway.
The point is, I believe in love. I believe in acting in Love whenever I can. And even when I screw up--in the next moment, I can choose again to act in Love. I get to start over...as many times a day as I need to.
(And thank you all for your supportive comments yesterday. I appreciate your coming along for the ride.)
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
...or a woman.A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.~ Abraham Maslow ~
For more than 25 years, I've been in a profession where I was expected to be a tabla rasa--a blank slate. The less I let people see of me, the better--or so we thought.
I don't think I can do it any more. I haven't sorted out all the edges of this. I know that I must still maintain professional boundaries. I know that once I open myself to being seen, I can't take it back. So I reveal myself tenuously...gingerly.
I just know that I can no longer keep as much of myself to myself. What that will look like, I don't know. I just know that Maslow was right.
Guess we'll find out together.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.~ Helen Keller ~
If you've been here before, you know that I struggle with wanting to do more than suit up and show up...which on most days is what I can manage. It's not that that's not okay. Certainly showing up is important.
For me--within me...sometimes it doesn't feel like enough.
Today, I will do what is set before me and know that what I do matters. How I approach what I do also matters. And I will hold the thought that because the day before me is what was given to me to live, this day and these tasks are great and noble--the ones I have been given to do.