Thursday, September 30, 2010

love thursday 09.30.10 ~ i love the perfect protest à la brené brown


Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I had the good fortune to attend a workshop with Brené Brown several years ago. She is a wonderful teacher and story teller. Now she has a new book out: The Gifts of Imperfection.

Brené invited us to join her in the perfect protest...and I, being a child of the 70s, couldn't pass that up. Check out her blog by clicking the title of this post. (If it doesn't work, please let me know. I am giving up perfection, you know.)

As a real life expression of my move to imperfection I accidentally left the "c" out of "perfect" in my sign above and had to squeeze it in. Oops. Oh, well.

Letting go of perfection = Freedom!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

a side of hawaii you may not have seen

(hawaiian cactus--picture by joan)

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.

Aldous Huxley

I don't seem to have much to say. After mowing, weed eating, and blowing, I am sore and tired. Perhaps this soreness is a step toward better fitness.

There is more than one way to improve oneself.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

dance with me

(robbie, julee, and the top of barb's head...
wearing the little glasses to see the yearbooks)


The purpose of dancing isn't to end up at a particular spot on the floor. The purpose of dancing and of life is to enjoy every moment and every step, regardless of where you are when the music ends.

Dr. Wayne Dyer

Some things really do get better with age. Things that seemed important at 20? Not so much now.

Being with people you care about? Better all the time.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

aspirations

(mijo)


(honeyboy)

Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.

Louisa May Alcott

I've been at my college reunion. Six of us got together to reminisce and hang out--laugh and try to figure out what the hell happened.

Not really. Mostly, we are wondering about people we used to know, looking at old pictures and recognizing faces but not remembering names. (Oh...where have all the brain cells gone? Long time passing....)

Being on campus again, I remember how I felt being here the first time. I loved college. I loved the campus. I loved the experience--even though I was going through the adolescent to adult angst and the turmoil of the 70s.

Did I have aspirations? I must have. I have lived my life consciously to the best of my ability. Do I have regrets? A few.

Reflection is good. Aspirations are good. And it is not too late to pursue them.

I wonder what comes next.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

reminiscing

I am at my college reunion this weekend with a bunch of women from the floor I lived on in my freshman dorm. We are having fun. There's some, "Whatever happened to..." and "Do you remember...?" And laughing. Lots of laughing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

post-love-thursday post

From Paulo Coelho's blog:
story sent by Anupam Karn

A master asked his disciples:
"Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?"

The disciples thought for a while, and one of them said, "Because we lose our calm, we shout for that."

"But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you? Isn’t it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you’re angry?"

The disciples gave him some other answers but none satisfied the master.

Finally he explained:
"When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance."

Then the master asked:
"What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small…"

And he finally said:
"When they love each other even more, what happens?

"They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love.

"Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

love thursday 09.23.10 ~ baby love


The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.

Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

terrorism



Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.

Noam Chomsky

Guilty. So often in my language...in my reactions...in my knee jerk response, I am violent. I'm not proud of it, but I do it. Yes, it is mostly a mammalian thing to react to a perceived affront that way. Still, I would like to be more than reactive.

Fortunately, I do it mostly in private or with those who know me well and know that I am the kind who catches bugs and puts them outside--except mosquitoes. That counts for something.

I'm working toward choosing more peaceful language. I am amazed at how the fight/war/artillery language just rolls off the tongue. They are images and analogies we know only too well in this culture.

Time for a shift.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

dangerous unselfishness


Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

What would that look like?

Give me your best shot.

Monday, September 20, 2010

peaceful week


Peace is not a matter of prizes or trophies. It is not the product of a victory or command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process, the work of many decisions by many people in many countries. It is an attitude, a way of life, a way of solving problems and resolving conflicts. It cannot be forced on the smallest nation or enforced by the largest. It cannot ignore our differences or overlook our common interests. It requires us to work and live together.

Oscar Arias Sánchez

from his Nobel Lecture

If they can do it (see the picture) so can we. Right?

I am tired of liars and cheaters and thieves and sociopaths. I am tired of dealing with those who don't do what is right.

I can't make them do what is right. I can't change them. Just me. I can only change me. So today--at the beginning of a new week, I am seeking peace within. My never ending process--one decision at a time.

May you have a peaceful week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

sunday morning coffee


A peacock who sits on its tail feathers is just another turkey.

Dolly Parton

A lot of my tail feathers have fallen out over the years. That happens. I have reached the age where I am painfully aware of my mortality. It's a strange phenomenon.

Every turkey should have a Thanksgiving Day--one way or the other.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"so let us begin anew..."


So let us begin anew -- remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

John F. Kennedy

I love this quote.

"sincerity is always subject to proof"

Yes!

I sincerely wish you a happy weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

love thursday 09.16.10 ~ selfless love


Compassion is expressed in gentleness. When I think of the persons I know who model for me the depths of the spiritual life, I am struck by their gentleness ... They are gentle because they have honestly faced the struggles given to them and have learned the hard way that personal survival is not the point. Their caring is gentle because their self-aggrandizement is no longer at stake. There is nothing in it for them. Their vulnerability has been stretched to clear-eyed sensitivity to others and truly selfless love.

John E. Biersdorf

I would say this a bit differently: Their love for others is not attached to their love of self.

This is simply a developmental issue--a spiritual developmental issue.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

bad romance

Precursor to Love Thursday:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

apparently, i am sweet


(yeah...i know it's a bee and not a mosquito, but it is a bug and it stings
--close enough for this post)


At least mosquitoes think so. I was sitting there minding my own business--okay, so I was taking a nap...but that's my business--and I kept feeling little tickly things on my skin. I brushed them away. They came back. I looked and thought it was a gnat. It kept coming back.

Lo and behold...it was a frickin' mosquito in camouflage. I kid you not. The mask slipped and I saw its real face. Then I tried to kill it. That sucker was fast. Bit me several times before I eliminated it. Itch.

I have found that if I wear a light layer of tea tree oil, mosquitoes leave me alone. However, I was in my house--not out walking the nature trails--and was not expecting the blood sucker in disguise.

So now that I have been bitten, I will scratch and take some Antronex. That usually helps. It contains a natural antihistamine that works for me.

What are your tips for a) avoiding being bitten and b) reducing the itchiness if you have been? Please share. I'm always looking for new ways to minimize the damage.

Monday, September 13, 2010

universal laws may not be universal

I read this morning in Science Daily that the laws of the universe (physics) are not constant in all parts of the universe. What a fun thought!

I am sure that somewhere manna tastes like perfectly crispy apple fritters.

Health--good health is taken for granted by all inhabitants because they have never known anything else and don't know that some other way exists.

Gravity truly is a myth. (I wonder what takes its place?)

Weather is not a topic of conversation and whatever happens just is.

Constants are not necessary for the inhabitants to make sense out of life and "get things done."

Time does not exist. Everything does. All. At. Once. (And it is a constant source of delight.)

So you know what that means about aging!

----

What do you think? What laws are different out there Across the Universe?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

proof


(deb shucka, mijo, and my book...oh yeah--and coffee)


It was so lovely to have a visit. Thanks, Deb.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

falling



We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The banana is almost to the top of the window. I don't know if it will make it before the freezing sets in and it starts to die back for the winter.

Fall is difficult for me. Viscerally, I feel the dying. Yes, I know that is the natural order and it is required for rebirth. Just because it is the way of the universe, doesn't mean that I...we shouldn't have feelings. I do.

So I will be sad to see my beautiful banana plant die back this year. Given that I have managed to keep the plant alive through two winters now, I will hold the hope that this winter will be no different.

Infinite hope...in life.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

love thursday 09.09.10 ~ i love...


I love...

  • palm trees
  • cactus
  • sunshine
  • summer
  • especially summer that lasts into October...please.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

numinous


Even up to the settling of the Wild West, nearly all mythic stories took place in the wilderness or “wildness.” For both men and women through the ages, it was in the wilderness that they discovered the soul. The civilized or domesticated world was of our making; wilderness was God’s making—the first and natural cathedral.

But now we have created a society that idealizes civilization and runs away from wilderness. Many people are actually afraid of nature. Not only have we succeeded in taming the wilderness; we have ended up taming the soul.

Yet nature continues to speak to something deep within each of us. Have you ever been transfixed while looking into the eyes of an animal? When an animal looks into our eyes, the sensation is almost numinous. The world beyond the human is somehow communicating something essential to us. Carl Jung said, “When religion stops talking about animals it will be all downhill.” Being in wilderness brings us back to our senses, back to our deep selves.

Richard Rohr

I was only away from home for a week, but I missed my felines. How quickly we bond! I always have someone stay with them. Stopping by to feed is not enough. Maybe it is for them, but not for me.

Reconnection has been good. Affection. Purring. Playing. (Them, too.)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

purifying the world

(the bride...ready and waiting)


"How do we purify the world?" asked a disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn replied:

"There was once a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone honored him for his great wisdom, but no one knew whether he was a good man.

“One afternoon, a construction fault caused the house where the sheik lived with his wife, to collapse. The desperate neighbors began to dig the ruins; eventually, they managed to locate the sheik’s wife.

“She said: 'Don’t worry about me. First save my husband, who was sitting somewhere over there.'

“The neighbors removed the rubble from the area she indicated, and found the sheik. He said: 'Don’t worry about me. First save my wife, who was lying somewhere over there.'

“When someone acts as this couple did, she/he is purifying the whole world.”


from Paulo Coelho

Monday, September 06, 2010

25 levels of meaning


Mere literalism is always a decrease of meaning, not an increase. The very thing that fundamentalists protect is the lowest, most narrow level of meaning that is possible. When we read the Scriptures or receive a Sacrament with a contemplative mind, we will find 25 levels of meaning, and not feel the need to prove our “one and only” level of meaning. Mature spirituality does not throw out a very possible literal meaning; rather it includes all possible levels. We can agree to some good meaning on that level first level, but we must strive to see things on other levels of the heart and mind. This was assumed for the first 1400 years of Christianity, taken for granted by the Church Fathers, mystics, and saints. In many ways we have gone backwards and limited the ways that God could speak to us.

If Emerging Christianity is going to healthily emerge, we need to rise above and beyond the dualistic “desert” of literal thinking. All religious language is by necessity metaphor and simile, which leaves both the mind and the heart free to hear all that God might be telling us through a text.

Richard Rohr

I love this. 25 levels of meaning. Truth cannot be contained in one dimension.

That's what I love about reading CS Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle. Others that I can't even think of right now, too.

What are some of your favorite 25 levels of meaning books?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

second chances


Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.

Sophia Loren

I am grateful for the chance to unravel the messes. Here's to second chances.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

i like salt and bread...and a little olive oil



In many parts of the world the people are searching for a solution which would link the two basic values: peace and justice. The two are like bread and salt for mankind.

Lech Walesa

from his Nobel Lecture

Friday, September 03, 2010

another example of faith

(he got in there by himself)

I'm not some crazy Holy Roller, though I grew up with that. I've learned through the years to communicate with God as I perceive him. I pray for guidance, and I accept the things that come as an answer to prayers.

Dolly Parton

I guess that's what it looks like when you pray in faith believing. Ask. Look for the answer. Accept what comes as the answer. That's what it is to be a mystic...Rumi, Hafiz...Dolly.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

love thursday 09.02.10 ~ across the universe



I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you haven't seen it yet, watch Across the Universe. Julie Taymor directed. (She also directed Frida.)

It brings me back to the hope we felt in the 60s and 70s that we could effect change.

I still believe we can. One person--one step at a time. War ends. Hallelujah. War ends.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

no need to throw in the towel



Freedom isn't worth having if it doesn't include the freedom to make mistakes.

Mahatma Gandhi


...especially if we learn from them.