Saturday, December 31, 2011

good bye 2011


(mijo drinking from the faucet)

Differences in religious beliefs, politics, social status, and position are all secondary. When we look at someone with compassion, we are able to see beyond these secondary differences and connect to the primary essence that binds all humans together as one.

HH Dalai Lama


I'm looking for something different in 2012. Something uplifting, encouraging, connecting, healing. Something that brings us together rather than tearing us apart.

I'm hoping we find that primary essence HHDL talks about.

As far as differences go, I'm hoping that we only see them in order not to be bored with each other. That we see our differences as exciting and fun and interesting.

Time to start celebrating different. And perhaps, celebrating differently, as well.

Good bye 2011. Don't forget to kiss me before you leave.

But you, Beloved, you can stay. I have enjoyed spending this year with you. We can kiss all the time...if you like.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

love thursday 12.29.11 ~ the last love thursday of 2011


(another manger shot)

If the house of the world is dark,
Love will find a way to create windows.


Rumi

We need more windows. Today was dark. Really dark. Windy, rainy, gray. At 3:00 in the afternoon, I thought it was 5:00. I closed the kitty door and declared outside off limits for the remainder of the evening.

At 10:00, it was 55 degrees and balmy. And HoneyBoy was desperate to get outside. Too bad, my friend. Tomorrow will be soon enough.

As I was sweeping up a broken plate and all the cookies that had been on it, I realized that saying good bye to 2011 will not be heartbreaking for me. I'm looking forward to 2012. A new beginning.

Perhaps new windows will open.

And perhaps I will be even better at love for no reason at all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

massage day

To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

I'm casting off chains today. By the time my massage is over, I hope to be free of some pain.

May the Beloved guide you to freedom today, too--and walk there with you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

help

We are all, by nature, clearly oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion. We all prefer the love of others to their hatred. We all prefer others’ generosity to meanness. And who is there among us who does not prefer tolerance, respect and forgiveness of our failings to bigotry, disrespect, and resentment?

HH Dalai Lama

I just finished watching the movie The Help. I hear it has mixed reviews. Ordinary people love it. Film afficianados have varying degrees of like/dislike for it. Whatever.

The movie moved me. As far as I am concerned, that is what story telling is about.

Set during the Civil Rights movement era, the movie is about black maids in Jackson, Mississippi. The movie shows reveals the relationships and how they take a backseat to the customs and expectations of the culture in the south.

Clearly, the customs were not based on the teachings of the Dalai Lama.

I do not...cannot understand how people can be so unkind to others. I do not and cannot understand how differences in race, religion, or politics make some people think they have the right to be unkind--no...downright mean to others. I. Do. Not. Get. It.

Ignorance can be corrected. Mean-spiritedness? Maybe not.

Perhaps I have had too many lifetimes as the underdog. Perhaps I have had enough experiences in this lifetime of being misunderstood, misinterpreted, and denigrated to be willing to put up with bad behavior on the part of those who think they are better.

I know I have my own blind spots and ignorance. I am willing to learn. I am willing to change.

I am not willing to be mean just because someone is different. Are you?

Monday, December 26, 2011

let's bring them all home

Wherever they are...

Let's turn them all into princes [and princesses] of peace.

Please...

NO.
MORE.
WAR.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas


(doesn't he take a great closeup?)



For us, as people sitting here meditating, as people wanting to live a good, full, unrestricted, adventurous, real kind of life, there is concrete instruction that we can follow, which is the one we have been following all along in meditation: see what is. Acknowledge it without judging it as right or wrong. See it clearly without judgment and let it go. Come back to the present moment.

From now until the moment of your death, you could do this. As a way of becoming more compassionate, as way of becoming less dogmatic, prejudiced, determined to have your own way, absolutely sure that you’re right and the other person is wrong, as a way to develop a sense of humor, to lighten it up, open it up, you could do this.

Pema Chodron

Today is Christmas. I will call it that and say "Merry" to you. If you want to say "Happy Holidays" that's okay with me. If you want to wish me Happy Hannukah or Joyous Kwanzaa or something else, I will accept those greetings, too. I appreciate good wishes in all forms.

We don't have to believe in the same language for what is good. We just need to believe in good. More than that, we need to behave in a way that is good.

Not everyone who comes here believes the way I do. That's okay. Thanks for coming.

Not everyone who comes here shares my politics. That's okay. Thanks for coming.

What we do share is a common humanity and a desire to see and do good in the world. I like that. Thanks for coming.

In the dark that is winter, we need more light. Whether on our Christmas tree, in a menorrah, contained in a bonfire or fireplace to warm our bones, we need it. We crave it.

We also have light within each one of us. May yours shine bright and may mine help light the path we walk together.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

happy christmas eve

Whatever holiday you celebrate...

Whatever religion you follow...or not...

One thing we all need is Love...



May the blessings of this season
rain down on you and yours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

a kiss he'll never forget

I gotta tell ya...

...this brought tears to my eyes:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

love thursday 12.22.11 ~ some christmas love



God rest ye merry, gentlemen and ladies...and everyone else, too.

May you have Comfort and Joy today and every day...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

cat's life at my house



On the journey of the warrior-bodhisattva, the path goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward turbulence and doubt however we can. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is. At our own pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others, companions in awakening from fear.

Pema Chodron

And sometimes...we sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

furry toes




Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.


Rumi

Speaking of snow...look at those big furry toes. Those are Mijo's toes. He is Manx and part Siberian (I think). Both breeds have fur between their toes to help deal with the cold ground. The extra fur acts like snow boots and keeps the pads from freezing.

Perhaps having genes from two cold continents gives him a double dose of hair. He weighs about 18 pounds now by our sometimes not very accurate scale--hence the size of the feet.

Siberians grow until they are 5. He is now 2 1/2. Some of that breed grow to 25 pounds.

Oh, I hope not.

Monday, December 19, 2011

relief = space

For fast-acting relief try slowing down.

Lily Tomlin

That's what my Sunday looked like. I never got dressed--wore my pajamas all day. A friend stopped by to pick something up. I put on a vest and a hat. That constitutes properly covered in my book.

I puttered. I got things done. My progress resembled erosion more than tectonic plate shifts.

When I putter I circle. I work a while in one room, take a newly sorted pile to a different room to put it away, find a task in the second room, move back to the first, taking small bites of the project in each room as I go. By the end of the day, an observer can see the difference. In any given 10 minute segment, the mess looks worse--not better.

Yet, I persevere. Give away. Throw away. Store. Move stuff that is no longer useful where it is. Make room for the new. Make room to breathe. Make room just because space feels better than stuff.

Doing it while slowing down makes even more space--inside and out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

10 things about Saturday

10. I am grumpy.

9. I worked--actually went to the office...on Saturday.

8. I tasted the eggnog...twice.

7. My new computer will be here next week. Yes, I did it.

6. Continued on my clean up campaign by deleting all the "unavailable" titles from my Blockbuster queue. (Hey...it counts!)

5. Forgot to unload the kitty litter from the trunk...again.

4. We have 3 new plug-ins: two switched and one direct...ergo, fewer extension cords.

3. Didn't look at my To Do List once. Still got a lot done. Maybe next time I look, I can cross some things off.

2. Still no inkling about my word for next year. (Deb is right: two years of "Beloved" would be all right.)

1. I truly am blessed...grumpy and all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

this post has nothing to do with the picture


(aren't they cute?)

Today, Friday, I have a list...

Take the papers to the shredder.

Take the computer to the repair shop (yes, again--the same problem is baaaaaaaaaaack).

Shop for a new computer. (I give. I can't afford the down time or the frustration.)

Buy kitty litter...and cat food.

Have lunch with a friend.

Lord, have mercy...please.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

love thursday 12.15.11 ~ away in a manger OR the prince of peace


(he wrapped himself in swaddling clothes
and tucked himself in the manger--
okay...he cuddled in a blanket on the couch)

Beg our Lord to grant you perfect love for your neighbor… If someone else is well spoken of, be more pleased than if it were yourself… Force your will, as far as possible, to comply in all things with others’ wishes although sometimes you may lose your own rights by doing so. Forget your self-interests for theirs, however much nature may rebel.

Teresa of Avila

'Tis the season for giving. Oh, that our leaders would listen to this. It is not about winning and losing. It is about taking care of each other. Time to put away selfish things and power plays...please.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ch-ch-ch-changes...


Pain, as dramatically presented in the message of the cross, tells us about the high price of change. Real change never comes easily. It always feels like dying. All we can really do is get out of the way by not being so defensive, so overprotective of our opinions, our nation, our religion, our gender. These are just labels, and they are all passing away.

All we can really do is to stop stopping the natural process of growth, and trust a larger purpose.

In all of the natural world, everything is dying to become something else. Why would we be any exception? Just watch the solids, liquids, and vapors. Just watch the animals giving their lives for another species. Just watch the trees and plants creating soil itself by losing their leaves and dying for another season. Just watch the sun that is in the process of dying so all things here can live. It is the pattern of the universe, and we alone try to sit it out.

Richard Rohr

"G0-Back Road" is not an option. Since change is the only constant, I have decided to make peace with it. Okay...I'm working on making peace with it.

I notice how cranky I get when I can't buy the same products I've always used. Or the place I like to eat has changed the recipe. Or Facebook makes another stupid change (...I said I'm working on it). I do notice.

Ah, yes. Yet another application for "Love For No Reason at All." Peace and equanimity in the face of unwanted, unexpected, misunderstood change seems a lot like love to me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

change for a dollar



(just look how much you can get)

Monday, December 12, 2011

things i noticed this weekend...

...when I watch movies I need subtitles--even for the ones in English...American English.

...I put up the Christmas tree. I spent quite a bit of time getting all the lights in the string to work. I put them on the tree. Half went out.

...it takes an extraordinary amount of time to save a few bucks by fixing the stuff that doesn't work.

...in spite of the fact that I got a lot done this weekend, I didn't mark much off my list.

...I have far more attachments to how my prayers get answered than I really want to own up to.

..."freezing fog" is bone-chilling, foot-cicle cold.

...when the floor crunches as you walk on it, it is time to sweep.

...my hair looks great...just in time to go to bed.

...sometimes two pair of back-up glasses is not enough--one in the shop with a broken temple; the other popped a lens out and I will never see the screw again.

...I rubbed the bump off the F on my keyboard. Mom says it's because I use the F-word so much.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

23 1/2 hours

Not really news, but good information and...

I love these animations....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

whatever happened to live and let live?

To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

I remember when people would defend other's right to be different from themselves. What happened? When did we start deciding that one system of beliefs must be perpetrated on everyone?

Isn't pursuit of happiness one of my inalienable rights? I can tell you now that what makes me happy doesn't make everyone happy. And what makes them happy would...well, it would make me want to poke my eyes out.

Freedom to pursue individuality...religion...beliefs...love...even fashion!

God help us all.

Friday, December 09, 2011

i care

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all--the apathy of human beings.

Helen Keller

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting pictures much lately. It's not that I don't care. Apathy and inertia are not the same.

It's cold. I've been busy. I'm breaking out of my rut.

Every day I make myself get out of my chair and do something. I'm making a list and checking it twice--not for naughty and nice, but for all the things that have been piling up around my ears while I have not had the energy or inclination to do them.

I'm still in "clean up and throw away" mode. I try to get rid of something every day--even if it is the junk mail that came in that day. If I am not deleting piles, I am preventing piles forming. Every little bit helps.

I put up the Christmas lights because SO loves them so...and I love SO. I checked all the strings to make sure they worked before I put them up. I plugged them in to see my handiwork and half of several strings didn't work. So the next day I re-hung the Christmas lights.

I run more errands than I ever knew it was possible for one person to need to do. I fix things that break--lately, an almost daily occurrence. I blow the leaves off the deck and driveway and help SO with the garden. I go to work. I break the suction and keep moving, trying to stay productive.

I haven't been taking pictures. The energy hasn't moved me in that direction lately.

Some day...one day...I feel it coming.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

love thursday 12.08.11 ~ rest in peace, harry morgan

In today's deeply interdependent world, war is outdated and illogical. All regions, and all peoples, are interconnected environmentally, economically, and politically. War, oppression or civil strife in one area inevitably affects people in other parts of the world.

HH Dalai Lama


I loved M*A*S*H and Colonel Potter was the best of the best--



(Happy birthday, Dad. I hope you are resting in peace, too.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

enough said...

One cannot be aware both of the history of Christian war and of the contents of the gospels without feeling that something is amiss.

Wendell Berry

from his introduction to
Blessed are the Peacemakers


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

for the days when i wonder if it all matters....

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
(1835-1893)
American Bishop

Sunday, December 04, 2011

deck the halls

I love me some flash mob:



...falalalala lalalala!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

anything you want to say?

I have been writing a long time and have learned some things, not only from my own long hard work, but from a writing class I had for three years. In this class were all kinds of people: prosperous and poor, stenographers, housewives, salesmen, cultivated people and little servant girls who had never been to high school, timid people and bold ones, slow and quick ones. This is what I learned: that everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say.

Brenda Ueland

And as Anne Lamott says,

Write really shitty first drafts.

I've got that one covered.

Friday, December 02, 2011

friday inspiration

One day your heart will take you to your lover.
One day your soul will carry you to the Beloved.
Don't get lost in your pain –
Know that one day your pain will become your cure.


Rumi


My mom sent this and told me to show it to HoneyBoy. I also want to share it with you:



Have a wonderful weekend. May you be blessed.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

love thursday 12.01.11 ~ come out, come out...whoever you are

If you keep listening to the love, if you keep receiving the love, trusting the love—even with all your limitations, unworthiness, limited intellect, or whatever you feel holds you back—you start to experience within yourself a sense of possibility. Whatever life is inviting you into, you have this sense that it’s okay and, even better, that you can do it! That is the joy of the saints. Now you don’t have to do it by the world’s criteria of success or performance. As Mother Teresa loved to say, “The only real success is faithfulness.” To be faithful to this inner love is in itself the greatest success. It is of itself the possibility. No outer successes are necessary to be happy.

This is what makes the mystics sort of dangerous. It’s not just possibility they experience—but permission. It’s permission to color outside the lines and to be who you really are. It’s not just gay people who have to come out of their closets. We’re all in our closets. They’ve just given us a good metaphor for what we all have to do. We’re all afraid to come out of our various closets. It’s not the need to be outrageous or rebellious. It’s so much better than that. It’s just permission to be that image and likeness of God that you really are. You are unlike any other image or likeness. It is as if God is saying, “I’m expecting you to return to me simply and totally as you really are!”

Richard Rohr