Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

something to think about

Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities.

Winston Churchill


Maybe we should start before we exhaust all other possibilities.

Monday, May 28, 2012

will

(the original red...after 5 coats)

I do pray for love for my neighbor, even those who commit vile acts against children and other human beings, and it is always a pleasure to witness another receiving well-deserved accolades.

But I have trouble with this part: "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."

To me, allowing others to do violence to us or to abuse us in other ways, even relatively small ways, does no use to the perpetrator or to us.

I taught my children, and I continue to teach my grandchildren, to understand and respect boundaries--theirs, mine, another's. Surehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif, there are times that giving way and giving in are useful and right. Other times, they only seem to perpetuate evil and wrongdoing.

Somehow it seems to me that we cannot fully respect another--and love them--if we have no similar respect and love for ourselves.

I am open to new understanding and suspect I am missing something. Thoughts?



One of my friends posted the above in response to this post. (Thanks for that, by the way. I do get around to things eventually--even if months later!) I didn't want to let this go by without further discussion.

I agree with you. It is important to respect boundaries--yours, mine, and others'. I hope that Teresa's prayer is not just from a place of needing to bow to the will of the patriarchal church and that it does come from a heart of Christian love. I am in no position to judge that.

On the other hand, there are times when it does behoove me to put my own will aside for the greater good. And when that is so...man, it is hard. There is a difference between putting aside one's own will for the greater good and putting it aside to give in to a powerful structure.

Agree...disagree...discuss.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

how do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom ... I want to be remembered as one who tried.

Dorothy Height

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

love thursday 05.24.12 ~ the three faces of mijo...



Life is so very difficult. How can we be anything but kind.

Buddha


...because I love that face and I just can't get enough of it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the answers...

Humans can't live in the present, like animals do. Humans are always thinking about the future or the past. So it's a veil of tears, man. I don't know anything that's going to benefit me now, except love. I just need an overwhelming amount of love. And a nap. Mostly a nap.

Townes Van Zandt

...to these questions:

1) Better but not good enough.

2) No.

3) Yes.

After looking at the colors in the light (and the dark), we decided that as much as we love the colors and the combination, it just doesn't go with the paint job in the living room. The brightness overwhelms the subtlety of the previous choices, so we're going to go a different direction.

On one hand, it makes me sad because we do so love the colors. On the other hand...I'm just wanting to get this project done. How many coats of paint can you put on one wall? I mean, really?

So send me some love since I don't think a nap is likely.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

meet my new best friend...

The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.

Wang Yang-Ming

Chinese Philosopher

Floetrol.


You probably remember my love affair with Frog Tape. Don't get me wrong. That hasn't cooled. I still love Frog Tape. But you know...different strokes for different folks.

Floetrol makes the paint flow. Truly. Frog Tape makes it stop. It's a perfect right hand-left hand thing. And I'm not saying which is which. I guess it depends upon which direction you are facing.

After four coats of red paint (the last one with Floetrol), when the lights are off the paint looks even. Today, I have three questions:

1) What will the coverage look like when I turn the light on?

2) Will one more coat cover it?

3) Do I have enough paint for one more coat?

I've been praying for mercy and hoping that my paint holds out like the oil in the virgins' lamps.

Monday, May 21, 2012

love free or die

All religions, all this singing, is one song.
The differences are just illusion and vanity.
The sun's light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall … but it's still one light.

Rumi

Yesterday I saw a movie. Love Free or Die is about Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal church. He was the first openly gay priest to be consecrated into the bishopric.

Gene is an amazing man who lives honestly and transparently. He lives the life of Christ.

And the movie is well done. See it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

what i wish someone had told me...

When painting something red, always paint a green tinted primer first. Always.

Too late.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

red badge of courage

Today I am earning my red badge of courage. No, I am not going to war (and this is in no way meant to minimize the sacrifices of those who go to battle, nor to compare myself to them). The phrase seems to fit, though.

I am painting a wall red.

I have never painted a wall red.

Red paint goes on streaky over white paint.

This particular shade of red looks quite...pink--rosy, if you wish to call it that.

Fortunately, I have enough paint for several coats if that is what is required. I knew I would have to paint at least two. From where I sit right now? Maybe more.

I'll let you know when I'm done.

Oy.

Friday, May 18, 2012

finally...someone saying what i've been thinking and saying


When I consider the lack of cooperation in human society, I can only conclude that it stems from ignorance of our interdependent nature. I am often moved by the example of small insects, such as bees. The laws of nature dictate that bees work together in order to survive. As a result, they possess an instinctive sense of social responsibility. They have no constitution, laws, police, religion or moral training, but because of their nature they labor faithfully together. Occasionally they may fight, but in general the whole colony survives on the basis of cooperation. Human beings, on the other hand, have constitutions, vast legal systems and police forces; we have religion, remarkable intelligence and a heart with great capacity to love. But despite our many extraordinary qualities, in actual practice we lag behind those small insects; in some ways, I feel we are poorer than the bees.

HH Dalai Lama

And you know that queen bee? The one at the top whom everyone labors for? If the drones don't love her...they kill her.

In a recent NPR story about bees, the beekeeper talked about introducing a new queen into a hive. In order for her to move in and take over, she has a limited amount of time to create enough pheromones for the hive to "fall in love" with her--literally. If she doesn't succeed, they kill her. It is as simple as that.

Most of us have fallen out of love with the BS from the 1%. We don't buy that taxing them will hurt us. We no longer buy the trickle down line. In fact, the only thing that runs downhill? Yeah...the BS they keep trying to feed us.

People who don't have jobs don't buy stuff. People who don't consume--whether rich (who can't buy enough to make up for the rest of us) or unemployed and poor (who don't have discretionary income and hardly have enough to buy what they need on a day to day basis)--don't create jobs.

Those who believe that taxing the rich will make it worse for them--please, give it up. It is time to create flow. It is time to loosen up. It is time to go back to work. Uncork the bottle. Let the haves loosen their grip. It will benefit them, too. No BS.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

love thursday 05.17.12 ~ the greatest of these is love

All through the Verba Seniorum we find a repeated insistence on the primacy of love over everything else in the spiritual life: over knowledge, gnosis, asceticism, contemplation, solitude, prayer. Love in fact is the spiritual life, and without it all the other exercises of the spirit, however lofty, are emptied of content and become mere illusions. The more lofty they are, the more dangerous the illusion.

Thomas Merton

If we spend one moment every day trying to love someone or something, we have chosen the better path.

If we practice loving rather than judging, criticizing, hating, mocking, despising, or looking on with condescension, we have chosen the better path.

It doesn't matter how rich, beautiful, smart, funny, thin, fat, tall, short, stylish, tan, coiffed, shaved, or made up we are if we don't have love. Period.

Anything that is not about the practice of love is dangerous. [See above.]

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

truth-telling 101

Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean. From the very beginning to the very end, pointing to our own hearts to discover what is true isn’t just a matter of honesty but also of compassion and respect for what we see.

Pema Chodron

I love this. Of course, it is important to be honest. However, telling the truth at the expense of someone else's feelings and well-being is just plain not necessary. I remember Master Choa (Pranic Healing teacher) saying, "If the choice is between truth and kindness, choose kindness."

I get the point. I have been guilty of point blank brutal honesty. It is not all it is cracked up to be. I have hurt others with my honest opinions. As a practice, kindness and compassion go a lot further than "just telling the truth."

Consider. Consider the other.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

infinite

I opened my hand and the Infinite ran to the edges of space – and all possibilities are contained therein, all possibilities, even sorrow. In the end, nothing that ever caused one pain will exist. No one will begrudge Me. The Absolute Innocence of all within my Creation takes a while to understand.

St. Catherine of Siena

from
“No One Will Begrudge Me”

Monday, May 14, 2012

our company while dining on the front porch




Slowly the land reveals itself
To us.

We learn to recognize
The difference between
Killing time
And resting.


Linford Detweiler

Sunday, May 13, 2012

is right the same for everyone?

You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.

Rosa Parks

One of my Facebook friends and former student "hosted" a conversation today about the righteous beliefs of certain individuals effecting behaviors that cause harm to others. He is a licensed minister himself, yet he has come to a place in his search where he is no longer able to embrace the evangelical path he once followed. He shared deeply and honestly about his beliefs and his questions. I honor and applaud him for that.

A passionate discussion ensued. What amazes me is how "right" the believers think they are. The host quite honestly said, "I don't know. Maybe you're right. Maybe not. But I don't believe that is the Truth." His gentleness and sincerity endeared him to me.

All I could add to the discussion is this: "I think when it is time to meet 'the maker' we will be surprised at what is considered sin. EVERY ONE of us will be surprised about something." I'd even go so far as to say that what is "right" for one person is "sin" for another in some situations.

It all comes down to Love, doesn't it? That's always right.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

my three greatest thrills of the day

1) I got a new mop. You've already heard my housecleaning status. I got a mop on day two. It broke before I could finish the whole house. I took it back. Today, I got a new wet/dry dust mop. I even swept again.

2) I found the GFCI in the garage. Two outlets stopped working--suddenly...mysteriously. I looked everywhere. I consulted my friend. I consulted the Internet. The consensus seemed to be that a GFCI had been tripped. No GFCI existed that I could find--at least, not one that was in any way connected to the outlets that stopped working. Then I remembered that the builder had given us pictures of the house under construction so we could see how wiring and plumbing had been done. Not only did I remember that we had the pictures, but SO found them! One picture in the garage showed a potential outlet not otherwise in evidence. I counted the studs from the door to the outlet in the picture, multiplied by 16, measured that many inches along the wall, and moved the boxes that were on the shelves...in front of the GFCI...that had been tripped. I pushed the button. The outlets now work. I didn't have to call an electrician after all.

3) I caught the shrew that HoneyBoy brought in the house. We came home from dinner and HoneyBoy stared intently at a spot between a chair and lamp. SO said, "Oh oh." And rightly so. I moved the chair. The shrew made a break. I got a rag from the kitchen and came back to the spot. Neither HoneyBoy nor I could find the little bugger. I moved the lamp. The shrew ran and HoneyBoy followed. He made a u-turn and came toward me. When he was within reach, I threw the rag over him. Got him. Then I threw him out. Threw the cat out, too.

Friday, May 11, 2012

drunk on beloved

Every question I ask is about you,
Every step I take is toward you.
I slept well last night
but I woke up drunk.
I must have dreamt about you.


Rumi

Happy Friday! May you be drunk on the love of the Beloved.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

love thursday 05.10.12 ~ perfect love

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

1 John 4:18

That, my friends, is my sermon for the day. To live by those words is quite another story. I think of the current state of the union and how divided we are--politically, economically, racially, and by gender and orientation. How did we get here?

May we all reach perfection in Love. True Love.

(Cleaning update: Day three...only the master bath left to clean. YES!)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

cleaning day 2

The sequel.

I bought a mop. Getting up and down from the floor...being on my hands and knees on the hardwood and tile...ouch. The ancient mop we have is a sponge mop and it just doesn't do the job. It streaks the floors. In keeping with our non-toxic cleaning theme, I got a microfiber mop.

I love cleaning with microfiber.

Wait...let me rephrase that. If I have to clean...microfiber is the way to go. Water and microfiber. Period.

I'm not sure I will finish the job today. It depends on my stamina and whether I choose to work into the evening. It's never taken me 3 days to clean the house before. I can't even remember when it has taken me two day. But then, I've never been this close to 60 and never had three bathrooms and three cats when I was the one responsible for all the cleaning.

So...it is what it is. If it takes me three days, so be it.

Master bath, closet, and bedroom and hall bath left to do. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

cleaning day

Today I am cleaning house. I'm trying to break the suction that keeps me stuck somewhere between "what's the use?" and "I don't care." I get up and move. I do the little things that stare at me:

fold a pile of laundry that has been waiting for days

move the holder for the outside temperature gauge because we continue to bump it where it is and the sensor falls on cement

change a litter box

start by washing the floor in the laundry room where Misi pees outside the box--oh yes, we are a creative household here

feed the squirrels

take the magazines to the recycle bin

sit a spell

get up and start the next room

I am taking it a room at a time. I will get as far as I get today. Maybe just downstairs--or part of downstairs. Maybe I'll even start upstairs. Maybe not. One. Room. At. A. Time.

That is good enough. The flow may be interrupted, yet it is better than no flow at all.

Maybe I will even go outside and sit in the sun. I hear it calling me....

Monday, May 07, 2012

spirit

As one's fortunes are reduced, one's spirit must expand to fill the void.

Winston Churchill

Sometimes, I'd like a little less opportunity to expand spirit to fill the void.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

planting the garden

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

George Washington Carver

Potatoes, brussel sprouts, cilantro, zucchini--probably something else I am not remembering. All in the ground today.

Lawn mowed.

That's the nature broadcast to me today.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

like a cat

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has not choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka

My friend who sent this wondered if that is what my cats are doing when they are at my feet--rolling in ecstasy. I think yes. Especially, Mijo who rolls at my feet every morning while I am doing my ablutions, waiting for me to brush him.

It works.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

love thursday 05.03.12 ~ ease

God always entices us through love.

Richard Rohr

I'm still thinking about ease. Being in the Beloved is ease. How quickly I forget. How I love being reminded in all ways, big and small.

I can't say that I am entirely uncranky yet. This patch of attitude still needs some weeding, yet the fruit still grows. Truth is, I am enticed by love. I keep returning to that flow and wanting to walk in it--swim in it daily.

Sigh. Some days I float downstream. Other days, I just can't overcome the upstream current. I am remembering that it is the same for others. At least for today, I remember.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

rich life of ease

We've forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that's the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.

Cornel West

from
The Impossible Will Take a Little While

On a day when I am frustrated by the things I'm not getting accomplished, the problems that are beyond my control to solve, the people who are oblivious to the rest of us moving through the same place and time with them, it is good to remember that serving others and improving the planet are always in my realm of choice.

I keep forgetting that this year's word is ease. Many parts have not and do not seem easy at all. Yet, I have learned from this process in years past that the path is not always one defined by the key word. The path usually challenges me to find my word in the midst of...something else.

Finding ease in the midst of frustration, confusion, struggle, and despair--that's my challenge this year. May you find ease in the middle of it all.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

here's to dreams...and to mothers

But my mother never laughed at my dreams. She would say, “If you really want something, if you work hard, if you take advantage of opportunity and if you never give up, you will find a way.” See, how lucky I was. I’m now working so much with young people because I could kill myself trying to save chimps and forests, but if we’re not raising new generations to be better stewards than we’ve been, then we might as well give up. So I can go to kids living in poverty in Tanzania or the inner-city Bronx, and tell them my story, and say, “Follow your dreams.” And they write to me and say, “You taught us that because you did it, I can do it, too.” And that is just right.

Jane Goodall


Thanks, Mom.