Monday, December 31, 2012

a prayer for the new year

Lord, please make it so that we would rather choose death than partake in evils against humanity. Make it so that we would rather risk our reputation and security than deny your call to work for freedom for the oppressed. 

Amen. 

From Common Prayer

Sunday, December 30, 2012

paulo on no

The Warrior Of Light And Resistance 
by Paulo Coelho 

The warrior knows that the most important words in all languages are the small words. 

Yes. Love. God. 

They are words that are easy enough to say and which fill vast empty spaces. 

There is, however, one word – another small word – that many people have great difficulty in saying: no. 

Someone who never says no, thinks of himself as generous, understanding, polite, because ‘no’ is thought of as being nasty, selfish, unspiritual. 

The warrior does not fall into this trap. There are times when, in saying ‘yes’ to others, he is actually saying ‘no’ to himself. 

That is why he never says ‘yes’ with his lips if, in his heart, he is saying ‘no’.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

snow on bamboo



The light which shines in the eye is really the light of the heart. The light which fills the heart is the light of God. 

Rumi

The first snow of the year fell lightly and disappeared by noon. Fortunately, I caught a shot before the beauty disappeared and remained only in my mind.

I'm not as faithful or consistent about shooting. So much has fallen by the wayside this year.

"Ease." My word for the year. That fell by the wayside, too. I've experienced some ease. Much of this year, I've completely forgotten that Ease accompanied me.

I wonder what the next year will bring....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

love thursday 12.27.12 ~ there is but one way...



I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better.

Georg Lichtenberg

...and that way is change.

Rules like "one way streets" keep us safe. It's best to keep those in place. But some rules like "we've always done it that way" keep us stuck.

Spread kindness...not violence.

Spread Love...not hate.

Those are changes worth making.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas



Khalil Gibran says that for 20 centuries men have adored the weakness of Jesus, and do not fully understand his power. Jesus did not live as a coward, and he died without complaining and suffering. He lived as a revolutionary, and was crucified as a rebel. 

He was not a bird with open wings, but a violent storm that parted wings. He was not a victim of his persecutors, and he didn’t suffer at their hands, but he was free before all of them. 

Jesus did not come to earth to destroy our homes, and, in turn, build monasteries with his stones; he came to breathe a new soul into us, to build a temple in every heart, a soul in every altar and a priest in every human being. 

Looking carefully at his life, we see that, although he knew that his passion was inevitable, he tried to give us a sense of joy in every one of his gestures. He must have thought long and hard before deciding upon which miracle was to be his first; he must have considered the healing of a paralysed man, the resurrection of the dead, the expulsion of a demon, “a noble gesture”. After all, it would be the first time he would show the world that he was the son of God. 

And it is written that his first miracle was turning water into wine to liven up a wedding party. The wisdom of this gesture should inspire us and always be present in our souls; the spiritual quest is compassion, enthusiasm and joy. 

Tibetan monk Chogyam Trunpga says, “We do not need to have a mystical experience to discover that the world is good. We should just realise that there are simple things around us, see the raindrops trickling down the window, waking in the morning and finding that the sun still shines, hear someone laughing.” 

Paulo Coelho

Christmas day and banana still stands. His leaves more frayed from the wind, yet he still has leaves. Only one day brought snow that melted by late morning. No hard freeze knocked him down...yet.

I'm torn between wanting the seasons to be as they always have with cold and snow in the next several weeks, and never wanting it to get cold again. The former means that life goes on and the cycles remain the same. The latter, while desirable to my yearning for the tropics, could mean we are in deep doo-doo.

Here's the truth...it is what it is. I am just along for the ride.

Monday, December 24, 2012

wow on a ukulele



Makes me never want to pick up an instrument again.... (I know...I know...but it's the truth.) Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 21, 2012

12.21.12


Here we are. At the beginning of the New Age. Has the shift happened? Only time will tell.

It is my prayer that we never again have to go through a horror like this. We must stop.

We must start to see each other as individuals. The innocents pay when we don't.

Can we relate to these children? They didn't yet have a political party. Most of them were not yet aware of their sexual orientation. The religion they practiced was likely that of their parents.

Yes, their race and gender were set. That's all.

Would they have become part of the 1% or the 99%?

Would they be givers or takers?

Would they be healthy or chronically ill and in need of assistance?

We'll never know.

Yet people in everyone of these categories exist in our realm. We must care for one another.

We simply must. We are all like fingers on a hand. Different but connected. Only when we work together will we get anything done.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

love thursday 12.20.12 ~ some just love the snow


Polar bears at the Oregon Zoo enjoy the first snow of the season!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

adding to the conversation

A single conversation with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books. 

Chinese Proverb

This morning I reposted a picture (with words) on Facebook. I thought it was amusing. At first I didn't plan to repost it. I had misgivings, but couldn't put my finger on them. A gut feeling stopped me, but then I overrode that.

A (much-more-conservative-than-I) friend called me out: "Just what we need...threats."

I'm glad she did. Here's why:

1. I want to add to the discussion, not raise tempers and eyebrows by using a tone or approach that alienates. I did not clearly see the post as threatening. In fact, I disagree that it was. The point is that some people do--people with whom I would rather further the discussion than squelch it.

2. I overrode my gut. This instance is not a big thing, yet it is a lesson to me that my gut knows more than my brain sometimes does. Even when I can't put my finger on what that something-is-off is.

3. While the tone of the post was amusing to me, it was ironic bordering on sarcasm. Sarcasm has its place, though the timing of using it can be delicate. Some situations are just too raw and sensitive to stand up to that tone. Not now. Maybe never.

4. Shame. Often when people "call me out" I feel shame. Not this time. I felt educated. My friend's tone was not as gentle as I would have liked. That's okay. She also didn't accuse or call me names. For that I am grateful. She clearly stated her thoughts and I listened. In previous instances of similar interactions, I might have felt shame. I didn't. A testament to my progress.

5. Her response reminded me that I am not operating in a vacuum. I have friends who are more liberal than I (yes, it is possible to be more liberal than I) and friends who are more conservative (okay...that's not so hard to do). On Facebook, I can easily forget the numbers and identity of people who are reading what I post. I do try to remain positive. I don't always succeed even to my own standards.

After I read her response I said, "Good point."

I thought a little longer and wrote, "I'll delete."

I did.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

and now...for your morning chuckle....



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.

George Bernard Shaw

Monday, December 17, 2012

shift of the ages

Only a peace between equals can last. Only a peace the very principle of which is equality and a common participation in a common benefit. 

Woodrow Wilson 

If you have an hour and a half to watch, check out this movie.

It is about a Mayan elder and his call to heal the world. The shift of ages is about us (the humans on the planet) getting it that we are all one: "We are like fingers on a hand...different, but all connected."

It is the only thing that will save us. We must rise above our reptile brains that see different as a threat. Time is running out.

...and the colors and scenery are beautiful!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

oh, i do hope this link stays active

If you can look at this list without your eyes leaking, you are a better woman than I.

Friday, December 14, 2012

would that it were so....



So great has been the endurance, so incredible the achievement, that, as long as the sun keeps a set course in heaven, it would be foolish to despair of the human race. 

Ernest L. Woodward

Mr. Woodward is far more optimistic than I. I hope he is right. Too much gets in the way of our being kind to one another. Too much keeps us from taking care of one another.

In tragedy, we all pull together. What about before tragedy strikes?

We need more kindness. We need more capacity to see the other in ourself.

God, hear our prayers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

love thursday 12.13.12 ~ come out, come out wherever you are

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. 

Zora Neale Hurston 

COME OUT! Everyone. Show your true self...your true soul. Love makes us want to do that anyway. And that begets more Love.

So come out now...as who your soul truly manifests through you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12


One cannot be exceptional and normal at the same time. 

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Here we are...almost at the middle of December. We haven't had a hard freeze yet. Banana is still standing in all his glory.

On this auspicious date, my wish is that we are all still standing in our exceptional glory as the future unfolds.

Normal is not all it is cracked up to be, after all.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

i wish you peace

Peace is not an absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. 

Benedict De Spinoza 

Terrible tragedy struck in Portland today. A man started shooting in a mall. Three died. One is badly wounded. One of those who died was the shooter...at his own hand.

I don't listen to the news. I can't. Stories like these break my heart. I weep when I hear the stories of those who were in harm's way. I weep to think of someone being so desperate, angry, or ill that he would carry out such a horrific act.

In this season of holy days, I wish...I hope...that we will all find peace; that we will all find healing; that we will all be safe.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

i guess being a princess would be okay

I never wanted to be a princess. Being a samurai was much more appealing to me...or a ninja.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

happy 90th birthday, dad

Since it is December, I can post Christmas stories. Since it is Dad's birthday, I can post father and daughter stories...


Friday, December 07, 2012

some wisdom is worth repeating

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:


1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step..

3. Life is too short - enjoy it..

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7... Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9.. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11... Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don't worry; God never blinks.

16... Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23 Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will
this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don't forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38.. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Regina Brett, 90 years old

The Plain Dealer Newspaper, Cleveland, Ohio

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

taking recycling to a new level: the landfill harmonic



I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning. 

Plato

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

a thought worth considering

If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation. 

Dalai Lama 

 Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me....

And the kid down the block...and every other 3rd grader.

So be it.

Monday, December 03, 2012

karma

dalton in action (tan uniform)

One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him. 

Socrates

I have been sitting here trying to come up with a thread that will connect the quote to the picture. How about sportsmanship?

It was either that or karma.

They both work the same way, don't they? It's just that with karma, there is no referee on the floor to call the foul and make you pay the penalty. That's called "instant karma."

Sportsmanship and karma are both about going beyond obeying the rules. They raise the bar to a level of behavior that goes above just following the rules of the game. They ask us to do what is right in relationship to others regardless of the circumstances around us.

Even when no ref is on the floor.